Presented by the Parisian Galerie Perrin at this year’s Design Miami/ Basel (on show at the fair until 18.06), this fully-foldable polished steel, gilt copper and leather armchair has caught our attention not only due to its scrupulous detailing but also because this remarkably modern-looking piece has been designed circa two hundred years ago – in early 19th century – and is said to have been created to meet the requirements of Napoleon himself .
From Galerie Perrin:
‘The polished metal tubular structure of this armchair is extremely light and fully foldable with the help of swivels located in strategic axis. The two lateral X-shaped legs are joined at the bottom with perpendicular metal rails supported by slightly curving legs ending in a small round disk-shaped foot. Two armrest supports enhanced with gilt copper medallions are connected to the upper X-shaped lateral legs.
‘This type of seats were created to fill the military troops need for logistic effectiveness early in the 19th century, starting with Napoleon himself, extremely protective of his campaign furniture. To fulfill the expectations of the Emperor, the administration of the Garde Meuble impérial commissioned tents, beds, armchairs, chairs, tools and tables to be easily folded, put away and moved.’
‘Since function preceded form, the latter was reduced to its single most expression, as featured in our armchair. In that context metal happened to be perfectly adapted to such modular furniture, resistant and effortlessly portable, protected by robust travel bags often lined with leather.
‘Although the primary purpose of this furniture was functionality, it nevertheless reflected the decorative trends of that period. Beyond its martial aspect, our armchair features elegance and purity of design.’