Arader Galleries

Pair of Directoire Painted and Parcel Gilt Fruitwood Curule-Form Armchairs

$ 18,000.00
Pair of Directoire Painted and Parcel Gilt Fruitwood Curule-Form Armchairs
Circa 1795
W. 24.5” D. 25” H. 35”
$18,000 For the Pair

Possibly German, each with a scrolling backrest above down swept arms ending in fluted supports and ball-form finials, continuing to x-form supports ending in paw-carved feet. The undersides inscribed in black ink 5 and 6 to one, and 11 and 12 to the other.

This pair of finely-sculpted fauteuils are supported by curule-form bases and reflect the antique influence of the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum, as well as Napoleon’s Egyptian campaigns of 1798 as popularized Baron Vivant-Denon in his Voyage dans la Basse et la Haute Egypte published in 1802. This new vocabulary of ornament was quickly adopted by ornamenistes such as Charles Parcier and Pierre-Francois-Leonard Fontaine, architects and designers to Napoleon I. A drawing for a very similar chair by Charles Percier, which was intended as a model for Georges Jacob, is reproduced in D. Ledoux-Lebard, Le Mobilier Francias du XIXe Siecle 1795-1889, Paris, p. 283 and 331. A set of four chairs of the same model in mahogany was sold from the Segoura Collection, Christie’s New York, 19 October 2006, lot 204. The use of fruitwood in these chairs instead of mahogany may indicate either manufacture outside the environs of Paris, or perhaps in Germany, where fruitwood was much more often used in high-style furniture. The combination of lighter fruitwood with darkest green paint used to imitate antique bronze is particularly successful in these elegant chairs.