List Price £4,500
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This marvellous settee, produced in Italy c. 1870, is a wonderful example of the late 19th Century’s imaginative power to fuse Baroque luxury and embellishment with Classical motifs. The main structure of the settee is formed of giltwood. The settee itself stands on feet and legs which have been carved into the form of hooves, an allusion to the faun (a human-goat hybrid) that is picked up again in the arm supports, which take the guise of seated fauns.
The lower rail of the settee is decorated with three masks: the central mask is of Silenus, a companion and tutor to Bacchus and the leader of the fauns; the two other masks are of goats, which fit with the overarching scheme of motifs. These three masks and the cloven feet are connected into a single composition using grape-laden vines. The top rail of the settee continues this theme with the inclusion of carved grotesque masks, grapevines, and scallop shells.
The seat and manchettes of the settee are of a fine red damask upholstery—red, being the colour of wine, enhances the overall theme.
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