This extraordinary and highly imaginative chair was originally designed for the future King Edward VII – then known to everyone as ‘Bertie’, the playboy Prince of Wales – during his youthful escapades in Paris.
Made to measure by the prominent (yet discrete) cabinetmaker Louis Soubrier in 1890, the love chair was delivered to the Parisian bordello Le Chabanais for the future king’s personal use. The design allowed the infamous playboy prince to amuse himself in numerous ways, including with two ladies at the same time.
Bordellos were legalized in France in 1802, but it wasn’t until 1878 that one of high standing, Le Chabanais, was opened. One of the great bordellos of fin-de-siècle Paris, Le Chabanais was renowned for its extravagance. Over the years this ‘maison de tolerance’ saw visitors as illustrious as Humphrey Bogart, Mae West, Cary Grant, and the future King Edward VII. The bedrooms were lavishly decorated in their own exotic styles, including the Turkish Chamber, Pompeii Room and Japanese Salonbut Bertie’s favorite was the Hindu room.
While the original chair used by the prince is now owned by the great-grandson of the original 19th-century maker, the present example is one of just three known based on the original design. Another example can be found on display at the Museum of Sex in Prague.
|A siege d’Amour displays at the Sex Machines Museum Prague.|