Royal cabinetmakers: GIOVANNI GALLETTI AND THE KING'S FURNITURE.
federico chiale, 23-06-2020
Giovanni Galletti's news dates back to 1771, through a document that defines him as Venaria Reale, where we think his shop could be located. In the following years, again according to the documents present in the Turin archives, we have news of some commissions for the execution of the furnitures at the Castello di Agliè, some executed according to the design of Count Birago di Borgaro. In 1777 he was awarded the role of Cabinetmaker for the King, as successor to the famous Pietro Piffetti. Thanks to his assignment, his production of furniture also increased significantly, many of which precisely for the royal house of the Savoy. However, he did not fail to create works for private individuals, such as the crescent moon in our collection, a work of art of international value. The crescent, made of walnut, is veneered with various types of wood of great value: ranging from rosewood, fir, walnut and finally plane tree. His dating oscillates between 1775 and 1780, the same years in which he was awarded the position of royal cabinetmaker (https://www.chialefineart.com/en/dettaglio-mobili.php?id=44). The crescent is divided into three fields, for each of which there is a 'rosewood frame' inside which there is a ribbon that weaves the veneer. The pilasters of the furniture are designed with columns that alternate a light and dark slab that gives depth to the furniture. In the upper central part a drawer has been designed that repeats the slab present in the pilasters. The feet and the vents were made of gilded bronze. This crescent is of clear French inspiration, but differs from transalpine furniture in the woods used and in marble. In fact, the marble used as a cover for this crescent is typical of the furniture made in the Piedmontese capital during the eighteenth century. In Roberto Antonetto's book, Il mobile piemontese. Vol. I-II, it is possible to find some examples of furniture made by Galletti with the same slab of the crescent proposed by us. Sometimes it is also possible to find some works at the Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses, but examples where it is possible to attribute the work to this cabinet maker with certainty are very rare. The works of art in question, attributable with certainty to the cabinetmaker Galletti, can no longer be defined as simple furnishings, but fall into the 'collector's furniture' category as well as antique sculptures or old master paintings.
furniture, XVIII century, art