The Italian specimen lava top is inset with circular interlaced borders of micro mosaic outlining various colours of volcanic lava and other stones, within a restored moulded edge which was previously of yellow marble.
The frieze is carved with swags of husks punctuated with paterae, above square tapered fluted legs, each headed by a classical urn and patera and on block feet, 93cm by 137cm.
The table was purchased by Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter (1725-1793), during his first Grand Tour between 1763 and 1764.
The London firm of John Mayhew and William Ince were the principal suppliers of fine furniture to the 9th Earl at the time.
He donated a similar table to the recently opened British Museum on September 28th 1764.
This was described as: ‘A table comprised of the various sorts of lava which have been thrown up at the different eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, inlaid in the yellow antique.’