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Title: French and English furniture - distinctive styles and periods described and illustrated
Author: Singleton, Esther
Language: English
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                      FRENCH AND ENGLISH FURNITURE


                      FRENCH AND ENGLISH FURNITURE



                            ESTHER SINGLETON



                             H. D. NICHOLS

                                NEW YORK
                         McCLURE PHILLIPS & CO

                             Copyright 1903
                       BY MCCLURE, PHILLIPS & CO.

                      Published December, 1903. N





_The purpose of this work is to provide all who are interested in
French and English furniture since the Renaissance period with a
comprehensive and detailed view of the various periods or styles. A
chapter is devoted to each period, and the chapters naturally vary in
size, in accordance with the importance and length of the different
periods. So far as I have been able to discover in my researches,
there is no work precisely of the same aim and scope as this one in
existence. Many books have been written about furniture as a whole,
and the history of furniture,—especially the French styles; but I do
not know of one that enables the student to learn with slight
expenditure of time and energy all that is necessary to know in order
to fit up a room in any given style. Anyone who wants to furnish and
decorate a Louis XV. boudoir properly, or a Heppelwhite dining-room,
or an Empire bedroom, can find all about it in the following pages.
The collector, the student, the cabinet-maker, the upholsterer, and
even the architect will find ready at hand valuable material gathered
from many sources. The ceilings, wall-decorations and chimney-pieces
proper to each period are described from contemporary authorities and
illustrated from contemporary pictures and prints. The furniture is
described from specimens existing in many collections and museums; and
frequently in the words of the great makers and designers themselves._

_In many instances the collector is forced to buy the survivals of
whatever period he fancies, instead of being able to select for
reproduction the more artistic specimens that have perished, and his
rooms are filled with anachronisms because he cannot find articles to
complete his set of furniture. The reproduction of a beautiful model
will give more pleasure to a person of taste than a piece of furniture
whose only recommendation is that it is an “antique”; and I think many
persons will sympathize with me in my desire to see correct
reproductions of beautiful models of furniture multiplied, as well as
the textiles that accord with them._

_In all periods people have given much thought not only to beautifying
their homes, but to achieving the correctness of style that contributes
elegance and dignity to an establishment, unconsciously following the
opinion that Sir Henry Wootton gave about 1600: “Every man’s proper
mansion house and home being the Theatre of his Hospitality, the seat of
his self-fruition, the Comfortablest part of his own Life, the noblest
of his Son’s Inheritance, a kind of Private Princedom—nay, the
Possession thereof an Epitome of the whole World, may well deserve by
these attributes, according to the degree of the Master, to be
delightfully adorned.”_

_In order to give an even more thorough understanding of the appearance
of the rooms, I have included many partial inventories of representative
homes and many descriptions of separate sumptuous beds and other pieces
of furniture typical of the style. Upholstery has received minute
attention. Any one can learn here how to drape a bed, or a window; what
valances, curtains, lambrequins, cords and tassels are appropriate, and
what materials, braids and nails may be used._

_The characteristics of the decorative art of each period are set forth
with some detail, and the motives of carving of the woodwork are clearly
defined in the numerous line drawings and details of the many plates._

_I have carefully selected the illustrations from the designs of the
recognized representatives and leaders of the styles. Besides going to
these fountain-heads, I have not hesitated to adopt the views and
translate in many cases the words of the recognized modern authorities
on French furniture. These include Alexandre, Jacquemart, Havard,
Deville, and others. In the Chippendale, Heppelwhite and Sheraton
styles, these writers speak for themselves._

_I wish to express my thanks to Mr. Arthur Shadwell Martin for his
valuable assistance in my researches for both pictures and text._

                                                                 _E. S._

 _New York, December, 1903._


                           TABLE OF CONTENTS


                 LOUIS XIII. PERIOD                  1
                   Frontispiece and Plates I.–IV.

                 JACOBEAN PERIOD                    35
                   Plates V.–XI.

                 LOUIS XIV. PERIOD                  63
                   Plates XII.–XVII.

                 QUEEN ANNE PERIOD                 107
                   Plates XVIII.–XXIII.

                 EARLY GEORGIAN PERIOD             133
                   Plates XXIV.–XXVIII.

                 LOUIS XV. PERIOD                  157
                   Plates XXIX.–XXXVI.

                 CHIPPENDALE PERIOD                219
                   Plates XXXVII.–XLII.

                 LOUIS XVI. PERIOD                 249
                   Plates XLIII.–XLVIII.

                 ADAM PERIOD                       287
                   Plates XLIX.–LII.

                 HEPPELWHITE PERIOD                307
                   Plates LIII.–LVII.

                 SHERATON PERIOD                   329
                   Plates LVIII.–LXIII.

                 EMPIRE PERIOD                     365
                   Plates LXIV.–LXVIII.

                           LOUIS XIII. PERIOD


                           LOUIS XIII. PERIOD

In decorative art, the form of Renaissance known as Henri II., which
owed so much to the taste and influence of Diana of Poitiers, lasted for
three quarters of a century. There was practically no change till the
regency of Marie de’ Medici, when she invited Rubens to Paris. In 1625,
he had completed his Luxembourg works, and the commencement of his visit
is generally regarded as the date of the beginning of the pure Louis
XIII. style. Flemish influence, therefore, is the keynote of this
modified Renaissance style. Marie de’ Medici called many of her own
countrymen from Italy to design the new works, and Rubens himself had
spent eight years in Mantua, and therefore Italian taste is often
apparent in the Louis XIII. style, but is quite secondary to that of
Flanders. The great fame that Rubens enjoyed and his splendid reception
in Paris gave his work unquestioned authority with the contemporary
French decorative artists. His painting affected furniture with its
luxuriant, robust and somewhat heavy qualities.

A period of magnificence and lavish expenditure by art-lovers had begun.
Richelieu at the beginning almost rivalled in luxury Mazarin and Fouquet
at the end of this period. The Cardinal employed Simon Vouet and other
artists on the decoration of his magnificent Palais Royal and the Castle
of Rueil; and his expenditures in art collecting attracted such
undesirable public attention that he presented a great part of his
treasures to the King in 1636. Among these was a great silver buffet
weighing about 1625 pounds.

Vouet, during this period, occupied a somewhat similar position to that
held by Le Brun during the Louis XIV. period. It is interesting to note
the importance now held by goldsmiths in decorative art. A great deal of
the furniture of the day was designed by them. Architects also regarded
furniture as an integral part of the interior decoration of their
apartments, and therefore designed the important pieces. For instance,
Crispin de Passe (1570–1642) shows, besides his chimney-pieces (which
being the most important architectural feature in the room, always
received careful artistic treatment from the architects), chairs and
bedstead. The latter still retains a good deal of Renaissance feeling,
with carved posts, open-carved colonnade in the high foot-board and bulb
feet. It is somewhat reminiscent of Du Cerceau’s design.

[Illustration: PLATE I]

Besides the names already mentioned, the goldsmiths, Gideon Legare and
Carteron, the armorial designer, Jacquard, and particularly Abraham
Bosse, Picart, Stella, and Lepautre’s master Adam Philippon have left
stamps or engravings that how the Louis XIII. style in all its details
and characteristics. The goldsmiths, engravers and designers of this
period were Audran, Barbet, Berton, Betin, Betou, Biard, Bignon,
Blosset, Bouquet, Boutemie, Boyceau, Brebiette, Brosse, Caillard,
Callot, Carterson, Chrestollien, Collot, Cotelle, Daubigny, David, De la
Barre, Dorigny, Faber, Firens, Francard, Fornazoris, Gandin, Gautrel,
Hedouyns, Heince, Hennequin, Huret, Hurtu, Jacquard, Jardin, Jousse, La
Fleur, La Houe, Langlois, Le Clerc, Lefebvre, Le Mercier, Le Rou, Le
Roy, Levesville, Lionnais, Loriot, Lorris, Marchant, Mellan, Menessier,
Messager, Millot, Montcornet, Moriet, Mortin, Nolin, Picart, Pierretz,
Piquot, Pompeus, Rabel, Rivart, Roussel, Sordot, Tavernier, Testelin,
Thomassin, Torner, Tortebat, Toutin, Vignon, Vivot, Vouet and Vovert.
Rabel’s ornaments are formed by a species of _rinceaux_ of quite a
particular kind, which look like the curves of an ear. Many artists of
this period were certainly inspired by this part of the human body. It
is impossible to imagine more strange productions; the _genre_
(auricular style) lasted only a short time in France, and was carried to
its apogee by the Germans and Flemings.

The age of Louis XIII. saw the transformation of Paris, and the
application of the decorative arts to private life. The new manners in
this period finally break with the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It
is a transitory, but decisive, period with its own originality; a period
which announces the splendours of the age of Louis XIV.

Paris was so embellished, and so many houses were rebuilt and new finer
ones built, that rents rose greatly, and the authorities published five
abortive ordinances regulating the excessive rents between 1622 and
1649. The new luxury had to be paid for. Under Marie de’ Medici and
Richelieu, a new city with characteristics of utility, beauty and
magnificence arose. Corneille’s _le Menteur_ (1642) notes the wonderful

             “_Paris semble à mes yeux un pays de romans;
             J’y croyais ce matin voir une île enchantée;
             Je la laissai deserte et la trouve habitée.
             Quelque Amphion nouveau sans l’aide des maçons
             En superbes palais a changé ces buissons._

                    *       *       *       *       *

             _Toute une ville entière avec pompe bâtie,
             Semble d’un vieux fossé par miracle sortie._”

So Corneille tells us that the striking change in Paris was one to pomp
and grandeur.

Even more than the magnificence of the dwellings, the change to comfort
is to be observed. Far from increasing during the reigns of the Valois
kings, comfort had suffered. Viollet le Duc says: “The excessively
laboured refinement of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries and the
internal luxury of the apartments of the beginning of the Sixteenth had
been lost or laid aside during the long religious wars of the close of
the Sixteenth Century, and the furniture of a great lord under Louis
XIII. would have appeared barbarous and coarse to one of Charles VII.’s
vassals. Perhaps it was better to live under the reign of Louis XIV.
than under that of Charles V.; but certainly Charles V. and the nobles
and middle classes of his time had better lodgings and were more
comfortably furnished than the lords and common people were under the
reign of the Great King.”

However barbarous an interior of the Louis XIII. period might have been
in comparison with one of the age of Charles VII., it certainly was
changing for the better. Convenience was being sacrificed less for
magnificence. There was an attempt to combine usefulness with elegance.
Mme. de Rambouillet was one of the heads of this movement; and,
according to Tallement des Réaux, was the originator of it. She
established her salon as early as 1608. Tallement says that she was the
first to arrange suites of rooms through which guests could move easily.
“Being dissatisfied with the plans submitted to her (it was in the
Maréchal d’Ancre’s time) for at that time they only knew how to make a
hall on one side, a chamber on the other, and a staircase in the middle,
one day, after long reflection, she cried: ‘Quick! some paper! I have
found how to do what I wanted.’ She drew the plan, and it was followed
exactly.... She it was who taught people how to put the staircases to
one side, so as to have a large suite of rooms, to make high windows
from the floor up and to make high and broad doorways opposite one

The decorative motives and accessories characteristic of this style are
clearly defined. An analogy has been traced between the general lines of
the furniture and the contemporary costume. In the latter, as shown in
Abraham Bosse’s engravings, the waist line is set unusually high, giving
an appearance of a short bust. This division of the figure into two
unequal parts, the upper one being disproportionately short, is carried
into the furniture. The characteristic chair of the period (see Plate
I.) is short in the back. The larger pieces of furniture follow the same
general form, being divided into two bodies by a horizontal cornice,
shelf, or other line at above half the total height of the piece of
furniture. The cabinets, architectural in form, have greater width than
height, and rest on a frame or table with legs turned spirally and
connected. This style of cabinet was introduced early in the period.

One of the important decorative details and ornaments is the cartouche
which also follows the prevailing taste: it is wider than it is high,
and its field has always a somewhat exaggerated convex curve. The
rounded form also predominates in the cut-work fringing the frame, and
protuberance is also a noticeable feature of the balusters that are made
use of in the various parts of furniture that require columns or
supports. The vases also are very corpulent in form, which effect is
exaggerated by their very small bases. The faces of the mascarons are
very chubby, and are unusually lacking in expression. The decorative
garlands, which are composed almost exclusively of leaves and fruits,
very seldom of flowers, are arranged in heavy swags, almost always
disposed in a semi-circle. Pears, and more especially apples, are the
fruits most frequently met with. They are usually accompanied with short
leaves without serrated edges. The garlands are of uniform thickness
throughout; they are quite heavy. Cornucopias symmetrically disposed are
often found on the frontons. It is a peculiarity of these cornucopias
that notwithstanding the considerable size and quantity of the fruits
overflowing their mouths, they are so slender that they might almost be
taken for curved trumpets. Though rich and very abundant in detail, this
ornamentation does not show much relief, because the composition, as a
rule, does not present any important or dominant motive. In the
decoration it is seldom that the living form plays more than an entirely
accessory part. The bold round mouldings now dispense with the ornaments
and details of preceding styles. In many cases, these mouldings frame
panels in which the square form predominates. When the square is
extended into a rectangle, its dimensions are always greater
horizontally than vertically. The hexagon, so much employed in the Henri
II. style, is now supplanted by the octagon, which is frequently to be

Having now gone over the general characteristics and decorative features
of this period, we may proceed to describe the separate pieces of
furniture that are appropriate for a room of the Louis XIII. style.

First let it be said, however, that it is a mistake to suppose that a
Louis XIII. room need be in any sense bare, cheerless, or lacking in
comfort or convenience. The impression gained from the charming
engravings of Abraham Bosse is one of cosiness as well as elegance.

The only sense of severity of this period in the interiors is produced
by the massive chimney-pieces and the somewhat monumental forms of
wardrobes, presses, cabinets, _armoires_, etc. These are usually in two
tiers, the lower one usually being solid, as on Plate II., No. 4. The
frame, or open lower part, however, was winning its way into favour. A
good example of the latter appears on Plate III., No. 1, and the more
curious and ornate transitional form in No. 4 of the same plate. Another
example of the _armoire_ of this period, having drawers between two
compartments of doors is shown on Plate IV., No. 4, the details of which
are purely characteristic of this period. The full drawing on the same
plate shows a smaller cabinet with drawers beneath the two doors. This
is a very handsome example of marquetry work. The patterns of the inlaid
wood under the cornice are very effective. It will be noticed that
panelling plays a most important part in the decoration of these pieces
of furniture. Many of them had pediments of an architectural character.
These pediments were frequently broken, and in the centre on a pedestal
stood an allegorical figure, or similar ornament, such as that of
Justice shown in Plate II., No. 2. The panels were frequently richly
carved with characteristic Louis XIII. ornaments, or with Biblical,
allegorical or mythological subjects, such as Juno and the peacock,
Judith with the head of Holofernes (Plate IV., Nos. 2 and 1), and Paris
with the golden apple (Plate II., No. 3). The important part played by
pillars, whether straight or twisted, in the decorative scheme is
readily seen by a glance at the pieces of furniture on Plates III. and
IV. No. 4 (Plate III.), called a credence, has three varieties of
columns on the same tier. The flat bulb foot, plain or carved, so
typical of this period, is also shown on Plates II., III. and IV. The
buffet credence (Plate IV., No. 4) shows a peculiar combination of
straight and twisted column. The shield in its broken pediment is
flanked by the peculiar ear decoration characteristic of this period
which has already been referred to (page 5). The winged cherub, which is
so often found as a decorative accessory, appears to splendid effect on
the mirror on Plate II., under the cornice of No. 4 on the same plate
and on Plate III., No. 4. Several varieties of mascarons also appear on
Plates II. and III.

The woods of which these massive cabinets, chests-of-drawers, etc., were
made were oak, walnut, chestnut and sometimes ebony. The Dutch were
bringing great quantities of new exotic woods from the Far East, and the
Spaniards were also introducing beautiful woods from the Central and
South American forests and the West Indies. Mahogany, however, was
scarcely known as yet in France, and was not generally used till a
century later. The French, Germans, and especially Netherland
cabinet-makers, however, were making full use of the advantages offered
by the beautiful grains and tints of the new imported woods for the
purposes of marquetry. Ebony, of course, was also extensively used for
inlay and in the cheaper work blacked pear-wood was substituted. Ebony
was too costly except for the richest kind of work. France was procuring
it from Madagascar; the most highly-prized varieties, however, came from
Ceylon, from which island green and yellow varieties were brought as
well as the black. The workers of ebony gave their name to the whole
craft of cabinet-making; the word _ébéniste_ becomes generally used
about this time.

In many of the larger pieces of furniture, the severe, rectangular and
geometric character, the antique columns, pediments, broken pediments,
garlands, pagan gods and goddesses, heroes, caryatides, grotesque
figures, arabesques, vegetable and animal forms, imaginary beings half
animal and half vegetable issuing from foliage, terms, and heads are
ornaments and characteristics of the preceding reigns which have been
carried over into the Louis XIII. period. The importation of Florentine
and other Italian artists and workmen by Marie de Medici is clearly
discernible in the great cabinets of this period. Not only were they
inlaid with exotic woods, but also incrusted with precious metals and
semi-precious stones. A cabinet of the Louis XIII. period made by a
Florentine artist frequently exhibits the most astonishing prodigality
of material as well as workmanship. One of more than usual sumptuousness
is described as being composed of three tiers and being entirely covered
with shell, inside and outside. An aspect of extraordinary richness is
produced by pilasters of lapis-lazuli, cornaline ornaments, plates of
embossed silver, paintings and miniatures, framings of delicately
_repoussé_ and gilded copper and a top enriched with stones and silver
figurines. Such a cabinet by its elaborate workmanship required the
services of many craftsmen,—the cabinet-maker, the smith, the engraver,
the lapidary, the mosaic-worker, the miniaturist, the sculptor and the

[Illustration: PLATE II]

We should naturally expect to find fine examples of Italian-made Louis
XIII. cabinets among the possessions of the magnificent Cardinal
Mazarin. In fact, the inventory of his goods mentions many such. One is
thus described: “An ebony cabinet having a little moulding on the sides,
quite plain outside, the front being divided into three arcades, in the
middle of which are six niches, in four of which, in the lower row, are
four virgins of ebony bearing bouquets of silver, the said doors being
ornamented with eight columns of veined lapis-lazuli, the bases and
capitals of composite order in silver, the fronts of the doors and the
rest of the cabinet being ornamented with various pieces, viz.,
cornalines, agate and jasper, set with silver; and above the arcades are
three masks in jasper and twelve roses of the same mixed with six oval
cornalines; the remainder is ornamented with silver let into the ebony
in cartouche and leaf-work.”

Another cabinet owned by Cardinal Mazarin was of ebony, the cornice
ornamented with copper gilt, resting on four copper lions silver gilt,
the base of lapis-lazuli with a dome between two pilasters ornamented
with ten miniatures. In the centre on the door, Apollo was represented;
on the front of the drawers, the Nine Muses; and, on the four corners of
each drawer, a medal showing portraits of two ancient and two modern
poets. These were covered with Venetian crystal and enclosed in a little
cornice with festoons of copper, silver gilt. The cabinet was of two
sections and stood on eight columns of pear-wood stained black. It was 3
feet, 1 inch high; 3 feet wide; and 1 foot, 2 inches deep.

Two other ebony cabinets, both known by the name of “_Cabinet de la
Paix_,” also belonged to the Cardinal. One of these was made by Dominico
Cussey. This was of ebony inlaid with metal and was almost entirely
covered with jasper, lapis-lazuli and agates. In front, it was enriched
by four figures representing heroes, of bronze gilt on a background of
lapis-lazuli. In the centre, there was a portico supported by two
columns of lapis-lazuli with base and capitals of gilt bronze, having on
the frontispiece the arms of France crowned and supported by two
angels,—all in gilt bronze on a background of lapis-lazuli. In the depth
of the portico, there was a statue of Louis XIII. seated and holding in
his left hand a shield with the device of His Majesty. Beneath his feet,
there were a carpet and a cushion,—all in gilt bronze. In the top part
of the cabinet there was a little niche which contained the figure of
Peace that gave the cabinet its name. The cabinet stood upon a gilded
wooden base supported in front by two pilasters on an azure background,
and four figures representing “the four principal rivers of the world.”
The whole was 8 feet high; 5 feet, 3 inches wide; and 19 inches deep.

The companion cabinet of the same dimensions and proportions was
likewise in two parts (_à double corps_); and likewise incrusted with
jasper, lapis-lazuli and agates. In the large portico, the figure was
that of Queen Marie Thérèse of Austria dressed as Pallas, and above were
the arms of France and Spain supported by two angels. On the sides were
four figures of the Virtues in relief, standing on a base of sculptured
and gilded wood, which, instead of rivers, as in the companion piece,
represented the four geographical divisions of the world.

Another of Mazarin’s cabinets that had formerly belonged to his great
predecessor, Richelieu, is described as being decorated with wavy
mouldings (guilloches) and compartments ornamented with various flowers,
masques and half figures, the frieze bearing marine monsters and the
middle of the doors having an octagonal panel in which is an Amphion on
a dolphin. It rested on a base of four ebony columns united in front,
and four pear-wood pilasters behind; and between the columns was a
cartouche bearing the arms of the deceased Cardinal Richelieu. This
cabinet was 5 feet in length; 1 foot, 7 inches in depth; and 5 feet, 10
inches in height. This was evidently an excellent typical specimen of
pure Louis XIII. work, since it was made for Richelieu.

These rare cabinets were undoubtedly the origin of the Boulle furniture
of the next reign, and they existed in great numbers until destroyed
during the Revolution. The few that survived the ravages of the mob are
preserved in museums and private collections.

The _cabinets à porte_ (cabinets with doors) were, as a rule, more
severe than the sumptuous articles just described. They depend far more
upon the architectural form and talent displayed by the cabinet-maker
and designer than upon the skill and art of the decorator. The first
_cabinets à porte_ date from the Renaissance, and received their name at
the moment when one kind of _bahut_, placed on four feet, contested
popularity with another kind that stood on a base with doors, and
foreshadowed the form of those pieces of furniture called _à deux
corps_. The construction of these pieces, no matter how fine the
execution of their mouldings, panels, and doors, was as a rule massive,
and was the work of the joiners and carvers instead of the _ébénistes_
and _marqueteurs_.

One of these double cabinets is shown on Plates II. and IV., the upper
part appearing in No. 2 on Plate II., and the lower in No. 2 on Plate
IV. A carved oak _bahut_ is shown on Plate IV., No. 1. Another walnut
double cabinet is shown on Plate II., No. 4. A cabinet of another
variety appears on Plate III., No. 1. This is made of oak and cedar
inlaid with rosewood, and has two doors in front with projecting panels,
and an oval moulding in the centre and one outside drawer with brass
drop handles.

The cabinet-makers of Southern Germany also excelled in their art, and
their _Kunstschranken_ were sought for presents to princes. The most
famous piece of furniture of this class is known as the “Pomeranian Art
Cabinet,” now in the Chamber of Arts in Berlin. It was made between 1611
and 1617 for Philip II., Duke of Pomerania. Philip Heinhofer of Augsburg
designed it and it was made in that town by Baumgartner. The
elaborateness of this cabinet may be appreciated from the great number
of workmen employed in its construction. These included three painters,
one sculptor, one painter in enamel, six goldsmiths, two clock-makers,
an organ-maker, a mechanician, a modeller in wax, a cabinet-maker, an
engraver upon metal, an engraver of precious stones, a turner, two
locksmiths, a binder and two sheath-makers. This cabinet is 4 feet, 10
inches high, 3 feet, 4 inches wide, and 2 feet, 10 inches deep. It is
made of ebony with sandal-wood drawers lined with red morocco, and
mounted with silver and _pietra dura_ work. It is supported on four
griffins with heads and manes of silver gilt but the real weight is
borne upon a large scroll. The base is inlaid with small panels of
lapis-lazuli, jasper, cornelian and agate, with plates of chased silver
between them. The upper and lower friezes are composed of fruit, and
other ornaments consist of female figures and boys playing musical
instruments. There are also medallions of silver and Limoges enamel.

A fine example of a cabinet of the Seventeenth Century was owned by
Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill. This was 5 feet high and 3 feet wide,
composed of ebony, rosso antico columns, lapis-lazuli and bloodstone
panels, with settings of _or moulu_ and precious stones. Neptune was
represented in the central niche and on either side Tritons and sea
nymphs sported. Beneath these were serpents and shells, horses,
griffins, lions, bulls and dogs. In the panels above children were
fishing with nets and rods. The whole was supported on four ebony legs
ornamented with gold. Tables of the period were also most ornate.

Vasari speaks of a “splendid library” table made by Bernardo
Buontalenti, at the order of Francesco de’ Medici. It was “of ebony
veneered with ebony divided into compartments by columns of heliotrope,
oriental jasper, and lapis-lazuli, which have the vases and capitals of
chased silver. The work is furthermore enriched with jewels, beautiful
ornaments of silver, and exquisite little figures interspersed with
miniatures and terminal figures of silver and gold in full relief united
in pairs. There are besides other compartments formed of jasper, agates,
heliotropes, sardonyxes, carnelians, and other precious stones.”

The _armoire_ did not lose its importance until the end of the
Seventeenth Century, when it was relegated to the _Garde-Robes_; but the
_armoires_, called _placards_, hidden under the panels of the room,
remained. Mazarin had an _armoire_ in his _Garde-Robe_ 7 feet high and 5
feet 3 inches wide.

In the inventory of Madame de Mercœur, the _garde-robe_ contains
armoires, a bed and seats, and gives a hint of the dressing-table by “a
table with drawer, having a _housse_ of red serge d’Aumalle.”

The feature of a Louis XIII. room that formed one of its chief
attractions was its tapestries and other hangings. Wherever the
furniture would admit of it, a gay cloth was spread or hung. The
parquet, boarded, or tiled floor also was partly covered with rugs from
the Levant.

It is an age of rich textiles: not only do we find tapestry with its
mythological, Biblical, allegorical, historical and floral pictures, but
damasks, silks, velvets, brocades, serges and Oriental goods occur in
bewildering variety. Their designs have never been surpassed in effect
and elegance. When the materials were of one solid colour, they were
usually ornamented with embroidery, braids, passementerie and gold and
silver lace in addition to fringes. The latter existed in great number.
They were of various widths and materials as well as designs. Sometimes
fringes of two widths were used on the same drapery, and it was not
infrequent that a fringe of gold was placed directly above one of
silver, or the reverse. One of the most popular fringes was the
_crespine_, a very narrow fringe composed of slender threads placed
close together and sometimes tufted. This was used for trimming the
bed-curtains, tablecloths and chairs (see Frontispiece). Another
favourite fringe was the _Milanaise_ or _Napolitaine_, composed of two
kinds of threads, frequently silver and a coloured silk rolled together
in the form of a spiral.

The window curtains and _portières_ were also trimmed with braid and
fringe. They hung from cornices of oak or walnut, carved to accord with
the rest of the furniture. The centre of the cornice was decorated with
a cartouche; or a figure of some kind, very frequently a mascaron, and
beneath this hung the curtain or the lambrequin. The curtains were of
tapestry, brocade, brocatelle, lampas (a kind of brocade), Genoa velvet
or damask lined with silk or serge and bordered with braid, lace and
fringe of gold, silver or silk, or worsted. The lambrequin used toward
the end of the period consisted of a series of denticulated scallops or
square flaps, shaped like those that bordered the tops of tents and
pavilions, or in the form of the housings on which the knights’ arms
were emblazoned.

The bed is highly decorative. It is almost solely dependent upon its
furniture for its effect, as the wood is seldom, or never, visible. The
typical bed of the period is known as the _lit en housse_. It is the one
that appears in Abraham Bosse’s engravings. We may note in passing that
the word _housse_ has the some origin as the _housse_ or housings
applied to the coverings of the horses in the Middle Ages.

The wooden framework is of comparatively little importance, after the
correct proportions have been assured. The _ciel_, or canopy, which is
supported by four posts must never quite touch the ceiling of the room.
The posts are covered with the same material as the curtains, or painted
in harmony, and occasionally they are left plain. Iron rods surround the
canopy beneath the valance for the support of the curtains, which may be
drawn up or down by means of cords and pullies. When closed, the _lit en
housse_ has the appearance of a square box. The _lit en housse_ consists
therefore of the four posts, the canopy or _ciel_, the headboard and the
base around which the lower valance is fastened. The canopy is always
lined and surrounded by a valance, which is repeated around the base.
The straight curtains that hang from the canopy in rigid lines behind
the headboard (or bolster if there is no headboard) are known as _bonnes
grâces_. From the canopy and underneath the valance hang the three
outside curtains. The counterpane, called _courtepointe_, or _couverture
de parade_, is generally of the same material as the curtains or their
linings. The bolster is always long and round. Pillows never occur.

[Illustration: PLATE III]

The _lit en housse_ is particularly easy to reproduce. It is merely
necessary to be sure of the correct proportions and the appropriate
materials. As we have already remarked in the days of Louis XIII., there
was a great variety of rich textiles. A _lit en housse_ was covered with
any material from tapestry, brocade, damask, silk and velvet, to serge,
or cloth, or even linen, or East Indian goods. The fringe, galloons,
braids, laces, tassels, etc., for the ornamentation of the curtains and
counterpanes are legion. When tapestry or striped goods were not
employed, the silk, velvet, serge, or damask, etc., was usually
decorated with handsome braid put on in the form of stripes, or squares,
as shown in our Frontispiece and on Plate III., No. 3. The linings of
the bed-curtains were, as a rule, of different material, and frequently
of different hue from the curtains. The valance was of the same material
as the curtains; but the lining of the canopy, the covering of the
headboard (if there was one) and the _bonne grâces_ matched the linings
of the outside curtains. The braids preferably were gold or silver lace
with gold or silver fringe to edge the curtains, the upper and lower
valances and the rich counterpane. The valance and curtains may be
arranged as shown on Plate III., No. 3, or as in the Frontispiece; but,
in all cases, the four corners must be decorated with a bunch of plumes
or _panache_, a “bouquet,” of silk ornaments, or a carved or turned
wooden knob, the “_pomme_.” The _courtepointe_, or counterpane, must
cover the entire mattress and fall to the floor on the three sides. The
beds, to which we have just referred, also show the peculiar square and
rigid shape of the bed when made and the long round bolster that always
adorns the head of the _lit en housse_. The bed may stand lengthwise or
“_vu de pied_.” A _lit en housse_ of later date appears as a full
drawing on Plate III. This is represented “_vu de pied_” and is
furnished with a headboard. The latter is upholstered.

For the sake of suggestions for those who might wish to reproduce a _lit
en housse_, we give a few descriptions of beds taken from some French
inventories of the day. One of Cardinal Mazarin’s beds is described as a
“green taffeta bed” and fortunately the dimensions are given. It was 6½
feet long and equally wide, so that it was a perfect square. It was 7
feet, 3 inches high. The _housse_ was furnished with three curtains of
cloth of Holland green lined with taffeta and garnished at the base with
gold and silver fringe. A smaller fringe ornamented the sides. The
head-board and the cases for the bed-posts were of cloth of silver lined
with green. The four knobs decorating the tops of the bed-posts were
covered with velvet and trimmed with lace, and each of these was
surmounted by a “bouquet” of gold and silk on wire.

Another bed of the period is exquisite. It was of old rose velvet
embroidered with grotesque figures of animals, festoons and cartouches.
On the _ciel_ underneath the “dais” were five oval medallions,—one at
each corner and one in the centre. In these the story of David and Saul
was embroidered in silk illuminated with gold threads.

The Château de Turenne in 1615 contained two green velvet beds, one of
which had its posts covered with green velvet; the other had a double
valance of green velvet trimmed with gold and silver lace, a fringe of
green silk and a fringe of gold and silver. The head was ornamented with
a fringe of green silk mixed with gold and silver and a fringe of violet
silk mixed with gold and silver.

The Château de Chenonceau contained a number of beds of this kind. One
was a bed of green damask, _en housse_, the bottom and the headboard
trimmed with a narrow fringe of green silk, while a deep fringe
surrounded the valance. The curtains were fastened at the corners with
shank buttons of green silk. Another was of green Carize, or kersey,
ornamented with green silk lace and trimmed with a narrow fringe of
green silk. A third was of violet Carize trimmed with a narrow fringe of
violet silk; and a fourth of dun-coloured Carize trimmed with a fringe
of dun-coloured silk. Then there were four beds of black and white
_drugget_, trimmed with a fringe of black and white worsted. There were
also many hangings for beds _en housse_. One was of needlework of many
colours ornamented with a fringe of red, yellow and green worsted. Two
hangings of tapestry, representing trees and flowers, were trimmed with
a deep fringe of red and yellow worsted.

Another tapestry for bed-hangings represented all sorts of flowers. The
fringe that ornamented it was of red, green and yellow worsted. Another
tapestry, representing fountains and savages, had a deep fringe of green
and red worsted. Another depicted foliage, roses, grapes and wild
beasts, and was ornamented by a deep fringe of green, red and yellow
worsted. Another had a greenish-brown background on which all kinds of
flowers were thrown, and it was ornamented with red, white and green
fringes. Another was of blue tapestry sown with yellow fleur-de-lis. One
of needlework was composed of squares of blue, white and flesh colour;
the headboard and bottom valance were also like the curtains. The
worsted fringes were yellow, white, blue and red.

A very handsome bed was entirely made of crimson velvet lined with
crimson taffeta. The canopy was also of crimson velvet lined with
crimson taffeta, and so were the curtains, which were fastened down the
sides by forty-two buttons and buttonholes. The hangings, the valance,
the headboard, and the curtains were all ornamented with gold and silver
lace applied in the conventional stripes. Deep and narrow fringes of
crimson silk, _crespines_ of gold and silver, and small fringes of gold
and silver contributed further decoration. The fringe was put on double,
that is to say, the crimson silk fringe was covered by the smaller
fringes of gold and silver. The ornamental counterpane was of crimson
velvet lined with taffeta, and ornamented with a _crespine_ of gold and
silver. It was fastened tightly to the base of the bed by means of
forty-four shank buttons and buttonholes, and the whole length of the
buttons there was a little fringe of crimson silk covered with a fringe
of gold. Each curtain required five lengths of velvet.

Another bed with its valance on three sides, its valance around the base
and its _bonnes grâces_ was of cloth-of-gold mingled with blue,
decorated with squares formed of raised crimson velvet, and bordered
with black velvet ornamented with gold and silver and tinsel. The
valance was lined with white taffeta garnished with fringes of blue silk
with a gold _crespine_; the curtains were lined with crimson taffeta and
edged with little fringes of gold and blue silk; and the lower valance
was ornamented with fringes of gold and blue silk. The ornamental
counterpane was made of squares of crimson silk, trimmed with gold
braid, ornamented with a deep fringe of crimson silk, and headed by a
gold _crespine_. The outside curtains of crimson silk, each three
lengths and a half, were ornamented with gold braid and a narrow fringe
of crimson silk and gold.

The valances and curtains of another were of green and gold velvet with
bars of crimson satin bordered with gold. The valances were lined with
white satin, trimmed with a fringe of crimson silk and a gold
_crespine_. The _bonnes grâces_ were of crimson taffeta with narrow
fringes of gold and crimson silk. The lower valance was garnished with
fringes of gold and silk.

Another, was of cloth-of-silver of Milan, damasked with flesh-coloured
silk, and trimmed with silver tinsel, flesh-coloured silk, and a
_crespine_ of gold and silver. The bed-posts were covered with the same.
The curtains and valances were of flesh-coloured and white damask,
trimmed on the seams with a fringe of flesh-coloured silk, covered by a
narrow fringe of silver.

Another, was formed of squares of cloth-of-gold (old gold) and squares
of cloth-of-gold and cloth-of-silver and violet, separated by strips of
crimson velvet covered with a braid of gold and silver, and trimmed with
a small fringe of gold and white silk. The valances were lined with
white taffeta, garnished with a deep fringe of white silk and a
_crespine_ of gold. The lining of the canopy and curtains was of
cloth-of-silver bordered with cloth-of-gold; the headboard was covered
with cloth-of-gold and silver damasked with black. The three curtains
and the _bonnes grâces_ of white damask were ornamented down the seams
with gold braid, but had no fringe. The bed-posts were covered with
cloth-of-gold (old gold) ornamented with narrow gold and silver braid. A
tasteful bed was of violet velvet and violet damask, the latter being
used to cover the head-board and for the _bonnes grâces_. The fringes
were violet silk, and the braid and _crespines_ of violet silk also. The
curtains were of violet damask, each four lengths, trimmed horizontally
with violet silk lace and a narrow violet silk fringe.

