Jean Prouvé 1901-1984
« Grand Repos » adjustable armchair, circa 1929.
This aptly named reclining chair is to date the third example on record. The other two, one of which was owned by the Prouvé family, are now in the standing collection of the Pompidou Centre. This example was purchased by Eric Touchaleaume from Sotheby’s in Monaco in 1986 and is now part of the Vitra Design Museum collection.
It transited via a private Swiss collection and had come back onto the art market a decade ago (Artcurial sale, Paris, May 2006).
The chassis in folded sheet steel lacquered grey-green features armrests that curve in arcs to form the base. Seat, padded armrests, back and head-rest are upholstered in putty-coloured leather and are attached by press studs. The seat shell is mounted on two rods which terminate in ball-bearing races that run on rails built into the lower chassis. A lever under the seat blocks to position. Two springs ensure ease of adjustment from upright position to reclining mode, and vice versa.
This example has variants: it is the most elaborate of the three and is probably the last-born of the series. Its putty leather upholstery with head-rest perfectly matches the grey-green of the metal parts, a colour Prouvé was fond of. By all appearances it was made to special order for an aesthete who knew a thing or two about comfort.
Exceptional original state.
91 x 71 x 108 cm