Jean-Baptiste Boulard, maître in 1754.
Boulard worked almost exclusively for the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne from 1777, supplying a plethora of menuiserie to the Crown at Versailles, the Tuileries, Fontainebleau and Saint-Cloud. In 1785, he delivered a suite of thirty-six chairs carved by Jean Hauré for the Salon des Jeux at Versailles and in 1786 collaborated with fellow menuisier Jean-Baptiste Sené (maître in 1769), with whom he shared many Royal commissions, to deliver a suite of twelve dining-chairs for the salle à manger of Louis XVI at Versailles (P. Verlet, Le Mobilier Royal Français, vol.I, pp. 81-83, n.31, pl XLV).
An apparently identical chair was illustrated from the L'Arcade Collection in M. Jarry, op.cit., 1973. The March chair does, however, seem to be conclusively identifiable with that from the Redé/Rothschild sale in 1975 if one compares the catalogue illustrations, where there are several identifiable shared markings - although for some reason the Redé/Rothschild catalogue desciption failed to mention the inventory marks to the underside. These marks appear to date from the 19th century and imply a large inventory, probably a Royal palace. The chair in the Redé/Rothschild sale was upholstered in leopard print, apparently subsequently changed by Pierre Delbée, it still retains blue silk lining to the basket beneath the seat. The basket was probably designed for storing needlework.
THE HÔTEL LAMBERT
This chair formerly stood in the fabled collection of Baron Guy de Rothschild and Baron de Redé. The hôtel Lambert is one of the most famous hôtel particulier in Paris. It was designed by the architect Louis Le Vau and built between 1640 and 1644, originally for the financier Jean-Baptiste Lambert (d. 1644) and continued by his younger brother Nicolas Lambert. The interiors were decorated by the foremost painters Charles Le Brun and Eustache Le Sueur. In the 1740s, the Marquise du Châtelet and Voltaire, her lover, used the hôtel as their Paris residence. The Marquise was famed for her salon there. Later, the Marquis du Châtelet sold the hôtel Lambert to Claude Dupin and his wife, who carried on the tradition of the salon. In 1843 the palace was bought by members of the Czartoryskis family. Among the notable guests and patrons of the hôtel Lambert were some of the most notable artists and politicians of the epoch, including Frédéric Chopin, Honoré de Balzac, Hector Berlioz, Franz Liszt, Eugène Delacroix. Chopin's 'La Polonaise' was composed exclusively for the Polish ball held there every year. In the 20th century the hôtel Lambert was discreetly split into several luxurious apartments; it was once the home of Mona von Bismarck and of the Baron Alexis de Redé - who lived on the ground floor from 1949 until his death in 2004. With Arturo Lopez-Wilshaw, Redé sought out appropriately splendid furniture and works of art, always chosen with great connoisseurship, for the magnificent enfilade of rooms, which were decorated with the help of Georges Geffroy and Victor Grandpierre. The hôtel was also famous for it's parties, among the most glamourous of the 20th Century. In 1956, the Bal des Têtes was held at the hôtel, launching the career of Yves Saint Laurent.