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Pair of late 19th century French Gilt Armchairs designed by Eugene Grasset

$28,000per set


This pair of chairs formed part of a suite of furniture designed by Eugene Grasset, circa 1880 for the Paris residence of Charles Gillot, inspired by Haute Epoque designs and by the theories of Violet-le-Duc. Born in Switzerland in 1841, Eugène Grasset studied architecture and finally settled in Paris in 1871 where he worked as a designer for a fabric maker. He read a lot and was strongly influenced by the theories of Viollet-le-Duc : the determinant role of reason in arts and the lesson given to men by nature : no one may invent any new shape as all shapes are already existing in nature. He would also be guided by this architect's admiration for the medieval times, which he also studied to a large extent. Eugène Grasset befriended Charles Gillot and first collaborated with him as an illustrator and a photo-engraver, since the latter had inherited a patent from his father for a chemical process, allowing to print simultaneously text and images. He had then adapted the process himself to photography. Captivated by the strong erudition and original taste of Eugène Grasset, Charles Gillot commissioned him to draw a whole set of furniture for his Parisian home, amongst which a monumental chimney, a sideboard, a bed and a series of chairs. Eugène Grasset was concerned with both maintaining a certain harmony in the house which already contained medieval and Renaissance furniture, altarpieces and oriental art, and still creating original pieces of furniture rather than mere copies. His design language consisted of perfect lines combined with symbols inspired from nature, establishing a dialogue between man and nature and allow his designs to become both objects of art and use. Also professor of decorative arts in Paris, Eugène Grasset had amongst his pupils the daughter of Charles Gillot, who commissioned him upon her marriage in 1905, with a second set of furniture that would remind her of her family house. Thus, 25 years later, Eugène Grasset designed a dining suite, a series of chairs and a bibliotheque almost exactly upon the same models as for the first commission, only using walnut instead of oak. Today, some examples from these two commissions belong to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. The fact that the present chairs are made of walnut suggests that they belong to the second set Grasset produced for Gillot's daughter, 25 years later. The gilding was probably added later to give the chairs a more cheerful and opulent look. It could be removed.


  • Creator
    Eugène Grasset (Designer)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 43 in. (109.22 cm)Width: 28 in. (71.12 cm)Depth: 23 in. (58.42 cm)Seat Height: 18 in. (45.72 cm)
  • Sold As
    Set of 2
  • Style
    Renaissance Revival (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1880
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor fading. The exquisite silk and velvet applique fabric needs to be restored or replaced.
  • Seller Location
    Troy, NY
  • Reference Number
    Seller: E_5361stDibs: U1201308527179

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $699 In-Home Delivery Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 4-9 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Troy, NY
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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Located in Troy, NY
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