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Maison Fourdinois, Father and Son

Series of 10 chairs

Carved walnut and upholstery in tapestry
Around 1860

H.105 - L.64 - P.59 cm

Elegant series of 10 chairs in finely carved walnut and garnished with tapestry with different decorations of floral bouquets.

The name of Fourdinois is one of the most important names in Parisian cabinetmaking of the Second Empire. Fourdinois Père (Alexandre-Georges), founded his house in 1835 and became one of the most important sculptors and furniture manufacturers of the Second Empire, official supplier to the Empress Eugenie.

At the beginning of his career, and until 1848, he worked with the sculptor Fossey. He successively obtained a silver medal at the National Exhibitions of Industrial Products of 1844 and 1849, a great medal (council medal) at the Universal Exhibition of 1851 and the great medal of honor in 1855. The report of the Jury of the Universal Exhibition of 1867 specified that this house had given "in 1851, a real impetus to the cabinetmaking of art".

His son Henri-Auguste (1830-1907) who, trained by the architect Duban, had started for two years as a designer with Morel, a goldsmith in London, then with the bronzier Paillard, joined him in 1860.

The Universal Exhibition of London in 1862, consecrated the talents of the father by two medals of great excellence of composition and execution and the rank of officer in the order of the Legion of Honor. Shortly after, if we are to believe the Almanach du Commerce of 1863, the Fourdinois furniture factory further diversified its activities, adding tapestry to cabinetmaking and carpentry, and being able to perform "complete, simple and rich furnishings. ".

We must undoubtedly see in this extension the role of Henri Fourdinois who, thanks to his talents as a designer, brought his house to the pinnacle at the Universal Exhibition of 1867, obtaining the grand prize in classes 14 and 15, while his collaborators received medals or mentions. Alongside a current production of all kinds of furniture, high-quality works came out of the Fourdinois workshops. They created for important exhibitions, exceptional furniture and received many orders from the Furniture of the Crown but also from a wealthy private clientele, such as Princess Mathilde, the bankers Pereire and Ottinger, the Païva, the Rothschilds, the Parisian industrialist JF Cail or even aristocrats in love with the past such as the Count of Saint-Laumer, the Count of Choler in Beauregard or the Vicomte de Boisgelin.

More than the Louis XVI style from which they were often inspired, the specialty of La Maison Fourdinois seems to have been the furniture carved in the style of the Renaissance. It is in this style that the Fourdinois, Father and Son, created their masterpieces.

In 1851, the English government had purchased at the end of the World's Fair in London many objects which were to constitute in the South Kensington Museum, an illustration of what was done best abroad in the field of industrial arts, so much from a purely technical point of view than that of artistic creation. This policy was continued at the Exhibition of 1855.

Quote from the upholsterer on request.

Maison Fourdinois, Père et Fils, series of 10 walnut chairs, 19th century

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