Offered by Galerie Pellat de Villedon
Furniture, works of art and paintings
Set of four rare gilded and carved wood armchairs with bretted decorations on the whole frame, foliage on the shoulders. The central crosspiece of the seat and the high crosspiece of the backrest are decorated with a bubble clip. The shape of the backrest and the seat are made of curves and counter-curves. Each of the armchairs rests on four arched legs topped with pleated fans. The backs of the seats are engraved with shells decorations.
Elegant modern upholstery
Restorations of use, seats gilded
H. 98 x W. 67 x D. 58 cm
All four armchairs are stamped " Tilliard ". This stamp refers to a very famous line of Parisian carpenters. It was used by Jean-Baptiste I (1686-1766), by his brother Nicolas (1676-1752) and by his son Jean-Baptiste II (1723-1798). Between these three members of this illustrious family, it is difficult to attribute the work of each. We must therefore take a closer look at the dates and stylistic elements that would allow a more precise attribution. To do this, we must first introduce the artisans we are citing.
Jean-Baptiste Tilliard I was active very early in the 18th century: he received his master's degree in 1717. His workshop was of great importance (eleven establishments). He acquired the title of "Master Carpenter of the King's Furniture Guard" and thus delivered the crown, but also the Prince of Soubise, the Duke of Antin, the Duke of Sully, the Count of Evreux, the Duchesses of Parma and Mazarin, etc.
He was considered one of the best craftsmen of his generation. He was joined by his son Jean Baptiste Tilliard II during his apprenticeship. He became master in 1752. From that date until the death of his father in 1766, he worked with him and under his orders. Then, he took over the entire workshop and inherited the title of "Carpenter of the King's Furniture Guard". His clientele remained particularly prestigious, even if he provided less to the crown than his predecessor, his talent was always in demand. He died in 1798.
The work of these two carpenters is undeniably linked. They were very active in the evolution of the Louis XV style. However, our armchairs are quite late in the so-called Rocaille style. We can therefore eliminate the attribution to Nicolas Tilliard since he died in 1752. Moreover, several elements form the signature of Jean-Baptiste I and Jean-Baptiste II. Indeed, the pleated fan at the top of the legs is dear to their ornamental vocabulary, as is the clasp on the central crosspiece of the seat and the upper crosspiece of the back.
Other chairs very close to those in our study can help us in an even more precise attribution. The lot n°25 of the sale of July 22, 2020 organized by Artcurial presents a suite of six armchairs by Jean-Baptiste Tilliard I. However, a pair of armchairs attributed to Jean-Baptiste Tilliard II and dated circa 1760, which are even closer to our four chairs, are in the Metropolitan Museum. Moreover, an armchair almost identical to ours by Jean-Baptiste Tillliard II is reproduced in Pierre Kjellberg's book "Le mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle" from the sale of 22 November 1987 at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées (number 236).
In this way, according to the general style of the seats, our chairs seem to be close to the end of the Louis XV period and the Rocaille style. These four armchairs are probably the work of Jean-Baptiste Tilliard II.
Nevertheless, regardless of the carpenter's attribution, it is obvious that the quality of this set of armchairs is remarkable. It is enough to observe the rich balanced composition of the sculpture, but also the details of engravings of the reparue.
Pallot (Bill), L'art du siège au XVIIIe siècle en France, A CR-Gismondi Editeurs
Kjellberg (Pierre), The French furniture of the XVIIIth century, Editions de l'Amateur
Janneau (Guillaume), The seats, Vincent Fréal et Cie Editeurs
De Salverte (François), The cabinetmakers of the eighteenth century, F de Nobele Editor
Jarry (Madeleine), The French seat, Office du livre
5 000 €