This armchair is branded 'M.L', a mark placed on furniture in the Royal palaces of the Duchy of Parma during the governorship of Maria-Luisa of Austria, Duchess of Parma between 1816 and 1847. As well, it bears the stamp 'C.R.' between a crown which was applied in 1855 on the orders of Maria-Luisa, Duchess of Parma, (1819-1864) after the assassination of her husband, Carlo III, Duke of Parma, (1823-1854) to all furniture in the Ducal palaces in the duchy of Parma. The stamp is followed by the letter 'P' which suggests that this piece was either located in the Ducal Palace in Parma or the Garde-Meuble.
In 1870, after the unification of Italy, the Ducal Palace was transfered to state ownership and much of its contents where distributed to various Royal palaces including the Quirinale in Rome. In 1869, Vittorio Emanuele II, King of Italy, (1820-1878) purchased Castello Reale di Sarre, as a private hunting estate in the Valle d'Aosta.
Maria-Luisa of Austria (1791-1847) was born in Vienna, the daughter of Franz II, Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Maria Theresa of the Two Sicilies. In 1810, Maria-Luisa married the Emperor Napoleon and acted as regent during his Russian campaign in 1812 and again from 1813-14.
After Napoleon's abdication in 1814, Maria-Luisa fled Paris to Vienna. The Treaty of Paris allowed her to retain her imperial rank and style and made her the ruler of the duchies of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla. In 1815, the Congress of Vienna revised this arrangement and made her Duchess of Parma for her life only. She was a most able ruler and administrator of Parma and died in 1847.