early 19th century
Formerly in the Collection of the Noble Family von Campenhausen
Ariane Dandois, Paris
Antoine Chenevière, Russian Furniture the Golden Age 1780-1840, London, 1988, pp.110-144.
The Russian `Jacob' style is a term that was used to refer to a style of furniture and decorations that emulated the celebrated Parisian maker Georges Jacob (1739-1814). The latter, following the English tradition in the late 18th/early 19th centuries, was one of the first French makers to make chairs in solid mahogany and was instrumental in disseminating the revival in the interest in the Antique style. Jacob popularised this style in association with the celebrated architects and designers Percier and Fontaine, who published their seminal work Receuil de Décorations Intérieures in 1812. However, apart from this use of mahogany, there is little that the Russian Empire style and the furniture made by Jacob had in common. According to Chenevière op. cit., `the use of the term `Jacob' was no more than a commercial ploy to evoke foreign qualities in what was in fact a domestic product'.
Russian furniture in this new `Jacob' style, is almost always made in mahogany or a stained wood to simulate mahogany. It is often decorated with brass strips or rosettes and achieved immediate success. This Russian `Jacob' furniture was produced throughout Russia, not only in St. Petersburg and Moscow, but also was found in Imperial palaces, as well as aristocratic homes and homes of the bourgeoisie. The `Jacob' style furniture was also architectonic in outline, often inspired by architectural forms with geometric decoration. The production of this style of furniture continued well into the 1830's.
Baronial Family von Campenhausen:
Von Campenhausen is a Baltic German noble family originating from the Spanish Netherlands that formerly resided in the province of Livonia (formerly part of Imperial Russia, now Latvia and Estonia). Over the centuries members of the family served the Swedish and Russian sovereigns. The most famous member of the family was Baron Balthasar Balthasarovich von Campenhausen (1772–1823). Emperor Alexander I of Russia named von Campenhausen State Treasurer in 1809, Privy Councillor in 1810, member of the State Council and Senator in 1811, and Minister of Internal Affairs in 1823. He died in Saint Petersburg in 1823. It may well be that the present lot was supplied to him.
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