Bolgiè was active as a carver at the Court of the King of Sardinia until at least 1825. He was trained in Paris in the 1770’s having been sent there by his father, Giovanni Battista, who was also active as a carver in the Sardinian Court. On the 30th of December 1769, the Piedmontese foreign minister, Raiberti wrote to the Sardinian ambassador in Paris: "Sa Majesté m'a parlé ce matin d'un jeune homme piémontois nommé Bolger, que ses parents ont envoyé depuis quelques temps à Paris, pour s'y perfectionner dans la profession de sculpteur. Elle seroit bien aise que V.E. me donnat des informations exactes de sa conduite, de son application, de ses progrès, et du plus ou moins d'espérance qu'il donne d'une bonne réussite [...]."
This letter proves that Carlo Emanuele III was interested in the development of the most promising Italian artists and wanted to be informed of their progress and their good conduct. Francesco Bolgiè travelled to Paris where the neoclassical form codified by the the work of Jean-Charles Delafosse influenced the style of the young carver, who managed to combine a dynamic yet refined grace in his work.
In 1775, he became a member of the Compagnia di San Luca and in the same year, Vittorio Amedeo III named him "regio scultore in legno" and he was the first, i.e. before Bonzanigo and Giuseppe Gianotti to be awarded a salary of 300 lire a year. He supplied many pieces of furniture for the Palazzo Reale, including a table in the apartments of Princess Maria Felicita of Savoy in 1777 and a giltwood frame for a portrait of Maria Clotilde of France, Queen of Sardinia in 1787.
In 1789, alongside Bonzanigo and other artists, Bolgiè contributed to the decoration of the apartments of the Dukes of Aosta, in the Palazzo Reale. As part of this project, he is known to have supplied the gilded balustrade adorned with putti, girali of acanthus, torches and doves, to enclose the bed of Maria Teresa of Habsburg Lorena-Este, the young bride of the Duke of Aosta. In total, Bolgiè supplied 25 commodes, 27 console tables, and 26 cabinets, against, respectively, 2, 6 and 11 by Bonzanigo. 
Bolgiè created delicate neoclassical reliefs applied to furniture and carved panels making reference to ancient Greek and Roman art, such as found on the carved adornment on a corner cabinet in the Palazzo Reale.  However, this commode is attributed to the work of Bolgiè on the basis of the decoration of the front of the commode which incorporates a female mask surrounded by scrolls of flowers and leaves.
These characteristics are found again on several pieces of Bolgiè furniture, including the reliefs on the door of the Duchess of Aosta’s bedroom (illustrated G. Ferraris, op.cit., Tav. 24), of a commode in the Duchess of Aosta's apartment (fig.1) and of a commode located at Stupinigi, the hunting lodge of the Palazzo Reale (illustrated G. Ferraris, op.cit., Tav. 28).
Of imposing presence, this commode was conceived as a grand pair, with the other in the collection at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, Saint-Jean-Cap- Ferrat (ill. R. Viandes Rives, op.cit. p.25) - fig.2.
Peter A. Paanakker (1925-1999)
Major Donor for The Huntington Chinese Garden, a member of The Huntington's Board of Overseers, Peter Paanakker was born in Paris in 1925, the son of Katherine Kolb and Anthony Paanakker. He was a businessman (main partner at the stockbrokers Speirs & Paanaker from Los Angeles), philanthropist, antiques dealer and private collector. At the age of ten he arrived in Philadelphia with his American mother and spent time with his grandfather, Colonel Lewis J. Kolb, who had a large collection of Washington and Lincoln memorabilia, as well as a remarkable collection of Fabergé.
 Genio e maestria. Mobili ed ebanisti alla corte sabauda tra Settecento e Ottocento, Turin, 2018, p.138.
 R. Antonetto, Il Mobile Piemontese nel Settecento, Turin, 2010, pp.374-375.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.