Folding Italian Book Stand
This piece is an early 19th-century folding book stand from Naples, Italy. Book stands prop reading articles upright, using the ledge at the bottom of the device to provide support. Designed for tabletop use, book stands are typically made of wood and are often adjustable. Many book stands are designed to collapse when not in use, for ease of portability and storage. Visual evidence dates book stand use in Western cultures to the Renaissance period; various surviving manuscript illuminations and paintings depict scribes using book stands in their studies. This particular book stand features an attractively carved base, with a pleasant curlicue effect. The front of the stand is delicately painted with green and pink floral motifs, accompanied by decorative flourishes. The object has hinges, meaning it is able to collapse fully, as demonstrated in the photo gallery. This folding Italian book stand would be an enviable addition to any home library or literary collection. The piece would be equally impactful displayed on its own, or accompanied by your favourite vintage book.
At this time in Naples, Napoleon (1769–1821) invaded and conquered the country in 1806. The emperor named his brother-in-law and army marshal Joachim Murat (1767–1815) to be king in 1808, a position he held until the 1815 Neapolitan War, at which point King Ferdinand (1784–1833) regained his kingdom. Naples officially became part of Italy in 1861, at the culmination of the Expedition of the Thousand, led by Guiseppe Garibaldi (1807–1882).