Did joiner Georges Jacob make this flat-backed chair for the Count of Artois? Its result, princely for an armchair, tends to support the hypothesis.
Georges Jacob (1739-1814), Louis XVI period, c. 1785, armchair with flat back in molded, carved and gilded wood, 101 x 71 x 62 cm (39.77 x 27.96 x 24.41 in).
This armchair is not completely unknown: it belongs to the furniture of a room that has been partly reconstructed. The number of known chairs matters. Several have come up on the market in the last 10 years and four belong to the National Furniture collections. Four more are referenced and deposited at the Élysée Palace. Some still have their owners’ label affixed by Jacob (1739-1814) himself at the time of delivery, with the words "Salon de Monseigneur", allowing historians to put forward the hypothesis that the furniture was made for the Count of Artois, brother of Louis XVI and the future Charles X. In the early 19th century, the furniture was deposited in the Château de Fontainebleau. At the time, it was upholstered with "gros de Tours white satin embroidered with chenille silk".
Under the reign of Louis XVI, Jacob, who founded a prosperous and talented dynasty, made furniture for the Tuileries Palace, Queen Marie-Antoinette, the king’s brothers, the Count of Provence and the Count of Artois. All of these clues point to a princely commission, pushing the price of this elegantly carved giltwood armchair up to €128,000.