A charming pair of black lacquer and polychrome painted chinoiserie side chairs retaining their original decorative seat coverings

Probably French. Mid Nineteenth Century.


Height: 35" (89 cm); Width: 16 1/2" (41.9 cm); Depth: 16" (40.6 cm); Seat height: 17" (43.2 cm).

Of black and polychrome lacquer wood. Each surmounted by a shaped pagoda-form cresting rail painted with floral motifs and a dragon on each end and hung with three bells and centered by a leonine patinated bronze mask mount. The backrests comprised of four turned posts centered by a seated male figure. The rectangular seat with original red upholstery above a shaped apron also hung with bells and centered by a patinated bronze lion mask. The whole raised on four legs, the rear legs of sabre form and the front legs turned and downswept, all joined by a conforming box stretcher. Lacking one single bell under center of each seat rail, which can easily be replaced. 

The present pair of chairs belongs to a group of French chinoiserie black lacquered furniture produced during a brief Golden Age in France, when exoticism and eclecticism were fluently intermixed under the patronage of luxury goods purveyors. The Chinese-inspired motifs in these chairs are not confined only to the painted decoration, which includes a dragons at the ears of the backrest and seated male figure in a meditative pose at the center of each backsplat, but extends to the pagoda-form cresting rail and bells which hang throughout it’s construction. The present chairs are also remarkable in that they retain their original red covering with applied colored felt decoration which includes fictive Chinese calligraphic characters.

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.