With our absolute highest compliments Bay Colony Antiques takes the utmost pleasure in offering the finest pair of antique French chairs that we have had the privilege of owning in recent years. These armchairs are designated by their open form as fauteuils or more specifically as fauteuil a la reine after the original Louis XIV period design which came into fashion in the early years of the 18th century. We have conservatively dated this pair of chairs to the first half of the 19th century however are leaving open the possibility that the chairs could be a product of an earlier period. The only conclusive way to date the chairs properly would be to disturb the impeccable upholstery work to examine the chair frame, support blocks, and search for an impressed signature which if present would elevate these chairs to some of the finest examples in the entire global antiques marketplace. Typically chairs of this form were made of basswood or a lesser quality wood native to Europe which could be carved masterfully with relative ease compared to a denser wood and then the frames would be gilded, painted, or otherwise embellished. Many fauteuils are constructed with fruitwood or walnut as the primary wood when the chairmaker chose to leave the surface of the wood without any surface embellishment beyond a traditional finish. These chairs are constructed with solid rosewood which has remained throughout the centuries as one of the rarest and most exotic woods utilized in all of furniture making. Each solid rosewood frame was subsequently ebonized in the finishing process and throughout the centuries have oxidized beautifully giving each chair a spectacular patina that only time can create.
Each chair is masterfully carved and molded providing the highest degree of comfort one can possibly expect from an antique arm chair. The chairs are very sturdy and will provide the next owners with generations of continued use provided they are treated respectfully with regard to their historical nature. The crests of each chair are lavishly carved and feature tapering bellflower motifs which are also present along the cabriole legs. It is easy to miss certain details of the chair frames given that the upholstery is of the absolute highest quality one could possibly expect to find in today's design market. Each chair features gold silk brocaded satin fabric with damask pattern designs. We surmise that the upholstery work was done sometime in the last generation of ownership as the fabric is in pristine condition free of any considerations or defects whatsoever. We know from personal experience how cost prohibitive this sort of upholstery work is, and we were fortunate to purchase these chairs after the work had already been completed. We suspect that the upholstery costs exceeded what we are presently marketing the chairs for.
As for present value, we firmly believe that these chairs in a more exclusive setting would exceed $10,000. We state this because we have throughout decades of continued business operations sold chairs of comparatively lesser quality through design practices and regional antique auction houses for in excess of that figure. As time has gone on, we have pulled away from third party transactions as we prefer to build our practice through direct contact with our clients versus helping to build up the client base of another business. This practice allows us to offer premium antiques and artwork below market value so that we attract more clients since each prospective buyer realizes a greater cost savings. With buyer's premiums exceeding 30% in some markets it makes our platform far more appealing to discerning collectors. We do realize there are many who enjoy the thrill of purchasing at auction as prices escalate over market value just to feel that they have "won" something when in reality the real winners are the auction houses and consignors such as ourselves who use these third party services strategically. We also realize that the fixed priced format does not have the same exciting dynamic as a traditional auction however we are attempting to appeal to the most astute collectors out there and not those with cash to burn who could easily find themselves paying $13,000 for these same chairs once the buyer's premium is considered.