Until recently, only three Italian micromosaic Chronological Rome round tables with ebony and ormolu bases by the renowned craftsman Michelangelo Barberi (1787-1867) were known. One is in London’s Somerset House Gilbert Collection (purchased from Sotheby’s New York in 1980), one is in St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum and a third is thought to have been commissioned by Baron Broderick, 6th Viscount Midleton (1791-1863) but its whereabouts remains unknown.
The discovery of this 3ft 4in (1.02m) diameter example, right, brings that number to four. Its micromosaic top is signed Cav Barberi, 148 via rasella and it dates to c.1845.
Originally purchased on the Grand Tour by Robert Frederick Brownlow Rushbrooke for his Suffolk home, Rushbrooke Hall, it appears in a family photograph taken in 1903.
After Rushbrooke Hall burnt down, c.1920, the table was removed by the family who have now decided to
consign it to Newbury-based Dreweatt Neate. It is to be offered in their 150-lot Antique Furniture and Garden Statuary sale on January 21 with an estimate of £50,000-70,000.