Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pietra dura table top

late 16th or early 17th century
Italian, Rome
Hardstones, alabaster, and marble (pietra dura); marble frame and walnut stand (replacement)
Overall (confirmed): 94 1/8 × 45 1/8 × 4 in., 1926 lb. (239.1 × 114.6 × 10.2 cm, 873.6279 kg); Overall (confirmed, ht. and wt. of table assembled on non-original base): 35 3/4 × 94 1/8 × 45 1/8 in., 1926 lb. (90.8 × 239.1 × 114.6 cm, 873.6279 kg)
Natural Substances
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Francis J. Trecker, 1962
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 623
This magnificent hardstone (pietra dura) tabletop is notable for the geometric design and central alabaster oval flanked by roundels of marble (breccia di Tivoli). These features are typical of Rome in the years around 1600 and distinguish the tabletop from Florentine examples. Four lapis lazuli bolts hold in place the strapwork cartouches that recall forged iron. The severity of the inner decoration seems to translate jewelry designs from contemporary pattern books while the border of wild animals, blossoms emitting seeds like strings of pearls, leafy scrollwork and floral sprays includes motifs derived from ancient Roman mosaics.
Patrick Valentine , Oconomowoc, Wisconsin ; Mr. and Mrs. Francis J. Trecker (until 1962; to MMA)
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