Mahogany and mahogany veneered on beechwood; gilt bronze, bronze, lampas
34 3/4 x 76 3/4 x 29 1/2 in. (88.3 x 194.9 x 74.9cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1971
Not on view
The Frères Jacob achieved first success as artisans during the Consulate period in Paris, ultimately achieving fame for their commissions for Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1796, the brothers inherited the family business from their father, Georges Jacob, a prolific chair maker under Louis XVI. The abolishing of the guild system during the French Revolution had transformed luxury production in Paris, allowing artisans such as the Frère Jacob to practice a wider range of woodworking skills and to establish larger workshops. The older brother, Georges II Jacob (1768–1803), was in charge of the business side, while François-Honoré-Georges Jacob (1770–1841) executed the furniture. This daybed features an elongated seat with a curved and pierced back, with a pair of gilt- bronze sphinx mounts as arm rests. As a type of furniture, the daybed was initially used as a resting place for convalescing men, adopted later in the eighteenth century by women seeking to receive visitors in their homes in a state of repose. The top rail’s gilt-bronze mount of Psyche, Cupid’s consort from Greek mythology, indicates that this daybed was likely intended for a female patron.
References: Jean-Pierre Samoyault. Mobilier français Consulat et Empire. Paris: Gourcuff Gradenigo, 2009.
Signature: Stamped three times, inside left-hand seat rail and beneath right-hand seat rail at head and foot: JACOB, FRERES/R. MESLEE; Stamped once, beneath left-hand seat rail at the foot: JACOB FRERES
Marking: Inside back seat rail: in the center  crowned N within a circle over letters TUIL (branded); to the left of mark : T; stenciled in black ink to the right of mark :  1209; Inside right hand seat rail: in the center  crowned N within a circle over the letters TUIL (branded); stenciled in red ink to the left of mark :  640; stenciled in black ink to the right of mark :  T; Inside front seat rail: stenciled in red ink to the left  640;  TUIL (branded); to the left and right  a circle containing two oval shields beneath and open crown, each emblazoned with fleur-de-lys of France, and the whole encircled by the legend CHATEAU VILLENVE L'ETANG (branded); Inside left seat rail: stenciled in black ink toward the center:  T 1209; stenciled in red ink  640
Princesse Cécile-Caroline Murat (until 1961; sale, Palais Galliera, Paris, March 2, 1961, lot 101); Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman , New York (until 1971; to MMA)