A striking, circular table originally placed in the Golden Drawing Room in the Winter Palace, the main residence of the Russian Imperial family in St Petersburg, will be sold in Bonhams' Russian Sale in London on December 1.
Estimated at £150,000-200,000, the intricate design and range of materials, from coral to onyx and turquoise, reflects the legendary opulence of the Russian Empire.
The table was originally commissioned as a gift for the Empress Alexandra (pictured top right), the wife of Tsar Nicholas I, and became part of the original furnishing of the Imperial Winter Palace.
It was then placed within the Golden drawing room, which was used by the future Empress Maria Aleksandrovna and was renowned as the most lavishly decorated room in her personal suite.
The Golden Drawing Room was used for private receptions and Christmas celebrations for the Imperial family.
The storming of the Winter Palace became an iconic symbol of the Russian Revolution. In the late 1920s many private rooms of the Imperial family were stripped of their original furnishings and anything else that might remind the public about Russia's Imperial past.
Most of the furnishings, including the table, were sold through Antikvariat, a state-run commission shop that catered to foreigners and diplomats. The table ultimately ended up in Germany.
Today, the Golden Drawing room in the Winter Palace houses part of the Hermitage museum collection. Though the room has retained its original décor, few of its original furnishings have survived.
"Items from former Russian Imperial palaces are incredibly rare, and few come with such remarkably documented provenance," said Yelena Harbick, Director of Russian Fine and Decorative Arts.
"This table is an exceptional opportunity for international collectors to not only acquire a Russian decorative masterpiece, but to procure their very own piece of Russian history."