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Robert Mallet-Stevens, 1886 – 1945
France

To our knowledge there are three variant models of this chair, as shown side by side in the adjacent photo.
First, the red lacquered prototype, in which the rolled sheet steel used for the tube was too thin for series fabrication. We think that it was made 1923/24 – before the other two.
Second, the series model with bottle green lacquer finish (sometimes sea green) using thick-section tube, adapted from the prototype and made around 1924/25 to equip the Villa Noailles.
Third, the series model with lawn green lacquer finish, using thin tube, of more elaborate fabrication and showing important differences, circa 1928/29, the date of the commission from Count Olivier de Rivaud de la Raffignière.

- Garden chair with red lacquer finish, prototype circa 1923-24.
Sole example known to date, differs considerably from the other two models, especially the thin tube series version. It is very light and as a prototype was probably deemed to be too fragile.
(Variant in thick-section tube has same side rungs.) Straight back. Tips of legs cut straight. Canvas seat attached by rings and studs. Tube rolled from very thin sheet steel, bordeaux red Duco lacquer finish (partly re-painted) with white raw canvas seat (re-upholstered since fabrication). Maker’s brass plate affixed centre-front of back rest reads: ETABLISSEMENTS D’AUTREMONT & C° 14 & 16 RUE d’ALSACE, COURBEVOIE.
85 x 62 x 83 cm. 

 

- Garden chair with lawn green lacquer finish, series model using thin tube, circa 1928-29, (three examples).
Rare variant in thin tube, no side rungs. Sloped back. Tips of legs are rounded. Canvas seat attached to moveable tube. Rolled sheet steel tube, lawn green Duco lacquer finish (partly re-painted) with pale green canvas seat (re-upholstered since fabrication). Made by Etablissements D’Autremont et Cie, Courbevoie.
Set commissioned by Count Olivier de Rivaud de la Raffignière in 1929 (or later) to fill out first suite of three seats with one low table (?), for swimming pool of Château de la Chataigneraie, La Celle Saint Cloud. 91 x 60,5 x 91 cm.

- Low table, circa 1928-29.
Very rare model in rolled sheet steel tube, one bottle green lacquer finish, the other lawn green.
It is worth noting that the low tables accompanying the chairs at the Villa Noailles differ from these, their legs being pyramid-shaped.
Provenance also Count Olivier de Rivaud de la Raffignière for swimming pool of Château de la Chataigneraie, La Celle Saint Cloud. 45 x 51 x 50 cm.

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The swimming pool at the Villa Noailles, showing a suite of chairs matching the series variant made from thick-section tube.
Interior view and exterior view (following page).

Photos d'archives NB © DR. Photos couleur © C. Baraja - E. Touchaleaume. Archives Galerie 54, Paris.

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