New classics: Achille Salvagni’s Pompeii-inspired furniture

The Italian designer evokes the elegance of the Roman Empire

Marble-topped and 24ct-gold-plated-bronze Diomede console table (edition of six), €64,800
Marble-topped and 24ct-gold-plated-bronze Diomede console table (edition of six), €64,800

As a source of creativity, Pompeii remains as relevant today as it was during its heyday as a centre of art and culture. Witness designer and architect Achille Salvagni’s impressive new range of limited-edition furniture and lighting, which is inspired by the ancient Roman city and will be on show at his Mayfair gallery from March 10 to July 5.

Lacewood, bronze and 24ct-gold Gio Louro Faia bar cabinet (edition of six), €93,600
Lacewood, bronze and 24ct-gold Gio Louro Faia bar cabinet (edition of six), €93,600

Called simply Pompeii, the collection turns to a neo-classical painting of the Villa of Diomedes for one of its pieces, with Rome-born Salvagni paying homage to the architecture through the Diomede marble-topped console table (edition of six; €64,800), whose sweeping, curved base is crafted from 24ct-gold-plated bronze. Equally sophisticated is Gio Louro Faia (edition of six; €93,600), a handsome, double-door bar cabinet in lacewood with bronze and 24ct-gold details.

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Salvagni’s upholstered furniture is just as opulent. The Tato chaise longue (edition of 20; €34,800) is crafted from European walnut with cast-bronze details and glamorously upholstered in velvet; and a walnut bench with cast-bronze feet (edition of 10; €26,400) is generously upholstered with thick, Astrakhan wool.

Velvet, walnut and cast-bronze Tato chaise longue (edition of 20), €34,800
Velvet, walnut and cast-bronze Tato chaise longue (edition of 20), €34,800

There is lavishness too in the lighting designs. The gleaming and curvaceous Brancaleone sconce (edition of 20; €18,000) is hand-carved from onyx with polished cast-bronze details; and in the Leros ceiling light (edition of 10; €60,000), onyx demi-spheres are linked by a polished bronze “rope”.

Onyx and cast-bronze Brancaleone sconce (edition of 20), €18,000
Onyx and cast-bronze Brancaleone sconce (edition of 20), €18,000

Yet, while each of these pieces has a strong classical presence ­– thanks to the historical references and a colour palette recalling Pompeii’s sumptuous interiors – their forms are restrained, chiming with a contemporary aesthetic and making them utterly relevant for today’s interiors. “I have always been fascinated by history,” Salvagni says. “Referring to different eras allows us to open our minds and complete our vision.”

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