The Chest or Coffer

Coffers are nowadays often known by their Italian name Cassone, but during the Italian Renaissance, they were sometimes called forziere*). Forziere means chest or box, and up to the XVIth century one and the same chest may have served both for the home and to take on journeys i to serve the purpose of a box, a seat and a bedstead. But a differentiation according to the condition and the wealth of the owner must have been attempted at an early period. The chief requirement of a travelling box...

Chairs Settees and Benches

What primitive chairs and benches looked like, as with most pieces of simple household furniture, is only known by pictorial representations1 . Carved benches of a later period which are even rarely to be found in art collections, probably came from sacristies and religious houses, but their construction is not in contradiction with their having been used for profane public or private purposes. They differentiate from the chest insomuch as they served only for sitting purposes. The seats are...

Arts And Craftsmen

Saint Hieronymus Study Carpaccio

At the time of Renaissance no sharp line was drawn between arts and craftsmen. The builder who built the house also provided for its furnishings, the sculptor began his career as a stone-mason or goldsmith, and famous artists have even painted furniture . Nevertheless there were specialists2 in intarsia - making and wood-carving of great renown, and more especially artist-painters of chests3 . But the influence of famous artists on the build and decoration of the furniture is beyond question....

Cassapanca and Throne

As panelling was not common in dwelling houses, from the earliest time the need of wooden backs for chest-seats must have made itself felt. In this way the bench-box came into existence and from this in the kVth century developed the throne by adding arms and building up the back support architecturally a few decades later came the Cassapanca, that is a box-settle. In the older type of cassapanca the back and arms were of a like height. By this the horizontal is strongly accentuated and the...

Furnishings

What Are Lines Interior Decoration

Frequent civil broils, the civic halls and palaces of the nobles being so built as to serve as strongholds, their chiefest task being to bid defiance to the enemy. Their characteristics are thick walls of rough hewn stone blocks, heavy iron clad doors and small grated windows set high up from the groundsteep and narrow winding staircases. The living rooms, always in the upper stories, were lofty and spacious, but furnished only with the most indispensable objects and little protected against...