Henri Jacob, matre in 1779
This striking canap, with its back consisting of four elegant lyre-form chair-backs, is of a rare, possibly unique, form, perhaps originally conceived for a music room. The lyre-form voyeuse, designed with an upholstered crest-rail so a person could lean over its back to spectate music or gaming, is particularly associated with the work of Henri Jacob's celebrated cousin, Georges Jacob, who is recorded as supplying similar models to the Royal household in 1788. A group of lyre-back voyeuses was delivered by Jacob to the comte d'Artois for the salon de musique at Bagatelle. A related pair of voyeuses by Georges Jacob, supplied to Jean-Baptiste Tourteau de Septeuil, premier Valet de Chambre du Roi from 1779 to 1792, was sold Christie's Monaco, 18 June 1989, lot 188. This canap, with its straight back and unupholstered crest-rail, was most likely designed to go against the wall of the room for which it was intended. Another voyeuse, unsigned, employs the same distinctive treatment of the circular seat as on this canap, by isolating it from the uprights of the back (illustrated in M. Jarry and P. Devinoy, Le Sige Franais, Fribourg, 1973, fig. 225).