Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. George M. Kaufman Gift, 1995
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 730
Among the French émigrés who arrived in Philadelphia and New York City in the 1790s were artisans, including upholsterers and cabinetmakers, who brought French styles and techniques that were adopted by local craftsmen for their patrons who desired furniture in the French taste. This upholstered armchair with its gently curved back is based on a late Louis XVI fauteuil en cabriolet. The mahogany frame is attributed to a Philadelphia cabinetmaker; the French-style upholstery may be by George Bertault, who advertised himself in a Philadelphia newspaper in 1793 as an "upholsterer from Paris." The original upholstery foundations survive beneath the modern cover fabric; the crisp, squared shape of the front seat and chair back, which follows the outline of the frame, was called a "French edge." The high padding on the "elbows" was also a French upholstery practice.
Artist: Benjamin Henry Latrobe (American (born England), Fulneck, Yorkshire 1764–1820 New Orleans, Louisiana)Date: ca. 1808Medium: Yellow poplar, oak, maple, white pine, gold leaf, and gessoAccession: 1994.189On view in:Gallery 731