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Console table

Francesco Morini

Firenze, 1822 – 1899

Material: Carved golden wood with gemstones on the tabletop

Size: W 177 x D 84 x H 105 cm

review byi gherardo turchi

Originality and uniqueness are said to be the main elements of the antique trade. When they are applied to visual and decorative arts, or to home furnishing as in this case, such astonishing items are most likely to be realised. The console table we’re analysing is one of them, with no doubts.

It was realised by Francesco Morini, one of the most skilled Florentine wood carvers in the nineteenth century. He was born in 1822 and, since his early age, he started working at the city workshops serving the most important Tuscan families, whose parlors were usually crowded with the most popular Florentine politicians.

Francesco opened then his own workshop, where Angiolo Barbetti would work later as well. A huge number of politicians and nobles wanted him to adorn their homes with his carved wooden artworks: he got such a success therefore.

According to Giuseppe Poggi’s project, Morini partially furnished Favard Palace at Vespucci Lungarno where Polimoda, one of the top fashion schools in Europe, is today located. In the eighteenth century, however, it was Baroness Fiorella Favard de l’Anglade’s own residence. She wanted Morini to adorn its salon with such decorative items just like the astonishing one hundred and twelve light chandelier with its eight appliques en suite.

Morini furnished many other Florentine buildings as well, such as the Throne Room at Pitti Palace when Florence was the Italian capital. Some time after he realised the amazing chandeliers we can appreciate at the Great Synagogue of the Tuscan city.

Although Florence Art Academy bestowed on him the title of honorary member in 1870, Morini kept on working till he died in 1899. He left all his artworks to Florence people who weren’t going to forget his amazing skills. We can appreciate them just by analysing the amazing console table we’d like to show you.

As a fine example of Morini’s wood carving skills, the tiny cupids supporting the top-table, as well as all the carved floral items adorning the whole structure, express his long standing artistic experience. It results in all the perspective and anatomical studies he carried out to realise such an artwork. Capponi’s coat of arms – the noble Florentine family Morini carved the console for – is at the centre of the top-table. It’s made of some very fine materials such as amethyst, jasper and petrified wood, whose incisions are surely worthy of note. The perimeter of the top-table is Belgian black painted to contrast with the brightness resulting from its central parts. This makes the artwork comparable to an high quality jewelry product.

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