Georges I Jacob, a Parisian furniture maker specialized in chairs, worked for the royal household from the middle of the 18th century onwards. Towards the end of the Ancien Régime, he was one of the first to use mahogany to make chairs and beds.
In 1796 he founded a new furniture workshop under the name Jacob-Frères with his two sons, Georges II and François-Honoré-Georges. Following the abolishment of the French corporations during the Revolution, they were able to make chairs and other items of furniture as well as cabinet-making works.
Working in collaboration with the architects Percier and Fontaine, and the painter David, he made the furniture for the National Convention and the seats for the Committee of Public Safety, before working on the décor of the Château of Malmaison for the Bonaparte family and many other fashionable homes, such as that of Madame Récamier.
Upon the death of Georges II in 1803, the company's name was changed to Jacob-Desmalter (after the family property, Malterres, in Cheny in the Yonne department). It was the major furniture supplier for the imperial palaces and employed hundreds of workers (carpenters, cabinet-makers, sculptors, bronzesmiths, founders, engravers, etc.) until it went bankrupt in 1813. However, the furniture workshop lived on under the management of Alphonse Jacob-Desmalter until 1846, when it was taken over by Jeanselme.