A Louis XV bergere chair with satin upholstery, French, c.1760 (Accession No. 10125)
This exquisite bergere chair, adorned with a luxurious satin cover, holds an intriguing history. Lady Baillie, an esteemed collector of fine furniture, acquired this gem in 1967. It seamlessly complements the French Regency style of her bedroom, a captivating space designed in the mid-1930s. The chair itself hails from around 1760, showcasing its timeless elegance. Its aesthetic allure lies in the intricate details, including a moulded scroll back, beautifully carved cabriole legs with delicate flower motifs, and a meticulously crafted carved apron at the front. To ensure ultimate comfort for the sitter, small arm supports were thoughtfully integrated into the design.
However, satin, while undeniably opulent, is a fabric known for its delicacy and suitability for occasional use rather than frequent use in furniture. Recognising this, the chair underwent re-covering in 1967 with a cream and blue fabric, meticulously selected at the time of its acquisition. More recently, in 2020/2021, the chair underwent an urgent conservation treatment. As part of an extensive conservation project focused on the preservation of Lady Baillie’s private rooms, including her dressing room and mesmerising blue bedroom, this chair’s restoration played a critical role. The project itself was brought to life by the vision of Stéphane Boudin, renowned as “the greatest decorator in the world,” infusing Lady Baillie’s personal space with timeless elegance.
With its compelling history, impeccable craftsmanship, and careful conservation efforts, this satin-covered bergere chair serves as a captivating symbol of Lady Baillie’s refined taste and dedication to preserving artistic treasures throughout the generations.
Each week we will be highlighting our ‘Objects in Spotlight’ within the Castle as part of the Festival of Craft & Design.