Chairs and Seats
Not including Chinese furniture.
See also : Furniture Ancient French furniture 20th century furniture Art Deco Lalanne Australia Colonial furniture 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.
pair of Fauteuils by DELANOIS (late Louis XV style)
1770 à la Reine
2023 SOLD for $ 4.4M by Christie's
The fauteuil à la reine or fauteuil meublant had a flat back conceived to be kept against the wall in opposition to the lighter cabriolet which was moved in the room.
In the late Louis XV style, a pair of boldly shaped fauteuils à la reine 108 x 84 x 57 cm in gilt walnut was stamped by Delanois ca 1770. They are richly carved with garlands, acanthus and flower heads.
The pair was sold for $ 4.4M from a lower estimate of $ 500K by Christie's on October 12, 2023, lot 48 in the sale of a Rothschild collection.
Only one other armchair is known in that model. It was sold for FF 2.7M by Christie's on April 29, 2000, lot 320 in the sale of the Lagerfeld collection.
1771 ex Madame du Barry
2023 SOLD for $ 6.2M by Christie's
A pair of fauteuils à la reine was delivered with their matching suite of 25 chairs at Louveciennes in 1771 for the salon de compagnie. Delanois had been assisted by Guichard for the rich foliate and floral carving and by Cagny for the gilding and painting finish of the wood.
This pair was sold by Christie's for $ 6.2M from a lower estimate of $ 600K, lot 50 in the same Rothschild sale as the other pair narrated above. Their are upholstered in their original pale silk embroidered with stylized flowers and leaves in blue, pink, green and yellow silks.
1784 Marquises by Tilliard
2022 SOLD for € 3.7M by Sotheby's
Four legitimate daughters of the late king survived him. The château de Bellevue in Meudon was then transferred to three of them as a private residence. They had redesigned the interior and created a jardin anglais in the style of Chantilly and Trianon.
For the use of their Salon d'Eté, Mesdames commissioned in 1784 a sumptuous set of eight marquises and a canapé for an extravagant price which was paid by their nephew King Louis XVI. The marquises were referred in period as fauteuils en tête à tête.
The detailed bill survives in the royal archives. The furniture was ordered to Blanchard who subcontracted the menuiserie to Jean-Baptiste II Tilliard. The carving was made by Rascalon, the gilding by Dutemp and the silk upholstery and cushions was supplied by Nau. The execution was supervised by the Garde Meubles Royal and the whole was delivered to Mesdames in 1785. They are stamped by Tilliard.
The canapé survives dressed in a Gobelins tapestry at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon. A pair of marquises 107 cm high, 104 cm wide and 90 cm deep was sold for € 3.7M from a lower estimate of € 800K by Sotheby's on October 11, 2022, lot 53 in the auction of the furnishings of the Hôtel Lambert.
#AuctionUpdate An extraordinary discovery and ranking among the most important examples of Louis XVI seat furniture to have survived, a pair of royal giltwood marquises by Jean-Baptiste II Tilliard (c. 1784) sold for €3,665,000 (est. €800,000-1,200,000). #HôtelLambert pic.twitter.com/nmCHbmXINW— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) October 11, 2022
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.
We are honored to announce ‘Modern Masters: Chefs-D’œuvre D’une Collection Privée‘, an auction this December in #NYC that will present a superlative collection of art and design by top European masters. Learn more about two exceptional highlights: https://t.co/Ek5nDdr37h pic.twitter.com/YuIV8zT4xe— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) September 26, 2019
1952 Ours Polaire by Royère
2023 SOLD for $ 3.4M by Christie's
Originally designated as Boule, his Ours Polaire suite of seats was conceived in 1947 in a bulkier style, in the quest of an improved simplicity. Its unprecedented comfort appeals to the senses of the sitter, including the position of body and arm and the caressing of a soft upholstery.
A full Ours Polaire set was sold for $ 840K by Phillips on December 16, 2014, lot 26 and for $ 3.4M by Christie's on March 9, 2023, lot 16. It is made of a sofa and two armchairs in their original celery green mohair fabric sourced from Italy in 1952.
A single Ours Polaire canapé from ca 1962 in ash wood that retained its original velvet was sold for € 1.1M by Christie's on June 30, 2020, lot 9.
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.
A group of ten was sold for $ 2.9M by Christie's on December 4, 2020, lot 608. 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.