1070
1070
A PAIR OF LOUIS XV FAUTEUILS A LA REINE BY NICOLAS HEURTAUT, MID-18TH CENTURY
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 125,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
1070
A PAIR OF LOUIS XV FAUTEUILS A LA REINE BY NICOLAS HEURTAUT, MID-18TH CENTURY
Estimate
80,000120,000
LOT SOLD. 125,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

L’Art de Vivre: Property from the Collection of Kathleen and Martin Field

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New York

A PAIR OF LOUIS XV FAUTEUILS A LA REINE BY NICOLAS HEURTAUT, MID-18TH CENTURY
upholstered à chassis with 18th-century Beauvais tapestry, both stamped N.HEURTAUT on the inside back rail; regilt
Nicolas Heurtaut (1720-1771), maître 1753
height 38 in.; width 28 in.
96.5 cm; 71 cm
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Provenance

Karrick Van Zandt Riggs (b.1853), New York and Paris
By descent to his daughter, Pauline Riggs Noyes (1886-1942) 
Collection of Pauline Riggs Noyes, Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, August 2, 1947, lot 449
Didier Aaron, Paris

Literature

Musée National du Château de Versailles, 18e aux Sources du Design, exhibition catalogue, 2014
Bill G.B. Pallot, L’Art du siège au XVIIIe siècle en France, Paris 1987, one fauteuil illustrated p.202
Bill G.B. Pallot, Le Mobilier du musée du Louvre, Vol.II, Paris 1993
Bill G.B. Pallot, 'Le menuisier Nicolas Heurtaut chez le prince de Conti et le comte d'Artois', L'Estampille et l'Objet d'art, July 2002, p.68-74

Catalogue Note

Nicolas Heurtaut (1720-1771) is widely regarded as one of the most important menuisiers en sièges of the mid-18th century, on a par with preeminent chair makers such as Foliot and Tilliard.
Born into a family of joiners and woodcarvers, Heurtaut intially trained as a sculptor and was admitted into the Académie de Saint Luc in 1742, not becoming master in the guild of menuisiers until 1753.  This unusual background is reflected in his distinctive sculptural style, characterized by an emphasis on symmetry and reliance on sinuous lines and selectively chosen mouldings and decorative elements carved in high relief to achieve an aesthetic effect, and eschewing an excess of surface ornamentation.  Heurtaut was a leading proponent of what has been called the rocaille symétrisé classicisant of the late rococo/early transitional era, a taste championed by the architect Pierre Contant d'Ivry.
The present lot probably dates from the mid-1750s, when Heurtaut’s creative skill was at its apogee, and is similar in scale and decoration to a small group of important surviving works produced at the same period. These include a giltwood fauteuil from the Comte d’Artois’ Paris residence the Palais du Temple, sold Sotheby’s Paris 16 December 2004, lot 146 (1,352,000 EUR), and a large suite comprising eight armchairs, three sofas and a state bed believed to have been given by Louis XV to his mistress the Comtesse de Séran at her Château de la Tour in Normandy. Six of these chairs are now at Versailles, and the remaining pair was sold Christie’s London 10 July 2014, lot 12 (662,500 GBP) [Fig.1].  A further four related giltwood fauteuils were supplied to the Archbishop of Poitiers, Monseigneur Saint-Aulaire (now in the Louvre, ill. Pallot 1993, n.23 p.80-83) accompanied by a set of six similarly carved blue-painted fauteuils and a monumental canapé à confidents mobiles (private collection, ill. Pallot p.236-241 and Versailles 2014, n.24 p.122-23).
Like the present pair, these examples all employ the same serpentine side rails and pronounced moulded edges running along the entire frame, as well as incorporating prominently carved shells on the central front seat and/or crest rails.  The shells on each group all differ slightly, however, and it is a tribute to Heurtaut’s talent that he varied his designs for each client and appears never to have supplied the exact same model twice.
Karrick Riggs, the grandson of Elisha Riggs, founder of Riggs Bank in Washington, was born in New York but spent much of his adult life in Paris, where he formed a large collection of French 18th-century furniture and early soft-paste porcelain from St Cloud, Chantilly and Mennecy.  This was inherited by his daughter Pauline, who transferred the collection to New York just before the Second World War. When this was sold at Parke-Bernet in 1947, it was the first time such an important group from the early French porcelain factories had appeared on the market in the U.S., and many pieces have since found their way into major museum collections.

L’Art de Vivre: Property from the Collection of Kathleen and Martin Field

|
New York