Pierre Jeanneret has been forgotten for a long time, but in the last decade or so his designs have been re-discovered by high-end interior designers. He rightfully earns a place on my list of Mid Century Design Icons. You can read more about these Design Icons here, and here and here.
Born in 1896, Jeanneret was the cousin of Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, aka the famous Le Corbusier. He was a brilliant painter and architect and studied at the School of Fine Arts in Geneva.
Pierre Jeanneret is mostly known through his teak and woven cane chairs with the characteristic V-leg shaped feet. In 1947, after the split of British India into India and Pakistan, the province of Punjab needed a new capital city. Cousin Le Corbusier was commisioned to design and create an iconic city, named Chandigarh (Chandi, the Indian goddes of power, Garh translates as Fortress). Construction began in 1951, symbolising India’s first steps into the modern age.
Pierre Jeanneret was appointed to design all the furniture for the government buildings of this modern city. And this is where, during the 1950’s, the now famous V-leg chairs were born. With their Chandigarh origins, they are crafted of local and enduring Burma teakwood and woven cane.
During the 1970’s the Indians wanted more modern furniture designs and discarded the Jeannerets chairs. They were brought to the junk heap just like that! Nothing was heard of these beautiful chairs anymore, until in the early 1980’s some savvy furniture collectors re-discovered Jeanneret’s furniture pieces and decided to buy them, ship them to the Western world and the rest is history.
Famous designers such as the Belgian Axel Vervoordt and the French Joseph Dirand are huge fans who use the Jeanneret chairs often in their interiors. As you can see in the images below, once you add a Jeanneret in your interior it adds a sculptural effect and brings with it instant sophistication. Unfortunately, these chairs are hard to find and even harder to pay for. The average price for a real Jeanneret on 1stDibbs retails at 10.000 dollars…
So if you don’t have 10.000 dollars lying around you can still enjoy the Pierre Jeanneret eye-candy below.
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