Jean-Baptiste Bernard Demay, maître in 1784.
The first public demonstration of a lighter-than-air machine took place on 4 June 1783, when the brothers Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier, sent up an unmanned hot-air balloon. It was a highly important event; jewelers, clockmakers and porcelain manufactories created pieces where such a balloon featured as main ornament. Two menuisiers decided to use the shape of the balloon to create fashionable chairs: Jean Baptiste Demay and Georges Jacob; and in 1784 the latter delivered to the château des Tuileries balloon-carved chairs destined for the apartements of Queen Marie-Antoinette. A pair of closely related chairs is in the musée Carnavalet in Paris (illustrated A. Foray-Carlier, Le Mobilier du Musée Carnavalet, Dijon, 2000, no. 75).