Canape. Buenos Aires, late 18th or early 19th century.

Beautiful and rare piece of furniture for family use. Carved and polished wood, with seat and back upholstered with damask fabric. The back is divided into two bodies with a central crown. With its one-piece seat, it features armrests with graceful movement. Its frame and front skirt feature beautiful decorative carvings with wavy grooves. The set rests on three pairs of legs, type "goat", chained. Measurements: length: 208 cm / 81.88 in. Height: 113 cm / 44.48 in. Depth: 60 cm / 23.62 in.

Furniture from this period and from a River Plate origin, are very rare to see both in museums and in private collections, since in general in this vice-royal time the furniture generally arrived from Brazil.

Ribera states: “As for the canapé, the oldest known mention, and referring to Buenos Aires, dates back to the year 1777, in documents proving the expenses incurred on the occasion of the reception of Viceroy Cevallos. These pieces of furniture were two or three yards long, and had three or four seats, with or without a backrest”. (1)

In different versions, they accompanied the chairs in the living rooms or receiving; We see them in different paintings from the first half of the 19th century; portraits of ladies sitting there posing, or in the scene entitled "Dancing the minuet at Escalada's house", lithograph by Charles Pellegrini.


Adolfo Luis Ribera: Furniture in the Río de la Plata. In "General History of Art in Argentina". Buenos Aires, National Academy of Fine Arts, 1983, volume II, 1. p. 202.

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