The Flamboyance of the Italian Renaissance

With a circular specimen inlaid white marble top, above a frieze cast with a band of vine leaves and grapes; the baluster stem, with a band of acanthus, supported by three griffin feet, cast with acanthus leaves.

Souvenirs from the Grand Tour

Items decorated with elaborate Italian marble inlays were highly prized as souvenirs of the Grand Tour – the trip undertaken by young gentlemen to complete their education in the arts.  The concept of the Grand Tour developed in the late 16th and early 17th century but was most popular during the 18th, when visitors to Italy went to admire ancient Roman sculpture and architecture, and Renaissance and Baroque painting.  Huge numbers of the European aristocracy undertook this journey.

Aided by advances in stone cutting and polishing technology, specimen marble tabletops, with intricately inlaid marble samples, were brought home by these early tourists.  They were created almost exclusively for this tourist market and their bases would then be designed by the cabinet makers, on their return.


Width: 95 37.5
Height: 73.5 29