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Cortina d’Ampezzo

Applied Arts School

(Founded in 1846)

Renaissance style center table

Label mentioning “I.R. Scuola…, Sezione Intarsio e Intaglio, Cortina d’Ampezzo, n°146

Italy

Circa 1890

Height : 77 cm (30 1/3 in.) ; Width : 102 cm (40 in.) ; Depth : 62 cm (24 1/2 in.)

Exceptional Venetian Renaissance style center table. The top and the frieze opening with four drawers are fully ornamented with a flat carved decoration and a floral and geometric inlay according to the technique of Tarkashi. It rests on four architected legs joined by a stretcher.

Commentary

Don Cipriano Pescosta (1815-1889) created in October 1846 in the small town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, Veneto, a school for the teaching of drawing. The institution was gradually gaining wide popularity for its courses in sculpture as well as in cabinet making. In 1874, the school became “State Industrial School” and in September 1876, they opened sections of wood inlay and mosaic. In 1881, John Coddington, President of the famous Oriental Club in London, which included British nobles and other gentlemen residing in Asia, made known to the Italian School a new technique, the Tarkashi, thanks to some objects brought from a trip to India. It was a technique of marquetry employing refined interlaced ribbons of various woods and sometimes decorated with ivory and mother of pearl. Artists and students of the Ampezzo art school, already skilled at woodworking, adopted this technique, which was successfully developped and even brought the fame to Cortina d’Ampezzo. In 1889, the school was open to women with sections of sewing, embroidery and lace. Cortina d’Ampezzo School was awarded a silver medal in 1893 at the Regional Exhibition of Innsbruck in Austria. They then sold all of the exhibited pieces, including a large part to the German Darmstadt and Stuttgart museums.

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