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OLD FREN^P: FURNITURE in. FRENCH" FURNITURE UNDER LOUIS XV .

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SECRETARY WITH ADJUSTABLE INLAID FRONT .

STOKES COMPANY .FRENCH -"FURNITURE'' III FRENCH FURNITURE UNDER LOUIS XV BY ROGER DE FELICE TRANSLATED BY FLORENCE SIMMONDS NEW YORK FREDERICK A.LITTLE ILLUSTRATED: BOOKS ON OLD .

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or some of Philippe Caffieri's elaborate bureaux. nor could any furniture display more florid magnificence than some of the commodes Charles Cressent loaded with ormolu decoration. it is the perfect expression of a frivolous aild voluptuous period marked by a passion all for pleasure pleasure. we may sum the matter up by admitting that such works.INTRODUCTION MANY people are inclined to see in the Louis XV Style only a very sumptuous and profusely ornamented elegance more in keeping with the pleasures of roues than with the simple family life of sober business folks like the majority of us. We may this allow that commodes of period are some of the more than . evoke a financier rolling in wealth rather than a gentleman of noble race. We may crescences. If we consider form alone. and its horror of straight lines and symmetry ex- delights to unalloyed in which moderation legitimately dislike its perpetual convexities and undulations. in spite of the incomparable beauty of the chasing. from the most delicate intellectual and a social debauchery period was by no means a ruling virtue. we may think the inexhaustible caprices of Rococo wearisome. True. which sometimes degenerate into very disagreeable ex- aggerated. No seat could be more suggestive of love and idleness than a sofa of 1750. In fact.

when we take into account construcwe must admit that their insistence on the curved line too often led the joiners and cabinetmaters of the first half of the eighteenth century to forget that wood is not a plastic. hardly necessary to point out that these examples no more represent the sum of Louis furniture than the King. Lavoisier. however. and Nattier the sum of French painting. We see legs on heavy console-tables. Boucher. devotees of social progress and the weal of humanity. which. Finally. and many other distinguished savants.vi INTRODUCTION . as a rule. Jussieu. portly they have the paunches of old farmers- general. This great period was at once the most frivolous and the most serious of centuries. We must not forget that Soubise and Richelieu were contemporary with d'Alembert. bid defiance alike to common sense and statical laws. tion. his favourites.. a substance the texture of which must be respected if we demand solidity in the result. XV because it always occupied the front of the stage^ was but a very small minority in the mass of the and his boon companions represent the sum of French society. The polished and corrupt society which masks all the rest for us. but a substance composed of fibres which are. . It is. straight and parallel. also with Montesquieu and the Encyclopaedists. or Van Loo. legs known as fitds de biche or fieds en console. homogeneous material. with their S-shaped curves and their exaggerated attenuation towards the foot.

cabinet-makers of the period did a good deal of work for them. and from Normandy to Provence. for their ranks were swelled by a class which had scarcely existed before. the provincial nobility who were busily amassing wealth. and an evident token of her prosperity kneading-troughs covered with carvings . gaining knowledge. The . But in the eighteenth century they increased tenfold perhaps in all the towns of the kingdom. especially in the northern provinces : that of the prosFrom perous rustic. dressers with fine pierced metal fittings.INTRODUCTION vii nation the populace in town and country. It was then that the farms and homesteads. substantial prosperity succeeded to the hideous poverty of Louis XIV's reign. the pride of the good housewife. It is true that the lower middle classes had formed a numerous and well-to-do section of the community even in the seventeenth century . and aspiring to share in the increasing prosperity of the times. Champagne to Gascony. . the lawyers. mas and basiides. on which gaily coloured china and well-polished comfortable pewter were proudly displayed . arm-chairs in turned cherry-wood. the tradespeople. farmer or small-holder. cosily fitted with square cushions of coloured linen. began to acquire those huge cupboards in which were ranged orderly piles of stout hempen sheets fragrant with wholesome washing and the scent of dried herbs. awakening to a sense of their own importance. stuffed with the fine down of Christmas geese.

Not only do they deserve their honours for the most part. made the sparing neither time nor material. a totally irrational one. Such . due to a mania for everything old. irrespective of its merits? By no means. and stored the wood. nuptial bed trousseau. who. Is and the great wardrobe for the bride's ture.viii INTRODUCTION who did such sound work with plane and gouge in the solid oak and walnut were busy enough throughout the eighteenth century. the soundness of their construction. by reason of their beauty of line and material. but it is certain that even at the period when they were made. for instance. they still exist in France in great numbers. you went and chose the healthiest excellent provincial cabinet-makers or the finest cherry-tree on your domain. cherry-wood. fifteen or twenty years later. and sometimes no walnut. and authentic specimens are easily obtained by collectors. cut it down. originally our modern passion for these pieces of furnimade for the lower middle classes and even the peasantry. those modest seats made by turners in oak. Then. and the fresh originality of their decoration.joiner of the market-town. and now used to adorn the most refined interiors. Take. Those were the good old times in which. the seasoned timber was taken to the master. and fitted with coloured straw. social prejudice banished them from the most elegant houses. the socalled chairs a la capucine . when a daughter was born to walnut you.

Well.-J. We alt know the engraving by the younger Moreau called The Last Words of J. and in the corner of the print.Jacques is seated in a large straw armchair. Jeaurat. to see that they figured in rich or poor. that his last look may rest on that nature he had so often extolled. of the Devin du Village had sat to play the instrument for the last time. the dying philosopher makes Therese Levasseur open the window of his room (in the Marquis de Girardin's house at Ermenonville).Rousseau . linen. in the genre pictures of popular interiors painted by Chardin. Jean. and even or horsehair covered with or in summer allowed the gay colours of the straw to appear.INTRODUCTION flat h chairs would not be out of place in any house. and Greuze. but let us turn to some scenes by Chardin. This is true . It may be urged that the Citizen of Geneva always insisted that the borrowed abodes in They appear. But let us go up a step higher in which he successively housed his restless and uneasy spirit should be philosophically simple. of course. near the is another straw chair. whether in winter we fitted seats and backs with cushions of down silk. on which the author spinet. We need only go through the gallery of eighteenth-century pictures or the La Caze Collection at the Louvre. the social hierarchy of the period. all houses. the actors in which are well-to-do members of the comfortable Parisian bourgeoisie : .

who is training her canary in La Serinette. and that of the little girl in the Jeu de Voie .x INTRODUCTION La toilette Neglige. the celebrated Benedicite. there were some. We may note finally in connexion with these simple straw chairs. the lady richly dressed in brocaded silk. the woodwork of which was even a little rough. which came from the south-west of France. in The little all we find these chairs a la capucine. dustrious mother's chair is of straw. The huge arm-chair with down cushions in which the old Marquise spent the greater part of her days by the fireside was a simple straw seat. were much more coarsely made than those reproduced in Figs. La Serinette. so girl the inis the mother in La bonne Education . indeed ! in Madame de Pompasupreme distinction dour's bedroom at Marly. and many others . of the Senedicite is seated on a straw chair. even those of the royal household . 83-86. exact as as a photograph. or du Matin. and Lazare Duvaux sold them to his noblest customers. a As we shall have occasion to mention Lazare Duvaux very . whose room we know from an engraving by Cochin. who is very elegantly dressed. 1 We may now loot at a truly aristocratic interior. which were manufactured in Paris. 2 1 It may be interesting to note in passing that the straw seats Chardin painted. is comfortably installed in an arm-chair a la capucine with a wadded cover. that all the inventories of the eighteenth century mention them. there were some at Versailles. as is also that of the boy in the Tour de Cartes. that of Madame du Deffand.

made for citizen or farmer. and all the princes of the blood the greatest members of the aristocracy. plates of Venus " and dishes and Chinese " figures . or even more beauty than the most sumptuous examples of the same period. in the parish of Saint" Eustache. and is an inexhaustible mine of information as to furniture and artistic objects in the time of Louis XV. farmers- Geofrrin. . the financial Popeliniere. and among his constant customers were Mimi. A most happy chance has brought to light Lazare Duvaux' day-book. have often as much. In addition to the famous favourite. He repaired furniture. magnates general . such as Jelyotte and Mile Lanoix. jewels and watering-pots. theatrical celebrities. and splendour. . the good Madame Grimod de Randon de La Live de Reym&re and La the great collectors. la etc. we may say a few words here about this famous tradesman. and many others. a red and white spaniel. and a great many other things. Lazare Duvaux' stock ranged from commodes and bureaux to flat-irons and kitchen cord he sold chandeliers of gilded bronze and portoften. : Boisset. Julienne. Blondel Jully . in which he made daily entries pf his sales between the years 1748 and 1758. and dog-collars. Beauvilliers.INTRODUCTION xi And it is hardly a paradox to say that these simple pieces of eighteenth-century furniture. . de Bouillon. la Duchapt. whose " " town-houses. oil . country-seats. He . This day-book was published in 1873 by Louis Courajod. Caylus. as a merchant-mercer/' and he also bore the title of " " " merchantgoldsmith-jeweller to the King. Receiver-General of finances . The trade of a mercer " seems to have been very comprehensive. the dancer . snuff-boxes. J'Azincourt. Madame de Pompadour's pampered pets. the royal pnncesses. milliner and procuress . the Dues d'Antin. a brown Ring Charles. de folios . kept a shop in the Rue Saint-Honore. and hermitages he furnished and loaded with curiosities. the restlessness of their convex surfaces exaggerated said. his customers included the King and Queen. clocks. as we have sometimes sin by their excessive richness their complicated decoration. and Ines. These.

which are themselves merely the affirmation of the structural lines. A very carving. The Louis marked by XV Style is this characteristic. the blossoming of the mouldings. of its lines by the beauty to do. and its harmony of silhouette. Contour. mouldings. But the joiner or cabinet-maker who had to make a commode at a moderate price was obliged to give it quiet lines and a sober decoration. generally speaking. simply the expansion or. as it were. merely and mouldings. But however much we may simplify a Louis XV : . while at the same time it satisfies the mind by its fitness for the work it has ordinary seat of this period.xii INTRODUCTION lines . The^same cannot be said of a Louis XVI piece of furniture. and overstepped the narrow boundary-line that divides good and bad taste. perhaps the only style for here carved ornament. a limitation which by no means excluded breadth and grace of design. simply because he was limited as to outlay. without any is often a perfect feast for the eye. and carvings have a sort of organic unity which suggests that of a plant. when it exists. If we suppress the decoration there is no beauty left. is. They did violence sometimes to their material. and sinuous artists free to spare these faults were the errors of no expense either in material or workmanship. in which the decoration is added to the line as if to mask the faults to which this later style was so prone poverty and dryness. or of very skilful craftsmen eager to show the extent of their technical mastery.

though their horsehair entrails may be protruding from a hundred wounds. above all. and the wandering dog . XV A person of taste may still make lucky purchases. the . we hope to suggest and to Our photographs will inspire in this little booksome idea of it. it is not essential to pour out money like water at the great sales in order to possess Louis furniture of genuine beauty. in spite of the all enormous rise in prices of antiquities. that subtle feeling.INTRODUCTION like a xiii example in thought. it will remain admirable. more especially those of the eighteenth century. delicacy of a moulding. branch stripped by winter of its flowers and if the artificer who fashioned it had a sense of harmony and proportion. So. like tury : seems to have possessed of the fifteenth centhe sense of beautiful curves. Among these are Mesdames Egan and de Flandreysy. at once firm the men and suave. 1 Wo take occasion here to thank all those who have kindly allowed us to reproduce the furniture in their possession or under their care. these. in spite of the inevitable give 1 falsifications of the camera. sometimes arrest the passer-by and compel his admiration by the exquisite inflexion of a leg. and the taste for which. leaves. this fortunate generation instinctively. so rare in other periods. Such is the furniture. even upon the pavements. the street Arab. where small dealers occasionally expose poor old arm-chairs en cabriolet to the ravages of the weather. and. which . or the nervous charm of which.

Cr6sole and Briquet. Messieurs Dagassan. Oriel and E. of the Museon Arlatcn of Aries. after giving a summary sketch of the history of the style. These are cerbut masterpieces of overtainly masterpieces. . and indicating the various shall techniques in favour at the period. as well as the Directors of the Carnavalet Museum and of the Museum of the Mile Moutet. LarSgnere. Edouard Jay. tables. commodes. Madame Meyniac. We propose to describe the various pieces of a set of Louis furniture. and Ichon of Sevres . Union centrale des Arts d6coratifs. Labouret and Ladan Bockairy. Pascaud. the medal-cabinet for him by Gaudreaux. of Pans Mesdames Lefevre of Neuilly. commodes by Caffieri the majority of readers than those unpretending they may examples which have this advantage be bought and even used. secretaries. We then make some suggestions for the furnishing and decoration of a town flat and a country house in the Louis XV Syle. now the pride of the and the magnificent and Cressent in the Wallace Collection at Hertford House.xiv INTRODUCTION XV Many writers have described the famous cylinder bureau in the Louvre made for Louis made by Oeben and Riesener. and various other articles. of less immediate interest to powering splendour. of La Riviere de Prat (Gironde). Cabinet des Medailles. . Messieurs Abel Jay and Broquisse. Loreilhe. cupboards and side: XV boards. Messieurs Brunschvieg. pointing out its principal characteristics. Ducros. of Simondie (Dordogne) Madame Roudier. . Benzoin. . of Bordeaux. Duch&ie. Mesdames Dumoulin. of Sainte-Foyla-Grande (Gironde) M. and of the Champenois Musee Ethnograplnque of Reims. seats. Guillet-Dauban.

iii). " : Les styles R6gence et Louis XV. " L'Art du menuisier. : VJI xv . " " * Le Meuble rEnseignement des Beaux.). HENRI D6cration.). " Histoire 6n6rale des Arts appliqu6s ^ MOLINIER." DIDEROT " : HAVARD. (Bibliotiteque de 1'Art decoratif. Louis 1873- Livre-journal de Lazare Duvaux." Paris." Paris.) " " : (Bibliothe"que Paris (n.d). 1770.d.) Paris (n d. " Dictionnaire de rAmeublemeut et de la : Pans : (n.)- de L'Ameublement francais sous Louis XV. A." Paris. EMILE rindustne. HENRI : Principe de 1'Art du Tapissier. 1896 (vol. COURAJOD. jun. 1751-1772." Paris. ALFRED DE CLOUZOT. EMILE (a.d. 1 ' Paris BIMONT " : CHAMPEAUX.PRINCIPAL AUTHORITIES BAYARD.. G.Arts." Encyclop^die." Paris. 1772 ROUBO.

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THE TABLE AND FURNITURE ITS DEVELOPMENTS PIECES 80 SEATS AND MISCELLANEOUS OF 92 VII. v xv i HISTORICAL SKETCH II. PAGE INTRODUCTION PRINCIPAL AUTHORITIES I. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE STYLE 21 III TECHNIQUE 44 63 IV. PANELLED FURNITURE V. A SET OF LOUIS XV FURNITURE INDEX-GLOSSARY no 127 . VI.CONTENTS CHAP.

covered with Brocade ) Chair of Gilded Wood "\ Arm-chair of Gilded Wood J " " Cabriolet Arm-chair with Mouldings \ Arm-chair (end ofsyle) J Walnut Chair with Simple Mouldings \ Walnut Chair (end of style) J Large Arm-chair of Gilded Wood (end of style) Revolving Writing Chair Bergtre with Carved Back. Rocaille Console Table. \ } 32 33 34 49. 43. Walnut J " " Gondola Bergere. Small Console Table. 66. Gilded Wood " " Gondola Bergere. Large Carved 24 the 37. 60. Cherry wood (beginning of 25 25 38.xx m. Walnut } '* " Confessional Bergere. Walnut and Aubusson Tapestry ) 55. Small Walnut Table with Shelf Oak Night-table 52. 62. ) 56. 46. 67 68. 61. Walnut Bergtre with Simple Mouldings. 70. Walnut Arm-chair (beginning of the style) 57. Gilded \ Wood ) 40. 41. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Mahogany Table style) 36. 51. g 63. 73. Gilded Wood \ Toilet Table. Large Arm-chair of Painted Wood with Aubusson Tapestry 53 Walnut Arm-chair with High Back ) 54 Arm-chair with Flower and Acanthus Ornament J *' " Cabriolet Chair. 45. 65. Walnut " " Gondola Bergere. 50. Ash Figure Small Bureau with Fall Front. covered with Bvochi Silk \ Walnut Chair. 75. 72. 44. 71. 47. 42. Palisander and Rosewood Cherrywood Cherrywood } J 27 28 29 3 \ ) 31 48. Walnut J Walnut Chair. Oak 39. Small Cabriolet Chair. Chiffonniere Writing-table. Walnut \ " Gondola " Bergere. 69. 64. Cul-de-lampe Form. Palisander and Rosewood L Walnut Table with Chamfered Corners Small Walnut Table for the Game ofTri ) Bureau Table. Walnut } 37 g 39 4 4I 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 . 59. Small Carved Table. Chiffonniere. Walnut Arm-chair with Low Back \ " " 58. Cherrywood Small Bureau with Fall Front. Palisander " " Small Bureau with Screen. Rocaille Console Table. 74.

99. Straw Chair with Cushions 84. Clock of Mirror Mirror Mirror xox. Beechwood Chair with Caned Back and Seat j 79. Toilet Chair with Padded Arm-rests. Beechwood Chair with Caned Seat and Back \ 77. OF ILLUSTRATIONS ' xxi PLATE 76. Toilet Chair without Padded Arm-rests. with 93. Beechwood Chair with Caned Bach and Seat } 80. Walnut ) 81.LIST Bio. Sofa of Gilded 89. Provencal Bed. Walnut Chair with Straw Seat ) I 83. Cherrywood Chair with Straw Seat \ 85. Chair of Painted Wood with Caned Back and Seat) 78. Lacquer 95. Beechwood J 82. Clock of Palisander Wood \ ) 62 ) j 97. Beechwood Head and Foot Cherrywood j 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 - 94. 100. Screen with Shelves. Walnut-wood Sofa 90. Provencal Bed. Wood Walnut-wood Sofa Walnut-wood Sofa 91. Chaise Longue of Beechwood and Cane. with Side-pieces and Adjustable Foot [> g 5 53 88. with Head and Foot. Walnut Chair with Straw Seat 87. Mirror 98. and India Paper Walnut Screen with Modern Tapestry } 96. Oak and Pine Frame of Gilded Frame of Gilded Frame of Gilded Frame of Gilded Wood Wood Wood Wood 6 6 } ) . Walnut Arm-chair with Straw Seat ) 86. 92.

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it would be absurd to say such a style ended in such a year. and such another began.CHAPTER SKETCH IT is I : HISTORICAL scarcely necessary to say that the style with which we are concerned neither began nor ended with the reign of Louis XV. The traditional appellation of styles rarely corresponds with their incidence. Louis XV Styles there is no clearly defined line Louis allow that of demarcation of its XIV each is but the culmination predecessor's slow and unconscious evolu. again. Styles have no strongly defined colours . it is nevertheless true that in the arts. reaction against the former. and it would indeed be strange if the death of a king and the accession of his heir should modify the manner in which furniture is made. indeed. there was a Regency Style between the Regency and the and. Louis XIV died in 1715 . but between the XV we and the Regency Styles if. but though the disappearance of so strong a personality could not fail to be an important event in every domain. tion. The transition from the Louis to the Louis XVI is and the latter is a conscious Style fairly rapid. as in the world of manners and ideas and the field . Further. wide zones of half-tints with imperceptible gradations unite them one to the other.

dency longest indeed. Everywhere there were screens and seats covered " with China satin printed with flowers. It seems almost incredible. To take another example porcelain. until about 1 720 were the and the rigid lines quadrangular plan of the seat. would seem to this Regency and Louis period. These "pagodas" were the rage. they were to be found in every house. more especially : and figured papers. and before the actual reign the Well-Beloved began. all the inventories of the Crown furniture attest their presence.4 LOUIS XV FURNITURE their legs. peculiar when caprice and a taste for all that surprises XV and amuses the eye reigned supreme. lacquer.e. but the evolution was< of Louis complete. birds. Besides. the passion for Chinese and Japanese objects. figures. painted and gilded wood . side by side with the majestic articles designed by Le Brun and the Marots . the consoles which support summits these. the arm-chair had no longer a single straight line. and in every kind of material china. But such was not the case . many had movable heads and arms. or magots as they were called later. but the inventory of 1673 includes 548 among the royal furniture. their arms. and pagodas" i. lacquer. and ladies amused themselves by dressing them in Chinese stuffs. innumerable chinoiseries were to be found at Versailles and Marly under Louis XIV. and the of their backs began to curve long before the The elements that resisted the ten- Regency. the bands round their seats. the King's dessert . of the uprights of the back.

if ever made in Paris. and symmetry proper to the earlier period. richness. auctioneers. In the matter of styles nothing is more misleading than the exact delimitations formulated by theorizers after the event. of course. and curious objects from the Far East abounded in the houses of Moliere and Le Notre. and disappear to make way for another in the space of eight years. followed this exalted example. and yet showing XV . but they are still falser when the art and habits of the provinces are concerned. who showed little appreciation for any ! art save the culinary art What shall we say then of the Regency Style ? It is obvious that no distinctive style could be created. and writers on the It is a convenient term of classidecorative arts. They are false when applied to objects rapidly. could develop. Private persons. painted with figures. The Regency Style (like the Directory Style) is an arbitrary invention of furniture dealers.THE REGENCY STYLE 5 was served in bowls of Chinese and Japanese porcelain. it was Louis the WellBeloved. as in all the refined homes of this period the contents of which have been recorded. It is therefore impossible to date the beginning of the Louis Style. the more so because. Examples of this Hnd might be multiplied. where fashions changed and were followed by all who had any pre- XV a sovereign lived period was whose influence on the art of his negligible. fication for all that partakes alike of the Louis XIV and Louis Styles. dignity. tensions to elegance . of objects characterized by the solidity.

or rather the two are but one. masks. and say a few words of the two great designers who. at least gave it all its development* These were Oppenord and Meissonier." rocaille was also applied to a rock. But the Regency epoch is also that in which a perfectly new element made its ture appearance somewhat abruptly in French furnithe Rocaille Style.of that immediately following it. petrifactions. We deal with the worts of transition belonging to this category in another volume. stalactites. its The reprenatural state " in bronze. term sented in " irregular rock of various strange colours. The contemporaries of the Regent Philippe of Orleans knew nothing of this term Rocaille^ or rather they never applied it to that sinuous style they had seen developing before their eyes. The most famous of these " rocailles" which had been in vogue some two hundred years at the time. It is inseparable from the Louis Style. What " they meant ^by a ture.6 LOUPS XV FURNITURE indications of the supple and facile grace . plate. Pure Louis is Rocaille chastened and simplified . decorated with natural stones of irregular shape and ^curious coLurs. a rustic was a fantastic strucbathroom on the ground floor of a rocaille " country mansion. and other ornaments made of shells stuck together. madrepores. : XV XV we must therefore define it here. . or china. if they did not create it. and serving as a base for a clock or a centre- . or an artificial grotto in a park. were constructed by Bernard Palissy he made his of " carved and enamelled terra-cotta in the form of a rugged.

