Early Pierre Chapo 'S10X' Armchair in Cognac Leather and Elm
Pierre Chapo, armchair model 'S10X', elm, leather, France, circa 1964.
This design is an early edition, created according to the original craft methodology of Pierre Chapo. This comfortable armchair in solid elmwood and cognac saddle leather features a wonderful and rich patina. The chair is therefore especially interesting as the ageing of the leather creates an authentic feel. The chair is based on Chapo's 48 x 72 assembly principle. The S10 chair is most likely a reference to Corbusier's LC2. It was a very popular chair when it first came out. The chair can be fully dismantled and is a wonderful example of a design with a complex assembly yet with a sober, modest aesthetic. The entire structure is held together by the tension of the leather seat on the frame. The sincere appearance and smart construction this model shows, characterizes the work Pierre Chapo is known for. The straight lines of the sturdy rectangular wooden frame nicely contrasts with the thin back and curved straps of the armrests.
Pierre Chapo (1927-1987) was born in a family of craftsmen and trained as an architect at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Already from a young age, he felt the need to roam the world. He was only twenty-one when he left France in order to spend the next few years traveling through England and Scandinavia. In December of 1951, he was living back in Paris, where he met his future wife, Nicole. Their meeting was the beginning of a lifelong union. Together, the lovebirds travelled through South and North America being captivated by the architectural diversity. Back in France, he and his partner Nicole set up Société Chapo in 1957. Société Chapo was a design workshop and gallery in one where he showed his own creations. However, Nicole also presented her ceramics, and textiles here and they even exhibited other great designers of that period. In 1958, they opened their famous gallery at 14 Boulevard de l'Hopital. Chapo's work originated by means of special commissions that could later be adapted to universal needs. Throughout his career, Chapo combined his interest for contemporary design with his love for traditional craftsmanship. In his designs, he was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright's balanced lines, Corbusier's research on proportions and the ideas of Bauhaus. The three principles that motivated Pierre Chapo were 'material, form, and function.' He measured his furniture by means of golden ratio and used elmwood as his preferred material. Unfortunately, Chapo fell ill, and he died in 1987, however, until his last day, he kept on designing and working.
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