These chairs, in the manner of Syrie Maugham and Serge Roche, were originally part of a larger set supplied to Doris Duke in the late 1930s for the Dining Room at Shangri La, Honolulu. They can be seen in situ in photographs from c. 1938-1940. In the early 1960s the Dining Room was remodeled in a Persian style and these chairs, along with the table bases in the following lot, were brought to Doris Duke's New York apartment. Additional chairs were used to furnish the Men's and Women's Dressing Rooms in the Hollywood Wing at Duke Farms. The mollusk shell wall sconces visible in the photograph were also probably brought to New Jersey after the remodeling of the Shangri La Dining Room and are now in the Pool Room at Duke Farms (lot 912).
André Hammel was a famous antiquaire and furniture collector, whose collection was well known to museum curators and furniture enthusiasts. He owned Ramsay, an interior design firm and retailer operating in Paris from the 1930s through the 1970s. He contributed a number of pieces of furniture to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in 1961. A portion of the collection of André and Lydie Hammel was sold by Tajan, Paris, in December 2001.