and reason. 7 word to The use of the Oppenord. the excessive use of and which we the bean. sowing its wild oats at the juvenile Louis Style age of youthful indiscretion. : XV XV restraint. perhaps. Rocaille^ too often lacks qualities essentially French : shall describe in shell. . and. the our next chapter : the cartouche twisted upon its axis. though the precursor of this new style. It may be called. the brother-in-law and successor of Mansart in the 1 office of First Architect. etc. certain motives which the Louis XV Style retained. Further. to the true traditions of the race . the agitation produced by Law's famous scheme. denote the manner of Meissonier. the two designers whose 1 Robort de Cotte was the admirable decorator of the Hdtel de la Vnlliere. The Louis was an all too brief return of French art. the horror of all symmetry and of all vertical lines. It was the violent reaction of hasty artists in against the severity of the Louis XIV Style decorative art it was a phase of folly comparable to that which was convulsing all French society at the same period. but its exaggeration. Robert de Cotte."ROCAILLE" piece for the table. and is not particularly happy. was a real French artist. The essential characteristics of Rocaille are the inexhaustible and sometimes delirious fantasy of sinuous lines. clarity. and Slodtz dates only from the beginning of the nineteenth century. now the Bank oi France . the Style. the Hdtel do Soubi&e (National Archives) was the work of Germain Boffrand. freed from imitation of the antique and the Italians. finally. balance.

for Both numerous produced founders. joiners. and Juste-Aurele was a Piedmontese. collections are celebrated for the of engraved models they architects. but in addition. is inclined in his designs to treat all materials with the freedom proper to the goldsmith. After turning over. a residuum of grandeur even in the freest divagations of his fancy. He has an imagination prodigious in its fertility. Director of the Manufactures of France. years. Marie was the son of one of the King's cabinetmakers. with the title of Architect-Designer to the Chamber and Cabinet of the King. Rocaille. Gilles-Marie GillesMeissonier. at least younger by twenty ! among . There is a more architectural strain in the former. but also an exasperating fondness for complicated curves and counter-curves. goldsmiths. accustomed to impose his caprices on finely tempered metals. were not pure Frenchmen. Oppenord was Architect in Chief to the Regent.8 LOUIS XV FURNITURE so to speak. chasers in bronze . synonyms for Oppenord and Juste.Aurele names have become. Meissonier was a goldsmith and chaser. a great deal of intelligence in the creation of novel forms . born in Holland. which retains something of the Great Century (he was born in 1672) . and and Superintendent-General of the Royal Gardens . whereas the Turinese Meissonier. 6ne actually begins to like the Empire Style itself The greatest artist in the domain of furniture the Rocailduring the Regency. the pages of one of his collections for a few minutes. a truly Italian flexibility and facility.

a monkey balances himself on a swing pushed by two chil- Here is Cressent's own description. rope-dancing monkey frolics on his cord between two monkey-musicians here again. placed on the wood between the four drawers portion* of two dragons. furnished with four drawers. among there is the bust of a woman repre- . and from Gillot and Watteau for his figures. was Charles Cressent. he often drew inspiration from Robert de Cotte for his ornament. terrific dragons revolve their scaly folds . for a sale catalogue. dren. and also of virile firmness and breadth . whose upturned tails in high relief . and decorated with ornaments of gilded bronze ormolu. Cabinet-mating. elsewhere. plays but a subordinate part in Cressent's furniture . this com: mode is a work other pieces the neutral senting a hasp or fastening. Here. the chasing is priceless. of one of his most sumptuous works. of extraordinary richness . strictly so-called. a . As regard the bronzes. but completely emancipated from the tradition of the old master. indeed. in a rocky framework. a pupil of Jean Charles Boulle. marvels of flexibility. Primarily a sculptor and worker in bronze. They are. the famous commode with the dragons of the " A commode of Wallace Collection agreeable outline in violet-wood. more especially for those graceful busts of women with wide collars they were called espagnolettes with which he was fond of ornamenting the tops of the legs of his bureaux-tables. the ornaments of gilded bronze are all-pervading.CHARLES CRESSENT 9 lews. the gilding admirable.

which was to reign triumphantly until the return of regular forms imitated more or less from the antique. takingafi that is their fancy outside the regular line of evolution. The authors of these works Germain Bnce. During the first half of this interminable reign best from Rocaille it cabinet-makers accomThey created for their voluptuous generation so many new kinds of furniture. the majority of Parisian artisans arrived unerringly at The most and leaving its exaggerations. notable quality they assimilated was its asymmetry." wrote Mercier in his Tableau de Paris. think. are also raised in high relief and serve for handles to the two lower drawers . very beautiful in form. etc never fail to describe in detail the beautiful 1 . Dargenville. appeared at this time. that they left nothing important to be invented by their successors . and adapted them so perfectly to all possible uses. it may truly be said that this commode is a very serve for handles curious piece. or Descriptions de Paris. they reached the utmost limits as regards perfection of manual "I technique and refinement of comfort. While the Rocailleurs were thus boldly pursuing the Louis XV Style properly so-called. the stalks of two large leaves.io LOUIS XV FURNITURE * . Piganiol de la Force. 1 " that our sixty years lasted plished an immense tasL A great many Tableaux de Paris." The artless pomposity of these lines perfectly suggests one of those pieces of furniture the beauty of which almost disappear under their excessive richness. It was a very fashionable genre.

or if he were moving to another quarter. which appeared towards the end of the reign. . to possess all the most beautiful things that the elegance of the day has been able to imagine. we read : " All things pertaining to the use and adornment of a house are now objects of the . should lie revisit our world. and all the " Furniprovinces set up in rivalry with Paris. Hotel de Myrtal. the mania for fine furniture took possession of society. stripped of its furniture. *pittoresquey etc. and that he is getting rid of everything now in his house." to quote Mercier again. and noting the tapestries and pictures that were being carried out. very rich. I saw that it was being entirely . The language of auctioneers and valuers. I was told that although he owns furniture of very great value. such furniture become one of the curiosities of th^e capital. financiers and magistrates. Passing the greatest luxury and expense.CHANGES OF FASHION n furniture inventories would greatly astonish an ancient. every people change all their furniture. who know the names quite of all this immense collection of super- fluities.. as rubbish fit furniture in the houses of which they write . The clientele of the cabinet-makers extended day by day. artists and great nobles alike. ture. "has become an six years unknown object of the greatest luxury and expense ." And in a certain Dictionnaire critique." The production of furniture was amazingly abundant. he does not consider it good enough. had . I asked if Myrtal were dead. and to the poor. is a very delicate tongue.

and the catalogue. just at the fell Henry Ha var d. or which were bought from them by middlemen." Hitherto it had been customary to order the furniture required a long time in advance from a master cabinet-maker . in his monumental Dictionnaire de VAmeublement.12 LOUIS XV FURNITURE only to dishonour it. and was specialities. gives a list of the Parisian menuisiersadmitted to mastership from the death of Louis XIV to that of his successor. who a few years later took the name of ebenistes. long unfashionable. moment when furniture. There are no less than forty-five names. subdivided into two nuisiers d''assemblage had become too numerous. "merchant" mercers such as Lazare Duvaux. the customer gave him indications. in order to procure all that elegance has invented in the way of beautiful possessions. or makers of solid wooden ebony. completely into disfavour. and that of the menuisiers de placage et de marqueterie (veneerers and inlayers). or rather the art of furniture-making was industrialized. he then furnished designs which were discussed with him." The industry of furniture was formed to meet demands of completely trans- this nature. Henceforth the fashionable " and the newly rich were in too great a hurry for such deliberations joiners and upholsterers set to work and produced series of ready-made objects with which they filled their shops. The (literally old It " hutcherjoiners community of ") huchiers-menuisiers was transformed in 1743. elenistes . that of the me'. .

fifth son of Philippe the first. but also less dignity than Cressent." He was primarily an inlayer. Their pieces are widely dispersed. sculptor to Louis XIV. notably Philippe Caffieri the second. two members of the illustrious lineage of Caffieri : Jacques. is far from complete. bronze." or. confused and illogical in composition. ebenistes was Jean king of Louis " Francois Oeben. they bore successively the title Sculptor. lite Cressent. Founder. and Chaser to the King. But what are the greatest names of cabinet-making under Louis XV ? We have. were primarily workers ho. and their use of the metal was extrava" gant . The finest The XV pieces sold by Lazare Duvaux came from his workshop. as . and perhaps even more than he. first. and the bronzes for his furniture were executed by other artists. but overloaded with bronzes. The influence of Meissonier very apparent in both . a piece superb in execution. They. and Philippe the second. his journeyman. and on the whole unhis is worthy of his reputation. son of Jacques. and it is often difficult to assign to each : own productions.THE CAFFIEHI it 13 must be remembered. they collaborated more than taice." Their works are very much alike. the King's Cabinet-maker. He died in 1765 probably. and hardly any specimens remain in France. and his widow " first married Riesener. Gaudreaux is known almost exclusively by the famous medal-cabinet with rams* heads in the Bibliotheque Nationale. they have more grace and fancy perhaps.

and artistic objects of Champs. that unrivalled cylindrical Oeben was of modern furniture. and those who presumed to compete with him. from the time of " " her accession in 1745 to her death in 1764. The principal customer of Lazare Duvaux. like Crecy. Lenormant de Tournehem. masterpiece the unquestioned master of the charming art of left XV marquetry . foreman. created Marquis de Marigny. above all. in fact. an office which was. who. . had innumerable houses to furnish little hermitages like Brimborion . the Louis bureau. town-house at tainebleau. besides suites of apartments at Versailles and at Marly* She therefore bought a great deal of furniture. or even aspired to surpass him in this domain. only fell into the ridiculous extravagances of stained-wood marquetry. who completed the im- portant work unfinished by his master.4 we should i LOUIS XV FURNITURE say. and later of her brother. a veritable superintendence of the fine arts. was not the King. d'Evreux in Paris. of her uncle by marriage. They received a further stimulus by the nomination. to the post of Director of the Royal Buildings. and consequently of Oeben. a town-house at Fonand. but with perfect tact he never asked too much of it . mansions built or rearranged : for her. but the Marquise de Pompadour. and Bellevue. which she suggested to the King. he commanded its supreme resources. Much all kinds. a But it was not merely by her perpetual commissions that she had a great influence on the decorative arts. the magnificent Hotel Versailles.

a great enemy of Rocaille. in view of the admirable manner in which she protected. in spite of her humble evening Madame de Pompadour died . an enthusiast for the return of art to Graeco. make it impossible to pass over this sad event in silence. the classical Gabriel of the Petit Trianon. who records her death on " This in the terms following : the distinguished protection she afforded to men of letters. taste. she was fond of reproducing antique intaglios she often asked the advice of the archaeologist and engraver Cochin. of the Comte de Caylus. of the architect Gabriel. self at times with the etching-needle. supported. must be forgiven to this wo'man. It is absurd to give the name of Pompadour Style to the most sinuous and florid specimens of Louis XV. had exquisite and what seems more surprising to many persons.' 5 Madame de Pompadour. the Ecole Militaire. and the Garde-Meuble (now the Ministry of . for. pure in line and perfect in execution. . and her taste for the arts. in part.Roman sources of inspiration . Louis the extreme refinement and the return to sim- XV Amusing herplicity which marks its final phase.MADAME DE POMPADOUR 15 April 15. as we shaft see . Her contemporaries recognized this and were duly grateful to her. beginnings as Mademoiselle Poisson. as is shown by the Memoires Secrets of Bachaumont. on the contrary. her taste was comparatively severe. 1764. and advised the best artists of her day. and made her prefer simple works. but without any florid magnificence. art unquestionably owes to her.

and he does not fail to ridicule " the absurd jumbles of shells. that the favourite was the promoter of the Louis XVI certain that she approved Style. for giving a few examples of nonapologizes symmetrical ornament. Soufflot. in Italy. one of the first architects of the period. she gave him as mentor. An under-current of protest against the curved line and asymmetry had never ceased to make itself felt from the birth of Rocaille onwards in " certain circles. palms. but it is quite the return to the straight line and to antique man who was ornament. which gives a very fine effect . especially among the philoso" and the archaeologists. when recording the important fact that the Queen's bedroom had been decorated with a new set of summer hangings " In the centre of each piece of tapestry there is a large vase. the to become the pedantic author of the Pantheon. The sons of Boulle phers imitated their father to the best of their ability. and plants. and their productions found many admirers. who Distribution has left a very interesting work entitled De la des Maisons de Plaisance (1737). reeds." Another architect and designer. as is sometimes done. Blondel. dragons. on the other hand. Brizeux. It is an exaggeration to say. because some concession must be made to the fashion of the moment. gives only rigorously symmetrical examples. but the ornaments ac~ : .16 LOUIS XV FURNITURE When she sent her brother to travel Marine). In 1743 the Due de Luynes could still write in his Memoires.

they will not corrupt VII B . But the most lively attack came in 1754 from the engraver Cochin. they will refrain from torturing it . to suit the latest companying taste. chasers. with the taste that obtains in the internal decorawill not even ask for a tion of our buildings. as Nattier and others learned to their cost.COCHIN'S CONSE^LS it 17 are all crooked. to suppress these would be to deprive our decorators of their last resource . in his Essay on Taste. round mirrors. who was. which are cultivated in such profusion in apartments. we beg them to make it straight. and that when a pediment may legitimately be semicircular. but we may at least hope that when a thing may be square without offence. while admitting that it is not natural. Rocaille had been in the Yet. Goldsmiths. When they have a candlestick to make. and in short everywhere . ." in 1743. ascendant for over twenty years . little reticence in the use of palm-trees. He had published in the Mercure de France the Conseils d?un artiste pour faire observer certaines regies tres-simples sur " la Decoration. and not twisted as if some rogue had taken pleasure in will not venture to find fault spoiling it. the good Duke was a little behindhand ! In 1757 Montesquieu. reason. a clever writer with a command of biting irony. pronounces a penetrating eulogy on symmetry. against walls. We We chimney-pieces. on . and woodcarvers for apartments and others are humbly entreated by persons of good taste henceforward kindly to submit to certain laws dictated by .

long before painting and sculpture. for example. which has come down to us. waxed indignant against " " archaeolothe so-called . the first documents in which furniture "in the Greek Style" (for so it was called) is antiquity triumphed all XV 1 It is curious to note that this reaction coincided with an ephemeral offensive return to Rocaille on the part of Boucher the younger. Romans came to the decorative art of the light. after a brief span of emancipation. other hand. Our admirable Louis Style was not able to hold out long against such an onslaught . like the feathers of an angry cock. their beds. all crockets and bristling points. (See. austere folks. architecture yielded first. . their tripods. along the line. When did this great change in the style of furniture take place ? There is no hint of it in the Livre Journal for ten years of Lazare Duvaux On the (1748-58). such as Lekain and Mile Clairon. and their candelabra. corruption of taste gical works appeared on every hand. They are very ugly. in theory at least. Revolutionary actors.i8 LOUIS XV FURNITURE . and professional admirers of the ancients. and French art. 1 fell once more under the yoke of imitation." Gradually critics multiplied the philosophers. and there was a universal all enthusiasm for their seats. it by those S-shaped contours which they seem to have borrowed from a writing-master. who produced some extraordinarily complicated designs for furniture. certain consoles at Fontainebleau ) . dared to cease representing Greeks in powdered wigs and Roman matrons in panniers and high heels in short. Herculaneum and Pompeii (1755) emerged from their windingsheet of ashes .

<uffs and jewels of every kind. UJN STY. dignified. furniture. . our dandies would think Jt a disgrace to be seen with a snuff-box not in the Greek Style.E 19 are. such and later in furniture. eccentric. We that approximately the Louis XVI Style was born . the designs and forms of jewels. etc. the In- Madame de Pompadour's effects made the 7ear a fter h e* death. and an announcement of a sale of furniture at the Hotel de Combourg in the same year. . . For some years past antique ill forms and ornaments have been in request . shows that the first appearance of the new style was of earlier " Eccendate. all things in Paris. decorations. may therefore say small objects. no doubt . The jewels now made in Paris are in excellent taste. and agreeable. had reached its crowning-point France. . * Sve Greek." Grimm from at first exaggerates.L. and the fashion has become so general that everything now is made in the Greek manner. The taste has passed from architecinto our milliners' shops. years ago they were all arbitrary. the friend of Diderot. The internal ihd external decoration of buildings. and absurd. but we gather his text that the as new taste manifested itself about the year 1753 in architecture and snuff-boxes and jewels. taste : . whereas ten or twelve . But a curious page of Grimm. has improved considerably in consequence. It was in 1763 that he wrote tricity in ornaments. . the forms beautiful.LrKIMM tnentioned ventory of in 1/165. according to Havard. Our ladies dress i!f*)re JftjLeir hair a la Grecque.

Encyclopedia. arm-chairs with rectilinear legs. consoles curving inwards.20 LOUIS XV FURNITURE XV about 1760. which was cupboard. we find among pieces in either style indifferently a wardrobe in between the Louis XV two with the Louis Louis which the upper panels are decorated " diamond point characteristic of the seventeenth century. ornaments on an arm- in structure. makers of Paris continued for some time to make curvilinear furniture. seeing a beautiful Provenfal I pure Louis XV in style. . published in 1769. dated 1818. as they also produced hybrid happens in all periods of transition : objects. and those below with purely parts. of " XVI rosettes. As to the provinces. They also carved classic and fiddle-shaped backs. just as series of intermediate types may XV A XIV and the Louis Styles. sheath or quiver shaped. they continued to produce XV remember furniture throughout the century. in vol. fourteen years before the accession of the king whose name it bears. as well as articles " in the Greek manner". " doe's feet. vii of the plates for the Stranger still." but with tables with festoons and fluted ornament . whole chair purely Louis be found. It need hardly be pointed out that the Louis The cabinetStyle did not disappear suddenly. but with curved arms.

we exclaim involuntarily : " It is pleasant to live here ! At the beginning of the eighteenth century the house underwent a radical transformation. restored Louis When we we enter a well- get a delightful of perfect adaptability to human needs ." The phrase is Michelet's architecture and furniture could not be bettered. due to a desire for comfort and for intimacy the first reduced rooms to a more reasonable size. XV it Style was "a return to the and humanity. Those of the Louis period are pre-eminently human. 21 . If the of the seventeenth century were superhuman in their dimensions. and multiplied the second brought about the separa. the down interior XV cushions of which yield luxuriously to our weight. : divisions perfected methods of heating. and reduced from the mania for size of the preceding generation to a scale XV proportionate to human stature. they were certainly inhuman in their lack of comfort and intimacy. Conceived in every detail with an eye to the amenity both of individual and social life. and in the heroic grandeur of their decorative motives. impression and when we sink into a cosy bergere. they seek inspiration from living nature in their lines and their decorative elements.CHAPTER ISTICS THE sense CHARACTEROF THE STYLE II : Louis of life .

20

LOUIS XV FURNITURE
XV

about 1760, fourteen years before the accession of the king whose name it bears. It need hardly be pointed out that the Louis cabinetStyle did not disappear suddenly. The some time to make makers of Paris continued for curvilinear furniture, as well as articles "in the " Greek manner ; they also produced hybrid in all periods of transition objects, as happens " doe's tables with festoons and feet," but with fluted ornament ; arm-chairs with rectilinear legs, sheath or quiver shaped, but with curved arms,
:

and fiddle-shaped backs. They also carved classic ornaments on an armA whole chair purely Louis XV in structure,
consoles curving inwards,
series of

intermediate types

between the Louis

XIV and the

Stranger still, in vol. vii Encyclopedia, published in 1769,

be found, just as Louis XV Styles. of the plates for the

may

we

find

among

pieces in either style indifferently a wardrobe in two parts, of which the upper panels are decorated

with the
Louis Louis

diamond point " characteristic of the seventeenth century, and those below with purely

"

XVI

rosettes.

As to the provinces, they continued to produce XV furniture throughout the century. I remember seeing a beautiful Provencal cupboard, pure Louis XV in style, which was dated 1818.

CHAPTER
ISTICS
THE
sense

CHARACTEROF THE STYLE
II
:

Louis
of life
;

XV
it

Style was "a return to the and humanity." The phrase is

Michelet's

could not be bettered. If the architecture and furniture of the seventeenth

century were superhuman in their dimensions, and in the heroic grandeur of their decorative motives, they were certainly inhuman in their lack of comfort and intimacy. Those of the Louis period are pre-eminently human. Conceived in every detail with an eye to the amenity both of individual and social life, and reduced from the mania

XV

for size of the preceding generation to a scale

proportionate to human stature, they seek inspiration from living nature in their lines and their
decorative elements.
restored Louis

When we
interior

enter a well-

get a delightful of perfect adaptability to human needs ; impression and when we sink into a cosy bergere, the down

XV

we

we

cushions of which yield luxuriously to our weight, " It is exclaim involuntarily pleasant to live
:

Kere

"

!

At the beginning of the eighteenth century the house underwent a radical transformation, due to a desire for comfort and for intimacy the
:

first

reduced rooms to a

perfected methods of divisions ; the second brought about the separa-

more reasonable size, heating, and multiplied

22

LOUIS XV FURNITURE

tion of that part of the house destined for social intercourse from that reserved for domestic privacy. Under Louis XIV houses consisted of

long suites of immense rooms, communicating one with another, in which everything was In these people slept, sacrificed to splendour. ate. received visitors, danced, and worked ; they were entirely devoid of comfort, and the occupants few shivered in them all through the winter. years later everything was changed ; the architect put twice as many rooms into the same space, and each had its special character. An advertisement ran as of a flat to let in the time of Louis " An follows apartment of ten rooms consist-

A

XV

:

ing of an ante-room, a dining-room, a receptionroom, a second reception-room adapted for winter use, a small library, a little sitting-room, bedrooms, and clothes-closets. " l Everything is complete; we have the modern flat, with a refinement we no

the reception-room for summer longer possess and the reception-room for winter. The bath:

is the one but we must thing lacking not conclude that it was always absent. Blondel, in his plans for " maisons de plaisance," or small country-houses, does not forget it, nor does he omit other conveniences, which he multiplies. He also introduces the dressing-room, a great novelty, which did not become general till the We may note that even the following century.
;

room

1 Such an apartment, together with a latchen, pantry, bedrooms for servants, stable and coach-house, was rented al from

1 200

to 1500 hvres

a,

year

Happy days

I

DECORATION IN
lift

1775

existed under the

name

of the

"

23 "

flying-chair

(chaise volante).

But the chief domestic characteristic of this agreeable period, which showed such a lively taste for social life unfettered by pomp and etiquette, was the multiplicity of the little rooms destined to conversation, play, and music. Beside the large drawing-room was a smaller receptionroom, the salon (le comfagnie, a less imposing
the occupants played the harpsichord ; ; books of music, tambour-frames, and the fashionable novels of the day lay about, and intimates were received here. Then there were the little room for retiring after meals^ or coffee-cabinet the writing-cabinet, the boudoir, and others again. These rooms were sometimes very small, even in
retreat
;

huge dwellings, as, for instance, Marie Antoinette's " in the "little apartments immensity of Versailles, Decoration was naturally transformed with
Before this period," wrote the architecture. architect -Pierre Patte in 1775, "everything was concentrated on the exterior and on magnificence,

"

comfortably and unknown. All those agreeable arrangements which are admired in our modern mansions, all those conveniences which make our dwellings delightful and charming abodes, were

and the

art of lodging people

privately

was

only invented in our own days. This change in our interiors also brought about the substitution

and solemn ornament with infinitely varied, for the which they were formerly loaded."
of all sorts of

woodwork

decorations, tasteful

were transformed first and most thoroughly. chairs ." to use the expression in vogue at the period opposite the fire-place. better to human adapted fortable. and the shelf supported a glass. over a console-table. arranged in panels.24 LOUIS XV FURNITURE fact. places. stone or marble." :t. generally over the doors. disappeared . again. ""Furniture also became smaller. in pompous walls. in a Louis XIV apartment. they were made small and low. more comThose pieces which are most frequently with the body. the walls were hung with the material used for curtains and for polished or painted enframed in delicate Floors of furniture-covers. to increase the perspective and reflect the lights. which allowed one to enjoy a view of the landscape. with one's feet on the fire-dogs. with huge chimney-pieces. Tapestries were used very much less. another mirror was generally fixed. Formerly. as was natural. panelled stucco. seats and tables. or " " mosaic. disappeared. Blondel also introduced fire-places surmounted with sheets of non-mercurial glass. and. were superseded by de Hongrie " (herring-bone point a carj' Monumental fire-places. a "parquet de glace. so disagreeable to the feet. cold alike to eye the supreme change. above all. This was. The with marble or coloured and touch. woodwork making way with panels mouldings relieved with gilding. in contact proportions. unless. and paintings were relegated to fixed . or for the painted papers of England or the Indies. even when covered with parquet in pattern).

