The Art of the Chair in Eighteenth-Century France

The Art of the Chair in Eighteenth-Century France

Bill G.B. Pallot. Preface by Svend Eriksen. Forewords by Theodore Dell & Karl Lagerfeld.

Paris. ACR-Gismondi Editeurs. 1989. English language edition. First published in French in 1987. Black cloth-bound hardback, dust jacket. 332 pages. Extensively illustrated in colour and b&w. 320 x 255mm (12 x 10"). 2.6kg. 2867700396. English. Near fine; some very slight shelf wear to the edges for the dust jacket, with a small 1cm closed tear along top of front fore-edge; an excellent copy with no inscriptions, jacket now preserved in archival cover.

The most extensively researched and illustrated study of 18th century French chairs available. Part one looks at the practical aspects of production, discussing the Paris Joiners Guild, the Paris Carvers Guild and the 'Organization of a workshop and elaboration of a chair'. Part two examines the stylistic movements of 18th century chairs from the Regency to the Rococo to Neo-Classicism. Part three focuses on the Master Joiner and Carver Nicolas Heurtaut. Parts four and five looks at chair-making techniques and gives select biographies of key makers between 1730-1775. The text is exhaustive and is backed-up by quality colour photos of the chairs and archival drawings and prints.

'From a morphological point of view I can find nothing better designed for receiving the human body than eighteenth-century French chairs. One can live and grow old along with them peacefully. Their character is as young as ever. They are witty like the conversations they must have heard in their youth.
It has been said that conversation died in France when chairs became too comfortable. Wit became rather laboured in the elaborate padding of nineteenth-century upholsterers, not to mention the desert of design in our own time.
Comfortably installed in a bergere the mind can remain lively and alert.
Nothing so well represents the soul of a whole century as the carved wooden chair of eighteenth-century France.' (Karl Lagerfeld in his foreword).