Armchair - from the royal parlor of the Millennial Exhibition

Furniture Collection

Accession Nr.: 54.223.1
Alpár, Ignác (1855 - 1928) / designer
Jaiser, Gyula (1856 - 1919) / manufacturer
Place of production: Hungary
Materials: leather; limewood
Techniques: carved; embossed; gilded; upholstered
height: 125 cm
width: 80 cm
depth: 64 cm
The armchair was made for the royal reception room at the Millennial Exhibition in 1896. The two front legs end in claws while the back ones are prismatic. There are stretchers under the seat and on the sides, connected to the seat with arcades of lobed columns. The two arm rests are covered with leather embossed with lattice motifs and end in animal heads at the front. They are supported by a carving of leaves and tendrils. The back legs are continued in the back support, ending in carved scrolling, leafy ornaments at the top, slightly leaning backwards. The seat is decorated with lattice, bird and flower ornaments. According to the contemporary press furniture industry had an important role on the Millennial Exhibition of Hungary. "The inner Design of the rooms, the decoration and the furniture were mostly designed by Ignác Alpár in Roman style, after conscientious studies... the designer tried to insist on following relics from the Arpad period, wherever possible." Alpár himself said the following about his work: "I am convinced that the form of this glorious historical age of Hungary should and can be improved further in the architecture of the future moreover, I am also convinced of the fact that the research and improvement of these forms, as well as the comparison of these embroideries with other typical Hungarian decoration will eventually result in a style that will be definitely and unmistakably Hungarian." According to information kindly served by the seller, Mrs K. Fittler, the leatherwork of the armchair were made by Jaiser though in this case we should also suppose that the whole chair was made by him, since, as it is said in the 1888 catalogue of the Budapest Museum of Commerce, Jaiser was making "carved products" as well as "etched leatherwork for upholstering the furniture and walls, also suitable for bookbinding." (see the Catalogue of the permanent exhibition of Hungarian Products, Museum of Commerce, Imre Németh, Bp, 1888.) In case of a master with such a talent and equipment, the carving part of the work was certainly unlikely to have been commissioned to anyone else.


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