These stools were probably formed part of a suite of seat furniture executed for the Savoia family at the Royal Hunting Lodge, Palazzina di Caccia, Stupinigi, Turin. They are closely related to a set of four previously sold from the Rossi Collection, Sotheby's, London, 10 March 1999, lot 55 (£54,300), with which they may be intended to be en suite with these pliants. Whilst those stools, and others subsequently sold (probably) from the wider set, are not of x-form, the decoration and form of the turning of the uprights is apparently matching, which, alongside the common provenance of these stools and the set of four to the Rossi collection makes a compelling case for Savoy/Stupinigi provenance, especially given Rossi's known links to the Savoia family, both pre and post exile.
A suite of seat furniture, including stools of the apparently matching straight legged design (probably copied from French prototypes executed by Nicholas Quinibert Foliot, maître in 1776), has been attributed to the celebrated Turin furniture maker Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo, see L. Malli, Stupinigi, Turin, 1968, p. 328, two stools and a sofa illustrated. Bonzanigo (1745-1820) is perhaps best known for his work for the Royal House of Savoy, who commissioned him to decorate and furnish the State Rooms of the King and Queen at Stupinigi, as well as at the Palazzo Reale in Turin, Rivoli, Venaria and Govone.
The connection of the Stupinigi stools to Bonzanigo is supported by a commode with remarkably similar legs from the appartments of the Duchessa d'Aosta in the Palazzo Reale, Turin (see G. Ferraris, Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo, Cavalleremaggiore, 1991, plate XX) and a pair of side tables originally in the antechamber to the Queen's State Rooms at Stupinigi, which display the same wreath-surrounded medallion suspended from the center of the apron as present to the straight legged stools (Ibid, plate XXXI). One of the stools of the straight-legged design is illustrated in V. Viale et al, Mostra del Barocco Piemontese (Exhibition Catalogue), Turin, 1963, p. 201 fig a. where it is listed as from Stupinigi, a further photograph shows what appears to be a stool or pliant of this model, or an extremely close variant, is illustrated in the sala dell' Anticappella (G. Gritella, Stupinigi, Modena, 1987, p. 162, fig.189). A pair of apparently identical pliants was sold: The Carraro Rizzoli Collection Treasures from a Milanese Palazzo, Christie's, London, 14 December 2006, lot 48 (£21,600).
PALAZZINA DI CACCIA, STUPINIGI
The original commission for the hunting palace at Stupinigi was given to the famed architect Filippo Juvarra (d.1736) by King Vittorio Amedio II in 1729. In spite of the King's abdication in 1730 and the architect's death in 1736, construction continued unabated and was only completed late in the reign of Charles Emanuel III (r. 1730-73). It was towards the end of this period that Bonzanigo was first employed by the di Savoia family, being appointed woodcarver to Victor-Amadeus III (r. 1773-1796) in 1787.