This five-piece furniture suite is an elegant piece of early 18th-Century French design. The suite, which is comprised of a canapé (sofa) and four fauteuils (armchairs), is crafted from carved beech wood and Beauvais tapestry.
Beauvais in France was home to an important tapestry factory from the late 17th Century onward. The factory was founded under the guidance of the finance minister to Louis XIV, Jean-Baptiste Colbert. It produced fine tapestries, which were popular with the European social elite. This furniture suite has been upholstered in a Beauvais tapestry, which is beautifully woven with Chinoiserie and Grotesque ornament, after a model by the designers Guy Vernansal, Jean-Baptiste Belin de Fontenay and Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer.
The upholstery on the back of the canapé shows an Oriental king, holding a glass of wine and reclining within a cartouche. He is accompanied by stylised birds, grotesque masks and figures supporting flower baskets on their heads. In its design, the canapé seat reflects the back, but the flower figures are replaced with images of Pan holding up classical buildings. The fauteuil backs show Oriental kings seated within architectural niches, surrounded by strapwork and scrolling acanthus leaves. Depictions of Pan and stylised white birds decorate the fauteuil seats.
All five chairs stand on foliate cabriole legs, with scrolled feet. Their seat rails are intricately carved with seashells, trelliswork and scrolled acanthus leaves, and their arm supports are decorated with foliage. Each seat features a finely carved crest rail, which is ornamented with floral motifs, contained within cartouches, flanked by scrolled trelliswork panels. Each crest rail is carved, on either side of this motif, with foliate finials and scrolled foliage.
Canapé- Height 120cm, width 178cm, depth 85cm
Fauteuils- Height 112cm, width 76cm, depth 66cm