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A pair of late-16th century, Venetian, walnut, sgabello backstools



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Dates
1580 - 1600
Description / Expertise
A pair of exceptional, late-16th century, Venetian, walnut, sgabello backstools. The crestings depict a grotesque masque supported by a pair of putti above cartouches which have lost their painted arms and Renaissance busts terminating in a profusion of scrollwork. The seats with gadroon carved friezes are supported by bases depicting a large grotesque mask with Renaissance busts either side over stylised feet.

The quality of these exhuberant backstools demonstrate why Italian Renaissance furniture was as highly prized as old-master paintings. They were associated with Venice and the design was disseminated throughout Europe in the late-16th century. Known as sgabelli, derived from scabellum (Latin for ‘stool’), they stood in sets along the walls of the portego, which was used for celebrations and display, and were moved around and seat-cushions added as occasion demanded.
Medium
walnut
Origin
Italy
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