This rare, well-documented lounge chair was designed by the French designer René Coquery and produced by Thonet in 1929-1930. The tilted frame is made of bent, welded and chromed tubular steel. The very comfortable deep sprung-upholstered seat and backrest are covered in the original stone grey fabric.
The progressiveness of Coquery’s design has been documented by Derek Ostergard in his leading publication on bent wood and metal furniture between 1850 and 1946: “The opulent cushions of this design recalled traditional concepts of comfort and challenged contemporary prejudices that tubular steel was cold to the touch, antiseptic, and uncomfortable. Coquery reduced much of the impression of heaviness of these cushions by streamlining their mass. As a result, this chair, with its backward cant, has a sweeping grace that other heavily upholstered chairs of the period do not have.”
Also published in Ostergard’s book is an archival image of the Thonet Paris catalogue, showing the armchair in an office and library designed by Emile Guillot. In this room, the chair was combined with other tubular steel furniture designs by Charlotte Perriand and André Lurçat. The chair is part of the permanent collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
Provenance: Mr. R.A. Hoogland, a medical practitioner in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Gerrit Rietveld was a friend of Hoogland and offered him advice regarding the furnishment of his family home and medical practice, including a preference for Thonet’s tubular steel designs such as Mies van der Rohe’s MR 534 chair and this Coquery armchair.
Literature References: The Furniture Collection Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam: 1850-2000 from Michel Thonet to Marcel Wanders, Delfini, pg. 120 Bentwood and Metal Furniture 1850-1946, Ostergard, pg. 289-90