These crisply carved fauteuils, with their boldly scrolling front legs and strong neo-classical ornament, embody the Transitional style of the 1760's and early 1770's.
When sold in 1959, these and a further pair of fauteuils, also unstamped, were accompanied by a matching canapé stamped by the menuisier François Claude Menant. Menant did not receive his maîtrise until 1786, although his workshop was in the rue de Charenton, an endroit privilegié free of the restrictions of the guild systems where craftsmen could operate without having to employ the guild's stamps, so it is possible he could have executed these fauteuils at an earlier date. However the presence of a further pair of bergeres of the same model stamped by another menuisier, Jacques Audry (previously in the collection of Antenor Patiño and subsequently sold from the Alexander Collection, Christie's, New York, 30 April 1999, lot 49 and 'Le Pavillon Chougny', Christie's House Sale, London, 9-10 December 2004, lot 429) might indicate that a marchand mercier was ultimately responsible for this progressive design.
THELMA CHRYSLER FOY
Thelma Chrysler Foy, elder daughter of Walter Chrysler, was a celebrated society hostess, dubbed by the New York Times as 'the woman of the greatest taste...in New York'. Her spectacular residences included an apartment at 740 Park Avenue, a town house on 91st Street originally built by the Vanderbilts, and a country estate in Locust Valley. All were furnished with a dazzling array of French Impressionists and 18th century French furniture, much of which was supplied by Robert Samuels of French and Company.