Game table. Bottega Giuseppe Maggiolini, Early XIX Century

Early XIX Century


Square game table with four pyramidal trunk legs, the top inserted in a frame has a release spring that allows you to remove it to access the container compartment inserted in the band and allows you to place the top overturned, on the back there is a cloth of felt. The frame that houses the top is inlaid with a fret, the top with a large circular border containing an inlay of alternating bunches of leaves contains a rosewood reserve with a bunch of flowers inlaid. The four sail reserves of the edges contain, in inlay, dolphins contrasted with a central shell. Walnut veneered in rosewood where it is not inlaid with various essences.


Dimensions: cm. 78,5 x 82 x 82 ( 31,1 x 32,3 x 32,3 in )


Historical-critical analysis:

As well documented by Giuseppe Beretti, in the early nineteenth century the workshop of Giuseppe Maggiolini was to produce an important number of game tables, both for private requests and for the Napoleonic court. The types are mainly two, the opening tables, with the top that doubles and the square ones with the folding top, like this one described. A spring allows you to unhook the top housed in the frame and thus turn it on the playing surface. The designs of the variety of flowers in the central bunch, such as those of the acanthus leaves placed on the legs, are kept in the “Maggiolini Fund”, of the Drawings Cabinet of the Castello Sforzesco, and used frequently in workshop productions.

Particularly beautiful is the design of the corners, composed of two opposing dolphins with a central shell, it is the design A203, attributed to Giuseppe Levati. In the drawing there is written “Wings corners Melzi game tables July 1802”, it is the order for six game tables for the July 1802 wedding between Gaetano Melzi and Amalia Tarasconi. We do not know if this is one of the tables mentioned, but it gives us an idea of ​​how much this furniture was in demand. In 1807 the Bottega Maggiolini will have to meet a request for the Royal Palace of Monza for a very large number of similar tables, today about thirty are still preserved, and this is the reason why a large quantity of drawings referring to these game tables. The executive quality, as always, is high and distinctive of the production.


– Giuseppe Beretti, Giuseppe Maggiolini, l’Officina del Neoclassicismo, ed. Malavasi 1994;
– Giuseppe Beretti, Alvar González-Palacios, Giuseppe Maggiolini. Catalogo ragionato dei disegni, ed. Inlimine, 2014.

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