The "Mathematical Table" in the Chinese Lodge of Palermo

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Abstract

The end of the 18th century sees the decline of the latebaroque and rococo in the decorative arts and the origin of theneoclassic essentiality. Nonetheless, the spirit of competitionamong the members of the European courts and of the aristocracyin erecting magnificent residences inside spectacular parks, fullof astonishing pieces of furniture, is still alive and floods ofmoney are spent without restraint. In this very period, a newcurious type of dining table makes its appearance in thearistocratic dwelling houses and precisely in the hunting lodge ofthe Bourbon Court close to the city of Palermo in Sicily: the"Mathematical Table". This name is due to the fantasy of itsdesigner, architect Venanzio Marvuglia, who probably wished tohint at the particular technical nature of the table. It wascomposed of a fixed frame and several movable parts, whichwere shifted up and down to the room beneath under the action ofa proper lifting apparatus with ropes and pulleys. In this manner,the dining people could be served in a very private environmentwithout the presence of the domestic staff. After this example,other "magic tables" were made during the 19th century.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine9
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

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