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Stool

Stool

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (made)

  • Date:

    1805 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Poyet, Bernard, born 1742 - died 1824 (designer)
    Jacob-Desmalter, François-Honoré-Georges, born 1770 - died 1841 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Carved and gilded wood (probably beech), with silk satin upholstery, with embroidery and silk thread tassels on wood

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Blairman and Sons

  • Museum number:

    W.3-1956

  • Gallery location:

    Europe 1600-1815, Room 1, case CA21

This stool was designed in 1805 by the architect Bernard Poyet as part of a set used by the French emperor Napoleon I for his reception by the corps législatif after his coronation. The set, which included chairs, couches and a throne, was made by the firm of Jacob-Desmalter, who were to become large-scale suppliers to the new imperial court. They stamped their mark on the underside of the stools.

The crossed sword motif was particularly appropriate for the new power, which had been founded on military success. The bills for the stools list them as ‘à sabres antiques’. Mameluke sabres of this type were very fashionable in the Empire period. The stools are also marked underneath with inventory marks for the royal Château de Saint Cloud, just outside Paris, where they were presumably moved during the 19th century. The elegant silk upholstery was at one time thought to be original but is now believed to have been added during the reign of Napoleon III (1852–1871).

Physical description

A stool of carved and gilded wood (probably beech), in a design of two pairs of crossed swords, the seat upholstery covered in pale blue satin, the loose squab cushion decorated with embroidery of palmettes, the short sides of the stool hung with a complex fringe of tassels of silk thread worked over wooden cores. The upholstery was almost certainly re-done in the period of the Second Empire (1855-70)

Place of Origin

Paris (made)

Date

1805 (made)

Artist/maker

Poyet, Bernard, born 1742 - died 1824 (designer)
Jacob-Desmalter, François-Honoré-Georges, born 1770 - died 1841 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Carved and gilded wood (probably beech), with silk satin upholstery, with embroidery and silk thread tassels on wood

Marks and inscriptions

JACOB D.R.
RUE MESLEE
Stamp of firm of François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter, used between 1803 and 1813.

St. C. 215/3
Inventory mark of the Château de Saint Cloud

1073 [in red]
Inventory mark for Château de Saint Cloud

M.I.
Inventory mark

1465 [erased]
Inventory mark

587
Inventory mark

CHATEAU / DE ST.CLOUD
Impressed on underside of one side rail (the same rail as marked '587')

Dimensions

Height: 92.2 cm, Width: 91.5 cm, Depth: 44.2 cm

Object history note

Designed by the architect Bernard Poyet (1742-1834), as part of a set of seat furniture, including a throne, for the reception of the Emperor Napoleon by the corps législatif after his coronation in 1805. The stool was one of four. Later the set must have been removed to the Château de Saint Cloud, where it was presumably re-upholstered during the period of the Second Empire (1852-71). Another of the set (with modern yellow damask upholstery) was illustrated in 2002 by Michel Beurdely, in Georges Jacob (1739-1814) et son temps (Château de Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau: Éditions Monelle Hayot, 2002), p. 100.

Descriptive line

Of carved and gilded wood, the frame designed as four crossed swords in scabbards, the seat and its loose cushion upholstered in silk satin with embroidery and complex fringing

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Bonaparte et l'escaut: Le spectaculaire développement d'Anvers à l'époque française, Exhibition Catalogue (Museum aan de Stroom, Antwerp, 2013) cat. 198, illus. pp. 138 & 187.
Elizabeth Miller and Hilary Young, eds., The Arts of Living. Europe 1600-1815. V&A Publishing, 2015. ISBN: 978 1 85177 807 2, illustrated p. 128.

Labels and date

Stool
1805

This stool was part of a set made for the reception of Napoleon by the corps législatif after his coronation as emperor. The set also included chairs, couches and a throne. The crossed-sword motif was particularly appropriate for the new power, which had been founded on military success. Curved sabres of this type were adopted by cavalry officers, inspired by the scimitars of the Mamluk warriors they fought in Egypt.

France (Paris)
Made in the workshop of Jacob-Desmalter
Designed by Bernard Poyet
Gilded wood, probably beech; later silk satin upholstery
Given by Blairman & Sons
[09/12/2015]
STOOL

W.3-1956

This stool bears a series of inventory marks for the Château de Saint-Cloud, and the maker's stamp 'JACOB D.R. MESLEE'. It is one of seven delivered to the Corps Legislatif in Paris in 1805. They were described as 'à sabres antiques' and cost 80 francs each.

Given by H. Blairman & Sons [1987-2006]

Materials

Giltwood; Satin; Passementerie

Techniques

Carved; Upholstered; Embroidered

Subjects depicted

Palmettes; Swords

Categories

Furniture

Collection

Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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