By Anne Leader
Furniture-maker Giuseppe Maggiolini died on 16 November 1814 just three days after his seventy-sixth birthday. Maggiolini was the most famous cabinetmaker of his generation, and his designs were widely copied. He got his start working as a carpenter at the monastery of Sant’Ambrogio della Vittoria near Milan, which led commissions from wealthy Milanese and Genoese patrons.
He became cabinetmaker to Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Maria Beatrice d’Este. He worked for royalty from France to Poland to Southern Italy. Because of his fame, many 18th-century pieces are erroneously attributed to his workshop. Maggiolini’s work can be identified either by his signature or by his workshop symbol and the inscription con firma per esteso.
A table now at the Getty Museum includes an inscription underneath the trompe l’oeil design that adorns its top, naming Laura Visconti, an 18th-century noblewoman who likely owned the table.
Reference: Fernanda Capobianco. “Maggiolini, Giuseppe.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.
Table, late 1700s, walnut and rare wood veneer and inlay. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 95.DA.81
Olivewood, amaranth, rosewood and marquetry commode, ca. 1785. New York: Christie’s.