Decor - Item 4115

Room Divider or Architectural Display Railing


walnut railing

(scroll down for additional photos  -- difficulties of photographing with flash have accounted for the variation in hues, but the photo above most accurately reflects the color)  

Item 4115 Room Divider or Architectural Display Railing
Dimensions  Width 86½, height 31½, depth 23½ (in inches)
Wood  Mahogany and poplar
Country  Italy
Date  Circa 1950

In our business, it is not unusual to come across an object that is impossible to categorize, but you see its utility immediately. That is what happened when we came across this extraordinary find in Italy. The seller was using it as a piece of furniture that divided his living area from his dining space, and he had a row of potted plants sitting across the top, and across the wide shelf portion of the bottom. It looked like it was part of his apartment's structure due to its size and robust construction.

It appearsto be an actual portion of an architectural railing from a large (and grand!) home or office building. The individual balusters are over 6" wide at their widest, and solid, hand-turned poplar. Each baluster is carefully fitted into the space between the solid mahogany top and its matching moulded bottom. The ends appear to be partial portions of the original vertical columns that held each section together.

Anobject like this can be merely an amalgam of miscellaneous parts, or it can be a unified original section of a larger whole. For us, all signs point toward the latter, probably because of its substantial weight, perhaps in excess of 300 pounds, and unity of the design elements.

Themahogany is very thick and with a grain that suggests that it is old and not from the more modern and less dense Philippine mahogany that is so common in modern mahogany furniture.
When we purchased it, it needed extensive refinishing that was very time consuming because of the curves, and some re-gluing, all of which have been performed. The current finish is a warm walnut brown that should go very well with most contemporary or antique furniture.



Antiquités 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, 1999)



It is classically beautiful as any hand made stair railing is, but the width and depth of the top coupled with the bottom shelf space makes it an outstanding place to display pieces, with plants, sculpture or other personal trophies or collections.


top walnut railing


detail walnut grain







top corner


side view