A Pair of French Empire Giltwood Armchairs Jacob

H: 41 in / 104 cm  |  W: 26.5 in / 67 cm  |  D: 23 in / 58.5 cm


A Pair of Empire Period French Fauteuils Firmly Attributed to François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter

Constructed in carved gilt wood, rising from stepped block front feet supporting vasiform legs and arm fascias, being carved with acanthus motifs, having carved serpentine seat rails; the padded arms having carved lotus leaf collars, with lotus carved brackets conjoining the channelled back uprights, which frame the upholstered backs; the toprails with scroll carved triangulated pediments.
French, Circa 1810


Estate of the Gretton Family, late Moncorvo House, Knightsbridge, London, and Stapleford Park

The house, demolished in 1964, was constructed in 1878 for George Sandman, a future Governor of the Bank of England, and named after his wife’s father, the Viscount Da Torre de Moncorvo. The property was sold to Henri, fourth son of King Louis Philippe of France, the Duc d’Aumale in 1886, who brought over furnishing and paintings, including works by Raphael, Ingres and Mignard from the Chateau de Chantilly. The chateau was bequeathed by Henri to the French nation in 1897.

In 1890, Moncorvo House and many contents were sold to John Gretton( d. 1899), and passed to his son the 1st Baron Gretton. The remaining house contents were moved prior to demolition to Stapleford Park, the family house in Leicestershire.


Provenance Photo Credit: Le Mobilier Français du XIXe Siécle, dictionnaire des ébénistes et menuisiers, Denise Ledoux- Lebard, L’amateur, 2000. pg. 330. - shows an almost identical fauteuil from the Grand Trianon.



Le Mobilier Français du XIXe Siecle, Denise Ledoux-Lebard pp 267-352, which shows an almost identical fauteuil on pp330, from the Grand Trianon

Le Mobilier de Versailles Chefs d'Oeuvre du XIXe Siecle, Arrizoli-Clementel et Samoyaut, pp 32/202/206/135

Le Mobilier du Chateau de Chantilly, Edition Fanton pp19/110/117/122/123/125/132/151/152 et seq

Furniture Collections in the Louvre, Alcouffe, Dion-Tenenbaum and Lefebure, pp298/302/306 (Moncorvo House history)


The Jacob dynasty began in 1765, with Georges Jacob (1739-1796), a native of Burgundy supplying furniture to Louis XVth at the young age of 26. Two of his three sons entered the family business, Georges and Francois- Honore Georges. Jacob Senior retired in 1796, at which point the furniture was stamped ‘Jacob Freres Rue Meslee’ until the death of Georges Junior in 1803. The business continued until 1847, having counted Louis XV1th, Napoleon and Josephine Buonaparte, Charles Dix, and Louis Phillipe among its’ notable clientele. Their work may be seen in the Elysee Palace, Museum of Decorative Arts, Paris, Compiegne, Fontainbleau, The Louvre Museum, and the Chateau Malmaison, inter alia. The great strengths of the company were their ability to read the zeitgeist of the period, and be on the leading edge of design, drawing inspiration from the foremost arbiters of taste; Percier and Fontaine, and the artist David were amongst their sources, and, importantly, the quality of their choice of materials, and the superb execution of every object they made.

REF No. 8490

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