The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Armchair
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1785
    19th century (embroidery)
    1971 (new white seating covers)
  • Beechwood, carved and gilded, silk, satin, gimp and polyester net
  • Object size: 103.7 x 66 x 57.5 cm
  • F239
  • Back State Room
Further Reading
  • Oval-backed armchair (fauteuil) with carved and gilt beechwood frame, upholstered, with fixed back, seat and armpads covered in silk embroidery of birds and flowers, now applied to a modern white satin ground and edged with modern gimp. The embroidery is probably nineteenth-century, the design suggesting the influence of Chinese textiles or wallpapers. In 1971 the embroidery was taken off its old satin backing and reapplied to the new white satin covers, and in 1989 the embroidery was netted.
    This chair is virtually the same model as an armchair in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, attributed to Georges Jacob (1739-1814) and dated 1785, and there are similarities with the armchair made by Jacob for Marie-Antoinette's boudoir at Fontainebleau in c.1787, notably the columns surmounted by flames. However, the invention of this kind of column is probably due to Jacques Gondoin (1737-1818), an architect and designer for the Garde Meuble de la Couronne who designed chairs and armchairs with such columns for Marie-Antoinette's Pavillon du Rocher at the Petit Trianon. The Pavillon du Rocher chairs which were made by François Foliot in 1780-1. The carving on this Wallace Collection chair is of a quality fit for a member of the Royal house.