Lot 3
  • 3

Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand

120,000 - 180,000 EUR
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  • Chaise longue basculante, circa 1930
  • Base in metal painted in black, metal tubular chromed for the bed part, mattress covered with leopard skin
  • 75 x 56 x 156 cm ; 29 1/2 x 22 x 61 3/8 in.
lacquered and chromium-plated metal, mattress and leopard skin


Maharaja of Indore, Manik Bagh Palace, India
Sotheby's, Monaco, Mobilier Moderniste provenant du palais du Maharaja d'Indore, May 25, 1980, lot 215
Acquired from the above by the present owner


Vienna, Musem für angewandte Kunst, Möbel Als Trophäe, May 27, 2009 - February 28, 2010, illustrated pp. 65 and 67 in the exhibition catalogue
Paris, Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la ville de Paris, Charlotte Perriand 1903-1999, De la photographie au Design, March 31 - September 18, 2011


Robert Descharnes, "En Inde, un palais 1930", Connaissance des Arts, September 1970, illustrated p. 52
Yvonne Brunhammer, Les Styles des années 30 à 50, Paris, 1987, illustrated p. 52
Thonet Tubular Steel Furniture, Card Catalogue, 1930-1931, Weil am Rhein, 1989, model listed under number B 306
Reto Niggl, Eckart Muthesius, The Maharaja's Palace in Indore, Architecture and Interior, Stuttgart, 1996, illustrated p. 75
Patricia Bayer, Intérieurs Art Déco, London, illustrated p. 136
Le Palais du Maharadjah d'Indore - Photographies, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Doria, Paris, September 15 - November 18, 2006, illustrated p. 91
Jacques Barsac, Charlotte Perriand, L'œuvre complète, Volume 1: 1903-1940, Paris, pp. 78-83 for the history of the model


Good overall condition. Some oxidation to the chrome consistent with age and use and partially visible on the catalogue illustrations. With some rather small lacks of chrome, not visually distractive. The upper tubular elements of the base are covered with a rubber band to ease the movement of the chair. The lacquered metal base presents with some losses of lacquer, especially along the edges, some of them visible on the catalogue illustrations.The lacquered base might have been re-painted at a later date but before 1970. The metallic mattress with some oxidation and light rust consistent with age and use. The panther fur is in very good overall condition and can be taken off. There is a small area with some light dirt. The mattress fabric under the leopard skin is torn in several places and in condition of use.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

The chaise longue basculante was conceived in 1927 from a series of drawings by Le Corbusier representing 9 ways to sit. During the same period, and in the same spirit, Charlotte Perriand, who had just graduated from the Ecole de l'Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs, was working on the totally new concept of metallic furniture design. She exhibited two ensembles: "Le bar sous le toit" and "La salle à manger de Saint-Sulpice" which quickly built her reputation.
Building on this success, she decided to meet The internationally renowned architect Le Corbusier to show him her work. He immediately offered to hire her in order to develop and materialize his seating ideas. He also partnered with his cousin, Pierre Jeanneret.
For the design of the lounge chair, they looked at Dr. Pascaud's Surrepos, a reclined chair with a metallic structure, and Thonet's Rocking chair's swinging system.
The most complex part would be the design of the base, which was to allow multiple positions. It was Charlotte Perriand who found the solution: sectioned lacquered sheet steel which she discovered by chance in an aviation catalogue.
The chaise longue was first showcased in 1928 at Villa Church and then on the stand "Un équipement intérieur d'une habitation" at the Salon d'Automne in 1929. Critics were full of praise. The patent was filed under the names of the three creators. With no experience in series production, they decided to approach La Maison Thonet and as soon as 1930 the company was manufacturing the chaise longue, called B 306.
Far from the expected mass production the high production cost and the innovative nature of the chair resulted in only 172 copies sold between 1930 and 1935.
The "Machine à repos" (resting machine), as the designers used to call it, is one of the icons of the twentieth century decorative arts.
A hymn to streamlined comfort - our chair, covered with leopard fur, was once placed in the Maharaja's bedroom.