having strong connections to France and seen regularly in the country during
the Renaissance, the Savonarola Chair is a distinctly Italian creature that has
captivated us ever since we were teenagers.
We take pains to keep several pairs in stock at all times but they have
become increasingly difficult to find - especially ones like these --
intricately carved and sturdy.
These chairs are slightly wider than others we have had and, owing to the seven ribs
rather than six, are more sturdy and can be folded (after removal of the back
or crest rail).
We find this set of Savonarola Chairs remarkable for two reasons - one is the crest
rail incorporating a fleur-de-lys and dolphins, while the other is the lions'
heads at the front of the armrests. The
fleur-de-lys as symbol of Florence, ruled by the Medici Family, is discussed in
the description of Savonarola Chair 4116.
Curiously, that chair and these also include dolphins, the symbol of the
rival Florentine family, the Pazzis.
The lions, as depicted on these chairs, are unlike any we have seen. Sleekly stylized with mane swept back, they
gaze out at the viewer with half-closed eyes.
They embody a languorousness, a lassitude befitting the king of beasts
about to nap after a lunch provided by his queens. Sadly, their long ears cascading downward, have not survived
completely intact but add to their character and uniqueness.
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,