The front of this handsome oak credenza, or sideboard, is divided into halves by three pilasters. Each half is outfitted with a drawer and a door below. The decorative and functional components are artfully arranged across the front of the piece to form a balanced composition of repeated geometric shapes and harmonious proportions.
The Italian word "credenza" derives from the medieval Latin "credentia" (loosely translated as "security given"). The word refers to a centuries-old practice favored by lords and ladies accustomed to the treacheries of court intrigue. Food brought from the kitchen was first set on a credenza (or sideboard) near the dining table where it was tasted by a servant to protect the nobles from poisoning by their enemies.
Signed, l.l. margin: Cavalier Piranesi F. Watermark: Hind, p. 34, Pl. I, 3 Title on stone towards l. below: Avanzi d'un portico coperto, o criptoportico in una Villa di Domiziano cinque miglia lontan da Roma su la via di Frascati.