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A SET OF FOUR PAINTED CHAIRS 

Origin: France
Circa Date: 1785
Stock No: F3B0173
Location: New York
Dimensions:
H: 37.0 in (94.0 cm)
W: 24.0 in (61.0 cm)
L/D: 22.0 in (56.0 cm)
Price Range:
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A fine set of four Louis XVI painted fauteuil having rectangular shaped backs with domed top rail and carved palm finials on each corner, sabre arms with detailed acanthus leaf carving at each arm. Standing on turned tapering reeded fluted legs. Two chairs stamped Sené.

Claude II Sené

The youngest son of Claude I Sené and brother of the famous Jean-Baptiste-Claude, he originally worked on the rue de Faubourg-Saint-Denis and became master of his workshop in 1769, but unfortunately had to file bankruptcy in 1783. A year later he resumed his activity and set up his own studio on the rue de Cléry, close to that of his brother. It is likely he would have received a few orders of work from the Crown; however it seems that he worked mainly for private clients.

The studio was forced to stop production with the start of the Revolution, but Claude II leaves behind him the legacy of great Louis XVI chairs; elegant, well designed and delicately carved. His most popular armchairs à la reine (with flat, shield shaped backs), appear to take their model from his elder brother Jean-Baptiste (examples of which can be seen in the musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris), although not being intended for the court, they are decorated with a more restrained simplicity. They also reflect designs created by a prominent carpenter of the time, Georges Jacob, who was frequently commissioned to create elegant sets of furniture for Queen Marie Antoinette’s apartments at Fontainebleau, Versailles and Saint-Cloud.

It is often difficult to distinguish between the works of Claude II and his father, Claude I, who continued working until 1780. However, his fathers’ works are more characteristic of the early Louis XV style involving more elaborate rococo elements, whilst Claude II is more characteristic of the neo-classical Louis XVI style. Although there is no initial on the stamps of these particular chairs it is most likely the work of Claude II for his stamps were of a smaller script than Claude I.

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