Robert and Mildred Bliss, Washington, DC Joseph Alsop, Washington, DC Sotheby's New York, April 19, 1975, lot 248
Nicolas-Quinibert Foliot was part of one of the most important dynasties of menuisiers in 18th century Paris, and was a regular supplier to the Royal Household. An identical bergère à oreilles by Foliot is illustrated in J. Nicolay, L'art et la manière des maîtres ébénistes français au XVIIIe siècle (Paris 1976), p.184, fig.D. The career diplomat Robert WoodsBliss(1875-1962) and his wife Mildred Barnes Bliss (1879-1969) resided in Paris until World War I, where their social circle included Edith Wharton, Walter Gay and Royall Tyler. From 1920-1940 they resided in the historic Dumbarton Oaks estate in Georgetown, Washington DC, and subsequently donated the property and its collections to Harvard University. Connectiuct-born Joseph Wright Alsop V (1910-1989) was an eminent journalist and nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington who was a prominent figure on the capital's social scene and regularly entertained in his Georgetown home. He built up a substantial collection of pictures and furniture and in 1978 gave a series of six lectures at the National Gallery of Art in Washington on 'The History of Art Collecting'. His life was dramatized in the 2012 Broadway play The Columnist by David Auburn where he was portrayed by John Lithgow.
Rubbing and losses to gilding throughout, consistent with age, and some age shrinkage at joints, but chair is sturdy and comfortable. Wear and staining to the leather cushions. 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.