Pair of “voyeuse” chairs

Stamped by Jean-Baptiste Claude Sené, Master in 1769
1789
Carved and painted beech
Inv. CAM 70
© Les Arts Décoratifs, Paris / photo: Jean Tholance

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Each chair back has a frieze of double scrolls and garlands of beads; a frieze of shells on the apron is interrupted at the corners by squares containing crescent shapes; the “Etruscan-style” saber legs, ending in hoofed feet, are adorned with festoons of beads. The chairs were originally upholstered in a toile de Jouy fabric with “a green flower and palm tree design on a white ground.” They were commissioned on August 4, 1789 for the Turkish drawing room of the Château de Montreuil at Versailles, the residence of King Louis XVI’s sister Madame Elisabeth. “Voyeuse” chairs were placed at card tables, where people could kneel on them to watch the games.

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