11684

A VERY RARE SET OF FOURTEEN MAHOGANY DINING CHAIRS, THE CIRCULAR BACKS CONTAINING THE WHEAT SHEAF AND SICKLE EMBLEMATIC OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION

Paris. Late Eighteenth Or First Half Of The Nineteenth Century. Six Of These Chairs Old But Later In Date.

Measurements

Height: 36 1/2" (92.7 cm); Width: 18 1/4" (46.4 cm); Depth: 17" (43.2 cm); Height of seat 18 1/2" (47 cm).

Research
Of mahogany. Each chair with molded circular back centered by a pierced finely carved wheat sheaf and sickle motif. The back supported by two fluted uprights joined by a plain bar. The shaped upholstered seat rests upon a paneled frieze with carved stylized flower heads and a punched ground to each front curved corner. The whole raised on four slender fluted legs above a reeded bulb capital. Old restorations in line with age and use.

The highly individual design of the present set of chairs is a product of the brief period just after the French Revolution when a severe, pared down aesthetic look took hold, as a reaction to the indulgent opulence of the prior Ancien Régime. According to the French eighteenth century furniture historian André Theunissen, who describes the present model of chair as “extremely intriguing,” they may have formed “part of a highly important set of furniture intended to be used by members of the Assembly established after the National Convention,”1 which would date the chairs to circa 1792–93.

Footnotes:
1. Theunissen, André. Meubles et sièges du XVIIIe siècle ; menuisiers, ébénistes, marques, plans et ornementation de leurs œuvres. Paris : Éditions “Le Document”, 1934.

Research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.