Memoires how. 25 legs. " I " threw myself at her feet. the most perfect of easy-chairs. and spring-backs . They seemed to be drawn up to do honour to the visitor rather than to invite him to rest . and veilleuses. the large arm-chairs. cbaises-longues. which had to remain big and heavy that they might duly envelop and support the body. . In the matter of seats the last word of comfort was said . it was impossible to improve on them. it When a visitor was necessary to summon two lackeys appeared to bring forward a seat for him. she had feared that Madame Madame Campan relates in her The Victoire might follow her sister's example. which had no longer to enframe the monumental wigs of bygone days. Even those elastic springs which give such an ugly dome to the seats of modern arm-chairs were invented . the legs became shorter. became a nun. duchesses. Louis XVs daughters had them in their bergeres.LOUIS XV SEATS standing on high backs. straight were ranged permanently along the walls. for tired or invalidish women. with desks for reading or writing." she writes. with great square. easily handled and displaced to suit the exigencies of conversation . Now. first time 1 saw this excellent princess. were supplemented by light chairs and " cabriolet " seats. for old persons and convalescents. when one of them. and also the backs. For a group of two or three there were convenient sofas and ottomans . the tables were so huge and so heavy that they looked as if fixed for ever in their places. Madame Louise. I kissed her hand. pockets.

bookcase came into vogue. pointing to the bergere on springs in which she was reposing Be easy. inn-table$> with trays. was replaced by the commode (chest of The drawers). : should never have the courage of Louise. Were you interested in rare shells. and a removable great most inconvenient receptacle." Had you a passion for flowers ? A table with a . called the "Radix with black foliage. which so well deserves its name. and the chiffonier set up its superposed drawers for trifles. chiffonniere-tables with little drawers. light : and practical. for tea . with the self-confidence of youth.' Madame Victoire was a true child of her age The ingenuity of the joiners rivalled that of the upholsterers . for every conceivable purpose work-tables. your roll-top bureau would hide them at others. like the Marquis de Bonnac and the Presidente de Bandeville ? There was a shell-cabinet for you. toilet-tables. u in the form of a bureau " where you could put your finest specimens in full view but in safety. a The many the slightest alarm. chest. precious examples such as the Scalata and thePourpre. and said.26 LOUIS XV FURNITURE and asked her. if she would leave us all as Madame Louise had done. writing-tables. or to ward off the rays of the sun . kissed me. She raised me from the ground. If you had secrets.. screentables to protect the owner from the heat of the fire. my child. they invented an infinite I ! variety of little tables. I am too fond of the comforts of life. Here is an arm" chair that will be my ruin. ten kinds of gaming-tables.

At a given signal the leaves disappear beneath the floor. " M. 8. because more than any other it relied on the curved line. of half-contracted muscles. It emphasized this at all costs. in the centre of which is a rose. Such examples suggest caryatides bowed beneath their burden. and the Sieur Loriot invented ajlyinghim. all that is to be seen is a very smooth floor. After this." said the Mercure <Le France^ " has made a kind of magic table. The King. and more human. and came up again with fresh dishes. Figs. 1 but they have all the same air of organic things. invention could go no further . as when it gave doe's feet to supports that had heavy weights above them. as is well known. not inert but active. the period was certainly that of convenient furniture table for all par excellence.LORIOT'S TABLE pierced top was invented in 27 which to plant Dutch bulbs. The arm-chair seem to be as elastic legs of a Louis XV 1 See the legs of the cupboards. When the company passes into the diningroom. This style was also in closer touch than any other with nature and life. the town came to see it. of strength. not the smallest vestige of a table is visible . was fond of little suppers. " " sometimes to excess. at which the presence of servants becomes irksome. Loriot. 6. which was exhibited at the Louvre . that characterize the ribs and flying buttresses of Gothic vaults. etc ." At the end of each course the table disappeared into the basement. and a table spread with a meal rises from the ground.

in short. All their surfaces swell or curve inwards. A straight line is neither graceful . The utmost one can say is that the eye finds a certain satisfaction in a rectangle (a window. it is merely a cold abstraction of our minds. a pure delight to the The men of the time of Madame de Paraeye. for instance) when the sides have a happy proportion of length. who gave a slight inward curve to all the lines of their temples. in the uprights of the arched bay. perhaps unconsciously. we beneath our weight when we sit down. and bere "a commode expressed it when they said simply of an agreeable contour" These voluptuaries certainly had the ideal of the feminine body always : before their eyes. 1 they are modified As. changing caresses And when everything. knew this well. it is nothing at all straight lines intersecting one another are either ungraceful or uninteresting. nor ungraceful. i . 1 or their dryness by the softness of the mouldings. " the line of life far excellence" to quote Michelet again. The straight line does not exist in nature (even the marine horizon is a curve) . every line is nervously arched.28 LOUIS XV FURNITURE as its seat almost imagine that they will bend . indeed. and Madame de Pompadour felt this. often interrupted. and spring back again like the bough of a tree when we rise. all the tangent curves seem to be ex. is lives. The Greeks. i which are made of nbs connected by acanthus-leaves. or inflected with a sort of languor. straight lines are inevitable. The carve is. or in Uu . for instance. But a curve may be in itself a marvel of grace. Fig.

consoles the legs of which consist merely of Ccurves. Two oX tilts S's following one another. etc. 6. nearly always set in pairs. Figs 48 and |<j aim-chair. Figs 33. if he is not guided vertical members of the wardrobe. which are XV more graceful. 1 This continual use of undulating lines presents a certain danger to the artist . etc tables. much more frequently than in the Louis XIV Style. are interrupted. back to back. 42 iomers. Fig.C AND S CURVES 29 There are Louis XIV tables and style. but they are drawn out in long curves. etc Two S's joined by an anglo (accolade) table. . Fig 57. Louis XIV -pied de every The elementary curves from which all others are derived are the C-curve (the arc of a circle or ellipse) and the spiral. Fig. and. etc. but of a short and sturdy kind. 40. Figs 5. 4 (reeds bound together by nbbons) Note how the uprights of the mirror-frame. which begins in the same manner and terminates in the cleft hoof of the animal. this forms the S-curve. and clearly distinct one from another. The C's set back to back are also freely used in the Louis Style. cupboards. chif- . it combines two successive and opposite C's in a continuous curve . end to end : the pediments . of table. Fig. " " the doe's-foot S-curves legs of Figs 97 and 101. They have been used in A bicbe is composed of a first salient curve termina- ting in a roll. Examples' C-cu:ves: the cartouche with an irregular outline surmounting the arched bay of Fig i . commode. Fig i o i . and then of a re-entering curve. of console. Fig 37 . the mirrors. The most complicated festoons and contours are combinations of C's and S's. 36. C and S following one another the legs of the secretary1 : . etc. Fig 30 .

Fig. 25. either easily becomes effeminate l . 65. Fig 22. transitional lines in their curves. etc. 16. 5. too. straight. Fig. by unerring he but the cabinet-makers of the Louis XV period avoided it on the whole with conspicuous mastery. 1 Console. ing corrects an indecisive line. and on the Pyrenean commode. Fig. 20 . Fig. there where an XV impression of strength and solidity is desirable . : . 10 of commode. just as a very soft moulding modifies the dryness of a straight one. 6. The same combined in a continuous curve base of commode. a nervous mouldgreater emphasis. at the top they are always replaced by united 6 4 As to curves. inner angles of mirror- frame. * Woodwork panels. 5 Upper angle of door-frame. Fig. More complicated and. A C between two S*s base of the salt-box. Fig 39. Figs. by the introduction of 2 short. ornaments of console. and chair. a Bases of the cupboards. 18 base of commode. Fig.3o LOUIS XV FURNITURE taste. commodes. 17 flour-bin. of a wainscotpanel. .6 . Fig 100. etc. . Fig. . 16 bread-bin. Figs. which give them or by delimitation of their by the little spirals known as component parts roqmllards* Very often. etc. 25 and 26. etc. If the Louis Style dislikes everything rectilinear. produced either by lines or plans. Fig. Rectangles are tolerated at the bottom of a cupboard door. 28 sides of : . 16 of the commode. Figs. These roguillards were naively exaggerated by the rustic joiners on the little Provenfal cooking utensils. 27. : Fig. less successful curves salt-box. 7. it especially abhors rectangles. . have not escaped this fault 2 Base of sideboard. 4. Figs. Fig. and 18. generally speaking. i . . Figs i and 2 cupboard doors. Fig 39. or of a frame in a word. Fig. or concealed by an ornament. 17.

The sensitive eye of the people of this period was disagreeably affected by the junction of the two walls of a room it was concealed either by .lighter 3 emphasizing and affirming the contour. 44. and the piece of furniture was designed wider at the back than in the front. Commodes. Fig 11 . If this happened to be a commode. . 20. for a drawer must necessarily be of the same width throughout. up. 2 rounded woodwork. commodes. chamfered. 1 To sum Cupboards. etc. but also. Fig 24. 4 or by designed to It fit into the corner a piece of furniture : a cupboard sur- mounted by was also shelves. considered necessary to avoid the angles formed by the wall and the sides of a commode or a cupboard. or ornamented with a moulding of gilded bronze which softens their harshness while of . this purpose . Figs. often made wood when the piece of furniture is veneered. etc. even things that only the eye could reach. not only hand could encounter. sideboard. etc. the form was very illogical. Fig. The narrow arched panel of Fig. 2 was made for . . 25 2 and 26. Fig. These sides were accordingly made with convex surfaces. a console. Figs. Secretary. 21. Figs 5 and 7 . 19 8 4 commode.THE RECTANGLE TABOOED 1 31 arrises. or even a seat. everything was rounded. and thus there were useless spaces on either side. all that the in virtue of a certain confusion between touch and sight. they are rounded. Neither did interior angles find favour. and 23 bureau.

of XV which is certainly a merit . On . in Louis common with the living being. are continuous. the console and the arm seem to be all in one. certain is a different thing . of long. in a Louis is a continuation of the seat. or as a limb continues the trunk XV aa animal. It seizes the whole intention at the first glance. looking at them from a distance of a few feet. for. wood is wood. their bronze decorations. the unity and continuity In a Louis XIII or Louis XVI armof parts. for instance. rising at intervals into bosses which serve as handles. indeed. This. seem to end abruptly in a circular moulding or a cube. made. supple bands of foliage. ornamented with rosettes the separation of the two elements is thus deliberately affirmed. and take no apparent account of the division into drawers . it may be called " the of continuity. but it must be confessed that this involves an infringement of the rights of the material. an arm-chair or a chest of drawers ought not to look as if cast in one There is an exaggeration of unity in commodes. which is also continued in the console of the arm . and metal piece. arm-chair the leg the other hand." The eye glides principle along the flowing forms without a break. after all. and the arm carries on the back just as a branch continues the trunk of a tree. chair the legs. we . the entire fronts of which are treated as if they were a solid block . is one of the dominant characteristics of the Louis Style . where they meet the seat.32 LOUIS XV FURNITURE XV furniture has further.

as we have already pointed out. Arm-chairs. sober. 52 to 58. especially seats. lingering upon angles. is The treatment of mouldings an admirable art. not meant to be opened. indeed. 21. gliding into gradations on heavy curves. 70. 6. See also the cupboards. reinforces one part and it is both a modulation makes another slighter Delicate or vulgar. and subtle. Figs. . there is a construction and decoration possible to divorce them. chair. Figs. Commodes. In veneered furniture. 1 it is the function of the applied sheets of mahogany or rosewood to hide the junctions . sometimes by continuity and identity. There is more than XV a relation. 24 . Figs. difficult. 3 Arm-chair. it emphasizes or attenuates. 23. 75. 44. 8 . 7. profound identity between it would be im. Fig 64 . played a very furniture of solid important part in Louis wood. etc. Fig. they are not the least pleasing examples. in other furniture. and that it is seen in all its purity. 1 . sometimes by carrying their development from one part to the other. Thanks to the magic of light and shade playing among excrescences and hollows. or perhaps because of their simplicity. it may and a language. the mouldings provide the connections between the various parts. bureau. It may be said that here the principles of the style are carried to their extreme conclusion.MOULDINGS 33 might take them for pieces of stage furniture. Many chairs have no other decorations. 2 Mouldings. etc. Figs. Fig. 3 and in spite. 65 berg&res.

the carvings of this style require so much material price ! And : . this the effect of the mania for the irregular objects . the amateur truly worthy of the name Happy who discerns and acquires the former at a moderate and the other an object then these beautiful Louis XV mouldings.34 LOUIS XV FURNITURE make two to the eye pieces of furniture. so different. for asymmetric. Fig. many a cunning old dealer must be reckoned among the one is a work of art profane). Fig. Figs 20. Fig. . Fig. that cheap reproductions of them are impossible. and of the small bureau. Fig 37 consoles. Figs. 1 . i and 2 pediment of wardrobe. decora. doubtless by one of the CaffierL It is surprising to find how easily artists threw off the ancient bondage of symmetry. . band round table. . with their graceful inflections and richly swelling curves. similar of the profane (and in this connection. 38 and 39 front of arm-chair. Figs. 98. Fig 4 door of bread-bin. But I must not say never. Examples: Woodwork. 96 . bronzes of clock. be it understood. Fig 17 bronzes of commodes. Fig 57 ornaments of couch. Figs. have an essential merit they cannot be imitated by vulgar mechanical processes indeed. 87 . that entirely without beauty. Fig 47 mouldings of commode. there are a few specimens of furniture entirely without symmetry. for it never went so far as to produce an entire piece of furniture structurally XV . which seemed so Was firmly established since the Renaissance. 93 . tion of bed. 1 asymmetry only. The final principle of the Louis Style is the Of its decoration of its decoration. 23. 21. such as the famous Metternich bureau. . . 99 . . 28 . mirrors.

of extreme confusion disfigures this fine piece of furniture. irregular decoration took but a few years to establish itself in all the applied arts. to count the squares. the nnceaw * of commode." though animals. . madrepores. had Asymmetric decoration. regardless of the balance of the masses . 1 But what is really a difficult matter and these same bronze-workers often accomplished it with triumphant success is the ornament which. the free. Fig. corals. It was " also more natural. 20. an example the traverse of consoles. the piquant. flowers. minerals. this undoubtedly some influence on decoration. Fig. the completed motive will always have a certain effect from the mere fact that the two It is also very easy to compose a halves are alike. and petrifactions. perfectly irregular decoration. a symmetrical decoration. of cupboard. There is nothing easier than to compose . of a kind .ASYMMETRIC DECORATION 35 from China that obtained during the Regency. or fold a piece of paper in two. and leaves are symmetrical. or merely an irresistible desire to do something that had not yet been done ? However this may be. It satisfied the general taste of the day for the unexpected. a mass of objects of baroque form . One of the follies of the day was the collection of strange shells. the bronze-workers of the Regency and of the Louis period have XV proved this. 4. by no means connotes loose and facile decoration far from it. Figs. and the fantastic. 38 and 39 . which is quite formless and 1 Examples : The pediment . will suffice . we must Insist.

96. 98. This exact equibalances equivalent masses. . Fig. sideboard. 29 tables. and mechanical repetition . but when it is solved. as a whole. . 98 Fig. . Those it deliberately rejected were the elements borrowed from classical architecture. librium is a very delicate problem. and further. and . the principle of asymmetry has the happy consequence of leaving the hand of the sculptor or chaser much freer in it is its attack on wood or metal than when constantly restrained by the necessity of reproducing exactly a part of the work already executed. the leg of console. it modified others profoundly. Fig. Fig 93 on . Fig. Many bronzes even are perfectly symmetrical. the reason is satisfied in its desire for order by the balance of the 1 This is a more subtle process than brutal parts. 1 pediment mirror. a . 48 seats in general pediment of mirror. Fig. and more 2 especially the fine bronzes of regulator 3 (left panel) Woodwork. Fig 37 .36 LOUIS XV FURNITURE though it has no symmetrical relation to an axis. . We must add that asymmetry is by no means an invariable rule in this style. Figs. Fig. 44 and of chiffonier. . the ideal of ornament is achieved. Fig. Fig. Figs . for while the eye is amused by the variety and unexpectedness of the detail. 34 and 36 bronzes of bureau. . At no other period did decorative art so Good examples of this well-considered asymmetry : the pierced ornament of table. Figs 21 and the carving of 27 the asymmetric portion of the bed. 40 the escutcheons of commodes. 2 The Louis XV Style abandoned many motives used in the Louis XIV Style . secre- tary-commode. . 9 .

95 (pierced scallop-shells combined with nnceaux) . 38 clock. is a piece of transition furniture.DECORATIVE MOTIVES far 37 emancipate . which dates from the end The . or was even pierced generally speaking it was combined with the lean motive the origin of which is indicated by the name. Fig. 9 sideboard. . arranged in continuous rows of similar elements. . 36 (here the shell forms a kind of concave cartouche) . an imitation of antique methods constantly adopted In the Louis by ^the Louis XVI Style. . 1 XV Louis XIV scallop-shell 2 was profoundly modified . But before enumerating the motives in use at this period. Fig. it was the material itself. several motives were so applied. Fig. which is decorated with a continuous series of interlacements. console. . table. and screen. Fig 94. Fig. period a single motive was placed judiciously in the right place. Fig. Arm-chair. it became jagged at the edges like an oyster-shell. . it must be recognized as a principle nay. itself from the trammels of archi- tecture more . 37 . Fig. that they were never used in numbers. or in the case of the bronzes of a piece of furniture. Fag 67. already 1 showing several characteristics of the Louis XVI Style. and broke away from its axis . architecture itself at this period borrowed certain motives from the joiner and the goldsmith. it lost its regularity. . . Fig 13 table. 2 Preserved intact on the left panel of Fig 3 the frieze of table. . and on all the rest of the surface. 34 8 Woodwork. 8 The floriated lozenge. Fig i cupboard Fig 5 wardrobe base. either solid wood or veneer or the mouldings which gave the required interest.

becoming small and insignificant. Fig 20 and secretary. Figs. and 37 . In the frieze at the top of the Breton sideboard. wander lightly over the background . emblems. . capricious sprays and tendrils. on woodwork. tables. Fig. Figs. those " roses d'Amathonte " which the courtly poets of the day loved to sing Tables. Arm-chairs. 54. it toot on a peculiar form . . narcissi. 1 . commode. on which coats of arms. always very much used in wood3 work. the contour swelled. 29. Fig. 5 . and was often used as a keyhole escutcheon . 36. Fig 52 (cartouche in a shell) berg&re. it has still the Louis XIV form. junction with the arms. Fig. * * of chair.38 LOUIS XV FURNITURE of the seventeenth century. Arm-chair. originally a card only partly unrolled. i cupboard. Fig. . Fig 72 top of the clock. At the springing of the legs of table. etc . 2 The acanthus-leaf. bloom roses. 34. 37 . Figs. 4 More or less recognizable. everywhere. directly derived from the Middle Ages. plays a more modest part in furniture . 5 of a . etc. Fig. 26. and again roses. 5 in bouquets and baskets. 1 The cartouche. eglantine. etc. or turned over at the corners. 53. Fig. 3 Yet it should be noted in the legs of cupboard. and ornaments were painted. became itself an ornament. 34 and 37. daisies. Fig. was retained fairly often. it ornaments the extremities of chair-legs and their backs at the. singly or grouped in twos and threes. and the motive became rather like a pear standing upright. . it occasionally forms rinceaux* and rosettes The heavy twisted garland of the seventeenth century is unbound . Woodwork. 1 1 the rtnceau has preserved a very archaic form. and in the keyhole ornaments of commode. escaping from the mass. 96. Fig. Fig 60.

clock. 12 . . . . Figs 89. those of the little archer-god. his bow and quiver.DECORATIVE MOTIVES in their chairs 39 minor verses. or bound cupboard. is a last echo of the cloven hoof. i and 2 console. Figs. brought the first turkeys (coqs d'Inde) from America. become rare. the springing of the legs. sideboard. Figs. Fig. 43. and 50 of the legs of table. are used more especially to enframe looking-glasses over fire-places. 2 and 3 clock. . trees. . Figs. Then we have the vast family of attributes. 38 74 sofas. Fig. and were called after the Jesuit Fathers who. kneading-trough. 19 arm-chairs. woodwork. 1 Elsewhere. Fig. we meet with the irrever- named pieds de JesuiU. and hearts in pairs. in the preceding century. often wreathed with flowers. 53. or of palm. Fig. which are turkey- holding balls they support round tables. Animal life is rarely put under contribution. Fig. 35. 1 Woodwork. etc. his blazing torch. branches of laurel and 2 Whole palmolive. Fig. Figs. burning. The most modest arm- en cabriolet cannot dispense with their " " at the upright flower top of the back. 92 and 93 . 98. . 91 . Figs. invading everything. 73. 69. Fig. 71. 12 secretary. pecking at each other and fluttering with outspread wings. or on the front of the seat. 37. 8 . bergtres. 100. 54. Fig 97- 8 The graceful return at the end Tables. Figs. and degenerate 3 ently legs but . with the exception of the tender tribe of doves which are found everywhere in couples. . pierced. Fig. 97 frames. 10 . * Kneading-trough. are interlaced. and 101. The pieds de bicke properly so-called . 90. Figs. . and first of all. . beds.

Kneading-trough. undisputed master which the travellers Tavernier and Chardin brought into fashion. 12. Woodwork. even of science. 19. all the instruments required to accompany an arietta by Mondonville or Mon2 Attributes of hunting and fishing. but the stately and warlike trophies of Louis the Great are no longer Louis the Well-Beloved cares nothing . 1 a If we may * believe Voltaire. Fig. Fig. and signy. 3 find favour. her wicker-basket for gathering strawberries in the woods or flowers in the meadow. Fig. where poussabs. and the cage of the turtle-dove presented to her by Nemorin one siderable place: day. and tambourine. Van Loo was the master of the style. and decorated a marvellous cabinet in this mamamonchis in manner for Madame de Pompadour at Belleville. 2. fat dervishes and pashas. bassoon. But this was not all . them. and that of China. and other figures jostle each other under fantastic Mosques. the pastoral attributes. odalisques and sultanas. Secretary. mandarins. But the vogue of China was still unrivalled. the shady straw hat of the shepherdess. which had already been the delight of two generations in vogue for : : pumpkin-shaped turbans. the together. the decorator at a loss for subjects found an inexhaustible supply in a little world of comic fantasy where he was the the world of the East. violin. crook. the bagpipes. guitar. . the gaily grimacing China of a painted screen. Music also holds a con- flageolet.40 LOUIS XV FURNITURE 1 Next.

