Donkey’s back desk, Piacenza, mid-18th century


Open desk; four wavy and carved legs ending with a goat’s hoof support a rounded structure with a central drawer on which rests a convex flap with a hiding cabinet door composed of a small door, drawers and secrets. The wavy aprons are carved with curls and leaves, the whole surface is inlaid with a maple and olive tree ribbon enriched with leaves that creates reserves in briar walnut; the internal cabinet is equally decorated. Poplar interior.

Dimensions: 105 x 130 x 65 cm


Historical-critical analysis:

Furniture of great executive quality both in the design of the furniture and in the carved and inlaid decoration. The asymmetrical carving of the aprons, like the ribbon inlay, are matched by a furniture production normally assigned to the Piacenza area and probably attributable to a single shop. A very similar piece of furniture also in form even if already with an inlay that begins to undergo the neoclassical influence is another flap desk published by Graziano Manni, always he publishes an extraordinary chest of drawers with similar carvings in the apron and ribbons with similar maple leaves to those made here. Other furnishings with similar references although not so beautiful can be seen in the book “Il mobile Piacentino”.


– Graziano Manni, Mobili antichi in Emilia Romagna, ed. Poligrafo Artioli Spa 1993;

– Carla Longeri, Susanna Pighi, Il Mobile Piacentino, ed. TIP.LE.CO. 2003.

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