Credenza

Italian


Credenza, n.d.

  • On View

Walnut with bronze

Dimensions: 40 × 93 × 28 in. (101.6 × 236.2 × 71.1 cm)

Gift of Viola E. Bray, 2005.127

A credenza in sixteenth-century Italy was used to display the owner’s wealth or economic status. This credenza is imposing in its own right, with antique-inspired bronze lion’s-mask pulls, lion’s-paw feet, and eight elaborately carved male and female pillar figures. It has three recessed drawers on top of three doors that open to reveal its storage capacity. This type of furniture would have most likely been located in the sala, a room often used for dining and other important events. According to scholars, the name credenza is taken from the word credenziere, which was the title of the person responsible for making sure the food to be served at special occasions had not been poisoned or contaminated. Later, this type of furniture became associated with the beautiful objects meant to promote the family’s status displayed on top of it, such as precious vessels of metal or expensive stone placed on ornate textiles.

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