Oft le gotit moderne et Tantique Sans se nuire. says worthy Blondel. reception cabinets. This is a domain in which genius may soar as on wings and yield to the vivacity of its caprices. everything possible should be done to make the decoration playful and gallant. The man of the eighteenth century saw no very great distinction between a Chinese and a monkey. relaxation of the mind. there is a very strong likeness between the Chinese cabinets of the day and the singeries (monkeyisms) or monkey-cabinets like those at Chantilly and the Hotel de Rohan. These fancies were the appropriate decoration of miniature retreats.ORIENTAL INFLUENCES there was often an absurd 41 amalgam of Turkey and China : J'ai VTI ce salon magnifique Moiti6 turc et moiti6 chinois. porcelain. the theory that there was a determination hand. writing-cabinets." " are destined for the the XV Style owed the lack of symmetry of ornamentation and the sinuous character of its borders to the influence of lacquers.. But it seems unnecessary to seek the sources of the most On the other original of our styles so far afield. . ont suivi leurs lois. to do the opposite of all that had been done in the preceding century is too simple an explanathe Louis its tion. etc. and printed papers imported from China. at this period. coffee-cabinets." It has been asserted more than once that without which no great house was complete " As all these little apartments.

and notably the long S-shaped curves . characteristics of expiring Gothic. all in undulating curves which separate. Remember that the Middle Ages cared nothing at all for exact symmetry. soar up to the intersecting arches of Gothic vaults .42 all LOUIS XV FURNITURE if we reflect a little we must admit that the elements of the style were not. with no capitals to interrupt them. and. and. and separate again to melt one into another finally. the strange likethe ness of the thing made to a living thing consummate skill in the treatment of mouldings . recall the capricious vegetation that flourished in those ages on the stones of our churches. such unheard of novelties in the history of French art. in Saint Wulfran at Abbeville. the decoration which is so integral a part of the construction . The love of the curved line. finally. rejoin. the principle of continuity we have tried to define . in the Cathedral of Troyes. when once it had shaken off the classic yoke. think of the marvellous traceries of the windows For . the complete disdain for the facSe effects of symmetry are Were they not the essential familiar to us. for it cherished a the two arts fine is XV contempt for Gothic art). at Les Andelys. and say if the affinity between not striking ? The Louis period (unconsciously indeed. the profusion of light flowers and of serrated foliage . the flamboyant style of the fifteenth century ? Think of the delicate shafts that spring so nervously from the ground. merely took up the old French tradition interrupted by the Italian . after all.

and spoil everything But are not the artists who are now for us. attempting to give new life to the glorious art of French decoration. harking I been languishback in their turn to speak of the elect among them. it fastened by instinct on the exact point where our ancestors Unhappily. but that it may be bracketed with Gothic as the most French of our styles ? . 43 invasion of the sisteenth century.MODERN TENDENCIES had stopped. after the lapse of two centuries. the same ardour for the harmonious curve. the same taste for delicate mouldings ? Do they not also seek for continuity of form ? To sum up. may we not say that there is nothing Chinese in the Louis XV Style. the same sense of life. and not of the unintelligent plagiarists of Germanic art. a new crisis of antiquomania did not fail to come once more. an national resources ? art that has ing for a century. Have they not.

and popularized others that had been of solid used before their time. The native woods most in use continued to Normandy and Brittany which was very common in central and walnut. for veneerers and inlayers flourished only in the large towns. such as dining-room chairs . is of ash figure. undulating and interlaced veins are often very decorative. but is so solid that it is much prized for seats destined for hard be : oak. . little III : TECHNIQUE but they perfected NEITHER the joiners nor the cabinet-makers of invented any new technical the time of Louis XV strictly speaking. olive. and secretaries were made beech. " Fig. it is now used only for veneering. an excellent wood with very These knots result from excrescences on the trunks of walnut. and are known as the "figure" or "flower" of wood Their curving. 45. but formerly it was often made into solid wardrobe panels. which are used in panels.CHAPTER methods. and ash. little tables. of which seats. service. elm. especially in . a wood that has no beauty. Elm sometimes has exquisitely marked knots. A great deal of furniture wood was still made . southern France . 1 Next in order was the trees 1 : large family of fruita cherry. Bureau. wi}d cherry. several. As such wood is scarce and difficult to work. in the provinces practically nothing else was produced." certain trees 44 . this humble material often acquires a charming light patina as a result of wear and of continual polishing.

the prosperity of the East enormous blocks of mahogany of which Haiti and Honduras sent whole shiploads. grain. Foreign woods. this magnificent wood arrived in great quantities. was a good imitation of rosewood. which was used for chairs. because of the poorness of its grain. of a yellowish-brown. which when rubbed over with vitriol. but espeture.EXOTIC WOODS fine 45 tables. . and solid mahogany was freely used in the south-west of France for . which is rarely met apricot with otherwise than stained black. as well as furniture of mahogany and rosewood. were seen more and more frequently stacked on the quays of Bordeaux. and during the cially from about 1725 onwards India Company. as we might have supposed. and finally. and often takes on. into the kingdom in been had imported only very small quantities up to the eighteenth century. a superb tone of warm brown verging on red. and the new port. while it polishes as well in use as the best walnut almond. . and with satiny reflections pear. palm. . well veined. Furniture made of the wood of fruit-trees was not always. little commodes. and even large cupboards it carves well. in course of time. in the south. of rustic Lazare Duvaux or even of provincial origin. with the exception of ebony. chestnut. provided plumwood secretaries and cherrywood tables for his refined customers. Lorient. and so they were only used for very costly furniFrom the time of the Regency. At Bordeaux particularly. Havre.

the former at 128 limes each. and the " speckled. with a paper-case fixed to the bureau." . only the " " can vie finest specimens of walnut with figure them. which was soon to become so fashionable. and a writing-desk with 35 was sold for 150 livfes* silvered ink-pots.46 LOUIS XV FURNITURE important pieces of furniture/ and even for large cupboards. invoiced. the silky brilliance of certain parts contrasting with the non-lustrous darkness of others . de Belhombre business-bureau with drawers in solid mahogany. the depth of their tone. The beauty and value of mahogany. like walnut. On one occasion for very moderate prices. as of all woods. and the "a latter at 5 2 livres . that take the most exquisite polish. that it it will almost proof against the attacks of worms." the flaming. varies very much in proportion to the beauty of the veining the varieties most esteemed " " " are the thorny. Lazare Duvaux delivered to Madame de Pompadour six commodes and a dozen writing-tables in solid mahogany. and to M. with ormolu gilt bronzes." Some of these varieties are the most sumptuous material a joiner or a cabinetmaker can work on. before the use of it was very general in Paris. and receives varnish perfectly. is ." the watered. Let us add to the praise of mahogany. by reason of the rich designs of their veining. covered with morocco. if it does not. the feet casings and escutcheons gilded with ormolu. But by the middle of the century it was possible to buy furniture made from this wood.

which certain amateurs of severe taste continued 59 " to prefer for their curiosity cabinets. which were sometimes used to make small pieces of solid furniture. or of a dark Cressent had brought violet inclining to black.TURNED ORNAMENT 47 box. Fig 36. it was no longer admissible for the refined furniture made in Paris or in the large provincial towns. of ornamentation continued expeditious process to be used for simple seats everywhere. chiffoniers Amaranth is merely a variety of or screens. . though it is less lustrous. the only other " woods of the islands " or woods of the were also called. by associ- Satinwood (there is a ating and a yellow variety) is very much red variety like with palisander. Fig. mahogany this austere-looking it wood into fashion. 1 As ebony had been almost completely abandoned save for the manufacture of book-cases or the lower part of cupboards in the manner of Boulle. As to turnery. or ebony. which had enjoyed such general favour for a century and a half. with " the exception of certain round tables or tables " but this easy and in the English fashion . less shaded. Indies. rosewood. 26 table. it is unrivalled for the sculpture of ornaments that are to be relieved in a precise and nervous fashion on a plain ground. and less warm in tone. lend itself to a modelling soft and fused as that of bronze under the sculptor's tools. and amaranth. 1 and for all sorts of . to some extent. furniture in Commode. as they of a wine-red colour. were satinwood.

Champagne. and holly for white. certain walnuts for grey cherry and others for brown. but this made up a restricted palette. mahogany. . Britanny. A magnificent cupboard in the Louvre proves . as long as the artificer could only True. etc. and make it fashionable. and violet-wood furnished a whole scale of purples calembour. palisander. when multi-coloured exotic woods began to arrive in large consignments. green ebony. and yellow sandalwood probourg. bright. Provence. the effect proper to the process. or pale Brazil wood. chestnut. and many locust-tree. and coloured varnishes on grounds of ebony and But it was impossible to get all tortoise-shell. very subdued in comparison with that commanded by cabinet-makers at the beginning of the eighteenth century. russet. and even in France. he dispose of quietly tinted native woods. clairemand lignum-vitse gave bright greens lemon-wood. vided yellows. and yew for red. granadilla. pewter. olive-wood and acacia for yellow. others yielded red tints this. had hornbeam. As early as the middle of the nineteenth century the Dutch had been past masters in the art of veneering and inlaying wood . 1 . Amaranth. . coralwood.48 LOUIS XV FURNITURE many of the provinces. caliatour. Andre Charles Boulle had practised 1 and he marquetry with coloured woods was not the only worker in this genre at the same time when he was producing his sumptuous harmonies with copper.

But the material which was deservedly appreciated above all others was the incomparable rosewood. the simple veneering of wood without any design. the word marquetry was ever used in the modern sense. anise. because then the thin and brittle sheets of wood had to be applied to surfaces that undulated in every direction. jacaranda. and whites. jewels. imbricated scales. bands. was one variety of marquetry. watered. Others. greys. that precious material which mellows so finely with age. XV this period. mingled the most varied tints. and compartments to other materials of a commoner kind. which seems to combine all the most beautiful colours of autumn in its warm russet tones shaded with gold and purplish-brown . Thus. and precious stones of different colours in plaques. marked with circles or concentric ovals. It will be enough to say that they were more difficult to execute perfectly in the Louis period than at any other time. and articles for the embellishment of 3' interiors. black ebony. rosewood. and a mosaic of precious stones or glass was As to furniture ornamented with another. marbled. glass. It is not within our province to describe the technical processes of veneer and marquetry. in order to produce furniture. rinceaux^ or flowers in lozenges.wood.VENEERGf MARQUETRY 49 of every variety . During : VII D . The Enhardly " The art of cyclopedia defines it thus applying carefully and delicately wood. striped. metals. and Rhodes wood introduced blacks. speckled. and harmonizes so exquisitely with dark palisander.

Fag. they were described as in compartments/' pieces of furniture veneered " veneered with a mosaic of different Indian or woods/' or "veneered with flowers. dressing-table." or simply " furniture of woods pieced together. a thin fillet of lemon-wood or holly being inserted between the two woods to emphasize the 1 Secretary. and this more frequently. whereas. " this was known as point J<? Hongrie or herring" " fern-leaf " a bone . enabled the artist to compose a very decorative symmetrical motive with two or three axes. if he had only in rosewood). of treating the sheets of wood were the following : when the cabinet-maker had procured walnut-wood "figure 3 ' a piece of of considerable size. or sometimes as panel of this kind in rosewood. sometimes. . narrow sheets with parallel veins (as.50 LOUIS XV FURNITURE woods " of various colours. 24 . veneer. if the veins were well-marked. or a piece of finely grained mahogany. Figs w ." Sometimes only panels were veneered or inlaid. the whole surface of the piece of furniture was adorned in 1 The most usual methods this brilliant fashion. Fig. was rarely adopted under Louis XV. he arranged them in chevrons . Fig 41 clock. he cut it into thin sheets. 19 . bureaux. commodes. which. But this practice. Figs. 96. for instance. 23. so frequent at the end of the century and the beginning of the next. 21. Sometimes a panel was veneered with two or four sheets taken from the same piece of wood. 44 and 47 . either rectilinear or curved. was often enframed in a band of palisander. with which he sometimes covered whole panels.

or different kinds of wood. In general. panels of rosewood and the two processes . and Secretary. and enframed in mahogany. 19 . 23- 8 Bureau. shows a combination of point de Hongrie in the middle drawer.or satin-wood was outlined with black fillet (sometimes of whalebone. 2 Sometimes. trophies 1 of the inlayers was achieved of rococo ornaments with The httle commode. a panel was covered with geometrical motives 3 lozenges. with finely marked concentric veins. . a kind of rosette was formed with small oval plates. Fig. the flexibility of which made it easy to follow all the sinuosities of the contour). again. thin slips of wood were arranged in stars. 47. 1 51 Or a panel of a lemon. or palisander. or the angle of the panel . by using two or three But the triumph in a combination bouquets of flowers in vases or baskets. checkers.INLAYING contrast. and the chamfers were veneered with the same wood. in the lower drawer a symmetrical motive obtained by arrangement of four sheets taken from the same piece of wood a of lemon-wood). the rays starting from the top. the bottom. furnished by branches of wild cherry. Fig 24 fillets (of palisander with. commode. . the bands enframing the drawers of a commode or chiffonier were emphasized by a little quadrantal moulding of the same wood as the compartments of the panels the lateral arrises of the piece of furniture were chamfered. Fig.or violet-wood sawed obliquely . either by setting the grain of similar pieces of wood : in different directions. amaranth. cubes simulated by a combination of squares and parallelograms. Fig.

Of course. owing to their lack of cheerfulness. dients as plunging the pieces of light-coloured woods for veneer vertically into very hot sand. they were seduced into the detestable practice of dyeing white woods blue. and these dyed . 19. and pink. the colours soon faded. taste of Boucher. as 1 Secretary. . nearly all mediaeval and Renaissance furniture was painted and relieved with gold. was much more popular. less Painted furniture.52 LOUIS XV FURNITURE of scientific or musical instruments. their relations were modified. which are much frequent. and finally the crowning consummation groups of figures in the These were veritable pictures. for which artists finally could not rest contented with the eighty or a hundred different kinds of woods they possessed they adopted such expe. writing-tables. and those in blackened pearwood. as was inevitable." screens. made to harmonize more perfectly with coloured woodwork. was by no means an innovation . and drawing them out slowly. or graving them with hot irons finally. again. green. marquetries lost all their harmony. This. to give them brownish gradations. darkening them with vitrol. amorous attributes. Such were the pieces in " reddened and polished woods. 1 crooks and bagpipes. night-tables. Fig. or the fresh colours of summer hangings. Certain simple pieces of furniture were made of common woods dyed a uniform tint that is to say. coloured by means of immersion in a dye that penetrated more or less deeply into the texture.

of Louis 1 . others received a hideous black livery. to the most disastrous nudity. black tables with gold fillets in the time XV. seats . and which were never intended for covering arm-chairs. for instance. toilet-tables. for otherwise all the detail would have been blurred by coats of At the present day antiquaries abuse the paint. . in the nineteenth century.PAINTED FURNITURE was also a 53 The good deal of Louis XIV furniture. and the little bases of wardrobes and consoles said also " fancy " pieces. when there was a mania for light colours . commodes and wardrobes and were rarely painted. and screens . and the depressions and interstices are more strongly emphasized. a little practice and attention. notably. things that were painted more especially were the pieces that were generally speaking fixtures. 1 at a later date. such as corner-panels or cupboards. " " processes of scraping and pickling . more sharply defined. 33. writing-tables. indeed. with or without gold fillets. as we have above. A great many pieces of furniture were painted towards the end of the eighteenth century. is the very pretty table with a top of coloured stucco reproduced in Fig. such. merely for the sake of using old shreds of tapestry which would not harmonize with light-coloured woodwork. we may distinguish the seats which were intended to be With painted from those the wood of which was meant to remain visible . There were. they reduce many seats which were always painted from the beginning. in the former the mouldings and projecting carvings are narrower.

lac- The quered. Lazare Duvaux sold to the King " pierced corner1 Arm-chair. under Louis XV decorators were not in the least afraid of the most vivid colours . or bright green. "green. etc." and somepaint was sometimes times varnished or. the first specimens were made for the " " Prince de Soubise's Folly at Saint-Ouen . Furniture lacquered smooth (which must not be confounded with that in which the lacquered reliefs were imitated from Chinese models) dates. pale yellow with gold. and banish once and for all the idea that the Louis Style was and its colour-schemes those of the insipid this XV bonbon-box. corner: shelves lacquered green and gold. 77. Fig. and polished gold/ We imagine highly coloured furniture in rooms with damask hangings. and his delight in the fresh and cheerful appearance of the furniture was the origin of its popularity. etc. if we may trust Barbier's Journal. . a visit paid by the King to this little pleasure-house. from about 1750 . that is. 1 green We must not be deceived by the repainting of the following period . red. golden yellow. Fig. jonquil and 3 must gold. generally of purple-red. Other paintings were more complicated. "picked out 5? It was generally rechamtyi of a lighter or more the groundwork being neutral tint. 52 . Lazare Duvaux (Lime Journal} notes many red toilet-tables with black fillets. as we should say now. and the mouldings or carvings white was picked out with strong in colour or blue.54 LOUIS XV FURNITURE " flatted. chair.

different hues are separated by a kind . when protuberant commodes. just as the dandies sent their waistcoats to Japan to be embroidered. or Coromandel lacquers (flat in which the lacquers^of many tints. But when the Regency and Louis XV Styles set in. or cream jects. may imagine silk We the expense and delay entailed by such a proceedThe lacquers thus obtained were generally ing. after having them made up at home. and this brings " Vernis-Martin. grey." and to the Princesse 55 shelves with cupboards in the middle. began of enframing in pieces of furniture designed for this purpose lacquered panels which their Chinese and Japanese creators had destined for very different uses.UUiSKd lacquer imitating veneer. in polished corner-cupboard with doe's-foot legs in white lacquer. admirably harmonized." us to At the close of the Louis XIV period amateurs were roused to enthusiasm by the beauty and decorative value of the lacquers imported by the Dutch from the Far East it was then the practice ." a de Rohan " Dowager ground of certain seats flowers were painted from nature in very brilliant colours . and corner-cupboards with curved fronts were multiplied. black with gold reliefs. painted in the Indian taste that is to say. where the artists of the Celestial Empire decorated them with their exquisite works. It then became customary to send ready-made drawer-fronts and door-panels to China. it was no longer possible to use the flat panels of the Chinese. with Chinese subOn the celadon green.

coaches. The success of the Martins was extraordinary . <c sorts of furniture in all Chinese painting ' But they were soon to be eclipsed by lacquer. in the wood ." Langlois. who in 1748 founded a " " Royal Manufactory of lacquers in the Chinese manner. one of the marvels of Versailles. a certain Dagly had a workshop in the Gobelins " factory itself. finally they even produced complicated pictures. shuttles. and brownish gold-flecked grounds . by a process which they kept jealously secret . It was natural that the French cabinet-makers should have cast about for some means of escaping from such difficulties.56 LOUIS XV FURNITURE " " th< . was panelled and floored . As early as 1660. and ornaments on yellow. flowers. sometimes red lacquers. father and son. and even whole suites of rooms. under transparent varnishes. fruits. 3 extending their process. later. left of cloisons or ridges is closely akin to champleve enamel) process or. they painted from nature. from snuff-boxes. again. emerald green. and fans to spinets. enframed in garlands of flowers. where he made lacquers in the The Sieur Le Roy and the Chinese manner. The Dauphin's apartments. competed with him. sedan-chairs. the four brothers Martin. mythological allegories and rustic scenes. every sort of object was given them to lacquer. " " native paint er-varnishers attempted to imitate the foreign enamels. When Louis XIV died. At first they made copies of Chinese lacquers with gold reliefs on a black ground. lapis lazuli. blue.

the curious should go to the Musee Carnavalet. to Fontainebleau. To see really fine specimens. As may be supposed. became the symbol of the most refined luxury . where are some little rooms which still retain the decoration made for Frederick II. others have greatly deteriorated. and. to Potsdam and Sans-Souci. to the Musee de Cluny. Voltaire quotes . . Though less popular than in the time of Louis XIV. 57 this throughout with marquetry by Boulle unique work was unhesitatingly destroyed and replaced by white wood with carvings lacquered 1 These famous lacquers soon by the Martins. I may say a word or two here as to furniture of gilded wood. t . it was still fairly frequent in 1 This decoration disappeared in its turn under a hideous the coat of colour-wash which has recently been removed carvings are now left in the plain wood . ces cabinets oft Martin A surpass^ Tart de la as Chine the supreme expression of magnificence. the majority have perished. those which have survived and have not been too much repainted fetch enormous prices at sales. in the exquisite little Chinese cabinet . . by the Martins themselves . where there are two charming cornerfittings. where there are two commodes with two drawers on high legs. above all. which has a very fine coach decorated in this manner . -The French lacquers were very inferior to the Chinese in the matter of solidity .VERNIS-MARTIN .

Fig. like that of Frederick IPs famous chairs . Sometimes. gold with coming prevent x injuring the wood and the casings (cbaussons or 1 The commode. 88). 20. . Console-tables were gilded to harmonize with the gilt ornaments of the mirrors above seats the wood of was also gilded (Figs. 39. First of period are rather principals than accessories. made in materials other than wood. We may now pass rapidly in review what may be called the accessories of furniture. at the . and play at least an important decorative part in all panelled furniture and in all elaborate tables. as were also the escutcheons necessary to the from from good workshops were entirely worked over with the chaser and the burin after casting. and then gilded with or moulu that is to say.58 LOUIS XV FURNITURE them (Figs. a greasy. 40) . In a chest of drawers. again. or even if its maker was a person of sober taste. If the piece of furniture was of the more modest kind. or nearly all. and more rarely it was bronzed. were of gilded bronze. sumptuous houses. 62. has only one ornamental key escutcheon. bottom of painters' cans or distempergilding. either fixed or hanging. all. in which the gold-leaf was applied to a plaster of whitening and glue. the handles. 61. bronzes. for instance. done by laying leaf-gold on a ground of colour-gold. 67. of furniture of which in certain costly a mixture of mercury. viscous deposit which forms . Bronzes pieces this all. the wood was silvered. of the bronzes had their practical uses. The it was either oilprocess remained unchanged gilding.

this was very useful to protect this weak portion of veneered furniture. which. Only the ornament under the angles of the top and the rinceau at the base of the front. and give the corners of the piece a look of strength which is very effective. 44) has in like manner metal casings on the feet. because the Chinese lacquerer had placed one of his figures in the plain keyhole even had to be the middle of the drawer placed a little on one side. pieces of metal which unite the drop to the quadrantal moulding. and always for those of consoles and bureaux. 23 . the arrises of a piece of furniture are sometimes of metal . 20. and ornaments at the tops of them. ensure the solidity of the feet. the rounded corners of this table are reinforced by hooks. escutcheons. 1 Commodes. 1 A bureau-table (Fig.BRONZE ORNAMENTS encased in a fine fillet 59 All sabots). Materials other than wood were used very often for the tops of tables. Figs. are purely ornamental. this was either of morocco leather or. which is so liable to be damaged. . unless they were of the simplest kind. or apron. a quadrantal moulding protecting the edge of the table from the rude shocks to which it is exposed . fillets on the arrises of the legs. Writing-tables and bureaux were given a facing that could be replaced if disfigured by inkstaiixs . in the case of dainty feminine writing-tables. 21. There was always more of logic than of fancy in the ornamentation of a fine old piece of furniture. generally for those of commodes.

night-tables. which is red. pink. the feeling. side with the humble grey and the modest white of blue velvet. had marble tops. a marble with the surface of a flowery brocade portor. so perfectly as to deceive connoisseurs. A called. and other varieties of tables liable to be wetted. Egyptian-green. we have turquoise-blue. be of these the Mercure certain specialist. marble. and possesses the veinings and streaks. the Sieur Grisel. and the palish of real . covered with mosaics of selected stones or. glue. and violet . splashed all over with golden orangeyellow. to say nothing of onyx and alabaster for small and very dainty pieces of furniture. . formed of sharply defined grey. black. as in the seventeenth century. Some costly tables. Cheap imitations were made in stucco. the cold. were almost as varied as the woods. plaster. and a hundred other varieties. even the rarest and most precious. ground. a mixture of powdered marble. with white and grey veinings on a fine black . as they used also to specimen marbles. which is streaked with red. advertised in cle France that he had discovered a composition which "imitates all marbles. Italian gnotte. the most precious of all. were still. Carrara marble. commodes.60 LOUIS XV FURNITURE Consoles. The marbles used. antin. and green . Aleppo breccia. red and brown. especially those which adorned the curiosity-cabinets of collectors. grey. and yellow pebbles bound together by a brown cement brocate. and alum. which often added a superb note of colour to a piece of furniSide by ture.

in which he tells how the Marechal de Richelieu was in the habit of visiting the charming Madame de la Popeliniere " an apparent by a secret passage opening into wardrobe (armoire\ which was of looking-glass. manner of Berain. and tables " had kind their passing vogue. received a pension of 1000 livres a year it. But there is no evidence at all that they invented the horrible wardrobe with looking-glass door. has a charming stucco top imitating coloured " the subject of the decoration is a monkey-piece/' enframed in rococo ornaments and fantastic architecture.MIRRORS marble. 1 " of the marble Does this complete the tale ? Not Louis for the cabinet-maters of the XV altogether. these often surprisingly excellent. Fig. 3' IN FURNITURE imitations are 61 Indeed." " wardrobe " in It is almost certain that the Table. and their low book-shelves. were the first to set mirrors into their secretaries and bureaux for ladies (of the from kind known as bonheur-du-jour). too. They made the tops of little round tables mahogany panels with medalthe cabinet-maker procelain . with lions and inlaid of fine Madame de Pompadour. and using it to enrich their small pieces of furniture. The suggestion has been frequently supported by a passage in Barbier's Journal. They. period further initiated the practice of pressing china that new material about which the fashionable world was crazy at the time into their service. Migeon. into the bases of their wardrobes. . who distinguished himself in this kind of work. 33. in the 1 marbles .

to match a real door or window . or with flowered tabby. it will be enough to say that the majority of small pieces with any pretensions to elegance were inlaid on the backs of their doors as well as on the fronts. cupboards were freand we find no other quently called armoires . we should also describe the internal arrangement and ornamentation of furniture . Thus the cabinet-makers of the eighteenth century had a remarkable variety of resources for the embellishment of their furniture and it is of . the doors of which were made of looking-glass in compartments. mention they drew upon these resources to the utmost without ever abusing them. wardrobes with looking-glasses till the beginning of the nineteenth century. To be complete. with white satin. slight praise to say that no .62 LOUIS XV FURNITURE question was a cupboard. and that their inner surfaces were hung with green watered silk divided into compartments or lozenges by silver galoon.