A bed of dun-coloured serge was trimmed with silk fringe of the same
hue, its _bonnes grâces_ being dun-coloured taffeta. The counterpane was
of dun-coloured serge trimmed horizontally with a deep fringe of
dun-coloured silk and forty-eight silk buttons and buttonholes. The four
posts were covered with serge ornamented with silk braid, and the four
“_pommes_” were also covered with serge ornamented with silk braid.

Another bed was of scarlet lined with red taffeta and trimmed with gold
braid and a deep fringe of common silk covered with _crespines_ of gold.
The curtains were decorated with gold braid and a narrow fringe of gold.
The four posts were covered with scarlet ornamented with gold braid.

Another bed was of flesh-coloured satin with squares of
cloth-of-gold-and-silver. The ornamental fringe was red.

Another, was of green satin embroidered in gold and silver. The fringes
were of green and white silk, both deep and narrow. The curtains were of
green damask.

Another, of violet velvet embroidered in gold and silver flames,
bordered with cloth of silver, was lined with violet taffeta. The
fringes were of violet silk.

Another, was of green velvet ornamented with gold and silver lace and
fringes of green silk covered with _crespines_ of gold and silver; the
headboard was of cloth-of-gold-and-silver ornamented with green silk
fringe; the lower valance was trimmed with gold and silver braid and a
fringe of violet silk covered with a fringe of gold and silver. The
curtains were green damask trimmed with gold and silver braid and silk
fringe, and the ornamental counterpane of green taffeta trimmed with
fringes of silk and gold.

Another bed was of cloth-of-gold striped with black and crimson satin;
the curtains were flesh-coloured taffeta ornamented with crimson fringe.

The bed-posts, as we have noted, are always surmounted by ornaments,
known, no matter what their form may be, as “_pommes de lit_.” The
following kinds are mentioned in the inventory of the Château de Turenne
in 1615:

“Four _pommes de lit_ of wood covered with crimson velvet ornamented
with gold and silver braid and garnished with bouquets of gold and
silver and varied coloured silks and little _egrettes_ of gold and
silver; four wooden _pommes de lit_ covered with cloth-of-silver and
green trimmed with gold lace, belonging to the bed of green velvet on a
gold background; four _pommes de lit_ covered with crimson velvet
trimmed with gold and silver lace and three grey plumes, belonging to
the crimson velvet bed; four _pommes de lit_ of wood painted violet and
gold, belonging to the violet velvet bed; twenty-eight _pommes de lit_
of gilded wood belonging to various beds, and twelve _pommes de lit_.”

Another bed that is characteristic of this period was the _lit de
baldaquin_. This is a bed with daïs of three sides. Its framework was of
natural wood, or wood carved and gilded, or covered with some rich
material. This bed that dismisses the columns or posts, was introduced
during this reign and carried into the next one. The _baldaquin_, which
replaces the canopy supported by posts, must be slightly smaller than
the bed it overshadows. Sometimes it is equipped with an arch that is
covered with the same material as the general drapery of the bed, and
this arch, which may be found in the old designs, following the curved
movement of the baldaquin is sometimes surmounted with a bunch of
feathers. When this arch contains a dome that surmounts the baldaquin,
it is called the “_Lit Impérial_.”

A _lit à impériale_ of the period was one of green velvet and gold and
silver, trimmed with a gold and silver _crespine_ and a little green
silk fringe covered with a gold and silver fringe. The curtains were of
green damask trimmed with gold and silver braid. Another was of cloth of
gold and yellow damask in squares with bands of white damask and a deep
fringe of white and blue. The valance was composed of squares, but the
head-board was in lengths.

This probably differed but slightly from the “_pavillon_” bed, of which
there are many descriptions in the old inventories. Mazarin, for
example, had two “_pavillon_” beds in red serge. In the Château de
Turenne there was a pavilion of crimson damask ornamented on the seams
with a wide braid of gold and silver. A braid of gold and silver also
surrounded the base, as well as a narrow fringe of crimson silk covered
with a fringe of gold and silver. The _chapiteau_ was of crimson velvet
ornamented with the same braid on every seam and also upon the bottom
with a deep fringe of crimson silk covered with a deep _crespine_ of
gold and silver. The _chapiteau_ was an ell in circumference. Upon the
top was a “_pomme_” painted red and silvered, to which was attached a
silk cord of red, yellow and white.

[Illustration: PLATE IV]

Another was of white gauze, upon the seams of which little tufts, or
tassels, of various colours were sewn. The “_pomme_” painted in various
colours, had attached to it a green silk cord; another was of crimson
and gold; and another of violet velvet trimmed with silk fringe of the
same hue. The “_pomme_” of the latter was painted violet and silver, and
the cord was of violet silk.

A glance at Plate I. will show that the general outlines of the chairs
are square. The usual set of seats comprised _fauteuils_, or arm-chairs;
chairs with backs; folding-stools (_pliants_); and a _lit de repos_. In
the ancient inventories the term “_chaises meublantes_” is given to
chairs with covered backs, while the chairs with wooden and open backs
are called “_chaises cacquetoires_” and “_chaises perroquets_.” The most
characteristic chair of the period is the short, square and rather
squat, yet well-proportioned chair that appears in nearly every one of
Abraham Bosse’s drawings, and which in England is known as “the low
leather,” or “Cromwell chair.” This chair is shown in the Frontispiece
and also on Plate V., while variants appear on Plate I. as No. 3 and as
a full drawing. This chair may be covered with leather, serge, silk,
damask, brocade, velvet, tapestry, or needlework; but in every case the
material is fastened to the woodwork by means of large brass, gold, or
silver-headed nails, and the back and seat are both usually ornamented
with a short fringe, as is shown in the Frontispiece. No. 2 and No. 5 on
Plate I. are _fauteuils_ of the period, No. 5 being an Italian chair
decorated with a fringe. Many of the _fauteuils_ of the day were “in the
Italian taste,” that is to say entirely covered with velvet and trimmed
with lace or fringe. The framework of the arm-chair was sometimes
visible, as shown on Plate I., No. 2. It was of pear-wood stained to
resemble ebony, walnut, oak, or it was painted in a colour to harmonize
with the covering. Among Cardinal Mazarin’s many chairs were two
_fauteuils_ and two chairs with backs, entirely covered with velvet
nailed on the wood. These were ornamented with a braid of medium width,
as were also the folding-stools, or _pliants_. The wood of the latter
was painted red. We also hear of two _fauteuils_ trimmed with lace and
fringe of medium width, the wood being entirely covered with the velvet;
at the bottom of the back there was a double row of the _crespine_. The
six folding-stools that went with these arm-chairs were also garnished
with lace and fringe, but their frames were painted green and picked out
with gold. The seats were covered with green serge. Another set of
furniture consisted of six _fauteuils_, six chairs with backs, six
_pliants_ and a _lit de repos_. These were covered with needlework
ornamented with a silk fringe of many colours. The frames were of
pear-wood stained black, and they were decorated with twisted columns.

The twisted column shown in the side-supports and straining-rails of the
chair in the lower right-hand corner on Plate I., and also in No. 2 and
No. 3 on the same plate, is derived from Italy. It is a favourite
ornamentation of the day and occurs in bed-posts and wherever pillars
are used. Another form of the spiral leg is shown on Plate III., No. 6.
Still another form is shown in the arm-chair with twisted and baluster
arms that appears as No. 5 on Plate III. A favourite shape for the leg
of a chair was also the X that so often appears in the pictures of the
Dutch masters. These chairs were of Flemish and Italian origin. (See
Plate VII., lower right-hand corner.) This X is also present in the
_pliant_ or folding-stool, an example of which is shown under the window
in the Frontispiece.

The coverings for the _fauteuils_, folding-seats, etc. were, as we have
said, of damask, brocade, silk, serge, tapestry, or needlework, but we
must add that Genoa and Venetian velvets with floral designs in high
relief were extremely popular.

Two other typical chairs are shown on Plate I. No. 1 is a handsome
_fauteuil_ of noble proportions. Its back and seat are covered with two
squares of material fastened in the correct way with large nails. No. 4
is a very fine specimen indeed with a carved back panel of wood. The
favourite mascaron decorates the top rail.

On Plate I. is shown a typical chair of the period with an open back of
turned spindles. Deville says this was the “_chaise caquetoire_” or
“_chaise perroquet_,” a name that was given to all kinds of chairs with
open backs, whether carved or turned, or simply of two, three, four or
five horizontal rails. If this was so, the _chaise perroquet_ meant a
different kind of chair later in the century, for Saint-Simon says:
“Monseigneur himself and all who were at the table had seats with backs
of black leather which could be folded up for carriage use and which
were called _perroquets_.” In the Château de Chenonceau (1603), there
were “more than two coverings for the _petites chaises cacquetoires_ of
silk of several colours brightened with gold and silver also on canvas
estimated at forty sols, apiece.”

There were three other “_chaises cacquetoires_ like the three chairs
just mentioned, estimated at four livres dix sols apiece.”

In Cardinal Mazarin’s inventory, there was “an old _chaise à perroquet_”
covered with _moquette_ (a kind of velvet or woolen tapestry), and in
the inventory of the Garde Meuble, ten _perroquets_ covered with
“_tripe_” (a kind of red panne velvet) occur.

Another kind of chair is the “_chaise voyeuse_.” The seat of this is
quite high and the top rail resting upon the side supports (which are
continuations of the back legs) is supplied with a _manchette_
(cushion), upon which one may rest his elbows while watching the play at
the card table. The back of this chair is shaped like a violin, or a
_bidet_. These chairs are mentioned in many old inventories such as
Cardinal Mazarin’s Fontainebleau, Versailles, etc. In Fontainebleau in
the _salons de jeux_ were “four _voyeuses en prie-dieu_” and “two
_voyeuses en bidets_.”

The _lit de repos_, or _chaise longue_ (see Plate VIII.) is an elongated
seat. As a rule, this couch, or seat, is six feet long, and upon it
rests a mattress or cushion. It is also furnished with a bolster, which
should be covered with the same material as the mattress and back. Being
exactly the width of the seat, it is placed below the back at right
angles to the mattress. Sometimes this piece of furniture has elbows,
and sometimes it has only turned supports at the sides of the back.

Many of the handsome tables were of a fashion that was continued through
the succeeding reign, being of richly carved and gilded wood with hind’s
feet or with term legs with or without stretchers. Some of them were
enriched with gilded bronze, and incrustations and marquetry work of
shell, copper and other metal. The tops, like those of the preceding
reign, were frequently of marble or marquetry. They were also covered
with a cloth and a _housse_ of leather, serge, tapestry, etc. The
table-carpet, as a rule, reached to the floor and was garnished with a
narrow or wide fringe. This was the _housse_, and above it was a second
cloth (see Frontispiece). These table-coverings were either simple or
rich, according to the purse or fancy of the owner. Cardinal Mazarin,
for example, had four table-coverings of crimson damask flowered,
bearing the arms of his Eminence; four of “red crimson” Turkey leather
trimmed with gold fringe and gold tassels and lined with red taffeta,
and a green flowered damask table-carpet with four sides, lined with
green cloth and trimmed with gold fringe _à la Romaine_. One of the
handsomest varieties of table appears as a full drawing on Plate II.

Although the console is known during the reigns of Henri II. and III.,
it is in the reign of Louis XIII. that the phrase _table en console_
appears in the inventories. The console was derived from the credence,
and was even in its earliest form a large table with a marble top,
jutting out like a bracket and serving to support a bust or vase. The
three visible faces of the console were in the early days frequently
supported with chimæras, fauns, etc. The word table was gradually
dropped and the article was known as console.

A variety of table, known as the _guéridon_, was also popular. This is a
small round table mounted on a stem or baluster that ends in three legs
(Plate III., No. 2). It was made of various woods, sometimes of
pear-wood stained black and sometimes painted. It was of great
convenience. Sometimes it was used for cards; but more often it held a
lamp, or candelabra, or a refreshment tray.

The chandeliers were usually of brass and hung from the centre of the
room. Of course, candles were inserted in the arms. Candelabra and small
candlesticks were also used to give light, and sconces were frequently
attached to the walls. Pictures were framed and hung directly over the
tapestries, as shown in the Frontispiece. Their frames differed but
slightly from the frames of the mirrors, specimens of which appear on
Plate II. as a full drawing and as No. 1. Another frame appropriate for
either a picture or a mirror is seen on Plate IV., No. 3.

                          THE JACOBEAN PERIOD

[Illustration: PLATE V]


                          THE JACOBEAN PERIOD

The Jacobean Period covers almost a century (1603–1690). In its earlier
stages, therefore, it is still Elizabethan in spirit, and in its old age
it is largely influenced by the taste of the dominant French court.
During the reign of James I., the styles of furniture and interior
decoration are still strongly Tudor in character, but the intimate
connection with the Low Countries, and the friction with Spain and her
Western possessions have their effect in making the wealthy classes of
England thoroughly acquainted with the best products of Spanish, Dutch,
and Flemish workmanship. The Tudor mixture of Gothic and Renaissance
styles was gradually modified under the influence of Inigo Jones, “the
English Palladio.” The political ties between England and the Low
Countries, based on mutual interests of a mercantile and religious
nature, were still further strengthened by dynastic alliances. In
Norfolk and Suffolk, the population was largely composed of natives or
descendants of natives of the Low Countries. Flemish and Dutch art and
manufactures, therefore, were extremely influential in forming what is
known as the Jacobean style.

This period covers, of course, a portion of the reigns of Louis XIII.
and Louis XIV.; and much of the furniture fashionable in France at this
period was imported into England; but with the exception of the
wealthiest homes sumptuous articles are not common. There is, indeed, a
massive set of superbly carved silver furniture at Knole, Sevenoaks,
Kent, but such luxury is rare.

Oak and walnut are the woods chiefly used at this period, but we also
find lime, cherry, and cypress (the latter especially for chests).
Sometimes, as even happened in Tudor days, the carving was gilded, and,
in many instances, we find the wood painted. Pear-wood stained black to
imitate ebony is also popular. Mahogany is almost unknown in these days;
but exotic woods are used in the construction of cabinets. Towards the
end of the Seventeenth Century a great deal of ebony was imported, and
even carved ebony furniture from India and Ceylon found its way into
many rich English homes. Shakespeare gives us a hint of the generous use
of rich articles from various parts of the world, showing what a
cosmopolitan atmosphere a Tudor home presented:

Gremio says:

                    “_My house within the city
             Is richly furnished with plate and gold;
             Basins, and ewers, to lave her dainty hands;
             My hangings all of Tyrian tapestry:
             In ivory coffers I have stuff’d my crowns;
             In cypress chests my arras counterpoints,
             Costly apparel, tents, and canopies,
             Fine linen, Turkey cushions boss’d with pearl,
             Valance of Venice gold in needlework,
             Pewter and brass, and all things that belong
             To house or housekeeping._”[1]

[Illustration: PLATE VI]

It is not unfitting that we should first recall a few of the
distinguishing features of Elizabethan ornament, so frequently met with
in the Jacobean home.

The carving was characterized by bold and deep cuttings, leaving the
design in high relief. The panels of the chests, cabinets, cupboards,
beds, etc., present a rich variety of subject. Figures taken from
Biblical or mythological lore, grotesque monsters, animals and floral
forms are met with; and of the latter we particularly find the rose,
vine, carnation, lily, marigold, sunflower and tulip predominating. A
typical floral panel is shown on Plate X., No. 7. Then we often see a
diaper pattern, and, occasionally, the “linen fold.”

The cornices of cabinets, bedsteads, etc., are often adorned with the
“egg and tongue” pattern; and the backs of settees, cornices of
overmantels, etc., are often enriched with rather grotesque dolphins,
placed back to back, forming a kind of scroll the outline of which is
shown on the table on Plate X., No. 2.

Another typical ornament is the swelling acorn-bulb. It appears on the
legs of tables, posts of bedsteads, and supports of cabinets, cupboards,
etc., as shown on Plate X., No. 2. A variety of this bulb occurs on
Plate XI., No. 1, showing the black ebony balls connected by plain
stretchers, or straining-rails. The bulb also appears, but somewhat
smaller and connected by straight stretchers, on the table on Plate V.
The baluster legs of the court cupboard on Plate X. exhibit another kind
of swelling leg. This leg becomes slenderer until it dwindles into the
type shown on Plate X., No. 1.

Other ornamental devices consist of interlaced bands, strapwork, shells,
lyres, bell-flowers, the acanthus, arch panels, branches and leaves in
large flowing designs, besides a great variety of mouldings, panels and
pierced scrolls. Turned work is rapidly superseding carving, which,
however, is never quite driven away.

The newest decoration is the “spindle” ornament which seems to have been
introduced from England from the Low Countries about the middle of the
Seventeenth Century. This was made of ebony, or of pear-wood stained
black, turned, of course, cut in half and applied. Eggs and lozenges
were likewise made, stained black and applied. These ornaments decorate
the cabinet on Plate X., No. 1, and the “spindle” is shown separately as
No. 4 on the same plate. The scroll is an excessively popular device: it
not only occurs upon mouldings and cornices, but it also decorates the
feet, frames of panels and straining-rails of chairs and settees.

[Illustration: PLATE VII]

During this period, the hall was the most important room in the house.
Guests were always received here, and here meals were generally served.
In the baronial homes, therefore, of past generations, the hall was used
as both drawing-room and dining-room. The table was set on a daïs, or
platform, and a screen cut off the entrance from the kitchen. At the
other end of the hall was the minstrels’ gallery. In the course of time,
a bay window was added at the dais end of the hall, which formed a
private retiring-place for conversation while the table was being
cleared. This paved the way for the small “privée parlour,” a little
room built at the end, or side of the hall. The next addition was the
“Great Chamber,” a larger room than the “parlour,” to which the lord of
the household often retired, leaving the hall to his retainers and to
such guests as were not of equal rank with himself. The “Great Chamber”
was used as a bedroom by night and as a living-room by day. Here, of
course, there was a sumptuous bed; and a bed with rich furniture also
stood frequently in both parlour and hall.

The general impression of a Jacobean hall is elegance,—an elegance not
merely derived from the dignified styles of the furniture contained in
it; but from the rich tapestries and hangings, the warm panels, the
comparatively low and beautifully ornamented ceiling, the stately
mantel-piece, the cosy bay window and the bright wood fire crackling
upon the great andirons.

Perhaps the first thing that attracts one’s attention is the lavish use
of the panel. The doors are panelled, as well as the ceilings and
wainscots,—a fashion very popular in the days of Elizabeth. In some
instances, the room is panelled from floor to ceiling, and in others
only the wainscot and doors are panelled, in which case the wall-space
above the wainscot is completely covered with tapestry. Tapestry is
often hung over the[2] panels also, as shown in our illustration (Plate
V.). English people had been fond of tapestry ever since the days King
Alfred, fully appreciating the beauty derived from

                      “_Hanging about the walls
                      Clothes of gold and halles
                      Arras[3] of rich arraye
                      Freshe as flowers in Maye._”

Tapestry, which had become something of a lost art during the Wars of
the Roses, had been again brought into favour by Henry VIII., and a
fresh interest is now given to it on account of the beautiful articles
that are being made at the Mortlake factory established by James I.

Another hanging, not quite banished as yet, was “painted cloth,” canvas
painted in tempera, or oil, with various devices, figures, mottoes,
proverbs and wise sayings. Falstaff’s comparison “Slaves as ragged as
Lazarus in the painted cloth,” shows us that Biblical subjects were
represented. The saucy Beatrice of _Much Ado about Nothing_ admits that
she took her witty answers from the painted cloth.[4]

[Illustration: PLATE VIII]

Hangings of embossed leather from Spain, with figures in gold, silver,
and various colours, were also used, especially in the adornment of the
small rooms. Another novelty at this period was chintz, figured or
flowered. In 1663, Pepys notes in his _Diary_: “Bought my wife a chint,
that is a painted Indian calico for to line her new study.”

The latter must have been a kind of boudoir, or, possibly, a library. In
some houses there was a special room set apart for books. These
“studies” had been popular in England long before the time of Mrs.
Pepys, since Leland describes one that was called “Paradise,” and which
might be imitated with advantage in modern homes, especially where there
is a restricted space for books. He writes:

“At Wressil Castle, Yorkshire, the seat of the Percies, there was one
thing I liked exceedingly in one of the towers; that was a study called
_Paradise_, wher was a closett in the middle of eight squares lattised
about; and at the top of every square was a deske ledged to fit bookes
on and cofers within them, and these seemed as joined hard to the top of
this closett; and yet by pulling, one or al would come down briste high
in rabattes, and serve for deskes to lay bookes on.”

In some houses, the ceiling is carved in elaborate fretwork, ornamented
with bosses and pendants,—a practice afterwards imitated in plaster.

The windows are furnished with small diamond, or square, panes, and
frequently in the centre of each window the armorial bearings of the
family are displayed, as shown in Plate V. Sometimes these are encircled
with floral, or other devices. The arms are also placed upon the
chimney-piece. In the bay windows we always find a low-cushioned seat
bountifully supplied with soft, movable cushions and pillows, covered
with rich silks of bright hues, and often beautifully embroidered.
Indeed the cushion[5] is one of the features of every room, being a
necessity as well as a decorative accessory to the heavy chairs of the

The floor, of polished oak or inlaid wood, is occasionally enriched with
a “foot carpet.” In many of the older houses, the floors are paved with
tiles of various colours, or laid with chequer-work.

The most important architectural feature of the room, however, is the
chimney-piece. The favourite Tudor chimney-piece and overmantel was a
mass of rich carving, consisting of arch panels, mouldings, scrolls,
coats-of-arms, flowers, vines, columns, and interlaced strapwork,
supported by beautiful, or grotesque, terminal figures. Simpler styles
are now being introduced in sympathy with the growing taste for Classic
severity. The fire-place still remains large enough to admit of big
logs, and the hearth is equipped with andirons, tongs, bellows, and
sometimes a fender,—all of great artistic beauty. Behind the flames,
there is usually an iron “chimney-back,” stamped with a decorative
device, or, occasionally, the arms of the owner.

[Illustration: PLATE IX]

The illumination is obtained by means of lamps, lanterns and
candlesticks. The latter are very ornate. Some of them are branched and
hang from the ceiling. Others have sconce-arms and are placed on the
walls. Tall standing candlesticks of metal are also used, and are moved
about the room at pleasure. The illumination is also helped by means of
small mirrors, with frames carved and gilt, or else made of ebony or

The furniture consists of one large table, several small round or oval
tables, side tables, chairs, settee, couch, stools, a “court,” or
“livery cupboard” (and sometimes both), a screen, cabinets, chests, and
coffers; while the decorations are pictures, antlers, armour, vases and
other ornaments of porcelain, gold, silver, or pewter, and table-clocks.

There has been much discussion regarding the “court cupboard” and the
“livery cupboard,” mentioned above, but it is now generally accepted
that the “court cupboard,” which may have derived its name from the
French word _court_ (short), to distinguish it from the high standing
cupboards, corresponded to the French _dressoir_, and was used for the
display and keeping of plate, glass, etc., etc. The “livery cupboard,”
on the other hand, still found in the farmers’ and labourers’ cottages
in England, where it is sometimes called the “bread-and-cheese
cupboard,” received its name from the French _livrer_ (to deliver) and
was used both for service and as a receptacle for broken victuals. The
difference between them is well defined in _Janua Linguarum_ (London,
1673), as follows: “Golden and gilded beakers, cruzes, great cups,
chrystal glasses, cans, tankards and two ear’d pots are brought forth
out of the cupboard and glass case; and being rins’d and rubb’d with a
pot-brush are set on the livery cupboard.”

The “court cupboard” corresponded, in a measure, to the modern
sideboard. It was a great feature at festivals and it rose in several
receding stages or shelves, upon which the plate was displayed. The
number of stages varied according to the rank of the master or mistress
of the house. In _Les Honneurs de la Cour_, we learn that two steps were
allowed to the wife of a baronet, three to a countess, four to a
princess, and five to a queen.

At Cardinal Wolsey’s entertainment to the French Ambassadors at Hampton
Court, Cavendish relates: “There was a cupboard for the time in length
of the breadth of the nether end of the same chamber, six desks high,
full of gilt plate, very sumptuous and of the newest fashions; and upon
the nethermost desk garnished all with plate of clean gold were two
great candlesticks of silver and gilt most curiously wrought.” When the
same Ambassadors were entertained by Henry VIII. at Greenwich, there was
a “cupborde seven stages high and thirteen feet long, set with standing
cuppes, bolles, flaggons and great pottles all of fine golde, some
garnished with one stone, and some with other stones and pearles.”

When Queen Elizabeth was entertained at Hatfield House (the present seat
of the Salisburies) in 1556, and there was a great and rich “maskinge in
the great halle at Hatfield,” at night “the cupboard in the halle was of
twelve stages, mainlie furnished with garnish of gold and silver vessels
and a banket of seventie dishes, and after a voide of spices and
suttleties, with thirtie spice plates, all at the charges of Sir Thomas

[Illustration: PLATE X]

A good example of a “court cupboard” with five degrees of stages
ornamented with plate is shown in a picture printed in _Laurea
Austriaca_ (Frankfort, 1627), representing an entertainment given by
King James I. of England to the Spanish Ambassadors during the
negotiations for the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the Infanta of
Spain. The stages rest upon a frame of turned baluster legs connected by
straining-rails. Below the first stage there is a drawer. The “carpets”
hang over the front of the cupboard instead of over the sides, as was
more usual. This picture would seem to prove that an ordinary side table
of the period might be converted into a court cupboard by simply placing
the requisite number of shelves above it. However, in the inventory of
Sir Thomas Kytson (1603) the following occurs: “At y^e Great Chamber
Dore one little joined boarde w^t a fast frame to it, to sett on
glassis. Itm, a thing like stayres to set plate on.”

In the early days, before the “livery cupboard” was brought from behind
the screen into the hall, the “court cupboard” was removed from the
lower end of the hall. The “livery cupboard” took its place. The “court
cupboard” was then placed on the daïs, at the “Lord’s borde end,” or in
a recess at the back of the high table. Sometimes it was placed in front
of the bay window at the end of the daïs, where it acted as a kind of

The “livery cupboard” was not only used for service, but for “liveries”
of food and drink, served at night and in between meals. Smaller livery
cupboards were sometimes found in the bedrooms, and these were usually
furnished with doors and locks. As food was kept in them, the panels are
frequently perforated for the sake of ventilation.

Occasionally, especially in later times, the uses of the “court” and
“livery” cupboards were combined. Between these pieces of furniture, one
difference long existed: a portion of the court cupboard was enclosed at
a very early period, while the livery cupboard remained with its open

If we may believe the old inventories, there were many varieties of the
cupboard, or many names for it. We find cupboard and chest-of-drawers,
great cupboard, table and cupboard, table-cupboard, livery cupboard,
side cupboard, press cupboard, sideboard cupboard, half-headed cupboard,
standing cupboard, “cort” cupboard, etc., etc.

[Illustration: PLATE XI]

Its use was universal, as it was an article of convenience, beauty and
ceremony. On Plate X. a characteristic specimen of a Seventeenth Century
“court cupboard” of oak is shown. This is preserved in the Vestry in
Jamston Church, Nottinghamshire. The lower part would resemble the
ordinary side table of the day, if the back supports were like the two
turned baluster legs in the front. The long drawer with carved panels is
appropriated for linen, or cutlery. The enclosed cupboard is cut in the
form of half a hexagon,—a favourite device of the period for cupboards,
and has three doors enriched with carved panels and mouldings. The top
slab or “cupboard head” is supported by spirally turned columns. The
proper way to adorn this piece of furniture is to place a cupboard
cloth, or “carpet” (of damask with fringed ends, or a strip of the same
material as the hangings of the room) upon the top, allowing the ends of
the scarf to fall over the sides (but not the front), and then to
arrange on it a few choice pieces of plate, or porcelain. It is
interesting to compare this example with No. 8 and No. 1 on the same
plate. No. 8 is a portion of a cupboard of later date. This has a
“double head,” and under the first stage the ornament is a pendant,
instead of a column or pillar. This stands on a ball foot, of an older
form than the foot of No. 1 or No. 3. This example, moreover, has its
lower portion enclosed with panelled doors. The earlier specimens of the
“court cupboard” are generally (and often richly) carved. Sometimes the
pillars have Ionic capitals, sometimes they are ornamented with the
swelling bulb or acorn enriched with the acanthus leaf, as exhibited in
No. 2, Plate X. The devices for the mouldings and panels open to the
carver were innumerable. Towards the close of our period, cupboards were
decorated with applied ornaments of ebony (or an imitation of it) in the
form of eggs, spindles and lozenges, as shown in the cabinet No. 1 on
Plate X.

The cabinet is a development of the enclosed cupboard. The
characteristic cabinet of James I.’s time is adorned with pillars, arch
panels and spindle ornaments. The specimen just referred to on Plate X.,
No. 1, has these decorations. It stands on a frame of six legs,—a frame
that was also used for the lower part of the high case-of-drawers that
was coming into fashion towards the end of our period.

The cabinet was always a handsome piece of furniture equipped with
shelves, drawers, compartments, and doors,—a repository for jewels,
documents and curios. It was sometimes defined as a set of boxes, or
drawers for curiosities, and from it the _cabinet-maker_, “one whose
business it is to make cabinets and the finer kind of joiner’s work,”
took his name.

The cabinet was known in England at an early date. In 1550, we read of a
“fayre large cabinett covered with crimson velvet with the King’s arms
crowned.” In the Seventeenth Century, the cabinet was panelled and
carved, adorned with turned pillars, pendants or swelling bulbs, or it
was of the newer style with applied ornaments and turned supports.
Frequently also an imported cabinet was to be seen in the English home
of this century,—a beautiful specimen of Dutch marquetry, of Italian
inlay, of Oriental lacquer, or, indeed, of Boulle work, to say nothing
of the splendid examples of Flemish carving.

Some of these cabinets were very ornate specimens of workmanship. Inlay
or marquetry was the leading feature of decoration for them. Natural
flowers, birds, animals and foliage in bright colours, or in the colours
of the exotic woods, undyed, were in use. Ivory and mother-of-pearl, as
well as shell were also employed. Even before the days of William and
Mary, when the Dutch marquetry became universally popular, there was
much inlaid furniture.

In 1697, John Evelyn notes:

“Emblema, continued to this day by the Italians in their Pietra
Comessa.... St. Lawrence at Florence, where the pavement and all the
walls are most richly encrusted with all sorts of precious marbles,
serpentine, porhirie, ophitis, achat, rants, coral, cornelian, lazuli,
etc., of which one may number thirty sorts, cut and laid into a _fonds_
or ground of black marble (as our cabinet-makers do their variegated
woods) in the shape of birds, flowers, landskips, grotesks, and other

The above reference shows that the English cabinet-makers were
accustomed to work in inlay.

One of the designs of marquetry that came into vogue in the Seventeenth
Century was the “herring-bone” pattern. A clock made by Daniel Quare
late in the Seventeenth Century, and preserved at Hampton Court Palace,
has its case inlaid with a border of herring-bone pattern.

The characteristic table of Jacobean days is the “drawing-table,” a
solid piece of furniture with massive legs, often carved, and connected
with rails near the floor. The top is a large slab of oak and beneath it
are two other slabs or leaves; when these are drawn out at each end, the
large slab falls into the space they occupied, and the table is thus

Another typical table, called either “round” or “oval,” is shown on
Plate XI. This is an eight-legged table provided with flaps, or falling
leaves, supported by legs that can be pulled forward. When not in use,
they fold into the frame. Sometimes this variety of table has six
instead of eight legs. A popular modern name for these is “the
gate-legged” and “the thousand-legged tables.” Frequently the legs were
turned spirally. There was another round, or oval table, whose falling
leaf was supported by a bracket, shaped something like the wing of a
butterfly, from which it has received the modern and popular name of
“butterfly table.” The square table was also in use. The table was
always covered with its “carpet”; indeed, in the inventories of the
period, the “table and carpet” are often mentioned together.

On Plate XI. are three specimen table legs. No. 1 shows legs that are
ornamented with a round globe, which like the round ball foot, is of
ebony or wood stained black in imitation. The stretchers and rest of the
frame are oak. Frequently the table leg was decorated with the carved
bulb or acorn, as is shown in No. 2, Plate X. A similar leg to No. 1,
Plate XI., occurs on the table in Plate V., but the stretchers here are
different. No. 2 and No. 3 on Plate XI. are good types of the
ornamentation of the period and their legs are also connected by
stretchers. The latter would be used as side-tables or placed in the
centre of a room.

The furniture of the parlour in the late Tudor period consisted of
high-backed carved chairs, joined stools with cushions covered with rich
material and fringed, foot-stools, turned chairs, “lyttle guilt chairs
for the women,” high folding screens with many leaves, long, square and
round tables with “carpets,” “conversation stools” with ornamented ends
and backs, chests, cabinets, coffers and all the ornaments of the
period. A wood fire gives warmth, and silver candelabra and sconces
light to the room, while further comfort is added by the tapestries,
curtains and innumerable cushions. Often, indeed, a bed occurs.

The Jacobean parlour differed but little; indeed, in some houses this
exact room survived; but the new styles were gradually driving out the
heavy chairs and cabinets for the lighter varieties with turned frames
and cane webbing or their upholstered backs and seats; and the old
carving was being rapidly supplanted by the newer decoration of the
black mouldings and applied ornaments. The high-backed and richly carved
settle had to give place to the “couch and squab,” a handsome specimen
of which appears on Plate VIII. This is also called a settee or a
“_chaise longue_.” Our particular example is composed of a walnut frame
covered with cane, upon which are placed a mattress or long cushion and
a round bolster, both of which are covered with green silk damask
bordered with a narrow fringe. The back, resembling the back of a chair,
is enclosed in an ornamental frame of scroll-work, somewhat similar to
that of No. 1 on the same plate, and turned side pillars. The top rail
is surmounted by a pedimental scroll with a crown in the middle. The six
legs have projecting knees and feet connected lengthwise by ornamental
rails upon which scrolls and crowns are carved. This piece of furniture
dates from 1660.

We have noted that the bed was generally met with in every room in the
house. There were, however, separate bedrooms even in the Tudor age.
Shakespeare’s description of Imogen’s apartment gives a very charming
picture of a rich sleeping-room of the time:

                                “_First her bed-chamber
      (Where I confess I slept not; but profess,
      Had that was well worth watching,) it was hang’d
      With tapestry of silk and silver; the story,
      Proud Cleopatra when she met her Roman,
      And Cnydus swell’d above the banks, or for
      The press of boats or pride; a piece of work
      So bravely done, so rich, that it did strive
      In workmanship, and value; which I wonder’d,
      Could be so rarely and exactly wrought,
      Since the true life on’t was...._

                                        _The chimney
      Is south the chamber; and the chimney-piece,
      Chaste Dian bathing: never saw I figures
      So likely to report themselves; the cutter
      Was as another Nature dumb; outwent her,
      Motion and breath left out...._

                                         _The roof o’ the chamber
      With golden cherubins is fretted: her andirons
      (I had forgot them) were two winking Cupids
      Of silver, each on one foot standing, nicely
      Depending on their brands._”[6]

It is interesting to compare the above with the room that was prepared
for the reception of James I. at Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent, which is still
intact. The walls are covered with tapestry depicting the story of
Nebuchadnezzar. The state bed, which cost £8,000, is richly ornamented
and has a canopy top, while its furniture is of gold and silver tissue,
lined with rose-coloured satin, and embroidered and fringed with gold
and silver. The chairs and stools in the room are covered to correspond
with the hangings and other furniture of the bed.

Another room in the same house, known as the “Venetian Bedroom,” because
the Venetian ambassador, Nicolo Molino, slept there, contains a fine
state bed, said to have been arranged for the entertainment of James II.
The canopy and headboard are carved and gilt and surmounted by the royal
arms. The hangings and other furniture are of green cut velvet lined
with lutestring,[7] and the chairs and stools in the room are similarly

Another room at Knole, known as the “Spangled Bedroom,” on account of
its ceiling, is hung with tapestry and contains a handsome bed which is
represented on Plate IX. The stools and chairs in this room are covered
with crimson silk embroidered in the same pattern as the bed-furniture.

