Sotheby's to auction the celebrated Grimani tables



2015-12-02 14:18:42

A pair of Italian antique marble tabletops once owned by the Grimani family in 17th century Venice will be offered for sale at Sotheby's next week.

The inlaid hardstone and antique marble table tops are regarded as two of the most visually striking examples ever made, and their reappearance on the market has been described as "one of the most exciting artistic discoveries in this field".

The Grimandi family displayed their remarkable collection in two of the city's finest palaces, the Palazzo Grimani di Santa Maria Formosa and the Palazzo Grimani di San Luca. The two tabletops remained in the family's collection until 1830, when they were acquired by the3rd Earl of Warwick, during his Grand Tour in Europe and brought back to England.

“These tables are surely one of the greatest demonstrations of wealth, taste and patronage in the domain of antique furniture," said Mario Tavella, Deputy Chairman, Sotheby’s Europe.

"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, that of the Grimani family and Earls of Warwick, it is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime event in the career of a specialist.”

The first table dates from the late 16th century, and was acquired by Doge Marino Grimani in Rome circa 1585-1592. Made from antique marble and lapis lazuli, and regarded as one of the greatest inlaid Roman tables ever offered at auction, it is expected to sell for £300,000-500,000 ($463,000-775,000).

The second table was made in Florence circa 1600-1620, and is believed to have been a gift to the Grimani family from the Medici family. The pietre dure top, featuring the arms and symbols of the Grimani Family, is amongst the finest examples of craftsmanship ever produced by the Florentine Grand Ducal workshops, and is offered with an estimate of £400,000-600,000 ($620,000-930,000).

The two tables will be offered during a standalone Sotheby's sale in London on December 10.

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