The present set of dining-chairs derives from the montgolfière or hot air balloon, first launched by the frères Montgolfier in 1783.
Such a highly important event inspired jewelers, clockmakers and porcelain manufactories to craft pieces with the balloon featured as the main ornament. The two foremost menuisiers Jean Baptiste Demay (maître in 1784) and Georges Jacob (maître in 1765), incorporated the novel Montgolfière creation into their latest chair models, Jacob having in 1784 delivered balloon-carved chairs for the appartements of Queen Marie-Antoinette at the château des Tuileries.
A fauteuil à la montgolfière by Demay was sold from the Wildenstein Collection, Christie's, 14-15 December 2005, lot 179 (£26,400), while a pair of closely related chairs by the menuisier is in the Musée Carnavalet in Paris (illustrated A. Foray-Carlier, Le Mobilier du Musée Carnavalet, Dijon, 2000, no. 75).
P. Kjellberg illustrates a closely related pair of chairs by Jacob (Les Ebénistes Français du XVIIIè Siècle, Paris, 2002, p. 469, fig. e).