Sunday, April 12, 2009

Antique Chairs: The Master Class

The first thing to know about antique chairs: many antique dealers who take themselves WAY TOO SERIOUSLY (I'm proud to include myself in that esteemed category) refer to a chair as a chaise (from the French for chair and pronounced "shez"). 

The second thing to know: there are about a million different kinds of antique chairs and they all have names that are hard to pronounce. So I've made an "executive decision" (note the subtle implication that I'm an executive) to choose my top ten favorites and do the rest later:

We'll skip  bergeres and fauteils since we've covered those a while back. So let's learn these:

  • Chaise à la reine (pronounced "ah la REN"): Louis XVI chair with a flat back

List price for the pair: $150,000 USD

  • Chaise en cabriolet (pronounced " ahn CAB ree uh LAY"): An 18th century chair having a curved (concave) back

List price: $5,500 USD

  • Chaise longue (pronounced "long"): A chair with an elongated seat and upholstered back
List price: $58,7590 USD

  • Duchesse brisee (pronounced "due SHESS bree ZAY" and literally defined as a "broken- hearted duchess"): a chaise longue that has a chair-form end and often comes in two or three parts
List Price: This piece is now in a private collection and not available for sale.

  • Chaise en gondole: (pronounced "ahn gone DULL"): a chair with a curving barrel-form back
List price: $16,000 USD

  • Chaise à bureau: (pronounced "ah byou ROW): a desk chair (this one with an en gondole back also like the one above)
List price: $11,725 USD

  • Chaise encoignure: (pronounced "ON qwan yur"): a corner chair
List price: $14,150 USD

  • Chauffeuse: (pronounced "SHOW fu[r]z"): an early fireside chair with a low seat; here's an amazing Louis XVI pair with their original polychrome finish fully intact
List price: $35,700 USD the pair

  • And here is a more conventional pair of small chaufeuses

List price: $19,750 USD the pair

  • Voyeuse: (pronounced "vwah YURZ"): a conversation chair, typically upholstered at the top rail for one's elbows to rest on while chatting and also appropriate for straddling
List price: Now in a private collection and unavailable for sale

  • Curule: (pronounced "CUE rool"): an x-shaped chair similar in profile to a savonarola; many curule chairs are really benches because they have no backs, as you can see from the examples below

List price: $67,200 the pair

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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