Bent Family Collection – Provenance – Skinner July 2013

A pair of walnut Italian Renaissance demilune console tables on three turned legs joined by a D-shaped stretcher

p4A ItemID E8918732
A 20th century walnut open armchair in the Charles II or Carolean style having an upholstered seat and backrest, scrolled armrests supported by block and turned front stiles / legs having flower carving, joined by a front stretcher with extensive acanthus and floral carving

p4A ItemID E8918730
A mid-19th century Rococo Revival walnut open armchair with allover bone inlay, including a portrait medallion splat, on cabriole legs

p4A ItemID E8918574
A pair of 18th century Italian rococo walnut side chairs having faux ivory flower inlay throughout, with pierced vasiform splats over rush seats and cabriole legs joined by an H-stretcher

p4A ItemID E8918053

Bent Family Collection Provenance Note

Designed and furnished in the Mediterranean Revival Style, Quattro Venti is the last great private residence in Annisquam Village, a small fishing hamlet near Gloucester, Massachusetts. Quincy Bent, vice president in charge of production at Bethlehem Steel at the turn of the last century, built the summer retreat around 1912. His forebears purchased quarries in West Gloucester in 1820 and originally used the property, situated on the tip of the Annisquam peninsula, to transfer stone from river barges to schooners for delivery to cities up and down the East Coast.

Quincy’s wife, Deborah Norris Bent, oversaw the design and construction of the house and decorated the interior. She spent many summers in Europe with her mother, Deborah Norris Brock, and these travels undoubtedly influenced her aesthetic. While the house was under construction, mother and daughter purchased most of the furnishings in Italy. Family lore has it that they were shipped directly to Gloucester along with building materials such as marble and roofing tiles.

Mediterranean Revival, popular in the early 20th century with Grand Tour alumnae, combined elements of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque furniture and decorative arts from Northern Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, and the Spanish colonies. The decor from Quattro Venti, which translates from the Italian as “four winds,” epitomizes this eclectic style with its juxtaposition of verdure tapestries, heavy dark furniture, bright ceramics, and wrought iron accents. The home’s sterling silver, including an extensive dining suite, illustrates the lavish lifestyle the Bent family maintained at Quattro Venti.

Leah Kingman

Information courtesy of Skinner, Inc., July 2013.

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