E. Quaglino, MobiLi Regionali Italiani, II Piemonte, Turin, 1966, p. 173, where the identical Stupingi example is illustrated.
V. Viale, Mostra del barocco Piemontese, Turin, 1963, vol. III, pl. 201 A.
As part of a larger set, six stools are at Stupinigi (E. Quaglino, op.cit., p. 173, illustrating one) and at least another three pairs have surfaced on the market:
- a pair sold from a European Private collection, sold Sotheby’s, London, 11 June, 2003, lot 207;
- a pair, from the collection of Evelyn Anneberg Hall, sold Christie’s, New York, 17 May, 2006, lot 341;
- a pair sold Sotheby’s London, 17 November 2009, lot 17.
The manufacture of these stools as part of a larger matching suite is further confirmed by the inventory marks and Roman numerals underneath most stools, by the existence of interior shots at Stupinigi and finally by pieces of the same design sold from or indeed held in other collections. One of the stools is seen matched with a settee at Stupinigi, fig. 2 (illustrated in G. Mazzariol, op.cit., p. 145, pl. C). Another suite of stools is seen matched with chairs and armchairs, illustrated in La Galleria di Palazzo Reale a Genova, pl. XI. A banquette, from a European Private Collection, was sold Sotheby’s, London, 11 June, 2003, lot 206. Additionally, an armchair from the same suite is recorded in the Royal Palace of Genoa, where it was brought from Turin by the Savoy family (illustrated in L. Leoncini, Galleria di Palazzo Reale, Genova, 1996, p.55) - fig.3.
A pair stamped by Nicolas-Quinibert Foliot (maître in 1729) which was sold Christie’s New York (Arts of France, 6 October 2001, lot 349), was possibly the model for the suite as, interestingly, the stools stamped Foliot are marked with the numbers XXXXX, the other VIIII and II, which identically correspond to those found on the present pair. Interestingly, this was not an unfamiliar practice. For example, Jean-Baptiste Tilliard supplied a suite of furniture to the Duchess of Parma in 1755 which was subsequently copied at the time by Italian craftsmen.
As one of the fournisseurs du Garde-Meuble Royal under Louis XVI, Foliot supplied seat furniture to Versailles, the Trianon, Fontainebleau, Compiègne and Saint-Hubert amongst other Royal residences and would accordingly be a name most suitable as the influence on the seat furntiure supplied to Stupinigi. This Royal hunting palace was originally conceived by Fillippo Juvarra in 1729 for Vittorio Amadeo II, but the construction of the magnificent palace continued throughout the decades and was only completed at the end of King Carlo Emanuele III’s reign (1730-1773). It was during this time that G.M. Bonzanigo, often referred to as the possible maker of these suites, was first employed by the Savoia family, being appointed wood-carver to Victor-Amadeo III (1773-1796) in 1787.
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