Honour holds the to whom honour is place. Under many different names garierobe in Provence. not. of which it is the undisputed queen. will polish it as if her one function in life were to give the fair 63 . in her white kerchief or starched cap. It forms an important family. indeed. all derived from the ancient chest or coffer. however humble. consists of receptacles for various Its essential features are a framework objects. and very soon no home. corbeilU de manage in Normandy. the chief members of which are the wardrobe. the commode.CHAPTER IV FURNITURE PANELLED of : PANELLED furniture. either by doors. the sideboard. lingere in the south-west. or by flaps. and throughout her life the good housewife. and the secretary. but to its in predecessor do we owe the large wardrobe all one piece. to this century. as as by its due . the chief item in all housefurnishings. The young bride of the it with peasant or small tradesman class brought her as part of her dowry to keep her trousseau in. was without it. though it became general at the later period. by drawers. cabinet in Brittany it was. together with the bed. It was not a creation of the eighteenth century . first much by the wardrobe reason of its importance in modest imposing size household goods. jambs and traverses supporting thin panels Such furniture is closed slipped into grooves.

64

LOUIS XV FURNITURE

walnut, the rosy cherrywood, the sturdy oak that illimitable bloom which will enchant the lover of How many of us antiquities a century hence. can recall some such provincial wardrobe among It inspired a kind of our childish memories respectful admiration with its mighty bulk, its
!

broad shining surfaces,

its

elaborate metal fittings,

and the mystery of all that slumbered in its deep recesses. It was a thrilling moment when it opened under the hand of a grandmother, with the familiar but always surprising creak
of
its

big lock, the long

moan

of

its

hinges,

and a breath of mingled scents, made up of dried rose-leaves, iris, and a hint of the sandalwood box brought from India by some sailor
ancestor.

The majority of these roomy, decorative, and time-defying wardrobes have one fault a grave one in view of the kind of bee-hive cells in which we are condemned to pass our lives in Paris their dimensions. They are sometimes from 2 metres 50 to 2 metres 75 in height by I metre 40 in breadth. Those of the Louis period are especially cumbersome, because of the high arched pediment which generally crowns them.
:

XV

But others of more moderate size are to be found ; and the Norman, Breton, and Lorrain examples
not rare. arched cornices are sometimes S-shaped that is to say, formed of two long-drawn-out S-curves, merging one into the other, and continuing from one angle to the other (Figs. 5, 6, 7),
a horizontal cornice are

with

The

WARDROBES
tal piece at either

65

or divided by a central motive (Fig. 4) ; some" times in " basket-handle form, with an horizon-

end (Fig. 8). The door-leaves are divided into two or three plain panels with curving contours, and are enframed in mouldings. When there are three panels, the central one is smaller than the others, and is placed a little lower than the centre of the door. The traverse of the base is cut out into festoons with a moulding at the edge which continues along the angles of " doe's-foot the legs these, curved in the form," terminate in a volute which rests on a cube. The upper traverse, called the frieze, follows the form of the pediment, and the tops of the door-leaves are also cut out to harmonize with this form. The its sides are angles of the whole are rounded, and made of panels with mouldings, simpler in design than those of the front. The Parisian wardrobes, which are often very masterly and intricate in construction, are very;

sober in decoration

;

generally speaking, their

only ornament is the division into plain panels enframed in the fine mouldings described above. There is nothing surprising in their simplicity ; " for use as in the capital they were linen-cupboards/' says the Ency clefts dia, and were not of

much

importance, whereas in the provinces they in rich homes, occupied the place of honour, even all the provinces in review, As we cannot pass we must be content to describe only the typical and cupboards of the south-west, Provence,

Normandy,
VII

E

66

LOUIS XV FURNITURE

Tliose of the south-west (Figs. 5 and 6), or rather of Bordeaux and the lower valleys of the Garonne and the Dordogne, remain simple, and have two panels to each half of the door ; the

lower panel, not so high as the upper one, is rectangular at the base ; its sides, like those of the second panel, are rectilinear ; but at the top it is curved, and at the junction of the curves the moulding often expands into carved crockets and Parts ornamented with more acanthus-leaves. carvings, the motives being generally important
beans, shells, palm-leaves, and running foliage traverse which patterns, are the broad oblique the two panels, and the top of the halfseparates door. This is completely enframed by a strong

moulding.

More

elaborate types have carvings

on the lower

traverse, with a central motive, very often a pierced shell ; an acanthus-leaf is

applied on the legs
part,

;

the non-practicable neutral

one with the left half-door, is also carved sometimes ; as to the frieze, it is always very simple, and either quite plain or with a slight
is

which

in

moulding. The mouldings leave little room on these cupboards for the metal fittings ; they are reduced to a small escutcheon of pierced steel on the right half-door, a symmetrical false escutcheon of the left half, and two long thin pins as high as the door-leaves, which terminate in turned acorns most refined and elegant in profile. These three bands of carving, so happily distributed, separated as they are by large plain surfaces and connected by the long vertical mouldings of

METAL FITTINGS
tonic character
linen-press of

67

the framework, make up a whole of a fine architecin our opinion no provincial ; wardrobe is so perfect as this sober Louis

XV

Bordeaux and

its

The wood

is

walnut, but sometimes

neighbourhood. it is cherry

or even mahogany.

Provencal wardrobes (Fig. 7) are somewhat different in character, in spite of a general likeness in silhouette and proportions ; the lines are
the ornament, both of wood and metal, they have more southern exuberance. Each door has three panels, all the sides of which are curved in accordance with a very complicated design ; these panels stand up from a plain ground, and the margin of each half-door is covered with iron fittings for its entire height ; six similar escutcheons (one of them real, the other five false and serving merely for ornaments) form in threes two long continuous bands of metal an illogical excess of decoration. The design of these flat bands of steel, worked entirely with the file in an open-work pattern, is, however, often exquisite. The very large pins they are sometimes three centimetres in diameter are
less sedate,
is

more

florid

;

The frieze is always either two or six in number. ornamented like the lower traverse. Nothing could be gayer or more charming than these presses, when the fine light walnut-wood of which they are made is resplendent and all their steel
fittings are
it

gleaming.

In connection with the Provencal cupboards is interesting to note what a long popularity

They are nearly always of oak. XV we must devote a few words to the cupboards. is The purely Provengal Louis piece generally ornamented only with mouldings . vases. the console legs.quivers. or soi-disant old. but this applies also to other pieces of furniture and other provincial districts. and afterwards. knotted ribbons. Finally. hearts. and with the exception of certain fine models of the most refined sobriety. When once they had adopted the S-shaped pediment. which are so famous that most Parisians generously attribute every old.Antoine places upon the market with truly Norman astonishing fecundity. they have not so many metal fittings in general they have only two escutcheons . torches. such as the example we reproduce (Fig. but this is not an absolute rule. 4). to make furniture on strictly Louis lines . of these Norman cupboards the most freely " faked " of all which the Faubourg pieces of furniture Saint. and baskets. XV with flowering branches. garlands. the curved and non-axial form of the panels. antique cups. except the panels. they are much more elaborately decorated than their Arlesian sisters. cabinet-makers held their hands. wardrobe to Normandy. and it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish between periods. . and continued throughout the century. the influence of the new style that reigned in Paris was revealed only in the carved ornament which covered the whole surface. However.68 LOUIS XV FURNITURE XV the Louis Style enjoyed at a distance from Paris .

which overhang. But the richness of the carvings is astounding. In addition to the fundamental motives of the style the bean. the top of the cupboard. and break the lines of the cornice . for instance. and a host of others. . rosettes. 8) with the " basket-handle " pediment. of course. or rows of beads. There were. The cabinetmaker carves everything that can be carved. are also to be found on certain Arlesian cupboards. We of which are both ingenious and note in the wardrobes of this for region a very curious liking polychromy . forming festoons.CUPBOARDS less 69 though these are immense and their pins are imposing. bands of draped stuff. the rustic carvings and mouldings tasteful. in the centre of the frieze. invented by artists who cared nothing about following the fashions of Paris .^ often very graceful but rather too much in the nature of ornamental plaques applied to the piece of furniture and not incorporated with it. with single or double doors. half Louis XV. palms. they are merely in high relief . and Towards respects only the surface of the panels. half Louis XVI. a good many simpler types. the pearshaped cartouche we have older and more traditional elements of ornaments. a series of grooves cut in the semicircular gorge. he places large motives in high relief. and pegged on to the bare surface of the frieze. These " dusttraps. sometimes carved in the material itself. the shell. such as the modest Saintongeais cupboard (Fig. scallops. sometimes they are carved independently in the round.

in this case the bonnetiere is closely work panel akin to the larder-cupboard. the large. yellow. Angles. this has sometimes an openit is at the top. he emphasizes his carvings by touches of black paint. sometimes. book-cases are rare. heavy folios and quartos which were the basis of all collections of books in the preceding century would have required immensely and solid cases . generally with a single door . it would have been very inconvenient to take them down from high shelves. a small piece of slender proportions. made of a trellis of gilded wire. or Proven?al . The doors.70 LOUIS XV FURNITURE the cabinet-maker is fond of setting panels of massive walnut in a framework of cherry. were lined with green. crimson silk. Breton. Book-cases were not in common use until the fashion of a small format for books was general . Authentic Louis large XV They are nearly always wide and low. or knot- elm in walnut . The book-case only began to be differentiated from the cupboard in the general evolution of the type about the year 1700 . A very attractive variety of cupboard. five feet high by six feet wide. for instance . Norman. they are no more than breast In this case they have marble tops like high. Boulle was perhaps its inventor. they were either piled upon the floor or arranged in the bottom of cupboards. was the bonnetiere (cap-cupboard). or commodes. much in request because of its small size. indeed. were shunned in the . ornamented with turned spindle-heads . as we have said.

made for dining-rooms. and this gave rise to the invention of the corner-cupboard. one above the other." or very often simply They were called Nearly all " corners " have quadricircular projecting fa$ades. the Chateau de Crecy. or four. with tops of fine marble. The " under-cupboard " (Figs 9 and 10). were made for drawing-rooms and cabinets these were often surmounted by shelves in tiers of three . About 1750 no room was con" corners " Madame sidered complete without . and they generally matched or. is nothing more than the base of the old wardrobe in two parts. they were made in two parts. at least. especially if a pair can be found. i I metre to properly speaking. de Pompadour ordered thirty in mahogany one day from Lazare Duvaux for her country house. Mouldings were their sole decoration. The lowest are. Low ones. these . the height of which ranges from metre 50 cm. harmonized with the woodwork.SHELVES XV 71 Louis period . commodes in the form of They were used in anteunder-cupboards.CORNER. breast high." in the middle. as its name shows. or curving facades formed of one convex curve between two concave ones. These little pieces are very much coveted. It is a piece of furniture with two or three doors. and to hold antique or Chinese curios. " corner-shelves with a cupboard " corners. and were painted the same colour . There are some very high ones. to give a Louis XV cachet to a room. which has become independent. gradually diminishing towards the top.

and also serve for clearing the table. for the doors of the upper part run back on grooves instead of opening on These hinges. tables. was This. two doors. 1 1) 5 large closed sideboards in two parts. Aries. On certain examples decorative objects may even be left standing permanently. looked like a complete bourgeoisie owned Auvergne. 13). But in the principal furniture-manufacturing centre of Provence. together with the fixed panel between sometimes replaced by a tiny hinged cup- . serving the double purpose of a buffet and a place for plates and dishes removed from the table. Brittany (Fig. The sparsely furnished dining-rooms with which architects first provided the rich apartments or mansions of Paris contained only undercupboards. sometimes so lofty that the upper part. made wardrobe perched on an " under-cupboard " a little wider. These sideboards in two parts were also very frequent in Normandy. only a very special kind of sideboard. was in two parts. and part of Provence. with its door of three panels. the credence-sideboard. but the very small upper cupboard looks as if it had been cut off sharply from its base. and consoles but the Parisian . rather. they were simplified sideboards. or. (Fig. dining-rooms took the place of the stately sideboards of the Louis XIV period. As the lower portion projects considerably beyond the made them small superposed structure it could accommodate a great many articles during a meal. too.72 LOUIS XV FURNITURE Those which were for rooms and dining-rooms.

when this exists. 1 The lower part rarely has drawers . the others are edged with a beading. it has always a solid back. and often two lateral partitions with panels . separated by a fixed plat-band . in the example reproduced in Fig. A curious characteristic is the size of the pins and escutcheons. This Arlesian credence-sideboard is a charming and original invention. however. The lower portion has two doors. are often as voluminous as those of the largest wardrobe. the fagade is straight. the undulations of which produce the agreeable play of reflections and shadow. if it has these they are furnished with large. it is more or less the same everywhere. 13. surmounted by a tier of two or three shelves set back on the top. . handsome drophandles of pierced ironwork. or with a little turned 1 Not. and under it a scalloped and sometimes a carved band . 14) is common to all provinces. to secure objects placed on the shelves. The dresser-sideboard (buffet-vaisselier) (Fig.SIDEBOARDS board. placed upon the lower portion it fits into it by tenons which are not fixed in their mortices . when these latter are absent. in Champagne as a menage. called a tabernacle 73 most form a very animated facade. This etagfae is generally movable . turned uprights support the angles of the shelves. It is an under-cupboard with two as an Auvergne or three doors. the upper and more important shelf has a cornice-moulding. which even on the tabernacle. and known in Gascony escudie. but covered with delicate carvings. and in as a vaisselier.

74

LOUIS XV FURNITURE

The vaissdier was the parent of our sideboard, with its glazed upper part and its cellaret, a piece of furniture that did not exist before last century ; all sideboards of this kind which lay claim to styles such as or "Louis "Henri II are absurd
balustrade.

modern

XV"

anachronisms.

The secretary, or at least the cupboard-secretary, is another derivative of the wardrobe (Fig. 19). For there were also commode-secretaries and
bureau-secretaries of which we shall speak presently.
It

possession to people

a very practical not our modern American bureaux, and an object that lent itself admirably to decoration which was most popular from the time of Louis to that of LouisIt was invented in the middle of the Philippe. century, and is described as follows in the Inventaire general du Mobilier de la Couronne of ** a cupboard-secretary, the front of which 1760

was the cupboard-secretary

who knew

XV

:

with a lock and key and may be let down form a writing-table covered with black morocco it contains six drawers with handles and rosettes the lower part has a double-door which locks and contains one large and two small
closes

to

;

;

..." To-be complete the inventory should have added that this complex piece of furniture further possessed a drawer extending right across the upper part, and a marble shelf with a moulding to crown the whole. The lower cupboard sometimes enclosed drawers instead of shelves, or a safe, and was sometimes replaced by
shelves.

COMMODES
three drawers
a

"

chiffonier-secretary secretary." The usual
I

deep. The great decorative merit of the secretary-cupboard was the large square surface of the adjustable front, which enabled the inlayer to compose an important central motive, such as
a group of attributes. beautiful secretary we reproduce, although its bronzes are in the Louis XVI Style, is essenin the contour of the inlaid tially Louis a

was the case it " instead of a " cupboarddimensions were about metre 60 cm. high by I metre wide and 40 cm.
;

when

this

75 became

bouquet of flowers or

The

XV

compartments and the attenuated form of the top,
described as amortissement en chanfrein (literally, deadening by chamfer). These secretaries are sometimes designed to fit into corners. Their interiors, more or less complicated, contain an

amusing combination of
*

little drawers, apparent or secret, shelves, pigeon-holes, and receptacles for papers. now come to what is, perhaps, the most characteristic piece of furniture of the Louis period, the commode, or chest of drawers ; it was in the composition of this that joiners and

We

XV

cabinet-makers were able to give the freest course to their taste for undulating lines and convex surfaces and reveal the rich elegance of their gilded bronzes. This, again, was a piece of furniture invented towards the end of Louis XIV's reign which did not come into common use until the time of " tomb-like " the Regency. Boulle's pompous,

76

LOUIS XV FURNITURE
of an excep-

commodes were merely show-pieces

tional character; the ordinary chest of drawers

The was born with the eighteenth century. Dictionnaire de Trevoux of 1708 gives the word commode as a new one. In 1718, again, the Duchess of Orleans (Madame, the Regent's " The present the mother), wrote in a letter Duchesse de Berry has given my daughter is a charming one ; she has sent her a commode. A commode is a large table with large drawers."
:

This, however,

is

not very exact

;

the

commode is

much more
legs

closely akin to a chest

mounted upon

than to a table. commode has from two to four Louis drawers, superposed in two or three rows ; two or three large, or large, or one large and two small,

The

XV

When there are small. finally, two large and two two small drawers at the top they are sometimes of equal size, and are separated by a non-practicable
part which has generally a false escutcheon corresponding to those below (Fig. 26), and sometimes unequal when the larger of the two has this false

escutcheon at the end (Fig. 21). In the latter case the division between the drawers is masked

much as possible either by ornaments of marquetry and lacquer, which are continued from one part to another, or in some very refined but not
as

very logical examples, by bronzes which are combined in a central motive extending over the whole front of the piece of furniture. The more modest

more

specimens always proclaim their structure much Commodes with two tiers of frankly.

COMMODES
when

77

drawers are, of course, more slender than others ; their legs are not overslight, and their curves are well studied, they achieve supreme elegance. This variety was distinguished as the

" commode on 33 high legs. There is an infinite variety of commodes. Some are massive and protuberant, crouching like

poussahs

upon short, thick legs ; others are small slender, and it is difficult to say whether they should be classed as commodes or as chiffonnieres ;
and
these latter, very sober in style and almost rectieverywhere proclaim their style only in the slight undulation of their vertical facade, their scalloped traverse below, and the motives of their

linear,

metal-work (Figs. 22 and 27) ; the former, on the contrary, skilfully combine vertical and horizontal curves ; their sides have the same contour as their fronts, and often swell out towards the base. Some are obvious villagers, and with their iron handles and their carvings cut with a knife have
a

kind of jocund
soil

rusticity, a

of the

(Fig.

22).
it is

The

most amusing savour " nun-commode "

and quite small

is high and narrow low chiffonier with three drawers. The console-commode (Figs. 25 and 26), which was made in Paris (Lazare Duvaux

(commode

religieuse)
;

(Fig 24)
a

sold

them) but

is

common throughout
;

the south
its

of France, recalls the console-table

by

tenis

dency to diminish towards the base
drawers
are

the upper

concave

;

that

in

the

middle

convex and is separated from these by a little vertical band, which takes away the impression of

would be perfectly 1 practical if.78 LOUIS XV FURNITURE 1 effeminacy. At about the same date the commode. its lines. itself allying to the bureau with a slanting flap. gave birth to the commode-secretary (Figs. the sides have the same contour as the facade. 29 and 30). 30. and feet of gilded bronze. with drops. mahogany which in order to open Kg. the angles being chamfered. the upper part of the secretary has the usual accessories of such pieces of furniture. shelves. curving outward. on which the shipowners of Bordeaux wrote commode their letters at the time of the Seven Years a fine piece of furniture in oak or War . the monumental secretary. the secretarytook to itself a cupboard-top. terminates the re-entering curve . 60 high. Becoming more complicated. escutcheons. the very animated console-legs and the lower traverse are those of a southern wardrobe. It made its first appearance about the middle of the century. and has five drawers and a marble top. nearly always in rosewood or violet ebony. This feature is lacking in the cx>mmode-secretary. The chiffonnier (not to be confounded with the chiffonniere. This is a commode in the console style. and this produced a new variety. handles. the lower one. or i m. It is an essentially feminine piece of furniture of costly workmanship. 50 chest of drawers. which accounts for the lack of firmness in . the upper desk of which opens by means of a sloping flap part which forms a writing-table . little drawers. which is a table) is nothing but a high It is generally about I m. etc.

for at this period Bordeaux often imported Netherlands furniture. wardrobe is closely akin to the Dutch and Flemish scribanne and suggests some connection between the two..SECRETARY-COMMODES 79 the drawers of the under part one -were not obliged to get up and push back one's chair.commodehis legs. this secretary. . and if a person writing at it were able to stretch out On the whole. This is by no means improbable.

34. it must be admitted. they dispensed cated apparatus of traverses and connecting motives between the legs. which describe an S-curve more or less pronounced. They became save in the case of certain simpler and lighter with all the complilarge types. sometimes.. 37. 42) . 50).CHAPTER V THE TABLE AND ITS DEVELOPMENTS : THE transformation of tables at the beginning of the eighteenth century was at once rapid. . and their All the varieties of Louis XV tables name is legion have one uniform characteristic the lines of their legs. but very infrequently (Figs. 35. or by a graceful projection which is a kind of adaptation of the doe's-foot (Fig. resting on a cube (Figs. and of attenuating the supports. with the frieze above. so . 33. to an exaggerated extent. reminding one of a country wench attempting to make a Court curtsey.* 1 In the last example it is quite degenerate. do not terminate in cases of gilded bronze they are finished off by a small volute pied-de-bicbe type. When these legs. They gained appreciably in grace of outline from the new practice of making the upper surface overhang the legs more. We shall find it again in the time of Louis XVI. com- and peculiarly happy. and relied for solidity on the robust and precise juncture of the legs plete. 36). this latter is sometimes re- tained. which are invariably of the : Even the kitchen-tables of the peasantry make a rude attempt to get this undulating outline.

