Giovanni Socci Does Transformer Furniture. In 1810

transformer socci open photo

We love transformer furniture that serves multiple functions; it saves space and lets you do more with less. We have shown few as complex as this desk by Giovanni Socci et fils, made in 1810 and seen at the Louvre in Paris. Note the three-legged chair on the wood slide-out base:

transformer socci closed photo

Gone, it disappears right into the furniture. The drawing board and inkwell holders drop down and the sides slide in.

transformer socci from below photo

From below, one can see the complexity of the mechanism.

transformer socci detail photo

closeup of the top.


I tried to find more information on Giovanni Socci and the desk, but all I could find was another one, not as nicely finished, at the Case Museo di Milano where they write:

This beautiful Empire-style piece of furniture hides a complex closure mechanism, which permits it to fold into itself around the book rest, the lateral wings and the seat.

One source noted that the Napoleonic Wars were the heyday of transformer furniture, as officers liked to travel in style. TreeHugger has shown campaign furniture designed for this, but this desk doesn't look like it was built for travelling; more likely it was designed for the reasons we do transformer designs today- to look good when the room is used for formal purposes, but then adapting when the guests are gone to perform other tasks.

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