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Chair

Chair

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1805 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jacob-Desmalter (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved mahogany and beech, upholstered in green rayon damask, gilt bronze mounts

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mrs T. R. P. Hole, from the collection of Bettine, Lady Abingdon

  • Museum number:

    W.10A-1987

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This chair is very simple in design but was made by the largest and best-known furniture-making firm in Paris in the 1800s. The firm, Jacob-Desmalter, had been founded in 1765 by Georges Jacob, who supplied carved furniture and chairs for Queen Marie Antoinette (1755-93) before the French Revolution. During the revolutionary years Jacob took care to maintain favour with whichever government currently ruled France. In 1796 his sons took over the business, and in 1803 the firm of Jacob Frères changed its name to Jacob-Desmalter. The Emperor Napoleon spent huge sums on redecorating the former royal palaces, and the firm undertook much of the work. Its workshops also supplied furniture to members of the new imperial court.

This chair was part of the furnishings ordered by the military hero Marshal Ney (1769–1815) for his house in Paris, the Hôtel de Saisseval. The inventory of the house taken after Ney’s execution in 1815 listed the furniture of the Petit Salon as mahogany with upholstery of blue brocaded satin. The current green upholstery was probably put onto the chairs in the 1950s.

Physical description

Chair of mahogany, with beech seat rails, with gilt-bronze mounts and upholstered in green rayon damask. The chair is of very simple form, with rectangular-sectioned legs, uprights and back frame. The front legs have small paw feet carved in mahogany. The front seat rail is set with a central roundel, flanked by symmetrical flower and foliage. The front of the seat rail, above each leg, is set with a gilt-bronze paterae and sixteen smaller versions of this mount are equally spaced around the frame of the back.

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

ca. 1805 (made)

Artist/maker

Jacob-Desmalter (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Carved mahogany and beech, upholstered in green rayon damask, gilt bronze mounts

Marks and inscriptions

JACOB D
R MESLEE
1) Makers's mark; Roman capitals; Stamped under front rail; Stamping

Marechal Ney/ Petit Salon
Marshal Ney/ Small Salon
Label; French; Cursive; Inside back rail

Dimensions

Height: 91 cm, Width: 48 cm, Depth: 45 cm, Height: 45 cm To top of seat, Height: 33 cm To base of seat (front), Width: 40 cm Between base of front legs

Descriptive line

French, 1803-13, mahogany, Jacob, Ney Collection

Materials

Mahogany; Beech; Gilt-bronze; Gilt bronze; Damask

Techniques

Joinery; Carving; Upholstered

Categories

Furniture

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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