PAIR OF NORTHERN ITALIAN NEOCLASSICAL SIDE CHAIRS
Likely Piedmont circa 1790-1810
Item # C103208
This rare and excellent pair of Northern Italian Neoclassical chairs exhibit the bold expression of line so magnetic about Italian forms during the period. There is a heavy masculinity in the proportions that allows them to remain distinct against the Neoclassical forms of peers in the rest of the continent. Likely crafted in Piedmont, the construction is unusual and rather complicated: the backs are crafted through a lamination process to build up the curvature of the caned ovoid, each corner reinforced with a member set against the grain. This allows for a firm and full front surface to be carved and pierced without losing any strength; the carvings are crisp and fully developed, from the rocaille crest set over symetrical waves of acanthus to the pierced floral treatments in the spandrels of the back, each set over an angular waterleaf. The apron corners are inset with floral rosettes flanking a simple molded rail with a circular floral motif in the center. Each leg attaches to the frame with thick tenon-mortised joints affixed with wooden pins, the legs with a faceted taper that culminates in a tiny turned ball footing.
Measurements: 20” W x 18 3/8” D x 37 1/4” H, 17 3/4” H to seat
Beautifully conserved with old restorations throughout. Old paint, but not original with heavy wear and distressing; very old and inactive pest damage; replaced corner blocks. Caned seat frame on chairs is perhaps a later addition, the caning on one chair having broken through and on the other being replaced with new caning. One back tenon-mortise joint spliced for strength. Very minor wiggle in joints, overall remaining sturdy and strong. Cushions with staining.