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    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 38

    A PAIR OF ITALIAN PARCEL-GILT AND POLYCHROME-DECORATED CONSOLES

    MID-18TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY ROME

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A PAIR OF ITALIAN PARCEL-GILT AND POLYCHROME-DECORATED CONSOLES
    MID-18TH CENTURY, POSSIBLY ROME
    Each with a serpentine-fronted alabaster top, above a moulded and rockwork-carved frieze, on naturalistically-carved paired legs, adorned with flowerheads and foliage and joined by a rockwork-carved stretcher centred and a putto and a tree, restorations
    Each: 33½ in. (85 cm.) high; 39¾ in. (101 cm.) wide; 18½ in. (47 cm.) deep (2)


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    With their naturalistically-carved supports and rockwork-carved base, these striking consoles relate to finely-carved examples produced in North Italy, specifically Lombardy, in the mid-18th Century.
    Interestingly, these consoles are further related to the oeuvre of the intagliatore Nicola Carletti, known to have worked predominantly for the Chigi, a Roman princely family.
    Related works by or attributed to Carletti include a pair of parcel-gilt, polychrome-decorated and naturalistically-carved console tables dated circa 1769. Of smaller scale but also carved in the form of oak trees, emblematic of the Chigi family, these console were sold at Christie's New York, 26 October 1994, lot 110. The latter consoles were found through research carried out by Alvar González-Palacios in the Vatican Archives, to have been supplied as part of a group of five tavolini to Cardinal Flavio II Chigi for his Villa Chigi in Salaria in 1769.

    The distinctively naturalistic designs of both the present examples and the Chigi consoles are clearly inspired by Roman baroque forms from the 17th century, including a table in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence, attributed to the celebrated Italian baroque architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (ill. A. González-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto, Roma e il Regno delle Due Sicilie, Milan, 1984, vol. I, p. 57, fig. VII).

    Two designs for related tables in the Stockholm National Museum are illustrated op. cit., vol. II, figs. 181-2, and further related examples sold at auction include a table sold at Christie's, Amsterdam, 27 June 2006, lot 424, and a pair of consoles sold at Christie's, New York, 17 October 1997, lot 43 ($90,000).

    Such naturalistic ornament was also favoured by contemporary English rococo designers for consoles, notably Thomas Johnson, although often in a lighter vein. A related console attributed to Johnson from the collection of the Earl of Dartmouth is illustrated in A. Coleridge, Chippendale Furniture, London, 1968, fig. 99, while another is at Corsham Court, Wiltshire.

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    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A LADY


    Literature

    G. Wannenes, Le Mobilier Italien du XVIIIe Siècle, Milan, 2003, p. 123.