Pair of 18th Century Italian Neoclassical Klismos Chairs

$ 2,500.00
SKU: 712

Details: Very rare pair of late 18th century Italian Neoclassical klismos chairs featuring an open back centered with a pierced roundel or sunburst carved back splat with a Robert Adams style, delicately painted motif resembling a bee. Splayed, sabre-form legs (reeded in front) and uprights connected by a slightly concave backrest are characteristics of these chairs, which became popular in the late-18th and 19th centuries for their gracefulness and lightness of form, as well as their reference to antiquity. The chairs have been reupholstered in a charming silk, muted terracotta bee fabric, however, seat can be easily removed if a different fabric is desired (cushion= 18"w x 14"d x 1.5"h).

Dimensions: 21"w x 20"d x 35"h Seat= 18.5"h x 15"d (16 lbs each)

Condition: Original grayish finish is distressed and chipped in places. Upholstery has some minor spots. The legs on the chairs are loose and furniture restoration is recommended if purchased for use rather than decorative accent chairs-We have an excellent restorer who can reinforce the chairs-please inquire.

Interesting Note: The present chairs are illustrative of the variations on the klismos form that occurred at the end of 18th century during the Neoclassical period in Italy, when furniture was relieved of ornament in favor of simple lines more closely modeled on its classical forbearers. The design is closely related to a set of ten documented chairs in the Villa Borghese, Rome, carved by Lucia Landucci in 1784. Landucci was the daughter, or possibly widow, of Antonio Landucci, principal intagliatore (carver) responsible for the refurbishment of the Villa Borghese. Not much is known about Lucia, but there exists documentation of payments made to her for furniture commissions for the Borghese Palace. 

A reinterpretation of the chairs was also found in the former living room of Queen Friederike Luise at Schloss Monbijou, a Rococo palace in Berlin built in 1706 but destroyed during World War II. Monbijou was redesigned as a gallery to display the Royal collections and opened as a Hohenzollern museum in 1877. The chairs can be seen in situ in the museum in a photograph circa 1930 (see photo).

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