81 Large tables of the period are very rare in these It would be very difficult.DINING-TABLES days. we may mention the dumb waiter : it was a little round table with superposed shelves. Consequently common trestle-tables were often used as substitutes for them. These huge pieces of carpentry had no pretensions to beauty for a very good reason. suitable for drawing-room. Tables " of the " that is to English Hnd say. their friezes are carved or VII F . but they were so cumbersome that they have been nearly all destroyed. about 1770. in the upper part of which was a wine-cooler. or bedroom. with and without drawers . e learn from Mile Guimard's inventory that the famous dancer had three tables to seat ten. boudoir. are to be found in a great variety of forms : round. the tablecloths that covered them fell to the ground. rectangular. so they were never seen. when the Louis XVI Style was in full vogue. They were used. to procure a genuine old Louis XV dining-table. Before leaving the dining-room. Furnished with clean plates and covers it stood near the table (it was usual to have four). They were either round or oval . of course . a set of furniture \\ included several of different sizes. for instance. fifteen and thirty persons respectively. Medium-sized and small tables for every sort of purpose. canted. with addid not come into use until the justable leaves close of the reign. and enabled the guests at a little supper to serve themselves without the irksome presence of servants.

and had its appointed place in drawing-room or dining-. which makes them at once more conpeculiarity the surface is sunk venient and more graceful like a shallow basin with edges (Figs. and in the south as correntilles)^ the simplest without or almost without mouldings. sometimes they came at the base. ture. 33. sometimes straight (Fig. or brocatelle. 32). Relieved from any preoccupation} fantastic audacious . 42). The console. are often exquisitely graceful by reason of the happy proportions of and the their various parts top. ornamental rather than useful. with a costly marble top of Aleppo breccia.. As it formed part of the decoration of a room it was nearly always gilded or painted.). somewhat oddly. but more often with curves of contrary flexure (Fig.82 LOUIS XV FURNITURE moulded. 42) or Some have a festoons (Figs. etc. room under the pier-glass. with its marble (pied de table It was a fixen console avec son marbre). a console-table leg. dates from the reign of Louis XIV. Among these little : occasional-tables (known as ambulantes. its legs (two in number) were free to take the most shapes and often showed the most false bearings . or they have applied edges. and the together piece was then called a pied de table a consoles rassemblees or en cul-delampe (Fig 40) . called a consoleit was Under Louis XV table (table en console] or. 34. 33 to 37. and was highly ornamental. sarrancolin. frieze. and legs perfect line of their supports. Being fixed to the wall. like so many other pieces of furniture.

in spite of the somewhat exuberant fancy in these models. of gilded bronze runs quadricircular moulding round the top. designers gave free rein to their and it is in certain that we find the most extravagant excesses of the rococo style . the rounded corners of which . For lovers of tri. enframed in a gold tooling similar to that on the bindings of books . was a bureau. are comparatively simple (Figs. often with round trays at the corners for candles . for quadrille. but the conventional green cloth was often replaced by velvet edged with a gold or silver galoon. In the drawing-rooms of this society which had been passionately addicted to card-playing for a century. an ornamental fillet. and is still known as a " Louis pivot-table. this is the classic French card-table . consoles tendency of their decoration.. 38 and 39). 43) . covered with a dark-coloured morocco leather. when it was not a secretary. covers the join in the leather. or ombre for three. it was invented during the period we are studying. for fivehanded brelau and reversi. In every study the essential piece of furniture. there was an infinite variety o card-tables." All were mounted with cloth . for a single A skin is not large enough to cover such a table. ingenious tables with folding .CARD-TABLES as 83 to solidity. there were square tables. there were pentagonal tables for piquet. The XV simplest Hnd of Louis XV bureau is a large table. there was the triangular trio-table (Fig. the examples we reproduce. also of gold. tops mounted on pivots .

and of casings connected with the legs by enframing The panels of the three remaining sides fillets." a little accessory object placed on one end of the table. Three drawers open in the frieze. their frontal lines are parallel with the external con- tour top of the piece of furniture. of two curving acanthus-leaf ornaments and of drops at the separating the two drawers. nearly always veneered with mahogany. adorn the sides. while the other two are curved . 44 is a perfectly classic type . or incorporated with it. In this form the bureau with its three drawers. would have been a retrogression from the seventeenth-century bureau had it not been supplemented by a " bureau-end " or " bureau-stand. provided with doors holder " cupboard. surmounted by a tasselled hat. more or less rich. it belonged to a bishop. It consisted of tiers of and of a drawer like a little small shelves for the temporary reception of papers it was . generally consists of escutcheons. of the frieze often have bronze motives in the centre. it was known as a " paper- . of the legs often attached to the quadricircular moulding. That in the middle. the central one of which the user could only open by changing his position. whose arms. the lowest of the three. is rectilinear. The framework is of oak. and the acanthus leaves of the fagade are repeated at the back. The bronze decoration. sometimes accompanied by fixed handles.84 LOUIS XV FURNITURE often project. The arrises of the drops on the bureau of Fig.

at a touch it closed all the upper drawers. The revolving top was a great convenience . perhaps by Oeben himself. ment and worthy delicacy shrines for : or less complicated arrangement of little drawers and shelves . when the cylinderbureau was invented. or yellow velvet or with morocco leather . and covered the writing-table when the owner wished to hide his papers hurriedly from indiscreet eyes. opened. dainty pieces of furniture in precious woods. 45 to 47) had a flap either veneered with fine wood or inlaid on the outer surface. it rested on two wooden slides with" comunless it was upheld horizontally by two slid back into the passes.LADIES' BUREAUX 85 But the crowning perfection was added towards the middle of the century. they were the charming letters and sparkling memoirs penned upon them. when knobs. green. Side by side with these large masculine bureaux the cabinet-makers of the period produced an endless variety of ladies'* bureaux. and covered inside with blue." metal supports that When it was let down this sides of the bureau. with bronzes chased like jewels. The former (Figs. The varieties may be grouped round two principal the bureau known to modern dealers as types the bureau d pente or a dos d*dne (slanting or " " bureau). in which the utmost refine- were displayed . two dessus brise revealed a more . and called in the donkey's-back language of their day a table or bureau d dessus brise (with a broken top) and a bonbeur dujour.

de la Boissiere a "writing-table with desk.86 LOUIS XV FURNITURE larger drawers opened in the frieze. but it had been in existence for some fifteen years. ink-horns. unless. running in grooves. and desk. their cupboard is closed by a sliding panel the articulated slats of which may be slipped back into the sides. but real little tables. made of India paper or to write without silk. quettish name when it was already made in the Louis XVI Style . and " a strong-box. when the nor . bonheur du jour did not receive this cotill quite at the end of the reign. adjuncts which feminine coquetry was bound to demand . what better ornament could a pretty woman desire for a piece of furniture than her own face ? But the majority of Louis XV bonheurs dujour have doors in inlaid wood." and to the Keeper of the Seals a little table with a drawer. indeed." The first-named had even those loonheurs du jour. which made it possible discomfort in front of a sunny window or a large fire. In 1754 Lazare Duvaux sold to M. A further refinement provided a blind or movable screen at the back of the bureau. or is " made in " in other words. furnished with bookcase form a row of sham books. arranged conveniently for writing. mirrors. cupboard. though their purpose was not patent at the first glance. They had movable tops. mirror-doors which became regular adjuncts in the following period. and The These were undoubtedly a looking-glass above. Many writing-tables were neither men's bureaux ladies' bureaux.

Lazare Duvaux." room where intimate Again. sometimes at the bottom the legs were connected by a shelf enclosed in a high network. a movable desk rising from the centre of the top. the right a its 87 to write he pulled out a tablet leather or velvet. says "a briefly very elaborate little table (petite table : ires composed). others were more complicated. 48 and 4.WORK-TABLES owner wanted mounted with. This was the simplest form . this was a table with a top that lifts up. and opened on little paper. two or three drawers were superposed . like the mirror on a dressing-table. there was a whole graceful family of work-tables or " generally used by chijfonnieres (Figs." says the Encyclopedia. a seal drawer which contained writingand sealing-wax. " women. and was sometimes divided into compartments . Sometimes the entire top of the table could be inclined at will . and the elongated tray which held pens and penknife. Others were still more elaborate . they were used as receptacles for the piece of embroidery in progress when this was not on a . to keep their work or trifles in.9)." The top was of marble or wood. an inkstand with inkhorns of plated metal. its pounce-box. prudently refraining from a detailed description of such complexities. for the boudoir or the small receptionfriends were welcomed. with a gallery on three sides . The drawers were lined with silk of some light colour. for balls of wool. its sponge-box for wiping pens. to support a book or a sheet of music. These had a blind or a screen.

and an shelf with curving sides . There are also simpler tables. the modern dealers call them . into which the hands the table was lifted (Fig. always easy to distinguish between these chiffonniere with three drawers and certain small chests of drawers on high legs. with tiny drawers and spindlelegs. very small and light. the box for ravelling galoon. 50). when this was in vogue in short. is not all we have still to examine the and we must not forget that the dressbedroom. even after 1750. the gold needle-case. the Queen's . the foudreuse^ word is an invention of their own . a a as it more "eighteenth century" no doubt. they consider accordingly. and many others besides. ing-room did not exist.88 LOUIS XV FURNITURE frame. 1 There was. toilet-table in every bedroom. there A ' 1 was only one at Versailles. little round and all the " crescent " or " bean "-shaped (sometimes less elegantly described as kidney "-tables). miniature pieces that bear witness to the sense of grace the French possessed to such a supreme degree at this tables " period. But this . looking as if a flick of the finger would upset them. in any but the most luxurious houses. Even so. were slipped when We tables. the scissors and prints for cutting out. must not forget all the slim. intended to be moved tables about upper easily . there are holes in these. all the little boxes and accessories indispensable to the lady ^ fashion not forgetting Pamela^ Le Paysan farIt is not venu^ or some other novel of the day. they have a single drawer.

and paste. etc. they formed two horizontal shelves on which toilet articles could be arranged. The divisions of the left compartment contained the scentbottles. the powder-box. and two real ones This was one of the best-designed and the belovp. had covers which opened backwards. the silver-gilt cup. corresponding to the coffers. whether inlaid with rosewood or lemon. most graceful pieces of furniture invented in the for the relative cleanliness of our forbears..) . the right compartment was the receptacle for the minute basin which sufficed In the centre of the front was a flap that pulled out. the china pomade-pots. which was made to lift up and slide forward on two grooves. the two sides were fixed on hinges . -and orris-root. and the inner covers were wadded. the centre was fitted with a mirror. removing powder. right and left. four smaller drawers. little boxes for almond patches. or made of simple wild cherrywood. the knife for and disclosed (caissons). was nearly always designed as follows it was of small dimensions (80 cm. by (Fig. when they were opened right and left. and under it a drawer for brushes and combs . . The compartments were lined with tabby or satin. the pincushion. 41) 45 cm.wood. two false ones above. the top was divided into three parts .DRESSING-TABLES 89 dressing-table. again. inclining backwards a little like a reading-desk . whether furnished with costly bronze fittings or not. rouge. eighteenth century. : two compartments or coffers In the more carefully finished models these. for cleaning the teeth .

par excellence. cupboard. and letters of the period. and they them- rouge on their cheeks with a debated the exact spot on which a patch was to be applied. to say nothing ? of pictures and prints. at a their dressing-tables in a coquettish deshabille. the top of which was a movable tray of lacquer or china. showing that they were to place* As we know from all the mtmoires. place novels. there were toilet" chest of " butter drawers. or anxiously . seated at These little tables castors. the night-table. In addition to this classic type. many tables not primarily writing-tables were provided with a . finally. but in the boudoir or the small reception-room. with its compartments of material . very convenient for meals in bed and. the women of Louis XV s time used to receive their admirers and friends who came to bring them all the latest news.9o LOUIS XV FURNITURE tables in tables. with its columns and discreet curtains. In this epistolary age. the bed-table for the early breakfast. heart or crescent form. And when the visitors were numerous the important process had to be carried out. Other little tables used in the bedroom were : the vide-$oche (pocket-emptier). fly. the jewel-table. an innovation of the Regency necessitated by the disappearance of the great bed of an earlier age^ selves equalized the hare's-foot. and also corner toilet- with were frequently fitted time when castors were still moved about from rare. a small round table with a raised edge . open or closed. while the hairdresser arranged their powdered curls en equivoque or en galante. not in the bedroom.

dressing-tables had therefore their writing-flaps and inkstands. or working at her embroidery. which had to be scribbled forthwith. Notes were constantly arriving. as had also certain chiffonnieres. and even certain night-tables. and their paper cases. certain bed-tables. and a drawer containing an inkstand. and the servant waited for an answer.WRITING-FLAPS 91 supplemental flap covered with morocco. or in bed . . when the recipient was perhaps busy making up her face.

and portable. or of their Xreinforcements . became 92 . They were simplified in the same manner as tables. as or two pages of prose. the clearly as two portraits between two generations separated by antinomy The one seems made for an a whole world ? archbishop. made Louis XV seats are above all things portable and . by the suppression joined together as they were. rigid. the back. solemn. its and uncomfortable. determined by the attraction of affinities. save in the case of a very comfortable bergere. and at which the guests fell into informal groups. of their bars. and a Louis XV lergere^ soft and low. with structure. and covered with gaily flowered silk. comfortable comfortable. huge wig of the day. high back. would have lacked The legs are always curved . do they not convey to you. for without them.SEATS AND VARIOUS ARTICLES OF CHAPTER No VI : FURNITURE articles of furniture reveal period more fully side a large Louis its than its seats. these were only retained shaped by the straw chairs. 53 and 75). restful as a bed. in solidity. the latter. because the period was epicurean. because it favoured gatherings from winch etiquette was banished. which one could sleep (Figs. the character of a Place side by strongly marked to enframe the XIV arm-chair. the other for a courtesan.

64). two. or might be of a more or less complicated design. 60)." says Roubo 1 " Junior. If the back was concave. as in the time of Louis XIII. 52 and 53) ." A contemporary of Louis XIV would never have leant against the back of his chair . 52 and 54 to 67). Nearly all . . 68. 56. A similar motive appears L'Art du Menmsier. rising from above the back legs to the height of from eighteen to nineteen inches from the seat. Their summits had the double S-curve when the woodwork was upholstered. 1769-74. and a central motive composed of one. the latter being often quite as particular in this respect as the former. 64 to 66). Pans.55. 69. " Chair-backs.CHAIR-BACKS 93 low. though not to the same degree. etc. 56).). 54. or a shell (Fig. if this was not the case they might terminate in an undulating line unbroken by any carved ornament (Figs. or on either side. to enable the sitter to rest his shoulders against them comfortably while leaving the head entirely free. 61. etc. they were generally upholstered. to avoid disarranging the hair either of ladies or gentlemen. 58. 58. The shape is very variable. (Figs. a cartouche (Fig. 72).). or the two together 1 (Fig. the chair was said to be "en cabriolet" the backs were more or less " fiddleback" that is to say slightly contracted about half-way up (Figs. 62. " " acanthus leaves carved on the epaulettes (Figs. what would have become of his elaborately curled wig ? The wood of these backs was but rarely visible (Figs. with a void in the centre. or three florets (Figs.

a less architectural arrangement. 55. 6o) especially 3 style. which allowed skirts to spread out " The panniers worn fully round their wearers. The latter. A hundred and the enormous hooped petticoats day (vertugadins) had led to the introduc" that is to " tion of say. etc). 54. the acanthus leaf occurs very frequently at the feet (Figs. and mortised into the side This modification was a traverses of the frame." says Bar bier in his Journal (1728).). have no manchettes. concession to feminine fashions. 58. and under the Regency the fashion of panniers caused the invention of chairs with receding arms. 53. 71. such as the elegant example of Fig 58. but are always set back a little further. but thrown out (Figs. " that the action of sitting down pushes out the whalebones. and also at the junction of the legs with the frame in the earlier phase of the (Fig. are so full. . The little padded cushion (manchette) on the arms was de rigueur^ The consoles of the arms no longer continue to the legs. chairs withhoop-chairs out arms. and causes such an astonishing distension of the skirt that it has been necessary Sometimes the junction to make special chairs. In other chairs the arms are not set back." of the console and the frame is visible (Figs. is certainly the less happy of the two.). 63 and 64) . etc.94 LOUIS XV FURNITURE in the centre of the frame beneath the seat and at the tops of the legs . earlier fifty years of the 1 With a few exceptions certain small " cdbnolet " chairs. sometimes it is covered by the material used for upholstering (Fig. etc.

in plan they are sometimes circular (Fig. They are mounted with morocco. sometimes they are rather singular in shape." special shape . very capacious. but the essential features of a bergere were the solid sides (joues fleines) that is to say. semicircular at the back. legs. which destroy their character.ARM-CHAIRS the consoles start from the backwards and outwards. 53. the " mattress/' which was stuffed with down in such a manner as to be very elastic. 73 and 74) are only included because of the interest of their wooden framework Towards the end of the nineteenth century they were disfigured by upholstery with elastics. 56-58. characteristic Louis The most XV seat was the It lergere (Figs. 68). These bergeres were made in a variety of forms. 70 . The same remark applies to the arm-chairs. 1 The most seductive names Two of the berg&res here reproduced (Figs. Chairs for the writing-table were made in a rounded " gondola-shape. the backs were very low and as it was called . and in this case they are occasionally made to revolve on a pivot . 95 once curve but at and the consequent twisting and expansion of the mouldings has a most excellent effect. and the 1 sofa. and laid upon a foundation of interlaced bands of webbing. Fig. is a wide. Figs. low. like the toilet-chairs which we generally shall describe presently. 54. without voids between the arms and the seat and the movable cushion on the seat. 69 to 75) invented about 1720. and curved in front with one convex curve between two concave ones . these chairs have three legs in front and a single leg behind. deep arm-chair.

one day ladies in the land. or a combination of the two. monkey-pieces. Then there was tapestry worked with the needle . and pagodas. that of which the general more of envelfcping. in coarse or fine stitch. the motives on which were bouquets and running bands of flowers. 75). stuffs The with which seats were covered were often introduced new very numerous. pastorals. This was generally made at home by women working by the day under the direction of the lady of the house. that which is closely akin to the ordinary arm- made chair (Figs. practised the art. The greatest beginning with the Queen and her daughters. For costly seats the material most used was tapestry. There had been a terrible quarrel between Louis and Madame de Mailly in connection with tapestry . boudoir. La Fontaine's fables. and the "confessional shape. 69 to 71) line is . more rounded. draperies with cords and tassels." the back of which is furnished with two ears. A much cheaper sort of tapestry was woven at Elbeuf and at Rouen. XV . 72 to 74). made principally at Beauvais. on canvas. the gondola shape (Figs. under the name of bergame. There are three principal types etc.96 LOUIS XV FURNITURE : : were given to the various types of bergeresasthey their appearance obligeanU^ convalescente. serving to support the more head (Fig. and fashion ones. the designs for this were chiefly stripes and chevrons in graduated tones it was used to cover seats in anterooms.

one ell : . plain. but rather arm-chair. 97 fair countess was so busy counting her stitches that she did not hear the King when he spoke to Greatly irritated. brocaded or embroidered. less fragile." as Bimont " our citizens choose to have duplicate says. a good deal of satin was used. The richest. and cut the tapestry into four pieces. drew a penknife from his pocket. the thickest variety of which is gros de Tours. and moire. This did not prevent the King. he snatched the frame from her hand. fashionable masculine pursuit. the most admired." Pekin. Finally.UPHOLSTERY STUFFS the her. from indulging the caprice of the perennially bored it person by starting to make tapestry himself is to say that his courtiers vied with unnecessary each other in imitating him. was also a summer material Madame de Pompadour preferred it to all others. three-coloured damask and Genoa damask. The most popular colour by far was crimson . . and also the most durable of the silken materials other than velvet The finest sorts. striped. was reserved for summer furniture loose covers were made of it to slip on in summer over tapestry or damask chairs. were worth from fifteen to twenty Iwreszn ell of twenty inches in width. It took two ells to cover a large and a quarter for a cabriolet. Taffeta. chairs. some inonths later. a kind of silk painted with flowers. "unless. yellow and blue were less fashionable on yellow damask the nails had to be silver-plated. and that it became a . then came green . for covering seats was damask. harsh in appearance. .

were also in vogue . and and ribs. fifty livres an ell.98 LOUIS XV FURNITURE of the velvets was the cut The handsomest velvet of Genoa. watered and thread mixed " this is the most worthy of : : which was interwoven with satinade. camlet. velvets with stripes it is. it is cheaper It was not so a mixture of silk and thread. indeed. a costly. with freshly coloured flowers . : Queen's arm-chairs. crimson and jonblue . satiny pretty as its name. ground. a mistake to think that stuffs and incomno less than then stamped velvets. but Bimont gives us this amusing " Velvet which has served as dresses for detail women and coats for men is used to cover bergeres. patterned and less durable. made of wool. sumptuous. from twenty-f our to thirty-six upholsterers charged limes per ell . being as at the end of the under Louis popular century. and was often made with . with which squares to lay on the seats of straw chairs were covered . a mixture quil. period. or striped. Then there were moire of thread and Brocatelle is as with its XV silk. damask with a thread foundation. and even Duchess 3 chairs/ After these beautiful stuffs in pure silk came the mixtures and the stuffs made of other materials. yellow striped with of thread and wool. gayer than damask. which cost parably splendid material. Bruges satin or shain satin. striped to the Louis XVI belong more particularly All were more expensive than damask . or wool plain. cabriolets. thread like bands or stripes of very vivid colour in strong contrast green and crimson. siamoise.

hangings. generally woven in bands. there was moquette. its natal damask to the fragexperienced. but it is rather subject to the attacks of worms. these were. which was used indifferently for carpets and table-covers. on which costly and fragile stuffs would have been out of place. somewhat : is are we to accept the statements of the dealer. The goatVhair of which it was made was said to rub the silk or velvet garments of those who used it but. on the other hand. was used for the same purpose. and the contours were then filled in by hand with colours . And should they be already covered. " Every one who acquires Louis XV chairs has a delicate problem to solve how to cover them." For seats in constant use. a velvety woollen material. Those highbacked chairs covered with striped material which appear so often in Chardin's pictures were of moquette. of course. which was still a novelty about 1750. and dining room. and " of the period " ? It may be roundly asserted that no arm-chair nearly two centuries old wears its original dress . plain or gauffered. it has been re-covered What avatars it has at least four or five times. stuffs.USEFUL MATERIALS stuffs 99 after moire. Tripe was a variety of moquette. anteroom and library chairs." in reality cotton materials. Painted canvases. from . were printed with black outline patterns. who certain to assure us that the covers are authentic. summer tically everlasting. it was prac. Utrecht velvet. with a hairy surface of wool on a foundation of hemp.

of dust.ico LOUIS XV FURNITURE ! ments of Flemish verdure. Nothing antique against " " than stuffs . and the use of these could never result in any grave error of We may now style. is the necessary irregularity of ancient stuffs. damasks. but the price of these is exorbitant. there are some well-preserved or carefully mended specimens which are still in good condition. ribbed. When antique silks are all is really antique (for everything is possible). which were woven by hand. with which the dealer in antiquities absurdly Memorable endowed it a week before selling it among the intermediate stages are those bands of woolwork mounted between strips of green or black cloth. the action of the fake is easier to sun. pass on to cane chairs. of time. must therefore resign ourselves to covering old We modest furniture. are above " " all. we must get authentic Beauvais. the whole range of velvets. We must be on our guard. with bands. or old needlework tapestries. if possible . These . badly pieced together. of rusty nails. the hideous industry of two or three ladies. stripes. and almost falling to pieces . we must is to be done then ? of verdure. which firmly refuse the said fragments are an absurdity . The one thing that not easily reproduced. of wear. admirable reproductions of ancient stuffs are made nowadays for . is open to us. imitated to perfection. there would be no wear in them. are rubbed. or chine effects. What generations of worthy provincial In the first place. they wood with new material. be it said in passing. burnt by the light.

turned. are always mounted with type of Louis cane. XV XV is others with lemon morocco.STRAW CHAIRS 101 were made in the same shapes as the upholstered chairs (Figs. fastened at the corners by ribbons either tied or hooked. the frames were of varnished or painted beech. often had morocco pads on the arms. It must be mentioned that these the lowest seats were very unequal in height were intended for thick mattress-cushions. and owe their interest merely to the design of the two or three < " . and the square cushions were then covered with leather to match. a very charming chairs. The commonest. (Figs. and put together rather were nevertheless very durable. rudimentary in structure. Louis . we must remember this when we cushion them. were covered. they were generally cushioned with morocco Those belonging to the daughters of squares. As powder would have soon spoilt material. were Cane arm-chairs laid upon the seats and backs. 76 to 81) . or walnut. which remained on them permanently . for great numbers of them still exist. Toilet-chairs (Figs. the others for thin padded squares . which are as a fact Htchen-chairs. are very slightly turned. cherry. in winter square cushions of siamoise and even of damask. 80 and 81). some with red morocco. and sometimes of gilded wood . the cane trellis was also gilded* In summer the cane was left bare . in this case. Straw chairs that roughly 82 to 86) made a la capucine to say.

