C1780 PAIR Louis XVI medallion back Fauteuil Armchairs

$4,750.00 the PAIR


Graceful and elegant, this pair of Louis XVI period French fauteuil (open armchairs ) seems to have its original paint surface. The pale dove grey has survived on most of the carved timber. The legs are neo-classical, being fluted inverted columns. The back is an oval medallion and concave (en cabriole) We have just upholstered them in a rich crimson damask.

Much of the French beech or walnut chair furniture of the 18th century was painted. Periods of acute financial stress were caused as much by share speculations as wars (e.g. South Sea Bubble etc).  These included the crippling expense of supporting the fledgling United States in its fight for independence, for which the new country showed France almost no financial gratitude. This meant that gold leaf was often too expensive for a cash strapped royalty and aristocracy. Hence paint provided inexpensive decoration. Also, anyone who has lived with candlelight, or relied on the fire for heat and light, will appreciate that one will not trip over a white painted chair or stool, whereas a mahogany one would be nearly invisible. For the same practical and economic reasons Swedish 18th century furniture favoured pale painted surfaces.

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