Luxury Design, Past & Present
This exceptional palisander sideboard circa 1940 attributed to the famous Italian designer Osvaldo Borsani possesses a desirably sensuous silhouette. As the saying goes, "nobody does it like the Italians". After leaving University Borsani joined the family business Atelier Varedo (later Arredemento Borsani) as a furniture designer. Throughout the 1940's and 1950's he produced a large body of work including storage pieces and seating. This visually striking sideboard or chest of drawers uses the powerful grain of palisander (a species of rosewood) and has a set of four drawers standing upon four dramatically curved legs that are each larger at the top and taper to a more slim silhouette as they reach the floor. Each of the four drawers has a cushion or pillow shaped profile that gently pushes away from the curved front with the two top drawers retaining the original locks and keys. Both sides feature the same cushion shaped pattern as the working drawers on the front and this design choice reflects the overall design aesthetic of Borsani. The drawers are also embellished with cast bronze pulls in the shape of a pair of intertwined leaves that complement the sensuously curved elements of this chest. Even the front legs feature a cast bronze foot known as a "sabot" in a similar style as the drawer hardware. "Sabots" first appeared in the seventeenth century as a way to illuminate the foot of a piece of furniture in the dim interior light (light only came from fireplaces and candles at that time) as well as to protect the timber from an errant foot that might kick the leg when passing by. The original marble top has a shaped front as well as a sloped edge that complements the feel of this Borsani sideboard. The design of this chest offers great versatility as it may be placed in an entry or living room, bedroom or dining room with equal ease.