Sheet-metal covered chair with the coat-of-arms of Palatine Paul Esterházy


Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

On 8 December 1687, Leopold I (1657–1705), Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary, bestowed a high award on his most devoted adherent in Hungary, Palatine Pal Esterhazy (1635–1713), granting him the title ‘prince of the Holy Roman Empire’. Owing to this rise in rank, the palatine won the right to a new, augmented prince’s coat of arms. The ‘heart shield’ of the quartered shield is embellished with the first letter – L – of Leopold I’s name. This coat of arms can be seen on the back support of the armchair, on a work of art which at that time comprised part of a distinctive set of furniture. This set originally consisted of four pieces; chair with arms and its pair (which is identical with it) – these can be seen at the Nagyteteny Castle Museum – were supplemented by two tables. These differed slightly from the chairs, since their surfaces were covered not by silvered brass – as in the case of the chairs – but by gilded silver sheeting. Additionally, the table tops were each embellished with a scene from mythology, worked – like the chairs – in relief. These two pieces of furniture can still be seen today in the exhibition at the Frakno (today Forchtenstein, Austria) castle of the Esterhazy family. The making of the set was probably commissioned by the ‘prince-palatine’ himself, Pal Esterhazy, in the years after 1687. Along with its abovementioned pair, the chair with arms suffered serious damage in 1945. It was restored by Laszlo Takacs, Jozsef Kotai and Marta Knotik in 1972.

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  • Title: Sheet-metal covered chair with the coat-of-arms of Palatine Paul Esterházy
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1687/1690
  • Location Created: Hungary
  • Provenance: Acquired from the Esterházy-collection in 1949
  • Physical Dimensions: w53 x h112 x d46 cm
  • Type: Furniture
  • External Link: http://collections.imm.hu/gyujtemeny/karosszek/1114
  • Medium: Pine, silvered brass covering, decoration in relief. Upholstery: relief embroidery in silver wire and silk thread on a cherry-coloured velvet ground