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Rare Pierre Jeanneret Furniture From Chandigarh

Pierre Jeanneret and Le Corbusier in India

The Chandigarh project was actually originally started by the architects Maciej Nowicki and  Albert Mayer, who bowed out of the project after his architect-partner Nowicki died in a plane crash (1950).

Albert Mayer Portrait
Albert Mayer
Maciej Nowicki Portrait
Maciej Nowicki

The British modernist architect couple Maxwell Fry and Jane Drew were subsequently tapped by Indian Prime Minister Pandit Nehru as replacements to design this new capital of Panjab. 

Max Fry and Jane Drew Portrait
Max Fry and Jane Drew

This was a huge undertaking and, concerned about their ability to take on such a large project, the couple were able to somehow convince famed architect and fellow modernist Le Corbusier to take the lead on this ambitious endeavor. It was Le Corbusier who reunited with his cousin Pierre Jeanneret and brought him in to serve as his “man on the ground.”

Le Corbusier Portrait
Le Corbusier
Pierre Jeanneret Portrait
Pierre Jeanneret

The Le Corbusier Chandigarh plan was officially launched in 1951 and  Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry left the project after 3 years, due to other obligations.  Pierre Jeanneret set up residence in Chandigarh and took on the role of Chief Architect and Town Planning Adviser until he left in 1965.  That’s almost 14 years – well beyond the time he had originally planned on staying.

Jeanneret Chandigarh Residence
Jeanneret Chandigarh Residence

It was within these 14 years that Pierre Jeanneret, occasionally with others, designed much of the furniture that was used in the administrative buildings, residences, courts, and theaters. Jeanneret’s Kangaroo Chair and the ubiquitous Capitol Complex Office Chair, which were standard pieces used in the residences and offices in Chandigarh, have had a rebirth as decorator faves in contemporary high-end projects.

Jeanneret Kangaroo Chair
Jeanneret Kangaroo Chair
Jeanneret Capitol Complex Chair
Jeanneret Capitol Complex Chair

Little did anyone know in the 1950’s how coveted these pieces were to become decades later.

There are, however, many other pieces of furniture that were used in the fabled city of Chandigarh.  I have hunted down the rarer pieces and assembled them together here. Enjoy! 

Jeanneret Library Chair

Pierre Jeanneret & Eulie Chowdury – Library Chair

Designed for Library of Panjab/High Court

Made of: teak, leather.

Year: 1952-1956

Jeanneret Swing Chair

Pierre Jeanneret Swing Chair – Early Prototype

Designed for residential buildings in Chandigarh. 

Made of: teak, iron, cane.

Year: 1953

Jeanneret bamboo chair

 Pierre Jeanneret Bamboo Chair

Designed for residential buildings in Chandigarh. 

Made of: bamboo, cotton cord, jute rope.

Year: 1953

Jeanneret rare sitting chair

Pierre Jeanneret – Rare Sitting Chair 

Designed for residential buildings in Chandigarh. 

Made of: teak, woven cane.

Year: 1956

Jeanneret chair w molded seat

 Pierre Jeanneret – Chair With Molded Seat

Designed for residential buildings in Chandigarh. 

Made of: sissoo wood, iron.

Year: 1956

Jeanneret armless easy chair

 Pierre Jeanneret – Armless Easy Chair

Designed for residential buildings in Chandigarh. 

Made of:  teak, animal hide.

Year: 1955-1960

Jeanneret folding chair

Pierre Jeanneret – Folding Easy Chair 

Designed for residential buildings in Chandigarh. 

Made of:  teak, woven cane.

Year: 1960

Jeanneret theater chair

Pierre Jeanneret & Aditya Prakash – Theater Chair

Designed for Tagore Theater. 

Made of: teak, leather.

Year: 1960-1961

Jeanneret box chair

Pierre Jeanneret – Boxed Chair With Free Back Seat

Designed for Panjab University (Sector 14).

Made of:  teak, woven cane.

Year: 1960

Jeanneret cane sofa

Pierre Jeanneret – Cane Sofa

Designed for Administration Buildings.

Made of:  teak, woven cane.

Year: 1961

How Much Do These Rare Jeanneret Chairs Cost?

A lot. At this point these pieces are extremely hard to come by and I would say that they are basically museum pieces. Only the most dedicated Jeanneret fans and well heeled are able or willing to pay these prices. For example, I found a Jeanneret Folding Chair HERE for $3400.00. The Swing Chair prototype HERE is a hefty $34,000. And if you want to cough up the really big bucks, you can purchase the Jeanneret Bamboo Chair for a whopping $50,000 (check it out HERE). If I owned it, NOBODY (myself included) would ever sit in it. Facts.

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