Chairs and Seats
Not including Chinese furniture.
See also : Furniture 20th century furniture Art Deco Lalanne Australia Colonial America Dragon Women artists
Chronology : 1750-1759 1920 1979
1750 Queen Anne Footstool from Philadelphia
2008 SOLD for $ 5.2M by Sotheby's
A footstool 40 cm high made ca 1750 in Philadelphia was sold by Sotheby's on September 26, 2008 for $ 5.2M from a lower estimate of $ 200K, lot 117. Made in walnut, it displays a dark rich possibly original surface and has been reupholstered in a period correct fabric.
It has all the Queen Anne features including the paneled foot pads. The serpentine shape of the seat rail is unique of its kind in colonial and world furniture.
1755 Queen Anne Armchair from Philadelphia
2006 SOLD for $ 2.26M by Sotheby's
These pieces are scattered and nothing is known of their history before their separation. Four of them are numbered : III, IIII, V and VIII, with the matching frame numbers except for chair VIII which is fitted with frame I.
Their Queen Anne style was common in Philadelphia. The elegance of these luxury seats is obtained by the carefully rounded sculpture of their wood elements. The complex assembly is reinforced with iron in the most fragile areas. Their overall height, long elbows and hollowed decorated back confirm that they constitute a single group.
The comparison with other individual seats including side chairs leaves no doubt on the fact that they were manufactured in Philadelphia in the eighteenth century. The are the only group of its kind from which examples have survived.
The highest known number, VIII, suggests that they have been designed for the use of a community or a club. The name of the great bibliophile James Logan, who was also a mayor of Philadelphia, was proposed but the argument about such a provenance is not based on period documents.
Chair V was sold for $ 2.26M by Sotheby's on October 7, 2006 from a lower estimate of $ 500K, lot 318..
A unique unnumbered armchair is known. Its final characteristics are identical to those of the other four units and it comes undoubtedly from the same original operation. Some holes to facilitate the assembly, present on the other chairs, are missing to this one, opening the interesting hypothesis that this piece would be a prototype for the series. It was sold for $ 550K by Christie's on January 22, 2016.
Christie's catalog positions it around 1755, which corresponds to the period of preparation of the Philadelphia public library following the very generous legacy made by Logan.
1765 The Dundas Suite by Chippendale
Pair of Armchairs
2008 SOLD for £ 2.3M by Christie's
The new baronet buys and arranges several sumptuous residences, thus giving work to all the best British architects and cabinetmakers of his time. He does not refuse any style as long as it is luxurious and he highly appreciates the Palladian architecture and the decorative art of the Gobelins.
Dundas acquires in London a mansion very strategically located in Arlington Street in the business district. To enlarge this house to his taste he calls on the architect Robert Adam who was a great connoisseur of ancient architecture after a long stay in Rome. To ensure the most perfect harmony between architecture and furnishing, he commissions Adam to design the furniture.
The drawings of the sofas and armchairs were made by Adam for Dundas in July 1764. They have been preserved. The manufacture of these seats and of several other pieces of furniture is ordered to Thomas Chippendale. The designs of the Adam seats are similar to a figure prepared in 1759 by Chippendale and included in the third issue of his Director in 1762.
Chippendale's suite of seats made in 1765 for Arlington Street's great room is composed of two pairs of sofas and eight armchairs sculpted in an abundant style inspired by reliefs of Roman sarcophagi including sphinges and griffins.
The set was separated in 1934. A pair of armchairs was sold for £ 2.3M by Christie's on June 18, 2008, lot 4.
Pair of Sofas
2008 SOLD for £ 2.17M by Christie's
The pair of shorter 218 cm sofas was dissociated in 1997. These two pieces listed as separate lots passed at Christie's on July 5, 2018.
1920 Fauteuil aux Dragons by Eileen Gray
2009 SOLD for € 22M by Christie's
This seat is only 61 cm high. The sitting height is normal, but the back is small. It is large (91 cm), making it a comfortable chair. It is named the Fauteuil aux Dragons for the sculptures of its armrests.
On June 1, 2005, Camard had separated a suite of six armchairs à la Sirène. They had belonged from 1923 to Damia, the music hall singer woman with whom Eileen had a love affair. From a very different model from the fauteuil aux dragons, their sculpture of the women fish was enhanced by an open back. The highest result was € 1.75M.
1929 Chaise Longue aux Skis by Ruhlmann
2011 SOLD for € 2.86M by Christie's
In the following year, one of the richest Hindu rulers, the Maharaja of Indore, resigns after a scandal. His son and successor, aged 18, is assisted by a regency council. While waiting to exercise his responsibilities, he travels Europe. His name is His Highness Maharajadhira Raj Rajeshwar Sawai Shri Yeshwantra II Holkar XIV Bahadur.
