Maison Jansen (1880-1989) was one of the foremost design firms that came into existence in the 19th and 29th Centuries. The furniture produced by the company became some of the most iconic and sought after pieces because of their glamour, grandeur and luxury. Its clientele and public demand defined the work, with customers like royalty, celebrities and millionaires and the style reflected this status. Beginning as a company in Paris in 1880, it gained momentum and fame through word of mouth during what is known as the era of ‘Beaux-arts fashion’. Jean-Henri Jansen, who picked the top designers he could find to join him, such as Stéphane Boudin, Pierre Delbée, Carlos Ortiz-Cabrera and Arthur Kouwenhoven all of whom worked with the house over the years, started the group. With glamorous detailing and fine quality furnishings and lamp fittings, Maison Jansen became one of the most established and esteemed design houses of the 20th Century.
Maison Jansen’s typical style was one that was constantly evolving and yet remaining true to its luxurious aesthetic and theatrical finery. Maison Jansen offered rooms filled with designs inspired by Louis XV’s furniture – plump cushions with ornate patterning on all the upholstery and gilt fixtures. The work could range from one-of-a-kind commissions to collections of works that had been designed for hotels and large residential suites. Furniture by Maison Jansen can be found in the Red Room and the Blue Room in the White House in Washington DC, the private residences of Leeds Castle and numerous other esteemed locations. Even after the doors of the official Paris Maison Jansen closed in 1989, the 1990s brought a new wave of interest in the form of celebrity auctions.
Maison Jansen Lounge Chair (circa 1970) H: 86 L:64 D: 96, leather and metal, Maison Jansen France
The Lounge Chair by Maison Jansen is a typical example of the work produced around the 1960s and 1970s. The chair is styled with an air of ancient symbolism and makes reference to various historical and mythological symbols. The bronze fixtures, of finely detailed clawed feet recall a bygone era of Ancient Rome. The chair was initially produced in Italy. Its leather seating and steel legs shows a leaning toward an industrial understanding of design that works well with the practical ability to fold up the chair. The soft feel of the leather contrasts well with the polished metals, which shows a characteristic Maison Jansen aesthetic of warm reflectiveness. The use of subtle detailing and pristine materials reflects the understated glamour and sophistication of Maison Jansen’s output in the 1970s and the more exploratory collections.