A VERY RARE PAIR OF LATE RENAISSANCE SILVER TABLETOPS

June 8 2009, 4:01pm

Spain. First Half Of The Seventeenth Century. The Bases Made For The Tops Circa 1720. These tables belong to an elite group of silver furniture that includes a very similar silver tabletop in the Victoria and Albert museum, a silver mirror in the Wallace collection, and a silver table in the Rijksmuseum. The popularity of valuable and ornate items of silver furniture amongst the nobility in the 16th and 17th centuries originated in Spain and was carried throughout Europe. Furniture made using silver was perhaps the most coveted of decorative art objects in European palaces beginning in the Renaissance. As its popularity became more widespread, a small number of European manufactories in Paris, Hamburg, Copenhagen and particularly Augsburg developed a reputation for the excellence of their craftsmanship in silver; however, the vogue for silver furniture first appeared in Spain in the second half of the 16th century.