Enrico Colle, Il Mobile Impero in Italia, Milan, 1998 p.98 illustrates a sphinx of identical design (Chigi Saracini Collection Siena)
Carlo Cresti, Agostino Fantastici Architetto Senese 1782-1845, Catalogue of the Exhibition, 25th September - 15th November 1992, Siena, printed in Turin, 1992 - entries for furniture written by Fausto Calderei.
The sphinx is based upon a design by the Sienese Agostino Fantastici (1782-1845). An identical sphinx is in the Chigi Saracini Collection, Siena, a family for whom Fantastici worked (see E. Colle, op. cit., page 98)-reproduced here in fig.1.
A very similar recumbent sphinx is also at the end of a sofa, post 1828, (whereabouts unknown), made after designs by Fantastici for the Salotto Egizio in the Villino del Pavone (see post). It is ill. in C. Cresti, op. cit., cat. 16m, pp. 204-205.
Agostino Fantastici (1782-1845) was born in Siena, the son of Bernardino Fantastici, the Chief Architect of Siena. After having completed his studies in Rome, he returned to Siena in 1806, where he received his first important commission. He drew up the plans for the Church of San Salvatore at Montalcino for the Governor Giulio Bianchi Bandinelli (d. 1824), the great champion of neo-classicism.
In 1825, Mario Bianchi Bandinelli, eldest son of the deceased Governor, asked Fantastici to carry out the renovation of the Villa del Pavone which was finished in 1828.
A pair of sofas surmounted by an identically carved sphinx was sold in these Rooms as lot 276, 7th December 2005.
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