We striped see in Greuze's Malediction <paternelle how these square cushions were fastened (to the father's arm-chair). The arm-chairs either have consoles rising from the legs or. 1 Some less rustic examples (Fig. As to the loose covers. the chaise longue. back. de Pompadour did not disdain to furnish her bedroom at Marly had square cushions of blue and white Rouen siamoise. 82) (Fig. sometimes with loose The straw chairs with which Madame covers. and they were either nailed to the frame or fastened by cords. . which were padded and buttoned at the back and seat. more The two on front. The Louis XV period perfected and multiplied and sofas. sometimes they are replaced by X-shaped crossbars from leg to leg bars. 85). which is more carefully made than the was decorated with carvings long after it was made others. 86). " doe's-feet " and curved lines had everywhere . they came down to the first bar. leaving the lower one bare. and sides. these latter were extremely elegant. 83). set further back on the seat. inventions of the preThere is a whole gamut of interceding ^reign. are generally curved in front (Fig. 83) . chaises longues 1 Tins chair. unless they had a separate seat-cushion as in a bergere.102 LOUIS XV FURNITURE extremely graceful. They were sometimes furnished with two flat" square cushions (Fig. frequently. The most frequent motive of the Louis XV period consists of two figures like notes of interrogation set one against the other lengthwise (Fig. mediaries between the lounge.

which makes classification difficult. (Fig. and a mattress. kind of bout de pied brought up close to a bergere transformed it into a chaise longue in two parts. veritable beds. the second a stool with two concave sides. " Turkish beds. " was a " * or the veilleuse English bed large ottoman which could be used as a bed upon occasion. which could be adjusted at various angles. There were. and the last a low bergere. was the duchesse. The chaise longue. fitted with loose cushions : a mattress of down or horsehair. and differed from lounge. properly so called." which had three backs. without the end-pieces. which It 87) serves a dual purpose. Others. and has a back high enough to support a seated person with legs extended. two round and two square cushions . square one. 103 and the sofa. was in three pieces. The end at the foot is movable. were variations on these seats. had a jointed back. one of which was a bergere. and a flat. . The sofa was a couch sometimes as much as ten feet long with a The paphose and the sultane loose mattress. with special bedding which was concealed in an adjoining cupboard. of course. The we reproduce is long enough to allow the occupant to lie stretched out at full length.COUCHES sofas only in dimensions. called a foot-end (bout de pied) Another . Such a piece of furniture was.* which had a back curved like a The duchesse brisee* gondola. a mattress. a round cushion (rondin*). for instance. The turquoise had two back-pieces of equal size. or rest-bed.

forming a semipillows are placed at the two ends of the ottoman . " " ottomans " The ottoman. were expected to conceal them with a . The type of sofa known as a canape was merely an improved kind of bench .io 4 LOUIS XV FURNITURE Long before the time of Madame Recamier the indolent belles of the day were fond of receivon their " turquoises " ing en desbalille. they are edged with a double gimp like the mattress of the seat." says (Fig." and were called two ends circle. the more general type of sparkling and mutinous at a period of so beauty but what seems strange much licence. " is the same Bimont. but in default of these. they set back behind the legs. 90). reclining " duchesses " for languishing beauty with or . 88) . thing as the sofa. eight or nine Some are merely enlarged arm-chairs (Fig. There were some of small size. on which it was difficult to sit beside a lady in panniers without disappearing under her sHrts. side by side with weary attitudes akeady existed. Two of the back curve round. far from showing their bare feet. it differs little from a mediaeval bench with a back. with " doe's-feet " legs to support them. 91). the others were "basket-shaped. others are like three arm-chairs made into one have side-arms like arm-chairs. or the upholstered " confessional " cheeks and ears of the bergere . and are finished with a tassel at each corner. (Fig. save that it has no end-pieces ." . coverlet of embroidered silk as a concession to decency. and some of monumental dimensions. these ladies.

and the Polish bed (lit duchesse. they were still encumbered with the XV looped and draped hangings which are anathema to modern hygiene.BEDS The stool (tabourei)^ 105 which caused so much the all-Important seat ink to flow during the ceremonious century of Louis XIV. or loose covers. nevertheless. halls. the seventeenth-century form gradually became the bench (banquette)^ " an insignificant seat placed in anterooms. lit The ancient . others of a more elegant Hnd. Madame de Pompadour had a stool covered with damask. four-post bed gradually disappeared during the reign of Louis XV. This is owing to Louis the fact that for the most part the woodwork was not visible. which was also a kennel for the little dogs from which she was never parted. was very much neglected under Louis XV. Finally. In her bedroom at the Chateau de Saint-Hubert." The benches were covered with moquette or Utrecht velvet . the Angel bed. but was entirely concealed either by If draperies nailed to the frame. and the shapes most in vogue were the Duchess bed. were used at balls. We shall have little to say concerning beds. etc. concerts. covered with velvet or damask. they were rather less enveloped in curtains than in preceding centuries (for the rooms were less draughty). A few were made. which have doe's-feet legs and a curved frame with florets round the seat. for beds are very rare. and all kinds of assemblies.

The "Polish bed" had also two and no tester . they were reduced to the proportions of fire-screens. was acquired some years back from a local dealer for an absurdly small sum. The wooden framework was rarely visible the leaves. but they became much smaller made with three or four leaves. two looped side draperies. the four posts four iron rods which curved inwards supported and upheld a curving dome or baldachuin. 92) which have one end higher than the other. continuing the legs. often curved at the top. counterpane covering the sides " " and falling to the ground. or with some . Screens. like curtained beds. and a of the bed entirely. The very which is purely Louis XV in reproduce (Fig. were covered with tapestry. or no footboard. looped up at the corners. two narrow lengths of stuff falling straight on either side of the head. There are also some Provencal beds (Fig. a single end with a curving top covered with stuff.io6 LOUIS XV FURNITURE and a la polonaise). as scalloping. from which fell four curtains." especially in the beautiful Provencal bed we provinces. surrounded by a lit tfange^ tester. embroideries. but only two posts at the foot. good charming "angel bedstead. its lines. warmer they did not disappear. essential. and two similar ends. The angel bed had a shorter tester. luck it is still possible to pick up a With ends. . 93). were no longer so since rooms had become smaller and . unless that at the foot were somewhat lower. . The first had a flat long as the bed itself.

making it possible to warm the feet and legs without scorching the drop face. in Chardin's picture. acting as a counterweight. Mirrors were sometimes let into the upper part. sash at the desired height. or A screen inclined so as to form a reading-desk. an inkstand. had a jointed shelf of Chinese lacquer. in which the sash. could run up and down freely. mounted on two supports. A screen covered with India paper. the square sockets into which the branches fitted are visible. such as the screen with a shelf of Fig. 94) had a double frame. 107 matching that of the chairs and hangings sometimes. furnished with two adjustable of this sort was 1 The lower shelf with candlesticks. held the . again. The classic type (Fig. were more elaborate than this. sometimes .FIRE-SCREENS material. and even with English or French wall-papers. was used as a footstool. 95. tapestry. which could be let down by means of two metal arms to receive a cup of tea. for instance. a work-bag. covered with stuff. Fig 95. and very often with " India " paper patterned with flowers and figures. . or paper. a case of implements. Some. Coromandel lacquer. between the supports the youthful dreamer Just such a screen protects V Instant de la meditation. It was pulled up like a carriage window by means of a silk braid fixed to the lower part and terminating in a leaden this. The screens " made in the manner of secre- branches 1 At the top of the uprights of the screen. with painted canvas. Fire-screens were covered in the same manner.

increases gradually. which are among the most interesting of all pieces of but I must keep this enumeration furniture . and it is well that . Louis XV The one we reproduce a firm and simple elegance of lines. bronzes. in its course from base to summit. When the long pendulum was introduced. it was necessary to give it room to swing to and fro. made even before the advent of the long pendulum . Much might be written about clocks. which. and it lends itself admirably to decoration with gilded bronzes.io8 taries LOUIS XV FURNITURE " were provided with a fixed shelf to which was added a little drawer with an inkstand. with uninterrupted vertical lines. through which one can see the solemn swing of the large brass disc. This form is pleasing. the end it served was the protection of the weights . The finest clocks are those the form of which adapts itself frankly to this exigency by expanding a little just below the centre of the case. period are admirable has superb amplitude in the masses. the case was then always narrow. judgment in the asymmetry. as is logical. because it is rigorously deter- mined by an organic necessity. Fine timepieces of the objects. already over long. The tall clock with a case was an invention of the seventeenth century. within bounds. clock is almost a living thing. like the lightness of the motives. A it should convey the impression of life both to the eye and to the ear this was why the excellent artisans of the past instinctively made an opening in their cases. .

101) is very amusing by reason of the exaggerations into which a desire for lightness and asymmetry has led the maker . the decoration of which is very graceful. 98 .PICTURE-FRAMES In contrast to this 109 a simple country clock (Fig. which we reproduce (Fig. 97) in pine and oak. 1 It is entirely concealed in the first 99) . It is by no means crushed by its beautiful neighbour. as they were more generally " borders " for and mirrors. shall have passed nearly every kind of furniture in review when we have have said a word we have We about frames or. and two examples they date from the early days of the style. which . (Figs. took the name of capital either of open-work or its gilded ornaments were One relieved against a painted background. called. in these days. and not of plaster. . a delicacy of profile now . was more decorated and more important than " " it was the rest. in the result it is not ungraceful. and hence and a purity of line unknown Their rectangular shape * is always masked more or less the top. Under Louis they had XV these were always as pictures of carved gilded wood.

the peasant is often more astute ! than the buyer. rubbed minute holes came to him last winter from a with faking establishment at Rouen or Quimper. The maker and the rustic will share the profits. cut to the heart. In Normandy. very often his old dresser. indeed.CHAPTER VII A SET OF LOUIS XV FURNITURE : WE now come to the describing ? question. where you for have discovered you are a person of perception some fine thing. blackened with venerable dirt. of the 1 little dealer with the dark and squalid shop. Beware. is obliged to part with a few of ! his heirlooms. how are we to get furniture for our houses such as we have From dealers ? In public ? been sale- rooms In the houses of the peasants we visit our holiday rambles ? Some happy finds during of the may still be made in the remoter parts few and far between. the ignoramus. which he. Beware of all and sundry. had left to moulder behind pitch-pine wardrobes and plush divans. a new ancestral dresser will take the place of the other and no one will pity the dupe. though they are provinces. worm-eaten in the at the corners. of Beware also beware. for in no . and who. above all the "ruined gentleman" to whose stronghold some tout has cunningly enticed you. again. and in Brittany But beware more especially. and peppered all over legs.

but it is useless to expect anything of the sort in Paris . manner the game would not be worth And there is not only the work to as but the material. and hence a costly business to make a copy of an ancient original. the dealers are too expert and too assiduous in their visits to the Hotel Drouot to let anything good escape them. and there is nothing like practice . which. consider. for if they were faked in a are still now and again.FORGERIES spite of all in to do then ? Interesting finds to be made at public sales in small towns where one or two old pieces may have strayed by chance into a house full of vulgar furniture . The safest plan is to apply to some honest and reasonable dealer there are more of these than is supposed and to pay the actual value of things* You must also try to acquire a little knowledge and to distinguish between true and false antiquities. but perhaps a few summary hints may be of use. these are not the least beautiful are much more likely to be genuine than the very elaborate ones . It is a principle with forgers and this is. . What are you your caution you will yet be taken in satisfactory the candle. costs a great deal more many petty dealers past. The art is hardly to be taught. It is a long and minute. of course. Consequently the more simple pieces of furniture and as I have already said. well as handicraft. now than in the How would be able to get the walnut-wood necessary for copying some fine antique cupboard ? We shall do well. a truism only to forge with a view to profit.

let us beware ! Very often the breadth of a piece of wood will betray the modern form of plank. and then fitted without glue. will give us valuable information. I mean XV We look-out primarily for the tell-tale economy of In labour. if the panels are thin. the appearance of the wood. all. boldly cut right wood. if they are made and not with a solid piece of wood. a mellow. save in drawers. also very significant . and above all to the touch. and above panelled furniture. and are always identical and cylindrical. Joins in the wood are those of the past were always. mechanical and uniform. unctuous surface which one soon learns to recognize and which is not to be imitated. It is here that the Louis Style lines entail a terrible triumphs. whereas the modern ones are machine-made. real therefore. faces that have been rubbed with dusters for a century and a half. with two planks j oined together. . very with good pegs cut by precisely. and finished off the apprentice. present to the eye. and more especially of material. and over which many hands have passed. for its undulating must therefore be on the waste of wood. made with tenons and into the mortices. to distrust oak As to massive mahogany fine quality it mahogany of fetches such prices that a simple made of it will almost certainly piece of furniture be genuine.ii2 LOUIS XV FURNITURE and prefer walnut. Finally. if it has not been painted and then scraped and Surpickled. and more or less square.

nevertheless. without being a historical reconstruction. will begin with the Let us try. and personal tastes which have a right to exist not to mention the taste of his or her husband or wife.HOW TO FURNISH What flat 113 furniture should be chosen for a given or house. or great drawing-rooms of the past. and their decorations. because of the smallness of the rooms. a sort of ideal plan to which we may approach more or less according to our means and our individual harmonious whole. In short. which. If they were panelled. it was with natural oak. has some furniture already. it is only possible to give the most general indications. The most difficult interior in which to arrange old furniture. The has only a certain sum preferences. and with what accessories should they be surrounded in order to constitute an aspirant to spend." this in a modern Parisian flat ! or they were VII H . polished we are not likely to find cabinets. than with " " " and conversation the company-rooms . has to furnish rooms of a certain character. We drawing-room Given the dimensions and the actual use of most Parisian drawing-rooms. and notably Louis furniture. is a Parisian flat. it is clear that they have much less affinity with the reception-rooms. for the conditions are so diverse. the XV ugliness of which is no less depressing than trivial. their lowness. will avoid glaring anachronisms ? The problem varies enormously. We will therefore take these for our models.

a moquette carpet with lozenges on a white ground. The the advertisement of the furniture . 100 louis. close of the seventeenth century. The panels were sometimes hung with red and outstuff. furniture. namely new hangings of green and white moire perfectly two bergeres and six arm-chairs a fine ottoman of green and white Utrecht velvet. but not jonquil. it 1 This was a console table. and after these striped is following " of a company-room : : " which was offered for "A charming set of drawing-room sale in 1768 a very handsome chandelier. . however magnificent. which had not some room hung with it. and very agreeably humbler classes of Paris. .n 4 LOUIS XV FURNITURE imitate wood with a plain colour. fine chimney brackets. especially yellow and green. and flowered materials. garlands in shades of green. white. which. were popular. work painted to match . if plain. the wooda six-leaved screen. ." Wall-papers were already in use much more than is supposed. was generally But many other colours lined with a gold gimp. . . arched and convex. Diderot wrote in the Encyclo" This kind of wall-decoration had for a pedia : time been confined to country folks and the long But towards the was brought to such perfection and beauty that there was no house in Paris. painted to lemon. surrounded by a poppy in each . rather a deep sea-green. matching the hangings . with a gilded leg 1 and two Price of the whole. with a table of white Italian marble and violet breccia.

an Anatolian. or &g3LW. it is quite certain to get an old French one. covered with a design. that we shall not be able carpet." This paper was known as : papier de tontisse. in the angles. an inlaid commode. one or two bergeres. to reproduce these Louis flock-papers. " baskets and garlands of flowers arranged in the most gallant fashion. and ordinary chairs covered with a material to match that on the walls . We should try to have a sofa. It is noteworthy that the curtains are absent in the above enumeration. a console-table to put under a mirror if we have one facing that over the fire-place . arm-chairs. they were often of white cotton with borders of coloured linen. The motives were bouquets united by ribbons and laid upon stripes. or papier drappe.papier d'Anglettrre (i.WALL-PAPERS 115 decorated by it. Eastern carpets were in great favour in . and another little movable table. or a Persian carpet . which will look well near the fire-place . two XV with their shelves .. and even damask and chintz. This is because they were different from the other hangings ." Chinese cartouches with Modern paper manufacturers continue figures. flock papers) that is to say. Utrecht velvet. and coloured by means of the waste of cloth-clippings reduced to powder. prefer" corners " ably on high legs .e. The window-blinds were of muslin. a mahogany table of fair As to the size. It was an imitation of cut velvet. so we must be content with a plain moquette. a species of paper which was laid on a board.

" square branches of china flowers. of crystal or gilded bronze. they are so scarce. is delicious it calls forth velvety. The ideal method would be to have either an old chandelier. at a livre a flower. tells of which Madame Vincennes de Pompadour was fond . and to burn nothing but candles. the stalks and leaves of copper in natural those " colours. or a or cylindrical. . and the fact that watts and volts are very incongruous with ormolu and china flowers. silks.000 livres worth. lacquers. lively. and ladies even wore them in their hair . But why not a good reproduction of a bust by Houdon or Then two Chinese vases with bouquets Caffieri ? of china flowers. lacquered " flowers so Shall we be able to put a real Louis XV clock on our chimney-piece ? This would be too much to hope. with "glass lantern. and two girandoles right and left of the chimney -piece. Candle-light . and palpitating such exquisitely warm. gilding. d'Argenson us that she bought 800. whereas our electric lights are so hard and dead But we must resign ourselves to the inevitable In spite of the anachronism. soft vibrations from old and polished woods. we shall no doubt ! ! install false candles with electric bulbs in gilded sockets. They were used for epergnes which looked like great mirrors were encircled with flowering bushes them. and they "go with everything." The question of lighting is a thorny one.ii6 the LOUIS XV FURNITURE eighteenth century.

most pod. On one occasion. two four turkeys. Grotesque figures (magots) were almost de rigueur on chimney"'Upon my word/ said the Marquis. .ORNAMENTS and in their bodices. and a stag lying all. especially this one husband are as like as x " it and your two peas in a . if we have a fancy for them. on your 'that set of ornaments you have chimney-shelf is magnificent . 117 these We need not fear to. Angola. and little bronzes will be an inexhaustible treasure-house. but china animals on the chimney-piece. four pigeons." But. down. pieces. jades." authority. six cygnets. mounted on a terrace with two figures and other pigeons .' fool of a striking. for there was a " craze for them at this period. the corner" Louisshelves. An Indian Story (1546). lacquers. You must have a screen of China paper or which in summer 1 stuff in front of the fire-place. perhaps. porceenamels. the figures are of the Far East without fear of abuse lains. We shall not. Nor need we hesitate to scatter ornaments and knick-knacks everywhere. two guinea-fowls. that of Madame de Pompadour. she received a consignment from Duvaux of " a dovecote with pigeons on the roof. six ducklings. in 1751. go so far as painted ostrich eggs or branches of coral mounted in silver-gilt. four sheep lying down.put " " Dresden flowers Vincennes ") (or everywhere. above we may draw upon the resources its . cocks. and the tables would be very We may again invoke the highest Quinze.

into a Louis XV or Louis XVI interior. and one or two cabriolet chairs covered with light brocatelle. will furnish it very completely. of some contemporary amateurs and introduce a Neo-Impressionist canvas. as Blondel tells us. which. then a work-table (chiffonniere). a writing-table. or a miniature sofa. a Duchess chair. an arm-chair with three legs in front. or at any rate very few. a lady's writing-table with a drop front would be very appropriate . may be made of stuff or paper indifferently. and." This is a covered frame.n8 LOUIS must be filled in XV FURNITURE " with a fire-place paper. without any pretensions to style . " boob will occupy plain shelves. blazing with cadmiums and cobalts. In a little sitting-room. upholstered with leather. should have an air of virtue and simplicity. Large cupboards simulating doors were made in the walls. These were generally hung in a special gallery. but a few engravings by Jeaurat or Cochin in old frames would be Above all. or boudoir. which were panelled and painted white console-tables in . do not follow the example admissible. . in spite of its name. Dining-rooms were very sparingly furnished the time of Louis XV. On the walls there must be no pictures." arm-chairs with low seats and high backs. finally. which. some large chairs covered with leather or moquette. and painting in drawing-rooms was relegated to door-heads . a secretary-cupboard. In the study library.

on which gilded wicker- A baskets. on which we may lay flat. Above the credence-table. would be to borrow its furniture from the kitchen of an Arlesian farm-house . flat. 15) are much too large for a town hang the pewter-shelves. to be had. the joiner's work of Aries is so graceful that it is not out of place in the most . 17). are Opposite the sideboard the kneadingtrough (Fig. we cannot have a Louis dining-table with adjustable leaves. As. but smaller ones. piece of engraved XV (an Indian brass kettle) and a vegetable dish of gaily coloured Marseilles china may be added. 12) might be used as a service-table . perhaps. although rustic. in Oriental brass accordance with traditional arrangement. a serving-table.THE DINING-ROOM 119 were used for the service. . it might be surmounted by the bread-bin (Fig. preferably round. in a niche. filled with fruit shall stand permanently. This would not do in a modern dining-room we should be obliged to have a sideboard. this room. there was generally an ornamental waterspout with a basin. square cushions of leather or velvet. credence-sideboard. and shelves for The best way of furnishing glass and silver. and. for the best of reasons. where the servants rinsed glasses in full view of the guests at most there was a low commode against the wall. and will cover it XV The with a cloth which will hide it as much as possible seats shall be cane-chairs. refined interior. must Those of the Museon Arlaten (Fig. " Louis " a will be very . . we will choose a table of the most neutral kind. very graceful in design.

its turned by the salt- box (Fig. besides. and. a glazed cupboard. it would be difficult to find any sideboard but the Arlesian credence-table at once small enough and elegant looking . though.[20 LOUIS XV FURNITURE be useless. on the whole. /vhich 'will but may be ieeing how decorative it is with Dalusters . 18) which before frying them. little further. the dining-room is fairly large. as is very likely. this is not the place for it. this would be as bad as using a kneading-trough as a jardiniere or a bread-bin as a music-stand In the bedroom the bed is the object that will If ! present most difficulty. Then we must have a wardrobe. 1 6) and the flour-box fish (Fig. . not too large. better than drape with loose some good material a bedstead with curved head and footboards copied by a cabinetmaker from some old model. are unable to find one with the woodwork we we cannot do covers of showing. practical . and if we accept the credence-table. If. But never dishonour a fine old piece of furniture by tearing out its oak or walnut panels to replace them by glass . This manner of furnishing a Parisian dining- was used to flour A room is certainly questionable from the logical standpoint. it might even be flanked allowed a place. it entails all the rest. an abbreviated press in which the more costly glass articles were kept. may be fixed to the walls. a mediumsized cupboard would be very useful there. of walnut or cherry. but it is graceful. strictly speaking.

