Rare mahogany transformation library stool from Santo Domingo. Rectangular in shape and resting on four drum feet, it is covered in black leather. By means of a judicious push-button system, the tray including the upholstery releases a six-step retractable library staircase. Perfect state of conservation. Stamped "Jacob frères rue Meslée"* on a side rail. French work from the Consulate period around 1800. Dimensions: Closed: Height: 53.5 cm Width: 48.5 cm; Depth: 62 cm Open: Height: 92 cm (step); ; Width: 48.5cm; Depth: 104cm
_Topographic office of the Emperor Napoleon 1st at the Palace of Versailles (Grand Trianon)
_Tajan sale December 20, 2000, lot 264 stamped CANABAS (47280 euros)
_Artcurial sale 9 October 2013 lot 83 (28758 euros)
Our opinion :
The furniture known as system or transformation will know a great success from the end of the reign of Louis XV, with the first furniture of Jean François Oeben created for the small Duke of Burgundy, who suffers from handicap.
Throughout the reign of Louis XVI, under the Directory or even under the Empire, this fashion will not weaken.
Made of solid mahogany to satisfy the "Anglomania" that blew over Paris from the 1770s, the cabinetmakers redoubled their ingenuity to offer many small pieces of furniture for transformation.
These pieces must be like the furniture of military campaigns, that is to say practical and solid.
The influence of the victories of the Italian campaign, and the return of Bonaparte, who furnishes residences with furniture of this type, will have a strong impact on the decorative arts.
The staircase that we are presenting combines perfect assembly qualities, with steps with dovetail slides and large sections of wood, which enabled it to reach us in perfect condition.
The choice of mahogany from Santo Domingo with very fine grains and a very luminous "chocolate" hue proves to us that we are in the presence of a very precious and characteristic piece of furniture from the end of the 18th century.
Our stool bears the most prestigious stamp of this period, that of the company "Jacob frères", supplier of the First Consul, the Bonaparte family and the elite of the moment, such as Juliette Récamier or Dominique Vivant Denon.
This mark gives us a very precise production window (1796-1803), which also corresponds perfectly to the large deliveries made by the company "Jacob Frères" for the national palaces.
It is very likely that our model, which is similar to the one in the Emperor's topographic cabinet at Trianon, also comes from the national collections.
Be that as it may, the rarity of known models and the prestigious stamp of our library staircase allow us to affirm that it is a museum piece that will delight the most demanding collectors.
The stamp: "Jacob frères, rue Meslée" is used by the two sons of Georges Jacob, Georges II (1768-1803) and François-Honoré-Georges (1770-1841), join forces to take over the workshop of their father under the corporate name "Jacob Frères".
The association will last from its creation in 1796 until 1803, date of the death of Georges II.
In the company they ran together until the end of the Consulate, the eldest (Georges II Jacob) took care of the commercial administration and the second of the technical part. François-Honoré-Georges called himself Jacob-Desmalter, after a property his father owned in Burgundy.
General Bonaparte, on his return from Italy, ordered from the Jacob brothers, for his bedroom in rue Chantereine, some curious military furniture, the bed of which resembled a tent and the seats of drums. Later, the First Consul called on the same cabinetmakers to refurnish the former royal residences devastated by the Revolution. After having hitherto produced works of very sober taste, which were especially valuable for their character and purity of style, the Jacobs began to manufacture pieces more richly decorated with sculpture and bronze.
Price : on request