This adorable, yet elegant tray dates to the late Victorian period. The center points of the piece are pietra dura (Italian for "hardstone"). Pioneered in Roman times and carried on through the Middle Ages, this stone artwork continued in vogue until the rise of the modern period. One Renaissance artist described it as "painting for eternity." This particular example has one main image, with two supporting ones. The main image depicts a bird on a black background. The creature is a combination of black, white, blue, beige, and red. It sits on a lovely berry branch. The side images are both of butterflies with slightly different colors. The butterfly to the left of the bird is inverted. These three central portraits are surrounded by brass with ornate leafy and floral patterns. As for the tray itself, it is curved in a symmetrical pattern. Small brass beads border the edge of the tray. This is an excellent example of pietra dura for any collector of trays.
L: 11 1/2 in. W: 5 1/2 in. H: 1/2 in.