A pair of Louis XVI gilt wood bergères à la turque by Georges Jacob, circa 1777

Each with outscrolled rectangular padded back, outscrolled armrests and seat covered in ivory floral and crimson silk damask, the toprail and arms terminating in paterae, the fluted arm supports carved with acanthus on turned tapering fluted legs headed by paterae, stamped 'G.IACOB', re-gilt. 31¼ in. (79.5 cm.) high; 28 cm. (71 cm.) wide; 22¼ in. (56.5 cm.) deep (2). Estimate£40,000 - £60,000 - Price Realized £43,250

Provenance : Anonymous sale, Etude Tajan, Paris, 23 March 1999, lot 52 (560,000 FF). Acquired from Maurice Segoura, Paris.

Notes : Georges Jacob, maître in 1765.

With their outscrolled backs and arms, these elegant bergeres à la turque relate to the seat-furniture by Jacob supplied in 1777 to the Comte d'Artois' Cabinet turque at the Palais du Temple. The fashion for chinoiserie had obviously manifested itself in France much earlier, but had not yet influenced the shapes and ormamentation of the chair-maker's domain or menuiserie, the exotic 'touch' mainly being introduced through the upholstery. However, during the reign of Louis XVI, and probably initially through projects for Marie-Antoinette and the comte d'Artois, designs for chairs were being made with an entirely exotic appearance (B. Pallot, Furniture Collections in the Louvre, vol. II, Paris, Dijon, 1993, pp. 133-135, no. 44).

Georges Jacob's à la turque furniture was a complete novelty for its time. It influenced a whole generation of menuisiers, starting with Jean-René Nadal, known as Nadal l'Ainé, a regular supplier to the comte d'Artois who executed a simplified version of the Palais du Temple seat-furniture (illustrated in P. Verlet, Les Meubles Français du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1982, fig 141), while an unstamped bergère à la turque, similar to the present examples, from the Carlhian collection, is illustrated in M. Jarry, Le Siège Français, Fribourg, 1973, figs. 183-185.

Christie's. Le Grand Goût- A Private European Collection. 17 June 2009. London, King Street www.christies.com