Late 18th Century, Stamped G. Iacob
each with a shaped backrest, the top rail carved at the corners with acanthus leaves, the downswept armrests terminating in eagle heads above a loose cushion seat , the front seat rail marked at the corners by rosettes, the whole carved with guilloche, raised on tapered legs ending in claw and ball feet.
An identical pair of bergères, possibly part of the present lot, was sold, Christie's, New York November 5, 1986. An identical pair of armchairs and a canapé was sold, Sotheby's, New York, October 14, 1988, lot 88.
The aforementioned bergères were reputedly formerly in the collection of Paul I at the palace of Pavlovsk and they were said to have been purchased circa 1933-34 from the Armtorg. This was the official Soviet art and antiques agency at that time.
Each of these identical chairs is stamped by Georges Jacob, and they incorporate certain stylistic features, such as the guilloche borders, which are idiosyncratic of his production. There do not, however, appear to be other examples of seat furniture by Jacob which incorporate such boldly carved eagles' heads; also the treatment of the backrest covers appears to be unique. This might suggest that this suite of seat furniture was a special commission for a Russian patron. Paul I and his wife, Maria Feodorovna, of course made a famous tour of Europe, travelling incognito as the Comte and Comtesse du Nord, and acquiring a prodigious quantity of the finest furniture on the Paris market in 1781-82.
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