The massive Elizabethan “four-posted” bed died hard. Although in many
homes the new styles were being introduced, the “beddes of tymbre” were
treasured and still formed objects of special bequests. Oliver
Cromwell’s bed, which is still in existence, is similar in general style
to the “Great Bed of Ware,”[8] which was so large that it could hold
twelve persons. In 1598, Paul Hentzer, visiting Windsor, notes the beds
belonging to princes of preceding reigns measured 11 feet square and
were covered with quilts shining with gold and silver.

The large Tudor bed was the richest piece of furniture. Apart from the
sheets of finest linen, the soft and handsome blankets, the counterpane
of marvellous needlework, the quilts of silk and rugs of fur, and the
curtains of tapestry, samite, silk or velvet, it was a mass of superb
carving luxuriantly expressed upon headboard, canopy, tester, columns,
and panels. The columns were often carved to represent the “four
gospellers,” or evangelists, and angels: which explain the old rhyme:

                    “_Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
                    Bless the bed that I sleep on;
                    Two angels at my head,
                    Two angels round my bed,
                    Two to watch, and two to pray,
                    And two to carry my soul away._”

One of the popular decorations of the columns was the acorn-shaped
central bulb on the posts, and the arch panel on the headboard. Even the
under side of the canopy is formed of carved panels. On either side of
the headboard, the terminal figures of men or women or angels were not
merely decorative, but formed supports for looping back the curtains.
Many of these carved oak bedsteads were imported from Flanders,
especially those whose testers are carved with designs suggested by
drapery or fringe. Under this great bed, which sometimes stood upon a
low platform, the “trundle” or “truckle” bed was rolled.

                 “_In the best bed the Squire must lie,
                 And John in truckle bed hard by._”

The bed shown on Plate IX. is of the new style which lingered with a few
changes far into the reign of Queen Anne. It is therefore a typical
Jacobean or Stuart bed. The proportion is entirely different to that of
the Tudor four-poster. The pillars, or supports, for the tester are
taller, and the whole framework is of lighter build. This interesting
specimen is still preserved at Knole, the home of the Sackvilles at
Sevenoaks, Kent. Its hangings, tester, valance and counterpane are of
crimson silk lined with satin and richly embroidered with gold and

No. 1 on the same Plate shows the bed with light, spiral column that was
also in use. The post is surmounted by an ornament, or knob, or bunch of
feathers which, in France are called “_pomme_.”

This is the kind of bed which appears on Plate III., No. 3.

It will be noticed that there is no carving on this bed which depends
for its elegance upon the richness of its furniture. At this period,
green, yellow and crimson were the favourite colours for draping the
bed. The materials chosen were silk damask, worsted damask, plain satin,
silk, or serge, according to the wealth of the owner; and when it is
remembered that the windows were hung with the same stuff, and the
chairs, stools, cushions, table-carpets and cupboard cloth and cushions
were of similar stuff, it will be admitted that a Jacobean bedroom is
lacking neither in beauty nor richness.

The rich materials mentioned above were often embroidered in gold or
silver as is the case in bed shown on Plate IX.

Striped silk was another favourite for the hangings of the bedroom. As a
rule, when worsted materials were used, the curtains of both bed and
windows were lined with silk. There was a great variety of silks, known
variously as lutestring, paduasoy, tabby, taffetas, sarcenet, chaney,
cheney or China, etc.; while the woollen goods included serge, darnick
or dorneck, perpetuana, mohair, camoca or camak, camlet, say, serge,
rateen, watchet, fustian, damask, and kitterminster or kidderminster,
some of which were mixed with camel’s hair or threads of silk. There
were also dimity, flowered chintz, and callimanco (a glazed linen), as
well as Turkey-work and “wrought” (which, of course, was needlework).
East India goods, such as printed calico and seersucker, were also used
at the end of the period. White curtains for the bed are rarely

The modern upholsterer will have no difficulty in finding suitable and
equivalent materials for furnishing a Jacobean bed and bedroom.

The valance hanging from the tester, as shown on Plate IX., is adorned
with fringe, as is also the stool that stands at the foot of the bed.

Beside the bed, there was always laid a narrow strip of carpet, or
tapestry, or rug, always referred to as a “bedside carpet.”[9]

In the bedroom, we always find a large “trussing chest,” used as a
receptacle for the bed clothes, and there may be another chest for the
preservation of wearing apparel. The latter is more likely to be a
chest-with-drawers, consisting of the chest proper, below which are two
long drawers, appearing to the eye as four on account of the panels,
mouldings and knobs. On lifting up the top, a deep well is revealed, at
the side of which there is a “till,” or compartment, for small articles,
trinkets, etc.

At first, the chest was decorated with carved panels and mouldings, and
was usually rendered secure with a lock and great iron hinges that were
extremely decorative. The date and the initials of the owner were carved
upon it, as well as a fanciful motto or legend. At a later period, the
chest was placed on a frame of short square legs. The next development
was the addition of a long drawer below the chest. Another drawer was
added, and another, until this piece of furniture gradually became,
instead of a simple box or trunk, a “chest-of-drawers,” a
“chest-with-drawers,” a “nest-of-drawers,” a “case-of-drawers,” a
“press,” a “cupboard-press,” etc., etc. The bureau, or desk, or
“screetore,” is another development; and, of course, the cabinet in its
simplest form is nothing but a chest-of-drawers with shelves inside shut
in by doors.

This development will be apparent by glancing at the chest-of-drawers,
or case-of-drawers, on Plate X. This contains but four drawers, although
at first sight it would seem that there were eight. The panels of these
drawers are edged with a flat bevelled moulding stained black, and
within that is a sunk panel, in the centre of which is the brass
handle-plate. A moulding incised with cuts edges the top slab. The
chest-of-drawers stands on four turned knobs or balls. A specimen handle
and key-plate of the period appropriate for chest, chest-of-drawers, or
cabinet are No. 5 and No. 6 on Plate X. The case-of-drawers is also
found in the bedroom, where the other furniture includes a
dressing-table and glass, tables, chairs and stools, very often a
cupboard, sometimes a desk or “screetore,” and always plenty of

The “drawing-table,” of course, has no place in the bedroom; such a one
as that shown on Plate XI., with either a square or round top is the
most usual. Its “carpet” matches the hangings of the room. The cupboard,
chairs, stools, and couch and desk do not differ from those already
described. The dressing-table is merely a simple table covered with
drapery, and upon it or above it stands or hangs a mirror, the frame of
which in general design is like the one shown on Plate XI. In very rich
homes, this is of solid silver, but more frequently it is carved and
gilt, or made of olive-wood, or ebony. Sometimes it has merely a square
and unornamented frame, and again the frame may be inlaid.

Turning now to the chairs, we find the heavy wooden chairs, such as are
shown on Plate VII., Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4, and No. 2 on Plate VIII., are
giving place to newer forms. One of the most typical is the “low
leather” chair, which we have already spoken of in the preceding
chapter. This was generally covered with leather put on with large brass
nails, and was sometimes also decorated with fringe. Genoa velvet, silk,
serge, needlework, etc., were also used for covering this form of chair.
A square straining-rail usually connects the legs close to the floor. It
was popularly known as “the Cromwell,” and is shown on Plate V. and in
the Frontispiece. Two good variants occur on Plate I., No. 3, and lower
right-hand corner. Another typical chair, which is also reminiscent of
Abraham Bosse, appears on Plate VII. This shape is frequently met with
in the pictures of the old Dutch masters.

This particular specimen, which is preserved at Knole Park, is covered
with rose-coloured velvet, divided into squares by means of a braid of
mixed gold and silk threads, and adorned with a fringe of the same. The
nails that fasten the material are copper-gilt, and a large quatrefoil
ornament marks the intersection of the legs. The oval finials on the
back are also decorated with copper-gilt nails. The woodwork is painted
with red lacquer ornamented with a floral design in gold.

All the styles shown on Plate I. are also known in England. A very
characteristic chair is the “high backed” chair, known also to France
and Flanders. It is very slender and upright. Examples are shown on
Plates V. and VIII. The side-posts are either spiral, as in Plate V., or
spindle, as shown in No. 1 and No. 6 on Plate VIII. The back panel and
seat are of cane webbing, or stuffed and upholstered. The frame of the
panel may be rounded as in No. 6 on Plate VIII., or square as No. 1 on
the same plate. The top is usually carved in some kind of scroll-work.
Sometimes the cane-webbing is framed with a simple moulding, as shown in
No. 6. Plate VIII. and again it may have an ornate combination of
scrolls and leaves, as shown in No. 1 on the same Plate. Stretchers
render the legs firm. Sometimes there are two spiral front rails as
shown on Plate V., but more frequently the rail is an elaborate
arrangement of scrolls, as shown on the chair in the upper left hand
corner on Plate VII. or on No. 4 and No. 5 on Plate VIII. The feet are
often made of a large and somewhat clumsy scroll turned outward, as
shown on No. 5, Plate VIII. Another variety occurs on the arm-chair
above. Another species of foot is moulded into a kind of embryonic claw,
known as “the Spanish foot.” The arm-chair on Plate VIII. is one of the
richest productions of the age. It is elaborately carved and gilt. The
border or frame surrounding the panel of the back is beautifully carved
with the strawberry leaf, and Cupids and other figures enrich the top.
The side supports of the back are spirally turned, ending in a
decorative acorn (which is repeated in detail on No. 3). The seat and
back are upholstered in red velvet. This valuable relic dates from 1660.

A simpler chair, also dating from 1660, occurs on Plate VII. This is of
walnut. The side-supports are continuations of the back legs, the front
legs curve outward, and the front rail is a series of scrolls. The back
is surmounted by a carved and pierced pediment. The stuffed seat and
back are covered with needlework on canvas.

Other typical seats of the day are shown on Plate VI., a settee or
double chair, and stool, the frames of which are painted black. The back
of the settee is very high with a curved or wavy top. The arms curve
downward with a bold sweep. The four short legs, curving outwards, with
projecting knees and feet, are connected by heavy straining-rails formed
of heavy scrolls. Both settee and stool are upholstered in rich Mortlake
tapestry of the age, representing sprays of flowers.


Footnote 1:

  _Taming of the Shrew_, Act II., Scene 1.

Footnote 2:

  “The usual manner,” says Percy in his preface to the Northumberland
  Household Book, “of hanging the rooms in the old castles, was only to
  cover the naked stone walls with tapestry or arras, hung upon tenter
  hooks from which they were easily taken down upon every removal.”
  Afterwards it seems to have been hung on projecting frames leaving a
  space between it and the wall, affording a convenient hiding-place. It
  will be remembered that Hamlet killed Polonius behind the arras, where
  the latter had concealed himself.

Footnote 3:

  So called from the town of that name in Flanders.

Footnote 4:

          “_Read what is written in the painted cloth
            Do no man wron; be good unto the poor
          Beware the mouse, the maggot and the moth
            And ever have an eye unto the door._”

                                              (Old Tract, 1601).

Footnote 5:

  The cushion was in favour at an early date; it is mentioned in _Sir
  Gawain and the Green Knight_, “Whyssynes upon quelde-poyntes” (1340
  c); in the Will of Edward the Black Prince in Nichol’s _Royal Wills_,
  “74 curtyns quissyns” (1361); Chaucer’s _Troylus_, “And down she sett
  here by hym upon a quysshon gold y-bete” (1229); _Isumbras_, “Bryn a
  chayere an a qwyschene” (1400); Wyclif, “Seetis of skynnes ethir
  cuyschuns” (1388) Wyclif, _Ezek iii_, “Woo to hem that sewen tegider
  cusshens” (1382); Mallory, “And there was laid a cusshyn of gold that
  he should knele upon” (1470–85); and Berners, _Arth. Lyt. Bryt._,
  “They set them down on cosshyns of sylke” (1530).

Footnote 6:

  _Cymbeline_, Act II. Scene IV.

Footnote 7:

  A heavy ribbed silk.

Footnote 8:

  “Taunt him with the license of ink; if thou _thou’st_ him some thrice,
  it shall not be amiss; and as many lies as will lie in thy sheet of
  paper, although the sheet were big enough for the bed of Ware in
  England, set ’em down.”—_Twelfth Night_, Act III, Scene II.

Footnote 9:

  This name occurs as early as 1301.

                           LOUIS XIV. PERIOD

[Illustration: PLATE XII]


                           LOUIS XIV. PERIOD

The culminating period of the long reign of Louis XIV. (1643–1715) was
reached at the Treaty of Nimeguen in 1678. From this time forward,
France not only dominated Europe by force of arms, but also by her taste
and achievements in art. Paris set the fashions for the whole Continent
and for the Court of Charles II. across the Channel.

The “_Roi magnifique_,” now able to indulge every fancy and whim, makes
the Palace of Versailles the symbol of the time. Although the architect
Mansart began the improvements there in 1661, it was not until 1682 that
the residence of the Court was fixed at Versailles. Then it became the
expression of pomp, pleasure and magnificence. Magnificent Versailles,
with its water-works, its statues, its groves, its gardens, its
galleries, its pictures and its furnishings, cost the King a fortune.
The furniture alone, not including either pictures or tapestries,
amounted to 13,000,000 livres.

Anxious to exhibit a magnificence unknown since the days of Rome and
Byzantium, the “Sun King” conceived the idea of entrusting the designing
and manufacture of carpets, tapestries, furniture, plate, etc., etc., to
artists of the first rank. His first plan was to gather around him a
number of talented men, to each of whom he granted apartments in the
Louvre; but he found that it would be well to subject all the various
individual works to one guiding spirit and thus to create harmony.
Therefore, in 1667, he established the “_Manufacture des Gobelins_,”
with the painter, Le Brun, at its head. This manufactory of the crown
became not only famous for the superb tapestry that bears its name, but
for cabinet work (_ébénisterie_), goldsmith work (_orfèvrerie_), etc.,
etc., and was the special pride of Louis XIV., who, according to a

                    “_Ne passe guère de semaine
                    Où toute sa cour il n’y mène._”

Among the famous artists and workers employed at the Gobelins, were the
_ébéniste_ André Charles Boulle, the goldsmiths Claude Ballin and
Delaunay, the painters and decorators Jean Bérain and Jean Lepautre, and
the engravers La Barre, Viaucourt, Debonnaire, and Guillaume and
Alexandre Loir. Nor must Colbert be forgotten, the great minister of
finance who aided the King in founding this important establishment. Le
Brun dominated all productions with his taste, which was that of Louis
himself,—magnificent, splendid, heroic and pompous. Here were produced
not only the furnishings for the homes of the wealthy, but those superb
gifts that Louis lavished upon the ambassadors from foreign courts.

Massive silver[10] furniture, which seems to have originated in Spain,
and to have crossed the Pyrenees with Anne of Austria, the daughter of
Philip III., became extremely popular at court and with those of Louis’s
courtiers who could afford such a luxury. When Charles II. ascended the
English throne, and brought with him from France all the styles of Louis
XIV., silver furniture was introduced into the country, some of which is
still preserved.

Doubtless the richness and beauty of these rare articles developed the
taste for carved and gilded wood. Its use was not confined to the
wealthy; in comparatively modest dwellings and hôtels the frames of the
seats, mirrors, tables, consoles, etc., were carved elaborately and
gilded. It is probably owing to this dazzling and glittering effect of
gilded wood that has caused critics to refer to the preceding style of
Louis XIII. as “sombre.” The luxury and splendours of the court
penetrated to the middle classes, who adopted all the styles of the day.
It was not long before great changes in interior decorations were
sufficiently apparent to attract the notice of contemporary writers. La
Bruyère speaks of the preceding reign when copper and pewter had not
been supplanted by silver. The enormous and monumental chimney-piece
which reached to the cornice, a typical example of which is shown in the
frontispiece, was banished for the “_petite cheminée_,” or little
chimney-piece. Mirrors now made at the Gobelin manufactory became far
more common, having been brought within the reach of many who could not
afford the hitherto unrivalled glasses made in Venice. The flags and
tiles were now superseded by floors of inlaid woods, or parquetry, and
the tapestries and embossed leather that adorned the walls in the
preceding period were gradually succeeded by painted and gilt panels.
There was a tendency everywhere for lighter hues. This taste had already
reached high expression in the Marquise de Rambouillet, who astonished
everyone with her “Blue Parlour,” which was decorated and draped in the
colour of the sky.

It must not be imagined, however, that tapestry was rejected. The
magnificent productions of the Gobelins reproducing in their bold
colours the pictures of Le Brun, Van der Meulen, and others, made superb
wall-decorations for the homes of the wealthy; and those who did not
care for the hunting-scenes, war-scenes, mythological subjects, or
allegories, could select Bérain’s fine “arabesques.” We notice, however,
some new colours that were extremely popular. These were particularly
the yellowish pink hue of dawn, called aurora, flame-colour,
flesh-colour, and amaranth, a purplish red such as occurs in the common
flowers, Love-lies-bleeding and Prince’s Feather. These colours occur
chiefly in the sumptuous brocades and damasks from Lyons, Genoa and
Flanders that were used to line the walls, for covering the seats, and
draping the great beds.

[Illustration: PLATE XIII]

The influence of Le Brun cannot be over-estimated. All the industries of
the day that had any connection with art passed into his control. For at
least twenty-five years, he regulated all the types and models, and was
the arbiter and judge of the productions. He furnished designs for
painters, sculptors, cabinet-makers, weavers, etc., etc. Let us in
confirmation of this turn to the _Mercure de France_ for 1692; “Although
I have mentioned,” says the writer, “many works, I have forgotten to
speak of those large and superb cabinets that they make at the Gobelins
from his designs and under his guidance; it would seem that all the arts
have contributed something to them. Finally, M. Le Brun is so universal
that all the arts work under him, and he even goes so far as to make
designs for the locksmith. I have seen very cultivated strangers gazing
at the locks and bolts of the doors and windows at Versailles and the
Galerie d’Apollon at the Louvre as if they were _chefs-d’œuvre_, from
whose beauty they could not tear themselves away.”

Colbert’s industrial system was founded upon the idea of useful luxury.
Everything in common use had to be beautiful, and the result was that,
although the taste was aristocratic, the result upon France was
democratic. Silk and velvet, tapestry and rugs, vases of porphyry and
porcelain, candelabra and andirons, clocks and articles of silver, rich
cabinets and _armoires_, in fact, all kinds of useful and ornamental
articles were soon to be found in middle-class houses as well as in the
homes of the wealthy. A great progress was noted in the art of the dyer;
the tapestries became brighter, with the famous Gobelin scarlet, Lyons
black, Rouen blue, Tours green, the Nîmes yellow, etc.

To appreciate the general luxury of the day, let us recall the
magnificent entertainment that Fouquet gave to Louis XIV. at the Castle
of Vaux, when “he went so far as to cause to be placed in the room of
each courtier of the King’s retinue a purse filled with gold to supply
at the play those who had not enough, or none at all;” and the still
more remarkable lottery that Cardinal Mazarin held in his palace in 1660
(the year before his death), for the benefit of the courtiers. The
prizes given on this occasion consisted of precious stones, jewels,
textiles, mirrors, tables, cabinets, and other furniture, crystal
candelabra, silverware, gloves, ribbons and fans, valued altogether at
half a million.

Again, when Louis received the Siamese Ambassador, he was seated on a
throne of silver, and his costume was so heavy with gold and jewels that
he was soon forced to remove it.

It was an age of jewels. Travellers brought home from the East many
precious stones, particularly diamonds; Tavernier, for instance, made
six voyages to India and Persia, and brought diamonds to the King.
Chardin, merchant to the King, publishes his voyage to Persia. This
contact with the East touches popular fancy, and the Persian, the Turk
and the Hindu appear in court-ballets, and their art often inspires the
art of the day, as may be noted in some of the arabesques of Jean

The general impression of the Louis XIV. style is that of imposing
majesty,—a style that is more appropriate to ceremonial rooms than to
familiar living. It is an age of carved and gilded furniture; the period
indeed has been called “the triumph of gilded wood.” The carving,
however, is entrusted to sculptors who seem to find inspiration in the
work of the goldsmiths, for the complicated ornamentation that appears
on the frames of chairs sofas, consoles, tables, etc., etc., suggests
the chiselling of metal. Dead gold and burnished gold are both used, and
the profusion of scrolls, leafy boughs, guilloches, heavy foliage,
lozenge-shaped imbrications embossed with flowers in high relief, shells
and flowers in high relief, arranged as festoons, garlands, bouquets,
and sheaves, not to speak of the acanthus, the mascaron and the
cartouche, produce an appearance of luxury and brilliancy that was
unknown until the days of Louis XIV.

In the reign of Louis XIV., it was generally understood that every piece
of decorative work should consist of a combination of the straight line
and the curve. A series of bars interlaced, or ending with scrolls, is a
distinguishing characteristic of this period. This combination is found
not only in the forms of the furniture, but in the inlays of wood and
brass and upon the walls of rooms, both painted and carved.

A feeling of stoutness and width characterizes the mouldings, the
hollows of which never refuse to admit light, and these architectural
mouldings are usually rich in classic ornaments (palm-leaves, ovolos,
etc.). Sometimes the mouldings are replaced by a torus enriched with
imbricated laurel-leaves.

The bases and supports of the furniture rest broadly and firmly on the
ground. There are broad surfaces and few projections of detailed
ornamentation that would cast shadows; the colours are bold and
brilliant, the cornices resemble Roman capitals, the straining-rails
are, as a rule, heavy and rectangular in section, and, with the
exception of _armoires_ and beds, the furniture is not high above the
floor. Tables are supported by pilasters, or massive columns.

The characteristic ornamentation of the first period of the Louis XIV.
style, which was dominated by Lepautre, is Roman or heroic. The motives
are, for the most part, such as would appeal to a warrior or hero. We
find trophies of antiquity where the cuirass, surmounted by a helmet, is
accompanied by swords, and even by the lictor’s fasces, and sometimes
they are heaped up in a mass, suggesting the spoils of war,—such as
cuirasses, casques with plumes, shields, fasces, laurel wreaths and
clubs. The winged Victory is also omnipresent, and Victories blowing
trumpets are used. We also find allegorical figures, mythological
divinities, river-gods resting on their urns, great cornucopias much
heavier and with wider openings than those of Louis XIII., and heavy
garlands, or swags, of fruits and leaves, having much longer and fuller
leaves than the Louis XIII. style, and these trails of foliage
frequently display a wealth of ample scrolls. The acanthus leaf, which
is so popular, becomes very broad, even bloated, and all the other
leaves in use are now strong and powerful. The mascaron, typical
examples of which are seen on Plate XIV., Nos. 1, 2, and 3, the
_fleur-de-lis_, the double L (the King’s cypher) represented on Plate
XVI., Nos. 2 and 4, complete, with the cartouche, the characteristic
ornamentation. Upon the latter are displayed the coats-of-arms, the
_fleur-de-lis_ and the double L, as represented on the plate just
referred to. The cartouche has a strongly rounded and projecting field,
and its form is either circular or oval,—a real ellipse (quite different
from the egg-shaped oval of Louis XVI.). There is another peculiar
decoration, consisting of a strange combination of the scroll and shell;
the anthemion,[11] treated as a shell (see Plate XV., central ornament
on No. 2) and the scroll mingled with the foliage of the acanthus.

The second period of the _style Louis Quatorze_ is especially
characterized by Bérain, and is nothing more than an attenuated Louis
XIV., which forms a quite natural transition to the style of the

The swelling curves and the heavy masses of decoration gradually become
finer, more delicate and more refined, until at length they merge into
the succeeding period.

Another characteristic taste of the day was for the Chinese style. One
of the Trianon palaces exhibited in high degree this taste for _la
chinoiserie_ in decoration. It was called the _palais de porcelaine_.
Four of its small pavilions were ornamented with plaques of _faïence_ in
imitation of porcelain. The interior was painted also in porcelain. The
walls were covered with mirrors and the furniture was extremely
sumptuous. The flowers and shrubs were planted in handsome porcelain

One of the distinctive styles of furniture at this period is that made
by André Charles Boulle (also written Boule and Bühl). He was the son of
Jean and the nephew of Pierre Boulle, both of whom were “_menuisiers du
roi_” and lived in the Louvre. Our Boulle, born in 1642, also lived in
the Louvre from 1672 until his death in 1732, and when Louis XIV.
established his manufactory at the Gobelins he was made “_ébéniste,
ciseleur, et marqueteur ordinaire du Roi_.”

Boulle’s furniture is exclusively _de luxe_, or _apparat_, and only
harmonizes with rich surroundings. It consists almost exclusively of
consoles, _armoires_, commodes, cabinets, tables, desks and clock
cases,—forms that present large surfaces for the decoration that he
carried to such perfection. His designs are very heavy. Occasionally
they take the curved, or _bombé_ forms. This swelling curve is
especially found in the _commodes tombeaux_ (tomb-commodes) and
_commodes à panse_ (paunch chests).

Boulle’s furniture was an excuse for decoration, which was carried so
far that even the joinings of the panels were lost beneath the clever
designs of foliage, flower, or scroll. Many pieces still exist that were
merely intended for show (_apparat_). Yet nothing could be richer than
Boulle’s work, with its marquetry of exotic woods, its incrustations of
tortoise-shell, its threads of copper or pewter beautifully engraved,
its scarlet lines and its splendid gilt mascarons, handles, and
bas-reliefs that form a sort of frame for the beautiful marquetry-work.
Particularly handsome are the console-tables, upon whose marble slabs
should stand rich vases of goldsmith work, jasper or porphyry, perhaps,
with gilt mouldings and garlands; and, when these are reflected back by
numerous mirrors, the effect is dazzling.

“No one would refuse to admit,” says Havard, “that the architecture is
the least remarkable part of the creations of this celebrated artist.
His great merit independently of the perfection of the work of his
_ébénisterie_, must be sought elsewhere. Boulle is a colourist in his
art more than a designer. The contours of his furniture are often heavy,
and he added nothing new. You may find all the elements in the immense
work of Le Brun, the great master of decorative art under Louis XIV. The
superiority and the originality of this cabinet-maker consists in the
admirable combination of the bronze and the copper with the background
of the furniture which he understood how to vary infinitely by the
multiplicity of incrustations and mosaics upon the groundwork of oak and
chestnut. This was his palette, from which he drew his surprising
effects and on which he played with his consummate virtuosity; it is to
this that he owes his legitimate renown, greater even in England that it
is in France.”

Boulle’s furniture is now highly prized by collectors and brings
enormous prices. In 1882, two large _armoires_ by Boulle from the Duke
of Hamilton’s collection fetched £12,075 at Christie’s in London. In the
famous Jones collection at South Kensington there is an _armoire_
specially noted for its beautiful decoration. Mr. Jones bought it from a
house in Carlton Terrace, London, for a small sum many years ago, and it
is now valued at £10,000. It is supposed to have been designed by Bérain
and made by Boulle for Louis XIV.

In looking over the French inventories of Louis XIV.’s time, we
frequently come across the description of a bed that belongs to an
earlier period. It is not surprising that these old beds, with their
magnificent hangings that are sometimes described as much faded, or as
lacking some of their decorations, should have been valued and
bequeathed from generation to generation. In some of the castles,
therefore, the beds were historic. Sometimes they had special names by
which they were known. For instance, among the valuable beds owned by
the Crown was a bed mi-party of embroidered violet velvet and cloth of
gold that was known as “_lit d’Angleterre_,” because the arms of England
were embroidered in the centre of the headboard with the device “_Honi
soit qui mal y pense_.” Another bed was anciently called the “_lit des
satyres_,” because upon its draperies were depicted Diana and her nymphs
and satyrs. Another was known as the “_lit de Melusine_,” because that
serpent-princess was represented on the headboard as bathing in a
fountain. Such beds, belonging to a former age, were frequently to be
met with in luxurious and ancient dwellings; yet we cannot associate
them with the days of Louis XIV. Nor was the _lit en housse_ abandoned.
It is indeed quite frequently found. Even as late as 1708, M. de Leger’s
chamber contains a _lit en housse_ (3½ feet wide and 6 feet long) of
violet and white damask trimmed with a mixed silk fringe. The four
folding-stools in this room were covered with the same. On Plate XV.
(No. 1) a transitional bed is shown; this forms a link between the _lit
en housse_ of the Louis XIII. period and the _lit d’ange_ of the Louis
XIV. period. The latter, also represented on Plate XV., is the
characteristic bed of this age, and is the model to be kept in view when
reading the descriptions of the beds in the following pages, and the
model that should be imitated when arranging a bedroom of this period.

[Illustration: PLATE XIV]

The position of the bed is always “_vu de pied_,”—standing out in the

According to the _Dictionnaire de Trévoux_, a _lit d’ange_ was a bed
without pillars or posts, and whose curtains were looped back. To add to
this, other authorities say that the _ciel_, or canopy, while being the
same width as the bed, must not be as long. If it covers the entire bed,
then it is a _lit à la duchesse_, and if it lacks a carved or decorative
cornice, then it becomes simply a _lit à pavillon_. Finally, according
to Havard, the true difference between a _lit d’ange_ and a “_lit vu de
pieds_” of to-day is not to be determined by the dimensions of the
canopy, nor by the arrangement of the curtains or lambrequins, which are
the same, but that the foot of the bed is not simply covered by a long
_courtepointe_, or counterpane, but should have the squares of drapery
(_cantonnières_), hanging from the mattress repeating the form and
trimmings of the upper valance and rest of the bed furniture.

An early _lit d’ange_ recorded occurs in Cardinal Mazarin’s inventory,
dated 1653, and is described as a _lit d’ange_ of China gauze on a
background of flame-coloured silk, with flowers and syrens in gold. The
counterpane and six curtains were of this rich material adorned with
gold fringe. The _lit d’ange_ continued in fashion for about a hundred
years. It became as popular as the _lit en housse_ had been; and, if we
may believe _Des mots à la mode_, one of the merits of a courtier in
1692 was to “_juger en dernier ressort du grand art de retrousser les
rideaux d’un lit d’ange_.”

The _lit d’ange_ was sometimes as high as 12 feet; but it was generally
11 feet high, 6 feet wide, and nearly 7 feet long. Single beds were
about 6 feet long, 6 feet high, and 3 feet wide. They were evidently
comfortable, as the average number of mattresses was three, besides a
feather-bed, and the bolster was frequently of down. Pillows never seem
to have been used on the bed at all. For instance, the furnishings of
Madame de Maintenon’s bed were: two woollen mattresses covered with
fustian, one feather-bed, one hair-bolster; and, in addition to the
sheets, she had a red blanket, a Marseilles quilt, and a wadded white
satin quilt, the reverse being of white taffeta. Over the white
Marseilles quilt, the crimson damask counterpane was smoothly drawn, and
the valance neatly adjusted. Mademoiselle d’Aumale’s bed had three
mattresses and a feather-bed and a feather-bolster. She had two white
woollen blankets and a white Marseilles quilt.

The various pieces of the bed were valances (upper and lower),
_cantonnières_ (for definition, see note on page 85), straight curtains
called _bonnes grâces_, outside curtains, headboard, canopy, posts, and
_pommes_, or knobs. The four-post bedstead has nearly become extinct,
and now the beds have but two posts only at the head. These are almost
invariably covered with a kind of sheath, or case, made of brocade,
silk, or velvet, matching, or contrasting with, the curtains. Taffeta is
a favourite material for lining the curtains, and almost every bed is
decorated with some kind of braid and fringe, usually gold, or gold and
silver mixed. In addition to the beds described in the preceding pages,
we may note here other typical beds that would serve as suggestions for
the designer of to-day. One is a bed of reddish brown velvet,
embroidered with gold, and trimmed with a gold braid and fringe; the
valances, headboard, posts, and canopy were of this material, while the
three curtains were of a gold, silver, and violet brocade lined with red
taffeta. Another was of green and white muslin, trimmed with a woollen
braid and fringe of green and white; a third, is a pavilion bed of red
and white muslin, trimmed with red and white fringe; and a fourth, a
“_lit en dome_” of striped gauze, the stripes being gold, silver, and
flame-colour. The ornamental fringe was a narrow one of gold and silver.
The draperies were arranged in seven festoons. The counterpane was also
of this striped gauze.

Returning to the _lit d’ange_, one owned by the King himself is of
extraordinary elaborateness, being entirely embroidered on a gold
background, with flowers, quivers, cartouches with the arms and cypher
of the King, and, moreover, ornamented with gold lace. On the ceiling,
there was painted a little picture representing Night; and on the centre
of the counterpane, a picture representing Sleep. A heavy gold cord,
tied in knots and decorated with tassels, looped back the curtains. The
wood at the foot was visible. It was carved in the form of two pillars
at the foot representing children on eagles, each carrying on his head a
perfume-vase. This frame and all the rest of the visible wood was
gilded. The detail (No. 2) on Plate XV. represents the base of a less
ornate bed and one of a later period than this of the King. Here there
is a feeling that anticipates the coming period of the Regency, although
the cloven foot, or hind’s foot has long been familiar, and is of
frequent occurrence in Boulle’s work. The mascaron, too, above the foot,
is not new, nor is the shell, or anthemion ornament, in the centre. The
general effect of the curve is what announces the coming style.

Two beds belonging to Louis XIV. were described in 1718 after his death,
and as having been made especially for him. One was _à la duchesse_
(_demi ciel_), and the other was _à l’Impériale_ (the dome surmounted by
a crown). The latter must have been very handsome, as it was of yellow
damask, embroidered in silver, the design being foliage, leaves,
berries, and seeds. The whole bed was finished with a fringe of amaranth
chenille. What a charming combination! yellow and silver with a touch of
reddish purple!

In addition to the beds already mentioned the _banc à lit_ sometimes

There were two in Madame de Maintenon’s apartments: one was 5 feet, 10
inches long, and 2 feet, 2 inches wide. This was covered with moquette
and furnished with two bolsters and a pavilion of red serge. The other
was 3½ feet long and 2½ feet wide. It had a cover of crimson damask and
was surmounted by a pavilion of red serge.

In nearly every room of the period, a _lit de repos_ is found. Two
varieties of this piece of furniture are shown on Plate VIII. and on
Plate XIII., one having but one back and the other, two. It was always
richly upholstered and furnished with a round bolster at each end and
sometimes with two square cushions as well. Although frequently called
_chaise longue_, this couch is more generally known in France at this
period as _lit de repos_. Toward the end of the reign of Louis XIV. it
was placed in the niche, lengthwise of course. Its covering always
agreed with the rest of the furnishings of the room; but sometimes we
come across one described by itself; as for example, one in 1671 that
had a double back, that is to say, a back at each end, like the one from
the Château de Chenonceau on Plate XIII. This was furnished with two
round bolsters, two square pillows and two mattresses, all upholstered
in a silk brocade of violet, aurora and white, trimmed with a braid of
the same colours and a fringe of gold, silver and silk. The wood of the
frame was carved and painted violet and white and gold. The slip cover
for this beautiful couch was of changeable taffeta, of the hue known as
_gorge de pigeon_.

We may note here that all the sofas, chairs and folding-seats, as well
as couches, had separate _housses_ or slip covers that were made as a
rule of taffeta. They were used to protect the furniture.

The seats of the period consisted of _fauteuils_, or arm-chairs, chairs
with backs, folding-stools, _tabourets_, and the sofa, or _canapé_. It
is not necessary to describe the court etiquette regarding the
ceremonial use of the seats: the details regarding the _tabouret_ would
fill a chapter. The _fauteuil_ and the _canapé_ were reserved for the
highest in rank; the characteristic _fauteuil_ on Plate XIII. consisting
of a stuffed seat, a square back, scroll arms partly upholstered, term
legs and heavy straining-rails. Modifications of the frame of this chair
appear in No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 on the same plate. The _canapé_ on
Plate XIV. is of the same general form. The frames of the seats,
particularly those destined for ball-rooms and other extremely luxurious
apartments, were carved and gilt; but many were painted in hues that
harmonized with the hangings of the rooms, and picked out with gold,
silver, white, or any other required thread of colour. They were always
richly upholstered in velvet, damask, brocade or tapestry, as is shown
on Plates XIII. and XIV. The materials were fastened to the seats by
means of gold or silver-headed nails, as shown in No. 2 and No. 3 on
Plate XIII.; and often, too, the nails were above fringe, as shown in
the arm-chair on Plate XIII. Sometimes a braid or lace was used to hide
the ordinary nails, and sometimes, again, a small lambrequin, or valance
surrounded the frame of the seat, nearly reaching to the floor (see
Plate XXI., No. 3). The splendid list of chairs at the Château de
Turenne in 1700 gives a very excellent idea of the chairs of the day.
They include: _fauteuils_ of crimson velvet trimmed with gold braid and
gold fringe; of cloth-of-gold; of violet velvet and of green velvet;
many folding-stools; chairs covered with serge, violet cloth, moquette,
yellow moquette, black leather, yellow leather, cloth-of-gold with
designs of crimson velvet, and chairs painted green and yellow and
upholstered in green. We also learn of six folding-stools covered with
white satin, embroidered with Chinese figures and trimmed with gold
fringe; three _fauteuils_ and three cushions of Flanders
brocatelle,—red, aurora and white; twenty-four folding-stools and twelve
square cushions of blue velvet embroidered with gold and silver, and two
_fauteuils_, six folding-seats, two square pillows and _tabouret_ of
flesh-coloured and silver brocade.

