Emilio Terry is rightfully recognised as one of the principal avant garde designers of the 20th Century. Born in Paris in 1890, he was the son of a wealthy Cuban planter, dividing his youth between the chateau de Chenonceau, his parent's house in the Loire, Paris and Cuba. Terry's architectural oeuvre clearly reflects his eclecticism, varying from the 1922 Bath House at Lutry - a homage to Palladio - to the 'Style Louis XVII' employed for M. Stavros Niarchos's hotel de Chanaleilles.
It was at the château de Rochecotte that Terry's 'Style Louis XVII' reached its apogee. Constructed by the marquis de Rochecotte under Louis XVI and subsequently the home of the duchesse de Dino, confidante and niece by marriage of Talleyrand, Prince de Bénévent, the château de Rochecotte was acquired by Terry in 1934 from his brother-in-law, and the duchesse de Dino's descendant, comte Stanislas de Castellane.
Collapsible campaign beds
A similar steel collapsible or folding bed by the locksmith Desouches, commissioned in 1808 and described as the bed 'in which the Emperor died on 5 May 1821' is included in the reconstruction of Napoleon's drawing room in Longwood House, Saint Helena, Les Invalides. When on campaign, Napoleon would sleep exclusively on collapsible, easily transportable beds such as the present one, so as to be able to break camp rapidly and move with his troops.
A related folding steel campaign bed - reputedly one of Napoleon's beds in St. Helena - was sold anonymously, 'Trafalgar Bicentenary, the age of Nelson, Wellington and Napoleon', Christie's, London, 19 October 2005, lot 110 (£9,840 including premium), a further related folding bed was sold from the Collection of the late Marquis de Boisgelin, Christie's, Monaco, 8 December 1990, lot 128, and another sold more recently from the Russell B. Aitkens Collection, Christie's, New York, 25 November 2003, lot 49.