Pair of Italian Marbleized Side Chairs
These incredibly distinctive side chairs – so-called for their open sides – were designed in Nice, in the 18th century when the city was still part of Italy. While the two back legs of the chairs are simple in style, the front two parts have been carved as “cabriole” legs, meaning they curve out from the seat of each chair into an S shape. Each seat is upholstered in a soft blue linen, well matched to the various deep blues, greens, and browns featured on the back splats. The combination of these colours, and their abstract blending creates the effect of marble – a painting technique known as “marbleizing.” With hints of gold throughout the paint and a gold outline at the top, centre, and bottom of each splat, a lustrous effect is created. This effect is carried through on the legs and seat rails of the chairs. The consistent marbleized effect and the similarity of the lines created by the seat rails and back splats lend unity to the design. The top of each splat – known as the crest – approximately where one’s head might rest, features an opening outlined in gold. It is surrounded by a gold design; the top and bottom recall a stylized ponytail, a fashionable hairstyle at the time, while each side echoes the shape of a large, ruffled collar, popular amongst the aristocracy of the 18th century. These chairs are sure to make a striking addition to any room in your home.
At this time in history, after a blood war with Austria, the Treaty of Turin was signed by France and Piedmont-Sardinia on March 24, 1860. One stipulation of the treaty required the annexation of the County of Nice to France, as a reward for French assistance during the Second Italian War of Independence against Austria. Prior to this agreement, Nice had changed hands rapidly between France, Spain, and Piedmont-Sardinia for the last 150 years. Today, Nice is the seventh most populous area in France, and was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2021 due to its historical importance as a winter resort town for the European aristocracy.