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Table

  • Place of origin:

    Rome (made)

  • Date:

    1825-75 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Micromosaic and partially gilded wood

  • Credit Line:

    The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Museum number:

    LOAN:GILBERT.896:1, 2-2008

  • Gallery location:

    Gold, Silver and Mosaics, Room 73, The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Galleries, case South EXP []

Views of important monuments appealed to rich tourists. The famous St Peter's Basilica in Rome dominates the centre of this table. Based on earlier engravings, the surrounding images contain some anachronisms. One mosaic depicts the Colosseum before its restoration in 1805.

Sir Arthur Gilbert and his wife Rosalinde formed one of the world's great decorative art collections, including silver, mosaics, enamelled portrait miniatures and gold boxes. Arthur Gilbert donated his extraordinary collection to Britain in 1996.

Physical description

A circular micromosaic tabletop with a central round view of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in Rome showing the outstretched collonades of the Bernini designed Piazza di San Pietro, the scene framed with a Greek key pattern border and surrounded by twelve more rectilinear scenes of ancient Roman structures. The table's gilt border is carved on top with double rows of egg-and-dart pattern, and fluted on the sides between four rosettes. The partially gilded pedestal base is composed of three intertwined dolphins, their heads resting upon a tripod plinth with scrolling acanthus feet.

Place of Origin

Rome (made)

Date

1825-75 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Micromosaic and partially gilded wood

Dimensions

Diameter: 78.7 cm, Height: 76.2 cm

Object history note

Provenance: Ivano Constantini, Rome, 1975.

Historical significance: Views of Italian monuments were the most popular subjects for micromosaic tables. This one includes in the centre an aerial view of St Peter's Baslica and its colonnades designed by Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680). Around the border are views of the Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli, the Forum of Nerva or Transitorium with portico and relief of Minerva, the Forum of Augustus, the Arch of Janus Quadrifrons, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Temple of Vesta, the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Vespasian in the Roman Forum, the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, and the Capitoline Hill.

These views were taken from engravings and so the Colosseum is shown here before its restoration which began in 1805 and the Pantheon is shown without its bell towers which were only removed in 1882 but may have been omitted here for aesthetic reasons.

Historical context note

Similar to tabletop from sale of Collection of Gianni Versace, Sotheby's, New York, May 21, 2005. Lot 436 an Italian Micromosaic Tabletop, 3rdQ 19th Century.

Descriptive line

Micromosaic tabletop, Rome, 1825-75

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Gabriel, Jeanette Hanisee with contributions by Anna Maria Massinelli and essays by Judy Rudoe and Massimo Alfieri. Micromosaics: The Gilbert Collection. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd. in association with The Gilbert Collection, 2000. 310 p., ill. Cat. no. 69, pp. 130-31. ISBN 0856675113.
Branchetti, Maria Grazia. 'Il romanticismo a tessere'. Italian Antiques, no. 15, April 1992, ill. p. 82.
Alfieri, M. 'A Journey to Rome in Miniature', Viaggio in Italia, no. 4, April-June 1984, p. 67.
Flanagans, William G. 'Collectors', Forbes, May 29, 1989, vol. 143, no.11, ill. p.18.
Gonzalez-Palacios, Alvar. The Art of Mosaics: Selections from the Gilbert Collection, Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1977. 143 p., ill. Cat. no. 73. ISBN 0875870805.
Gonzalez-Palacios, Alvar and Steffi Röttgen with essays by Steffi Röttgen, Claudia Przyborowski; essays and new catalogue material translated by Alla Theodora Hall. The Art of Mosaics: Selections from the Gilbert Collection. Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 1982, 224 p., ill. Cat. no. 80. ISBN 0875871097
Carlton Hobbs, Carlton Hobbs LLC. 'On Tops'. Catalogue Number Seven. New York, no. 10, pp. 36-39.

Labels and date

2. Table with monuments of Rome
1825–75

Many micromosaic studios produced works illustrated with the sights of Rome. The famous St Peter’s Basilica dominates the centre of this table. Based on famous earlier engravings, the surrounding images contain some anachronisms. One mosaic depicts the Colosseum before its restoration in 1805.

Rome, Italy
Glass micromosaic and gilded wood
Monuments depicted (clockwise from top): Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli, the Forum of Nerva, the Forum of Augustus, the Arch of Janus Quadrifrons, the Pantheon, the Colosseum, the Temple of Vesta, the Arch of Titus, the Temple of Vespasian, the Roman Forum, the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, and the Capitoline Hill
Museum no. Loan:Gilbert.896:1, 2-2008 [16/11/2016]
Table with monuments of Rome
1825-75

Views of important monuments appealed to rich tourists. The famous basilica of St Peter in Rome dominates the centre of this table. Based on earlier engravings, the surrounding images contain some anachronisms. One mosaic depicts the Colosseum before its restoration in 1805, and the Pantheon is shown without its bell towers, which were only removed in 1882.

Rome, Italy
Glass micromosaic and gilded wood
Museum no.Loan: Gilbert. 896:1,2-2008 []

Materials

Mosaic glass; Gilt wood; Wood

Techniques

Micromosaic; Gilding

Categories

Metalwork

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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