FURNITURE 101: LOUIS XV CHAIRS

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It's been awhile since my first Furniture 101 post, but since I've been doing some visual research in preparation for my Louis chairs makeover, it's the perfect time for another installation.
LOUIS XV CHAIRS
PERIOD OF SIGNIFICANCE:

1722-1774. Named after King Louis XV of France (1710-1774) whose reign began in 1722.

STYLE DOSSIER:

  • Also known as "Louis Quinze"  
  • Identified by their curves--the back, arms, and legs are all devoid of straight lines & sharp angles/cuts. 
  • The Louis XV chair has a cabriole leg (made of 2 arcs--the upper one being convex & the lower arc being concave).
  • With its intricate and detailed designs (which originally featured nature, "Orientalia", & fantasy motifs) Louis XV chairs invoke feelings of love, sensuality, and romance.
  • Frames were originally made of cherry, beech or walnut, but the marquetry work (detail carving) was done in rare & exotic woods such as tulipwood, violet wood, and king wood.
  • Best recognized styles include Fauteuil & Bergére (see below)
FAUTEUIL

  • An armchair with an upholstered seat, lifted back, and open padded arms.
  • Fauteuil means armchair in French, but it's commonly used to refer to Louis XV & Louis XVI chairs
  • Manchettes = small upholstered pads on arm rests
BERGÉRE 

  • Bergére = farmers wife/shepherdess
  • Chair design features an exposed wood frame, loose & wide seat cushion, fullback rest, and upholstered arms that are continuous with the back (sides can also be made of cane).

These chairs, in any style, can run from dirt cheap (thrift store/Craigslist/flea market find) to wallet-busting, depending on their condition, and are perfect for a modern update. If you haven't already, you must see Nicole Lanteri's (Honey & Fritz) jaw-dropping & kid-friendly makeover from a few weeks ago. I also found a great post from Design Sponge with a more in-depth history of French chairs from the 18th & 19th centuries. Check it out here if you want to brush up on your furniture history.
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