Achille’s Well Heeled Home
Roman architect/designer, Achille Salvagni, combines a couturier’s and a historian’s approach toward design which has earned him a cult following for his beautiful interiors, bespoke furnishings and luxurious yachts. An exhibition held in the front rooms of the designer’s atelier in England features pieces from his new collection “Cocktail Hour” which marries the lines and shapes of 1930s Italian design with a striking color palette inspired by a Qing dynasty ceremonial dress.
Salvagni’s line departs from his normally darker Roman-inspired tones. The new line is draped in a palette of deep yellows, dusty roses, luminous creams, Capri blue, celadon and jade. There are two new armchairs, Tato, named for Futurist artist Guglielmo Sansoni Tato and a new coffee table called Pietra. In the same room, there are a set of Angel sconces, a classic example of Salvagni’s popular onyx wall lights. Of particular interest, are two extraordinary sets of doors by Italian artists Enrico Castellani and Lucio Fontana. These were prototypes that were never realized commercially.
In the second room, against an Alpacca wall, sit two small Vittoria chairs, accompanied by egg-shaped Cosmedin side tables made of Breccia Imperiale Stazzema and Calacatta Pavonazetto marbles and bronze. The bronze relief tabletops were cast from clay impressions of the fine Cosmatesque mosaic floor of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in Rome dating back to the 8th-century. Salvagni’s Antinoo cabinet returns from previous lines sheathed in a soulful celadon parchment, whilst the Spider Jewel chandelier makes its London debut.
Salvagni’s work always tells a story. At center stage is the Nerone cocktail cabinet in parchment of shades of beige and natural tones and lined in black Sahara Noir marble. Emperor Nerone was seen as a demi-god who ruled with a cruel iron-fist, hence the use of black marble as a reference to his dark soul. He died from a stab wound to the heart and this fatal ending is captured in the use of red lacquer on the central handle. A number of pieces from Salvagni’s “Aldus” collection complete the panorama. Among them are Disio and Perseo, two beautiful vases in parchment and cast bronze with a burnish finish, and Eracle with its corroded top, all especially created for the summer collection.
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