French antique furniture styles guide pt 1

French Antique Rococo & Henri II beds

Most of the French antique furniture Frenchfinds supplies are from the late 1800s or early 1900s.  Almost all of these items are made in certain in style harking back to definitive earlier periods of French furniture design.

From the 1830s, starting with Gothic and Rococo revivals, it became more and more popular to reinvent these styles to fit the tastes of the day. As tastes blended and fashions became more mixed up, motifs from eras cross-fertilised the craftmanship changing furniture from true reproductions to interpretations to please clients of the time.

In order to help understand these categories we have put together a quick guide to the antique French furniture styles we sell. Below are the first 3 categories in the series – Rococo, Henri II and Louis XVI.

Provencal, Napolean III, Empire, Louis XV, Louis XIII, Breton and Louis Phillipe styles will be covered in forthcoming posts.

Rococo

Rococo style furniture, is mimicking furniture of the time associated with the Régence and the reign of Louis XV (1715 – 1774). It is recognisable by its almost Italian flamboyance, a signature roceille or Rococo shell crest, cabriolet legs that curvaciously kick out and spiral escargot (snail) feet. Wikipedia has a great overview of the Rococo period here.

French antique rococo style bed

French antique Rococo style armoire rocaille

French antique rococo style double door armoire

Rococo mirror

shabby chic rococo bedside table

rococo table shoulder

rococo scroll feetFrench antique shabby chic Rococo armoire

French antique Rococo gilded mirror rocailleFrench antique Rococo gild mirror

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Henri II

Harking back to Henri II reign of 1519 – 1559, these revival pieces are an antithesis to the Rococo style. Usually, very straight, simple, block like with geometric patterns and often with some kind of column, the carving is heavy as is the type/colour of wood used. Some revival pieces combine more decorative carvings such as a simple crest with the masculine square shape of the French furniture, the torch and quiver is a familiar motif within this style.

French antique Henri II armoireFrench antique Henri II single door armoire shabby chic

Henri II torch and quiver

Henri II buffet shabby chic gallery

French antique Henri II buffet shabby chic

French antique Henri II bed walnut

Henri II crest

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Louis XVI

Aping furniture from approx 1774-1792 the Louis XVI style is a balance between the square lines of Henri II, the decorative flurries of the Rococo style and sometimes the romanesque/greek like Empire styles. Swags, flowers, bows and delicate carvings are framed by strong symmetrical box frames, simple lines and repeating tessellated patterns. A variety of our beds come under the Louis XVI style banner and can vary from using cane and intricately molded plasterwork to upholstered to wooden beds. A central theme appears to be the use of a carved flower within a square usually on the join between the foot or head board and the side rails.


louis XVI flower

French antique louis XVI bedFrench antique Louis XVI armoire swagsLouis XVI armoire swags tessalateLouis XVI armoire swags bowLouis XVI armoire swags2French antique Louis XVI bed woodLouis XVI bed wood closelouis xvi distressed bedlouis xvi wood finial

Louis XVI upholstered bed

Louis XVI upholstered bed finiallouis XVI chairlouis XVI chairsideLouis XVI shabby chic PaintedarmoireLouis XVI shabby chic armoire detailLouis XVI bedside tablerococo bedside table flower

Louis XVI display patterb

Louis XVI display

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