List Price £45,000
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By Beauvais factory (French, founded 1664)
This five-piece suite will make an elegant addition to any interior, with its exquisite 18th-Century Beauvais tapestry upholstery and finely carved beech wood frames.
The salon suite is comprised of a canapé (sofa) and four fauteuils (armchairs). The five items have been crafted from beech wood, and upholstered in Beauvais tapestry, dating from c.1720.
The four fauteuils are identically designed. Each fauteuil stands on four cabriole legs, which are decorated with stylised foliage carving, and set on scrolled feet. The chairs’ seat rails are carved with scallop shell and scrolled acanthus leaf motifs, set against latticework backdrops. The curved arm supports are decorated with acanthus leaf carvings, and the arm terminals are scrolled. The chairs have tall backs with elaborate crest rails, carved with central cartouches which contain floral motifs and are flanked by latticework panels, foliate finials and scrolled acanthus leaves. The beech wood frame of the canapé is carved in a similar manner to the chairs.
A fine Beauvais tapestry has been used to upholster the backs and seats of the five pieces. Based on a design by Guy Vernansal, Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay and Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer, the tapestry features Grotesque and Chinoiserie style ornament. The tapestry on the backs of the fauteuils depicts Oriental kings, who sit on thrones within architectural niches, and are flanked by grotesque ornament, including strapwork, scrolled acanthus leaves and foliage. Each fauteuil seat features a depiction of Pan as a caryatid, accompanied by white birds.
The upholstery on the back of the canapé also depicts an Oriental king, holding a drink and reclining in a cartouche. The space around the figure is decorated with strapwork, scrolled acanthus leaves, stylised birds, grotesque masks, and winged figures with fruit and flower baskets supported on their heads. The canapé’s seat mirrors the back in its imagery, only with depictions of Pan as a caryatid in place of the figures carrying fruit baskets.
The Beauvais Manufactory in France was one of the leading producers of tapestries in the late 17th and 18th Century. It was founded in 1664 under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the finance minister to King Louis XIV. The Beauvais factory was famous for its high-quality tapestries, which were popular with the European nobility and royalty.
For comparable tapestries, see Christie’s Lot 13, Sale 8033 ‘The Exceptional Sale 2011’, London, 7 July 2011; or Christie’s Lot 12, Sale 11898 ‘Exceptional Sale’, New York, 13 April 2016.
Canapé: Height 120cm, width 178cm, depth 85cm
Fauteuils: Height 112cm, width 76cm, depth 66cm
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