Jean-Baptiste Cresson, matre in 1741
Designed in the early Louis XV 'pittoresque' style, this suite of seat-furniture reflects the influence of the influential ornemaniste Juste-Aurle Meissoneir, such as featured in his design for a related fauteuil in the Muse des Arts Dcoratifs, Paris. Such 'pittoresque' ornament in the carving of the frames was further enhanced by the contemporary Beauvais tapestry covers, which are inspired by La Fontaine's fables.
With their distinctive pomegranate spray cartouche to the center of the seatrail, this suite typifies the oeuvre of the Cresson dynasty of menuisiers, founded by Charles and Jean Cresson during the Rgence. Established in the rue de Clry, Jean-Baptiste was the son of Charles, but in both shape and ornament, his seat-furniture shares much with that of his cousins Ren, Louis I and Michel.
A related suite of seat-furniture by Pre Gourdin was sold anonymously at Christie's London, 15 June 1995, lots 16-19.
Jean de la Fontaine (1621-95) is best known for his Fables choisies, mises en vers, a collection of 12 books with 230 fables drawn largely from Aesop. Each fable comments on human behavior through the actions of the protagonist animals. With an appealingly simple charm, the fables have been popular with children, though many are sophisticated and serious observations of French society. A restless dilettante as a youth, de la Fontaine settled in Paris, eventually living in the household of one of his patrons, Mme de La Sablihre.