The fringes used for the chairs, stools and beds were very elaborate,
and there was an extremely large number of them, in knots, twists,
tassels, tufts, headed by plaited and twisted braids of many kinds and
known under many names. So many specimens of these have been preserved
that one cannot go astray in upholstering any article in the Louis XIV.

Towards the close of this period, a new _fauteuil_ makes its appearance.
Its back is arched and slightly curved, and its feet end in a carved
leaf. This is one of the first indications of the coming style of Louis
XV. This is also felt in the curving chair-back that appears on Plate
XIII. (No. 4) and on Plate XVIII. (No. 5).

The legs and feet of the chairs are usually cut in the tapering form
with four faces, and ornamented with marquetry, paint or gilding. Many
of them have straining-rails that intersect in the form of an X, as is
shown on Plate XIII.; and these usually carry at their point of
intersection a little ornament such as a steeple, or a rose. Some of
them have a carved front rail, and others have a wooden moulding below
the seat instead of a fringe. The arms nearly always end in the scrolled
acanthus, and some of them are padded. Plate XIII. gives several

A piece of furniture that dates from this reign was the Commode, a kind
of desk or _bureau_, containing drawers for the preservation of linen,
or clothing or small articles. Its top slab is usually of marble. The
_Dictionnaire de Trévoux_ says, in 1771, the name was given to it on
account of its great commodity. It seems to have been always a very
handsome article. Although Littré speaks of it, in 1760, as a “newly
invented piece of furniture,” the _Inventaire du Garde Meuble of
Versailles_, in 1700, shows us that the Duc d’Orléans had a “_bureau de
commode_” of walnut. This was 3 feet, 5 inches long and 25 inches wide.
It contained two drawers with iron rings. Among the _Meubles de la
Couronne_, Versailles (1720–1730), there were two “_commodes de
marqueterie_,” of many-coloured flowers on a background of ebony. Upon
the top, the ornament was a vase of flowers standing on the end of a
column with festoons of flowers, birds, butterflies and two grotesque
masques. Six _fleurs-de-lis_ ornamented the corners and the centre of
the sides. In front were three large drawers, and the locks and rings
were of gilt bronze. These commodes were 4 feet, 2 inches long, 2 feet,
7 inches wide and 2 feet, 8 inches high. Another “commode” is described
as veneered with _palissandre_ (violet-wood) with a marble slab. This
was _bombé_ in front and contained three drawers, the locks, handles and
other ornaments of gilt bronze. Its dimensions were 31 inches high; 3
feet, 8 inches long; and 24 inches wide.

[Illustration: PLATE XV]

Bérain and Lepautre designed many commodes of excessive richness, which
even the magnificent examples of Boulle, one of which is given on Plate
XIV., did not surpass.

The Duchess of Orleans owned a walnut commode 3 feet, 7 inches long, and
2 feet wide, containing three drawers with iron rings. The Duke had a
_bureau en commode_, 3 feet, 5 inches long, and 25 inches wide,
containing two large drawers with iron rings.

Madame de Gaudry (1708) had an oak bureau containing three drawers with
iron rings. It was 3 feet, 4 inches long, and 2 feet, 1 inch wide. It
was covered with a leather carpet lined with green serge. She also had a
pine bureau containing two large drawers with copper rings. This
measured 3 feet, 3 inches by 26 inches. A red leather carpet lined with
red serge covered it.

Madame de Maintenon owned a veneered walnut bureau inlaid with threads
of ebony. It had seven drawers on each side with copper gilt key-plates.
This piece was 5 feet long and 2½ feet wide, supported by eight small
columns. It was covered with a carpet of red velvet bordered with a
narrow gold braid.

The Duchess of Orleans had a walnut table in the form of a bureau with
two large drawers. It was 3 feet, 4 inches long and 25 inches wide.
There were two covers for it: one of red leather and the other of red
damask and gold _moiré_. Both covers were trimmed with gold braid and
gold fringe.

The dressing-table as a separate piece of furniture seems to have been
unknown. All the contemporary illustrations of ladies at their toilettes
show them seated before a rather low table which is covered with a
cloth, sweeping the floor, over which is spread another cloth probably
of linen or leather. Upon it stand a small mirror and all the vases,
pots, cushions, and small articles for paint, patches and perfumes.
Sometimes the dressing-table was arranged like the one on Plate XXIII.,
No. 1, or again a commode, or table with drawers, was placed under a
mirror, as shown in No. 3 and Nos. 5 and 8, also on Plate XXIII.

The handsomest tables of the day were of marquetry, ornamented with
mascarons, or of carved and gilded wood. Many of them have the hind’s
foot, or the term leg, and are connected with straining-rails. However,
tables were also made of violet-wood, walnut, pine, cherry, or other
woods, with simple turned feet. These were always covered with a carpet,
or cloth, that matched the hangings of the room. The card-tables were
sometimes three-cornered and sometimes cut into five faces. The
_guéridon_, the shape of which was a stem, bearing a small round top and
ending in three feet, was often used for cards. Typical tables are shown
on Plates XIII and XVI.

Madame de Maintenon’s tables included two tables of violet wood each 2
feet, 8 inches long, by 2 feet wide. Their covers were black velvet
trimmed with gold braid. She also had a little table of cherry, 2 feet,
3 inches long, and 17½ inches wide, with a drawer and compartments. It
was inlaid with ebony in a design of lozenges and foliage and stood on
four term-shaped pillars. The Duke of Orleans had a walnut table inlaid
with ebony. It stood on four twisted legs and contained a drawer. The
dimensions were 2 feet, 11 inches long, by 23 inches wide.

The console is somewhat squarer than that of the former period, and
stands frequently with its back against a pier glass. The slab is of
marble and sometimes of rich mosaic. The hind’s feet here give place to
the termed legs, which are joined by straining-rails. Some of them have
eight feet, that is to say, four double feet.

Another form of the console is shown on Plate XVI., No. 1, the leg of
which appears also on Plate XVI. as No. 4. This is decorated with the
ram’s head, heavy swags of flowers, the cartouche with the double L and
the woman’s head. The curved scroll under the slab proclaims the advent
of the new style.

Cabinets, desks and _armoires_ were sumptuous. A typical marquetry desk,
3 feet, 10 inches long, and 2 feet, 4 inches wide, inlaid with many
coloured woods on a background of ebony, contained seven drawers and a
door on which a _fleur-de-lis_ was represented. The drawers were
furnished with gilt bronze key-plates. On the top of the desk, the
design was a vase of flowers, foliage, birds and butterflies, all
surrounded by a border of marquetry between two bands of violet wood and
threads of white. Each desk stood on eight termed pillars with capitals
and feet of gilt wood.

A marquetry cabinet inlaid with bright flowers on ebony and ornamented
with bands of violet-wood and white was composed of two sections, each
having three doors with gilt copper locks.

The Duchess of Orleans owned a cabinet of marquetry in two parts,
containing three wings and three drawers of marquetry of copper and
pewter on ebony, enriched with columns, pilasters, squares, bands and
pyramids of lapis; in the centre of each of the three wings were masques
of men and women in copper-gilt carrying on their heads baskets of
flowers and fruits, also copper-gilt. The feet were four consoles; on
the two central ones were two children of gilded wood, and on the
straining-rail a little child holding a blue shield in a cartouche of
gilded wood. The dimensions of the whole were 5 feet, 4 inches long, 18
inches deep, and 4 feet, 3 inches high.

The favourite clock is Boulle’s. It stands on the mantel-piece, or upon
a pedestal, or term. The tall clock in the long pedestal-shaped box was
also in use.

Some of the frames of the clocks follow the designs shown on Plate
XVII., Nos. 2 and 3.

The pedestal that Boulle makes for his clocks have almost an
architectural form; they are like a kind of small pavilion, at the top
of which is the dial. The legs are most frequently formed by a scroll of
foliage terminating in a clawed paw. The subject on top is usually Time
with his scythe, or some mythological symbol.

On Plate XVI., No. 3, is shown a portion of a _console d’applique_ of
carved wood painted in gray _céladon_, dating from the end of the Louis
XIV. period, the two scroll feet joined by a stretcher, the side
supports swelling into the bust and head, the front curved rail having
in the centre a cartouche with a woman’s head enclosed with the skeleton
C (a broken scroll freely used later), and the acanthus. The head at the
side supports is adorned with plumes and flowers.

The screen is met with in nearly every room. Sometimes it consists of
several leaves, and again it is in the form shown on Plate XVII.
Sometimes the tapestry, or the leather, or damask, or whatever material
is used for the covering, is garnished with gold braid and fringe, or it
is tacked to the frame by means of gold nails, as shown in the above

The mirror is far more generally used than in the former reign. It is
seen in every home and in every room. Its frame is carved and gilded and
in a variety of designs. A characteristic example is shown on Plate

We may know what furniture was considered necessary for a room by the
following information from inventories between 1675 and 1700: One set of
furniture consisted of a bed, four _fauteuils_, twenty-eight
folding-stools, a screen and a table-carpet of embroidery on a gold
background depicting the history of Moses.

Another set consisted of a bed, three _fauteuils_, eight folding-stools,
two table-carpets, two cushions, a screen, a daïs and wall-hangings. The
material for these decorations was velvet branches of bright amaranth on
a silver background, combined with another material of cloth-of-silver
with little flowers of amaranth. The bed, which was 6½ feet long and 7½
feet high, comprised three valances, four curtains, four
_cantonnières_[12] and three lower valances, all of the velvet; while
the three outside valances, the sheaths for the two bed-posts, and the
_couverture de parade_, and the linings of the curtains, were of the
cloth of silver with amaranth flowers. The whole bed was trimmed with
gold and silver braid, and on the top of the canopy were four _pommes_
with bunches of mixed feathers, probably white and amaranth.

Another set of furniture was of red satin and white taffeta in squares,
and ornamented with gold braid and gold fringe. The pieces comprised a
bed, three _fauteuils_, twelve folding-stools, a table-carpet, a screen
and a square cushion. The bed was 7 feet high and 6 feet wide; its three
valances, four _cantonnières_ and three lower valances were of the red
and white taffeta embroidered with gold, while its four curtains,
head-board, interior hangings and two posts were covered with gold

We also learn of a set comprising a bed, three _fauteuils_, six chairs
with backs, twelve folding-stools, a daïs and a _chaise de commodité_ of
blue velvet, ornamented with gold and silver braid and fringe.

Another set was of white damask trimmed with fringes of gold, silver and
green silk; another was of white damask and gold; and another set
consisting of a bed, eleven folding-seats and four _fauteuils_, was of
Spanish leather, cut out, embroidered and edged with black, and laid on
blue damask. The carpet for the table and the two square cushions were
of the same.

In many rooms of the day, the alcove occurs. It was introduced from
Spain, and took its name from the Spanish alcoba and the Arabic _Al
Koba_, the tent, or the place where one sleeps, or rests. It was made
fashionable by its appearance in the Hôtel de Rambouillet, and, of
course, the home of every _Précieuse_ had to have one. Fouquet had rooms
with alcoves at his Château de Vaux and when “_La grande Mademoiselle_”
took refuge at her Château de Saint-Fargeau, during the troubles of La
Fronde, she at once conformed to the taste of the day. “On the very day”
(of her arrival) she writes: “I wished to change the chimney-pieces and
doors and to make an alcove.”

The alcove became so fashionable that it soon supplanted the _ruelle_;
and the “_coureurs de ruelles_” were known thenceforward as “_coquets

But what they called alcove in the Seventeenth was not what they called
alcove in the Eighteenth Century. At first, it was a part of the room
set apart from the rest by a railing or some columns of architectural
pretensions. In 1684, in the _État du mobilier de la couronne_ there is
mentioned an alcove balustrade of chiselled silver of fabulous price.

The alcove was in reality a little room within a large room and here the
bed and chairs for guests were placed.

Typical and luxurious alcoves are shown in the designs by Marot and

Fouquet had an alcove hung with crimson satin enriched with gold
embroidery. At President Tubeuf’s the hangings of the alcove were
ornamented with bands of black velvet alternating with bands of English
tapestry. Molière’s was hung with red taffeta garnished with fringe and
tassels of aurora silk.

Madame de Maintenon’s apartments at Versailles, in 1708, consisted of
the first antechamber, the second antechamber, the chamber, the
“_garde-robe_” behind the bed, the “_grand cabinet_ upon the arcade,”
and “_garde-robe en suite_.”

The walls of the first antechamber were hung with red damask of small
pattern trimmed with Venetian brocatelle of white background ornamented
with red and green branches and flowers of various colours. These same
materials filled the space over the chimney-piece. Twelve chairs with
backs of turned walnut wood were covered with tapestry on which birds
figured. The couch was covered with the same material and was furnished
with a pavilion of red serge. A small table was covered by a green cloth
trimmed with green silk fringe. The window curtain was white cotton.

The second antechamber was hung with crimson damask, ornamented with
gold braid and gold fringe. The _portières_ of the same, and lined with
red taffeta, were 2½ ells long, and comprised four lengths each. The
seats were six _fauteuils_, six large folding-stools and two small
folding-stools. The frames were painted red picked out with gold. The
two little stools were upholstered in red velvet garnished with gold and
silver fringe. The other seats were covered with red damask, ornamented
with gold fringe. The couch in this room was covered with crimson
damask, trimmed with gold braid and fringe, and overhung by a pavilion
of red serge. A pine desk was covered with a piece of red damask,
trimmed with gold braid and fringe. The one window curtain consisted of
four lengths of red taffeta (3 ells long), bordered with a narrow gold

[Illustration: PLATE XVI]

The chamber was hung with twenty-five lengths of gold and green damask,
and twenty-four lengths of crimson damask of a large pattern (the length
being 2½ ells). These hangings were trimmed all around and on the seams
with gold braid. The bed was composed of three outside valances, two
_bonnes grâces_, two _cantonnières_, three valances on the frame of the
bed, three valances on the _courtepointe_, and four _pommes_. All the
interior hangings were gold and green, and all the outside ones were of
crimson damask. The _courtepointe_ was crimson damask. These draperies
were ornamented with a wide gold braid and gold fringe. The _pommes_
supported four bunches of white feathers with aigrettes. The three
window curtains, each 11 feet long, contained three lengths each of
crimson taffeta, trimmed with gold fringe. There were other hangings in
this room: two _portières_, two alcove curtains, and the interior
draperies of the niche. The _portières_ were made of two lengths of gold
and green damask and one of red damask, trimmed with gold braid. One was
lined with red taffeta, the other with green taffeta. The two alcove
curtains[13] were 3¼ ells long, each one being made of two lengths of
gold and green damask, and two lengths of crimson damask. This large
room contained three _fauteuils_, twelve folding-stools, four lounges, a
_lit de repos_, a _chaise d’affaires_ of crimson velvet, two tables, two
little marquetry desks, a screen, a writing-table, mirror and
chandelier. The seats were all covered with red damask, bordered by a
band of gold and green damask, and finished with a narrow gold braid and
fringe. The _lit de repos_, 6 feet long by 2 feet, 4 inches wide, was
covered with the same damasks as well as its four pillows. The latter
were finished with gold braid, fringe, and tassels at each corner.
Another _lit de repos_ stood in the niche. The tables 4 feet long by 4
feet, 4 inches wide, were of pine with walnut feet. Their covers were
made of the two damasks already described (mi-party), the top being of
red velvet. These cloths were nailed to the table, and trailed on the
floor. They were ornamented with gold braid and fringe. The screen
consisted of five leaves 3½ feet high. Three of its leaves were of gold
and green damask, and two of red damask. Gold braid brightened it. The
writing-table was of violet-wood, 4 feet, 8 inches long by 20 inches
wide. Over it was a green velvet cover, edged with gold. The little
desks of _marqueterie d’étain_ were probably Boulle’s. They were 2 feet
9½ inches long, and 1 foot 9 inches wide. Each one contained four
drawers and a door in the front, behind which were three interior
drawers, and stood upon eight termed pillars of marquetry the capitals
and bases of which were of silvered wood. The feet were pineapples
silvered. These were covered with a carpet of green taffetas, lined with

The niche[14] was of oak 5 feet, 10 inches long by 2 feet, 10 inches
wide and 8½ feet high. It was hung inside with four lengths of red
damask and three lengths of the gold and green damask already described,
the seams being covered with narrow gold braid. The outside was hung
with three lengths of gold and green damask and two lengths of red
damask, the seams hidden by gold braid.

The _lit de repos_ placed lengthwise in the niche was 5½ feet long and
2½ feet wide, therefore nearly filling up the niche. It was covered with
a square of green taffeta, to which were attached three valances of gold
and green damask ornamented with gold braid and fringe. The two pillows
and bolsters were covered with the same damask, ornamented with gold
braid, fringe and tassels. A coverlet, crimson satin on one side and
green satin on the other, was invitingly ready for the lounger.

The _Garde-robe_ behind the bed was hung with crimson damask of a small
pattern, trimmed with gold braid. The _portière_ was of the same. Here
stood a _tabouret_ covered with red velvet ornamented with gold and
silver fringe.

The hangings of the Grand Cabinet on the Arcade consisted of thirty-one
lengths of gold brocade with flowers in gold thread, and thirty-one
lengths of red damask of small design. The length was 2¼ ells. This was
also used to decorate the space over the chimney. The frames of the
seats were painted red picked out with gold. These comprised a
_fauteuil_ and eight _tabourets_ covered with crimson velvet ornamented
with gold braid and fringe, two small and twelve large folding-stools
covered with crimson damask. In this room stood also a large sofa with
two backs of gilded wood, known in that day as _canapé à cremaillères_
(sofa with adjustable back). It was furnished with a mattress, covered
on both sides with crimson velvet ornamented with gold braid, and
valances of red velvet ornamented with gold braid and fringe. Its two
round bolsters and two square pillows were similarly covered and
decorated with gold tassels. The dimensions of this species of _lit de
repos_ were 7 feet, 2 inches long and 2½ feet wide. The window curtains
were of red taffeta. Red taffeta was also used to line a handsome
_armoire_ here (7 feet, 9 inches high, 5 feet wide, and 3 feet, 2 inches
deep) in which there were two shelves also draped with the said taffeta.
The top of the _armoire_ and the spaces over the doors were also covered
with crimson taffeta. The two mirrors and the chandelier were supplied
with cords and tassels of gold. In this sumptuous room were three superb
pieces of marquetry—two desks and a cabinet—a walnut _bureau_, and about
ten tables, most of which were card tables of various kinds; and one, a
little walnut table used for meals in bed.

The _Garde-robe en suite_ had a window curtain of white cotton and a
small curtain of white taffeta. It contained a small upholstered bed,
with a pavilion of red serge. The two small folding-seats, the frames of
which were painted red picked out with gold, were covered with red
velvet trimmed with a narrow gold braid.

[Illustration: PLATE XVII]

Mademoiselle d’Aumale’s chamber at Versailles (1708) contained both a
bed and a _lit de repos_, besides two _fauteuils_, five folding-seats, a
small chair, a screen, two tables, the lower part of an _armoire_ and a
_bureau_. The bed 6 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 6 feet, 3 inches high,
was hung with crimson and white damask of small pattern, and trimmed
with a braid and fringe of red, white, and black silk. One _fauteuil_
and the five folding-stools, the frames of which were painted red picked
out with white, were covered with the same crimson and white damask, and
the same fringe as the bed. The same fringe decorated a small chair with
a back that was covered with red damask. The other _fauteuil_ was
covered with red linen. Its frame was painted green picked out with
gold. The _lit de repos_ was upholstered in crimson damask; two of its
pillows were of the same, and two of red velvet, trimmed with gold
braid. The window curtains were of white damask, trimmed with a braid
and fringe of gold and silver. The screen, 3 feet 2 inches high, was of
four leaves, and was covered with red velvet, trimmed with gold and
silver braid. One of the tables, 3 feet, 3 inches long by 2 feet wide,
was of beech, and was covered with a carpet of red London serge falling
to the floor on all sides, the other was a walnut table, 25 inches by 18
inches, with a folding leg. The lower part of the _armoire_ was also
covered with a cloth of red London serge. The bureau was of marquetry of
cherry-wood, inlaid with green ebony in foliage design. It had
compartments, four drawers, and a door, and stood on eight legs of
term-shaped pillars of the same marquetry, the bases and capitals being
of gilded wood. This piece of furniture was 2 feet 9 inches long, and 1
foot 9 inches wide.

The cabinet of Madame la Maréchale de Rochefort (1708) contained a _lit
de repos_, a _fauteuil_, four chairs with backs, two _banquettes_, and a
table. The lounge with its two round bolsters and two square pillows,
and the chairs were covered with aurora-coloured and blue damask,
trimmed with gold and silver braid, the wood painted red picked out with
aurora. The window curtains, each containing six lengths (2⅓ ells each)
were of white damask, trimmed with a braid of gold and silver, and there
were also two small curtains of white taffetas, and a _portière_ of
Venetian brocatelle of blue background with flowers of aurora, white,
and black, lined with aurora-coloured serge. The table, 2 feet 7 inches
long by 23 inches wide, was of violet wood, inlaid with ebony and white
wood. It contained a drawer, and was supported on four termed pillars
with gilt bases and capitals.

The chamber of Mlle. Gaudry (1708) had in it a bed, a _fauteuil de
commodité_, five folding-seats, and two _bureaux_. The bed, composed of
three outside hangings, three large curtains, two _bonnes grâces_,
valances, and pommes, was draped in crimson Lyons damask, trimmed with a
braid of aurora-coloured silk. The seats were upholstered in red velvet,
trimmed with red and aurora-coloured silk. One of the _bureaux_ was
covered with a carpet of red leather, lined with red serge; the leather
carpet of the other was lined with green serge.

The apartments of the Duke of Orleans at Versailles in 1708 consisted of
an antechamber, a chamber, a cabinet and a _garde-robe_ beside the

The antechamber was hung with gold leather on a red background, the
designs representing branches and masques of gold, and children and
birds in natural hues. An eight-leaved screen, seven feet high, a form
covered with red moquette and the lower part of an _armoire_ furnished
this room.

The chamber contained a bed, four _fauteuils_, three chairs with backs,
six folding-stools, two screens, a table, a _bureau en commode_, two
_guéridons_, a _fauteuil de commodité_ and six _tabourets_. The
window-curtains were of white damask, trimmed with gold fringe, but the
room was hung with red velvet of a design of small branches, trimmed
with gold braid. The _portières_, lined with taffeta, were also of this
material. The outside draperies of the bed, which was 6½ feet long, 6
feet, 3 inches wide and 10 feet, 10 inches high, were of the same red
velvet, trimmed with gold braid and fringe, but the inside curtains,
headboard, etc., were of gold watered silk. In the centre of the
headboard was a cypher and a _fleur-de-lis_. The canopy was decorated
with four red velvet _pommes_, upon each of which was a bunch of white
feathers. The frames of all the seats were painted red picked out with
gold. One of the screens had a gilded frame and was covered with red
velvet; the other, covered with red damask with a design of crowns and
gold and silver flowers, ornamented with gold braid and a double fringe
of gold and silver, was supported by a stem of gilded wood on three
console feet. The _bureau en commode_ was of walnut, as was also the
small table. The latter was inlaid with ebony, contained a drawer and
stood on four twisted columns. This had two table carpets, one of red
velvet, lined with taffeta and trimmed with gold braid and gold fringe
trailing over the floor; the other, of leather, lined with serge and
trimmed with gold braid. The _bureau en commode_ had two large drawers
with iron rings. The two tables were of black Chinese lacquer ornamented
with gold. They were each 3 feet, 5 inches high, the leg of each resting
on three women’s heads of gilt bronze. The _fauteuil de commodité_ was
of crimson damask, trimmed with gold and silver fringe, and its frame
painted red picked out with gold. The wood of the six _tabourets_ was
also red picked out with gold, the legs being term-shaped. These were
covered with red damask, having a design of crowns and gold and silver

The cabinet contained a _lit de repos_, four _fauteuils_ and four
folding-stools, all upholstered in red velvet ornamented with gold braid
and gold fringe. The window curtains were of white damask, trimmed with
gold fringe. In this room were also two _bureaux_ of marquetry, and a
small walnut table, 27 inches long by 17 wide, standing on four turned
pillars. The cover for this was green serge bordered with an
aurora-coloured braid.

Having seen the apartments of the Duke of Orleans at Versailles, let us
look at those of the Duchess there in the same year (1708). The
antechamber was rich with a “set of tapestry hangings,”—gilt leather on
a white background; and here were also represented festoons of fruits
and garlands of flowers in red, green and gold. It was, moreover,
enriched with figures of Bacchus, women, children, harpies and gold

The entire room was hung with this (18⅓ ells being required to cover the
walls, and 3½ ells were required for the space above the mantel). The
furniture included an eight-leaved screen 7 feet high, two forms covered
with red flowered moquette, a folding-stool with painted red frame and
covered with red linen, and a couch.

The chamber was furnished with a bed, four _fauteuils_, four chairs with
backs, six folding-seats, twelve _tabourets_, a bureau-table, two tables
and a screen. The bed was superb. It was 6 feet wide, 6 feet, 9 inches
long and 11 feet high. It was mi-party (i. e., divided half and half),
of red damask and gold _moiré_, lined with white _moiré_ and trimmed on
the seams and all around the base and top of both valances and curtains
with gold braid and gold fringe. The three outside top valances, three
lower valances, two _bonnes grâces_, two _cantonnières_ and four
curtains were of the red and gold _moiré_; the headboard, four interior
valances, _courtepointe_ and sheaths of the bed-posts were of silver
_moiré_; the four _pommes_ of red damask and gold _moiré_ carried
bunches of white feathers with aigrettes. The _fauteuils_, chairs and
folding-seats were of gilded wood, covered with gold _moiré_, trimmed
with a band of crimson damask, edged with gold braid and gold fringe.
The frames of the _tabourets_ were painted red; the covers were red
velvet, trimmed with red silk braid. There were two covers for the
walnut bureau-table: one of red damask and gold _moiré_, trimmed with
gold braid and fringe; the other of red leather, lined with taffeta and
trimmed with a gold braid and gold fringe. The frame of the screen was
gilded wood. It was covered with red damask, ornamented with narrow gold
braid. The windows were draped in white damask, trimmed with gold
fringe. Each curtain was 4⅓ ells long and contained six lengths of
material. The cord for the chandelier was of gold and silver and red

The _cabine_, or little chamber, had similar curtains at the windows.
Four _fauteuils_, four chairs with backs and ten folding-stools were
covered with green velvet, trimmed with gold braid and fringe, the
frames being painted green, picked out with gold. There was also a small
folding-stool, the frame of which was painted red, and the seat of red
velvet trimmed with gold and silver fringe. In this room stood a walnut
commode, a card-table and a large marquetry cabinet.

The prevalence of the fashionable hue of aurora is to be noted at Val.
The Salon was hung in Venetian brocatelle, aurora-coloured background
with trailing branches of blue. The space over the chimney-piece was
also adorned with this rich textile, although the spaces over the four
doors were covered with aurora taffeta. The nine _tabourets_ in this
room were upholstered with the rich Venetian brocatelle and trimmed with
a silk fringe of aurora and blue. The frames were painted blue picked
out with gold. The stools had also coverings of aurora taffeta.

The King’s Chamber was furnished in aurora and white damask, containing
the bed and customary seats. The _portières_ were lined with aurora
taffeta and trimmed with a braid and fringe of gold and silver.

The King’s Cabinet contained a _lit de repos_, six folding-stools, and
two square pillows. These were covered to match the draperies in a rich
damask of aurora-coloured flowers on a blue background. The _lit de
repos_ was somewhat unusual, as over it hung a kind of pavilion. The
mattresses, bolsters and pillows were upholstered with the damask just
described, but the pavilion was hung with a striped material of aurora,
white, blue and black arranged in three little curtains looped over a
large curtain which fell to the floor, but which was looped back. The
drapery was trimmed with a braid and fringe of gold and silver.

The Passage was draped in a blue silk damask with white woollen flowers
trimmed with a blue silk Flanders brocatelle with aurora and white

In the Guard-room, the hangings were of red Flanders brocatelle with
woollen flowers of aurora and white, the borders of the hangings being
green brocaded with branches of aurora and white. There were six forms
in this room, covered with moquette of various colours edged with braid
and fastened to the frames with gold-headed nails.

The Square room was draped in green Genoa damask, which was also used
for the _portières_, lined with green taffeta, and the twelve tabourets.
The frames of the latter were painted green picked out with gold.

In the Oval room, the hangings were of Venetian brocatelle with aurora
background upon which large green bunches were outlined with white.
There were four lounges in this room and eight oval tabourets. The
frames of the latter were painted green picked out with gold. They were
trimmed with gold fringe.

The Round room was adorned with a similar brocatelle, but the branches
on the aurora-coloured background were red outlined in white. The four
lounges here were 4½ feet long, and their frames were painted red picked
out with gold.

The Octagon room was hung in crimson damask from Genoa. The seats were
eight octagonal tabourets, painted red picked out with gold, and covered
with crimson damask nailed to the wood.

In 1675, a little cabinet at Val was furnished with a _lit de repos_
with one back, two chairs, two _fauteuils_ and two _tabourets_. These
were all covered to match the hangings with a brocade of gold and silver
on a green satin background and trimmed with gold and silver fringe.
There was a curtain of green taffeta and a curtain of white taffeta, and
there were slip covers of green taffeta for all the seats. The entire
furnishings were given by the King to Madame la Princesse de Conty.

The Salon (Plate XII.) is of fine proportions and gives an idea of the
rich frame required for the kind of furniture we have been describing.
The doors with two wings are of great importance. Their panels may be
decorated with carved motives, or cartouches. The ornaments may be
painted, if preferred. The chimney-piece is rarely of white marble: red
marble, green marble and _breccia_ were the kinds most frequently
employed in Louis XIV.’s time. The slabs of the tables and consoles
should be of the same, unless they are of mosaic. Upon the
chimney-piece, a Boulle clock, or one with a carved and gilded, or
bronze frame, may stand. The candelabra, on either side, containing
several arms, are carved and gilt. Andirons in the form of chimæra
complete the furnishings of the chimney-piece, where a wood fire should

_Torchères_ should also be placed in the corners of the room, whose
branching arms help to illuminate and decorate the room. The chandelier,
in the centre of the room, is crystal and gilt bronze. The walls are
arranged in panels for the reception of tapestry, or hangings of some
rich nature. The mouldings surrounding the materials are often carved
and covered with dull, or burnished gold. The hangings are frequently
pictures of tapestry, as shown in Plate XII., or they are of damask,
brocade, velvet, or silk. The wall space below the hangings should be
wainscotted; it must never, however, attract attention.

Over the chimney-piece a mirror is placed; and directly opposite is
another mirror of similar frame. Beneath the latter, a console may

The floor is of parquetry, and in winter is covered with a large Persian
or Smyrna rug, or it may have a velvet Aubusson or Savonnerie rug of
sober colour, so as not to detract from the hangings.

The ceiling is usually made into _caissons_, or compartments, painted to
harmonize with the draperies. Sometimes, however, these are painted
white and gold, a deep oak, aurora, or a lilac grey. The window curtains
match the hangings; sometimes they are of tapestry, sometimes of
brocade, or damask, or silk, and beneath these heavy curtains white
curtains of muslin or silk are hung. In the evening, the heavy curtains
are always drawn. They are rarely suspended below a cornice. Sometimes
the silk or brocade curtains are trimmed with braid and fringe, and
sometimes with a wide border of silk or velvet forming a kind of frame
all around the hanging. If _portières_ are used they are usually like
the rest of the draperies. If lambrequins are used, they are cut and
arranged in the shapes shown on Plate XIX, No. 1 and No. 4.


Footnote 10:

  Metal furniture, however, was known to the ancients. To quote a single
  example, in the palace of King Ahasuerus, “the beds were of gold and
  silver upon a pavement of red and blue and white and black marble.”
  The Assyrian furniture was of gold, silver, and bronze, and splendid
  furniture of gold, silver, and bronze, likewise adorned the Egyptian
  and Roman palaces and villas. The _Romans d’aventure_ of the Middle
  Ages contain descriptions of such rich furniture, inspired by Oriental

Footnote 11:

  In the anthemion, the springing point is the base, and the units
  arrange themselves on either side of a central member, and form a
  bi-symmetrical figure. This anthemion type of form is met with in
  almost every style and period of art. The anthemion is sometimes
  called the honeysuckle pattern. It is an old dogma that the decorative
  form was suggested by this plant; but its more or less remote
  resemblance to the buds of the honeysuckle is accidental, not
  incidental; and the charm, both in nature and in art, is the inherent
  beauty of a mass of radiating and upspringing forms, instinct with the
  suggestion of vitality and growth. Hulme, _The Birth and Development
  of Ornament_. London, 1893.

Footnote 12:

  “A _cantonnière_ is a piece of material almost always of Gobelin or
  Aubusson tapestry, which, hanging flat in the manner of a lambrequin,
  has two hangings or tails falling down the sides and forming a kind of
  frame for the curtains beneath. Sometimes these two hangings are held
  back by hooks which give the effect of curtains; _cantonnières_ for
  the decoration of beds are also made. The richness, the delicacy and
  the good design of tapestry can give much value to this kind of
  decoration. The narrow curtains of less fullness that are called
  _bonnes grâces_ are an imitation of the _cantonnières_, an imitation
  that is demanded by economy rather than the principles of decoration.”
  Deville, _Dictionnaire du Tapissier_, Paris, 1878–1880.

Footnote 13:

  In 1726, these curtains were used to upholster some furniture for the
  Queen’s apartments at St. Cyr.

Footnote 14:

  All of the draperies of this niche, like the alcove curtains already
  described, were used in 1726 to cover a chair, a _lit de repos_ and
  four folding-seats as well as three _portières_ for the Queen’s
  apartment at St. Cyr.

                           QUEEN ANNE PERIOD


                           QUEEN ANNE PERIOD

The Queen Anne period is interesting on account of the favour in which
it has been held of late years, particularly by a class that knows
nothing at all about it. Queen Anne furniture, Queen Anne silver, Queen
Anne cottages have been in great demand, in England particularly. When,
however, the student asks the Queen Anne devotee for a list of objects
that may fitly be included in an interior of that style, he usually
meets with a bewildering jumble. Charles II. oak-framed cane chairs
jostle others with cabriole legs and jar-shaped splats made of mahogany;
marquetry escritoires, spindle-legged walnut tables, Frisian clocks,
brass fenders, steel fire-irons and four-posted bedsteads are all
brought together to produce the proper contemporary flavour. The result
is certainly unsatisfactory for the searcher after truth.

Looking only at the manifest transitional features of the beginning and
end of this short period, some scoffers have even gone so far as to deny
that there is any Queen Anne style at all, but this is an extreme and
unjustifiable view. The Queen Anne period, short as it was, possessed
special characteristics.

