What Makes Louis XVI Furniture Unique

Louis XVI refers to a style that was popular in France during the reign of King Louis XVI between 1760 and 1789. With the discoveries of Herculaneum and Pompeii, Greek and Roman styles were experiencing a revival. During King Louis XVI’s reign, tastes changed from the Rococo style, known for curved lines and heavy ornamentation, to clean, straight lines. Interiors and furniture during this period became refined and symmetrical and featured classical ornamentation and motifs.

What Are Some Characteristics of Louis XVI Style?

Chairs – The backs of chairs from this style are mostly straight and upright. They feature square backs, known as à la Reine, and oval backs referred to as en cabriolet. They have straight legs that are often fluted and tapered. There is also ornamentation at the corners under the seat known as die joins. These are usually carved with rosettes, flowers, painted or gilded.

Commodes/Chests – Similar to chairs from this era, commodes and chests have clean, square edges and lines. The fronts often feature bronze fittings while the ends are flat. The legs are straight and occasionally tapered.

Tables – Tables were quite varied during this period. They were most often made from mahogany and fruitwood, and were round, oval, kidney-shaped, square, or rectangular. The table legs are straight and often tapered, and the aprons are intricately decorated.

Desks – There were two primary types of desk common to this era. The bureau plat, or flat-top desk was common. It featured straight, often fluted legs and a rectangular top. The ornamentation typically featured bronze or copper moulding on the drawer panels and aprons. The second desk type is the secrétaires à abattant or fall-top secretaries. These were tall, cabinet-like pieces that had a desk panel that pulled down.

Visit the Carrocel Showroom to See Our Selection of Louis XVI Pieces

Carrocel has a wide variety of Louis XVI furniture available in our 20,000 square foot showroom, located at 245 Bridgeland Avenue in Toronto. We invite you to browse our displays and see our quality pieces in person. For a more in-depth selection, please view our online catalogue.

Antique French Louis XV Inlaid Escritoire Vanity Desk

Louis XVI Style Cane Back Dining chairs set of 6

American Designer Cannes Desk

Also Read: Recognizing and Differentiating the Features of Louis-Style Furniture

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