27 May 1999
AN UNUSUAL LOUIS XV POLYCHROME-DECORATED CANED CHAISE LONGUE (CHAISE D'AMOUR)
The padded cresting above a caned back, within a molded floral carved frame, the shaped cushion and armrests covered in close-nailed pale green floral cut velvet, above an outset rounded seatrail carved with foliate sprays, on floral-headed molded cabriole legs, retaining traces of its original polychrome decoration
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Connaissance des Arts, July 1961, p. 45
M. Jarry and P. Devinoy, Le Sige Franais, Fribourg, 1973, p. 117, fig. 97
New York, Frederick P. Victoria and Son, The Master Chair-Maker's Art: France 1710-1800, 1984, cat.13
The intriguing purpose of this distinctively shaped chaise longue was originally revealed by the celebrated Paris dealer Gaston Bensimon to Anthony Victoria, who related the occasion as follows in his 1984 exhibition catalogue:
'At the very outset, I will admit to having fashioned the name for this piece. However, its unique function required, it seemed, a specific name and one did not exist. This function, I must also say, was an enigma for a number of years. Then one day, Gaston Bensimon- one of the truly great dealers in French furniture in this century- responded with typical Gallic directness to an often repeated query. "C'est pour faire l'amour." In that moment, what might have been obvious became so.'
It is also remarkable for retaining traces of its original polychrome decoration, which with the fluid lines of its frame would have emphasized all the more its charmingly naturalistic form.
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