Four chairs from the Château de Bagatelle – €900,000 (£818,180) at Artcurial. Image copyright: Artcurial.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Topping the list were a pair of armchairs and a pair of chairs that formed part of the furnishings created c.1778-79 for the Comte d’Artois, the younger brother of Louis XVI, later to become Charles X, for his Château de Bagatelle.

The four chairs, which are in their original condition and have the crowned B mark for the comte at Bagatelle to three of them, were part of a suite created by the French master cabinetmaker Georges Jacob and the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Rode to furnish a bedchamber fashioned in the form of a military tent.

This is reflected in the neoclassical design of the chairs which are in carved, gilded and patinated wood decorated with lictors’ fasces tied with laurel branches.

Belongings confiscated

The commission of the furniture is documented in 18th century archives but in 1789, during the French Revolutionary period, the comte emigrated and the château and its contents were then confiscated and the furnishings sold by auction in 1793.

Over the years, various items of furniture from the château have since reappeared on the market.

Artcurial had guided the four chairs at €300,000-500,000 at the auction on July 22-23 but after a battle between the room and the phone they were finally knocked down to an international collector for €900,000 (£818,180).


A set of six Louis XV armchairs – €170,000 (£154,545) at Artcurial. Image copyright: Artcurial.

The second-highest price was paid for a set of six armchairs of Louis XV period with the brand of the cabinetmaker Jean-Baptiste I Tilliard, who was received as master in 1717.

The set had a notable provenance. In the 19th century they belonged to the Goncourt brothers, the famous writers who championed 18th century French art, and were placed in the salon of their Parisian hôtel particulier on the Boulevard de Montmorency. They sold for €170,000 (£154,545) against an estimate of €80,000-120,000.


Folio stand attributed to Gillows – €32,000 (£29,090) at Artcurial. Image copyright: Artcurial.

Another of the top-sellers was a piece of English furniture: a George IV period rosewood folio stand attributed to Gillows, measuring 3ft 7in (1m) high x 4ft (1.21m) wide.

It outstripped its €6000-8000 estimate to take €32,000 (£29,090).