The young man is passionate about modernism and wants to furnish an avant-garde residence of which he entrusts the design to Eckart Muthesius. All the Parisian designers expect to be his suppliers.
At the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in 1929, Ruhlmann exhibits an important suite of furniture under the title of Studio-Chambre du Prince Héritier d'un Vice-roi des Indes, which leaves no doubt about the identity of the targeted client. His innovations are the use of black lacquer and chrome-plated bronze, and the replacement of the base of several pieces of furniture by curved end metal bars similar to a pair of skis.
The Maharaja visits the exhibition but his advisers, Roché and Muthesius, do not rush. Among the Ruhlmann furniture in this Salon, he orders only a copy of the desk with its armchair and some bookshelves. This partial disavowal is to the delight of the president of the Artistes Décorateurs, Prime Minister André Tardieu, who buys several original pieces. The Bureau Tardieu accompanied by its armchair was sold for € 2.3M by Christie's on March 29, 2011.
This furniture has been the subject of ingenious designs in terms of functionality. The chaise longue aux skis offers four possible backrest inclinations and an electric heating of the footrest. The lounge chair of the Studio-Chambre is the only complete copy of this model, so being one of Ruhlmann's rarest productions. The only other known example, incomplete, is not localized.
Ruhlmann was well informed : the young prince really needed such a chair. He chose Charlotte Perriand's model.
The Ruhlmann chaise longue aux skis was sold for € 2.86M by Christie's in 2011 in the same sale as the Bureau Tardieu. Its ban of shipping outside of France was canceled in 2013. It was sold for $ 2.4M by Sotheby's on December 11, 2019, lot 26.
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from 1965 Moutons by LALANNE
1976 Group of 24
2012 SOLD for $ 5.7M by Christie's
He designed a small bench in wood and aluminum, covered with wool, with four feet. All furniture manufacturers run their models in multiple copies: Lalanne standardizes the quantity to 24. Thus was born his flock of life size sheep, worthy of the best ideas of surrealism but in an extreme simplicity of interpretation.
The set is funny. The sheep with a proudly raised head is a bench with a hat holder and the headless sheep is an ottoman. This is a clear invitation to leave the pieces together : headless animals are considered occupied to graze within the group, protected by the external figures.
His first flock of 24 sheep is entitled Pour Polyphème. The artist's goal was to exhibit an innovative, utilitarian, monumental and modifiable work.
Throughout his career, Lalanne reissues his sheep. The first series, coated with real wool, are called the Moutons de Laine.
A flock made in 1968-1969 of five sheep and nine ottomans was sold for € 1.75M by Christie's on December 4, 2012, lot 22.
A pair dated 1969 was sold for € 1.57M by Sotheby's on November 21, 2017, lot 38.
A complete herd of seven white sheep, one black sheep and sixteen ottomans was sold for $ 5.7M from a lower estimate of $ 4M by Christie's on November 14, 2012, lot 43. This set had been purchased in 1976 by an American couple to fill a barn.
1979 Group of 10
2011 SOLD for $ 7.5M by Christie's
A homogeneous group of ten Moutons de Pierre from the first edition was sold for $ 7.5M by Christie's on December 17, 2011, lot 303, from a lower estimate of $ 600K.
1979-2004 Group of 10
2020 SOLD for $ 2.9M by Christie's
It is composed of one Béliers, three Moutons Transhumants, two Moutons de Pierre, two Brebis and two Agneaux, made between 1979 and 2004.
1990 Lockheed Lounge by Newson
2015 SOLD for £ 2.43M by Phillips
Australians love surfing. Newson appreciates that the manufacturing techniques of the surfboards may be used for more complex and modern structures. The shape is achieved by covering the foam with fiberglass. Then comes the finish.
The sculptor Newson wishes a metallic finish. After various tests in his garden in Sydney, he manages to keep the convex and concave curves of the cast by hammering sheets of aluminum joined by many blind rivets. The texture is similar to an aircraft fuselage. The new model in 1988 is named Lockheed lounge without the involvement of that industrial company.
The Lockheed Lounge is abstract art applied to furniture, with unprecedented materials and techniques. In 1990, ten units plus four artist's proofs are edited, bringing their figure to a final fifteen.
We do not sit on a Lockheed lounge but may recline on it for a social activity. The new Madame Récamier is the entertainer Madonna. A Lockheed Lounge appears sporadically in 1993 in the video Rain, a song from her highly successful Erotica album. Newson's chair becomes an icon of contemporary lifestyle.
The 1988 prototype was sold for $ 2.1M by Phillips on May 13, 2010. The number 10/10 from the 1990 edition was sold for £ 2.43M from a lower estimate of £ 1.5M by the same auction house on April 28, 2015, lot 226.