This table, with its substantial appearance and fluid forms is based on the Roman baroque style of the 17th Century. It belongs to a group of tables which have a central head to the frieze flanked by double-scrolled legs that are joined by a massive scrolling stretcher. There is very little literary evidence for the carvers and gilders of the period and the authorship of these works remains unattributable. Three similar tables of the late 17th early 18th Century with plain marble tops are in the Palazzo Quirinale, but it is believed that these were acquired in the early 20th Century for the house as they first appear in its inventory in 1946 as the private property of king Umberto II (A. Gonzáles-Palacios, Il Patrimonio Artistico del Quirinale, I Mobili Italiani, Milano, 1996, pp. 154-157, cat. 45). A closely related Roman giltwood console table with a central winged mask, with military trophies to the centre of the stretcher and with an associated plain marble top, was sold anonymously, Sotheby's London, 13 December 1996, lot 92, while a further console table of similar shape was sold from the collection of the 6th Earl of Rosebery [+], Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, Sotheby's house sale, 18-20 May 1977, lot 872.
The specimen marble top bears witness to the revived interest in classical antiquity during the neoclassical period. The influx of rich foreign visitors from England, France and Germany on their Grand Tour led to a consuming passion for archeological marbles, then still much found in Rome. Roman marmetisti, such as Antonio Minelli, are recorded as having worked with up to 170 different specimens of marble. Indeed Rome continued to be the centre for specimen marble table top production well into the 19th Century, although Florence, Naples, Buen Retiro in Spain and even England made related examples (A.M. Giusti, Pietre Dure, London, 1992, pp. 33). A neoclassical giltwood and polychrome-painted console table of circa 1780-1785 with similarly inlaid specimen marble top, plain black marble surround and ormolu edge, is in the Villa Borghese, Rome (A. González-Palacios, Il Gusto dei Principi, Milan, 1993, vol. II, p. 240, fig. 479).