Exquisite malachite adorns the top of this majestic and rare ormolu table. Crafted in the highly detailed Rococo Revival style, the table is an ode to classical mythology, and features the elegant figures of the Three Graces, the goddesses of splendor, mirth and good cheer, which form the table’s pedestal. Like the Muses, the Graces were associated with the arts, especially the creation of beautiful works of art. Standing upon an elaborate trefoil base populated with putti, satyrs masks and pseudo-Latin scrolls, and once housing a clock, these maidens are thus the perfect choice to support such a magnificent piece. Malachite, a rare and quite extravagant semi-precious stone, was favored by Russian nobility and often adorned significant objects and furnishings of the Czar's palaces. In fact, the Hermitage Collection includes what is known as the Malachite Room, which houses some of the most remarkable examples of malachite furniture. A table such as this, with its grand decoration, would certainly have been made for a palace or other royal residence for the lavish and wealthy Russian aristocratic market. Circa 1860 The Malachite Room of the Winter Palace was used as an official drawing-room of Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna, wife of Czar Nicholas I. The embellishment of the room includes columns, pilasters, fireplace trimmings and decorative vases made of malachite in the "Russian mosaic" technique. The display includes works of applied art made of malachite in the early 19th century as well as small cupboards decorated with mosaic panels. Exquisite malachite furnishings seldom find their way outside of the confines of museum collections such as the Hermitage. The opportunity to acquire a grand example is quite rare.
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