Dimensions: H: 30.5 in / 77 cm | Dia: 35.5 in / 90 cmDescription
The carved gilt wood base in the manner of George Smith having four monopedia supports, each depicting leopards heads atop, with paw feet below, and conjoined by an incurved stretcher base having carved stiff leaf decoration, and raised on castors; the circular platform of marmoro nero, with a stylised Greek Key border within double Malachite reserves; the central micromosaic roundel depicts The Vatican from St Peter's Square, surrounded by eight separate roundels of The Pantheon of the Gods; the smallest of Rome's seven hills, the Capitoline; The Mauseoleum of Hadrian on the Tiber; The Roman Forum, with the remanants of the Temple of Vespasian; The Colosseum; the Temple of Vesta; The Arch of Titus, and the Tomb of Cecilia Metella.
English / Italian Circa 1850
Provenance: From a Noble family, the 6th Earl of Macclesfield (1811-1896) then by descent.Literature
The base is similar in design to designs published by George Smith's A Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1808. The taste for monopedia supports was of fashion, in the Regency period and models of such were displayed in the 1851 Great Exhibition. The Macclesfield coat of arms depicts a shield with a central chevron and three leopard's faces.
Views of Roman monuments was the most popular theme used by mosaicists in Rome in the beginning of the 19th century, supplying the flow of wealthy Grand tourists from Northern Europe. From small gold boxes, plaques to tabletops, mosaics were among the most sought after souvenirs from Italy. Tabletops were the most prized and expensive items, either acquired on tour or commissioned by English aristocracy and those of wealth.