6 Fauteuils "à la Reine"
by René Cresson (circa 1705- before 1745) known as "Cresson l'Aîné"
Master in 1738
Paris circa 1740, Carved natural walnut
H. 98 cm x W. 71 cm x D. 60 cm
The Cresson family was one of the greatest French dynasties of carpenters in the 18th century. The eldest Cresson was the first to sign his work; Died aged around 40, he had the rarest production. His work represents a sort of transition between the Louis XIV and Louis XV eras, and is characterized by noble lines and proportions. His sculpture is deep and richly treated, and his hand is particularly recognizable in the staples and moving projections that adorn belts and backrests, as in this series.
The exceptional character of this series is based on a conjunction of four remarkable features:
- Large series of armchairs, 6 or more, are rare today, having often been disassociated.
- This is a richly carved model, with a wide seat and flat back.
- The condition of the 6 barrels is particularly good, with no cast-in feet, no crosspieces changed or resealed.
- The 6 armchairs are signed on their back crosspieces by a master carpenter from the first half of the 18th century.
The lines of these seats are perfectly defined. The backrests are slightly higher than they are wide, and their high crosspieces are well shouldered and richly carved. The camber of the legs is vigorous, in keeping with the sober, classical style of the early Louis XV period. Of particular note is the superb treatment of the feet, with a wrap-around hoof sculpture in the shape of a triple-ball acanthus leaf. Nicolas Heurtaut's feet are sometimes decorated in this way. Finally, the crosspieces are particularly well worked, with the rich staples typical of Cresson l'Ainé.
These seats have just undergone a complete restoration, in joinery and upholstery, by the best specialized craftsmen we have. The fabric is made by Rubelli and the trimmings are custom-made.