The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Armchair
  • Armchair
  • Georges Jacob (1739 - 1814)
  • France
  • c. 1780
    1985 (Upholstered with 19th Century Beauvais tapestries)
    1985 (Upholstered with watered silk lampas)
  • Birch, carved, gilded and partly painted white, modern striped silk lampas, gimp, cord and checked chair backing
  • Object size: 99.7 x 67.5 x 58 cm
  • F198
  • West Room
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • One of a set of one sofa (canapé), eight armchairs (fauteuils) and two small settees (causeuses) (F193-203) with fixed upholstery, with separate seat cushions on the sofa and settees, now covered with modern coral, cream and white-striped, watered silk lampas. The frames are stamped by Georges Jacob (1739-1814), a menuisier and cabinet-maker who produced many pieces of furniture for Marie-Antoinette and the royal court of Louis XVI. Later on he and his son, François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841) worked for Napoleon.
    The quality of the carving is very high: the neo-classical frames all have rectangular backs carved with an outer border of pearls, a border of leaf husks and an inner border of waterleaves. At the centre of each back is a volute surmounted by an open seed-pod and flanked by sprays of roses. The arms and legs are carved with acanthus leaves, a recurring motif in neo-classical design.
    Prior to 1981 the set was covered with nineteenth-century Beauvais tapestries showing pastoral trophies, baskets of fruit, vases of flowers and military trophies framed by looped-up curtains and pendant tassels (these are now stored in the Reserve Gallery). The removal of the tapestry covers did not reveal any traces of previous covers, although the seats had clearly been upholstered before the tapestries were applied.