PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF DODIE ROSEKRANS
James Hepworth Fine Art, Elton Hall, Elton, Ludlow, 1995
Carlton Hobbs, Catalogue Number Three, London, 1992, No. 11
In the eighteenth century Genoa enjoyed an almost equal reputation to Venice with respect to its lacquered furniture. Although Genoese pieces sometimes lacked the playfulness and exaggeration of lacquered furniture produced in La Serenissima, due to the vicinity of France and its influence on the Republic of Genoa, furniture manufactured in the Republic can be characterized by an understated elegance that exists harmoniously with Italian grandeur and flair for vivacious and animated forms. Lacquer furniture produced in Genoa by contrast with the Venetian examples was distinctive as the corporation of the laccatori used a different type of lacquer to that produced in Venice which was thinner and leaner and was devised specifically not to cover the details of the sculpted elements. The lacquerwork on the present bureau cabinet is a typical product of the Genoese laccatori as it is applied in a thin layer. The relatively wide overall form and proportions of this cabinet also indicate a Genoese origin. The undulating front and sides and the curved projection of the fall-front are further characteristics of cabinets produced in Genoa in the eighteenth century and can be seen on numerous contemporaneous models such as the ones illustrated in Lodovico Caumont Caimi, L'ebanesteria genoese del settecento, Parma, 1995, pp. 72-73 and 77-83. Although Genoese lacquered furniture is most often decorated in lighter hues, a custom that is reflected in the vivid coloring of the alcove of the upper section, there are known examples of dark-ground pieces such as a commode illustrated ibid p. 27 and an armoire illustrated ibid. 29. However, such pieces are rather uncommon, making the present lot particularly interesting.
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