An early 19th century Maltese pietre dure table top attributed to Darmanin on a later patinated bronze and gilt bronze base
The circular brass bound top inlaid with various specimen marbles including porter, siena, jasper, verde antico, brêche violette and antique red, with central circular medallion of a Grecian warrior inlaid with ‘CART’ ‘HAGO’, the triform base with three large dolphin supports, on moulded tripartite base, 94cm diameter, 75cm high.
Marble tops decorated with emblems of Carthage recalling Malta’s ancient past as part of the Phoenician Empire are particularly associated with the firm of J. Darmanin & Sons of Malta (known to the local market as Guiseppe Darmanin e Figli). Many of their tops were arrived in Britain as souvenirs of European travels, although the firm were originally known for decorating churches and church monuments.
The table top offered here depicts a Carthaginian warrior who appears on other tables by the Darmanin firm notably the pair of tables supplied to the 3rd Marquess of Londonderry at Wynyard Park and sold Christies, New York, 27 September 2007, lot 300. Another top featuring the warrior is illustrated in E.T Joy, English Furniture, 1800-1850, London 1977, p.284. A table top depicting the warrior and attributed to Darmanin formerly with Adrian Alan Ltd, London is illustrated by Kate Hay in Mosaic Marble Tables by J.Darmanin & Sons of Malta, Furniture History,2010, Figure 25. The table Darmanin showed at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London is now in the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace.