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Daybed (lettuccio)

Daybed (lettuccio)

  • Place of origin:

    northern Italy

  • Date:

    1540-1600 (made)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Walnut and poplar, with marquetry decoration of various woods

  • Museum number:

    6004-1859

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Walnut bench, inlaid with geometrical marquetry of coloured woods. The seat forms a coffer, with massive back and ends

Place of Origin

northern Italy

Date

1540-1600 (made)

Materials and Techniques

Walnut and poplar, with marquetry decoration of various woods

Dimensions

Height: 84 cm, Width: 249 cm, Depth: 74 cm

Object history note

Bought for £14

Historical context note

See THORNTON, Dora: The Scholar in his Study. (New Haven, London, 1997), pp.60-61
"A lettuccio was a grand, expensive and dignified piece of furniture of the kind found in bedchambers in their role as reception rooms; their function is clear from contemporary woodcuts such as those in Savonarola's Arte di ben morire or the Malermi Bible. In Florentine houses, lettucci might be used to store books, as in the inventory of Giovanni di Benedetto Cecchi da Pescia in 1596. His lettuccio served as a daybed, so the idea of keeping one's reading matter in the base of it must have been attractive. It was easy to extract a book from the chests underneath the cover before lying down to rest or read." Notes that scholars' tombs and wall-monuments often show them reclining on a daybed.

Comparable bench seats
Horne Museum, Florence; Museo Horne, Claudio Paolini: Il mobile del rinascimento – La collezione Herbert Percy Horne. (Florence, 2002), no. 10
Palazzo Davanzati, Florence; DEL PUGLIA, Raffaella & Carlo Steiner: Mobili e Ambienti Italiani dal Gottico al Floreale, Vols 1
and 2. (Milan, 1963), fig.28
Intarsia bench, Palazzo Pubblico, Siena in FLADE, Helmut: Intarsia. Europäisches Einlegenkunst aus sechs Jahrhunderten. (Drseden, 1986), fig.33
Church of San Domenico, Fiesole in ODOM, William M.: A History of Italian Furniture from the 14th to the early 19th centuries, Vols 1
& 2 (New York, 1918), fig. 186
Florentine 1550-1600, Metropolitan museum, New York, in ODOM, William M.: A History of Italian Furniture from the 14th to the early 19th centuries, Vols 1 & 2 (New York, 1918), fig. 271
KOEPPE, Wolfram: Die Lemmers-Danforth-Sammlung Wetzlar. Europäische Wohnkultur aus Renaissance und Barock. (Heidelberg, 1992), M.2

Descriptive line

Daybed, (lettuccio or cassapanca), Italian 16th century

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

H.Avray Tipping, Italian furniture of the Italian Renaissance as represented at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Country Life March 31st 1917, pp. 3-8
Eric Mercer, The Social History of the Decorative Arts - Furniture 700-1700, London, 1969

Materials

Walnut; Poplar

Techniques

Carving; Marquetry

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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