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Ameublement 2

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Furniture has always had fashion changes, just as art, clothing, architecture and today, automobiles have had. Usually it was dictated by the tastes of monarchs and/or their mistresses or commoners who were wealthy enough to afford having their furniture designed and made for them. In the United States, where in the early years of our country everyone came from somewhere else, they brought with them memories of furniture that they had seen in whatever country they had come from but actually, very little in the way of furniture was brought here because shipping space was so limited and passengers took up most of the space on the sailing vessels that brought them here. There simply was no room for furniture excepting an odd piece here or there. That's the reason for the prolificacy of early American furniture in the United States because everyone living here, in those days, had to either, have made or made themselves, their furniture. Because of the nature of life here in the early days, the furniture had to be sturdy so although it was patterned after furniture styles of the countries from whence they came, Early American was never as elaborate or highly decorated as French or English furniture of the same period.

F. The Directoire Chair Box. High fashion in the reign of Napoleon this style was a combination of veneered wood, often with matchbook burls on the back and very elaborate upholstery in velvets and tapestries that were made expressly for the chair. This particular chair has the wreaths that Napoleon so favored outlining both the seat and the back upholstery and garlanded wreaths usually in ormulu, but here painted in gold, embellishing the wood frame. Notice the feet are hooves and capped in ormulu as well. Inside, a detail of the design, painted and the clasp a detail of the wreath in metal. Our price: $209.90.

G. The Gothic Chair Box. Of English extraction, this period of furniture was in the mid 1700's. Generally this type of chair was heavily carved here indicated by the gilding which denotes fluting on the legs and splats. Also notice the pointed arches used in the carving of the splat, a typically Gothic shape. The lines were quite straight and often without arms because chairs had evolved from stools which were prevalent at an earlier time. Because of the huge skirts worn by the ladies of the court and the swords worn by men, stools and then armless chairs, were almost a necessity. Upholstered seating had begun already. Nothing inside and the clasp is a simple bow. Our price: $209.90.

H.. The English Side Chair Box. Most often used at dining tables this chair could have been Adams, Hepplewhite or Sheraton. All used the shield back in variations. Most interesting about Sheraton is that there are no records showing that he ever actually made furniture. He published books of patterns for furniture, explained in great detail how to make furniture but nowhere is there a signed piece by Sheraton. As a matter of fact, Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Sheraton are really renowned for the books on furniture making that they published. Their furniture styles were made by artisans many of whom were their equals or even more talented than they at their craft but those were the gentlemen who wrote the books and that is how and why they became famous giving their names to the designs. Nothing inside and the clasp is a detail from an heraldic shield. Our price: $209.90.

I. The Empire Chair Box. A faithful reproduction of a chair that was extremely popular in Napoleon's time and has been, in fact, ever since. In recent years they have called them barrel chairs and used them as occasional or side chairs but in actuality this type of chair was often used as a desk chair in the days of Napoleon. They were often covered in tapestry as this one is. All of the upholstered area of this chair, front, seat and back are supposed to be woven with a variation on the green wreath that he so loved and his gold bee insignia. The fabric is bordered with nail heads. Notice the legs and how short they are---he was a short man and these accommodated him perfectly--- and the way the back is shaped, for comfort. Inside a detail of the design and the clasp is a commonly used insignia of that period. Our price: $214.90.

J. The Renaissance Chair Box.  More like a throne than a chair because of the extremely high rising back and the rigidity of the shape allowing for no relaxation of the body at all.  This chair was obviously meant for giving an audience and probably was used by the "Lord of the Manor".  Both the seat and back are heavily embroidered in very  elaborate floral patterns, the kind of thing the lady of the house might have worked herself.  Our price: $209.90.

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K. The Recamier Box.
Used both as a bed and a bench, probably for a retainer who slept in the same room as her mistress.  It dates back to the 1700's.  The head board and foot board are reminiscent of a sleigh bed in shape but these are covered in a floral pattern to match the coverlet.  Notice that the bed stood on a matching wood platform.  Inside, a detail of the floral and the clasp, a ribbon bow.  Our price: $197.90.

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