17th century Italian tables sold for over $7.7 million at Sotheby's



2015-12-11 13:30:04

A pair of 17th century Italian tables has sold for more than $7.7 million at Sotheby's.

The inlaid hardstone and antique marble tables had formerly belonged to the Grimandi family, one of the most illustrious Venetian dynasties, and had been described as "one of the greatest demonstrations of wealth, taste and patronage in the domain of antique furniture".

The Grimandi family rose to prominence in the 15th and 16th centuries, and assembled one of the city's finest collections of art and antiquities including paintings, sculpture, furniture and gemstones.

The collections were displayed in two of the city's most magnificent palaces, The Palazzo Grimani di Santa Maria Formosa and the Palazzo Grimani di San Luca on the Grand Canal.

Having remained in the Grimandi family collection for over 200 years, the two tabletops were acquired by the3rd Earl of Warwick, who returned to England with them following his Grand Tour in 1830.

The first tabletop, made in Florence circa 1600-1620, was believed to have been gifted to the Grimandis by the Italian banking family, political dynasty and later royal house of Medici.

Five competing bidders fought for ten minutes to acquire the table, which soared beyond its high estimate of £600,000 ($930,000) to sell for £3,509,000 ($5,323,855) – a record for any hardstone inlaid top table top.

The second table had been obtained by Doge Marino Grimani (1532 - 1605) whilst visiting Rome in the late 16th century, and was inlaid with antique marble and lapis lazuli. Estimated at up to £500,000 ($775,000), it too surpassed expectations with a final price of £1,625,000 ($2,465,450).

“Being able to present two pietre dure and antique marble table tops with the same provenance is extraordinary rare so when these works of art are of such quality and boast such exceptional provenance, it is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime event in the career of a specialist," said Mario Tavella, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe and Head of House Sales and Single Owner Collections.

"The landmark price achieved today by this sublime Florentine pietre dure top, whose provenance is fully documented since 1623, is reflective of a highly unique piece of art."


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