First let us recall the dates. The easy-going lady who succeeded Dutch
William occupied the throne for only twelve years, dying in 1714,—one
year before Louis XIV. At this date, therefore, we are on the threshold
of the Regency, the characteristics of which in decorative art are
already established. For the beginnings of the Queen Anne style,
moreover, we must revert to a date prior to her actual succession. This
date is 1690, when the Glorious Revolution placed the Prince of Orange
on the throne of England. William used England as a weapon of defence of
the Netherlands against the aggression of Louis XIV., and on her
accession Anne carried on his policy. England, therefore, from 1690 to
the fall of Marlborough in 1711, might almost be regarded as a Dutch
province. Considering the close dynastic, political, mercantile and
religious ties between the two countries, it would be strange if Dutch
taste did not predominate in England. It was a Dutch taste, however,
tempered with French art. The French forced the highest development of
the Louis XIV. style on England and the Low Countries by the Revocation
of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. In consequence of that edict, many
thousands of the best workmen in the French arts and crafts were forced
to go into exile, taking refuge in England, Germany and Holland. There
they were welcomed by their co-religionists, and their labours had a
great and immediate influence on the native styles. The artist who
exerted the greatest influence in forming the Queen Anne style was
Daniel Marot, who left France in 1686 and went to Holland. There he
found immediate employment in the service of the Stadtholder, and when
the latter became King of England in 1690, he appointed Marot his chief
architect and master of works. Till his death in about 1718, Marot
designed the interior decorations and furniture for many mansions and
palaces in England and Holland. The names of many joiners, carvers and
goldsmiths (who at that day designed many minor pieces of furniture) are
to be found in the lists of Huguenot refugees in London. In that city,
French artists and designers found ready employment. Among others we
find J. B. Monnoyer (Baptiste), who died in London in 1699. Samuel
Gribelin also found much encouragement in England. He had published
three books of ornamental design before 1700. Thus, what the French call
“_le style refugié_,” crossed the Channel.

Traffic with the Far East, however, was probably a more important factor
in the formation of the Queen Anne style than any other influence. The
Oriental taste had reached Amsterdam and London before Paris felt it.
Throughout the Seventeenth Century, the English and Dutch East Indiamen
poured porcelain, lacquer, and other products of Oriental art into their
respective capitals, and even the bitter trade rivalry between the two
did not arouse the French from their indifference till the arrival of
the Siamese embassy in 1690. Long before this, however, Mazarin had
tried to bring Oriental goods into favour. The daughter of Gaston
d’Orléans, La Grande Mademoiselle, notes in her diary (1658), that the
Cardinal “took the two queens (Anne of Austria and Henrietta, wife of
Charles I. of England), the princess (Henrietta’s daughter) and myself,
into a gallery that was full of all imaginable kinds of stone-work,
jewelry, and all the beautiful things that came from China, crystal
chandeliers, mirrors, tables, cabinets of all kinds, silver plate, etc.”
All these Oriental wares were given away by the magnificent Cardinal in
a lottery in which every guest drew a prize.

Twenty-five years later, the same adventurous lady who wrote the above
had a quarrel with her unrecognized husband, the Comte de Lauzan. To
patch up peace, he sent her from England a cargo of Chinese wares.

Before the port L’Orient gained its name by its trade with that quarter
of the world, Paris received its Chinese and Indian goods chiefly
through London. Consignments from the distant Jesuit missions to their
headquarters were largely instrumental in bringing Eastern art to the
notice of the public. There is an entry in Evelyn’s _Diary_ (March 22,

[Illustration: PLATE XVIII]

“One Tomson, a Jesuite shewed me such a collection of rarities, sent
from ye Jesuites of Japan and China to their order at Paris, as a
present to be received in their repository, but brought to London by the
East India ships for them, as in my life I had not seen. The chiefe
things were rhinoceros’s horns; glorious vests wrought and embroidered
on cloth-of-gold, but with such lively colours, that for splendour and
vividness we have nothing in Europe that approaches it ... fanns like
those our ladies use, but much larger, and with long handles curiously
carved and filled with Chinese characters; a sort of paper very broad,
thin and fine like abortive parchment, and exquisitely polished, of an
amber yellow, exceedingly glorious and pretty to looke on; several other
sorts of paper, some written, other printed; prints of landskips, their
idols, saints, pagods, of most ugly serpentine monstrous and hideous
shapes, to which they paid devotion; pictures of men and countries
rarely printed on a sort of gum’d calico transparent as glasse; flowers,
trees, beasts, birds, etc., excellently wrought in a sort of sleve silk
very naturall.”

In England, porcelain had been a comparatively rare luxury confined to
the tables and closets of rich collectors until about 1630. Cromwell
laid a heavy duty on it. China-shops under the Restoration became one of
the favourite lounging-places of fops and curiosity hunters, and the
appointments made there caused them to fall into bad repute. Later,
emporiums of Oriental wares were known as India houses. Queen Mary while
only the Princess of Orange in Holland, had developed quite a craze for
porcelain and Indian goods of all kinds. When she became Queen of
England, Sir Christopher Wren designed cabinets and shelves for her
china in Hampton Court Palace.

Lord Nottingham in his news-letter descriptive of Queen Mary’s movements
(1689) says: “Her majesty being disappointed of her second play, amused
herself with other diversions. She dined at Mrs. Graden’s, the famous
woman in the hall, that sells fine ribbons and headdresses. From thence
she went to Mrs. Ferguson’s to de Vetts and other Indian houses.”

With such tastes in high places, it is not astonishing to find a popular
furore for China and everything Oriental, spurious and real. This
Chinese taste affected everything in architecture and interior

With regard to architecture, the ill-understood Gothic had fallen into
very bad odour. John Evelyn’s opinion of it (1697) is worth quoting. He
says: “A certain fantastical and licencious manner of building which we
have since called _Modern_ (or _Gothic_ rather) congestions of heavy,
dark, melancholy and monkish piles without any just proportion, use or
beauty.... So when we meet with the greatest industry and expensive
carving, full of _fret_ and lamentable _Imagery_ a judicious spectator
is distracted and quite confounded.... Not that there is not something
of solid and odly artificial too, after a sort; but then the universal
and unreasonable thickness of the walls, clumsy buttresses, towers,
sharp-pointed arches, doors and other apertures without proportion;
nonsense insertions of various marbles impertinently placed; turrets and
pinnacles thickset with Munkies and chimæras and abundance of busy work
and other incongruities dissipate and break the angles of the sight and
so confound it that one cannot consider it with any steadiness.... Vast
and gigantic buildings indeed but not worthy the name of architecture.”

Domestic architecture, however, was undergoing considerable changes
under the new influences. These changes were in the direction of comfort
and cosiness, to the sacrifice of grandeur and magnificence. Of course,
novelty aroused opposition. Evelyn (1697) protests:

[Illustration: PLATE XIX]

“As certain great masters invented certain new corbels, scrolls and
modilions, which were brought into use; so their followers animated by
their example (but with much less judgment) have presumed to introduce
sundry baubles and trifling decorations (as they fancy) in their
works.... And therefore, tho’ such devices and inventions may seem
pretty in cabinet-work, tables, frames and other joyners-work for
variety, to place china dishes upon; one would by no means encourage or
admit them in great and noble buildings.”

The changes in domestic architecture are noticed by Du Bois, who issued
a new and sumptuous edition of Palladio (the plates engraved by Picart)
in 1715. Among other things he says:

“We see so many bungled houses and so oddly contrived that they seem to
have been made only to be admired by ignorant men and to raise the
laughter of those who are sensible of such imperfections. Most of them
are like bird cages, by reason of the largeness and too great number of
windows; or like prisons, because of the darkness of the rooms, passages
and stairs. Some want the most essential part, I mean the Entablature or
cornice; and though it be the best fence against the injuries of the
weather, it is left out to save charges. In some other houses, the rooms
are so small and strait, that one knows not where to place the most
necessary furniture. Others, through the oddness of some new and
insignificant ornaments, seem to exceed the wildest Gothic. It were an
endless thing to enumerate all the absurdities which many of our
builders introduce every day into their way of building.”

The changes in interior decoration that contributed to form the Queen
Anne style were largely due to the requirements of the effective display
and preservation of porcelain. The chimney-piece, especially, was
affected. As early as 1691, D’Aviler says in his book on architecture:
“The height of the cornice (of the chimney-pieces) should be raised six
feet in order that the vases with which they are ornamented may not be
knocked down.”

A glance through Marot’s book of designs will show a most lavish use of
china as an integral part of interior decoration. He piles up his
chimney-pieces with tier on tier on shelves loaded with porcelain of all
shapes and sizes, arranged, however, with an eye to symmetry. Brackets
up the walls, in the corners, and between the panels, all along the
cornice, and over the door are loaded with cups, bowls, and vases. The
panels themselves are sometimes painted with Chinese subjects, or
covered with real Oriental painted or embroidered fabrics. A glance at
Plate XVIII., the walls and chimney-piece of which are reproduced
closely from one of Marot’s designs, will show one of the more formal
Queen Anne rooms, properly decorated in accordance with the taste of the
day. This is a modest specimen of this style of decoration. One of
Marot’s plates shows more than 300 pieces of china on the chimney-piece
alone. The china craze was rapidly increasing. Addison writes: “An old
lady of fourscore shall be so busy in cleaning an Indian mandarin as her
great-grand-daughter is in dressing her baby.” In 1711, also he gives
the following description of a lady’s library:

[Illustration: PLATE XX]

“The very sound of a _Lady’s Library_ gave me a great Curiosity to see
it; and as it was some time before the Lady came to me, I had an
opportunity of turning over a great many of her Books, which were ranged
together in very beautiful Order. At the End of her Folios (which were
very finely bound and gilt) were great jars of _China_, placed one above
another in a very noble piece of Architecture. The Quartos were
separated from the Octavos by a Pile of smaller Vessels which rose in a
delightful Pyramid. The Octavos were bounded by Ten dishes of all
Shapes, Colours and Sizes, which were so disposed on a wooden Frame,
that they looked like one continued Pillar indented with the finest
Strokes of Sculpture, and stained with the greatest variety of Dyes.
That Part of the Library which was designed for the Reception of Plays
and pamphlets and other loose Papers, was enclosed in a kind of Square
consisting of one of the prettiest grotesque Works that I ever saw, and
made up of Scaramouches, Lions, Monkies, Mandarines, Trees, Shells, and
a thousand other odd Figures in China Ware. In the midst of the Room was
a little Japan Table with a quire of gilt Paper upon it, and on the
Paper a Silver Snuff-box made in the shape of a little Book. I found
there were several Counterfeit Books upon the upper Shelves, which were
carved in wood, and several only to fill up the number.”

As an example of the decorative use made of china by arranging it on
brackets even above mirror or panel, the reader is referred to Plate
XXIII., No. 2.

The Queen Anne room had its walls sometimes covered with tapestry and
sometimes decorated with painted or carved panels. In accordance with
the French and Dutch custom also, pictures were used with a conscious
decorative effect. Sometimes they were hung on the tapestry, also,
though not when the latter depicted a story of itself. In 1710, D’Aviler
defines the word picture (_tableau_) as a subject of painting, usually
in oil on canvas or wood, and contained in a frame or border. “Pictures
greatly contribute to the decoration of the interior of buildings. The
big ones figure in churches, drawing-rooms, galleries and other big
places. Those of medium size called easel-pictures are placed in the
spaces above the chimney-piece, above the doors and in the panels of the
walls, or else on the tapestry against the walls. The small ones are
symmetrically arranged in the chambers and cabinets of the curious.”

In the ordinary house, in the reign of Queen Anne, there was a strange
jumble of the old and the new. The late Jacobean carved oak, or walnut,
cane-bottom chair had not yet gone entirely out of use, but the new
styles were varieties of the chair and stool on Plate XXI., Nos. 1 and
4. These were usually of walnut, but mahogany was just coming into
fashion as a cabinet wood, and Queen Anne chairs with the frames made of
that wood still exist. The characteristics of this chair consist of the
cabriole leg, with and sometimes even without stretchers, the club foot,
and solid curved splat which very frequently assumes the jar shape.
Later in the period, the stretchers were discarded altogether. There was
very little carving except on the spring of the knee. The claw-and-ball
foot was rapidly coming into favour, and the tendency was constantly
towards increased lightness of frame. Even where the characteristic
square tapering leg of the Louis XIV. style is preserved, increased
lightness is noticeable. The turned stretchers, both of chairs and
settees, are shown on Plate XIX., Nos. 5, 6 and 7, and Plate XXI., Nos.
1, 4 and 10. Marot clung to the flat curved stretchers of the Louis XIV.
style, and his chairs are very large and heavy. The reason of this is
that he paid great attention to the upholstery, and his large and
brilliant designs required a correspondingly large surface for adequate
display. Many of his plates are devoted entirely to patterns for
materials for upholstery, and the geometrical flower-bed is the apparent
inspiration of much of his work of this nature. Some of Marot’s chairs
and stools are shown on Plate XXI., Nos. 2, 3, 5, 8 and 9. The chairs on
either side of the bed on Plate XXII. are also Marot’s. No. 7 on Plate
No. XXI. shows the lighter form of frame of this class of chair. The
settees, numbered 5, 6 and 7, on Plate XIX. should also be carefully
studied as types of this style. They are taken from contemporary prints
of court ladies. On one of them, Anne herself is sitting in the
original. No. 6, Plate XXI., represents the top of a chair back which is
very characteristic of the Marot school. One of the favourite ornaments
of this period was the urn in some form or other. The acorn was also
largely used for feet, and the flattened bulb was not entirely
superseded. The effect produced by the above-mentioned detail is found
in several other pieces of furniture of the day, clocks and mirrors
particularly. The urn is seen in No. 5, Plate XXIII., and the effect is
repeated in Nos. 1 and 6, Plate XX. Nos. 5 and 6 on that Plate also show
the combination acorn and flattened bulb employed as feet. No. 6 also
shows another decorative feature of the period in the heavy _chutes_ of
bell-flowers. The handsome clock, No. 6, Plate XX., from Marot’s design,
shows many Louis XIV. features. The sun in splendour is noticeable and
the winged cherub above the dial. The latter was made great use of in
the Queen Anne style. The mascaron also was largely adopted. Another
decorative feature which was carved on the centre lower rim of so many
chests-of-drawers, and dressing-tables was the shell. The cabinet-makers
were never tired of using the latter, and its constant appearance may
perhaps be accounted for by the fact that it was the principal charge in
the arms of the English company of cabinet-makers. It is seen on top of
the mirror in No. 2, Plate XIX., and the mascaron is used to beautiful
effect in the mirror No. 3 on the same plate. The mascaron appears as
the chief ornament in No. 3, Plate XX. Strange to say, this is not a
chair, as might be imagined, but a fire-back, as is also No. 4. The
shape of this fire-back, however, is going to be that which will
dominate in chair-backs in many styles and even to the present day holds
its own. The chair No. 8, Plate XX., is transitional between Jacobean
and Queen Anne. The couch (No. 9 of the same plate) is a fine example of
the Queen Anne style with its scrolls, cabriole legs and stretchers. The
winged effect of the scrolls connecting the legs is a very favourite
feature of the day. This should be compared with the couch by Marot in
Plate XVIII., which retains more of the Louis XIV. characteristics.

The bed on Plate XXII. is one of Marot’s designs and shows the Louis
XIV. influence. The detail No. 3, on the same plate, exhibits another
variety of head-board. No. 1 is a detail of a bed cornice and its
drapery; and No. 2 shows the pattern of a valance. Specimens of
lambrequin drapery, both for beds and windows, moreover, are shown in
the details, Nos. 1 and 4 on Plate XIX.

Typical contents of a fashionable home in England during the reign of
Queen Anne are to be gathered from the will and inventory of La Marquise
de Gouvernet, a French Protestant refugee, who was naturalized at
Westminster in 1691, and lived for thirty years in English aristocratic
circles, dying in 1722. She was very wealthy, and occupied a
distinguished position in London society. To her grandson and heir, she
bequeathed an immense quantity of jewels, furniture, pictures and
porcelain. The mere enumeration of the pieces of furniture affords a
good idea of a stylish interior of the Queen Anne period.

  One small calico bed, 3 foot wide and 8 foot high, for the country,
    being stitched with coloured flowers, with five armed chairs of
    the same.

  One suit of chamber hangings of cloth, painted with Indian figures,
    nine pieces, 7 foot high.

  One other suit of chamber hangings of cloth painted in the Indias,
    drawn in porticoes, eleven in number, 7 foot high, very old.

  One suit of chamber hangings of white damask, pillows of coloured
    stuff fixed thereon.

  One blue gauze Indian bed, worked with gold straw work, eight pieces
    of tapestry, and the chairs of the same, very old.

  A furniture of Indian damask of four colours, with the bed, 4 foot
    wide, the door curtains, the window curtains and chairs of the
    same, all very old.

  One bundle of borders of old gold and silver brecard, with coloured
    flowers embroidered thereon.

  Two tapestry armed chairs.

  Four pieces of blue damask hangings with borders of cross-stitch,
    and three chairs.

  Nine chairs of tent-stitch, the ground of gold colour.

  Two couches, the ground violet with figures. Bottoms of Hungarian
    Irish stitch chairs and two door curtains.

  Two large Marselian quilts, and one Indian quilt, stitched in

  One Indian quilt, stitched in yellow silk, basses and pillows of the
    same, all old.

  Two satin quilts.

  One large India lackerd cabinet with figures.

  One small ditto.

  Two Indian lackerd boards, with varnished boxes and plates.

  One table of Calambour wood, which encloses a toilette of the same
    wood, ornamented with gold, containing two dressing-boxes and
    looking-glass, one pin cushion, one powder box, and two brushes of
    the same.

  Two ditto cabinets upon tables of the same.

  One Indian quilt stitched with coloured flowers.

  Six pieces of tent stitch with figures.

  One cloth bed worked on both sides, containing twelve pieces.

  The lining of a bed of gold mohair, the counterpane, the head cloth
    and the small valances.

  One bundle of gold thread laces, very old.

  Two pieces of cloth embroidered with silver and thirty-two pieces of
    Tent stitch.

  Thirteen breadths of dove-coloured silk serge 2¾ yards high,
    embroidered in flowers with figures; 35 yards of the same in
    several pieces, some of them drawn.

  One four-leaf screen of the same damask, with the furniture of four
    colours embroidered, and of the same embroidered damask sufficient
    to make another four leaves at least.

  One twelve-leaf lackered Tonquin screen with figures.

  One four-leaf folding low screen, tent stitch, with antique figures,
    and four pieces of the same work to add to it on occasion.

  Two tables and two large stands of Calambour wood.

  One small bureau of ditto wood, inlaid with rays of Prince’s metal
    and one scrutoire of the same.

  One little table and one glass cupboard of Calambour wood.

  One lackered Tonquin coffer with figures.

  Two small glass cupboards.

  Two large looking-glasses with green ebony frames, and two other
    large looking-glasses.

  One bed of Spanish point, with festoons of gold and silver colour,
    fixed upon white damask, four curtain valances and bases of the
    same lined with white satin, the counterpane, headcloth and
    tester, embroidered, five arm-chairs and two door curtains of the

  One suit of hangings, the ground white, half painted and half
    worked, containing five pieces, one piece without a border.

  One brown damask bed with gold coloured flowers, ten armed chairs,
    one couch, one door curtain, eight chair bottoms and four pieces
    of hangings of the same.

  Two carpets of India velvet, the ground with red flowers.

  One small tapestry carpet with gold ground.

  One Indian carpet with gold ground and coloured flowers.

  One damask bed with a violet ground and flowers of gold straw-work
    and with colours with borders of velvet cut in Persian figures,
    six pieces of hangings belonging to the bed, whereof the middle
    are Persian carpets gold ground and the borders of gold coloured
    silk serge, on which are fixed the same figures with the bed, nine
    armed chairs, two door curtains, six borders, with figures and

  Eight curtains of white damask and twelve yards of white mohair.

  30 silver plates weighing 531 oz.

  1 large silver dish, 66 oz.

  4 small do., 125 oz.

  1 silver pan, 36 oz.

  1 do. basin, one deep dish, 33 oz.

  1 silver kettle and cover, 107 oz.

  1 do. chafing-dish or lamp, 47 oz., 9 dwt.

  1 do. water boiler, 42 oz., 10 dwt.

  1 do. chocolate-pot, 24 oz.

  1 do., do., 11 oz., 10 dwt.

  1 do. sugar mustard and pepper castor, 41 oz.

  2 silver salt-cellars.

  12 forks and 12 spoons, 58 oz.

  1 large soup-spoon, 10 oz., 10 dwt.

  1 skimmer 7 oz., 19 dwt.

  8 fruit knives, 8 forks and 8 spoons.

  12 silver hafted knives, 22 oz.

  2 German silver salvers, gilt, 21 oz., 7 dwt.

[Illustration: PLATE XXI]

  8 German silver salvers, gilt, 118 oz.

  6 goblets and 3 vases of silver gilt, 78 oz., 15 dwt.

  2 large salt sellars, 2 goblets, with covers of silver gilt, 91 oz.

  1 silver teapott, gilt.

  1 small silver skillet.

  2 silver Indian teapotts, 30 oz.

  2 pair silver branches, 138 oz.

  1 pair Berlin silver candlesticks, 50 oz., 5 dwt.

  3 pair small silver candlesticks, 26 oz.

  2 pair silver candlesticks, gilt.

  2 pair silver candlesticks, snuffers and snuff pan of same.

  1 silver tea-table, 133 oz., 5 dwt.

  1 silver bason on pedestal in form of stand, 79 oz., 8 dwt.

  1 silver cistern pierced, supported by 4 dolphins.

  1 small branched candlestick, silver gilt, 34 oz.

  1 small German silver cistern, gilt, 33 oz.

  2 Triangular German salt sellars, silver gilt.

  1 small silver set half gilt, containing 3 small dishes, 4 plates, 1
    goblet, 1 salt sellar, 1 knife, 1 spoon, and 1 fork of same, 58
    oz., 2 dwt.

  2 silver knobs for a grate and 5 handles for tongues fire shool,
    &c., and four hooks to support the fire shool, etc., all of

  1 German silver pott for broach and cover gilt.

  1 small German barrell ornamented with silver.

  1 silver clock.

  2 greenish bottles with white flowers.

  1 marble veind urn.

  2 great beakes with serpents.

  1 large beaker with colored flowers.

  6 green goblets.

  2 marble veind ditto.

  1 large pott and cover and 2 small ones.

  2 coruetts and covers.

  2 coruetts without covers.

  2 large coruetts.

  3 large water pots.

  2 bottles.

  3 small bottles with colored flowers.

  2 bottles, Phillimot with colored flowers.

  1 pot, Phillimot and white.

  8 urns.

  1 large beaker.

  2 small beakers.

  2 beakers with figures.

  2 bottles.

  2 bottles of new China.

  2 beakers of new China.

  1 bottle all of one colour.

  2 potts and covers of new China.

  1 piece red china ware.

  2 coruetts blew and white.

  1 large dish.

  2 Japan bowles.

  2 green bottles.

  2 coruetts and 2 beakers, blew and white.

  4 green cupps.

  2 small muggs.

  1 small coffee colored urn with white flowers.

  2 blew and white cisterns.

  1 marble veind cisterns.

  4 small marble veind cisterns.

  1 large colored dish.

  2 large green dishes.

  17 green plates.

  1 large blew and white dish.

  6 dishes, white and colored.

[Illustration: PLATE XXII]

  11 plates, white and colored.

  1 bowle of the same sort.

  1 blew and white bason, dragons at the bottom.

  1 large blew and white pott and cover.

  1 large blew and white urns.

  2 blew and white bottles.

  2 yellow cupps.

  1 large brown tea pott, covered with a lyon.

  1 other large brown tea pott.

  2 colored tea potts.

  2 colored sollet dishes.

  2 colored beakers with roses.

  2 cupps and covers of the same.

  1 bowle of the same with roses.

  2 black urns with colored flowers.

  2 mustard potts.

  2 potts and covers.

  2 large blew and white urns.

  1 blew and white bowle.

  1 colored Japand dish.

  20 plates, the ground green with colored flowers.

  2 beakers, the ground white with circles.

  1 bowle, the ground white, with colored circles.

  1 teapot, the ground white, with colored circles.

  2 other tea potts.

  4 salvers with vine blossoms.

  6 green dishes.

The above inventory deserves most careful study, since it reveals so
minutely the character of the objects that were to be found in the house
of a noble lady who moved in the highest court circles during the reign
of Queen Anne. The list of pictures that she left to her grandson has
not been reproduced here; they were principally family portraits, and
other pictures by the celebrated French painters of the early part of
the reign of Louis XIV. These pictures, of course, had been brought over
to England when the Marquise was exiled. Considering, however, that she
had lived for thirty years in London till her death in 1722, the great
bulk of the furniture in the above inventory must have been “Queen

A study of the items, however, shows that some of them, especially those
marked very old, were purely Louis XIV. Others, especially the chairs
that matched the beds, were probably of the Marot school.

The Oriental goods are particularly noticeable, especially the lacquer
screens and Indian stuffs. The china also shows that the Marquise
followed the prevailing taste. It is to be noted that there is no
mention of mahogany, and the wood that appears to be most in favour is
the Calembour. This is otherwise known as eagle wood, a sweet-scented
species of aloes that comes from the East.

The Dutch influence that prevailed during this period naturally resulted
in marquetry coming into very high favour. The ordinary cabinet woods
were inlaid in geometrical, floral and animal patterns with the warmer
and more beautiful tints of the exotic woods. Complete pictures were
often formed on broad surfaces, such as table tops, and narrower
surfaces were also decorated in this manner. Plate XXIII., No. 7, shows
a small chest-of-drawers, or dressing-table, of this period, with inlaid
floral ornamentation on the legs. This dates from about the beginning of
the Queen Anne period. Typical objects of this class, dating between
1690 and 1710, are described as follows:

[Illustration: PLATE XXIII]

A dressing-table veneered with walnut containing three drawers with
brass handles has the faces of the drawers inlaid with boxwood and
ebony. A band of inlay also ornaments the top. The four legs are
cabriole with web feet. A dressing-table, contains two deep drawers and
a central one with brass key-plates and handles. On the lower side the
front is cut into three cusps with two pendants between them. A
chest-of-drawers, veneered with walnut, contains two short drawers and
three long ones, inlaid on their faces with narrow strips of sycamore
and rosewood. Around the top is a deep cornice, below which is a deep
rounded moulding forming the face of a drawer in front. The chest is
placed on a stand, containing three drawers, upon short turned legs. The
front is cut into cusps and curves on the lower side. Another
chest-of-drawers veneered, contains three long drawers below and two
small drawers above, and a shallow drawer in the stand upon which the
chest rests. The chest is surmounted by a cornice and the stand by a
moulding. The lower part is cut into three circular arches, with a
decorative beading. The feet are four square piers resting upon turned
discs. Each side is cut into a flat arch without beading. Another
chest-of-drawers contains five drawers, with handles and key-plates of
_or moulu_, the whole of walnut decorated with inlaid arabesque
ornaments in oval medallions. A combination dressing-table and secretary
with a swinging glass, the whole of walnut, decorated with beading and
moulding. The dressing-table stands on four cabriole legs carved with a
shell ornament. The looking-glass of walnut slightly carved and gilt,
the glass bevelled at the edges.

Of cabinets, we may note a walnut cabinet supported on four spirally
turned legs with curved stretchers, opening with two doors and furnished
with brass lock-plates. A cabinet of oak standing on large turned feet.
It has a flat top with a slightly overhanging moulded edge. At the top
is a drawer and below it two doors shutting in six drawers. The drawers
and doors are panelled and moulded, with turned ebonized handles in the
centre of each panel. The sides of the cabinet are also panelled. A
cabinet of various kinds of wood, on a stand of oak with four spirally
turned legs and stretchers of the same. The outside doors veneered with
pollard oak, the centre with hexagonal pieces of thorn acacia. Eleven
drawers are enclosed within. The cornice is of pear-wood at the sides
and walnut in front, the drawers at the top below the cornice are of
burr walnut.

Two dressing-tables from engravings of the day are shown in Nos. 1 and
3, Plate XXIII. No. 1. is properly draped with the toilet, usually
muslin, but often of richer material. On the same plate, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4
and 5, are details both of simple and more ornate mirrors of this style.
No. 5 is especially good with its carvings, gildings and inlaid leaf
ornamentation. The glasses in the mirrors were gradually increasing in
size as the manufacturers became more skillful. Nos. 2 and 3, Plate
XIX., show two oval mirrors of different proportions. No. 3 is a
specially fine example, as it shows so many of the contemporary
decorative motives, including the mascaron, shell, _chute_, swag, scroll
and wings.

The handles for cabinets, chests-of-drawers, etc., were of various
shapes, but the brass drop-handle was the most usual. Its length for
average drawers was two inches. The ordinary model is reproduced in No.
6, Plate XXIII.

The tables still retained the late Jacobean characteristics shown in No.
8, Plate XXIII. Far more common, however, were the so-called
“thousand-legged” tables with round or square leaves and horse legs. The
legs were becoming slimmer and still connected with the centre frame by
stretchers close to the ground.

The display of china had developed a new piece of furniture. Dyche thus
defines it in 1748: “Buffet, a handsome open cupboard or repository for
plate, glasses, china, etc., which are put there either for ornament or
convenience of serving the table,” and Chambers, 1751:

“Beaufait, Buffet, or Bufet, was anciently a little apartment separated
from the rest of the room by slender wooden columns, for the disposing
china and glassware, etc., also called a _cabinet_. It is now, properly,
a large table in a dining-room, called also a sideboard, for the plate,
glasses, bottles, basons, etc., to be placed, as well for the service of
the table as for magnificence. The buffet, among the Italians, called
_credenza_, within a balustrade, elbow-high.”

Sometimes the “beaufait” consisted of a tier of shelves built into a
niche in the wall of the dining-room. Even in the Queen Anne period,
however, the word was sometimes used to signify a table. Murray quotes
(1718): “The plate was placed upon a table or buffett.” The word in the
sense of sideboard as we know it to-day came from France. In 1710
D’Aviler says: “Bufet; in a vestibule or a dining-room, a large table
with stages in the style of a credence upon which are displayed the
vases, the basins, and the cristal as much for the service at the table
as for magnificence. This Bufet, which the Italians calls credence, is
with them usually placed in the great _salon_ and closed in by a
balustrade breast high. Those belonging to princes and cardinals stand
under a daïs of cloth.”

                       THE EARLY GEORGIAN PERIOD

[Illustration: PLATE XXIV]


                       THE EARLY GEORGIAN PERIOD

The Early Georgian Period covers an interval of about forty years,—from
the accession of the House of Hanover in 1714 to the appearance of
Chippendale’s _The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director_ in 1754.
During this period, strange to say, the art of the Regency and Louis
XV., though not unfelt, has not so much influence as a spurious Gothic
revival, an equally spurious “Chinese” furore and a fetish worship of
Palladio and Classic architecture.

The commanding figures in the taste of the day were William Kent,
Richard Boyle, third Earl of Burlington, and John Talman. Kent and
Talman studied in Rome under the Chevalier Luti. When the Society of
Antiquaries was established in its present form in 1718, Talman was
appointed its first director. He died in 1726. Kent attracted the
attention of the Earl of Burlington, and from 1716 to 1748, when Kent
died, he received the shelter and hospitality of the Earl’s town house.

Kent’s charming personality, and the authority he assumed in art matters
in consequence of his foreign training, enabled him to win a high
position in fashionable circles. He soon became the arbiter of taste.
Horace Walpole testifies: “He was not only consulted for furniture, as
frames of pictures, glasses, tables, chairs, etc., but for plate, for a
barge, for a cradle. And so impetuous was fashion that two great ladies
prevailed on him to make designs for their birthday gowns. The one he
dressed in a petticoat decorated with columns of the five orders; the
other, like a bronze, in a copper-coloured satin with ornaments of
gold.” Walpole also says: “Kent’s style predominated during his life.”
Besides the numerous mansions he built for the nobility in the Classic
style, he also built a “Gothic” house for Henry Pelham.

Pope says:

           “_Must bishops, lawyers, statesmen, have the skill
           To build, to plan, judge paintings, what you will?
           Then why not Kent as well our treaties draw,
           Bridgman explain the gospel, Gibbs the law?_”[15]

Kent was a painter, architect and general designer, and nobody has been
found to oppose Hogarth’s dictum that neither England nor Italy ever
produced a more contemptible dauber. Hogarth satirizes him in two of his
prints: _Masquerades and Operas_ (1724), and _The Man of Taste_ (1732).
In the former, the statue of Kent surmounts Burlington Gate, and
supported on a lower level by the statues of Raphael and Michael Angelo;
in the latter, he again towers above the same two artists over the gate
(of taste), which is being whitewashed. On a scaffolding Alexander
Pope’s diminutive form is wielding the brush and spattering passers-by
with the whitewash. The Duke of Chandos gets most of it. The Earl of
Burlington is mounting the ladder with more material.

Burlington House, Piccadilly, was practically rebuilt about 1716 from
the Earl’s plans. It formed a striking exception to the mixed and
commonplace architecture of the period, and aroused the enthusiasm of
contemporary writers. Gay writes: “Beauty within, without proportion
reigns.” Lord Hervey, however, sneers at its lack of accommodation:

                 “_Possessed of one great hall of state
                 Without a room to sleep or eat._”

This mordant wit also satirizes another residence at Chiswick owned by
Lord Burlington, which was built about 1730 after the model of the
celebrated villa of the worshipped Palladio. According to Hervey’s, “It
was too small to live in and too large to hang to a watch.” Burlington
designed mansions for others also. One of these, belonging to General
Wade, in Cook Street, provoked Walpole to say: “It is worse contrived in
the inside than is conceivable, all to humour the beauty in front.” Lord
Chesterfield also suggested: “As the general could not live in it to his
ease, he had better take a house over against it and look at it.”

The discomfort of the interior arrangement of even the most magnificent
houses built at the beginning of this period is attested by more than
one writer. Pope sneers at Blenheim as follows:

              “_See, sir, here’s the grand approach,
              This way is for his Grace’s coach;
              There lies the bridge, and here’s the clock,
              Observe the lion and the cock,
              The spacious court, the colonnade!
              The chimneys are so well designed,
              They never smoke in any wind.
              The gallery’s contrived for walking,
              The windows to retire and talk in.
              The council chamber for debate,
              And all the rest are rooms of state.
              Thanks, sir, cried I, ’tis very fine,
              But where d’ye sleep, or where d’ye dine?
              I find by all you have been telling
              That ’tis a house but not a dwelling._”

How strong the fashionable taste of the day was for Gothic, Chinese and
French decorations is gathered from the indignant writings of
contemporaries who could not bear to see their pet Classic neglected. We
learn that by the middle of the century the craze for the French and
Chinese had somewhat abated. In 1756, Isaac Ware has much to say on the
late tendencies. He speaks bitterly of the degeneracy of modern taste,
and attacks those who “flew into every absurdity that the scope of
things could afford. Of this we see instances in many expensive works
which stand, and will stand to disgrace our country: and we have models
of them, and of others as ridiculous, proposed for imitation.... We have
seen architecture, a science founded upon the soundest principles,
disgraced by ignorant caprice, and fashion very lately attempted, and it
would be well if we could not say attempts now, to undermine and destroy
it by the caprice of France, and by the whims of China.

[Illustration: PLATE XXV]

“How must a man of true taste frown to see in some of the best buildings
of that country, as it would pretend for the encouragement of arts,
Corinthian capitals made of cocks’ heads. It is called the French
(order) and let them have the praise of it; the Gothic shafts and
Chinese bells are not below or beyond it in poorness of imagination.

“It is our misfortune to see at this time (1756) an unmeaning scrawl of
(Cs) inverted, turned and hooked together take place of Greek and Roman
elegance, even in our most expensive decorations. This is not because
the possessor thinks there is or can be elegance in such fond, weak,
ill-jointed and unmeaning figures: it is usually because it is French;
and fashion commands that whatever is French is to be admired as fine.

“While these French decorations were driving out from the inside of our
houses those ceilings which a Burlington had taught us to introduce from
Roman temples, and those ornaments of doors which a better taste under
Inigo Jones had formed upon the models of the best Roman structures; the
Goths seemed to have seized upon pavilions, and the Chinese on rooms of
pleasure. The jointed columns rose without proportion for the support of
the thatched roof in some lower ground, while bells dangled from every
corner of the edifice that caught the traveller’s eye upon an elevation.

“True taste and good admonitions have got the better of these; and they
are left for cake-houses for Sunday apprentices. The French are more
difficult to conquer; but let us rouse in every sense the natural spirit
against them; and no more permit them to deprave our taste in this noble
science, than to introduce among us miseries of their government or
fooleries of their religion.”

Again he says:

“The French have furnished us with abundance of fanciful decorations for
these purposes (ceilings and panels) little less barbarous than the
Gothic; and they were, like that species of building (for we will not
descend to call it architecture) received with great readyness; the art
seemed upon the point of being lost in England; but a better taste has
now prevailed. We should, in that danger, have declared for banishing
whatever came under the denomination of French ornament; but, now we see
it over, the art will be to receive these ornaments with discretion, to
adapt them to the few uses for which they are proper, and to soften
their luxurious use, and blend them with better figures, till we have
reduced them into a more decent appearance.

