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The anthemion-carved back on arms of carved lion heads with serpents tails, on tapering circular legs, covered in beige suede, stamped G IACOB and with the brand of Fontainebleau inscribed FON and with further Restauration brand of three fleurs de lys within an oval, with a black stenciled inventory number 4(?)909 and stamped PALAIS DES TUILERIES, originally with papier peint decorating the crest-rail
Almost certainly part of a suite of seat furniture supplied by Georges Jacob in 1793 for the bureau du Président of the Convention
The suite sent by the Garde Meuble de l'Assemblée Nationale in 1796 to the Directoire Exécutif at the Palais de Luxembourg.
The suite sent in 1800 to the Palais des Tuileries.
Part of the suite (including the chair offered here) sent to the Château de Fontainebleau circa 1810-1817.
(For other chairs from the suite):
D. Ledoux-Lebard, Les Ébénistes Parisiens: 1795-1870, 1965, pl. XLIII, p. 259.
L. de Gröer, Les Arts Décoratifs de 1790 à 1850, Fribourg, 1985, p. 22, fig. 27.
Sale Room Notice
Another closely related model of this chair by Georges Jacob is in the collection of the Musée Marmottan, Paris.

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Lot Essay

Georges Jacob, maître in 1765.

The impressive à l'antique form of this superb armchair would have harmonized perfectly with the desire in the early years of the Directorate, following Louis XVI's execution in 1793, to return to the rigorous, sober aesthetic of ancient Rome, in contrast to what were perceived as the frivolities of the ancien régime.

After the fall of the monarchy, on 10 August 1792, the committees of the Convention installed themselves in the private apartments of the former sovereigns. The National Convention held its meetings in the former Salle des Machines of Louis XIV, which had been transformed in 1792 by the architeect Jacques-Pierre Gisors.

One 15 May 1793, George Jacob sent a bill to the architect of the Palais National, Jacques-Pierre Gisors, for 500 livres for the "fourniture des fauteuils du bureau du Président."

In 1796 this set of chairs was sent to the Directoire Exécutif, when they were described in great details as follows:

"Dix fauteuils en bois d'acajou de grande forme, dossier à planche, avec camées et traverse à culot et palmettes. Les accotoires en gueule de lion; les dits sièges couverts en étoffe de crin rayée, marquée ASS. NAT., no. ...."

The chairs were returned in 1800 to the apartments of the consuls at the Palais des Tuileries, and then part of the suite was sent to the Château de Fontainbleau between 1810 and 1817.

An inventory of 1817 at Fontainebleau records in the salon of an apartment of the aile des Princes "un canapé, huit fauteuils et dix chaises.

An 1856 inventory of Fontainebleau records "un canapé dossier à palmettes, accotoirs à serpents, deux fauteuils et dix chaises identiques."

The group was returned to the Garde Meuble of Paris in 1869 and in 1885 was dispersed.

Hector Lefuel, in Georges Jacob, 1923, ed. Morancé, indicated that in the collection of Eugène Rouart, two fauteuils from the suite were illustrated complete with their original papier peint decoration to the crest-rail. One of the fauteuils belonging to M. Rouart bore the Fontainbleau stamp.

Four fauteuils, probably from the same suite and with the Tuileries stamp, were sold Paris, 16 March 1967, lot 107.

Two additional examples are at the Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau.

A pair of fauteuils from the suite, one with the Fontainebleau brand, was sold from the collection of Pierre Delbée, Christie's, Monaco, 11 December 1999, lot 510 (FF892,500 = $133,875).

Pierre Delbée (1900-1974) was, from 1961, the President of the famed interior decorating firm Maison Jansen. Jansen had been founded in Paris at 9, rue Royale in 1880 by Jean-Henri Jansen (1854-1928), and by the early 20th century, the firm was producing period interiors that matched the ambitions and tastes of their elite clientele that included families such as the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts and King Leopold of Belgium. It was Delbée, however, who established what is known now as the Jansen look: a union of 18th century French hôtel particulier historicism, 1920s timeless Hollywood theatricality and English country house subtlety. His projects included the Elysée Palace and the Shah of Iran's tented palace at Persepolis to celebrate 2,500 years of continuous rule.

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