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Table thumbnail 2
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Not currently on display at the V&A

Table

1861-90 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This table is a remarkable testimony to Italian craftsmanship and patriotism shortly after the unification of the nation in 1861. It is the only known piece of furniture to show micromosaics not only on the top, but also on the curved surfaces of the pedestal. The imagery is typical for pro-Italian art of the era, and shows the god Apollo in his chariot at the centre of the table top, surrounded by allegories of the Four Seasons and Elements. The depiction of Earth under Apollo can be read as a personification of Italy which was taken from antiquity and became a symbol of Italian unification.

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.

On long-term loan to Los Angeles County Museum from 2010.


object details
Category
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 2 parts.

  • Tabletop
  • Base
Materials and Techniques
Micromosaic, gilt bronze, carved wood
Brief Description
Octagonal tabletop with a micromosaic depicting Apollo, prob. Rome, ca. 1861-1890.
Physical Description
Octagonal tabletop with a white ground mosaic depicting Apollo in the centre within a square reserve with a convex lobe on each side. These are connected to four quatrefoil reserves with figures of putti with flowers which alternate with four bust-length allegorical figures of the Elements. The octagonal pedestal base has a spreading eight-lobed octagonal foot resting on eight gilt-bronze tortoises and is decorated with four panels of micromosaic depicting the Seasons.
Dimensions
  • Length: 85.1cm
  • Width: 133.7cm
  • Height: 81.6cm
Credit line
The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collection on loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Object history
Provenance: Florence Goldman, New York, 1972. Nestles, New York, 1974. Chrysolite Ltd., Kent, 1986. Petochi, Rome, 1986.
Subjects depicted
Summary
This table is a remarkable testimony to Italian craftsmanship and patriotism shortly after the unification of the nation in 1861. It is the only known piece of furniture to show micromosaics not only on the top, but also on the curved surfaces of the pedestal. The imagery is typical for pro-Italian art of the era, and shows the god Apollo in his chariot at the centre of the table top, surrounded by allegories of the Four Seasons and Elements. The depiction of Earth under Apollo can be read as a personification of Italy which was taken from antiquity and became a symbol of Italian unification.



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.



On long-term loan to Los Angeles County Museum from 2010.
Bibliographic References
  • 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. 77, pp. 140-141. ISBN 0856675113
  • Williams, Elizabeth A. The Gilbert Collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), 2010, fig. 35, p. 67. ISBN 9780875872100
Other Numbers
  • MM 283 - Arthur Gilbert Number
  • L.2010.9.6a-b - LACMA Loan Number 2010
Collection
Accession Number
LOAN:GILBERT.120:1-2008

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record createdJune 26, 2008
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