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Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras del Buen Retiro
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Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras del Buen Retiro

Madrid (Spain), 1762 - Madrid (Spain), 1808

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1784 - 1786. Gilt-bronze, Lapis lazuli, Paragone.
Not on display

This table has the image of a painting of a seascape and its frame, back to front, as well as playing cards, various chips, a ruler, a hammer, a compass and other carpentry tools, two buckles, a key ring and various drawings over a touchstone or black Belgian marble background. The representation of the images is directly based on famous compositions by French painter Joseph Vernet (1714-1789), whose work was much appreciated by Charles III and Charles IV. Motives related to games involving cards or chessboards are based on contemporaneous French models by V. Penot.

The bronze legs consist of four feet ending in lion’s claws. At the top, they have busts of bare-breasted winged women. A rich central cartouche has a face and the initials CT beneath a crown on a lapis-lazuli background. The same stone appears in the girdle. It has been suggested that the bronze feet may have been made by Juan Bautista Ferroni between 1774 and 1779 and modeled after Neapolitan tables from the first half of the century—those with espagnolettes at the knee. Documents indicate that the tabletop was completed in 1778 and the entire table in 1782.

This table and its pair (O00474) are mentioned in 1794 in Charles III’s will (the table bears that monarch’s initials on its skirting’s central cartouche). Years later, the palace inventory of 1822 listed it in the Chamber Room of the King’s Quarters. On May 12, 1827, Ferdinand VII sent these two tables to the Real Museo del Prado (Text from González-Palacios, A.: Las colecciones reales españolas de mosaicos y piedras duras, 2001, pp. 170-174).

Technical data

Related artworks

Gilt-bronze, Lapis lazuli, Paragone, 1784 - 1786
Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras del Buen Retiro
Inventory number
Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras del Buen Retiro
1784 - 1786 (1784-1785, the tabletop; 1785-1786, the legs)
Gilt-bronze; Lapis lazuli; Paragone
Height: 97 cm; Width: 190 cm; Base/bottom: 94 cm; Weight: 295.2 Kg
Royal Collection (Palacio Real, Madrid, Cuarto del Rey, Pieza de Cámara, 1822)

Bibliography +

Perez Villamil, Manuel, Artes e Industrias del Buen Retiro. La Fabrica de la China, Suc.De Ribadeneyra, 1904.

Rossi, Ferdinando, La Pittura Di Pietra, Banca Toscana, 1967.

Giusti, Anna Maria, Pietre Dure. Hardstone in Furniture and Decorations, Philip Wilson Publishers, 1992, pp. 223-253.

Aguiló Alonso, María Paz, Mesas de piedras duras en el Museo del Prado, Galería Antiquaria, 1996, pp. 28-34.

Mañueco Santurtún, Carmen, Manufactura del Buen Retiro 1760-1808, Ministerio de Educacion y Cultura, Madrid, 1999, pp. 147-154.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Goya y la pintura española del siglo XVIII: guía, Museo del PradoAldeasa, 2000, pp. 77-80.

González-Palacios, Alvar, Las colecciones reales españolas de mosaicos y piedras duras, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2001, pp. 170- 174, nº 27.

Aguiló Alonso, María Paz, Mosaicos y Piedras duras del Prado, Galería Antiquaria, 2001, pp. 62-66.

López Castán, Ángel, La ebanistería madrileña y el mueble cortesano del siglo XVIII (II), Anuario del Departamento de Historia y Teoría del Arte, XVII, 2005, pp. 93-114 [104].

Cruz Yábar, María Teresa, Noticias sobre ocho mesas del Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras en el Museo del Prado, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XXXIV (52), 2016, pp. 32-49 [32,36,41 f.5].

Herrero, Mª.J, 'Real Laboratorio de Piedras Duras. Juan Bautista Ferroni. Consola' En:, Carlos III Majestad y ornato en los escenarios del rey ilustrado., Patrimonio Nacional,, Madrid, 2016, pp. 258-261 n.88.

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, Sección Escultura, 1857. Núm. 418.
"418. Una mesa de mosaico con un/ país que representa una marina,/ una baraja francesa y otros ob/jetos, igual en su forma, adornos/ y dimensiones al nº 360".

Inscriptions +

Carlos Tercero
Front, center

Exhibitions +

Carlos III y las Residencias Reales. Ornato y Majestad en los escenarios del Rey Ilustrado
02.12.2016 - 07.05.2017

Displayed objects +

Tools, Carpentry



Cards, Playing




Update date: 27-04-2022 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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