Pair Louis XV walnut armchairs with à chassis upholstery by Louis Cresson. The fauteuils are magnificently carved with a rich repertoire of rococo motifs including bat wings, cabochons in unsymmetrical cartouches and very unusual floral stems that seem to entwine the back’s edge molding and appear in full relief near the top. The scroll at the bottom of the foot is slanted to the side, giving the curves of the leg a dynamic beginning that is very seldom seen. The superbly formed arm rests have a voluptuous fullness and are beautifully supported on the rails with scrolls. The outside back rail is carved with a large cabochon. [One chair with an iron brace inset into the upper outside corner of the back.]
Probably originally with naturalistic polychrome paint. There is light reddish staining on some of the carved
areas which is the result of potash paint remover which was used in the past by
French restorers. There are also traces of white and blue paint on the interior.
Signed: L. Cresson Louis Cresson (1706-1761), maître 1738
The chairs are part of a group of superb French furniture given to Yale University by Archer Huntington, the stepson of Collis P. Huntington, the benefactor of the Huntington Collection in Pasadena, California. Yale has sold these pieces over a period of many years. A desk from the collection is now in The Metropolitan Museum.
Ex Collection: Rodolphe Kann (#153 in Volume II of the catalogue of his collection.) Duveen Archer Huntington Yale University
Inventory Number 217 on one chair, and on the slip seat of the other.