A MAGNIFICENT AND MASSIVE PAIR OF RED LACQUER AND GILTWOOD SIDE CHAIRS

June 16 2009, 12:28pm

Venice. Signed with Initials T e H R and Dated 1711. The present chairs are bold and over-scale examples of the exuberantly carved and vividly coloured chairs being created in the early part of the eighteenth century to furnish the enchantingly sensuous palazzos of Venice, then "an enchanted city of carnivals, masques, amusement and pretence." The presence to the reverse of the chairs of a date and signature is extremely rare on an early eighteenth century piece of Italian furniture and dates them precisely to 1711. The chairs are an example of the modified form in which the high-backed chair of the renaissance persisted into the eighteenth century, ranged with cabinets and tables against the walls of the grand formal rooms of Italian palazzos. The unusual survival of a design for a chair in the Fondazione Fantoni, Rovetta, illustrates the elaborate form that such chairs attained in Italy.