Gueridon, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, First quarter of the 19th century

First quarter of the 19th century

Description:

Gueridon supported by three uprights carved with lion feet and in the upper part with caryatids, to support the undertop band. The female figures are standing, dressed according to the Egyptian taste: they wear a low-cut dress that leaves the breasts uncovered, tightened at the waist by a belt, they wear bracelets and necklaces, while the hair is styled according to the Egyptian taste, with braids that fall neatly on the shoulders. These figures are partly ebonized, to make the skin, while the clothes and details are gilded.
The legs are connected by a platform in the shape of a concave triangle.
The circular top is in alabaster, enclosed within a frame veneered in cherry.

Dimensions: h 87 cm, diametro 78,5 cm ( 34,2 x 30,9 in )

Historical-stylistic analysis:

A particular characteristic of the gueridon in question is the solution adopted in the construction of the uprights. The Egyptian caryatids with the part representing the ebonized skin, while the clothes, the jewels and the golden hair, are found in various furnishings of Sicilian manufacture and always datable in the same chronological period. 

In this regard, comparisons are possible with furniture preserved at Palazzo Malaspina in Palermo, in particular a gueridon in which the central baluster is made up of telamons, therefore male figures, also dressed here according to Egyptian taste. Matches are also possible with a table in Palazzo Mirto, also in the Sicilian capital. Also in this example the plan is supported by four caryatids inspired by ancient statuary, which in this case looks more to the Hellenistic world, rather than to the Egyptian one.

From the structural point of view, comparisons are possible with another table kept at the Capodimonte Museum in Naples (inv. 1907, no. 3976) and indicated as being of Sicilian manufacture. The method of embedding the marble top is similar. The poplar construction suggests that the production of these tables was not only Sicilian as the antiquarian tradition has always thought, but that there was also a Neapolitan production, probably active with Ferdinand’s return to Naples after his exile in Palermo.

Bibliography:

Civiltà dell’Ottocento. Le arti figurative, catalogo della mostra (Napoli, Museo di Capodimonte, Caserta; Palazzo Reale, 25 ottobre 1997 – 26 aprile 1998), Electa Napoli, 1997;

– Enrico Colle, Il mobile Impero in Italia. Arredi e decorazioni d’interni dal 1800 al 1843, Milano, Electa, 1998, pp. 38-39, n. 3.

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