10349 A pair of fine Regency design mahogany and ebony side chairs after the model by Thomas Hope, the curved backs with ebony borders, the dished eats with reeded ebony lines, the sabre legs with ebony leaf capitals. Stamped ‘ESCALIER DE CRISTAL, PARIS’.
Height: 33.75 ins (86 cms)
Width: 19 ins (48 cms)
Depth: 23 ins (58.5 cms) £4,500
The important company l’Escalier de Cristal was founded in 1808 in the Palais-Royal area of Paris. It was originally known for high quality work in cut glass and gilt bronze which reached its peak with the astonishing dressing table and chair made for the Duchess du Berry in 1819, now at the Louvre.
The business grew and moved to larger premises in the more fashionable Opera district in 1872 following the Haussmann redevelopment of Paris. It is from these premises that the business reached its commercial heights, particularly with the fashion for Japonisme. Employing the designers Gallé and Lièvre, some of the most influential and innovative works of the very highest quality were produced.
These chairs, all clearly marked with the ‘Escalier’ stamp, are from this later period. The extremely high quality and choice of materials indicate that they were a particular commission for a collector of the work of Thomas Hope and the Regency aesthetic.
Although originally derived by Hope from the engravings of Percier and Fontaine, architects to Napoleon I, they would seem to be a completely English design and follow Hope’s published designs of 1807. (Detail of plate II attached.) Several English armchairs and chairs of this design are known in UK collections.