Georges Jacob (French, 1739–1814), carved by Jules Hugues Rousseau (French, 1743–1806) and his brother Jean-Siméon Rousseau (French, 1747–ca. 1822)
Carved and gilded walnut
H. 34 x W. 18 1/2 x D. 18 in. (86.4 x 47 x 45.7 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1977 (1977.102.13,14)
This delicate side chair was made for the boudoir of Marie Antoinette at the Tuileries palace in 1784. Its back stiles are surmounted by a tiny balloon in reference to the aerostatic experiment of Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (17451799) and his brother Joseph-Michel (17401810), inventors of the first practical balloon, that took place on September 19, 1783.