Items Similar to Antique Italian Baroque Rococo Painted Two-Drawer Chest, Italy, circa 1750 View More
Antique Italian Baroque Rococo Painted Two-Drawer Chest, Italy, circa 1750
An antique Italian Baroque Rococo painted two-drawer chest from Italy, circa 1750. The softly undulating facade of this chest that stands upon cabriole legs showcases a unique combination of profile along with a delicately painted finish to create a uniquely refined appearance. Please enlarge all the photographs to see exactly how this chest was designed to be seen from a full 180 degree span. The easiest way to appreciate this aspect is to focus on the angle of the four legs. Notice how each gently curved leg was placed at a fourty five degree angle to the top ensuring that the full profile of the leg is visible from all directions. The slender elegance of each leg is enhanced by the curve of the cabriole that ends in a claw grasping a pearl. This motif was quite familiar to the upper classes throughout Europe in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries as it was often seen on the lavish porcelain from China imported at great expense for aristocratic collections. The legend of the dragon that roamed the heavens while grasping the pearl of knowledge was associated with the Imperial family of China. The front of the chest as well with its gentle curves also has a name associated with the aristocratic sport of archery called "arbalette" named after a particular type of bow. The cabinet making skill required to assemble a chest like this was rare as this level of workmanship was extremely time consuming. In order to be successful all of the separate elements had to be carefully balanced to achieve the correct combination of scale and proportion as seen here. Another clue to the age of the chest lies in the placement and of the two drawers. The two drawers are not separated by a horizontal support bar but instead flow seamlessly from top to bottom. The more familiar term is known as "sans traverse", French for without a traverse. This was a difficult technique as it required more internal ingenuity to achieve and so the "sans traverse" cabinet making method was reserved for the highest quality pieces. After the construction of the chest was complete the painted design had to be planned and executed. In the early eighteenth century outdoor activities including hunting parties and festive gatherings of nobles were common pursuits and the depiction of such activities were the subject of paintings, engravings and prints. On this chest two such scenes are painted with the uppermost being a hunting party while the lower scene is more festive with mixed company. The celebration of good fortune and the happiness of leisure is quite apparent in both scenes and reflects the idyllic life enjoyed by the upper class. The additional painted decoration seen on the corners uses natural organic motifs from nature as a reminder of warmer days to come while shivering in the depths of winter in northern Italy. Of course during this time there was no such thing as Italy but rather a collection of duchies including Parma, Naples and the Veneto among others. The modern entity of Italy did not arrive until the 1860s. Because this chest was made when only firelight and candle light provided illumination at night the predominant colour is quite light with all of the edges enhanced with gilding. The reflective quality of the painted surface was essential in a dark room and this chest possesses a lightness of scale that remains enchanting. In a modern interior, whether contemporary or traditional, this chest will add a note of refined European sensibility that remains as potent today as it was over two hundred and fifty years ago.
- In the Style Of
- Place of Origin
- Date of Manufacturecirca 1750
- Materials and Techniques
- WearWear consistent with age and use.
- DimensionsH 31.50 in. x W 47 in. x D 19 in.H 80.01 cm x W 119.38 cm x D 48.26 cm
- Seller LocationHouston, TX
- Seller Reference NumberDLA5
- Reference NumberLU866813200401
Buyer Protection Guaranteed
Our Promise To You: If you're not happy with the way an item arrived, we'll work with you and the seller to reach an optimal resolution. Read more
Shipping, Returns & Payment
- ShippingRates vary by destination and complexityShipping methods are determined by item size, type, fragility and specific characteristics.Shipping costs are calculated based on carrier rates, delivery distance and packing complexity.
- Return Policy
This item can be returned within 14 days of delivery.View details
- Online Payment Methods1stdibs accepts the following payment methods
- Item InvoiceGenerate an invoice that you can customize and print.
About the Seller
5 / 5
1stdibs seller since 2009
Located in Houston, TX
More From This Seller
Neoclassical Antique Austrian Three-Drawer Pain...
Antique 1830s Austrian Neoclassical Commodes and Chests of Drawers
The clean and simple lines of this antique Austrian painted chest of drawers circa 1830 relate to the neoclassical style in vogue at the end of the 18th century. This antique chest h...
Pair of Antique Italian Baroque Painted Urn Lam...
Antique 1750s Italian Baroque Table Lamps
A super pair of antique Italian painted and carved Baroque urns circa 1750 now fitted with American wiring for use as lamps. The bold curves of the flourishes are tremendously sculpt...
French Louis XV Rococo Style Antique Painted Bo...
Antique 1880s French Rococo Commodes and Chests of Drawers
Receive our new selections direct from 1stdibs by email each week. Please click Follow Dealer below and see them first! A lovely antique French Rococo style bombé chest of drawer...
Antique French Arbalette Front Painted Chest Tw...
Antique 1770s French French Provincial Commodes and Chests of Drawers
A striking antique French arbalette front painted chest of drawers from France, circa 1770. Please enlarge the photographs to see the details that make this such a fine example of ei...