chair 021

 Rare Louis XIV armchair with original gilding.  The chair is carved with scrolls, floral motifs, acanthus, and a shell in the stretcher bar under the seat. The chair is an example of one of the first French chairs to evolve from earlier turned chairs by retaining the structure, but using shaped and decorated elements instead of turnings for the legs, stretchers, and arm supports. Although worn, it is very unusual to find the original gilding surviving on a piece this early.

Count Nils Bielke, the Francophile Swedish ambassador to France (1679-82 and 1684-87) brought a group of very similar chairs to Sweden in 1682. They are the earliest French pieces by an identified royal chair maker, Nicolas Lefèvre. They are slightly less advanced than the present fauteuil, retaining the use of turned legs and stretchers. One was shown at Versailles in the exhibition 18e aux Sources du Design, chefs-d’œuvre du mobilier 1650-1790. (Literature: 18e aux Sources du Design, chefs-d’œuvre du mobilier 1650-1790 : Éditions Faton ; Dijon 2014. Nº 2, Page 62. Illustrated page 63.)

Ex Collection : Sarah Hunter Kelly

Height (ins.): 42 (107cm)      Length/Width (ins.): 26 (66cm)      Depth (ins.): 28 (72cm)
Origin: France, last quarter 17th century     Period: Louis XIV