Rare pair of small "fireside" armchairs in beech wood finely carved with flowers.
"Gondola" type model, with a circular seat resting on four legs surmounted by acanthus and featuring a scalloped front crosspiece adorned with scalloped flowers.
The whiplash armrests are extended by the uprights, they form a single piece, very fluid, because made of curves and counter-curves.
It is embellished with florets at the top as well as its junctions with the two vertical crossbars which reinforce the backrest.
Perfect state of conservation, without graft or pitting.
Traditional trim in natural horsehair, straps and goose feathers.
The two rear cross members stamped JB Boulard. *
Parisian work from the Louis XV period around 1755-1760.
Height: 82 cm; Width: 60 cm, Depth: 60 cm; Seat height: 42 cm
* The JB Boulard brand present on our pair of shepherdesses is that of Jean Baptiste Boulard (1725-1789), carpenter received master in Paris on April 17, 1754.
This is his small stamp, used at the start of his career and only present on the master's Louis XV productions. (see Count François de Salverte, The cabinetmakers of the 18th century, their works and their brands, page 33)
Boulard supplied upholsterers and a distinguished clientele, notably the Comte d'Artois for Bagatelle, the Duke of Penthièvre for the Château de Bizy. From 1775, he was one of the appointed carpenters of the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne, for the King's Menus-Plaisirs service. The most important deliveries for the Crown date from the years 1783 to 1786 when Marc-Antoine Thierry de Ville d'Avray, the new Commissioner General of the Garde-Meuble, undertook to refurnish the main royal residences. They will continue until the fall of royalty in August 1792, the “widow Boulard” and her son Benoît-François continuing the activity of the workshop in the rue de Cléry. Boulard's deliveries are mainly intended for Versailles, Marly, Montreuil, Fontainebleau, Compiègne, Rambouillet, Saint-Cloud, La Muette, Choisy, the Tuileries; to these royal houses, the service of the multiple administrations of the Crown in Paris is added.
Our opinion :
The death of King Louis XIV signals a slowing down of pomp and ceremony in favor of comfort, convenience and privacy.
This new taste and this search for well-being will be considerably accentuated with the proliferation of small apartments and boudoirs.
The fashion can and can adapt to its uses, with smaller pieces of furniture that serve a specific purpose.
The seats will not be spared by this change, with an abundance of new models, wing chairs, gondolas, sofas on the back burner, ottoman etc.
Jean Baptiste Boulard will be one of the great architects of this renewal.
Indeed if nowadays he is mainly known to have been the grand master of the Louis XVI style, he had already acquired a solid reputation under the reign of Louis XV by being chosen by the elite of the nobility, like the Duke of Penthièvre for example .
His production was very sought after, especially the shepherdesses and small sofas, area where he excelled.
We take the liberty of quoting a passage from Laurent Condamy's book “Jean Baptiste Boulard, Menuisier du Roi”.
Concerning the shepherdesses of the period 1755-1765, page 123, the author tells us: "Boulard here expresses all his talent for low and ample, comfortable seats, in a sort of leitmotif, constant throughout his activity".
It is this excellence that will allow our carpenter to become the official supplier to King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette.
The pair of bergères that we present perfectly illustrate this point, with a low seat and a large curved backrest which aim to capture the heat of the hearth and keep it so that it envelops the back of its user.
To obtain perfect strength, JB Boulard will add two additional vertical crossbars to the backrest.
This addition is typical of its production, it can also be found on a basket awning formerly in our collection.
The pair of chairs we are presenting represent the French art of living in the 18th century.
With its trio: "perfect condition / rare model / prestigious stamp", it will appeal to the most demanding collectors while remaining pleasant to use on a daily basis.
24 000 €