The decision follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest made on the grounds of the top’s “outstanding aesthetic importance and outstanding significance for the study of Italian pietre dure and Grand Tour collecting”.
The 4ft 11in x 3ft 7in (1.5 x 1.1m) table top was originally made c.1600-20 in the Grand Ducal workshops for Antonio Grimani, Vatican Ambassador in Florence, for his Venetian Palazzo. The Grimani family arms are included in the bold hardstone design.
The top was acquired by the 3rd Earl of Warwick for Warwick Castle in the 19th century when a new frame was created because the Grimani family retained the original giltwood base.
The decision on the export licence application will be deferred until September 12, 2016 and may be extended to 12 February 2017 if a serious intention to raise funds is made at the recommended price of £3,509,000, the premium inclusive price bid at auction (plus £701,800 VAT).