A RARE 16TH CENTURY FRENCH WALNUT CAQUETOIRE the rectangular back carved with stylised flower heads within a rectangular moulded panel, the scrolling arms raised on ringed, baluster supports, the turned front legs united by a stretcher below the trapezoid seat, 114cm high x 63cm wide Provenance: Madame Jacqueline Boccador, Paris. Related Literature: J. Boccador 'Le Mobilier Français du Moyen Age a la Renaissance', 1988, St.-Rémy-en-l'Eau, p. 300, 302 and 303. Daniel Alcouffe, 'Furniture Collections in the Louvre, Vol. I, Middle Ages, Renaissance', p. 28-29, no's 7 and 8. Comparable chairs at auction: See Sotheby's London, 31 October 2006, lot 39. Museum Comparables: See Musee Jacquemart-Andre, Paris. The term 'caquetoire' is derived from the French word caqueter which means to gossip or chatter, because chairs of this type were commonly placed by the fireside where people would relax and chatter. Although beautifully carved with stylised motifs, they were also designed for comfort; the trapezoid shaped seat with a wide part at the front narrowing to the high back was designed to allow ladies with wide skirts to sit comfortably and the high back no doubt helped to keep out the cold drafts. These chairs were also known as a 'Tallemouze' armchairs, referring to the talmouse cake which was triangular in shape. From contemporary inventories we know that these chairs were always made singly and not in pairs or sets.