An other Florentine pietra dura table..
Back to all artworks

Bernardo Buontalenti

An other Florentine pietra dura table..


Date 1600 circa the top, 1850 circa the stand

Period 1550-1600

Medium Carved, Design, Gilt, Giltwood, Hardstones, Jaspers, Lapis, Ebony

Dimension 101 x 150 x 121 cm (39³/₄ x 59 x 47⁵/₈ inches)

An Italian pietre dure and pietre tenere inlaid table top, probably to a design of Bernardo Buontalenti  (1531-1608), Granducal Workshops, Florence, 1600 circa; On its later XIX c.carved and giltwood stand with the arms and the symbols of Alessandri family.
On its Florentine baroque style carved and gilt-wood base in the manner of Giovan Battista Foggini with four lions on  the corners joint by a stretcher with the Alessandri coat of arms, on a ebony English patent plinth on wheels normally used for these kind of center tables in Pitti and Uffizi at the end of XIX c. 
The dark green top, Nero di Prato, incorporating few  types of  very fine hard stones including corals, lapis lazuli, cornelians mostly has various precious ancient marbles inlaid and more precisely: Alabastro cotognino, alabastro marino, alabastro dorato and alabastro fiorito, bianco, nero and giallo antico, lumachella bigia, breccia d’Aleppo, semesanto and broccatello di Spagna. The top has been separated in two parts in the XVIIIc.  for create two consoles table tops and joint back with some restorations when the stand has been executed for it in the middle of XIX c.
The complete printed essay, available on application, it was written by Enrico Colle, Stibbert Museum Director in Florence. Other than the inventories of the Alessandri family related to the present piece, the thorough research he carried out in Florentine archives led to the discovery also of documents identifying with certainty the other pietra dura table top with Medici and Westminster provenance  recently  acquired by an important public collection with “il tavolino di gioje” designed in 1568 by Giorgio Vasari for Francesco I De Medici.

Catalogue on line:

Date: 1600 circa the top, 1850 circa the stand

Period: 1550-1600

Medium: Carved, Design, Gilt, Giltwood, Hardstones, Jaspers, Lapis, Ebony

Dimension: 101 x 150 x 121 cm (39³/₄ x 59 x 47⁵/₈ inches)

Provenance: Alessandri family Florence.
ASF, Archivio Alessandri, cassetta 63, fasc.”minute d’inventari”, cc. after n.257

Literature: R. Gnoli, A. Sironi (a cura di), A. Del Riccio, Istoria delle pietre, Torino, 1996
 E. Colle, I mobili di Palazzo Pitti. Il periodo dei Medici 1537 – 1737, Firenze 1997
 A. Gonzàlez – Palacios, Pittura per l’eternità. Le collezioni reali spagnole di mosaici e pietre dure, Milano  2003
A. M. Giusti, in U. Baldini, A. M. Giusti, A. Pampaloni Martelli (a cura di), La Cappella dei Principi e le pietre dure a Firenze, Milano 1979
 A. Giusti, L’arte delle pietre dure da Firenze all’Europa, Firenze 2005
 A. Giusti, Arte regale: pietre dure da Firenze alle corti d’Europa, in S. Rossi, P. Assmann, A. Patera (a cura di), “pietre colorate molto vaghe e belle” Arte senza tempo dal Museo dell’Opificio delle Pietre Dure, catalogo della mostra, Mantova 2018, pp. 118 -137

Discover the Gallery


Decorative Arts, from Antiquities to XIX Century, focusing in particular on Fine Furniture, Sculpture, Textiles, Glass, Ceramics and Bronzes.

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