• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7841

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    29 April 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 180

    A LOUIS XVI WHITE-PAINTED ARMCHAIR

    BY JEAN-BAPTISTE BOULARD, CIRCA 1785

    Price Realised  

    A LOUIS XVI WHITE-PAINTED ARMCHAIR
    BY JEAN-BAPTISTE BOULARD, CIRCA 1785
    The rectangular moulded back, padded arms and seat covered in close-nailed light brown leather, the curved arm supports with spiral terminals, on turned tapering and stop-fluted legs headed by floral paterae and terminating in toupie feet, with the inventory brand for the château de Fontainebleau, inscribed '733/0/6', 'pour le grand cabinet du Ministre a fontainebleau', and further inscribed '10' three times
    37 in. (94 cm.) high; 26 in. (66 cm.) wide; 22 in. (56 cm.) deep


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    This elegant fauteuil by Jean-Baptiste Boulard (maître in 1755) is branded with the crowned F for the château de Fontainebleau followed by '733/0/6' and further inscribed 'pour le grand cabinet du Ministre a fontainebleau'. The latter inscription corresponds to the grand cabinet of Louis Charles Auguste le Tonnelier, baron de Breteuil, baron de Preuilly (7 March 1730 - 2 November 1807).
    Breteuil, a French aristocrat, diplomat and politician, was appointed ministre et secrétaire d'Etat de la Maison du Roi (or Minister of the King's Household) in 1783 before becoming premier ministre in 1789, only 2 days before the storming of the Bastille.
    Boulard, who worked almost exclusively for the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne from 1777, supplied a plethora of seats to the Crown at Versailles, the Tuileries, Fontainebleau and Saint-Cloud, receiving a significant number of Royal commissions for Fontainebleau between 1784 and 1789. The present fauteuil can be related to three further examples supplied by the menuisier for the service de M. le Baron de Breteuil under the numéro d'ordre 384 of 22 September 1785 and described as '3 fauteuils meublants aussi cintrés pareils à un modèle pris dans le magasin, 15 livres pièce' (Ibid, p. 254). Interestingly, it is under the same number, the numéro 733 des meubles d'étoffe that six fauteuils, including two à carreaux and covered with damas des Indes are recorded in the cabinet du ministre (Ibid, p. 255).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Louis Charles Auguste le Tonnelier, baron de Breteuil, baron de Preuilly, château de Fontainebleau.
    S.V.V. Pillet, Lyons-la-Forêt, 13 March 2005, lot 361.


    Literature

    L. Condamy, Jean-Baptiste Boulard, Menuisier du Roi, Dijon, 2008, p. 255 (illustrated).