An Art Deco period leather armchair from France c. 1930
An Art Deco period leather armchair from France c. 1930 with sharp definition to the overall shape and a beautiful patina to the leather. This splendid armchair possesses a highly unusual profile that gives it a distinctive appearance from any angle. The entire chair retains its original leather upholstery that has achieved an exceptionally deep and rich patina over the passage of years. The chair is a study in right angles as the only curve to be seen appears on the front feet which are turned from solid pieces of beechwood timber. The form of the chair echoes the wing chair from England with sides that are solid both close to the seat as well as where the shoulders are situated when seated. Originally wing chairs were designed to protect the sitter from frigid drafts of chilled air when a door was opened to an unheated hallway. Because heating was limited to a blazing fire (a notoriously inefficient method of heating an enclosed space) interiors were often dreadfully cold and people were always after a way to keep warm even in relatively wealthy homes. The wonderfully cozy appeal of this large armchair lies in its ability to envelop the sitter within its confines in a comfortable manner. The burnished leather is enhanced with the original nail head trim seen on the front of the arms and along the sides as well as the wings. Changing the material from leather to metal gives the chair an additional level of visual interest as well as reinforcing the angular nature of the profile. Each arm is well padded with a slightly rounded top surface that has slightly flattened over time. The separate loose cushion is also covered in leather and fits snugly within the seat. This is a chair that was designed to be for relaxation as it is quite deep and the seat has a slant that encourages restful contemplation. The leather is in excellent condition and indicates the chair was resident in a home where it was well cared for and valued for both its attractiveness and comfort. Because the chair is finished on all four sides it may easily be used in an interior where it will be seen from all directions. The rather architectural sensibility of the chair enables it to be used in either a contemporary or traditional setting where a sculptural presence is dictated and desired.