A sgabello is an Italian chair that originated in the Renaissance. Originally designed to be displayed in a hallway (like a French side chair), sgabello were typically highly carved with some sort of familial crest or coat of arms incorporated into the décor. They were purely decorative, as the backrests were elaborately carved with protuberances and bulging motifs; comfort was not a primary concern.
Hand-carved from walnut in Italy, circa 1870, our Renaissance style sgabello has recently been bleached, allowing the carvings to gain further prominence. The shaped seat has quarter round molding adorned with a series of niches that have been filled with trefoil leaves. Additional foliage has been shallowly incised to the top of the seat, with sprawling rinceaux surrounding a potted plant.
The uniquely shaped seatback has several canted edges, topped with various Renaissance motifs. A pair of fragmented cornices, set at angles, can be seen near the top of the seatback. Beneath these are two putti sitting on foliate volute scrolls while blowing horns. In the center of the back is an armorial trophy with a crinkled ribbon bow and two spiral fluted conrnucopia.
Not to be overlooked, the large base has several highly detailed carvings as well. In the center is a mustachioed mascaron with drapery emanating from his mouth. Above his head is a volute scroll embellished with fluting that encircles the face before terminating in scrolled feet. A pair of winged mythical creatures grace the sides with their heads and upper bodies forming supports for the seat above. Our bleached Renaissance style sgabello chair would be a focal point to any living room, hallway or game room.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with minor nicks, rubs, and age separations. Old repairs and visible fills. The chair was recently bleached by a professional woodworker, leaving light traces of the original finish.