It is interesting to compare this impressive table, with its Boulle marquetry base reflecting the work of Louis XVI ébénistes such as Etienne Levasseur who revived the taste for Boulle's work, surmounted by a richly coloured top of scagliola, to a table with similar Boulle marquetry base, probably reusing earlier panels, and surmounted by a marble top inset with Florentine pictorial pietra dura panels, sold Christie's, London, 29 November 1990, lot 289 (now in a private collection).
Boulle marquetry never really went out of fashion, and in the 19th Century a number of cabinet-makers and dealers such as Edward Holmes Baldock retailed pieces with Boulle marquetry catering to a generation of English collectors such as George IV and the Marquess of Hertford who were enamored of the 'Louis Quatorze' style. The furniture sold to these collectors could either be entirely new creations, 18th century pieces which had been modified or embellished, or unaltered antique pieces. The combination of Boulle marquetry and richly coloured Florentine pietre dure was typical of this antiquarian taste.
THE SCAGLIOLA TOP
Frustratingly, the maker Andrea Cherubini, who proudly signed this splendid scagliola table top, appears to be unrecorded. The design, with its naturalistic sprays of flowers framing an exotically coloured parrot perched on a flowering branch, is clearly inspired by 17th Century Florentine prototypes in pietre dure from the Grand Ducal workshops, after designs by Jacopo Ligozzi (see A. González-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto: La Toscana e L'Italia Settentrionale, Milan, 1986, vol. II, figs. 169-172). A related top in scagliola, signed by Giovanni Leoni and dated 1661, is illustrated in A. Massinelli, Scagliola, Rome, 1997, p. 102, fig. 65.