These three Louis XVI period chairs made of natural beech wood reflect Jean-Baptiste Sené's know-how by their original and classic elegance, the balance of their proportions and their rich sculpture and enhance the splendour of the salon in which they were placed. They are all stamped «J.B. SENE» under the front of the seat.
The top of the straight, slightly sloping backrest is supported by square-sectioned uprights. The lyre is decorated with acanthus leaves and rosettes. The right support is connected to the legs with the wooden bracket provided with rosettes, the four legs are turned and fluted. In excellent condition, they are decorated with a tapestry with small dots.
Their provenance is outstanding. They belonged to the furniture of Count and Countess François de Salverte at the Château de Ray-sur-Saône. It is worth remembering that François de Salverte was one of the first to highlight the incomparable talent of the cabinetmakers of the 18th century. A career diplomat, he was interested, during his many travels, in taking stamps on a large number of beautiful pieces of furniture. Later on, he thought that a book on furniture craftsmen, often ignored art workers, would be a fair tribute to those artists and would give collectors one more element to appreciate their works. He devoted sixteen years of his life to that work. We owe him the first repertory of 18th-century cabinetmakers, today commonly known as «Le Salverte».
The 18th century was a blessed time for cabinetmakers. The prosperity of their craft corresponded to the increase in luxury in France since the reign of Louis XIV. Jean-Baptiste Sené displayed competence in his mastery at a very young age, at the age of twenty-one in 1769. From 1785 he became a supplier to the Crown. He produced magnificent furniture for the palace of Saint-Cloud with the help of sculptors Guérin, Alexandre and Vallois. One of the most important works of our craftsman was the famous bed of Queen Marie-Antoinette, which can be admired in the Château de Fontainebleau.
His brand mark is frequently found on works of the finest quality, which hardly concede to those of Georges Jacob for the elegance of the models and the finesse of the workmanship. Many of the pieces supplied by this artist to the court are now dispersed in private collections; nevertheless, the French State owns a good number of them, examples of which can be seen at the palace of Compiègne, Fontainebleau, Trianon and in the apartments of Queen Marie-Antoinette at Versailles.
- Year: 1785/1789
- Origin: France
- Cabinet-maker: Jean-Baptiste Claude Sene
- Material or technique: Beech
- Sizes: 47 x 87 x 42.5 cm (Width x Height x Depth)
Château de Ray-sur-Saône - Furniture of the Count and Countess François de Salverte.
Les ébénistes du XVIIIè siécle, leurs oeuvres et leurs marques - comte François de Salverte - Identical model reproduced Plate LXVI.