Saturday, April 20, 2013

Her Majesty’s Furniture: A Russian Pietra Dura Table, 1844

Pietra Dura Table
Carl Johan Tegelstein, 1844
The Royal Collection
Pietra Dura—a mosaic of hard stone—has long been a popular medium for Russian artists. This heavily carved, bas relief Pietra Dura tabletop was a gift from Tsar Nicolas I to Queen Victoria upon the occasion of his official state visit in June of 1844. The table’s gilt bronze base comes from the high-end English Shop of Nichols and Plincke in St. Petersburg. The top--designed by Carl Johan Tegelstein--depicts a floral composition surrounded by a "Greek Key" border.

Recently, a similar table by the same artist from The Winter Palace sold at auction for £916,000 (about $1.4 million). The top of that table is pictured below.

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