The model for this stool was created by the upholsterer A. M. E. Fournier who worked in the boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris, from 1850 onwards. Its feet, which are in the form of simulated tassels, are significant in the context of the Second Empire in France (1852-1870), when the importance of upholstery and textiles reached its apogee in interior decorating.
A pouf à cordes by Fournier is in the château de Compiègne and is illustrated in H. Hayward, World Furniture, London, 1965, p. 241, pl. 928, and in J.-M. Moulin, ‘The furnishing of the Palace of Compiègne during the Second Empire’, The Connoisseur, December 1978, p. 253. A giltwood stool of the same design was sold by the Earl of Rosebery from the collection of Baron Mayer Amschel de Rothschild, Mentmore, Sotheby’s House sale, 18 May 1977, lot 10, while a further pair was sold by the Earl and Countess of Perth, at Christies’s, 18 April 1996, lot 44. Another giltwood stool of this type was sold also at Christie’s, 2 May 1997, lot 156.