Visiteur armchair for export, 1949
In 1949–1950 several types of Visiteur armchairs were designed for outdoor use, doubtless for the overseas market. The FC 10, the Colonial version of the Visiteur Métropole FV 12 armchair, began the use of aluminum sheet for the seat and back, and a number of variants testify to attempts at stiffening the aluminum with perforations and stamped grooves. The seat and back were reinforced with a section bar and rods. This model appeared on the export price list for 1950 and thirty were made in 1951. Its production continued with the no. 352. On the new
no. 354 version of 1952, the two grooved sheets of aluminum making up the seat were rolled and stapled together around a tie rod. This non-upholstered version does not seem to have gotten beyond the prototype stage. The Tropique armchair of late 1950 is of a different design: a steel or aluminum tube frame with the same profile as the Visiteur model, with a tubing seat structure onto which cloth is slipped or laced. Reinforced by a bent tube frame, the seat rests on support legs welded to the rear brace. The only wooden elements are the armrests and the leg protector balls. When shown the prototype, Steph Simon expressed misgivings as to its attractiveness and solidity,1 but 270 of these chairs were made in 1951 and the model appeared in the catalog as no. 351 until 1956.
1. “Tropique armchair. This latest model, which we have in the office, remains a little too simple, especially given the price we are asking. Before it was made we saw a drawing that gave the seat a much more elegant profile. Without actually making the support for the cloth out of bent steel, would it not be possible to use curved tubing, which would create the illusion of a slender profile?” (Note by Steph Simon, 28 August 1951).