The abundant carving and monumental proportions suggest that the lot offered here was made for a member of the upper nobility or a high-ranking member of the Church. This armchair shares many similarities with a number of comparable Neapolitan examples illustrated in E. Colle, Il Mobile Rococò in Italia, Milan, 2003, pp. 62-63 and pp. 82-83, such as the undulating shaped upholstered back, the shell motif on the stretcher, the robust terminals of the armrests, and the flower garlands wrapping around the frame of the backrest. The examples cited by Colle are mostly thrones for ecclesiastical purposes as indicated by the various religious devices in the reserves of the cresting of the backrest, such painted images of saints and attributes of the Catholic Church. The lack of such imagery on the lot offered here suggests that this armchair was not intended for use by the high clergy but rather a member of the upper aristocracy. The female mask issuing a flowering shell motif centering the cresting of the back is comparable to those decorating a giltwood lectern also of Neapolitan manufacture, see ibid. p. 67. Similar armchairs produced in Naples and Sicily during the first quarter of the eighteenth century are still very conventionally Baroque with their square seats and low relief carving, see E. Colle, Il Mobile Barocco in Italia, Milan, 2000, pp. 44-45. Given the presence of what appears to be the Savoy coat of arms on the webbing of this chair (now detached), it is interesting to note that the House of Savoy ruled Sicily from 1713-1720.