A superb and extremely rare George III Period Metamorphic Library Stool/Steps by Meschain and Herve, the rectangular top opening to reveal two flights of steps, one hinged and lowering to the floor, the other hinged and rising on an easel support, in all six steps, the mahogany frieze raised on square section chamfered legs. On the top of the lower flight there is an inlaid panel of boxwood inscribed “Meschain & Hervé Fecit, No 32, John Street, Tottenham Court Road”
Francois Hervé was a Frenchman living and working in London during the last quarter of the 18th. Century. He appears to have been in partnership with another Frenchman, a Cabinet and Chair maker by the name of John Meschain who supplied a set of chairs to Shelburne House in 1769. His premises at 32 John Street were taken over by Hervé in 1781. They appeared to have worked together during the 1770s as several sets of folding library steps inscribed with their names either on wooden or brass plaques exist. Hervé worked for a number of fashionable patrons including the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Bedford, Earl Spencer and the Duke of Devonshire for whom he supplied several suites of seating furniture at Chatsworth.
Literature: Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700 – 1840, Christopher Gilbert, Furniture History Society, 1996, Pages 34 & 40, Illustrations: Plates 185-188, 493/4 and 628-632.
The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterers Drawing-Book, Thomas Sheraton, 1793 plate 185, and Third Edition 1802, Appendix, pp 9-11, plate 9 and pp 42/43 plate 22
Price inc. VAT: £12,500-00p.
Height:22”, 56 cms, Open:35.5”, 90 cms
Width:25”, 63.5cms, Open: 43”, 109 cms
Depth:18.5, ”, 47 cms.