This rare 17th-century table, destined for our new art, design and fashion galleries, is an exceptional example of exuberant baroque design.
Lucio De Lucci and Andrea Brustolon (1662-1732)
The top is made from European and exotic hardwoods, supplemented with stained horn, ivory and pewter details. The base is made from carved boxwood.
Acquired jointly in 2012 by National Museums Scotland and the V&A, with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund, the National Museums Scotland Charitable Trust (the Lindsay Endowment), the Wolfson Foundation and the Edinburgh Decorative and Fine Arts Society.
Art of Living, Level 5, National Museum of Scotland
Did you know?
The table was once part of a group of six. However, our table and its pair, now in the collection of the V&A, are the only ones to retain their original bases.
This grand baroque table is one of a pair acquired jointly in 2012 by National Museums Scotland and the V&A, with the aid of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Art Fund, the National Museums Scotland Charitable Trust (the Lindsay Endowment), the Wolfson Foundation and the Edinburgh Decorative and Fine Arts Society.
The pair of tables, made in Venice between 1685 and 1688, were once part of a group of six. Their elaborate marquetry tops depict scenes of warfare between Venice and the Ottoman Empire for control of the Greek Peloponnese. The tables may have been made for the commander of the Venetian forces during the 1680s, Doge Francesco Morosini.
The marquetry, which is signed by maker Lucio de Lucci, uses ebony, rosewood, walnut and fruitwoods with ivory, stained horn, and pewter. It is based on printed sources, including even tiny details such as the little men playing musical instruments among the foliage and birds. These were taken from a set of prints etched by Jacques Callot in Florence in 1616 and entitled Varie figure Gobbi (‘Various hunchbacked figures’).
The boxwood base is attributed to the celebrated sculptor Andrea Brustolon (1662-1732), described as ‘the Michelangelo of wood’ by Balzac in the 19th century, about the time the tables came to Britain. Acquired by the 5th Duke of Buccleuch in 1833, they remained at Dalkeith Palace until sold by the 8th Duke in 1971.