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Desk

Carlo Bugatti (Italian, Milan 1855–1940 Molsheim)

Date:
ca. 1902
Medium:
Walnut, copper, pewter, vellum
Dimensions:
H. 29-1/2, W. 23-2/3, D. 22-1/2 inches (74.9 x 60.1 x 57.2 cm.)
Classification:
Furniture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1970
Accession Number:
1970.181.3
  • Description

    Strikingly original, Carlo Bugatti's furniture combines the picturesque asymmetry of Art Nouveau with the exoticism of Moorish and Japanese influences. Yet, there is nothing derivative in Bugatti's work; rather, it is pure fantasy, drawing inspiration from the Orientalist art movement of the late nineteenth century, a fact underscored by the name of his business in Milan: C. Bugatti & C., Fabbrica Mobili Artistici Fantasia. The writing surface of this desk is covered in vellum, held in place with punched copper strapping; the walnut legs are inlaid with pewter imitating calligraphic brush painting. The unusual profile of the desk suggests the jaws and teeth of an alligator. The model was used in one of Bugatti's few completed interiors-a theatrical bedroom designed about 1901 for the London residence of Lord Battersea.

  • Exhibition History

    Ohio: Cleveland Museum of Art

    A Century of Design, Part I: 1900-1925, MMA, December 14, 1999 - March 26, 2000.

    Classic/Fantastic: Selections from the Modern Design Collection, MMA, December 21, 2007 - April 5, 2009.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
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