Pietre Dure Centre Table

Darmanin Family Workshop

A splendid example of the art of ‘pietre dure’ (or mosaic decoration in coloured marbles), thought to have been produced in Malta.

This table was commissioned by the Birmingham banker John Howard Galton (1794-1862) for his house ‘Hadzor’, near Droitwich in Worcestershire and is attributed to the Darmanin family, who ran a flourishing business at Senglea, on the opposite side of the Grand Harbour of Malta from Valletta.

The inlay makes full use of the decorative properties of heraldry, displaying his coat of arms and those of his wife Isabella Strutt in pretence (superimposed on a smaller shield in the centre). The couple married in 1819; two years later her brother Joseph died and she became co-heiress to her father, the art collector Joseph Strutt. ‘Hadzor’ was beautified and enlarged, clearly with the collection in mind.

Later it was partly dispersed in a series of sales while another part descended to John Howard Galton’s granddaughter, LauraGwendolen (1859-1949) who married the Yorkshire soldier and landowner Frederick Thomas Trench-Gascoigne of Lotherton Hall.  The table was bought with the aid of a contribution from the LACF in 2010.

Darmanin family workshop

Furniture: Centre table with inlaid marble

Other pieces in our collection

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