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Fauteuil pivotant

Armchair
1927 (designed), 1930-1933 (manufactured)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Perriand designed this tubular-steel chair before she met the architect Le Corbusier and joined his studio, in November 1927. Its first use was in the apartment that she designed for herself and her English husband Percy Scholefield, adapting a top-floor photography studio on the place Saint-Sulpice in Paris. Similar chairs had been designed by friends of hers (Rene Herbst, Djo-Bourgeois and Louis Sognot) in Paris, under the influence of designs by Marcel Breuer and Mart Stam, illustrated in design magazines in 1926-7. Perriand's design is, in visual terms, the most successful of these variants of the circular chair with tubular-steel backrest, owing to her meticulous attention to detail in the upholstery and joining of the tubular steel. However, the backrest presented an almost impossible challenge to upholsterers, as there was no way to fix the round form to the metal frame; the result was that it tended to rotate and lose its shape.

Most of the 26 chairs of this design manufactured by Labadie were upholstered in red leather. Chairs like this appeared in the dining room Perriand exhibited in 1928 at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, which, along with her 'Bar in the Attic' (1927, both of these based on rooms in her own apartment), achieved rave notices from the press: 'Overnight, I went from being practically unknown to having camera bulbs flashing in my eyes… I was the youngest, "the prettiest", "the best", and was bound to get knocked off my pedestal.' This chair was also illustrated on the cover of Adolf Schneck's exhibition catalogue Der Stuhl (The Chair) in Stuttgart, 1928.

Four of these chairs, in blue leather, were exhibited at the Salon d'Automne, when the three chairs designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand were put on display. Manufactured by Thonet from 1930 as the B302, the chair appeared in a 'luxe' leather finish and a cheaper fabric finish labelled 'serie', to indicate quantity production. In fact, more than a hundred were sold by Thonet in France and abroad from 1930 to 1932. This example was purchased by W.F. Crittall, the first manufacturer of steel-framed windows in Britain, in around 1936.


object details
Category
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 3 parts.

  • Revolving Armchair
  • Top Cover for Back
  • Seat Pad
Additional TitleSiege Tournant
Materials and Techniques
Tubular steel, leather upholstery
Brief Description
Revolving armchair with tubular steel legs and frame and red leather upholstery
Physical Description
Revolving armchair with four tubular steel legs supporting a circular revolving seat. Three tubular steel supports connect the seat to a semicircular upholstered bolster forming the arm and back rests. The seat and bolster are covered in modern red leather
Dimensions
  • Height: 73.5cm
  • Width: 57cm
  • Depth: 57cm
  • Seat height: 53cm
Approximate dimensions taken from Modernism exhibition catalogue Checked 28.1.10
Style
Production typeLimited edition
Gallery Label
  • Swivel Armchair 1928 Charlotte Perriand (1903-99) Charlotte Perriand designed this tubular steel chair before she met Le Corbusier and joined his studio. Its first use was in her own apartment. Although the metal structure suggested mass production, the design, including the upholstery, required considerable handwork. Like the furniture she designed with Le Corbusier, this chair was a luxury object. France Manufactured by Gebrüder Thonet, Frankenberg, early 1930s Tubular steel and leather upholstery V&A: W.35-1987(01/01/2006)
  • SWIVEL CHAIR Designed by Charlotte Perriand (French, born 1903) possibly in collaboration with Le Corbusier (Swiss, 1887-1965) and Pierre Jeanneret (Swiss, 1896-1967) Manufactured by Thonet Frères, Paris Tubular steel with leather upholstery 1928 Part of the original furnishings of New Farm, Great Easton, Great Dunmow, Essex, the home of Mr W.F. Critall, completed in 1934. Critall was the first and most important manufacturer of metal-framed windows in Britain. W.35-1987(1989-2006)
  • Revolving armchair 1928 Charlotte Perriand (1903–99) Germany Manufactured 1930–33 by Gebrüder Thonet, Frankenburg Tubular steel, chrome-plated Upholstery: cushion of feather and down on metal springs (original), with leather upholstery (replacement) Museum no. W.35-1987 Innovative forms of modern, ‘suspended’ seating required new approaches to springing. Here, a soft, stuffed cushion rests on 12 coil springs. Under the sitter’s weight the springs stretch slightly to give a comfortable flex, softening the rigidity of the metal frame. The frame and upholstery required considerable handwork. (01/12/2012)
Object history
In 2004 the upholstery on the chair was investigated in preparation for the Modernism exhibition in 2006. The investigation revealed that an earlier cover, probably the original one, survived under the cover on the curved back rest and that the feather and down seat cushion was probably also original to the chair. New covers, of leather stained to match the original, were supplied by the Leather Conservation Centre, Northampton, and fitted to the chair frame in the Museum. The feather and down cushion was reused for the seat and the original leather back cover packed for storage.
Production
Attribution note: The red leather upholstery was replaced in 2005 and replicates the original covers which were retained separately.
Summary
Perriand designed this tubular-steel chair before she met the architect Le Corbusier and joined his studio, in November 1927. Its first use was in the apartment that she designed for herself and her English husband Percy Scholefield, adapting a top-floor photography studio on the place Saint-Sulpice in Paris. Similar chairs had been designed by friends of hers (Rene Herbst, Djo-Bourgeois and Louis Sognot) in Paris, under the influence of designs by Marcel Breuer and Mart Stam, illustrated in design magazines in 1926-7. Perriand's design is, in visual terms, the most successful of these variants of the circular chair with tubular-steel backrest, owing to her meticulous attention to detail in the upholstery and joining of the tubular steel. However, the backrest presented an almost impossible challenge to upholsterers, as there was no way to fix the round form to the metal frame; the result was that it tended to rotate and lose its shape.



Most of the 26 chairs of this design manufactured by Labadie were upholstered in red leather. Chairs like this appeared in the dining room Perriand exhibited in 1928 at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs, which, along with her 'Bar in the Attic' (1927, both of these based on rooms in her own apartment), achieved rave notices from the press: 'Overnight, I went from being practically unknown to having camera bulbs flashing in my eyes… I was the youngest, "the prettiest", "the best", and was bound to get knocked off my pedestal.' This chair was also illustrated on the cover of Adolf Schneck's exhibition catalogue Der Stuhl (The Chair) in Stuttgart, 1928.



Four of these chairs, in blue leather, were exhibited at the Salon d'Automne, when the three chairs designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand were put on display. Manufactured by Thonet from 1930 as the B302, the chair appeared in a 'luxe' leather finish and a cheaper fabric finish labelled 'serie', to indicate quantity production. In fact, more than a hundred were sold by Thonet in France and abroad from 1930 to 1932. This example was purchased by W.F. Crittall, the first manufacturer of steel-framed windows in Britain, in around 1936.
Collection
Accession Number
W.35:1 to 3-1987

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record createdMarch 21, 2006
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