A mid-19th century Italian specimen marble and micromosaic Grand Tour table top, inlaid with radiating concentric panels of ninetysix marbles and various hardstones including: lapis lazuli, blue john, malachite, porphyry, Siena and Portor marbles, the centre with a circular micromosaic panel of a drake swimming amongst reeds, within a verde antico and white veined marble outer border, 94.8cm diameter, 3.3cm thick, on a later brass stand, overall 44.5cm high.
Sir Dirk Bogarde (1921-1999).
Bonhams, Fine English & Continental Furniture & Works of Art, 12th July 2005, lot 227.
The Collection of Sir Jeremy Lever.
Sir Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde (1921-1999), known professionally as Dirk Bogarde, was an English actor and writer. Initially a matinee idol, playing Simon Sparrow in 'Doctor in the House' (1954) he became Britain's biggest box-office draw and favoured leading man. In the early 1960s he became frustrated with the studio system and beginning with Basil Dearden's 'Victim' (1961) he embarked on a number of complex demanding roles which brought him creative satisfaction. He won the BAFTA Award for Best Actor for 'The Servant' (1963). Other notable film roles include: 'Accident' (1967), 'Death in Venice' (1971), 'The Night Porter' (1974) and 'Despair' (1976). In a second career he
wrote seven best-selling volumes of memoirs and six novels. He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in 1992.
It is not known for which of Bogarde's houses this table was purchased but it is visible in photographs of Nore, his country house in Sussex, where he lived from 1962 to 1965. The table was then moved to all his subsequent homes, including his beloved Clermont, the Provencal former farmhouse where he lived from 1970 until 1986. Over the years that the table was in his possession many leading figures from the world of art and entertainment would have more than likely sat around it, including the likes of: Ingrid Bergman, Judy Garland, Vivien Leigh, Richard Attenborough, Charlotte Rampling and Elton John. Bogarde's final visitor, on the eve of his sudden death in May 1999, was Lauren Bacall who
came for tea at his London flat. It is fairly rare to have a specimen marble table top with a micromosaic centre but for a similar table top see Woolley & Wallis, 4th April 2018, lot
440, from the Collection of Dr. J. S. Gordon.