This handsome set of antique chairs are known “Sedia del Campo” or field chairs. Although this type of X or scissor chair is based on origins from antiquity, the Italian versions first appeared in the early 15th century. Most were made of walnut and had seats and backs that were made of leather, velvet or brocade. The chairs seen are composed of carved walnut frames with thick leather seats and backs, and are conservatively dated to circa 1800.
This type of chair was called a “Sedia de Campo” because they were readily foldable and portable which made them convenient for military commanders. However, in Florence, they were used for regular daily activities such as rest, reading, writing, etc. The earlier examples were much like the ones seen here: plain framework, simple design, free of any highly detailed carvings, which would come in later centuries. These chairs have a gently curving form of elegant proportion. The frames are foldable, hinging on a central roundel with several layers of molding. The only other carved ornamentation is the florets carved into the ends of the handrests.
They are also referred to as Savonarola chairs which derives from a chair found in the convent of San Marco in Florence which was used by the 15th century Italian Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola. The design was often copied, late into the 19th century, but these examples were often overly carved. The most sought after Savonarola chairs are those which exhibit clean and elegant lines, making them versatile enough to be mixed with furnishings of nearly any style of interior. Our Sedia de Campo leather and walnut chairs are in good condition, and will be a perfect addition to any entry, living room, or study.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with old worm holes as seen in photos. Old varnish still on wood, with some minor staining. Wear and cracking to leather as seen in photos.