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and sideboards, chests of drawers and dressers for the bedroom, couches, bookcases, and writing-tables or desks. The beds were heavy, having commonly a roof supported on four columns, and existing examples are rare.

Mirrors of polished steel, with metal or richly carved and gilded frames are among the extant treasures of the period, and some of them are exquisite examples of design and craftsmanship. Glass mirrors were not introduced until later, the first ones coming from Venice. Italian Renaissance bellows, wall-brackets, candlesticks, and other small objects, often richly carved, though sometimes too ornate, are also much sought by connoisseurs. Such clocks as were used were small and usually had metal cases, inlaid with ivory, horn, mother-of-pearl, and lapislázuli. There were also screens of stamped and painted Spanish leather.

Chimneypieces, while they can hardly be classed as furniture, have sometimes been taken from the old palaces, and in many cases represent the flower of Renaissance design and carving.

With the exception of the Savonarola chairs and the mirrors, and possibly an occasional table, cabinet, or chest, Italian Renaissance furniture is scarcely suited to actual use in the modern home. Most of it should be preserved in museums, where students of art and the development of decorative styles may have access to it.

It is not to be assumed that all of it is admirable or worthy of equal praise. There were good and bad workmen in those days, as there are now. Some authentic pieces display unpardonable extravagance or poor workmanship, while the furniture of the later Renaissance shows a tendency toward confusion of ideas, over-ornamentation, and other marks of approaching decadence. But no artistic education is complete, in the field of decorative and applied art, without some knowledge of the best work of the carvers and cabinet-makers of the Italian Renaissance.

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