Table

Date: ca. 1775–80

Culture: Italian, Rome

Medium: Wood, carved, painted, and partly gilded; black granite top not original to table

Dimensions: 35 3/8 x 48 5/8 x 23 in. (89.9 x 123.5 x 58.4 cm.)

Classification: Woodwork-Furniture

Credit Line: Gift of Robert Lehman, 1941

Accession Number: 41.188

Description

The paint finish, imitative of Egyptian Aswan granite, decorative gilt hieroglyphs, and animal figures on this table are closely related to those on a similar console attributed to Piranesi and seen in a portrait of Margherita Gentili Boccapaduli (1777) by Laurent Pécheux. Similar hieroglyphs also appear on some chimney designs by Piranesi. That the table's craftsman was unfamiliar with the meaning of these symbols is evident in their reversed order and general incompleteness. Its four hermlike legs are topped with pharaonic busts wearing khepresh headdresses and, at the bottom, pairs of gilt-wood human feet.

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