Jeanne Tachard was introduced to Legrain's extraordinary talents by Jacques Doucet. Like Doucet, Tachard was an avid collector of African art, but the designs produced by Legrain for the Tachard's two Paris apartments (1920/21) and shortly afterwards for Mme. Tachard's villa at Celle-Saint-Cloud show a quite different approach from those produced under the influence of Doucet's own, very specific aesthetic requirements.
For the Tachards, Legrain was given free rein to create some of his greatest works, where the influences of Africanism and Cubism were perfectly distilled to produce Legrain's unique style - a combination of simplicity, luxury and inescapable modernism.
The exterior of the Tachards' 'modern' (namely 20th century) villa was vernacular and suburban in appearance. For the interior, however, Legrain created three floors of unsurpassed genius, one of the truly great modernist schemes of the period.
The verandah overlooking the garden, for which the present stool in this and the following lot were created, was also re-designed by Legrain, and in itself attracted much acclaim from critics of the day. In this spare, almost ascetic space, the two stools were placed by a simple table, draped with animal skins and set on the broadly squared floor.
The use of white gold leaf and lacquer for the surface decoration, contrasting with chromed metal wrapped around the massive iron handles, is pure Legrain. His taste for the inventive and unexpected often led to cries of despair from the craftsmen who were to execute his designs. "But Mr. Legrain, it's not possible..it's never been done before!" they would exclaim. To which Legrain is said to have calmly replied, "I sincerely hope not..", before patiently showing them precisely how it could indeed be done.