E. Colle, Il Mobile di Corte a Lucca, Lucca, 2005, Tav. LXII, b, page 178
E. Colle, I Mobili di Palazzo Pitti, Il Secondo Periodo Lorenese, 1800-1846, Firenze 2000, page 248 onwards
E. Colle et al., Gli inventari delle corti, Le guardaroba reali in Italia dal XVI al XX secolo, Firenze, 2004, page 158-160
Following the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Marie-Louise de Bourbon, the daughter of Charles IV of Spain, was awarded the Duchy of Lucca, which had formerly belonged to Napoleon's sister, Elisa Baciocchi. From 1817 to 1820 Marie-Louise set out with the assistance of the architect Lorenzo Nottolini to renovate the 16th century Palazzo Ducale in Lucca.
Nottolini's designs were very much influenced by the Empire style. A project for chairs reproduced in E. Colle, Il Mobile Impero in Italia, Milan, 1998, p. 204, has the same curved back and similar top rail present on these chairs. Another very similar chair, still in the Palazzo Ducale in Lucca is illustrated in S. Chiarugi, Botteghe di Mobilieri in Toscana, Florence, 1991, pp. 152-153, n°175.
Several names of chair-makers are recorded who worked for the Tuscan court. Pietro Ricci, Gaetano Cambi, Gioacchino Paoli, et al are amongst the known craftsmen although so far it has not been possible to attribute these chairs to any specific maker.
The inventory numbers under the seat rails and the colors used are of great importance in order to try to trace their provenance. In this instance, the style of writing and the colors favorably compare with those found on pieces of furniture commissioned for Palazzo Pitti, which are still in situ or dispersed. At the Archivio di Stato in Florence (Fondi Guardaroba Medicea e Imperiale e Real Corte) all the inventories of the granducal residences, lived in by the Medici up to the Lorenas, are preserved.
Since 1770 regular inventories were carried out at the granducal residencies. Different colors and numbers were used, each of them identifying a specific residence and a specific year. The old number was cancelled with the color in which the new number was written as can be seen on the present chairs.
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