An important and rare French Empire period, mahogany fauteuil de bureau à assise tournante with a gondola shaped back and a leather swivel seat attributed to François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter. There is an exceptional carved ram’s head at each arm. The fauteuil rests on four legs ending with lion paw feet.
François-Honoré-Georges Jacob-Desmalter (1770-1841) ran one of the most important and prosperous furniture workshops in Paris at the beginning of the 1800s. The son of a well-known chairmaker, Georges Jacob, Jacob-Desmalter took over his father's business with his older brother in 1796. When his brother died six years later, Jacob-Desmalter hired his father back as his partner and began to develop one of the largest furniture workshops in Paris.
Furniture produced by the firm of Jacob-Desmalter et Cie (Co.) was mainly made from mahogany in the Empire style, where geometric shapes and straight lines prevailed. The clients included Pauline Borghese, Napoleon I's sister, and the Empress Josephine, for whom he supplied numerous pieces for the imperial residences. One particularly important commission was a magnificent cradle built for the infant Napoleon II, king of Rome.
Greatly dependent on orders from Napoleon's household, the business went bankrupt in 1813, when the Emperor fell from power. Jacob-Desmalter, however, managed to resurrect the company and continued to run it until his son, Alphonse-George, succeeded him in 1825.
Vetted Antique Shows/Fairs
The International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show, New York, NY, 2008
Private Collection, Paris, France
Mary Helen McCoy Fine Antiques, Memphis, Tennessee