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Fauteull Grand Confort, petit modele.

This photograph of the first prototype for the future Fauteull Grand Confort, petit modele, has emerged from the private archives left by Charlotte Perriand with other records she made in 1928-1933 while working with Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret: over 100 sheets of notes and sketches, interleaved with related documents and record photographs. All are now available as full-size colour facsimiles, complete with item-by-item transcriptions and commentaries, in Arthur Ruegg's book Charlotte Perriand, Livre de Bord 1928-1933 (Basel: Birkhauser, 2004, [euro]63.55 or CHF98).

The genesis of Le Corbusier's ideas on the equipment of the modern dwelling, Perriand's arrival at the Rue de Sevres atelier in 1927, the part she played in co-designing the Chaise Longue BascuJante, Fauteuil a Dossier Basculant, Grand Confort (large and small), glass-top tables and caslers, how and why various examples came to be showcased with other furniture and fittings as 'un equipement d'une habitation' at the 1929 Paris Salon d'Automne in Le Corbusier's absence, the deal whereby exclusive rights on all the furniture so exhibited were acquired in 1930 by Thonet Freres (who promptly spotted bootleg copies on the market in Sweden, and soon afterwards in Belgium and Switzerland too), and much else besides, is discussed in Ruegg's minutely documented and copiously illustrated main text, with forward glances to the authorized postwar editions produced in 1959-1964 by Heidi Weber and from 1965 onwards by Cassina.

Detailed plans and elevations of chair frames, drawn by Perriand, are reproduced (in reduced format) as an appendix, with information about every prototype and variant made under her supervision in 1928-29 and sales figures for the Thonet edition from 1930 to December 1932. The book also contains biographical notes on Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret and Charlotte Perriand, an illustrated chronology of Perriand's career to 1933, and a gripping set of footnotes sizzling with allusions to fee disputes and copyright litigation.

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Author:Ellis, Charlotte
Publication:The Architectural Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 1, 2004
Words:313
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