How is that table top made?

Our pietra dura table top ©NTPL/Derrick E. Witty

We have a beautiful pietra dura table pride of place in our Great Hall. If you have visited Charlecote’s house you will have seen it, I’m sure. It is something that lots of people ask questions about and many of our room guides have quickly built up their knowledge on this to help answer these queries.

The table dates from the 16th century. It is said that it came from the Borghese Palace in Rome, removed during Napoleon’s Italian campaign in 1796. It then came to Charlecote in 1823 when George Hammond Lucy bought at the Fonthill Abbey sale.

The reason for this blog post is to share with you this link that one of our volunteers found. The V&A website has a very good video on how a pietre dure panel is made! It’s amazing – really explains the process: watch it here. After watching this video, it makes us appreciate our table (and the other pietra dura that is contained in our collection) even more!

This is one of the really interesting items in our collection so if you do visit us, have a chat to one of our room guides who would love to tell you more about it!


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