“A ceiling straggled over with arched lines, twisted curves, with X’s,
C’s and tangled semi-circles, may please the light eye of the French,
who seldom carry their observation farther than a casual glance; but
this alone is poor, fantastical and awkward; it is a strange phrase to
use for anything from France, but those who have seen such ceilings as
we here describe must acknowledge it is just.”

He then goes on to recommend a ceiling which the plate shows to be Louis
XV. in style.

Here then we have direct evidence of the favour in which the styles of
the Regency had been received in England. The _rocaille_ decoration and
the excessive use of Chinese subjects, and monkeys, arabesques and
floral devices, and particularly the broken curve, quickly overcame the
opposition encountered from conservative members of the old school and
strongly influenced Germany and England.

The expensive French wall-painting and silken hangings are imitated in
wall-paper. The taste even spread to America, for Mr. Hancock, of
Boston, sent to London in 1736 for paper-hangings for one of the rooms
of his new house. He says about three or four years ago one of his
friends had a hanging like the sample he sends, but he adds, “If they
can make it more beautiful by adding more birds flying here and there,
with some landskips at the bottom, should like it well. Let the ground
be the same colour of the pattern. At the top and bottom was a narrow
border of about 2 inches wide, which would have to mine.... In the other
part of these hangings are great variety of different sorts of birds,
peacocks, macoys, squirril, monkys, fruit and flowers, etc.”

The macoys (which, of course, are macaws or parrots) and the monkeys
proclaim the Regency taste.

Some characteristics of the Regency style are as follows: The legs of
the furniture are slightly curved and not so heavy as the Louis XIV.
furniture. However, they retain a look of solidity. Round the edge of
the table, under the top, is usually a frieze which forms a descending
curve in the middle; it sometimes assumes the form of a bow also. This
has been called the _contour d’arbalète_. At the top of the legs, and on
the corners of other pieces of furniture, are mountings of bronze often
showing acanthus motives with a head which is more expressive than the
antique mascarons of the preceding style. Sometimes heads of animals
also appear. The scroll and shell-work is rapidly becoming ornate. A
fine example of Regency work is shown in the lower screen on Plate XXX.,
in which the prevailing vogue of the monkey is noticeable. Besides
Watteau, Chinese designs were also produced by Aubert (d. 1721), La Joüe
(d. 1752), Fraisse (d. 1735), and Mondon _le fils_ (d. 1738). Roumier
(d. 1724) designed tables of this period.

The French school, which Chippendale was going to follow almost
slavishly in his book of designs, had many admirers in England long
before. In 1740, Batty Langley brought out _The City and Country
Builder’s and Workman’s Treasury of Designs_. In this and other works,
he gives several hundred designs for buffets, chimney-pieces, cisterns,
clocks, table-frames, etc. Some of these are confessedly “after the
French manner.” Of these, we have the curious chest-of-drawers on Plate
XXVIII., the dressing-table on Plate XXVI. and the clock and bookcase on
Plate XXV.

After examining Batty’s dressing-table and chest-of-drawers, the latter
of which he has even neglected to supply with handles, we are astonished
to come across anything so graceful as the console-table on Plate XXVI.,
which also appears in his book. However, in our examination of French
designs, we come across this very table signed Picau, so that Mr.
Langley has shamelessly transferred a French design to his own book
without acknowledgment, as Picau considerably antedated Langley. The
influence of the French decoration is also noticeable in the bookcase,
No. 1, Plate XXV.

Langley thus catered to some extent to the tastes of those who admired
the French styles, but he did not approve of them himself. He says:

“The great pleasure that builders and workmen of all kinds (those called
cabinet-makers, I think, only excepted) have of late years taken in the
study of architecture has induced me to the compiling of this work. And
indeed I am very sorry that cabinet-makers should have been supine
therein; because of all small architectural works none is more
ornamental to buildings than theirs, when well and justly executed, as
being generally made with such kinds of materials which Nature has
wantonly adorned with delightful textures of colours that contribute
very greatly to their beauty.

“The evil genius that so presides over cabinet-makers as to direct them
to persevere in such a pertinacious and stupid manner that the rules of
architecture, from whence all beautiful proportions are deduced, are
unworthy of their regard, I am at a loss to discover; except Murcea, the
Goddess of Sloth, acts that part and has thus influenced them to conceal
their dronish, lowlife incapacities and prompt them, with the fox in the
fable, to pronounce grapes sour that ripen out of their reach.

“Cabinet-makers originally were no more than spurious indocile chips,
expelled by joiners for the superfluity of their sap, and also, by
instilling stupid notions and prejudice to architecture into the minds
of youth educated under them has been the cause that at this time ’tis a
very great difficulty to find one in fifty of them that can make a
book-case, etc., indispensably true after any of the Five Orders without
being obliged to go to a joiner for to set out the work and make his
templets to work by.

“But if these gentlemen persist much longer thus to despise the study of
this noble art, the very basis and soul of their trade, which now to
many joiners is well understood, they will soon find the bad
consequences of so doing and have time enough on their hands to repent
of their folly—and more especially since that our nobility and gentry
delight themselves now more than ever in the study of architecture,
which enables them to distinguish good work and workmen from assuming

On Plate XXV. are three of his eight designs of bookcases, which, “if
executed by a good joiner, and with beautiful materials, will have good
effects, or even if by a cabinet-maker, provided that he understands how
to proportion and work the Five Orders, which at this time, to the shame
of that trade be it spoken, there is not one in a hundred that ever
employed a moment’s thought thereon, or knows the Tuscan from the Doric,
or the Corinthian from the Composite Order, and more especially if the
Doric freeze hath its triglyphs and mutules omitted. In short, the
ultimate knowledge of these sort of workmen is generally seen to finish
with a monstrous Cove, on an Astragal, crowned with a Cima Reversa, in
an open pediment of stupid height.

[Illustration: PLATE XXVI]

“When a Gentleman applies himself with a good design of a book-case,
etc., made by an able architect, to most of the masters in this trade,
they instantly condemn it and allege that ’tis not possible to make
cabinet works look well that are proportioned by the Rules of
Architecture; because, they say, the members will be too large and
heavy, etc., whereas the real truth is that they do not understand how
to proportion and work the members of these designs, and therefore
advise the unwary to accept of such stuff as their poor, crazy
capacities will enable them to make, and wherein ’tis always seen that
the magnitudes of their Coves and Cima Reversas (their darling
finishing) are much larger members than any members of a regular cornice
(even of the Tuscan Order) of the same height, wherefore, ’tis evident
that all their assertions of this kind are used for nothing more than to
conceal an infinite fund of stubborn ignorance which cannot be
paralleled by any other set of mortals in the world. This I mention that
for the future Gentlemen may have a more particular regard in the choice
of works and workmen, in this way, than any have heretofore done. For I
do affirm that a good joiner will not only execute a design of this
nature in much less time than any of the common run of cabinet-makers
can, but will perform it in that masterly manner which is known but to
very few, if any, in the cabinet trade.”

Isaac Ware, who, as we have seen, was a determined enemy to the French
innovations, says: “We shall here direct the eye of the student from the
frivolous decorations which France has furnished us to those which
dignified the works of Greece and Rome, and have been an honour to the
names of some of our own architects in times of better taste.” Though he
prefers the nobler style of Inigo Jones, he advises the architect “to
consider the other kind of richness. We consider the proprietor dislikes
the former kind; he thinks it too heavy, or he has corrupted his taste
in France so far as to dislike the Grecian science. He desires to have a
ceiling as rich as that proposed to him, but more airy; and he will have
some of the French crooked figures introduced into it.”

“A continued chimney-piece can only be proper where there are ornaments
of sculpture about the room; for otherwise there will be nothing with
which it can correspond. Therefore, against all other considerations,
let him design at all times a simple chimney-piece for a room that is
hung, and a continued one for a room that is finished any other way. No
wainscot is or can be made without panels; and it will be easy to make
the upper part of a continued chimney-piece correspond with them, let
them be of whatsoever kind.... No more will be required than to form a
regular design of an upper part for the chimney-piece intended to be
placed there, and to execute it with the common mouldings of the
panels.... The purpose of the work is to raise an ornament like that of
the other parts of the room from the chimney-piece to the ceiling; and
in such manner to adapt this to the chimney-piece itself that it shall
seem naturally to rise from it and be connected with it; that it shall
be a regular and proportioned part of the chimney work at the same time
that it is also a regular part of the ornament of the room....

“It is the first object that strikes the eye, on entrance and the most
conspicuous part of the room, and for that reason, while he gives it the
same air as the rest, let him make it somewhat richer. When the common
mouldings of the wainscot have some sculpture, let those which are
continued over the chimney have more, as well as be laid in greater
number, and to whatever degree the rest is carried, let this part exceed

“Rooms that are hung are debarred by the rules of the science from the
advantage of this ornament; but for all other kinds whatsoever, it is
very well adapted. Where the walls are plain stucco, this upper part of
the chimney-piece must have very little ornament; but even in that case,
as the lower part will naturally be very plain, a light representation
of its most conspicuous parts in the space above will be far from

“Let him (the student) not suppose this circumstance of room finished
with plain stucco to be a parallel case with that of one hung with paper
or damask, and in which we limited him to the use of a simple chimney.
Here the space within the panel over the chimney being plain as the rest
of the wall, at the same time it admits the grace of this addition,
keeps up a similarity with the rest, without anything improper in
itself; but, in the other case, the great contrast in the colour or
figures of the paper or silk would break in upon the intended composure
of the whole; and the mouldings, whether in wood or stucco, would appear
to be stuck on the paper, not to rise from it, as they will certainly
appear to do from the stucco-wall. The upper part of the chimney-piece,
which in the case of our plain stucco-wall shews itself only what it is,
that is, a light ornament continued from the lower work of the chimney,
will, where there is paper or silk, have the aspect of a frame; and
these will appear as pictures in it. All know how poor this must look,
since, in the reality, what could be so mean as the thought of framing a
piece of the hanging?”

Having now learned from contemporary authorities the most approved
styles of decoration of ceilings, walls and chimney-pieces during the
Early Georgian period, we may proceed to say a few words concerning the
Gothic and Chinese influence. The Chinese fad, which is often wrongly
attributed to Sir William Chambers, was no new thing, as we have already
seen. In the preface to his book of designs he had made in Canton, he
clearly states that his object is to correct the absurdities that were
daily produced for the public as “Chinese.” He says:

“It was not my design to publish them, nor would they now appear, were
it not in compliance with the desire of several lovers of the arts, who
thought them worthy of the perusal of the publick, and that they might
be of use in putting a stop to the extraordinary fancies that daily
appear under the name of Chinese, though most of them are mere
inventions, the rest copies from the lame representations found on
porcelain and paper-hangings.”

[Illustration: PLATE XXVII]

Towards the middle of the century, many books appeared by Johnson,
Edwards and Darly, Halfpenny and others, giving designs for Chinese
temples, arches, garden-seats, bridges, palings, etc. When Chippendale
brought out his book, as we shall see, he felt compelled to bow to the
prevailing taste, and give designs of Chinese character.

Just as the Chinese fashion is attributed to Chambers, so the Gothic
revival is frequently erroneously attributed to Horace Walpole. It is
true that he greatly liked to encourage that form of architecture, but
the taste was reviving before he had any influence.

In 1742, Langley published his _Gothic Architecture_. He says it is
“restored and improved by a great variety of grand and useful designs
entirely new in the Gothic Mode for the ornamenting of buildings and
gardens exceeding everything that’s extant.” The subscribers to this
work included eighty-one of the nobility, two bishops, nine judges, two
ladies of title, sixteen gentlemen, three carpenters, one smith and one

This list shows that it was already fashionable to take interest in
“Gothic.” Horace Walpole was one of the subscribers, but the claim made
for him of having originated revived interest in Gothic architecture is
disposed of by the fact that he was not yet in possession of _Strawberry
Hill_, and it was not till 1750 that he wrote: “I am going to build a
little Gothic castle.” In fact, in 1756, Isaac Ware calls it a “late
taste” and implies that it is already on the wane. He writes: “The
Gothic is distinguished from the antique architecture by its ornaments
being whimsical and its profiles incorrect. The inventors of it probably
thought they exceeded the Grecian method, and some of late have seemed,
by their fondness for Gothic edifices, to be of the same opinion; but
this was but a caprice, and, to the credit of our taste, is going out of
fashion again as hastily as it came in.... The error of the late taste
has been in attempting to bring the Gothic into use in smaller
buildings, in which it can never look well.”

The Englishmen of taste had adopted the French fondness for ruins in
decoration, and real and artificial ruins in their gardens. It is said
that some even dismantled their castles to have respectable ruins of
their own.

In Langley’s _Principles of Gardening_, published in 1728, this taste is
catered to. Among his plates is “an avenue in perspective, terminated
with the ruins of an ancient building after the Roman manner”; and eight
plates are devoted to “views of ruins after the old Roman manner for the
termination of walks, avenues, etc.” These ruins, some of which are of a
false Gothic style, are to adorn “such walks that end in disagreeable
objects,” and “may either be painted upon canvas, or actually built in
that manner with brick, and covered with plastering in imitation of

We get a faint hint of the rococo also from the following advice: “When
figures of shell-work are erected in the midst of fountains, we receive
a double pleasure of a fountain and cascade also by the waters agreeably
murmuring down the rocky shells.”

Langley was far more responsible for the “Gothic” craze than Walpole
was. Besides writing books on the subject, his services were engaged by
the latter, doubtless on account of his being the authority of the day
on that subject. Walpole’s good sense, however, soon taught him
dissatisfaction. When we look at the Gothic chimney-pieces and other
features that adorned the rooms of Strawberry Hill, we cannot wonder at
his dissatisfaction. We learn from the _Gentleman’s Magazine_:

“Through the inability of his architects, particularly of Langley (who,
though esteemed capital in his day, knew nothing of the art of
constructing modern Gothic), his ideas were never properly executed. Mr.
Walpole often complained they were rather Moorish than Gothic; however
he could not at that day procure better assistance. He was always,
however, among the first to depreciate his own architecture.”

Mrs. Delany’s letters afford evidence of the prevailing Gothic taste. In
1754, we hear: “I am working stools in worsted chenille for the Gothic
cell.” In 1756, she mentions a great Gothic hall in her description of
Lady Oxford’s house. She also says:

“The chapel is to be new built in the same taste; the alterations Lady
Oxford made in this place cost above 40,000 pounds, and her apartment is
the prettiest thing I ever saw, consisting of a skylight antechamber or
vestibule, adorned in the Gothic way. The rooms that encompass it are a
library, a dressing-room, a room fitted up with china and Japan of the
rarest kinds, and a Gothic room full of charming pictures, and
embellished with everything that can make it look gay and pleasant; it
is lighted by a window something of the Venetian kind, but prettier, and
the whole breadth of one side of the room.” Then, in 1758:

“My closet is just hung with crimson paper, a small pattern that looks
like velvet; as soon as dry, I shall put up my pictures; and I am going
to make a wreath to go round the circular window in the chapel, of oak
branches, vines and corn; the benches for the servants are fixed, the
_chairs_ for the upper part of the chapel are a whim of mine, but I am
not sure till I see a pattern chair that I shall like it; it is to be in
the shape and ornamented like a Gothic arch.”

Hogarth should be a very valuable guide to the furniture of this period.
As a rule, however, he seems to care very little about the delicate
details and generalizes the forms, giving an impression of excessive
heaviness and clumsiness. However, occasionally we get a good hint, as
in the bed in the scene of the countess’s toilet in _Marriage à la
Mode_. One of Hogarth’s tables is shown on Plate XXVIII., No. 1. It will
be noticed how little trouble he has taken to indicate the special kind
of foot, whether hoof or ball-and-claw. An _escritoire_ from one of the
plates of the _Industrious Apprentice_ is shown on Plate XXVIII., No. 2.
The ball-foot and drop-handles are clearly shown in this. One of
Hogarth’s chairs, which was a very common pattern during this period, is
that of No. 4, Plate XXVII. The models also numbered 9, 10 and 11 are
generally known as Hogarth chairs. No. 7 is one of Halfpenny’s designs
for a Chinese chair. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 8 are also types of chairs in
use before Chippendale brought out his book. No. 5 is an early model of
the “Windsor chair,” which came into favour during the reign of Queen
Anne and maintained its place for a century and a half. This chair dates
from about 1710. The central drawing represents a folding chair-bed. The
frame is of mahogany and the back filled with cane. The back is curved
at the top and straight at the sides, which have two curved pieces, or
wings, projecting forward. The arms are curved and the four cabriole
legs end in club feet. The backs of Nos. 9, 10 and 11 on this plate
curiously agree with the form of the fire-back No. 3 on Plate XX. This
general model appears in the inventories as the “Crown-back chair.” With
the exception of the Windsor chair, which was very often made of cheap
wood, the chairs on this plate were made of walnut or mahogany and
upholstered with velvet, cloth, leather, Turkey-work, leather, or
haircloth plain or figured.

The seat is movable, and no upholstery nails or braids were used, the
frame of the wood giving the necessary finish. The dumb-waiter on Plate
XXVIII. dates from about 1740: it is of mahogany decorated with incised
floral pattern in outline. No. 2, Plate XXVI., shows a toilet
swinging-glass dating from about 1730 which exhibits a little of the
French influence. It has a wood frame carved and gilt with flowers,
foliage and scroll ornament. Nos. 1 and 3 are other common forms of
mirrors of this period. The frames are frequently of mahogany picked out
with gold.

The general proportions of the room shown in Plate XXIV. are taken from
Hogarth’s _Marriage à la Mode_.

As a rule, the bed was the four-poster of oak, walnut or mahogany draped
with upper and lower valances and curtains. The window curtains always
matched those of the bed, and unless the chairs were of cane, or
leather, they were also covered with the same material. These hangings
were of silk or worsted damask, serge, flowered or figured russell,
harrateen, camlet, mohair, or chintz. Numerous products in silks and
cotton from India were also used. The Early Georgian bedroom was seldom
draped in white: the different bedrooms frequently are described as the
“Blue,” the “Yellow,” the “Red,” or the “Green Room.”

Sometimes a room contains an alcove and an alcove bed after the French
style, and the field-bed is not unfamiliar. The latter, however, is
chiefly reserved for the unimportant bedrooms.

The furniture includes small chairs and easy chairs, chests-of-drawers,
cases-of-drawers, chests-upon-chests, sometimes a press, a secretary,
and almost invariably two or three tables. One small table always stood
by the bed for such conveniences as a candlestick, etc.

The dressing-table was a case-of-drawers, such as is seen to the right
in Plate XXIV. Upon this is spread a toilet and over it hangs a mirror.
This is, of course, a species of commode. This piece of furniture of
late years has been called improperly a “low-boy,” as the high
case-of-drawers that sometimes stands on cabriole legs and sometimes on
six spindle-shaped legs joined by stretchers, has been called a
“high-boy.” Another variety is the chest-upon-chest consisting of a
double case-of-drawers.

These pieces are made of mahogany, walnut, cherry, or they are japanned,
painted with Chinese or Japanese subjects and lacquered, or painted and
lacquered in imitation of the French work of the day. The tall clock is
also frequently japanned and brightened with brass mounts. The frames of
looking-glasses and pictures are also frequently lacquered.

Engravings and mezzotints, which are very much in vogue, are framed in
this style, or in black. Although the grate is rapidly gaining favour,
the brass andirons have not been banished. In either case the hearth
furniture, tongs, shovel, etc., is of brass, more or less ornate.

Two bedrooms described in 1738 will give an idea of the appearance of
the sleeping-rooms of the age. One was a Green Room; the bed-curtains,
window-curtains, and chair coverings were of green harrateen. The floor
was covered with a Turkey carpet, and the chimney-piece was bright with
brass andirons and other hearth furniture. A pier-glass was hung between
the windows, and the rest of the furniture consisted of twelve chairs
and a couch, a dressing-glass and drawers, a bureau-table and three
large sconces with arms.

The other room was furnished in yellow mohair. There were six chairs, a
large chair, two stools, a desk and bookcase with glass doors, a
dressing-table and glass, a chimney-glass and sconce, a bed and brass
andirons, etc. The window curtains and window cushions matched the bed,
whose bolster and counterpane, as well as draperies, were of yellow

[Illustration: PLATE XXVIII]


Footnote 15:

  Bridgman was a famous landscape gardener of the day, and Gibbs a noted

                            LOUIS XV. PERIOD


                          THE LOUIS XV. PERIOD

The gloom and solemnity of the last years of Louis XIV., ruled by a
morose monarch and his bigoted, unacknowledged wife, gave place to the
license of the Regency, and the exuberant vitality of a young king, the
influence of which is fully reflected in decorative art. The Regency saw
a short period of inflated wealth such as had never been dreamed of by
any living man. Law’s Mississippi Bubble, before it was pricked, enabled
men to get rich in a day, and some of the upstarts paid fabulous sums
for the best work that artists of all kinds could produce. Architecture
had to give up parade and magnificence, and cater to comfort and
convenience. Paris saw mansions and pretty little houses rise by the
hundred. Their furniture and decoration bore the stamp of gaiety and
caprice. There was open rebellion against the rigid rule of the last

Le Brun’s divinities become gay and frisky and laugh at you. Fauns get
very hairy about the snout, plants climb and frolic along the limbs of
the goddesses. Olympus becomes human; partitions are built to break up
the too cold and imposing grand galleries and transform them into
_cabinets particuliers_. The pier invades the walls, the chimney-piece
assumes shell forms. In fact, as the subtle “Advice to lovers of
design,” which heads Oppenord’s collection of engravings says, these
works are composed in a “taste after the antique,—but richer.” Then, we
are led on to the charming follies of Meissonier, whom later we shall
see go even further, growing ever and ever more “rich,” but still
thoroughly under the illusory conviction that his style is “antique.”

Now we have arrived at what is perhaps the most exquisite and perfect
period of the history of furniture in France. The workers of the Regency
and of the reign of Louis XV. united with an incomparable manual
dexterity a grace, fancy and caprice that is found nowhere else except
perhaps in the best art of Japan.

Perhaps the greatest furniture-maker of this time was Charles Cressent
(b. 1685). For the perfection of his workmanship, he ranks as high as
André Charles Boulle, and perhaps surpasses the latter in the qualities
of seductiveness and elegance. He was an engraver as well as a carver.
Copper played a great part in the ornamentation of his coloured
marquetry works, and he was able to set his own mark of taste and
finesse directly upon his productions.

[Illustration: PLATE XXIX]

The Orient was exercising a powerful influence on French as on Dutch and
English taste. We have seen that a liking for the contrast of richly
coloured exotic woods was noticeable toward the end of the reign of
Louis XIV. The Siamese embassy with its rich offerings of porcelain and
lacquer had concentrated the eyes of the Court for a moment on the art
of the East. French artists catered to the novelty, and from then till
the middle of the Eighteenth Century the lacquers of China and Japan
were actively though freely imitated.

First, the monkey was all the rage as a decorative motive. Monkeys climb
up piers, swing on garlands in panels, and not only play their usual
malicious tricks, but musical instruments also. They appear in all
attitudes and combinations. Watteau, Huet, Gillot and even Chardin, the
realist, bowed to the demand for _Singerie_. A good example of the use
made of the monkey in furniture decoration is the beautiful Regency
screen on Plate XXX., in which the characteristic scroll and shell also

The monkey, however, was not the sole motive of decoration. Chinese and
Japanese screens, jars and fans soon asserted their rights; and
“_chinoiserie_” was in full swing. The walls and furniture for a time,
as in England, show strong evidence of the “Chinese” taste. In France,
however, it is followed at a greater distance from the original, and
artistically modified and developed. The “_chinoiserie_” of Watteau and
Gillot has only a faint though delicate flavour of the real Far East.
This “_chinoiserie_” had some effect on furniture in certain ornamental
details, and Cressent’s work shows traces of the prevailing taste.

The artist who perhaps had the greatest influence in producing the Louis
XV. _rocaille_ style was J. A. Meissonier (b. 1695), who by his
contemporaries was abused for having broken up the straight line
outrageously and pushed the curve to extreme limits. He was the
abomination of all who held the angular and dry in reverence. A very
able designer, Cochin, in 1754, issues an appeal to goldsmiths,
chisellers, interior woodwork carvers, engravers, etc. He begs them
“when carving an artichoke or celery head in natural size to be kind
enough not to set beside it a hare as big as a man’s finger, a lark of
natural size, and a pheasant one-fourth or one-fifth size; children of
the same size as a vine-leaf; or figures of a supposed natural size
supported by a decorative flower that could scarcely support a little
bird without bending; trees with trunks slimmer than one of their own
leaves, and many other sensible things of the same order. We should also
be infinitely obliged to them if they would be kind enough not to change
the uses of things, but to remember, for instance, that a chandelier
should be straight and perpendicular, in order to carry the light, and
not twisted as if it had been wrenched; and that a socket-rim should be
concave to receive the running wax and not convex to shed it back upon
the chandelier; and a multitude of equally unreasonable details that
would take too long to particularize. Similarly, carvers of interior
decorations of rooms are begged to be obliging enough, when executing
their trophies, not to make a scythe smaller than an hour-glass, a hat
or Basque drum larger than a bass-viol, a man’s head smaller than a
rose, nor a sickle as big as a rake.”

In reply we have the following protest: “It was necessary to find
another kind of architecture in which every worker could distinguish
himself and bring that kind of skill within the reach of everybody;
nevertheless, accepted tastes should not be rudely shocked by the sudden
production of novelties too remote from the reigning taste, thereby
risking a hissing. At first the famous Oppenord served us zealously....
He made lavish use of our favourite ornaments and brought them into
favour. Even now he is useful to us, and there are some of us who take
him as a model.... We found a stronger support in the talents of the
great Meissonier. It is true that the latter had studied in Italy, and
consequently was not one of us, but as he had wisely preferred the taste
of Boromini to the wearisome antique taste, he had thereby come closer
to us; for Boromini rendered the same service to Italy that we have to
France, by introducing there an architecture gay and independent of all
those rules that anciently were called good taste. Meissonier began by
destroying all the straight lines that were used of old; he curved the
cornices and made them bulge in every way; he curved them above and
below, before and behind, gave curves to all, even to the mouldings that
seemed least susceptible of them; he invented contrasts;—that is to say,
he banished symmetry, and made no two sides of the panels alike. On the
contrary, these two sides seem to be trying which could deviate most,
and most oddly, from the straight line that till then they had been
subject to.”

As Oppenord may be said to have presided at the opening of the Regency
style, so Meissonier inaugurated that of Louis XV. His _rocaille_
escaped the exaggerations of the contemporary foreign masters, and kept
within the bounds of good taste.

Among other decorators, less inventive but of charming taste, who
followed in the traces of Meissonier were Michel, René Stoldz or La
Joüe, Chevillon, etc. The Print Room of the _Bibliothèque Nationale_
possesses a collection of the beautiful designs of the two last-named
artists in water-colour and _gouache_. These designers used many of the
same motives as Meissonier, the shell, the cabbage-leaf, the shrimp (of
course, the forms derived from these objects), but they added to their
decorations still more fleeting and vague elements, such as falling
water, the ostrich plume, etc. La Joüe is a real past master in the art
of introducing into a decorative panel a cascade which sometimes falls
from nowhere and loses itself in pearly foam: for him everything serves
as a pretext for a cascade: neighing horses plunging in the water, an
open-jawed dragon clinging to the base of a column, a hunted stag
vomiting a jet of water into a fount whose marble rim is full of twists
and contortions.

The list of artists who contributed to interior decorations during the
Louis XV. period is a long one. It includes: Boffrand, Le Roux, Oudry,
Brisseux, Huquier, Pineau, Mondon, Cuvilliés, Gravelot, Boucher,
Blondel, Babel, Germain, Marvye, Chedel, Jombert, Babin, Cochin,
Pillement, Peyrotte, Eisen, Demarteau and Martinet. These are the great
masters of the style. The principal smaller ones are: Aubert, Crepy,
Vassy, Bachelier, Roumier, Vervien, Caylus, Lassurance, Lange, La
Collombe, Dubois, Bouchardon, Prevost, Le Grand, Fraisse, Blanchard,
Marsenois, De La Cour, Canuc, Poulleau, Mollet, Mansart, De Jouy,
Perault, Dumont, Aveline, Cornille, Chamblin, Bellay, Vanerve,
Pelletier, Paty, Chopart, Borch, La Datte, Lamour, Girard, Ballechou,
Herisset, Hubert, Metayer, Servandoni, Sloiste, Caque, L’Hermitais, Roy,
Duval, François, Charpentier, Lebas, Radel, De Lorme, Courtelle,
Viriclix, Tessier, Lattre, De Laborde and Harpin.

[Illustration: PLATE XXX]

One of the cabinet-makers who best produced the ideas of Meissonier was
Jacques Caffieri (b. 1678), who was “_sculpteur, fondeur et ciseleur du
roi_.” Even if he did not himself manufacture, he directed the
production of splendid cabinet-work. His work is distinguished by grace
and aristocratic elegance. He executed a great quantity of bronze for
the famous cabinet-maker, Œben. Many extant works bear the mark of a C
surmounted by a _fleur-de-lis_, and these are usually attributed to this
master, but the great inequality of excellence makes many critics
doubtful. Œben was a pupil of Boulle, and devoted himself exclusively to
the branch of marquetry in cabinet-making, leaving the metal decoration
to his assistants, Caffieri and Duplessis. His work was in the greatest
favour with Madame de Pompadour, who bought it through the merchant
Duvaux, one of whose best customers was the king himself. Œben died
about 1756, and his works helped to furnish all the mansions and castles
of the _Marquise_ and King in Paris, Fontainebleau, Compiégne,
Versailles, Bellevue, Crécy, Champs, Saint-Ouen, and la Celle
Saint-Cloud. His widow married his foreman, J. Henri Riesener. The other
great cabinet-makers of this period whose works are to be found in the
Rothschild, Wallace, South Kensington, and other famous collections, are
Bernard, Boudin, Ollivier, Dubois and Cremer, who worked principally in
artificially coloured marquetry, and Gamier, Pafrat and Roubo. The
latter wrote a very valuable treatise called _L’Art du menuisier_.

The taste for Chinese and Japanese art was very insistent, but at the
same time only skin-deep. There was no true feeling for the profundity
of the wonderful art in the patient work that produced the Chinese and
Japanese lacquer. It was regarded as a toy. However, progress is
noticeable, and fashion gladly welcomed the art products of the Far
East. In _Angola_, a novel within the period, we read: “Upon my word!”
says the Count to the Countess, “you have a splendid chimney-furnishing,
and those Chinese cabinets are charming. Is this the _rue du Roule_?[16]
I am simply crazy about that little man. Everything that he sells is so
expensive and scarce.” “Oh,” says the Countess, “it is a pretty good
selection.” “Well,” replies the Marquis, “there is simply a divine taste
in everything there. There are little divinities in the most wonderful
forms. This one, for instance; this and your fool of a husband are as
like as two peas.” Another description from the same work and in the
same tone tells us a “_lit de repos_, in a niche of damask, coloured
rose and silver, looked like an altar consecrated to delight; an immense
screen surrounded it, and the rest of the furniture was in perfect
accord with it; consoles, jasper corner-shelves, China cabinets loaded
with the most rare pieces of porcelain, and the chimney-piece was
decorated with corpulent gods of the most wonderful and clownish

These Chinese cabinets were principally of lacquer, more or less adapted
to French demand. Just as soon as the French taste required Oriental
goods, orders were sent abroad and the “Heathen Chinee” was quick to
supply the foreign market. The native art was gladly modified by the
merchants in accordance with the demands of foreign trade. Sometimes
even French and other goods were transported to China to have the
finishing touches added there. Of course, the time came when native
craftsmen tried to meet the demands of fashion by imitations of the
Eastern ware. The trouble was that for a long time the home workmen
could not produce the proper varnish and make a satisfactory lacquer.
Some workmen boldly used native varnishes without attempting to imitate
the Chinese and Japanese, and produced charming work of the most
delicate finish; but these, unfortunately, scarcely outlasted the
special entertainment for which they were manufactured. The undoubted
chiefs of these varnishers were the Martins. In 1744, a decree of the
Council allowed “_au Sieur Étienne Martin le cadet exclusivement à tous
autres, à l’exception du Sieur Guillaume Martin_,” the privilege of
manufacturing for twenty years all kinds of relief-work in the Japanese
and Chinese taste. In addition to the above-mentioned, we must not
forget the brothers Julien and Robert. The number of panels, carriages,
sedan-chairs, boxes and ceilings and walls that they varnished is
innumerable. The rage for their work was such that the wonderful
Boulle-work in marquetry on the walls of Versailles that Louis XIV. had
had executed for his son were destroyed and replaced by Martin
decorations on a green background. They also did a lot of work for
Madame de Pompadour at Bellevue. Their fame spread, so that Frederick
the Great summoned Robert’s son, J. A. Martin, to decorate Sans Souci.
Voltaire even thought the Martin work worth writing couplets in its

Like all fads, the _Vernis Martin_ aroused criticism and enmity.
Mirabeau indignantly denounces the “_voitures Vernis par Martin_.”
Notwithstanding jealousy and abuse, the _Vernis Martin_ held its own,
and to-day is a thing of great price. Good as it was, it could not
compare with the Japanese and Chinese lacquer, and the specimens that
have survived are relatively scarce. It may be interesting to note that
the old lacquers that sunk in the shipwreck of the _Nile_, in 1874, near
Yokohama, were found practically uninjured a year afterwards. At the
same time, the modern products of Kioto and Yeddo were entirely

In the Louis XV. period, the word apartment means a complete suite of
living-rooms. There are three kinds of apartments, large, medium and
small. A large apartment consists of a vestibule, a first ante-chamber,
a second ante-chamber, a principal chamber, a _salon_ or company-room
(reception-room or drawing-room), a bedroom and several cabinets
(studies), and _garde-robe_ (wardrobe rooms). The medium apartment has
fewer rooms and the small apartment still fewer. However, to be
complete, the smallest apartments must comprise four rooms,—an
ante-chamber, a chamber, a cabinet (dressing-room) and a _garde-robe_ (a
wardrobe), to which a small staircase leads. Each room has its own
especial decoration. First comes the vestibule. This is a passage
leading into the apartment. It is ornamented with columns, or pilasters,
and circular niches, in which statues are placed. The ante-chamber comes
next to the vestibule, and is destined for the servants. This room is
ornamented in simple style: the woodwork of the doors and windows gives
it its chief decoration, but mirrors and handsome paintings are often
hung on the walls, and sometimes the corners are rounded for the sake of
effect. This room frequently contains a stove, so that the cold air from
the vestibule may be tempered before it reaches the inner apartments.

Next comes the second ante-chamber, where the servants who are in direct
attendance upon the master wait. Sometimes this room is used for a
dining-room, or a drawing-room. If used as a drawing-room, the woodwork
is more or less richly carved, handsomely framing mirrors and pictures.
Console-tables with marble slabs stand underneath the mirrors,
contributing to the decoration of the room and exhibiting handsome
vases, ornaments, etc. Sometimes the walls are adorned with rich
tapestries reaching to the wainscot, which is of the same height as the
slab of the chimney-piece. When used as a dining-room, the buffet is the
chief feature. After indicating the place of the buffet, D’Aviler says:
“The buffet can be incrusted with marble or Portland stone, or
wainscotted with woodwork. This consists of a recess which occupies one
entire side of the room; here you place a table of marble or stone
supported on consoles, beneath which you may stand a small stone basin
for cooling the wine bottles. On each side of the table is a deep niche,
ornamented with aquatic attributes, such as Tritons, dolphins and
mascarons of gilded lead, which throw water into the little basins
below, from which it escapes, as well as into the basin underneath the
table. The back of the buffet is ornamented with a little gallery with
consoles, above which is hung a picture, usually representing fruits or
flowers, a concert of music, or other pleasant subjects. This one
(represented in D’Aviler’s book) represents upon a background of
foliage, grapes and birds, a bust of Comus’s God of Festivity, upon
which two little Satyrs are placing a crown of flowers and grapes.”

The chamber is the principal room in an apartment. Formerly it included
all the rooms inhabited by the master except the vestibules, salons,
peristyles and galleries.

