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Armchair (part of a suite)

Unknownc.1830

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

According to the testimony of its former owners, this set of salon furniture consisting of a table, sofa and chairs of two different types comes from the one-time furnishings of the Pest palace of the Marczibányi family. The essence of the Biedermeier period, which favoured intimacy and comfort, was represented by a corner for convivial sitting – created in a spacious and light living room – that would have been the principal place for get togethers in a family-type atmosphere. Perhaps the most important element in the corner for sitting was the long sofa, before which stood a circular or rectangular table. In Hungary it was rather a rectangular table or a table whose corners or two ends were slightly rounded that were favoured. In the lower part of these tables there was in most cases a drawer. The seats of the easily movable chairs, fashioned with moderately curving legs and backs of different shapes, were generally upholstered or covered using cane. In the first third of the 19th century, Pest was without doubt already the centre of furniture art in Hungary. At the time of the national census of 1828, a total of 119 cabinetmakers, employing more than 250 assistants, were active in Pest and Buda, not counting the masters who were not guild members. The pieces of this set could have come from any of their workshops. The chairs, strengthened with turned linking elements and supplied with fan-shaped backs, were probably made after designs by the Viennese Josef Danhauser (1780–1829), whose furniture many tried to copy. Although the pieces in the set reached the Museum’s collection at one particular time and from one place, the character of the sofa and the table is so different from that of the chairs that recently doubts have emerged as to whether these originally belonged with them or whether their owners, in the wake of later requirements, simply had them altered to make a single set.

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Details

  • Title: Armchair (part of a suite)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: c.1830
  • Location Created: Pest (Budapest), Hungary
  • Provenance: Purchased from Eszter Papucsek in 1966. Earlier it was owned by Dr. Piroska Kalman. From the bequest of the Marczibányi family.
  • Place Part Of: Hungary
  • Physical Dimensions: w49 x h92 x d42 cm (Complete)
  • Type: Furniture
  • Rights: Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest, 2013, http://collections.imm.hu/terms-and-conditions
  • External Link: http://collections.imm.hu/gyujtemeny/asztal-szalongarnitura-resze/1600
  • Medium: Pine, veneered with cherrywood. With newer upholstery of striped, light blued silk.

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