Large Gilt console SOTTO SPECCHIO

Malta - Collection Only


Large Gilt console SOTTO SPECCHIO table after Pierre Contant d’Ivry (1698-1777) , and Nicolas Pineau (1684 – 1754).
In Malta. [ NO MIRROR ] A gilt wood console Sotto specchio table in Louis XV / Rocaille / Rococo style. Attractively thin therefore counter-intuitively expensive probably Italian Carrara whiteish marble top. Water gilded ‘ spikey legged ‘ base with real gold leaf. Sgraffito and punchwork , carved wood with gesso and bole. Burnished and dull areas of gold leaf. Birds on elaborate stretchers with woodworm damage. Bellied and serpentine , hipped , splayed supports with many flowers and central cartouche . Circa 1850 at the latest , possibly ‘ period’ and 18th century. Probably French in origin as well as style . Base nearly perfect. Top marble is original.The main front piece of marble is perfect other than minor small tip damage at each end. [ This principle sheet of marble is straight cut at the back edge with 2 notches associated with supporting an upper missing mirror?] A narrow fillet of marble runs along the back of the principle slab. This is all present but cut into neat sections. My view is there had previously been a tall top mirror in the place of the fillet of marble. The mirror is missing. It is concievable the base was made in Malta to a French style. The central cartouch on the base contains floral foliate sgraffito work, and punchwork.The cartouche looks Maltese to me ; which is why I say the item could have been made in Malta ,or refinished in Malta. The gesso is also slightly gummy/second generation gold ,which points to possible local manufacture.The good state of the gilding indicates it has at least been through a Maltese workshop for regilding or embellishment at some stage. The underside of framework has a renewed ochre paint covering further indicating renewed gilding.
Please refer to page 120 and 121 of ‘ Maltese Guide to Furniture ‘ by Joseph Galea-Naudi. The fair / accurate dating of this console is difficult , I do not dismiss the possibility of it being 18th century , but we are obliged to suggest a later date of manufacture to avoid misrepresentation. The table is after / draws from [ not attributed to ] designs of Pierre Contant d’Ivry (1698-1777) , and Nicolas Pineau (1684 – 1754).

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