The bedroom is the sleeping-room where the bed is placed. As a rule,
this faces the windows. The decoration cannot be too rich, but this does
not mean an overloading of ornament, as the best adornment consists of
panels, mirrors and pictures well distributed. The large mirror is hung
between the two windows opposite the bed, and below it is placed a
console-table of gilded wood with a marble slab. Each window is
furnished with a seat and has glass panes and an outside railing. On
each side of the window, in the corners of the room, are pilasters, like
those that decorate the rest of the room. Opposite the chimney-piece is
another glass, beneath which stands a rich commode. Pictures are placed
over the doors and mirrors.

The bedroom may also be hung with tapestries of silk like the hangings
of the bed. The pattern should be of large floral branches and leaves.

The _chambre de parade_ demands the handsomest kind of furniture. Here
visits of ceremony are received. A magnificent bed stands here in a rich
alcove, or is separated by a balustrade from the rest of the room. The
railing is quite high, gilded, and terminates in Corinthian columns.
Carved panels with pilasters, painted white and brightened with gold,
decorate the walls. A rich cornice, ornamented with consoles, and whose
metopes are enriched with bas-reliefs and trophies, runs around these
panels. The ceiling should be tastefully painted, and pictures, mirrors
and handsome furniture should complete the decoration.

White and gold, according to D’Aviler, is the most elegant composition,
especially if the wall behind the balustrade, where the bed is placed,
is covered with a tapestry of blue silk, and the bed hung with blue and
white curtains, ornamented with gold braid. The form of this room is
important: (1) it must be deeper than wide, so that, if the space
occupied by the bed is excepted, the room is square; (2) the windows
must be opposite the bed; (3) the chimney-piece must mark the centre of
the room and be exactly opposite the principal entrance.

As a rule, the _salon_ is rectangular. Its proportions are 4 to 3 or 2
to 1. There are square, round, oval and octagonal _salons_. Sometimes
Corinthian columns are used for decoration and to frame the mirrors and
pictures. The decoration is left largely to the taste of the owner, but
whatever is chosen must be of great richness and charm, because the
_salon_ is supposed to be “a retreat after a day spent in hunting or
after a walk.” Here the inmates and guests gather to enjoy the evening
with cards or conversation and light refreshments.

The cabinet is a little room in the apartment, consecrated to study. It
should be secluded and removed from all noise. As a rule, it is between
the ante-chamber and the bedroom. The morning hours are usually passed
in the cabinet. The servants go into the bedroom through the exits by
the bed, and the master or mistress is undisturbed in his cabinet, which
is decorated in the simplest kind of fashion so as not to take the
thought away from study. Sometimes the cabinet consists of three little
rooms, one _arrière-cabinet_ where books, etc., are kept and which is
very private (_cabinet secret_); the next is a _serre-papier_, where
titles, contracts, business papers and money are kept; while the third
is a kind of wardrobe and toilet-room, which communicates with the
bedroom, and has an exit for the servants. The name cabinet is also
given to the room where the ladies make their toilette, have their
oratory, or take their noonday rest.

The _garde-robe_ is the room where the clothes are kept and where the
body-servants sleep. Some architects like a chimney-piece here, for the
sake of an occasional fire.

Such is the arrangement and decoration of the large apartments. It will
be noticed that carved panels, with or without pilasters, and panelled
doors surmounted by paintings or panes of glass occur in nearly every
room. The wall decorations are important. D’Aviler says:

[Illustration: PLATE XXXI]

“The paintings in the spaces above the doors or other parts of the room
should, especially in the first rooms, show the qualities of the master,
or his exploits, so as to announce by these allegories the respect due
to the person who lives there.”

One of the favourite ways of arranging the bedroom, particularly for the
small apartment, was to place the bed in a niche, from which
circumstance the room received the name of _chambre en niche_. D’Aviler
describes it as follows:

“As for the _chambre en niche_, the bed is viewed from the front; an
arm-chair may stand on either side, the alcove being ten to eleven feet
wide. If it is smaller, the bed must be turned sideways, and the width
of the alcove must not be more than the length of the bed, its depth
also being restricted to the breadth of the bed. (See Plate XXIX.) This
will cause it to be called a niche, and the room will also receive the
same name. In this case, for the sake of symmetry, a false bolster is
placed at the foot of the bed, which has caused it to be called the
two-bolster bed (_lit à deux chevets_). These rooms are usually covered
with carpentry, all the mouldings and ornaments of which are gilded.
Sometimes people content themselves with varnish.”

D’Aviler, however, greatly prefers the _chambre en alcove_ to the
_chambre en niche_, and goes on to explain that the alcove is the part
of the bedroom in which the bed is placed. “Usually the top of it is
formed by a parallel headpiece of carpentry work, accompanied by two
other panels vertical or perpendicular to it. Sometimes, also, it is
separated from the rest of the room by an _estrade_, or by several
columns or other architectural ornaments. This makes quite a fine
effect, and it is susceptible of great decoration. Besides the
magnificence in sculpture, painting and gilding, of which the panels are
susceptible, the back of the alcoves may also be adorned with mirrors;
which light up the room and do away with the deep shadows which a bed
almost always produces in a room. This kind of strengthening has a
peculiar usefulness when it is well placed or arranged in a room; there
is then enough space remaining on both sides for small wardrobes, or at
least entrances into other wardrobes. The alcove is thus accompanied by
two doors with glass in them to admit light into these little wardrobes,
and they may be very richly decorated.”

In Blondel’s _Maisons de plaisance_ (1734), he gives us a very clear
insight into the arrangement and furnishing of a fashionable, though
somewhat modest, house of the period. We cannot do better than
paraphrase his recommendations.

As the building is intended to receive only a few people at a time, all
the rooms, with the exception of the _Salon_, in case of a reception,
are not very large.

“The vestibule is graceful in form; in the four angles are niches with
statues. The four doors are symmetrically arranged. The outside door
faces that leading to the _Salon_. This room is high in proportion to
its size. The decoration is of woodwork, painted white, without gilding,
because it is so situated as to serve as a passage to the outer rooms
around it. However, the servants having the vestibule for retirement and
the _Salon_ being then able to be occupied by the masters, it is
therefore adorned with pictures, sculpture and mirrors. In cold weather,
there is a fire here for those who want to warm themselves after their
different amusements, the apartments to the right and left being
reserved for the relaxation of the masters of the house.

“On the right of the _Salon_ is a room for play. Opposite the windows
that light it, is a niche for a sofa, and in the two angles are recesses
for cabinets for holding the chess, tric-trac, counters, etc. Opposite
the chimney-piece, the wall is panelled and carved, the ornaments being
varnished and gilded.

“All these small rooms being intended for recreation of the mind,
nothing should be neglected to render the decoration fine and gay. It is
here that genius may soar and abandon itself to the vivacity of its
caprices, whilst in the _apartments de parade_ it must restrict itself
to the most rigid rules of conduct and good taste, and not fall into the
unrestrained liberties of the carving of to-day, which should be
banished with all the more reason that true architects scarcely tolerate
them in the rooms we are now describing.

“This play-room leads into another one where coffee is served. Here
Indian and Chinese plants and figures have full licence to take part in
the decoration: here they are naturally befitting; and, in my opinion,
this is the sole place where they should be admitted.

“Next we enter a _cabinet en niche_, oval in form, which is lighted by a
glass door that leads into a little bosquet, which serves as a private
promenade for this chamber. Opposite this door is a chimney-piece in an
arcade which matches the arcade in which the _lit en niche_ is
contained, and opposite which another of the same form is imitated, or
the door leading into this room. In this doorway is a staircase leading
up to the _entresols_ that are over this room and a little room behind
it, which are intended for the servants’ sleeping-rooms.

“From the coffee-room you enter a gallery that terminates the right side
of this building. This gallery is symmetrically decorated, and the
spaces between the windows are enriched with mirrors and consoles on
which are placed various curios, such as bronzes, crystals, porcelains,

“From this gallery you enter the garden.

“To the right of the _Salon_ is a billiard room of a shape appropriate
to its use. Ornaments, mirrors and pictures rarely form part of the
decoration of this kind of a room on account of the accidents incidental
to this game; and the walls are simply covered with large panelling.

“This billiard room leads into a room which in turn leads into a
_chambre en niche_; it may be ornamented with tapestries above a
wainscot. As for the _chambre en niche_, its walls should be covered
with carpentry work all the way up. This will preserve it from the
humidity it might have, being on the ground floor, and which always
attacks apartments that are not constantly occupied. The decoration is
perfectly symmetrical. To combine pleasure and convenience, I have
arranged close to it a small _garde-robe_ that is lighted from and opens
into a little court. On each side of the niche that contains the bed,
there is a door; one serves as a passage into the _garde-robe_, and the
other opens into a recess for keeping the linen in and keeping under key
whatever the master desires.

[Illustration: PLATE XXXII]

“The little court communicates with the kitchens.

“The dining-room on the right of the vestibule is of an irregular form.
The chimney-piece faces the two windows; the angles of the superfices on
which it is placed are rounded, and in them I have placed niches for
marble tables, on which can be set the silver, crystal and dessert,
during the repast, and afterwards be put away in the closet next to this

“On the other side of the vestibule, is the common room in which the
servants dine. Next to it come the kitchens.”

When the dining-room is separate from the suite, it is usually situated
on the ground floor, near the large stairway. The architects of the day
insisted that it should be well lighted, and, if possible, open upon a
garden. The floor was of parquetry, and the walls wainscotted in oak and
sometimes carved; yet it was not unusual to have the panels carved,
painted white and gilded. The buffet with its fountain and wine-cooler
was the centre of attraction. The curtains were of silk, the chairs were
upholstered and the floor warmed by a carpet or rugs laid. On the
mantel-piece stood a clock and candelabra, and sconces and chandelier
holding many candles brightly illuminated the rooms.

One of the changes of this reign was the appearance of the _petit salon_
and _boudoir_, smaller rooms beautifully and comfortably furnished,
which were more adapted for intimate social life.

“In order to find useful furniture,” says Jacquemart, “we must pass to
the reign of Louis XV., the king who deserted the state apartments for
by-places with secret doors and back staircases.”

The Palais Soubise in Paris, the ancient home of the Guises, and the
home of the Prince de Soubise, a favourite of Louis XV. and a devoted
friend of Madame de Pompadour, is happily extant. The Prince de Soubise
took for his second wife, his cousin, Anne Julie Charbot de Rohan, so
celebrated for her beauty and her intrigues. The embellishments at the
Hôtel de Soubise were begun by them in 1704 and continued by their son,
the Duc de Rohan, who died in 1749, and the decorations of this mansion
are considered among the triumphs of the “_élégances raffinées_” of the
Eighteenth Century. Germain Boffrand, a pupil of Mansart, is responsible
for the interior architecture.

The two floors in which the Prince and Princess had their apartments
were laid out identically. The Prince occupied the _rez-de-chaussée_, or
ground-floor, consisting of a bedroom, a _Salon oval_ and ante-chambers,

The bedroom communicated directly with the _Salon oval_ and the many
windows and glass doors of the latter opened upon a formal French
garden. The decorations of these rooms were in the pale grey tone known
as _gris de lin_. There were no bright colours and no mythological
pictures of love and gallantry. The panels were laden with beautiful
wood carvings, and in the upper part between the archivolts of the doors
and windows were eight allegorical groups representing the arts and
sciences. Music, Justice, Painting and Poetry, History and Fame were
painted by Lambert Sigisbert Adam; and Astronomy, Architecture, Comedy
and the Drama by Jean Baptiste Lemoine.

The Princess’s apartments above consisted likewise of a bedroom, _Salon
oval_, and an antechamber. The bedroom was lighted by two windows that
looked upon an interior court. In the cornices and in the centre of the
panels were groups of figures inspired by the stories of Greek
mythology. On the piers, a skillful carver related the amorous
adventures of Venus and Adonis, Semele and Jupiter, Europa and the Bull,
and Argus and Mercury. In the four corners of the ceilings, the gilded
medallions represented Diana, Leda, Ganymede and Hebe; and, finally, in
the cornice, stucco figures of almost natural size stood out boldly.
They formed four groups. Between the windows, Bacchus and Ariadne were
represented; in the depth of the alcove, Diana and Endymion, and at the
side of the _Salon Oval_, Pallas and Mercury,—opposite to Venus and
Adonis. Innumerable little Cupids, bearing attributes of sciences, arts
and letters were everywhere. Over each door was a painted panel: one, by
Boucher represented the _Graces presiding at Cupid’s Education_, the
other, signed Trémolières and dated 1737, _Minerva teaching a Young Girl
the Art of Making Tapestry_. In the back of the room, standing out from
the red damask of the alcove, were two pastorals by Boucher, with
shepherds in satin garments, and shepherdesses in panier-skirts, and
beribboned sheep. All the frames, so graceful in sweeping curves, were
in delightful harmony with this subject, adding as Jules Guiffrey says,
“a fantastic piquancy to these mythological gallantries.”

“The Oval room,” says the same art critic, “will always remain one of
the most artistic models of the Eighteenth Century; and everybody knows
that the period of Louis XV. carried the science of decoration to its
last limit.” The chief paintings were done by Charles Natoire in
1737–1739, and describe the story of Cupid and Psyche in the most
charming colours; but, still quoting from M. Guiffrey, “the details of
the ornaments of the _salon oval_ defy all description. You must study
in detail the entwinings of the _rosace_, the little cupids clothed in a
beautiful coating of gold, all different in gesture, attitude and
expression, to gain an idea of the infinite resources of the designers
and sculptors of the time.”

The original chimney-piece was removed to the Tuileries, where it was
burned. The floor originally was incrusted in the style of Boulle’s
furniture, in branches of copper and pewter.

[Illustration: PLATE XXXIII]

The boudoir is generally smaller than the average room of the period.
The ceiling should be painted in the style of Boucher, with a pale sky
scattered with clouds, garlands and Cupids. The cornices are white and
gold, and the cartouches flowered and gilt. The doors are white and
gold, and ornamented with painted motives very light. The panels of the
wall are covered with silk, bearing flowers and birds on a pale rose,
blue, or lilac background. The nails are covered with a harmonious
braid. The alcove, or niche, is hung with the same material as the
panels, and the cornice matches the other woodwork. Opposite the alcove
is the window, the cornice of which repeats that of the alcove, and from
it fall the curtains, made of the same material as the wall panels and
alcove draperies, heavily wadded and lined with silk. They are
surmounted by a light drapery, caught into festoons here and there,
ornamented with shells or knots of the same stuff, and tassels or
bell-shaped balls of silk. The under curtains are white lace, and the
heavy curtains are looped back by means of light tassels of various
hues. A scarf of drapery falls on either side of the alcove, the cornice
of which sometimes is decorated with _pommes_. Below this is a valance
corresponding with the valance at the base of the _lit de repos_ that is
placed within it. The chimney-piece is white marble, surmounted by a
mirror with a frame of gilded wood carved richly in palms, flowers,
birds, shells, etc. Upon it should stand a clock and two small
candelabra of like design, or of Sèvres or Dresden porcelain. Opposite
the chimney is a similar mirror, below which is a pier table or a
commode. The carpet is Aubusson of light colours, and the doors, if
preferred, can be hung with _portières_ agreeing with the window

Sofas, easy-chairs, arm-chairs, secretaries, small tables,
corner-cupboards and _chiffonnières_ are all appropriate to the boudoir,
which may be heated with a wood fire on bright andirons, or by a grate.
The light is supplied by candles.

A book called _La Petite Maison_ (1758) contains a description of the
furnishings of a wealthy home in the height of the reign of Louis XV.

Taking the dining-room first, we find that the walls are in stucco of
many colours, made by the famous Milanese worker in stucco, Clerici, who
made the Salon de Neuilly for the Comte d’Argenson and the _Rendez-vous
de chasse de Saint-Hubert_ for the King. In the compartments were
bas-reliefs of stucco, the work of the sculptor Falconet. They
represented the feasts of Comus and Bacchus; and the King’s sculptor
Vassé had adorned the pilasters with twelve trophies, representing the
pleasures of the chase, fishing and good cheer. On each of these
trophies was fixed a _torchère_ of gilded bronze, bearing a six-branched
girandole, which could make this fine room as bright as day.

In the adjoining small cabinet, in which coffee was served, the panels
were painted of a sea-green hue with picturesque subjects brightened
with gold. In this room were a number of baskets filled with _fleurs
d’Italie_. The furniture was covered with embroidered _moiré_. Next came
the _cabinet de jeu_. Here the walls were done in Chinese lacquer; the
furniture was also of lacquer, with rich Oriental material finely
embroidered. The girandoles were of rock crystal, and upon finely carved
and gilded brackets were valuable porcelains from Saxony and Japan. A
thick-piled carpet was spread upon the floor. This room communicated by
two doors with the dining-room and the boudoir. The door into the latter
was disguised by a _portière_ of tapestry.

The salon, which opened out upon the garden, was circular, arched _en
calotte_ and painted by Hallé, a French painter, who much resembled
Boucher. The panels were painted in lilac and framed by very large
mirrors. The space above the door was also painted by Hallé in a
mythological design. The lustre and the girandoles were of Sèvres
porcelain, with supports of gilded bronze _or moulu_.

The bedroom, square in form and _à pans_, was lighted by three windows
that looked upon the garden,—an “English garden” it was. It ended in an
arch, and this arch contained in a circular frame a picture representing
_Hercules in the arms of Morpheus, awakened by Love_, painted by Pierre.
The panels were imprinted with a pale sulphur. The parquet was marquetry
of the odorous woods of amaranth and cedar. In the four corners of the
room were mirrors, and beneath them console-tables with marble tops,
upon which were arranged with great taste fine porcelains, handsome
bronzes and marbles. The bed was draped in a material from Pekin,
jonquil colour, ornamented with the gayest hues; and was enclosed in a
niche or alcove, which communicated both with the _garde-robe_ and
bath-room. The _garde-robe_ was hung with gourgouran (a kind of silk
from India), _gros vert_, on which were hung rare prints by Cochin,
Lebas and Cars. The furniture here consisted solely of ottomans,
_sultanes_ and _duchesses_.

In the bath-room, marbles, porcelains and muslin were not stinted. The
panels were covered with arabesques executed by Pérot after designs of
Gillot, and distributed in compartments with much taste. Marine plants
mounted in bronze by Caffieri, pagodas, crystals and shells decorated
the room. In it were two niches: in one was a silver bathtub; in the
other a bed draped in Indian muslin, embroidered and adorned with
tassels. This was a _lit de repos_, and at its side opened the
dressing-room. The panels here were painted by Huet, the designs being
medallions, garlands of flowers, birds, fruits, and some gallant subject
in the style of Boucher. The upper part was finished with a cornice,
surmounted by architectural motives that also bordered a surbased
calotte containing a mosaic of gold, with bouquets of flowers painted by
Bachelier. Natural flowers filled the bowls of porcelain _gros bleu_,
ornamented with gold. Furniture, _gros bleu_, the wood of which was
aventurine, had been finished by Martin. The toilet service was of
silver, made by the goldsmith Germain.

The boudoir was, perhaps, the most elaborate of all the rooms. The walls
were completely covered with mirrors, whose joinings were masqued and
disguised by the trunks of artificial trees massed and arranged so that
they formed a quincunx that one might believe real. These trees were
loaded with flowers of porcelain and gilded girandoles, which produced,
with their rose-coloured and blue candles, a soft and diaphanous light,
reflected, but moderated by the transparent gauze that had been spread
over the mirrors at the back of the room, where there reigned a
voluptuous twilight. In the niche, also covered with mirrors, was a _lit
de repos_ enriched with gold braid and accompanied with cushions of all
sizes. The parquet was of rosewood. All the carpentry work and carving
was painted by Dardillon, who, in painting and gilding the panels, had
mingled with the colours some odorous ingredients for the purpose of
having them exhale a perfume. This boudoir was thus a natural bouquet,
exhaling from its paintings and gilding the combined perfume of violet,
jasmin and rose.

One wishing to furnish a room in the Louis XV. style could hardly find a
better model than the following that dates from 1730. This had a
furnishing of Lyons brocade of jonquil-coloured background embossed with
silver flowers, designed by Lallié, and trimmed with braid, lace, and
silver fringe. The set consisted of a bed, two _fauteuils_, two square
cushions, six folding-stools, a screen, a folding-screen, wall-hangings,
and four _portières_. The window-curtains were of plain jonquil taffeta,
trimmed at the sides and top with silver lace, and at the bottom with a
silver fringe. Each curtain was 13 feet, 10 inches long, divided into
two parts, each part containing two lengths. The four _portières_ of
jonquil and silver brocade were lined with jonquil taffeta. Each was in
two parts, each of three lengths (2⅓ ells long), and trimmed like the
window-curtains. The wall-hangings were trimmed with silver braid. They
comprised 24 lengths, 10⅔ ells around the course, which was 3¼ ells
high. The _fauteuils_ were of the typical style with wavy top rail,
curving arms with cushions on the elbows and _bombé_ fronts. The frames
were richly carved and silvered. These chairs were covered with jonquil
brocade and trimmed with silver braid and fringe. The square cushions of
the same brocade were trimmed with silver braid and had a silver tassel
at each corner. The frames of the folding-stools were carved and gilt;
the seats were covered with jonquil brocade. The screens were also
covered with the same material, which was tacked on by silver-headed
nails upon silver braid. The bed was magnificent. It was 11 feet, 8
inches high, 6 feet long and 5½ feet wide. The draperies were
exclusively of the jonquil brocade lined with jonquil taffeta and
trimmed with silver braid and silver fringe. The draperies consisted of
three inside and four outside valances enriched with embroidery. The
latter were gracefully looped in irregular festoons and trimmed with a
silver braid. Silver braid arranged in the form of shells fastened the
curtains back to the columns. The headboard was embroidered in silver
with designs of flowers and peacock feathers in high relief. The
_Imperial_, or canopy, to which were attached the inside valances, was
lined with jonquil taffeta and trimmed with silver braid. Four
“_pommes_” in the shape of vases covered with jonquil brocade trimmed
with silver, supported by leaves and scrolls of embroidery, held four
“bouquets,” containing altogether 120 plumes and four _aigrettes_.

The furnishings of the bed were luxurious in the extreme. It was
supplied with four woollen mattresses covered with some jonquil-hued
material, a down bolster covered with white taffeta, a scarlet ratteen
blanket of Holland manufacture, another blanket of white wool bordered
with jonquil ribbon, a counterpane of Marseille _piqué_, and a quilted
and wadded counterpane of white satin. The outside ornamental
counterpane was of jonquil and silver brocade lined with jonquil taffeta
and trimmed with silver braid and fringe.

Another suggestion for furnishing may be gained from a description of
Madame de Pompadour’s room at the Château de Saint-Hubert, which was
furnished in 1762 with a rich damask from India of green and white
stripes. The two _fauteuils_ and six chairs with backs were covered with
this material, ornamented with a braid of assorted silks. The wood of
the frames was carved and painted green and white. A small _tabouret_, a
little footstool, and a _fauteuil en confessional_[17] with its cushion
were similarly covered and had also carved frames painted white and
green. There was also a _fauteuil de toilette_ made of beech and cane,
the cushion and back of which were covered with green and white damask.
There was a folding-screen covered with the same damask on both sides
and ornamented with silk tassels. The carved frame was also painted
green and white. The one _portière_ in the room contained three lengths
of the same damask, two ells in length, and was lined with white taffeta
and trimmed with silk braid. The toilet-table was covered with a piece
of the same damask, 7 feet, 4 inches long, lined with white taffeta and
ornamented at each corner with a tassel of green and white silk. The
window curtains were in two parts, each part containing two lengths of
white silk (_gros de Tours_), 2½ ells long, trimmed with a braid of
green and white silk.

The bed was completely draped in the same damask. It had four columns,
headboard and footboard, and “imperial” or canopy (with four outside and
four inside valances) four curtains _en cantonnières_, containing
altogether twenty lengths, with four silk cords to attach them; the
counterpane, three lower valances, four sheaths for the pillows, and
four _pommes_ were trimmed with silk fringe.

This bed stood on castors, and was 4½ feet wide; 6 feet, 3 inches long;
and 8 feet high. Three mattresses, a down-bed, two down bolsters, soft
woollen blankets bordered with ribbons, a _piqué_ Marseilles
counterpane, and a white satin coverlet, were among its comfortable

In this room were also two _commodes_ of rosewood veneered and set with
mosaics, the tops of violet _breccia_ marble. In front were two drawers.
The length was 3½ feet; the width 20 inches; and the height 32 inches.
The mounts, trimmings and shoe of the leg were of bronze gilt _or
moulu_. The writing-table was of rosewood inlaid with flowers of violet
wood, with flap to let down. This was covered with black leather. On the
right, it had a drawer that contained writing-materials. All the mounts
and feet were of bronze gilt. This table was 26 inches high, 23 inches
long and 15 inches wide.

A night-table was also in this apartment. It was 20 inches long, 13
inches wide and 32 inches high. It was of violet wood and rosewood, the
top, a slab of _breccia_ marble from Aleppo, the height 32 inches; the
length, 20 inches; and the width 13 inches. The shoes of the feet and
the ring-handles were of gilt bronze _or moulu_.

The room was heated by means of a grate, on each side of which was
represented a child holding a bouquet. The depth was 22 inches. The
shovel and tongs were gilded.

A peculiar feature was a _niche en tabouret_ for two dogs, covered with
the same damask of white and green, the wood painted white and green.
Within it were two mattresses covered with white linen.

[Illustration: PLATE XXXIV]

The furniture of Madame la Princesse de Talmont’s apartment at the
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1771 consisted of a bed, two
settees, eight arm-chairs, two _banquettes_, two screens, three
commodes, four writing-tables, a night-table, a _bidet_, three chairs,
two corner-cupboards, three mirrors and two _portières_. The
wall-hangings were white Chinese satin with figures, flowers, and
animals richly embroidered in coloured silks. The same material was used
for the bed, screens, sofas and chairs, but the two _portières_ (10
feet, 9 inches long) were of white taffeta trimmed with a silk braid of
many colours. The bed, a _lit à impériale et à la duchesse_, was
composed of three outside valances of green taffeta ornamented with a
deep lace of gold arranged in festoons; the four inside valances were
trimmed in the same style with a narrower gold lace, and these, as well
as the ceiling, back, headboard, _bonnes grâces_, counterpane, and three
lower valances were of the white satin embroidered with figures and
trimmed with gold lace. There were also two curtains of white taffeta
lined with serge. The bed itself with its canopy crosswise was 5 feet, 4
inches wide, 6½ feet long, and 12½ feet high and was equipped with three
mattresses, a feather bed and feather bolster. The spread was a
Marseilles _piqué_. The two sofas were each 6 feet long of sweeping and
_bombé_ curves, the arms also rounded and adorned with the small cushion
on top (_manchette_). The material was fastened to the frames with
silver nails. Each had a mattress and two square pillows, also covered
with the embroidered satin. The eight arm-chairs, the two _banquettes_
and one screen were covered in the same style.

The folding-screen of six leaves, was 4 feet high. It was also covered
with the same material, and its frame, like the wood of the rest of the
furniture already described, was carved and varnished.

One of the mirrors had a border of carved leaves gilded. Its glass was
28 inches high and 21 inches wide. The other two had a gilded border, 4
inches wide; the glass of each was 26 inches high and 20 inches wide.
The three commodes were _à la Régence_, violet and rosewood veneered.
Each was surmounted by a slab of Flemish marble, and contained one large
and two small drawers. All the mounts, locks, friezes, ornamental
_chutes_, and feet were of bronze gilt. They were 34 inches high, about
4½ feet long, and 22 inches deep. Two of the writing-tables were of
violet-wood and rosewood veneered with cross-grained contrasts and on
the right side each had a drawer with lock, that contained an inkstand
and other writing materials. One contained in front a little shelf or
flap, 2½ feet wide, covered with black leather and had gilt bronze feet;
the other was ornamented outside with flowers applied and was 2 feet
long, about 18 inches wide and 26 inches high. The other writing tables
were 2 feet long, 15 inches wide, and 26 inches high. The night-table
was of cherry-wood inlaid with threads of amaranth wood with a slab of
Flemish marble. This was 27 inches high, 17 inches long and 11 inches
deep. The _bidet_, 18 inches long, 15 inches wide and 10 inches high,
was of cherry. Its top was a _tabouret_ colored with red leather put on
with gilt nails. The two corner cupboards were of various Indian woods
veneered, and had tops of Flemish marble. In front were two doors that
locked. The feet and ornamental metal and key-plates were of bronze
gilt; these were about 30 inches high and were surmounted by a series of
four shelves, 28 inches high and 11 inches square.

In 1729, a complete set of “Persian” furniture consists of hangings for
the wall, a _lit de repos_, four _fauteuils à bergère_, two chairs with
backs, two _portières_ and a window-curtain. The “Persian” was a kind of
figured chintz with a white background. The _lit de repos en Ottoman_
was 10 feet long and 3 feet deep, and was equipped with a mattress, 2
bolsters and 6 square cushions, all covered with “Persian.” The two
_portières_ were of two lengths, each 7 feet, and were trimmed with a
blue and white silk braid, and lined with white English taffeta. The
window-curtain of the same was 7 feet, 10 inches long, containing three
lengths. The seats were all covered similarly.

In 1730, a furnishing for a cabinet described as “mi-party of brocade of
silver background on which are gold branches outlined in musk-colour,
and crimson damask trimmed with gold,” consisted of wall-hangings, a
niche, two _portières_, two _lits de repos_, an arm-chair, twelve
folding-stools and six small and low folding-stools. The two _portières_
were in two parts each; each half containing three half-lengths of
brocade and two lengths of damask (3 ells long), trimmed all around with
a deep gold braid and lined with crimson taffeta.

“The niche, in the form of an _armoire_, serving as a shelter for a _lit
de repos_,” was hung outside with five lengths of brocade and three of
damask (8 feet, 7 inches high), trimmed at the top, bottom and sides
with a golden braid. Inside were five lengths of brocade and four of
damask. Two curtains hung before the niche, each containing three
half-lengths of the brocade and two lengths of damask (8 feet, 4 inches
high). These were trimmed with gold braid and fringe, and lined with
crimson taffeta. There were also two valances for the niche, one outside
and one inside. The outside one was of the brocade and damask mi-party,
the inside one of crimson damask. They were bordered with gold braid and
fringe. Above the niche were four carved vases of flowers to serve as

The _lit de repos_ that was placed in the niche was 6 feet long and 2½
feet wide. It was furnished with two mattresses, two bolsters and two
square pillows. The valances and coverings were of the brocade and
damask, trimmed with gold braid and fringe. The cushions were ornamented
with gold tassels. The other _lit de repos_, 7 feet long and 2½ feet
wide, was similarly draped. The _fauteuil_ and folding-stools were
covered with a square of crimson damask, bordered with a band of the
silver and gold brocade. The frames were painted red, picked out with

A furnishing of 1730 was of lemon-coloured leather, framed in red
leather in large compartments, bordered with a narrow braid and cord of
silver. The furniture included a sofa, two forms, twelve _tabourets_ and
a folding-screen of six leaves. The sofa was 7 feet, 8 inches long, 25
inches deep and 3 feet, 9 inches high from top to floor. The frame was
carved and lacquered, and the leather was fastened to it by means of
silver-headed nails. The screen was covered in the same fashion.

We also hear of a set of furnishings, dating from 1732, of white silk
with a pattern of honeysuckle branches, with other ornaments forming
cartouches of cut-out green taffeta. This was used for covering two
arm-chairs, two square pillows, twelve folding-seats, and two screens,
as well as for draping the bed and for the wall-hangings. The latter
were 3 ells high in 27 lengths. The arm-chairs were trimmed with green
silk braid, and the material was fastened by gilt-headed nails to the
frames, which were carved and gilt, with curving arms and backs. They
were furnished with square cushions, which were adorned with green silk
fringe and green silk tassels. The bed was _Impériale et à la Duchesse_,
and stood lengthwise. It was 12 feet high, 6 feet, 10 inches long, and 5
feet, 8 inches wide. It was draped with three outside valances, four
inside valances, festooned, a headboard with sweeping top, inside and
outside _bonnes grâces_, counterpane, three lower valances and two
curtains of 16 lengths each. All of these were of the white silk with
the honeysuckle pattern and green cartouches. The _bonnes grâces_ were
looped back and held by two ornamental hooks. On the top of the bed
there were four consoles for “_pommes_,” bearing altogether eighty

This bed was equipped with four woollen mattresses, a down bolster, a
red blanket, a white English blanket, a Marseilles counterpane _piqué_,
a wadded quilt and a coverlet of white silk lined with taffeta.

The cabinet was furnished in the same material, which was used for two
_portières_, two window curtains, a sofa, two arm-chairs, twelve
folding-stools and two screens. The sofa was 6 feet long, with curving
wings or cheeks, the frame carved and gilt. It had a mattress and two
square cushions. The _portières_, 9 feet, 7 inches long, were lined with
white silk, each containing three lengths of material. The windows were
12 feet, 10 inches high, and the curtains contained each two lengths.

The above detailed descriptions will enable anybody to furnish a Louis
XV. room in the most fashionable and sumptuous style.

At no period in the history of art have the masters of decoration given
proof of more science and skill in the technique of curves than during
the Louis XV. period. Some of the skeletonized curves with which
Meissonier and his school loved to adorn mouldings and the framework of
all kinds of furniture are shown on Plate XXXII., Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5.
These elements were elaborated in a hundred various ways. This kind of
curved ornament used on large pieces of furniture is exemplified in the
sketch No. 1 on the same plate. This is a big china cupboard, or
double-bodied _buffet-vitrine_. It is far more sober in its
ornamentation than many objects of this class of the Louis XV. period.
It was made in Liège.

On the same plate is a beautiful _bras de lumière_ in gilded bronze by
Caffieri, with arms for candles. The branches twisted in moulded
volutes, enriched with acanthus, palm and oak leaves, flowers and buds,
spring with masterly management from a central stem which is robust and
in entire harmony with the dimensions of the whole. It is about 32
inches high.

The change from the Louis XV. to the Louis XVI. style, though marked,
was by no means violent or sudden. Chairs and settees are often found
with clearly defined transitional features in the mouldings and
ornamentation of the framework. Some of the Fontainebleau furniture
covered with tapestry from Boucher’s designs has the straight grooved
leg and other Louis XVI. characteristics. On Plate XXXVI., Nos. 3, 4, 5
and 7 are shown the details of a charming _causeuse_ of the transitional
period. The general disposition preserves the undulous flexions of the
Louis XV. style, and the details of the carving (bunches of flowers)
obey the law that proscribes those parts that are too prominent and
likely to form too sharp angles. The central cluster on the top of the
back, No. 3, soberly follows in its flowers and leaves the Louis XVI.
sweep, being in very low relief like the cluster No. 4 that heads the
middle leg. The general interlacings that run round the entire framework
are also in very low relief. This motive, borrowed from _passementerie_,
harmonizes excellently with the surfaces covered by the woven stuff. No.
5 shows the sections, curves and deep grooves of the mouldings of the

Towards the end of the Louis XV. period, the feet and general outlines
of the chairs and other furniture become more restrained and less
curved. The straight line that gradually asserts itself, and the knots
of ribbon, shepherds’ and shepherdesses’ hats, crowns and garlands that
appear as motives announce the coming _style Louis Seize_.

The bed was of many varieties. The great _lit d’ange_ is still met with,
but alcove and sofa-beds are far more popular. One of the new varieties
of the latter was the _lit d’anglaise_, which seems to have come into
fashion about 1750. This had three backs, or rather a back and a
headboard and footboard. In his _Principes de l’art du tapissier_,
Bimont says “the _lit d’anglaise_ can be used as a sofa at need. Care
must be taken that the backs fold exactly one over the other, which, of
course, is a matter of mechanical excellence.”

The _lit à la polonaise_ had four columns and a canopy. Sometimes the
canopy was decorated with a little graceful carving. A “_pomme_” or a
bunch of feathers, ornamented the centre and each corner of the canopy.
Houdon, the sculptor, had a _lit à la polonaise_ draped in yellow Indian
damask trimmed with braid, the woodwork of which was carved and painted
white. One of these beds, with a carved and gilt frame hung with crimson
damask, was sold for 3,000 livres in 1770; another, for 2,500 livres in
1777; and a third for 1,100 livres in 1782. Sometimes the frames were
made entirely of iron and draped.

