Antique Chairs - Item 4128
6 Walnut and Leather Dining Chairs
down for additional photos -- color differential is due to shadow)
||6 Walnut Dining Chairs Upholstered in Leather
||Width 17½, Height 45½, Depth 17½ (in inches)
six matching dining chairs are the rare combination of intricately carved
walnut in Renaissance design and new leather upholstery. Overall, their reliance on Renaissance
architectural elements such as the palm and acanthus leaf, and especially the
shell, are pleasing. Renaissance
artists incorporated these symbolic elements in their religious works such as
the scallop shell or coquille saint-jacques representing St. James and the
medieval pilgrimage destination of Santiago de Compostela. In his Madonna and Child with Saints
Montefeltro Altartpiece in the Brera Gallery in Milan), Piero della Francesca
uses the scallop to frame the upper part of the elongated architectural niche
at the front of which the figures gather.
Associated with fertility, the shell was also found in classical
settings, such as transporting Botticelli's seagoing, raven-haired beauty in
his Birth of Venus in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. On these chairs, the stylized scallop shell is found atop the
back at the center and on both sides and resembles more closely the shells used
at the top of niches containing sculptures, such as that of Christ and St.
Thomas by Andrea del Verrocchio, set into the sides of the Church of
Orsanmichele in Florence.
Italian Renaissance architectural elements on display in these chairs include
the elongated palm fronds framing the sides of the back panel and the shortened
version at the top, just below the shells.
Gadrooning on either side of a central acanthus leaf forms the base for
the top of each chair in which the intricately carved figure is a head,
possibly a lion, a cat, or a stylized interpretation of the Italian Renaissance
grotesque, is framed within a triangular shape of curving acanthus leaves. The acanthus leaf is also in evidence on the
base of the chairs, at the top of the front legs.
seats of these chairs have been restored and the springs retied. Seats and backs, including the reverse side
of the backs, have been newly covered in analine dyed full-grain leather whose
rich brown hue and sheen complement perfectly the lush patina of the
et Objets D'Art 10, Le Mobilier Italien (Editions Fabri, Paris, 1990);
Costantino Fioratti, Helen, Il Mobile Italiano (Giunti Editore, Firenze-Milano,
2004); Rousseau, Francis, Le Grand Livre des Meubles (Copyright Studio, Paris,
and sturdy, these chairs are ideal for a formal dining room in which guests
will linger contentedly for hours over food, wine and conversation.