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Desk (Secretary)

Date:
ca. 1730–35
Culture:
Italian, Venice
Medium:
Pine; carved, painted, gilded, and varnished linden wood decorated with colored decoupage prints; mirror glass; the inside of the fall front lined wiht silk not original to the secretary
Dimensions:
H. 102 x W. 44 x D. 23 in. (259.1 x 111.8 x 58.4 cm)
Classification:
Woodwork-Furniture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1925
Accession Number:
25.134.1a, b
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 507
In shape, the secretary is influenced by English and Dutch examples. Its decoration, imitating Oriental lacquer, consists of cutout and colored prints pasted to the surface and varnished. This technique, known as lacca povera or lacca contrafatta, was employed by professionals and amateurs alike. The skillful use and arrangement of the prints indicate that this piece was executed in a professional workshop.
[ Barozzi (until 1925; sold to MMA) ]
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