Important & Rare Pair Early 19th Century Italian Napoleonite & Figured Walnut Stylised Dolphin Console Tables, Circa 1810. The carving & quality of this grandly proportioned pair is absolutely superb. In addition to their stunning stylised design, these tables boast visually stunning & incredibly rare tops veneered in Corsican Orbicular Diorite, also known as Napoleonite & Corsite, displaying the finest figurations & being one of the rarest stones found on Earth. This was an exceptionally unusual type of stone of unique appearance due to the concentrically layered spheroidal structures known as ‘’orbicules’’, which were formed through nucleation around a grain in a cooling magma chamber. This stunning stone came from a quarry near Olmeto in Corsica which was discovered in 1785 and was mined from the beginning of the nineteenth century. The stone was Emperor Napoleon’s favourite stone and was designated the prerogative of the Imperial Family. These palatial tops incorporate a band of Imperial Egyptian Porphyry, further highlighting their Royal quality & sit above wonderfully figured Italian Walnut tables, each with two majestically carved stylised Dolphins, with their mouths slightly open baring teeth, a definite show of imperial power. From an Important Titled Estate. They are in excellent condition for their age.
Stylised Dolphins have been used since ancient Greco-Roman times and their motifs are rich with symbolic meaning, however, during the 18th Century & early 19th Century their use in both furniture & design was favoured by European Royalty & aristocracy. In addition, the ‘Dauphin of France’ was the title given to the eldest son of a King of France, the heir apparent to the French crown. ‘‘Dauphin’’ is French for Dolphin, a reference to the depiction of the mammal on their Coat of Arms. Their physical appearance in design throughout Europe was seemingly in only the most important of pieces, including the Royal Barge of Frederick, Prince of Wales ( 1707-1751 ), where the front of the barge has an impressive prow with a stylised Dolphin covered in gold leaf.
These are without question two truly incredible Museum quality works of art.
Width: 52.25 inches
Height: 38 inches
Depth: 26 inches
For reference, please see the following:
Pair 18th Century Orbicular Granite & Gilt Bronze Vases held in the Met Museum, New York, USA, Accession Number:1999.122.1, .2. , pictured herewith
Early 19th Century Table, supplied by Giovanni Socci in 1825, held in the Palazzo Pitti, Naples, Italy, pictured herewith