our task will be much easier . a wood may present a cheerful surface commode with three drawers or a chiffonier. arm-chair with its square cushions . if space permits. with flat. a dressing-table. indeed. The bed-curtains will have to be suppressed. a special toilet-chair. for a modern washing-stand would be strangely out of place with the rest. blue and white or red and white striped cotton. comfortable bergere. a duchesse. Then it will be necessary to have a dressing-room. and if a certain genial simplicity is not displeasing to us. The hangings should be of some light. to inherit. or perhaps a straw top. their beautiful openwork iron fittings to the inner doors. square cushions . have the good luck to buy. or ? failing a dressing-table. their old glasses with tarnished quicksilver . a plain table of some sort with muslin draperies and a swing lookingglass. cheerful material -for instance. or to rent one of the old French houses of the eighteenth century. their staircases with hammered iron balustrades. We may. for hygiene is uncompromising. If we have a country house to furnish. or lounge. their lofty rooms with painted panelling. or both if possible .THE BEDROOM so that the 121 . with their large casements with little A An open night-table. we shall have more room for the large pieces of furniture of the period. those dignified and attractive dwellings. real peasant furniture will be just what we want. with a good marble wide greenish panes and semicircular heads. a little looHng-glass in a gilt frame over the commode .

when one is guided by an absolute and external principle. And then there is less scope for individual taste. it is also certain that if one is not quite confident in one's own taste. one's surroundings are less intimate. twc all. they belong to no parbut they are not out of keeping with any. . It is certain that there is something very satisfying to the reason in a house or a room that gives one an impression of complete unity . But in so doing. objects of the same style may produce a discord when two others of different styles seem to made for each other. A last question arises : is it necessary to furnish in an absolutely homogeneous manner. accepted once for It is all a matter of taste and tact . But the eighteenth XV . purely Louis XV in style Or is it perdown to the smallest missible to have a mixture of furniture of different details ? periods The question has been hotly debated. for instance and Louis or Empire. less an emanation of one's personality. and the material of the counterpane and tester. one increases the akeady great difficulty of furnishing with authentic and well-preserved examples. if carefully chosen. would bring them into harmony with the rest. A question of species. for instance. What is very certain is tha certain styles of very opposite tendencies canno be juxtaposed . pure Louis XIV.i2 4 LOUIS XV FURNITURE would be appropriate ticular style. one is less likely to make mistakes if one obeys such a rigid rule. ? and each of the two theories has its warm partisans. be ai advocate would say. to have everything.

better are XV background still. pure turned stool in the foreground eviof the seventeenth dently dates from the middle Couche de la mariee. from De Troy to Debucourt from Montesquieu to Chenier. ame in its main lines. a console and a pier-glass in the Louis XVI . a young woman is " confessional " arm-chair . continually juxtaposed objects In Moreau the younger's in the two styles. Petit Sou-per. Louis XVI on the whole. the intransigents forget that the of Louis XVI themselves. and. in spite of the And then but what is perhaps more conclusive is that artists themselves when. but they harmonize wonderfully . set us an example than one inventory attests this. a dumb waiter and a Louis XV lantern in Louis XVI style jostle seats and woodwork vague terms used . And vas so little md proclaim this affinity like all the rest. In Beaudoin's century. D1IJUJC/D so obviously the on the whole. They very different. this is the story of many happy lie styles are carriages. dozing in a Louis her writing-table with its doeVfoot legs is of the same period .MlAlUKJi UT entury spirit is. even those who subjects :ould afford to change their surroundings freof eclecticism . about 1775 or 1780. the which fe-so a little entirely . and there change in the manners of the period hat there is much more affinity than difference Between the men of 1740 and those of 1780. they painted and engraved genrescenes in which they composed the luxurious furniture at will. . in Jeaurat's Le Joli dormir. more quently.

let us mix the two styles boldly why should we be plus royalistes que la Reine? . Fortified by such an example. . * . .ia6 the LOUIS XV FURNITURE night-table has list doeVfoot legs and rococo bronzes be prolonged indefinitely. might And when the Revolution broke out we know that Marie Antoinette had a rococo clock in her bedroom at Trianon.

1 . 2 OAK CUAMBRANIvIi. AND CORNhK PASEI.1. P/.

DOOR-PANICS OF IY IM1?\VOOD PI 2 .} SMAIJ.FIG .

.PI 3 FIG 4.

FIG 5 WALNUT CUPBOARD MADE IN THE SOUTH-WEST .

tt IN THh SOUTH-\VJ?81 AI^UT CUPBOARD WITH MOULDINGS MAWS il 5 f .

.

NUT OF STYLE) 1*1.FIG 8 AND SAINTONGE CUPBOARD OF WAJ. .

SAINTONGE UNDER-CUPBOARD USUI) AS SIDEBOARD (KND OF STYLE) PI 8 .BOARD. 9. PROVFN^AI* UNDKR-CUPBOARD USKD AvS vSIDF. WAINUJ FIG 10.in.

IN TWO PARTS . 11 BRETON" WAT.2TUT SIDBBOARD.Fir.

13 AMBSIAN WALNUT 10 .IG 12 PROVENCAL KNSADING-TROUGII (SND OF FIG.

IK CHAMPAGNE (EXD OF STYI.MADE.EJ .

.

id ** o h .

FIG. ROSEWOOD SKCRETARY-CUPBOAKI) PI 14 . 10.

.

. WITH P -\USANDKR Flo & x'YRLCNEAN \VAI yNUT C u.LIC COMMODU.21 ROCAII.

.

MAII<mAN\ PI 1! . COMMODE.NUT FIG 20 CONSOM$ COMMODK.FIG 25 CONSOIyF. \^ AI.

A GIRONDS. CIUSRRYWOOD FIG. WALNUT PZ. 10 .FIG 27 GASCON COMMODE. MADS IN I. COMMODF. 28.

Ol- 4 WALNUT PI 20 . BORDEAUX COMMOIHC-SKCRKTARY. OF MAHOGANY 30 A.Fin 20.NJOU COMMODE-SECRKTARY.

FIG 31 LARGE BORDEAUX SECRETARY. MAHOGANY .

MAHOGANY FIG 23 TA13LP. 32 TABTi. WITH vSTUCCO TOP PI 22 . PAINTOD BI.ACK.Fu. WITH SUNK TOP.

WALNUT (BEGINNING OF Tim STYLE) JL?IG Jo BRETON TABLE.IMG 34 CARVED TABLE WITH RIM. CIIERRYWOOD .

.

OF THE STYU) SMAW.FIG 37. CARVED TABIft CHERRYWOOD (BEGINNING PI 25 .

.

D#D WOOD PI 27 . 40 SJLUJ. GII. CUl-DS-UMP FORM.FIG. CONSOLS TABI.!}.

PAIJSANDUR AND ROSEWOOD 43 SMAU WALNUT TH15 Fid 42 WALNUT TABW5 7 1 FOR GAME OF TRJ WITH CIIAMFI?RKD CORNERS / 28 .FIG 41 TOII.I$T TABUi.

3 2 6f i-? CO D s .

MAW. BTOHAU WITH SCUKHN. AMI " FIGUM*" 30 .

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f\ P* P o K j .

w hi M H 3 o c C3 fl .

. FIG 52 r WITH At'SUSSON I^RGK ARM-CHAIR OF PAINTKD WOOD ^' 34 TAPESTRY - 5 . &* *k o% .* . - A s *_ ^ i .

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P! < M Si .

8 tfs 5w 53 .

s I .

I~IO 63 ** .

STYT^ES) .

) PI 42 .I<. 67. IvARGK ARM-CHAIR OF GIU>F.D WOOD (KND OF STYI.FiG.

REVOLVING WRITING CHAIR PI 43 .FIG 68.

GIT/DEB WOOD PI .FIG 69 BKRG&RK WITH CARVTCD BACK.

si 3 S3 w & X ^ I? I .

RGF.FIG. 72 " GONDOU " BI<.RK. WAT NUT V Pl 46 .

H P 3 S O o o fi .

FIG " 7i> CONFESSIONAL " WAI NV1 P1.4S .

H a. H Sc PQ .

8' M P o fe s 1 FQ .

.

d < .

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p I 3 * .

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.

WITH HEAD AND FOOT.FIG 93 PROYEXCAI. LACQC'ER AND INDIA PAPER FTG 03 WAI^UT SCRKUN M ITU MODERN TAPESTRY . CHERRYWOOD <)4 SCREEN WITH SHELVES. BED.

.

3 s 5d .

MIRROR FRAME. 99. 03 .FIG. OF WOOI> JP1.

.

16. pagne"). 72. "'25. French town. town of France. 64. Journal 94 Bayle. woodwork. 121 Caffieri. " en cabriolet." bureau. 24. the sculptor. 73. 104 Blondel. 95. 89 . 105 " of. 15 Barbier. 102. 98." 72 Bureau. the architect. 63 "Cabnolet (en). 67. 25. 79 Borders. 16 Brocate. 120 "Bonnetidre" cap-cupboard. 47. low "bergre. 60 Arlaten Museum of Aries. 66. 16. 115. province of. the painter. name of Norman 34." " Bout de pied (literally. 119 Arlesian. 125 Beauvais. the architect (he left " entitled De la Distribution des Maisons de Cam- work fer). 25." 103 Brazil. 72. furniture. 70 Bordeaux. 101 Armoires (see Clipboards) Auvergne. 96 Bergeres. son of Philippe Caffieri the first. 72. cabinet- 68. Arm-chairs.INDEX-GLOSSARY ALEPPO " breccia. footend). 92-98 (see "a Capucine"). 105. 105. 40 chair." 2 Bean. 73 " CABINET. 60-82 " Ambulantes (see Table) " Amortissement en chanfrein cham(literally. 38. Jacques. 106 Brizeux. 93 toilet. the wardrobe. 13. 54. Secrets' of. 96. 10^. 78. 3. 48. " 70. 72 " Bourgeoisie."96 Boullc." 21. 37 Beaudoin. " tapestry. 41. 105 English. kind of marble. 106 Duchess. 105 Antin. Co town. 105-107 Angel. 86 kind South of France. 93. the writer." 71 Caf&eri." dresser-sideboard. suburb of Paris. 102 " bergere. 34 Caissons. 127 sculptor. from the town of Aries. 114. wood from this country. frames. son of " Jacques. carpet of. 115 Angel bed." designs in Britanny. 85. 39. "Memoires no " "Banquette " bench. : Vaisselier. 52 "Boudoir/' kind of "bergeres. the 61. H5 Philippe II. 103. 25. 22. " Bergame. 92. 83-87 i. marble of. 70. 97 Cachet. 32. 75 Anatolian. desk or writing-table. 45. 48 Bntanny. 26. Andre Charles. 103 Polish. 109 Boucher." kind of arm- Veillcuse. 48. 103 Belleville.75 citizenship. 25 " la Capucme" maker like his sons. 1 06 Provengal. 98 Bruges. 73 BACHAUMONT. 44." 92 easy. province of. Belgian " " Buffet" " 2 Credence. 13. "Dictionary. 96. 101." cofiers. 69. deadening by " Bimont. the painter. 100 Beds. 118 of "Bonheur du jour.

" kind of "ber" gre. 103 Champagne.54. 125 Do Voltaire. the engraver. 61 De Luyncs. the painter. the fabu- 4. I3> 47 "Cul-de-lampe (en). De Madame." dressing-gown. 26 Dcbucourt." high commode. 16 Clocks. . Mile. the glazer. 46 Do Berry. 97. the* painter. 116. furniture. the architect. 107 DAGLY. 40 Chardin. 104 DC Soubisc. 39 " Coq Corbeille de mariage." 82 furniture Cupboards. Marquis. 19 De De la Boissiere. 72 (see Correntilles " Dcshabill6. 96 De la Popelmidre. the painter (" Instant de la Meditation"). Jean. 96 DC Marigny. 3 De Bandcville. Provencal furniture (see Buffet). 54 De Trov." 38. Robert. " 75-76. 115. 28. Charles Nicolas. 56 D'Argenson. 116 Dauphin. of brother 14 De Madame de Pompadour. Cartouche. 9 7> De Fontenelle. the Duchesse. 40 90. 86 la Fontaine. Monsieur. 61 62 Campan. Muse"e. 34 De Montesquieu. 50 " wood ornament." Chinese articles. lacquers from. Chateau de. 115 "Chaise-longue. the poet.102. 55 " 125 Parabdrc. De De Caylus. 105. province of. 71. 2. 41 Chardin. 61. the French traveller. 25. 88. Princess." 63 Coromandel. Duke (he writes "Me'moires"). marble of. author. 101 63-7L Cuvillies. 122 Carna valet. 48. Madame. 35. the sculptor 9. 76-79 "Console "(see Table) " Convalescente. Commode. 55. 116 Clairon. Marquise. 17. 76 De Bonnac. 57 Cochin." chest of drawers. 73 ChaniaHy. 117 " 107 Table) CrScy. " 7i Credence. 17. King's son. 15. the country. " 104 Capucme (a la)/' kind of armchair and of straw chairs. 40-43. Marquis de. Mottcraich. " 25 Canap6/' kind of sofa (bench). Madame. Revolution's actress. 15 Cotte. Charles. the PrSsidente 26 De Belhombre. North France. Monsieur." 96 Minister. "couch. north of Pans." kind of table. 78 Chiffonniere. 46." turkey. 118 China. (" Ar" moires in French). Comte. the en118 " graver. 77. 102. Marshal. De Mailly. Madame ("M6moires "). 125 Ch6mer. Andre".128 INDEX-GLOSSARY Cresscnt. 125 " Chiffonnier.55. 57 Carrara. the designer. Fr6dnc Melchior. the writer. IT 7 " 55* Chinoisenes. 61 Do Rohan. d'Inde. the Austrian 2. 107. 40. 15. 28 DC Pompadour. the writer. Mus6e de. town. Do Richelieu. 14. Marquis. the writer. 99. 91. Philippe." kind of sideboard. Princo. 56 David. 1 8 list.71. 19. 108 Cluny. the writer. 2 De Gnmm.

13 cabinet-maker. 66 Gascony. 43 Gillot. en. 43 Dumb waiter Dutch (see Table) Duvaux 79 Lazare." 12. Anthony. "the. famous dancer. 98 Germanic art. 116 " Huchiers-menuisiers/'hutcherjoiners. 121 brisee. H4 river. cabinet-maker. 71. Greek art. the H6tel. 45 English table (see Table) " Epergnes/' used for table decoration. Claude. 122 Inn-tables (see Table) 5 VII . 46." the tapestry. the painter (author of the maternelle "). the river. King of Prussia. the country. auction rooms in Paris. influence. pittor- Dictionnaire (1708). 20. " Empire Style. 27. 73 " bronzes. Duchess. " Duchesse bed." 129 n critique. 25. 117 Drouot. 45. seaport. the. 13 Genoa. . 97 Guimard. 105 cumbent 118. 87. the philosopher. 117 art. 45 Hamilton. 45 " H6tel Drouot " (see Drouot) Houdon. hair- 87. 70 Frederick II. province of. Mademoiselle. Jacques Ange." set of Honduras." seventeenth-century " bench. flowers of. 48.INDEX-GLOSSARY " Dictionnaire etc " esque. Dordogne. 9 " Espagnolettes. " En 114 galante." size of the book. the painter. 77. 57. Franc. the writer. Gascon name for a EscudieV* dresser-sideboard. 76 D'Orldans. 119. 107 Flemish Style.58 GABRIEL. 28 Greuze. 54 Directory Style. 104." shelves. Isle of. 19. 13. 2 Havard. 47 107. 96 " " 8 . 12." Flying-table (see Table) " " Folly/' pleasure-house. 54. 18 "Equivoque. 63 Garonne. Philippe. in Duchess. Henry. 103. Le. "Malediction 102 Gnzel. the. Form. 15 the wardrobe Garderobe. 18. 5 66 D'Orleans. 19 Havre. 86.ois Antoine. 103 Duchesses. couch. 73 fitag&re." kind of rechair in three pieces. the country. 60 *' Gros de Tours. Denis. 116 Henry II Style. in Saxony. the Regent. 42. 49. 90 man. the. the " architect. damask of." method of 90 " hair-dressing. the Scots- Encyclopaedia. author of the great "Dictionnaire del'Ameublement. 73 Gaudreaux. 76 de Tr6voux " Diderot. 105 Format. the sculptor." method of dressing. 60 Elbeuf Norman town. 45. (in Provence). 81 " EBENISTES. 12 FIRE-SCREENS. 79 INDIA. 97. 9 Gothic art." 12. Egyptian-green. HAITI. the merchantmercer. the 6 3* Dresden. the. 74 Herculaneum and Pompei ruins. of d'Alembert and Diderot. 3. 65.

50." furniture- Pompadour." 125 of NATTIER. 122 LANGLOIS. seaport of France. the. the garden-draughtsman. 39 Marble. Style. King's residence. 119 Martin. the writer. 72. 92 Louis XV. the decorator-glazer. 19. 79 Ntoorin. 115. the Oberkampf factory was founded. 40 Monsigny. all glazers). in west France. the painter. 118. 74 Mansart. allegorical personage in the pastoral of. characteristics of the. 23. 37. 14. 105. 18 Lenormant de Touraehem. 56." flower-stand. 14 Le N6tre. 42 " southLingere. King Louis XIV's painter. 17. 87. Style. 8. 5 Le Roy. 125 Jesuits. 122 Louis-Philippe. 16.i ' 3o INDEX-GLOSSARY ! Inventaire gSngral du Mobiher de la Couronne" (1760). the actor. the decorator. Fran9ois. and "Turcaret. the. 5 Mondonville. 56 Law. 64 Louis the Great (see Louis XIV). Juste Aurele. 25. 3. often employed 3. 118 Moreau. 57 Meissomer. 32 Louis XIV. 4 Louis the "Well-Beloved (see Louis XV). 61 " MoireV* kind of satin. author of Gil Bias makers. 12 de placage." Chinese figures. 74 12 Mercier. the financier. the. 68. II "Mercure de France. 99. 70. 63 Lorient. the author-comedian. 82 Mane. Charles. 7 Le Bnin. 2. the glazer. 4 Marseilles. uncle by marriage of Madame de Marly." wardrobe. 40 Louis XIII. the cabinet-maker. 20. 4. 24. 114 " 120 JARDINIERE. 114." veneerers. 40 " Moquette. 5. village near Paris. 29." 2 Les Andelys in Normandy.Antoinette. from the province of Lorraine. Jean Marc. 60." the French periodical publication. cabinet-maker of Louis XV. 10. 7 Italian art. the King. 95 Louis XVI. 114 Molidre. Jules. French composer. the historian. 27 Lorrain. 36. " MAGOTS. the " ornament designer. the Queen. 65. 97-99. 60 Michelet. 4. 73 Menuisiers solid wooden d'assemblage. Style. 45 Loriot. 21. 40 " 117 Manchette/' cushion. 55. Jeaurat. 126 Manvaux. 75> 81. the engraver. 56" " Lesage. 2 where Tony. the writer. 53. 69. 17 Netherlandish monkeys. 32. 6. the seaport town. 44. French composer. the painter (author " Petit Souper). in " Champagne. 2. 1. 7. the. 94 Normandy. Style. no ." stuff. style. 27. 13 Manage. the (four brothers. 27. of first architect King Louis XIV. 42. de marqueterie. Sebastien. 102 Marot. 2. scenes. 28 Migeon." dresser-sideboard." 12 inlayers. I. the Catholic fathers. Style. 4 Lekain. 21-43 Louis XV. the province 64.

Pieds de Jesuite. mode made by the Dutch. of the province of Saintonge." 96 Oeben. 88 Paphose. 42 Sans-Souci. 103 " Rondin." table-leg. Poussah/' 77 Proven9al. chintz 131 manufac- berObhgeante. 25. 5." paper.com- " Pompadour). 34. Bernard. the province of." kind of bed. 7. 4. the French town.the architect-designer." kind of marble. 8. Jean-Henri. 16. 54 Samt-Wulfran at Abbeville in Sonime." kind of gre." an eighteenth-century novel. 106 Provence. " 15. 48. 17 round cushion. 68 Saint-Hubert. junior. 102. " 59 Rocaille/' the. RficAMiER. 60 Potsdam. 49 Riesener. 63. 13. 103 ' Papier/' paper. cover the Louis 1 01 XV no 96-100 straw. 82 " Pieds de biche/' doe's feet. 35." 54 93-101 Secretary-commode stuffed. Style. 75. 6. 26 ScaUop-shell." toilet table." Roquillards. 104 "Re'champi. 115 ' Papier de tontisse. 115 Papier d'Angleterre. novel. 44 Screens. suburb of Paris. 45. the ceramist. Madame." precious shell. 20. Style (in favour between the Louis XIV and Louis XV Styles). Pierre. 24. no SAINT-ANTOINE. 38 Roubo." woodwork. 120 Patte. 101 characteristics of. 92 how to QUIMPER. " 39 Point de Hongrie/' herringbone pattern. 94 " Renaissance the. 6 " Pamela. Mademoiselle (see De ' Roses d'Amathonte/' woodwork." paper. Jean Fra^ois. the. 6." the upstart countryman. 38. 98 " Satinade. 8 PAGODAS " (see Magots ") Pakssy." 90 Parisian flat. near Berlin. 30 Par excellence. 113. 14 Oppenord. 3. So " 29. the wood of. Faubourg. 90. Style. 75. 122 " turer. 55. Style. 13 " Rigueur. 115 " Pied de table. the cabi- " Regency. 68." flock paper. i. 106 " Scribanne/' secretary . 39. 117 Rinceaux. 57 kind of stuff. silk of. 15 Portor. Frederick II's resi" dence. the cabi" net-maker. 23 " Paysan parvenu. 69 Saint-Ouen." the base of the " cupboard. 115 ' ' ' Rhodes. 50 Poisson. (see Frontis- 78 . 67.Gilles-Marie. 88 Pekin. 49." Scalata. Seats. 25." precious shell. 115 Papier drapp6. piece). 97 Persian carpet.INDEX-GLOSSARY OBERKAMPF. 93 Rouen. 7. 105 Saintongeais. Chateau de. 70. the. 10. de/' 94. 96. the architect. 92-106 79 caned. "Coquille" in French. in Paris." woodwork. 35. 57 " Poudreuse. 52 net-maker. French town. 88 *' 26 " Pourpre.

" Serre-papiers. the architect. 90 night. 103 "Veilleuses." stuff. 73. 100 Versailles. Collection. near Versailles." kind of bed. the. 83 of Genoa. 7 Soufflot. 81 dumb waiter. 103 stuff.i 32 'INDEX-GLOSSARY paper-holder. French painter. leaves. the decorator." dress. Antoine. 116-117 27 inn. S. 40 " Veilleuse. town near Pans flowers." couch. 87 " 88-90 WALLACE. Q " writing. 26 volante." Flemish stuff. Dutch town. 103104 UTRECHT. 126 " Tnpe.1 ?^). 86 Wattcau. 7^ Van Loo. 99 102 " 1 Singeries.I^ . 100. 103 " Turquoise. 42 Turkey. Jacques-Germain. 73 Table. 8x-88 card." 82 bed. 40 Toilet (see Arm-chair) Trianon. 105. 16 " Sultane. cathedral of. French traveller. " TABERNACLE. 41. 83 " console. 90 bureau. 98. 105 3* the." 82 dining-room. 99. 25 Velvet. 98 of Utrecht. King's residence. 80-91 " ' Ambulante." 82-93 " CorrentiHes." kind of bed. jewels. 94 Vidc-pochc. Tavernier. 26. the painter 9 Tabouret." stool. 81 with English. Troyes. 4 2 " i4 3 " Vertugadins." pocket-emptier 90 Vincenncs." War (lysS." or English bed (set Bed). 81 flying-. 90 toilet. adjustable "VAissELiER/'drcsser-sid uarc in Auvergne." monkeyisms. 4 Slodtz. PRINTFvD AT THE COMPLETE PRESS WBST NORWOOD BONBON." 84 Seven Years " 78 Siamoise." 27 work. tiny hinged cupboard.or ''cabaret. stuff. 99 " Verdure.

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