Group of four settees, Veneto, First quarter of the 19th century

First quarter of the 19th century



Group of four sofas supported by truncated pyramidal legs, the front ones have feet in the shape of feral paws. The uprights of the armrests are carved with the features of griffins, the lion bust is lacquered with an imitation burnishing, seeking a bronze effect; the wings are instead carved and gilded.

On the head of the griffin rests the curl of the wavy armrest, within which a rose window, also gilded, is carved.

In walnut veneered in cherry, the armrest is in solid cherry and has a recessed recessed wrought iron reinforcement. The seat and back are padded.

Dimensions: 98 x 104 x 54 cm ( 38,6 x 40,9 x 21,2 in)


Historical-stylistic analysis:

The four sofas belong to a lounge from the Restoration period, which can be limited to the geographical area of Lombardy-Veneto; the materials used also refer to this area. An Austrian influence is perceived especially in the carving of the griffins, especially in the faux bronze lacquering of the wood.

There is some evidence, especially for the way the armrests and their uprights are developed, with designs for seats (armchair and sofa) by Domenico Moglia, published in 1837.

Comparisons are also possible with some of the furnishings designed by Giuseppe Borsato and published in 1831 in his ornamental work. In table 26 and in the engraving on the frontispiece, the seat and chair of Leopoldo Cicognara are depicted, for which we can see a similar modality in the adoption of tall lions as a support for the top or in the armrests. An interesting correspondence is, however, above all the analogous solution in the chromatic contrast between the wood used (in this case a blond walnut) and the feral legs and heads ebonized.

Interesting and a sign of the high quality of the seats is the foresight to reinforce the thin cherry armrest with a wrought iron support, in order to avoid breakage and allow the support of a heavier weight, while preserving its lightness and elegance.

The small size that makes the group of sofas more interesting is curious and rare.

Comparison Bibliography:

– Giuseppe Borsato, Opera ornamentale, Milano, Vallardi, 1831;

– Domenico Moglia, Collezione di soggetti ornamentali ed architettonici inventati e disegnati, Tipografia del dottore Giulio Ferrario, Milano, 1837;

– Enrico Colle, Il mobile impero in Italia. Arredi e decorazioni d’interni dal 1800 al 1843, Milano, Electe, 1998.

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