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Italy (Place Created)
Maple inlaid with mahogany; modern upholstery
80 × 223.8 × 68.9 cm (31 1/2 × 88 1/8 × 27 1/8 in.)
This lounging bed, once a settee with a back, was ordered by Carlo Alberto on the occasion of his son Vittorio Emanuele's marriage to Maria Adelaide of Habsburg Lorraine in 1842. It was part of a large suite of furniture for Vittorio Emanuele, Duke of Savoy and first king of a united Italy, and his bride for the nuptial apartment in the Palazzo Racconigi outside of Turin. Its form and decoration combine elements from a variety of sources. The palmettes and Ionic capitals come from ancient Greek art, while lotus petals and lion's-paw feet are inspired by Egyptian motifs. The furniture, designed by Filippo Pelagio Palagi, was executed by Gabriele Capello, nicknamed Il Moncalvo, and other craftsmen.
The sophisticated inlaid decoration was made using an innovative technique that allowed the craftsmen to quickly create a smooth, uniform surface. The striking upholstery, with its bold patterns and vivid color, is a copy of the original fabric, probably designed by Filippo Pelagio Palagi and hand-woven in Lyon.