Table, attributable to Luigi and Angiolo Falcini, Florence, second quarter of the 19th century

Florence, second quarter of the 19th century


Rectangular table made of chestnut wood veneered in dark walnut and inlaid with various woods, mother of pearl and bone. The inlay with floral motifs presents the top starting from four mirror reserves created around the central oval reserve where a classic vase is depicted with a panoply inlaid with a sample of flowers including roses, daisies, bluebells, lilies of the valley, tulips and lilies. while the lateral reserves are composed of leaves and flowers animated by birds. The bands, as well as the pyramidal trunk legs, are inlaid with plant motifs and the connecting bundles of the legs are embellished with butterflies.


Dimensions: 80 x 148 x 76 cm (31,5 x 58,3 x 29,9 in )


Historical-critical analysis:

The Falcini brothers’ workshop brings the taste for seventeenth-century inlay back to Florence; as Palacios writes “… they seem to be based on the dominant taste of the court of the last Medici and the ornamental repertoire seems to have been taken away from the flowery calepini used by the commissioners of semi-precious stones or by the cabinetmakers headed by Leonardo Van der Vinne …”.

They will mainly focus on the production of table tops that will be made for the great families of Florence and sent to major exhibitions all over the world. The Palacios is also the first to present a series of tables with an octagonal base and others with a rectangular top; among these there are two floors created for the Demidoffs, and rediscovered by Luisa Bandera on the occasion of the sale of the furnishings of the Villa Demidoff in Pratolino in 1969, later purchased by the state for the Gallery of Modern Art in Florence. Together with two octagonal tables, always present in that sale, they constitute the only certain examples of production of the two brothers, in fact we know that the two floors were made by the Falcini for Prince Anatolio Demidoff. The two floors were united by a similar score but different inlays, in one four cornucopias made with leaves and flowers surround a central garland with a parrot, in the other four corners with vegetable tufts animated by birds surround a rich bouquet of flowers.

The table in question here must be compared to this, which reproduces the four reserves of the corners in the same way, instead placing a flower vase in the center. Unlike the Demidoff table, which has turned legs, in this case the legs and sides of the table are still enriched with inlays.

Although having to remain in the field of attributions, having no signatures or inventory documents that guarantee paternity, it seems to us that we can say with some certainty that the table described here has been fired from the Falcini brothers’ workshop. The known repertoire leads us to believe that these craftsmen, like all the workshops of the time, created more works with the same designs available, modifying part of the ornament or inserting them in a different way.


– Alvar González-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto, La Toscana e l’Italia Settentrionale, ed. Longanesi 1986;
– C. Paolini-A. Ponte-O.Selvafolta, Il bello Ritrovato, ed. De Agostini 1990;
– Simone Chiarugi, Botteghe di Mobilieri in toscana, ed. S.P.E.S. 1994;
– Enrico colle, Il mobile dell’Ottocento in Italia, ed. Electa 2007.

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