Carlo Bugatti's Cobra Chair was part of a larger suite
of furniture designed for the First International
Exhibition of Decorative Arts held in Turin in 1902.
The suite represented the pinnacle of his career.
Here Bugatti reimagined the traditional form of a
chair with its requisite rectangular back, seat, and four
legs. The circular seat and back seen in this chair are
joined by a continuous curve of shaped wood that is
covered in vellum and painted with stylized flowers,
dragonflies, and geometric shapes. The back of
Bugatti's chair is further decorated with an applied
copper disc that, together with its upright posture,
suggests the image of a rearing cobra. Although this
chair anticipated the Art Deco style of the 1930s and
subsequent 20th-century designs in metal and
bentwood, it was too radical to be widely accepted at
this early date.