When it has an interesting French back story…
OK I admit, not everyone lives and breathes French furniture like I do. Especially right now as I have a Brocante fair in my hallway following our latest shipment – and well it’s all too easy to get swept up in the whimsical magic of old French villages, and long lunches, and wine and pastry and bread and cheese… see I’ve done it again!
One afternoon, while wistfully day dreaming out the window as one does when they are supposed to be folding the washing, one of our new arrivals – a 1930s fauteuil caught my eye and I thought “I bet our followers would enjoy the journey of us finding this chair in France to revitalising it to today’s interiors here in NZ, and all the quirky fun in between.”
And so let me introduce to you Jean Pierre.
Jean Pierre started life in Bordeaux France presumably somewhere in the early 30’s. We don’t know what the first few years looked like for this young fellow but given he spent his youth dodging bombs in WWII – we can’t help but wonder what he saw and whose tired legs sought comfort on him. What was he wearing then? We will never know…
Fast forward a few decades (Ok 6 to be precise) and Jean Pierre’s journey coincided with a buying trip by Larissa to the Rauzan Brocante markets. Knowing that our clients enjoy recovering our French chairs to match existing décor, she made certain it was on our next shipment. So purchased he was, and Jean Pierre awaited his boarding call to NZ
Now like most things that have been around a while with a few quirky stories to tell, Jean Pierre was looking a little worn and haggard. You could of course see however that he was once a handsome wee chap but was desperately in need of a new suit, something to take him back to his prime, a morning suit if you will.
Thankfully alongside our boucherie and boulangerie, there is also a resident interior designer in our NZ village who rather conveniently worked for many years in the UK and Europe and has a particular passion for antiques. Naturally, she was my first choice to ask for help in finding a new suit for Jean Pierre. Throwing back to his 1930’s start in life, Kerryn Dunshea of Kerryn Dunshea Interior Design chose “Mellifere” from the French fabric house Casamance.
Falling in love with the fabric immediately, I was curious to know what made it her first choice when re-dressing our dear old friend? Kerryn explains; “Mellifere feels particularly suited to this chair, it’s subtle geometric weave and metallic thread hints at the glamour of the Art Deco period. While the weave harks to the ’30’s, the colour ‘Nuage’ or ‘Cloud’ in English, is very much a contemporary colour and sits beautifully alongside the exposed timber arms. The brass nailing has been revitalised and the overall effect is elegant and tailor-made to the chair.”
And Voila… a flash new Jean Pierre has a second lease on life. You can see from the images below that Kerryn was indeed on point. At first glance he is simply a fresh, tidy chair with an interesting shape. However on closer inspection all the small details listed above come to the fore in their own subtle way – a glimmer of an art-deco dome, the cool muted blue tones of the chair in certain lights and the texture of the fabric to the touch to the now trained eye take this piece from simply a functional one to something of interest and intrigue. Add to this of course the somewhat romantic back story of this chair starting life on the other side of the world so very long ago and you now have comfort, beauty and an interesting story to tell!
Because as we now know- this chair was never really just a chair….
The French Revolution