Side chair (one of a pair)


Not on view

One of a pair of elegant and light side chairs in the neoclassical style. Each with a shaped back framing a pierced lyre-form splat over a horseshoe shaped seat upholstered in green velvet. The chairs are supported on fluted round tapering legs. Chairs with lyre-shaped backs became quite fashionable during the late eighteenth century continued to remain popular in the nineteenth century. Although this pair is unsigned, identical chairs were made by Georges Jacob (1739–July 5, 1814), one of the most prominent Parisian menuisiers. Given their scale, this pair may have been used in one of the smaller private rooms or possibly in a music salon.

They were part of the model collection of woodwork, paneling and seat furniture of Maison Leys, a successful decorating business, located at the Place de la Madeleine in Paris. Since 1885 the business was directed by Georges Hoentschel who installed the collection in 1903 in a museum-like display at Boulevard Flandrin, Paris. Three years later, Hoentschel sold the collection to J. Pierpont Morgan who gave the side chairs with the rest of the decorator’s seventeenth and eighteenth century objects to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1907.

Side chair (one of a pair), Walnut, carved and painted grey; velvet upholstery, French

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