Sunday, June 9, 2013

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: A Pietra Dura Table Cabinet, 1680

Table Cabinet
Italian, 1680
Purchsed in Rome, 1760 by
Queen Charlotte and King George III
Pietra Dura, Ebony, Oak, Ormolu
The Royal Collection

This table cabinet, now denuded of its stand, is really nothing more than a means of cleverly displaying thirteen masterful petra dura panels depicting scenes of birds, florals and landscapes. The Florentine panels are set into frames of ebony, oak and gilt bronze.

King George III and Queen Charlotte purchased this cabinet while visiting Rome in 1760. Queen Charlotte has a well-documented enthusiasm for the art of hardstone peitra dura and collected several pieces of furniture similar to this one. Her affection for the medium seems to have been inherited by her son who purchased the cabinet at the 1819 auction of Queen Charlotte’s belongings while he was still Prince Regent. As King George IV, he displayed this cabinet proudly in his private apartments.

No comments: