Italian Antique Table

Item 3308 by M. Markley Antiques


italian antique dining table

Item 3308 Italian Renaissance Table

Length 75, Width 38½, Height 31 (in inches)

Wood Walnut
Country Italy
Date Circa

This richly sculpted Italian dining table easily sits six, possibly even eight persons in comfort.  Its broad expanse ensures ample room for table settings plus candelabra, centerpieces and whatever else lends itself to an elegant dining experience reminiscent of that romantic interlude in Tuscany.

Ideal as it is for dining, it also embraces perfectly the recent trend where  executives opt for a table and credenza (see Item 3307) in their office rather than a desk in the traditional sense.

Its origins are in the Renaissance Tuscan tables of the sixteenth century called a vaso for the curving, vase-shaped design of the verticals connecting the stretcher and supporting a broad top.  Ultimately, the a vaso design stemmed from the largest but simplest of 15th century tables, the refectory table used in monasteries.  The highly decorative designs embodying the a vaso table became popular a century later when wood became more scarce and so tables were lighter with more emphasis on refined motifs such as the scroll, rosette, and palmette border.  The large rosette forming the center of each of the end panels is intricately carved and in deep relief, compared to the surrounding design of circlet and graceful, curving acanthus leaves.

While the original 16th century version of this table would have been made from solid walnut, this table is not entirely solid and some portions are impiallacciatura.  We hesitate to call the technique "veneer" because it is far thicker than the paper-thin sheets that pass for veneer in today's furniture manufacture, and is found only where the horizontal and vertical surfaces are unadorned.  Like solid wood, it boasts a warm and pleasing patina.  The thickness of the impiallacciatura can be seen in two places in the top where there are nicks of long-standing (see photos).  In addition, there is a crack in the stretcher, which is solid wood, as shown in the photo below.  None of these has been fixed because they do not threaten the table's structural integrity, and out of concern that repair would impact negatively the value of the table as an antique.



Antiquités et Objets D'Art 10, Le Mobilier Italien (Editions Fabri, Paris, 1990); Costantino Fioratti, Helen, Il Mobile Italiano (Giunti Editore, Firenze-Milano, 2004); Rousseau, Francis, Le Grand Livre des Meubles (Copyright Studio, Paris, 1999).



As mentioned above, we find more and more folks opting for antique tables and cabinets in an office instead of a traditional desk with drawers.  But this table was designed with dining in mind and would still serve well in that capacity, or as a library table.


dining table italian antique


table leg




table foot


side view foot antique table


arabesque design


walnut table top


detail antique table top italian


pedestal italian dining table




side view italian antique dining table


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