Two-seater sofa in solid wood covered with polyurethane foam. Feet in wax-polished walnut. Seat cushion in polyurethane foam and goose-down. Removable cobers.
This sofa type was a favorite of Jean Michel Frank. However, the basic frame of this sofa was not invented by Frank nor by his partner Charnaux. Sofas of a similar structure frequently appear in photographs of interiors of the early and mid 1920’s. Around 1926, Syrie Maugham, the wife of Somerset Maugham and a successful decorator, was using the same basic sofa type with a slip cover and loose back cushions and without trapezoidal wooden feet. Certainly, Frank was not a furniture designer in the strict sense in that he was not interested in developing a model with precise, fixed dimensions or set proportions which could be mass-produced and used in various decoration schemes. Moreover, it is obvious that this sofa was never intended to be an original statement or a limited edition. In short, it is more accurate to say that this club chair and matching sofa was a general type or model of upholstered furniture which Frank found particularly pleasing and easy to adapt and modify for different decorating schemes. In fact, arm chairs and matching sofas of this type appear frequently in the photographs of apartments and rooms decorated by Frank. However, no two are exactly the same. The width of the arms, the inclination of the back and other construction details are constantly varied. Frank was neither an architect nor an industrial designer. He practiced, with enormous effectiveness, the then relatively new profession of “interior decorator” as distinguished from “architect”. Interior decoration is a highly perishable art. Consequently, the work of Frank remains principally in the photographs of the homes he decorated. Yet, Frank’s simple rooms decorated with relatively few pieces of well proportioned furniture in rich materials became the standard for the internationally-minded rich and have undoubtedly exerted a significant influence upon modern taste.