Description & Technical information

The table bases: English, circa 1740.
The scagliola inserts: Italian, circa 1735.

The table bases conform to the oeuvre of Benjamin Goodison. There are a number of tables with vitually identical frieze decoration at Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, which were supplied by Goodison. 
The scagliola tops are richly decorated with strapwork, flowers and birds as well as exquisitely detailed harbour scenes including Medina, Palermo and Naples with a view of Mount Vesuvius. Each top is of slightly different design. One central panel features a drawing depicting Rinaldo and Armeda after Tasso’s Gerusalemme Liberata, published in 1581, and the other is a resting Venus. 
Both tops relate to another table top signed by Petrus Antonius de Paulinus, a monk active in Tuscany in the early 18th century. This top also has a central oval panel with a drawing after Titian. 
The tops are intended for centre tables. Although the bases are conceived as side tables, they are finished all round, lacking carved detail only on the reverse side.
We are delighted to be able to reunite these two spectacular tables after many years of separation.  Their first owner remains unknown, but we can confidently assume that the scagliola tops were acquired in Italy and most probably during the Grand Tour. This educational trip through Europe to study classical antiquities of Greece and Italy took several months, and sometimes years.  It was very popular amongst England's elite and was seen as the finishing stage of a gentleman's education.  Many young aristocrats returned to England laden with art and other objects during the tour.

Date:  circa 1735
Period:  George II
Origin:  English
Medium: Mahogany, Scagliola
Dimensions: 77 x 99 x 67.5 cm (30³/₈ x 39 x 26⁵/₈ inches)
Provenance: One table:
Private collection, Staffordshire, England.
The companion table:
Ronald A. Lee Ltd., London, England.
Private collection, England.
Literature: Antique Collector, December 1951, p. xv; advertisement with Ronald A. Lee Ltd., London, England. 
Christie's London, Anonymous sale, 17 July 1975, lot 143.
Anna Maria Massinelli, Scagliola: l’arte della pietra di luna, 1997, p. 23, illus. 10.
Terence Rodrigues, ‘Treasures of the North’, exhibition handbook, 2000, item 95.
Ronald Phillips Ltd., Fine Antique English Furniture, catalogue,  2017, pp. 216- 217; one of the pair.
Ronald Phillips Ltd., Fine Antique English Furniture, catalogue, 2018, pp. 178-179; one of the pair.
Categories: Furniture