11585 A CARVED MAHOGANY ARMCHAIR OF INTERESTING DESIGN FROM THE PALAZZO CHIGI ARICCIA Possibly Rome. Early 19th century. Measurements: Height: 33 1/2 ” (85 cm); Width: 22 1/2″ (57 cm); Depth: 18 1/2″ (47 cm); Seat height: 18″ (45.7 cm).
Of mahogany. The upholstered back enclosed within tilted posts from which two out curving arms issue. Each arm with swollen reeded center and scallop carved handrests. The arms are supported on shaped posts which rest on tapering polygonal front legs. The upholstered seat supported by a plain frieze. The rear faceted legs of slightly saber form. Minor old repairs. With painted velvet fabric.
Removed from Palazzo Chigi Ariccia in 1980.
This remarkable early 19th century armchair is most unusual in being predictive of mid-twentieth century furniture design. It was removed from the summer home of the Chigi family, the Palazzo Chigi Ariccia, sixteen miles from Rome. The house was built between 1664-1672 using plans by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598 -1680) and Carlos Fontana (1634 or 1638–1714). The illustrious Chigi family were one of the most important patrons of the arts during the Renaissance under Agostino Chigi (1466 – 1520) “The Magnificent” and in the 17th century cardinal Fabio Chigi (1599 – 1667) became Pope as Alexander VII.
Their power, wealth and influence was unabated during the 18th and 19th century and were notable for their important official offices of the Pontifical State and philanthropy in the 20th century.
The astonishing experimental design on the present chair has affinity to furniture by the interesting Sienese architect Agostino Fantastici, whose unbridled imagination was responsible for some of the most original of all early 19th century Italian furniture.