• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7784

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    10 December 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 824

    A SUITE OF EMPIRE GILTWOOD SEAT FURNITURE

    ATTRIBUTED TO JACOB-DESMALTER, CIRCA 1810

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A SUITE OF EMPIRE GILTWOOD SEAT FURNITURE
    ATTRIBUTED TO JACOB-DESMALTER, CIRCA 1810
    Comprising a canapé and four fauteuils, each with a rectangular moulded back, padded arms and seat lined with black calico, with winged female sphinx monopodiae arm supports, on quiver-shaped turned tapering legs with ball feet, the seats of the fauteuils covered à châssis, each bearing spurious stamp 'JACOB D...', two fauteuils marked 'B', two seat frames inscribed 'No 2', one inscribed 'No 6'
    The canapé: 41 in. (104 cm.) high; 48½ in. (123 cm.) wide; 23¼ in. (59 cm.) deep;
    each fauteuil: 37¾ in. (96 cm.) high; 24¼ in. (61.5 cm.) wide; 21¼ in. (54 cm.) deep (5)


    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

    The sphinx arm supports to this suite of Empire seat furniture relate to designs by Napoleon's 'architects' Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine, whose drawing in the Recueil de décorations intérieures (1801) shows an armchair of similar form. Percier and Fontaine's style was adopted by the celebrated ébéniste François-Honoré-Georges Jacob (1770-1841) dit Jacob-Desmalter, who most famously used the sphinx arm support on a suite supplied to Empress Joséphine for her chambre à coucher in 1809 (D. Ledoux-Lebard, Le Grand Trianon, Paris, 1975, p. 186). Other motifs familiar to Jacob-Desmalter's oeuvre include the tapering legs headed by distinctive acanthus-carved capitals which, together with the proportions of the seat-frame and legs, relate to a suite commissioned by Nicolas Jean de Dieu Soult, later Duc de Dalmatie (d. 1852) for his Parisian residence, the hôtel de Talleyrand-Perigord, on his appointment by Napoleon as a maréchal of France in 1804 (see Christie's, London, 5 July 2001, lot 132).

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.