Armchair

Italian (Florence)
about 1873–6
Carved by Luigi Frullini (Italian, 1839–1897)


Object Place: Europe, Florence, Italy

Dimensions

92.71 x 91.76 x 78.74 cm (36 1/2 x 36 1/8 x 31 in.)

Accession Number

1985.811

Medium or Technique

Walnut; polychrome and gilded leather upholstery

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Seating and beds

Elaborately carved walnut frame with gilded and polychrome leather upholstery. The downward sloping arms with a realistically carved dove, the faces and sides with floral and insect motifs, terminating in a sleeping putto and cushion. The top rail of neo-classical form, the seat rail with neo-classical motifs and carved with the signature and date “LUIGI FRULLINI FIRENZE”. Marine and floral motifs on side friezes; the back elaborately carved with a shell motif and foliage. The legs composed of griffins at the front, terminating at the back in lion medallion and monopod. Below the seat rail the apron in the form of a bat.


Frullini, a sculptor by training, turned to furniture making and produced monumental pieces in the Renaissance style. His international reputation grew to such an extent that he had a number of prominent clients in the United States. In 1876 he worked at Château-sur-Mer in Newport, Rhode Island. The ornament on this chair-particularly the sleeping putti and the bat motif-is characteristic of Frullini’s work and demonstrates his virtuosity as a sculptor.

Markings

the seat rail with neo-classical motifs and carved with the signature and date "LUIGI FRULLINI FIRENZE"

Provenance

By 1984, Alice Dean Scranton, West Bridgewater, MA [see note 1]; 1985, gift of Alice Dean Scranton. (Accession date: November 27, 1985)

NOTES:
[1] In a letter to the MFA from October 1, 1984, Alice Scranton suggests that the chair had been in the family for "many generations."

Credit Line

Gift of Alice Dean Scranton in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Charles T. Cunningham and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gardner Dean and H. E. Bolles Fund