A Highly Unusual George IV Ebonized and Gilt-Brass Mounted Center Table With Silver-Framed Specimen Hardstone and Marble Insets

May 27 2009, 3:32pm

This distinctive and highly unusual table houses a remarkable collection of semiprecious hardstones and marbles, each set in a silver frame and, interestingly, inscribed on the reverse with its Latin name, which signifies that the stones constituted a geological collection. Tabletops inlaid with mineral collections brought back from the Grand Tour in Italy were highly desired in fashionable circles during this period, though their compositions lacked the inventiveness and artistry of the present table. The table also bears an inlaid armorial with the mantle and coronet of either a Prince of Russia or a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire, very similar to a pair of armorials on a music cabinet from Schwarzenau Castle in Austria. While the table was clearly intended for a European aristocratic household, its sculptural appearance, dark gold lacquer on the mounts, and brass inlay on the legs all indicate that it was made in an English workshop.