I first posted about the Marais AC Chair in April, but I've noticed since then that people almost every day are searching for this chair and landing on my site. In an effort to expand my last post I wanted to say that first off, the colors and range of the sheet metal furniture produced by Burgundy artisan, Xavier Pauchard, are not limited to the three colors that are exclusive to DWR (lemon, vermillion, gunmetal) and not limited to the rage in sizes and shapes there either (there's also the A56 chair, the A97, the A, the T4, and more)—although DWR did chose great colors and iconic pieces.
Xavier Pauchard created this metal furniture line, made of buckled sheet, in 1934 for Tolix, a French company that manufactures its own products and distributes in France and abroad. While today the chair may conjure images of quaint cafés, DWR states that "it's rumored that Xavier Pauchard's Marais AC Chair was created for use in the weather forecasting room on a battleship...We do know that after its possible time at sea, the Marais was supplied to bars and brasseries by breweries in exchange for selling their beer. This arrangement ended in the 1970s, but that didn't stop the demand for these durable chairs and stools made in France." In fact, the chairs were reissued in 1986 where it found a serious fan base consisting of deign fanatics, many who scour the French countryside in search of originals.
I got hooked on the idea of finding some vintage Tolix chairs (what if they were really on a battleship!) and found some great looking stools and chairs on sites like ebay. Below is one of the original versions of the Chaise A, which because it's stackable and durable, is said to have been used in crew quarters aboard the ocean liner Normandie. You can purchase Tolix chairs at DWR, Conran (although I think they only carry a stool), Graham and Greene, and you may be able to order one from Tolix. Prices range from about $140-$220 new. Also, if you plan on being in Paris anytime soon, A Tolix exhibition is on view at the Centre Pompidou through 2008.