The red porphyry, a precious and very hard marble, was quarried in the eastern Egyptian desert on Mount Porphyritis. Such marble, thanks to the purple color, was used in Roman times for the exclusive use of the emperors for the realization of busts, portraits and decoration of palaces. An excessive use is recorded especially in the Constantinian age; a notable example is the use of this marble in the architectural decoration of Constantinople. The modern table, coming from Palazzo Torlonia in Piazza Venezia, consists of a large porphyry slab, supported by two modern trapezophori with African marble bases. The slab, due to its reduced thickness and considerable size, was probably taken from an ancient porphyry column of great dimension. The Torlonia table is a twin copy of another table (MT 280), which was also part of the furniture of Palazzo Torlonia.
Inventory: MT 281
Material: Porphyry; white marble for the modern white table supports; African marble for the bases
Technique: Work sculpted through the use of: chisels (also square-tipped and toothed) rasps