Rare pair of so-called "kneeling voyeurs"* chairs, in white lacquered beech wood and blue rechampi.
Model with backrests made up of thin strips surmounted by a slightly curved central armrest.
The very low seat rests on four small slightly arched feet ending in snails.
Very good state of preservation, original lacquer.
Presented in its old blue velvet.
A chair stamped under the crosspiece "I.LEBAS" for Jean Baptiste Lebas.
Parisian work from the Louis XV period around 1760-1765.
Height: 96cm; Width: 57cm
Our opinion :
With their clean lines and very aerial, our seats are a very good example of this production assigned to the gaming rooms of the castles of the nobility.
Intended to be moved during frenzied games, these chairs are very light and easy to handle.
On our copies, Jean Baptiste Lebas proves all his talent, combining robustness and lightness.
In a constant effort to reduce weight, it lightens all parts of the seats with reduced feet and very thin crosspieces and bars.
While pairs of "voyeurs" were still rare during the reign of Louis XV, very few models with openwork backs have come down to us, especially in perfect condition and in their original lacquer.
It is very likely that the delicate cream lacquer with blue trim on our chairs matched the woodwork in the living room.
*The "kneeling voyeur" is a chair designed to watch games in the same position as the worshiper on his prie-dieu, knees on the seat and forearms on the cuff.
A similar model but with a removable cuff releasing a small compartment to store the chips is called "Ponteuse", this chair was used for betting. (bridge)
Exclusively reserved for the salons of the castles of the nobility, its seats are always of excellent quality and made by great cabinetmakers.
*Jean-Baptiste Lebas (1729-1795), is a carpenter received master in Paris on July 29, 1729. After practicing rue de Cléry, at the Saint-Esprit, he retired to rue Beauregard. Madame du Barry made him contribute to the installation of the pavilion of Louveciennes.
Born in 1729, and died in 1795, Jean-Baptiste Lebas was the son of a craftsman, he was a sworn in his community from 1769 to 1771.
Married very young with a daughter of the carpenter François Bouillette, Lebas had two sons, Barthelemy and Jean-Jacques, who were his pupils and collaborators. The eldest gained the master's degree on August 13, 1771, the other on November 7, 1772. Around 1781, they joined forces with a view to continuing the paternal enterprise and took the common brand LEBAS, without a first name initial. Jean-Jacques died on July 31, 1795, at the age of forty-five; his brother continued to live in rue de Cléry, n 271, at the beginning of the 19th century.
Jean-Baptiste Lebas acquired a vogue justified by his talents. He provided the Comte d'Artois with magnificent living room furniture consisting of two sofas and sixteen armchairs, with oval upholstery on their backs in borders of singular richness and fantasy. This furniture was later purchased by Talleyrand for the Château de Valençay.
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