8 Italian Antique Dining Chairs Upholstered in Leather

Item 3308 by M. Markley Antiques


8 leather dining chairs

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Item 3308 8 Italian Dining Chairs Upholstered in Leather
Dimensions Width 19, Height 41½ , Depth 17 (in inches)
Wood Walnut
Country Italy
Date Circa 1900

It is unusual to find a set of eight matching dining chairs in Europe, where sets typically come as six or twelve.  Therefore, we suspect that these eight were originally part of a set of twelve whose other four members have been lost along the way.  Even at eight, it is rare to find them intact and in such good shape.

Their stylistic origins lie in the north of Italy at the end of the sixteenth century when the original design would have been for a narrow armchair in a basic rectangular shape with a broad front stretcher (as seen in the Museum of Sforza Castle in Milan).  As a down-sizing of the classic chaise cathèdre or bishop's chair that morphed into a dignitary's chair, the tall back remains a symbol of authority, topped by finials in the form of acanthus leaves.  The acanthus leaf, that decorative symbol of choice since Roman times, appears again in a paired design for the front feet of the chairs.

The front stretcher is wide and curved with a central, hand-carved circular floral motif common in Renaissance furniture, particularly the central image  of cabinet doors.

These chairs have been restored with springs and padding, and upholstered in superior upholstery grade, aniline-dyed leather whose rich grain and warm brandy color complement the color of the wood.  Samples of the leather are available to prospective purchasers upon request.  The leather upholstery has been affixed using modern decorative nails that are a reproduction of a Renaissance Italian design.



Ader-Tajan, Collection Bruno Perrier Haute Epoque (Catalog for Sale at Auction on April 6, 1992 at the Hôtel Drouot, Paris); Costantino Fioratti, Helen, Il Mobile Italiano (Giunti Editore, Firenze-Milano, 2004); Rousseau, Francis, Le Grand Livre des Meubles (Copyright Studio, Paris, 1999)



As dining chairs, these are comfortable and sturdy for regular use in a kitchen or a formal dining room.


3308-leather dining chair


3308-back of leather dining chair


3308-finial of chair


3308-upper part of leather dining chair


3308-base of leather dining chair


3308-detail of base of leather dining chair


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