A Fine Pair of French Louis XVI Style Carved-wood Cream-Lacquered Settees, probably by Maison Jansen. The rectangular shaped Love Seats, each with scrolled carved armrests ending with rosettes, upholstered on all sides and with cushions and padded bolsters, both upholstered in a later striped burgundy and white satin silk and raised on four tapered fluted legs. Circa: Paris, 1900's.
Height: 29 inches (73.7 cm)
Width: 59 1/4 inches (150.5 cm)
Depth: 29 1/4 inches (74.3 cm)
Seat Height: 20 inches (50.8 cm)
Maison Jansen (House of Jansen) was a Paris-based interior decoration office founded in 1880 by Dutch-born Jean-Henri Jansen. Jansen is considered the first truly global design firm, serving clients in Europe, Latin America, North America and the Middle East. This House was located at 23, rue de l'Annonciation, Paris, and closed in 1989.
From its beginnings Maison Jansen combined traditional furnishings with influences of new trends including Anglo-Japanese style, the Arts and Crafts movement, and Turkish style. The firm paid great attention to historical research with which it attempted to balance clients' desires for livable, usable, and often dramatic space. Within ten years the firm had become a major purchaser of European antiques, and by 1890 had established an antiques gallery as a separate firm that acquired and sold antiques to Jansen's clients and its competitors as well.
In the early 1920s Jean-Henri Jansen approached Stéphane Boudin, who was then working in the textile trimming business owned by his father Alexandre Boudin, and brought him on board. Accounts of the arrangement vary. Speculation existed that Boudin was able to provide financial solvency to the prominent but capital-poor atelier. Boudin's attention to detail, concern for historical accuracy, and ability to create dramatic and memorable spaces brought increasing new work to the firm. Boudin was made director and presided over an expansion of the firm's offices and income.
Throughout the firm's history, it employed a traditional style drawing upon European design, but influence of contemporary trends including the Vienna Secession, Modernism, and Art Deco has also appeared in Jansen interiors and in much of the custom furniture the firm produced between 1920 and 1950.
Under Boudin's leadership, Maison Jansen provided services to the royal families of Belgium, Iran, and Serbia; Elsie de Wolfe, and Lady Olive Baillie's Leeds Castle in Kent, England. The firm's most published work was a project by Boudin and Paul Manno, the head of Jansen's New York office, for the U.S. White House during the administration of John F. Kennedy. At the same time, Jansen completed the interior of the motor yacht Chambel IV, now renamed Northwind II. Northwind II is one of the few remaining complete Jansen commissions.
After Stéphane Boudin's death in 1967, colleague Pierre Delbée took over the business. Maison Jansen came under new ownership in 1979 and finally closed in 1989.
References: A collector's guide "Maison Jansen"
Chinoiserie is loanword from French chinoiserie, from chinois, "Chinese"; traditional Chinese: ???; simplified Chinese: ???; pinyin: Zhongguófeng; lit. 'China style') is the European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and other East Asian artistic traditions, especially in the decorative arts, garden design, architecture, literature, theatre, and music. The aesthetic of chinoiserie has been expressed in different ways depending on the region. It is related to the broader current of Orientalism, which studied Far East cultures from a historical, philological, anthropological, philosophical, and religious point of view. First appearing in the 17th century, this trend was popularized in the 18th century due to the rise in trade with China and the rest of East Asia.
As a style, chinoiserie is related to the Rococo style. Both styles are characterized by exuberant decoration, asymmetry, a focus on materials, and stylized nature and subject matter that focuses on leisure and pleasure. Chinoiserie focuses on subjects that were thought by Europeans to be typical of Chinese culture.
Chinoiserie entered European art and decoration in the mid-to-late 17th century; the work of Athanasius Kircher influenced the study of Orientalism. The popularity of chinoiserie peaked around the middle of the 18th century when it was associated with the Rococo style and with works by François Boucher, Thomas Chippendale, and Jean-Baptist Pillement. It was also popularized by the influx of Chinese and Indian goods brought annually to Europe aboard English, Dutch, French, and Swedish East India Companies. There was a revival of popularity for chinoiserie in Europe and the United States from the mid-19th century through the 1920s, and today in elite interior design and fashion.
Chinoiserie had some parallel in "occidenterie", which was Western styled goods produced in 18th century China for Chinese consumers. Although this was a notable interest of the Kangxi Emperor and Qianlong Emperor, as shown by the architecture of Xiyang Lou, it was not restricted only to the court. "Occidenterie" artifacts and art were accessible to a wider variety of consumers, as they were domestically produced.