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Chair – Louis XVI era

Voyeuse chair in sculpted, gilded wood with heart-shaped and rose-shaped designs, acanthus leaves and fluted patterns.

Stamped by Louis Magdeleine Pluvinet

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

This splendid voyeuse chair (also known as a ponteuse chair), was stamped by Louis Magdeleine Pluvinet; it was made circa 1780. Low chairs such as this one became popular around 1740; they were created to allow people to watch games of cards.
They were low enough for women to kneel on; men would sit astride slightly higher chairs. The back of these chairs always featured a flat area at the top, which served as an armrest. Pluvinet’s furniture pieces are quite rare; the quality of the craftsmanship, the balanced proportions, and the attention to detail make them highly prized works of art.