Italian Venetian 18th Century Wood Polychrome Painted and Parcel-gilt Blackamoor sculpture round table

Italian Venetian 18th Century Wood Polychrome Painted and Parcel-gilt Blackamoor sculpture round table

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This antique Venetian 18th century hand carved wood table is a rare and magnificent piece of furniture showing the mastery of Venetian 1700s craftmenship in the artistic fields of sculpture, gilding and lacquer technique.
The manufacturing profusely use black ebonized painting, gold and mecca gilding combined with blue, red, green and white polychrome colors to obtain a lavish damask effect on the nubian's clothes.
The round shaped red faux porphyry marble top is framed by a gilt wood band boasting the apron decorated to simulate a draped shawl, a cushion is sculpted underneath enriched by a precious damask fabric cloth elegantly hanging down from it. The whole is supported by a magnificent male sculpture. The blackamoor figure kneeling on a rug above a moulded round base with carved and gilded lion paw feet.
The male figure, sculpted in the round, with captivating facial expressions wears sumptuous patterned damask textiles trousers and oriental pointed shoes.
This table is the perfect decorative eye catcher piece for every luxury home and design connoisseur. Unique and exquisite antiquity like this could not be missing in any noble sumptuous halls of the palaces of the Serenissima.
This is a rare and highly sought after sculptural high end table, excellent quality and noble patronage.This magnificent sculptural occasional or side table with its beautifully carvings is an heirloom sourced in a noble palace in Venice. It testified the interest in new exotic lands and cultures during the Baroque period, which reached its peack in a wide array of the decorative arts during the late 17th century and first half of the 18th century.
Great size and well proportioned, this table could serve as a side table near your sofa or as a centre table in your living room as well as an occasional table to put in your entrance or foyer.Very good condition and wonderful original patina.
Measures: H. 87 - Table's top Diam. 60, Base diam. 54

Long before that North African society and its arts had inspired Western artists; ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian art featured blackamoor figures while African heads became a popular decoration for Renaissance cameos. During the seventeenth century European society came to admire the stature and fighting ability of the North African warriors dressed in their exotic native costumes.
Venice has always been the link between East and West. Strong trading links with North Africa and the Orient happened in this unique and magic city. Plus, Venice has always been an important furniture making centre, the lagoon city was one of the first centres to carve likenesses of these handsome figures out of wood. Known as Blackamoors, they were seen either nude or in native dress, often freestanding and life-size as supports for a candelabra, torchère or jardinière or as here they were portrayed crouching down to form the support for a tabouret, table or display cabinet. Blackamoors are a derivation of the work by the Dutch born brothers, Dominicus (1655-1712) and Francesco (Franz; 1651-95) who when working in Rome during the 1670's carved an array of magnificent figures, often in full relief and life size. However, the major exponent of these figures was Andrea Brustolon (1662-1732), who studied under his father Jacopo before being apprenticed in Venice under Filippo Parodi and from about 1684 worked for many of the major Venetian families. Brustolon carved some magnificent Baroque sculptural furniture including a vase stand that incorporated African figures, classical river gods, Charon, Cerberus and the Hydra (Palazzo Rezzonico, Venice). He also carved guéridons in the form of athletic young men.

Although blackamoors are so often associated with Venice, they were also produced in other important furniture making centres such as Florence, Milan and by other northern Italian craftsmen, who like the Venetians were famed for the exceptional quality of their woodcarvings; these not only included statues, figural reliefs but also wonderful decorative picture frames. Blackamoors continued to be made in Italy throughout the eighteenth century and well into the next. The mid nineteenth century saw a strong revival for these magnificently carved life-sized courtiers. This was due to a number of factors, notably the resurgent interest in the Barque style as well as the lasting influences of Orientalism.

As a result of Europe's fascination for the Orient, carved Blackamoors found a ready market and as highly fashionable items were either specifically commissioned or were purchased by visitors to Italy during their Continental Grand Tour. Condition of such pieces is important since they were generally made of soft pine or as here of walnut or other fruitwoods, which with their ebonised or polychrome and parcel gilt finish, can often become damaged and are not only difficult but expensive to repair. Not only is the present work in fine untouched condition but it has an added appeal in that its design looks directly back to the seventeenth century Baroque, complete with its dextrous figure, exotic drapery and tassel hung cushion.

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