In 1925, the Paris Exposition des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes was a defining moment in the history of furniture design and art and the birthplace of what would later become the Art Deco style and period which extended through the 1940s. The pure lines, geometric forms and right angles were an inspiration for sleek, modern furniture design and the créateurs of the time jumped on it.
Luxury, perfection, comfort
One particularly popular chair was born around 1929; simply called the “fauteuil confortable” or “comfortable armchair”, it was a French armchair introduced to the market by way of the French and English gentlemen’s clubs that were trendy at the time – a place where men could meet and get away from their homes (and wives) for awhile. Once there, a gentleman would sink into a well-upholstered, comfortable leather chair and relax with a drink and perhaps a cigar. Over time, people started referring to this coveted chair simply as a “Club Chair”.
|French Art Deco Club Chair with original leather, c. 1930|
Roundish forms and “basané” lambskin leather were typical for club chairs fabricated in France and would prove to become a sort of trademark for French club chairs (as opposed to English club chairs). A product of both the French and English by its history, this chair was timeless in its style – a classic that would be appreciated by all for generations.
|French Art Deco Club Chair, c. 1940.|
|English Chesterfield Club Chair, c. 1930.|
A time for relaxation…
The Club Chair was an essential part of 20th century luxury furniture, and its longevity, modernism and refinement are still very much admired today. Its round form was legendary but evolved with time into new forms such as the “moustache” form with lip like curves across the back or the “chapeau de gendarme” with its elegant arch-like curve. The leather, the supple lines, the low seat and snug fit were seductive and indicative of absolute comfort. Men (and women) could sit in them for hours and never want to get up!
|"Moustache" back French club chair, c. 1930.|
|French Club Chair with "Chapeau de Gendarme" back, c. 1930.|
Today these chairs continue to work their magic, adding that touch of class and luxury to any living or sitting area. An authentic French club chair, with striking lines, perfect proportions and beautiful patina on original, full panels of leather can’t be matched by modern knock-offs and reproductions which are often over-sized and pieced together with smaller pieces of lower quality leather.
|Beautiful round curves accent the armrest of a French Art Deco club chair.|
|Full panel leather on the back of a French Art Deco club chair.|
|Original tacks line the back of a French Art Deco club chair.|
Club chairs simply exude character and luxury, they offer an instant sense of history to any room they inhabit. So go ahead, indulge, kick off your heels and take a load off…