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Louis XVI acajou suite consisting of two armchairs and a canapé
Superb late Louis XVI acajou suite consisting of four armchairs and a canapé, attributed to Georges Jacob, circa 1790.  The exceptionally well carved pieces rest on finely spiraled legs raised on high toupie feet with unusual Egyptian style capitals composed of three overlapping layers of leaves. The rails are exquisitely carved with daisy-like flowers having eight petals in double molded rings separated by flowers with four petals between delicate vertical stems terminating in three round seeds. Each straight armrest terminates in a gadrooned urn on the top surface and is supported by a well carved seated sphinx figure whose braided hair is knotted to become a necklace. (This unusual feature also appears on the Egyptian busts found on the Louis XVI painted and gilded set made for Marie-Antoinette at Saint-Cloud by Sené. Part of the set is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.) Each scrolled backrest of the chairs is carved on the outside surfaces with laurel leaves and seeds, on the inside with stylized scrolled vines, and on the back cross member with alternating anthemia and Egyptianized floral motifs.  The back saber form legs are of square section. There is a large space between the backrest and seat, probably for fringe. The rear rail of one chair has incised lines laying out the pattern of the rail molding. [Small chips.]

 Louis XVI Furniture: S. de Ricci; Heinemann, London, N.D. Plate 224
Le Siège en France: G. Janneau and M. Jarry: Hartmann: Paris, 1948. Plate 267
 Le Siège Français: M. Jarry and P. Devinoy; Office du Livre, Switzerland, 1973. Page 274, Plate 276. A detail of the arm support is on the back dustcover.
Apollo Magazine: May 1999 in an article about Jacques Doucet.

Ex collection:
    Jacques Doucet (Galerie Georges Petit: Volume 3; June 7-8, 1912. Lot 295)
    Marius Paulme       

Fauteuils from the suite are in the Chicago Art Institute and the Minneapolis Museum of Art. One is signed Jacob. A very similar, but slightly later chair, in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, is attributed to Georges Jacob and dated circa 1790. Several drawings of very similar fauteuils, also in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, are by Jean-Démosthène Dugourc, the probable designer of the suite.

Height (ins.): [Chair] 37.5 (95 cm) [Sofa] 38.5 ( 98 cm)      Length/Width (ins.): [Chair] 24.5 (62 cm) [Sofa] 76 (193 cm)     
Origin: France, late 18th century     Period: Louis XVI



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