This Italian giltwood console is from the late 1600’s to the turn of the 18th century. It has a cream and beige colored inset marble top. This type of piece, with cabriole legs and shaped apron was directly inspired by French models, but the bolder proportions, large scrolled feet and stretcher indicate an Italian style in a transition from full Baroque to early French Regence.
“Comparison of examples with shew that the foliated carving of the late seventeenth century was of heavier scale and thicker, rounder proportions, while the carving of the eighteenth century was lighter in scale and more spiky and spidery in character” – The Practical Book of Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese Furniture. Harold Donaldson Eberlein. Roger Wearne Ramsdell. Philadelphia & London. J.B. Lippincott Company. 1927
As with the previous styles, many consoles of this period were made from gilded wood (gold leaf). Ours is no exception, as the intricate hand-carved base has been completely gilded. The richly ornamented frieze has an openwork, or pierced, drapery of fruited foliage with a mascaron center medallion. The mascaron depicts an angel with a pair of wings for ears and a stylized shell halo.
The four S-shaped legs are elaborately carved with curled leaves and scrolls. The knees of each leg have an ovate cartouche, staying true to the Regence style where knees are often adorned with espagnolettes or mascarons. The sinuous legs terminate in volute scrolled feet that sit on octagonal block feet (the front are full octagons, while the back feet are halves). The legs are supported by an X-shaped stretcher with a lovely center fruit and floral bouquet atop a margent. In France, the central element of a stretcher is called a noix, or “nut”.
As the late 17th century Italian style is considered a transitional style, with elements found in both Baroque and French Louis XIV and Louis XV styles, this Italian giltwood console makes an important and elegant impression. It will become a statement piece in any foyer or grand living room.
CONDITION: Wear commensurate to age and use with some losses and touch-ups throughout. Good strong overall condition. The marble top is not original. Losses to giltwood with red bole visible.