A early 18th century Italian pietre dure inlaid landscape panel  in the manner of Baccio Cappelli and possibly attributable to the Grand Ducal Workshop, Florence

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Lot 96
A early 18th century Italian pietre dure inlaid landscape panel
in the manner of Baccio Cappelli and possibly attributable to the Grand Ducal Workshop, Florence

Sold for £ 15,000 (US$ 18,981) inc. premium
A early 18th century Italian pietre dure inlaid landscape panel
in the manner of Baccio Cappelli and possibly attributable to the Grand Ducal Workshop, Florence
the foreground inlaid in various marbles and semi-precious stones including Sienna and Verde antico marble, lapis and agate, depicting figures in a boat and a rustic tree stump before a continuous mountainous background with hill-top towns, small settlements and single buildings, cypress trees and scrub foliage, set within a black marble border, and mounted within a veneered fruitwood frame, the panel, 30cm x 46cm approximately, 39.5cm x 56cm overall

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the description for this lot should read as follows: A 17th century Italian pietre dure inlaid landscape panel probably by Baccio Cappelli and attributable to the Grand Ducal Workshop, Florence Please see below for lot footnote: Property of a lady of title Gifted to the vendor's parents on the occasion of her parents wedding in 1947. Thence by descent. Baccio Cappelli was a member of one of the families that worked for generations at the Galleria da' Lavori, the Grand Ducal hardstone workshop in Florence which still exists today as the state-funded Opificio delle Pietre Dure. A Baccio Cappelli Sr was employed in the Grand Ducal workshops during the reign of Cosimo II and an Antonio Cappelli was active under Ferdinand II. Baccio Cappelli was perhaps his son and he signed 'Baccio Cappelli fecit Anno 1709 Fiorenze' on the back on of one of the panels that decorate a cabinet made in 1771 by Robert Adam for the Duchess of Manchester which was in the Castle of Kimbolton, Huntingdon, and is now in the permanent collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum. Founded by the Grand Duke Ferdinando I in 1588, the Galleria was set up to train local carvers to restore the ancient works in stone which had been excavated or purchased by the Medici family and to create new hardstone works. The workshop pioneered the pietre dure technique where the skill of the craftsmen was utilised to convert a design from an original drawing by tracing it onto paper cut-outs which were used to cut out various hardstones with a bow saw before piecing them together jigsaw-like and then gluing and polishing them onto a piece of slate before polishing the surface. In the 17th century the Galleria focused on refurbishing the San Lorenzo Medici Chapel but by the following century the art of pietre dure had become so popular that it panels were commissioned by the aristocracy and nobility of Europe to set within furniture and to use as table tops. Early Grand Tour visitors would collect the panels to set into custom made cabinets and the work of the Galleria's craftsmen was highly prized for its precision cutting, choice of stones and appealing subject matter. The current panel although not signed is similar in key details to that of panels in the Kimbolton Cabinet now in the Victoria and Albert museum with a similar use of subject matter depicting a river or perhaps sea landscape with figures and boat to the foreground and mountains and buildings to the distance. Related Literature A. Giusti, Pietre Dure and the Art of Florentine Inlay, Thames & Hudson, London, 2006
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