This table is a truly exceptional piece of antique Italian furniture. The item has been attributed to the Vatican Mosaic Workshop (opened 1727). This studio was made up of a collection of skilled artisans who were brought to the Vatican City to replace the frescoes in St Peter’s basilica which were in poor condition. The mosaics they replaced them with were equally as impressive and much more durable. The Vatican Mosaic Workshop also created autonomous pieces of art, furniture and collectables.
The table features a spectacular circular top which is decorated with micromosaic designs. These include a central medallion depicting St Peter’s Square, which is contained within an inlaid deep blue stone ring. The medallion is encircled by eight wedge-shaped micromosaics which portray (clockwise from the top image) the Pantheon, the Arch of Titus, Capitoline Hill, the Temple of Vesta, the Colosseum, Forum, Castel Saint’ Angelo and the Bridge, and the Tom of Cecilia Metella. These images are bordered by a circle of inlaid specimen marbles, edged with inlaid green malachite. This decoration is set within a wide circular ebonised wood top, the sides of which are carved with panels and fluted posts with drop-finials.
The table top is supported by ebonised wood scrolled brackets. These are set on an ebonised wood turned stem, which is carved with banded and gadrooned decoration. The stem is placed on four ebonised wood scrolled legs which are set on block-like feet.