Lectern Henry Thomas Peters (1792-1852) attributable to, 1840

Henry Thomas Peters (attributed to)


Furniture from the center finished on all four sides and equipped with small wheels, hidden in the lion’s legs that hold it, so as to allow it to be moved. Made of oak, it is completely veneered in mahogany feather and decorated with moldings and carved pilasters in mahogany. In the lower part, two “drawstring” doors conceal compartments with extractable drawers and are surmounted by a strip with drawer and various support pullers. An open compartment, for supporting books, is left between the uprights that support the top, ending in carved lion herms. The reclining top consists of a band in which there are another drawer and other drawers, covered like the top in Moroccan. The locks are produced by the Milanese company Vago.

Dimensions: cm. 121 x 98 x 53 ( close )


Historical-stylistic analysis:

This piece of furniture was part of a library furniture attributable to cabinetmaker Henry Thomas Peters. Of English origin, he transferred his business to Genoa in 1817; he was with Gabriele Capello the cabinetmaker most used by the architect Pelagio Palagi for the works at the Savoy court.

For this reason his production is characterized by ornamental motifs derived from the “Palagian” taste, while characteristic of his English training is the preference for the use of mahogany. In this furniture the virtue of the cabinetmaker emerges in the quality of the numerous drawers and drawers that he makes and in the skilful use of the mahogany feather with which he perfectly conceals the two drawstring doors. Finally, it is the carving, the hallmark of his production; the pilasters have motifs found in his furnishings and which find evidence in the desk he made for King Carlo Alberto on the recommendation of Pelagio Palagi.


• Noemi Gabrielli, Racconigi, Istituto Bancario San Paolo di Torino, Torino, 1972;
• Roberto Antonetto, Gabriele Capello “Moncalvo” Ebanista di due re; Umberto Allemandi & C., 2004;
• Antonella Rathscüler, Henry Thomas Peters e l’industria del mobile nell’Ottocento, Il canneto editore, Genova, 2014.

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