A unique choir chair, with an incurved back, hand-carved in northern Italy from larch wood. Larch is a rather durable softwood, prevalent in the Italian Alps, specifically the region known as the Dolomites. It is quite possible that the chair resided in a small chapel in the mountains around 1700.
Sometimes referred to as a settle, which is a wooden bench with arms, the choir chair has severely sloping volute rails that taper inwards. The settle is one of the oldest pieces of furniture, dating back to the middle of the 16th century. Our example has a high back, comprised of panels with geometric carvings (circles on top of rectangular quadrants) beneath a crown of long cavetto molding. The walls have a concise and sinuous apron with a recessed channel and two scrolled feet per side. On the back, there is a vertical support flanked by two large block feet, giving the settle a stable base.
Our Italian larch choir chair has a visually striking and unusual form, making it a prominent piece of antique furniture. It can be paired with a small circular table in a library, living room, or study. It could also be used as a hallway or entry bench.
CONDITION: Strong antique condition with some age separations and traces of old repair, both commensurate with age and use. Minor nicks and rubs, with visible losses to the arms and feet from old wood worm. Please see photos.