Cassapanca

Italian


Cassapanca, n.d.

  • On View

Walnut

Dimensions: 39 × 81 × 25 1/2 in. (99.1 × 205.7 × 64.8 cm)

Gift of Viola E. Bray, 2005.128

A cassapanca (chest bench) satisfies the need for both seating and storage in one piece of furniture. The seat serves as the lid to the chest, which would have been covered by cushions to make the seating more comfortable. Originating in sixteenth-century Florence, this type of storage furniture seems to have been used exclusively there. More than just a functional object, this cassapanca has been carefully carved and constructed to reflect the owner’s wealth and status, and it probably would have occupied a prominent position in the living area. It is decorated with symmetrical arrangements of exquisitely carved ornaments that exemplify the revival of the art of antiquity during the Renaissance.

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