VIntage Italian Mid-Century Modern Marble "Tulip" Table, Milan, circa 1950
A vintage marble table from a stylish flat in Milan, Italy circa 1950. This table is a wonderful variation of the famous "Tulip" table designed by Eero Saarinen , the Scandinavian designer. While his table was originally all white this Italian piece takes advantage of the centuries old Italian tradition of "pietra dura" or hard stone. This technique of combining coloured marbles flourished in sixteenth and seventeenth Florence and Rome and remains viable today with both a school and museum in operation in modern day Florence. The circular top has a background of variegated and coloured marble with a beautifully organic movement to the surface. This is inlaid with a four point compass star made of black and white marble set in opposition for a graphic effect. Appearing to float beneath the compass is a square band enclosing a stripe of marble chosen for its resemblance to the grain of walnut timber and enclosed within borders of black. The combination of the visual movement of the marble set against the stright edges of the inlay creates a tremendously striking effect. The slender marble column of the base flows beautifully into the circular base whose shape echoes the top and stands upon a raised disk of white marble. The use of a black line to visually separate the base into four sections again echoes the effect of the top with its separation into quarters. Interestingly the artisan who created this table was aware of the nature of marble and separated the top and base. The table top unscrews from the base both for ease of movement and strength when the two pieces are screwed together. This table was an important element in the decoration of a smart and stylish apartment in Milan. It is a table that is equally at home in a very spare and modern space as well as a space in which colour and pattern create a visual density.
DIAMETER: 24½ in | HEIGHT: 20 in
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