Monday, May 9, 2011


It's a small that we have the internet!  Recently, my friend Regina Garay of Fauxology, posted a link to Buzz Kaplan's word of the day-Cassapanca.

He posted these fabulous examples of a vintage cassapanca, a decorative bench with a back and a storage seat.

Italian in origin, cassapancas were usually large in scale and highly decorative.


Finding a cassapanca on an auction site is not as easy as it might seem.


They are a rare find and usually cost several thousand dollars.


This one is not as elaborate as most, but shows the variety in style.

Italian artist Alison Woolley of Florence Art painted this wonderful example of a cassapanca.

I love this black one! Most seem to be done in earth pigments or lighter in color.


When you "google" the word cassapanca, many times it wants to substitute "cassablanca"!
The backs of the cassapancas are made of flat wood to fit against the wall and not take up a lot of floor space. The wood is cut into decorative shapes and given dimension through trompe l'oeil painting.


As decorative as they are, I could not help posting this bench as well! Do you own a unique bench? I have my eyes out for a vintage Italian cassapanca!


PA74 said...

I am a big fan of these benches myself and plan to make and paint one that I will install just outside my future studio...Theresa,I hope you will come visit us, sit on that bench and enjoy a view on the french Alps!
Marvelous post!

Theresa Cheek said...

Oh Pascal! You tempt me! I promise to come and sit...I promise!

MyFavoriteFrenchAntiques said...

WOW...I always learn from you!
Now, having been introduced to the cassapanca, I am going to keep my eyes out.

I have an Italian dealer friend living in Milan that imports to US...will ask him to send me photos of what he sees.

There are so many styles!

Gina said...

Dear Theresa, Great Post! Learned another new word from you. Yes, I would love to own a cassapanca, any one of those you pictured.

Steve Shriver said...

Thanks Theresa! I might have to do one of these myself.

Mark D. Ruffner said...

I too am learning something new today. My favorite of your selection is the next-to-last image - exuberant but still stately. I see this as a project you could accomplish by adding the back to a ready-made bench, and with your talent, you'd come up with something better than you'd probably ever find.

Theresa Cheek said...

Steve and Mark....I am considering tackling this one myself too! I would be a fabulous project!

Regina at Fauxology said...

Love, love, love this post! I learned so much more and eagerly devoured each of the images. Thank you, Theresa!

Jennifer Carrasco said...

Oooeee! A cassapanca is now in my todo list. Thanks for posting this, Theresa.

E. Lee said...

Beautiful post Theresa!

patrickgracewood said...

Theresa, I agree with Mark, make your own- as a portfolio piece. ( In your spare time... but why not, especially if you have any desire to teach?)

Tho' the early ones are fabulous overall shapes, the simpler chests could be achieved with the right shaped cedar chest. Add or subtract molding, scroll saw out the upper shape, and the rest is up to your painting magic.

ceecee said...

I've always admired these but had no idea what they were called. A new word for me!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Absolutely AMAZING!
I've seen these, but not really looked.

John Gaddis said...

Theresa: All of the cassapancas you have shown are exquiiste and beautful. Thanks for including the last one on the behalf of all nature's creatures and my beloved Wildwood.

Cleta said...

Love this post, Theresa! Great to see Alison's work in there, too. I, too, am now inspired to create a cassapanca. Thanks for the inspiration.


allyson1 said...

Im loving this. Thanks Theresa!

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