The _lit de duchesse_ was also popular. In 1743, when the Queen’s
bedroom was refurnished for Marie Leczinska, a _lit de duchesse_ was
provided. The Duc de Luynes says: “This bed is of white silk,
embroidered and painted. The bed is not composed of four posts, as all
the Queen’s beds have been up to the present. It is what is called _à la

[Illustration: PLATE XXXV]

Another favourite was the _lit en ottamane_ which dates from about 1765.
One is described as a “_lit en ottomane_” of 5 feet, the dome and the
rest of the woodwork carved and gilt and the counterpane, the curtains
and the interior of cherry-coloured Indian damask.

Another, in 1770, was of “blue and white _moiré_, 3½ feet wide, _en
ottomane_, the wood carved and picked out with blue.” The _lit en
ottomane_ was a variety of the _lit de repos_.

The _lit à romaine_, which became popular about 1760, had a canopy and
four festooned curtains. The _lit à tulipe_ was similar to the _lit à
arc_, or _lit à flèche_; only, instead of an ornamental arrow fixed to
its pavilion, its decoration was a bronze, copper or gilded tulip from
the hanging bell of which the curtains seemed to fall. The _lit à la
Turque_, in fashion from 1755 to 1780, was a sort of sofa with three
backs; a variation was introduced about 1766. The _lit à tombeau_ (see
Plate XXXVI., No. 8) was also a favourite. The two posts at its foot
were shorter than the two at the head, and the canopy had in consequence
a somewhat sharp slant. It much resembles what in England was called a
“single-headed couch or field bed.” The _lit à double tombeau_ had posts
of equal height and the curtains fell down the sides in equal slants.

We also find among the beds of the day (1751) a _lit en baldaquin_ of
crimson damask, composed of a little canopy, two small and one large
valances, a large headboard, counterpane, two backs and two hooks. It
was 3½ feet wide and 6 feet long, and was equipped with two wool
mattresses, a feather bed and two feather bolsters.

Another _lit en baldaquin_ had its canopy, two small and one large
valances and headboard hung in green and white stripes while the two
large curtains (5 lengths each, 7½ feet long) were of green serge.

A _lit à chassis_ (canopy bed) was draped entirely in a green and white
striped material. It was composed of a canopy, four small and three
large valances, two lower valances, a headboard and a counterpane. The
frame was 9 feet, 8 inches high, and 4 feet wide.

Another _lit en chassis en l’air_ had its four small valances,
headboard, counterpane, two large curtains and two _bonnes grâces_ of
green serge and its three large valances and three lower valances of
green and white stripes.

The _lit de repos_, a kind of _chaise longue_ or couch, made for
lounging upon and of which examples have already been given on Plates
VIII., XIII., XVIII. and XX., becomes in this reign even of greater
importance. Sometimes two of them occur in a bedroom or boudoir. One of
these is represented in the niche or alcove on Plate XXIX.

A suggestion for a beautiful alcove bed may be taken from one dating
from 1732. This was equipped with a mattress, two bolsters and two
square pillows, and had three backs, all covered and draped with white
satin embroidered in poppies of natural hues, and ornamented with a
braid of silk embroidery. The feet of the bed were in the form of
consoles, carved and varnished. The room in which this was placed, also
contained a _fauteuil_ of beech, carved, upon the cane back and seat of
which was a cushion covered with the poppy-embroidered satin. Two
similar cushions furnished a chair of acacia and fine straw, and the
same material was used to cover two _banquettes_ or forms, of beech,
carved and varnished, and having hinds’ feet.

The first alcove beds were called _lits en niche_, and they were always
_lits de boudoir_ rather than beds for the sleeping room. In many old
designs, curtains are lacking and the bed is adorned merely with a
lambrequin, or a drapery across the façade of the niche or alcove, this
drapery being similar to the covering of the bed itself, which is
sometimes in the form of a _lit de repos_ or a sofa.

Some alcoves under the reign of Louis XV. contained a bed _vu de pied_
that stood very low and whose feet projected into the room. One of this
kind was in the Hôtel de Soubise; and the model may be seen in many old

An extreme example of the rococo decoration of a bed is shown on Plate
XXXIV. This is by J. J. Schübler, who died in Nuremberg in 1741.
Schübler, an architect, painter, sculptor and mathematician, was also
one of the most famous masters of decorative design of his day. His
original drawings include French beds, cabinets, alcoves, grates,
mantel-pieces, writing-tables, toilette-tables, clock-cases, commodes,
_chaises longues_, dining-room tables, candlestands, _dressoirs_,
lustres, _étagères_, consoles, jewel-cases, buffets, fountains,
garden-ornaments and grottoes. His collection of 150 plates passed
through twenty editions. His works often resemble those of Paul Decker,
another celebrated German master, who died in Nuremberg in 1713; and,
just as Decker is a German exponent of the late Louis XIV. emerging from
the influence of Bérain and Lepautre into the style of the Regency, so
Schübler exhibits the transitional stage between the Regency and Louis
XV. as filtered through a German mind. Two of Decker’s designs are shown
on Plate XXXIII., Nos. 1 and 2.

A bed of the late Louis XV. period also appears on Plate XXXIV., No. 2,
showing the correct arrangement of the canopy and draperies above the

Window-curtains were of great importance. They hung from a cornice which
was carved, more or less ornately, in curves, scrolls and other
characteristic motives. Occasionally the curtains were of muslin or
gauze, but more frequently of silk, damask, brocatelle or “Persian.”
They were of a solid hue, or a mixture of two or three colours. The
designs of these rich materials were much smaller in pattern, as a rule,
than those of the preceding reign and they were far gayer in colour, for
all the crimson, _gros bleu_, _gros vert_ and other dark shades gave
place to the light hues of rose, pale green, pale blue, jonquil, yellow,

The shapes and folds into which the curtains were cut and draped were
spirited, fantastic, and even coquettish, in order to harmonize with the
general character of the decorations and furniture, and it required the
greatest skill on the part of the decorators to loop and tie them into
the correct knots, shells, “_choux_,” “_volants_,” etc., to give them
the proper effect and light, half frivolous air.

The lambrequin, which was extremely popular, differed from that in use
in the reign of Louis XIV. It was less severe and straight, being cut
more freely in order to accord with the cornice that surmounted it.
Instead of the rounded scallop, it often terminated in points, to each
of which a tassel was hung. Braids took the place of lace in trimming,
and the favourite fringe consisted of twisted strands of mixed colours.
The ravelled-out fringe, long so popular, at last disappeared. An
example of the pointed drapery is shown in the Schübler bed on Plate

The commode was universally used in the bedrooms and boudoirs. It
generally stood opposite the mantel-piece. It is now a superb piece of
furniture, being, as a rule, richly decorated with gilt bronze _or
moulu_ and often painted and lacquered in the Chinese taste,—in _Vernis
Martin_. It was the famous Cressent who made the Commode _à la Régence_,
_à la Chartres_, _à la Bagnolet_, _à la Charolais_, _à la Harant_ and _à
la Dauphine_ fashionable. One of Cressent’s commodes, sold in 1761, was
thus described by himself: “A commode of a pleasing contour, made of
violet-wood, having four drawers and ornamented with bronze gilt, _or
moulu_. This commode is a work (with regard to the bronzes) of an
extraordinary richness; they are very well executed and the distribution
of them very fine; among other things, you notice the bust of a Spanish
woman placed between the four drawers; two dragons, whose tails turned
up in relief form the handles for the two upper drawers, and the stems
of two great leaves of a beautiful form are also turned up in relief to
make handles for the two lower ones: you must admit that this commode is
a veritable curiosity.”

Another of Cressent’s commodes owned by the Baron Rothschild in London
“is of a most elegant form upon which the bronzes of an extraordinary
richness represent, on the front, two children swinging a monkey.” Jean
Jacques Caffieri also made superb commodes. One of his, ornamented with
superb bronzes in the _rocaille_ style, is in the Wallace Collection
which also owns a commode by Cressent. Sometimes the commode was
ornamented with panels of rosewood, or violet-wood, or some other exotic
product, framed in spiky bronze work, or again, it was of lacquer, the
designs being flowers, leaves, Chinese pagodas and landscapes.

Two commodes are represented on Plate XXXV. The lower one is made of
violet-wood with ornaments of chiselled copper, Nos. 2a and 2b show the
handles and the end of another by Pinaud. This dates from 1750. The
decorative details are of gilt copper and show the mascaron and
gracefully twining leaves. The handles and key-plates are hidden by the
ornaments. The key-plates of the two drawers are different, as will be
noted. On the upper one, a woman’s head is represented, while the lower
one has a fine shell. The third ornament below these is a shell with the
favourite device of dripping water. A commode dressing-table appears as
No. 12 on Plate XXXVI. The foot of a chest-of-drawers with beautiful
ornamentation of chased and gilded copper, is on the same plate, No. 11.
At this date the _Cabinet de toilette_ is often called the _Cabinet à la
Poudre_, the name not needing a definition when we recall the numerous
pictures and caricatures of the fashionable lady seated before her
glass, with her _coiffeur_, or _femme de chambre_, mounted on a stool,
or ladder, busy working on the towering headdress. The toilet table was
a commode or a simple table spread with linen, silk, or lace over silk,
and above which was hung a glass. Frequently lace, muslin, chintz, or
silk, was looped over the table and caught back by knots of ribbon,
artificial flowers, or gilded figures of Cupids, or dolphins, or some
favourite device of the day. The small _chiffonnier_ with drawers, made
of marquetry, or _Vernis Martin_, and ornamented with gilt bronze _or
moulu_ mounts, dates from this period.

The _armoire_ is still in use. In 1760, we hear of the lower part of a
large _armoire_ in the form of a bookcase, of violet-wood veneered in
mosaics. It was 7½ feet long, 4 feet high, and 26 inches deep. The
interior was divided into three compartments and a long shelf covered
with crimson watered silk. In front were three doors, the middle one of
which was enriched with a large medallion, bronze gilt _or moulu_,
representing Minerva holding in her right hand a compass with which she
is measuring a globe, on a background of lapis lazuli painted. The other
doors were decorated with trophies in bronze gilt _or moulu_
representing mathematical instruments. On the ends were cartouches of
bronze gilt _or moulu_ of various Chinese plants. The bookcase was
ornamented with hasps and mouldings also of bronze gilt _or moulu_ and
stood on six feet, the four front ones being square and the two in the
back round.

The form is still in use. In 1750, the archives of Versailles mention:
“seven _formes de moquette_ with coloured flowers on a white background,
5 or 6 feet long, and from 2 to 4 feet, by 18 inches high, and 15 inches
wide, nailed with gilded nails, to serve the Queen at the _grand

These were also known as _banquettes_ as early as 1732. In 1770, there
is mention for the service of the King, of “nine _banquettes_ covered
with crimson plush 6 feet long and 17 inches wide to be used at the
_grand couvert_” also, in the same year, to serve in the _Salle de
spectacle amphithéâtre_, four _banquettes_ each having two elbows,
covered with blue velvet garnished with gold braid nailed on with gilt
nails, the wood painted blue picked out with gold.

The frames of the chairs and arm-chairs of this period were not only
carved and gilt, but were painted or lacquered as well. Sometimes one
colour only was used, which was brightened by threads of gold, or white,
or some gay hue harmonizing, or contrasting, with the upholstery.
Sometimes the wood was painted in several colours, and often, too,
another kind of painting, known as _camaïeux_,[18] was used. Simpler
arm-chairs, and chairs that were met with in the drawing-room were of
natural oak, or beech, polished with an encaustic. In the same room with
the large arm-chairs smaller ones are often found. These were known as
_cabriolets_, probably owing to the ease by which they were moved about,
as well as to their shape. In general design, the _cabriolet_ was like
the large arm-chair, but it was even more curved, more arched, and more
exaggerated than its parent. The elbows too were more wavy and were
always of a most graceful sweep. At the beginning of this period, the
back was of the form of a violin, but later the medallion form became
more popular. The upholsterers studied the proportions of the smaller
chair as they did the large one, and gave the seats less thickness and a
more square, or a rounder effect, according to the form and proportions
of the seat and back, as well as the curves of the whole frame. The
small arm-chair was placed in front of, or at the side of, one of the
great arm-chairs in the drawing-room or boudoir. The _cabriolet_ had to
agree with its large companion either in its frame, or else its covering
had to be of the same material.

[Illustration: PLATE XXXVI]

The arm-chair (_fauteuil_) is represented on Plate No. XIII.

These chairs and sofas were upholstered with many of the textiles used
in the reign of Louis XIV. One of the most popular coverings was Gobelin
or Aubusson tapestry representing the graceful designs of Watteau, or
Æsop’s _Fables_. Utrecht velvet and Lyons damask with floral designs
were also popular, as well as silk brocaded with coloured flowers.
Sometimes a braid or lace (a very favourite pattern being the rat-tooth,
“_dent de rat_”) was used to hide the nails; but the material was also
tacked to the frames by gilt-headed nails placed so close together that
they touched one another.

A typical pattern of the period is shown in the sofa on Plate XXXII.

Turning now to special descriptions of chairs at Versailles, we find in
1722, “two _fauteuils_ of varnished walnut and open-work cane; the
_manchettes_ (elbow-cushions) and backs upholstered in lemon-coloured
leather,” the backs curved; three _fauteuils_ of varnished walnut wood
and cane with sweeping backs and console feet, and carved with several
ornaments; twelve chairs with backs, of cherry wood and open-worked
cane, the backs having sweeping curves and feet in consoles, carved with
various ornaments, including shells. The latter stood 39 inches high,
including back, the seats measured 16 inches. In 1729, “six _fauteuils_
of cane and cherry-wood carved with several ornaments and varnished, the
backs curved and the elbows cushioned.” They were upholstered in red
leather with a braid of gold, nailed with gilt-headed nails. Also “four
_fauteuils_ of beech-wood, varnished and cane, had curved and carved
backs ornamented with a carved border all around the seat, the arms also
carved at the ends.” These were upholstered in lemon-coloured leather
fastened with silver-headed nails placed close together.

In 1730, there were “fourteen _chaises à la Reine_, covered with crimson
and gold damask, the frames carved and gilt.” Also “three _chaises à la
Reine_ covered with crimson and gold damask nailed to the frames with
gilt-headed nails, very close together, the frames painted red and
gold;” also “four _fauteuils_ and two _tabourets_ of walnut covered with
black leather;” and finally a _chaise d’affaires_, the frame on a
background of black lacquer and “_aventurine de Japon_,” with landscapes
and birds in relief in colours and gilt in the borders, a mosaic of
mother-of-pearl and copper wire _à la Chinoise_. The chair was lined
with red lacquer, and the cushion was green velvet. This remarkable
chair was 19 x 15 inches wide and 19 inches deep. The _chaise à la
Reine_, mentioned above, had a very low seat with a very high back.

In the same year, there are two _fauteuils_, Chinese style, painted at
the Gobelins, with cartouches, representing figures, birds, Chinese
houses, etc. The border was of carved and gilt wood, the feet hinds’
feet, the backs ending in a shell, and the seats and backs covered with
crimson damask.

In 1736, two _banquettes_ of beech-wood, delicately carved and
varnished, 24 inches long, 14 inches deep and 15 inches high, have seats
of cane, each supplied with a hair cushion covered on both sides with
crimson damask, tufted. There were also three _tabourets_ like the
above, only shorter,—16 inches long, 14 inches deep and 16 inches high.

In 1737, a tall chair of beech lightly carved appears, the curved back
filled with cane, and the seat, lemon-coloured velvet fastened with
silver-headed nails, standing on four hinds’ feet. Two little chairs of
gilt cane, the backs curved, the wood delicately carved and gilt are
also mentioned.

In 1751, six chairs of fine straw were made, each with two cushions for
the seat, the back of crimson damask, tufted; and six folding-stools
covered with crimson damask garnished with a gold fringe, the wood
painted red picked out with gold, for M. le Dauphin.

Several arm-chairs of a new shape appear. One, usually placed by the
hearth near the fire, is of the “gondola” form. The ornamentation, of
course, followed the general style of the room. This is the period at
which they began to take the name of _fauteuil de bergère_, or
_marquise_ (see Plate XXXVI., No. 1). The _bergère_, or “burjair,”
played a very important part in the new styles put forth by Chippendale,
Ince and Mayhew, Heppelwhite and others. It was, as a general rule,
quite large, wider than it was deep, and the seat was not very high from
the floor. The _bergère_ was sometimes accompanied by a _tabouret_,
which was placed immediately in front of the chair, and made of it a
kind of _chaise longue_.

In this reign arm-chairs were also made, especially for desks. Until
this time, they always used any ordinary chair, or arm-chair at the
desk. The new arm-chair for this purpose was of the “gondola” form,
usually with back and seat of cane, the elbows adorned with cushions
(_manchette_) and covered with leather. This chair spread out even more
generously, and the legs were balanced as follows: one was placed
directly under each elbow, a third directly in front, and the fourth in
the centre of the back. Some of these arm-chairs were equipped with a
removable leather cushion.

The first _chaises comfortables_ followed the model of the gondola
arm-chairs; the wood, or rather the moulding of the back, served as a
framework for more or less simple garniture. The feet were either
grooved, or of sabre form.

Dining-room chairs were specially designed, and followed the general
form of the drawing-room chairs. As a rule, they are covered with
leather. Tapestry is met with also, and “Persian.”

A _fauteuil de commodité_ of the period is described as having a little
mahogany desk attached to the right of the chair by means of a gilded
steel support nicely divided into compartments for pens, ink, etc. On
each side of the chair, two sconce-arms for candles were adjusted. The
chair and cushion were covered with blue leather.

Leather was quite popular for covering furniture. One set, consisting of
a sofa, two _banquettes_, twelve _tabourets_ and a six-leaved screen,
were upholstered in red leather, with applied ornaments of yellow
leather edged with a narrow gold cord.

Characteristic chairs are shown on Plate XXIX. and Plate XXXIII., Nos.
3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. These are by Meissonier.

The very handsome _canapé_ shown on Plate XXXII. is also one of
Meissonier’s productions. This was designed for Count Bielenski. The
frame was gilt.

The _canapé confident_ consisted of a sofa which had from two to four
places, and at each end by the elbows, there was another seat at the
corner rounded off. It was supplied with an elbow at the other side. The
effect was as if an arm-chair had been placed at each end of the sofa at
right angles. It was a very popular piece of furniture.

The _chaise longue_ is sometimes composed of two sections; one, a kind
of very deep _fauteuil_ with two elbows; the other, a kind of
_tabouret_, which also had a small back against which the lounger placed
his feet.

The example on Plate XXXIII. is of carved wood with cane seat and backs.

Another kind, with a “gondola” back, was known as “_duchesse_.”

Typical mirrors appear on Plates XXX., XXXIII., and XXXV. The full
drawing on Plate XXXV. is the earliest, being an example of late Louis
XIV. It is surrounded with an ornate border of carved and gilt wood,
showing leaves, branches, stems and an indented fronton, surmounted by
shells. It is interesting to compare this mirror with Chippendale’s on
Plate XLII., which also has panels of glass. Nos. 1 and 2 on Plate
XXXIII. come next in chronological order. These are by the German,
Decker, to whom reference has been made on page 199. Both are dated
1700. The lower one has the mascaron, shell and _chute_ of leaves, or
husks, for its chief ornaments, while the scroll somewhat timidly,
although strongly, asserts itself. This has no sconces. On the one above
it the scroll is more assertive. The mascaron surmounts it, and the
_chute_ of leaves is much heavier and shorter. The three sconces, two of
which only are visible, spring from the shell, but they have not become
as yet very branched. The sconces really belong to the whole design in
the example No. 1 on Plate XXXV., the chief decorations of which are the
mascaron, the shell and the scroll. A still more elaborate specimen, by
Pinaud, appears on Plate XXX., No. 2. The curve here is delightfully
exhibited, almost as if the presiding genius in the winged helmet had
taken a mischievous pleasure in its convolutions. Here we have not only
the leafy scroll playfully twined, but the old ear-motive known to the
decorators of the Louis XIII. age (see page 5) appears, through which a
winged serpent, or dragon, twists,—himself a series of curves. Below the
head of Mercury is carved his emblem,—the Caduceus. Another “illuminary”
appears on Plate XXXVI., No. 2. No. 3 on Plate XXX. represents the frame
of a large toilet mirror by P. Germain.

Another finely carved and gilded frame is that of the screen on Plate
XXX., which dates from the Regency. It is composed of shells and
scrolls, and a monkey sits on the top of each upright. Unfortunately,
the feet have been lost, and the screen is supported on ordinary blocks
of wood. The covering is of the same period as the frame. It is brocaded
silk, with flowers, leaves and peacock feathers.

The mirror was not the only ornamental wall-decoration that was made use
of to carry candles. Sometimes the bracket that held a china ornament,
or ornaments, was pressed into this service. The “console for
porcelain,” by Pinaud (No. 4, Plate XXX.), is furnished with a
sconce-arm on either side of the pedestal that supports the handsome
piece of china, or vase. Another “console for porcelain,” also by
Pinaud, appears on the same plate as No. 6. This is purely for
decoration and has no branches for illumination. Upon it stand a beaker
and two small cups. The chief decorations are the mascaron, which here
seems to have horns, and a snake, which twists himself around the two
scrolls, placed back to back, and threatens the mascaron with open jaws.

Another beautiful frame for a rich piece of porcelain is shown on Plate
XXX., No. 5. This is a species of pier-table and is a fine example of
Meissonier’s Regency work. The straining-rails form a kind of bracket
for a china vase, while the shelves above afford opportunity for the
exhibition of smaller treasures.

Another handsome piece of furniture for the display of porcelain is the
_encoignure_ (No. 9, Plate XXXVI.), made to stand in the corner.

The tall _torchère_, or standing-candlestand, on Plate XXXI., No. 3,
shows a well-balanced combination of the mascaron, scroll, shell and

Two superb examples of console-tables occur on Plate XXXIV. These are of
carved and gilded wood. The full drawing is one of Cuvilliés’s designs,
and shows a bewildering combination of scrolls as a background for the
beautiful carving of flowers and leaves. In the foreground a dog attacks
a very savage dragon, whose wings bristle with anger and who darts forth
his forked tongue. The other frame, No. 1, is by Pinaud, and though far
simpler, is quite as effective. The scroll is most gracefully combined
with the shell, and here again we have the ear (see page 210), through
which a winged dragon, with a most expressive face, has slipped himself.
An early console support is shown on Plate XXXVI., No. 6.

The bureau, or desk, assumed great importance in the reign of Louis XV.
The long bureau-table was still made, and sometimes at one end of it was
placed a tier of ornamental shelves and pigeon-holes that was known as
_serre-papiers_. Also in this reign the cylinder-bureau, with a roll
top, came in to favour. It is sometimes said to have been invented by
Prince Kaunitz. In contemporary writings, this special form of desk is
frequently called “_bureau à la Kaunitz_.” The most famous desk of this
period, however, is the “_grand bureau secrétaire du roi Louis XV._”
that was made for the King from the design of Œben, who died before it
was finished. It was completed by Œben’s successor, Riesener, who had
been his apprentice. This appears on Plate XXXI.

It is made of rosewood and amaranth and richly decorated with marquetry
representing flowers, leaves and the attributes of royalty and poetry.
Above the cylinder top that hides the pigeon-holes, is placed a
horizontal ornament composed of rods twined with ribbons, and above this
is an open-worked gallery, broken by figures of Cupids playing above a
little clock. On each side of the cylinder, a figure of gilt bronze
holds a girandole of two branches, each terminating in a floral cup for
the candle, something like the _bras de lumière_ on Plate XXXII. One
figure is Apollo and the other, Calliope. The bronzes were modelled by
Duplessis and Winant, and chiselled by Hervieux; and in addition to the
ornaments already described, there are swags of leaves, knots of ribbon
and decorations on the legs and feet,—all of _or moulu_. For many years
these bronzes were attributed to Caffieri. This work is signed “Risener
fa, 1769.”

A very interesting example of a low glass book-case and _serre-papiers_
appears as No. 2 on Plate XXXI. The _serre-papiers_, surmounted by a
clock, stands upon a very characteristic table. On either side of it is
placed a low bookcase with glass doors, the top moulding of which
suggests the shape of a wing, or bow. This is flanked by a panel, above
which is another panel. The wall space above the bookcase and behind the
_serre-papiers_ is intended to be hung with tapestry, or damask.

A table, similar in general form to the one on which the _serre-papiers_
just described stands, appears on Plate XXXI. This is a Regency piece,
with its slightly curving legs, hinds’ feet, and _or moulu_ ornaments.
The arrangement of scrolls in the centre of the drawer is very
characteristic. No. 1 on the same plate gives details of the
ornamentation at the sides under the slab.

There were many varieties of desks, cabinets, jewel-cases, etc.,
designed especially for the boudoir. Some of these have already been
described. A “_petit-bureau_,” however, is shown on Plate XXXIII. This
is known as “_bonheur du jour_,” and is made of sycamore, ornamented
with chiselled copper _appliques_ and plaques of Sèvres porcelain. The
foot is decorated with “leaf-shoe” of gilded metal, also characteristic
of the age.

One of the many varieties of card-tables appears on Plate XXXVI., No.
10. This has the hollows for counters and candlesticks.

Nothing more impressively decorative in its proper surroundings can be
imagined than the tall clock of the Regency and Louis XV. period. In
houses of the present day, a tall clock is set up in some corner
entirely irrespective of the wall-decoration of the hall, or room. The
Regency clock was strictly in keeping with the general decoration, and
deserves something better as a background than poor panelling, or vulgar
printed paper. It requires a wainscot with solid mouldings, severe and
well studied lines, and a high ceiling. A somewhat plain specimen of the
period, in carved oak, is shown on Plate XXXII.

Two other clocks appear on Plate XXX. The full drawing is a _pendule
d’applique_, the frame of which is most ornate. It stands on a console
of carved and gilded copper. The detail No. 1 on the same plate is a
clock appropriate to stand on a bracket, chimney-piece or table. Its
frame consists of bold sweeps with a fine display of scrolls, leaves and

The Duc de Bourgogne owned a very fine clock of black marquetry and
copper, with ornaments of bronze in colour. On the top of the case, a
satyr was seated on a rock, holding a pipe in his left hand. The base
ended in rock-work, brightened with coloured copper ornaments. The dial
was of copper, the hours were enamelled, and the clock struck the hour
and half hour, and ran fifteen days. It was 2 feet, 11 inches high, and
the dimensions of the foot were 9½ inches high by 13 inches wide. Juhel
was the maker at Versailles.

Madame Henriette owned a clock in 1746 that was made by Jean-Baptiste
Baillon. It was 1 foot high and 6 inches wide. The case was of bronze
gilt _or moulu_ and carved with leaves and ornaments. Among the latter
were a lion’s head and a Cupid. The feet were of the console form. The
dial was enamelled.

Another, by the same maker, is described in 1745 as “a beautiful gilt
clock _or moulu_, the frame of which is enamelled and the hands of
bronze gilt, standing on two consoles, ornamented with palms, in the
centre of which is a woman’s masque. Mosaic ornaments decorate the
sides, as well as two bouquets of flowers. The top is surmounted by a
Cupid holding a scythe in his left hand. The foot is gilt bronze of
_rocaille_ work, flowers, plumes, two dragons and the head of Boreas.
Including the foot, it is 4 feet high and 14 inches wide.”

About this time, two of the King’s daughters bought a clock of bronze
gilt and porcelain, 21 inches high, made by Godin. On the front was a
shepherd with his dog, and a parrot perched on a gold tree, from which
hung several cherries. The base was an irregularly shaped cartouche
framed in leaves. The dial was enamelled and surmounted by a little
carved Bacchus.

The list of new furniture of Versailles for 1752 mentions a clock “in
the form of a lyre of bronze gilt _or moulu_, the lyre surmounted by a
sun and flanked on each side by two terms of women, ending in scrolls
that united at the base to form a sort of shield or cartouche of
_rocaille_, with festoons of leaves; the dial enamelled on copper gilt;
2 feet, 10 inches high, and 17 inches wide.”

In 1763, the King owned two splendid clocks, the cases of which were
violet-wood and rosewood veneered. One of the clocks was solar,
ornamented with attributes of Apollo in _or moulu_ and surmounted by a
perfume-box and ornamented with garlands. The other was lunar, with
symbols of Diana. It was also surmounted by a perfume-box, and was
ornamented by a star. Each clock was 7½ feet high and 21 inches wide.

In 1774, in Madame Sophie’s sleeping-room was a clock by Tolleverk of
Paris, which could run for 15 days and which struck hours, and half
hours, besides containing a chime of bells that played thirteen airs.
The dial was 4½ inches in diameter and the hands were of gold. The case
was surrounded by garlands of laurel held at the top by ribbon. On the
right of the base was a celestial globe and the figure of a woman whose
head was encircled by stars. She held a trumpet in her right hand, while
her left rested on the clock; on the left, was a T-square, a compass,
and other mathematical and scientific instruments, and three volumes
besides. The whole was of bronze gilt _or moulu_ and measured 16 inches
in height, 16 in length, and 17 in depth.


Footnote 16:

  A street where Eastern goods were specially on sale.

Footnote 17:

  This was a _bergère_ (see pages 207–208).

Footnote 18:

  “_Camayeu_ is a kind of painting of a single colour where light and
  shadow are seen on a background of gold or azure. A _camaieu_ in grey
  is called _grisaille_, that in yellow is _cirage_. The richest
  _camaïeux_ are brightened with gold or bronze.... It is what Pliny
  calls _Monochrome_.” (D’Aviler, 1755.)

                         THE CHIPPENDALE PERIOD


                         THE CHIPPENDALE PERIOD

All lovers of antique furniture are sufficiently familiar with the name
of Thomas Chippendale, but this name has been of late years used so
carelessly that it has become a generic term for all the mahogany
furniture of the first half of the Eighteenth Century, and the
“Chippendale chair” that is recognized as typical is the one with a
pierced and carved back and claw-and-ball foot. This is an erroneous
interpretation of the Chippendale style. Chippendale was a
cabinet-maker, and doubtless made furniture for his patrons in the old
style that had been in vogue since 1714; but the tastes for the Chinese
and Gothic, as well as the Louis XV. rock-and-shell work had already
been formed, and Chippendale claims more originality than he is entitled
to when he says: “In executing many of the Drawings, my Pencil has but
faintly copied out those Images that my Fancy suggested.”

It is clear then that the only way to understand and define Chippendale
is to go directly to his book, there to learn what kind of furniture he
made and wanted to make. The first edition of _The Gentleman and
Cabinet-Maker’s Director_ was published in 1754. A third edition
appeared in 1762, when some of the patterns of the first book were
dropped and many new plates were added. The title-page of the latter
shows very plainly that Chippendale had turned his attention to almost
every object for household use.

“The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director being a large collection of
the most elegant and useful designs of Household Furniture in the most
Fashionable Taste, including a great variety of Chairs, Sofas, Beds and
Couches; China-Tables, Dressing-Tables, Shaving-Tables, Bason-Stands and
Tea-Kettle Stands; Frames for Marble Slabs, Bureau-Dressing-Tables and
Commodes; Writing-Tables and Library-Tables; Library Book-Cases, Organ
Cases for private Rooms or Churches, Desks and Bookcases; Dressing and
Writing Tables with Book-Cases, Toilets, Cabinets and Cloaths-Presses;
China Cases, China-Shelves, and Book-Shelves; Candle-Stands, Terms for
Busts, Stands for China Jars and Pedestals; Cisterns for Water,
Lanthorns and Chandeliers; Fire-Screens, Brackets, and Clock-cases;
Pier-glasses and Table-Frames; Girandoles, Chimney-Pieces, and Picture
Frames; Stove-Grates, Boarders, Frets, Chinese-Railing and Brass-Work
for Furniture, and other Ornaments.... The whole comprehended in Two
Hundred Copper Plates, neatly engraved, calculated to improve and refine
the present taste, and suited to the Fancy and Circumstances of Persons
in all degrees of Life.” He ends his Preface to both editions as
follows: “Upon the whole, I have given no Design but what may be
executed with Advantage by the Hands of a skilful Workman, though some
of the Profession have been diligent enough to represent them
(especially those after the Gothick and Chinese manner) as so many
specious Drawings, impossible to be worked off by any mechanick
whatsoever. I will not scruple to attribute this to Malice, Ignorance
and Inability; and I am confident I can convince all Noblemen,
Gentlemen, or others, who will honour me with their Commands, that every
Design in the Book can be improved, both as to Beauty and Enrichment, in
the Execution of it, by Their Most Obedient Servant, Thomas

Our accurate knowledge of Chippendale and of his work outside his own
book is very meagre. He was evidently at work during the reign of George
I. and was probably busiest when he published his book of designs in
1754. An examination of the plates contained in this collection of
drawings shows that Chippendale cared more about the carving and
ornaments than the forms themselves. He does not seem to have been an
inventor of a style. Sheraton shares this view. The latter writes in

“I have seen one (book of design) which seems to have been published
before Chippendale’s. I infer this from the antique appearance of the
furniture, for there is no date to it; but the title informs us that it
was composed by a society of Cabinet-makers in London.

“Chippendale’s book seems to be next in order to this, but the former is
without comparison to it, either as to size or real merit. Chippendale’s
book has, it is true, given us the proportions of the Five Orders, and
lines for two or three cases, which is all it pretends to relative to
rules for drawing; and, as for the designs, themselves, they are now
wholly antiquated and laid aside, though possessed of great merit,
according to the times in which they were executed. After Chippendale’s
work, there appeared, in the year sixty-five, a book of designs for
chairs only, though it is called _The Cabinet-Maker’s real Friend and
Companion_, as well as the Chair-maker’s. The succeeding publication to
this seems to be Ince and Mayhew’s _Book of Designs in Cabinet and Chair
Work_, with three plates containing some examples of foliage ornaments,
intended for the young designer to copy from, but which can be of no
service to any learner now, as they are such kind of ornaments as are
wholly laid aside in the cabinet-branch, according to the present taste.
The designs in cabinets and chairs are, of course, of the same cast, and
therefore have suffered the same fate; yet, in justice to the word, it
may be said to have been a book of merit in its day, though much
inferior to Chippendale’s, which was a real original, as well as more
extensive and masterly in its designs.”

Strange to say, the book Sheraton thinks the earlier, came out six years
after Chippendale’s and contains designs that differ little in general
form from those in the _Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director_.

[Illustration: PLATE XXXVII]

It cannot fail to strike any one who examines Chippendale’s designs
carefully that he was beyond everything else a carver and a decorator.
Although he was most particular about proportion and joinery, he took
the greatest delight in ornamentation, caring far more for his ornate
carving and swags of drapery than for his wood, or his materials.
Indeed, he nearly always desires his handsome pieces to be gilded, or
painted, or japanned; and he says nothing whatever about textiles,
although his beds and sofas with canopies are so dependent upon festoons
and curtains for their effect. The covers upon his “French chairs” often
exhibit Chinese subjects, flowers, Æsop’s fables, or the gallant
Watteau-like scenes; and we may conclude that the printed silks and
satins of the day were too familiar to need any detailed description.

Ornate as his designs are, it will be noticed in the above Preface that
Chippendale thinks further “enrichment” will add to the beauty of every

It will also be noticed that the descriptions of his plates contain very
few references to mahogany. He far prefers furniture made of soft wood
japanned in any colour, with the ornamental parts heavily gilt, and
carved and gilt frames, to sombre walnut or mahogany. Rosewood he likes
very much, but brightens it with gilt ornaments. Chippendale’s taste is
very gay, even fantastic, and a room furnished and decorated by him must
have been exceedingly brilliant.

Many of his plates were engraved by M. Darly, who lived in Paris in the
first half of the Eighteenth Century; and some people think that Darly
is responsible for all of Chippendale’s designs.

Whether Chippendale was ever in Paris or not, makes little difference:
he knew the contemporary designs and he was saturated with the flavour
of the Louis XV. taste. For instance, he was so familiar with
Meissonier, that he quietly appropriated some of his designs and issued
them in his book with little change as his own conceptions, without a
word of acknowledgment. One of these, Chippendale labels “French chair,”
but this is really a chair designed by Meissonier for Madame de
Brezenval in 1735, the only change being a little extra carving. Another
theft of Chippendale’s is a “sofa for a grand apartment.” The original
was a _canapé_ designed by Meissonier for the Grand Marshal of Poland,
also in 1735. Chippendale put cushions upon the arms and added a little
more carving,—and described it as follows:

“A Design of a Sofa for a grand Apartment, and will require Great Care
in the Execution, to make the several Parts come in such a Manner that
all the Ornaments join without the least Fault; and if the Embossments
all along are rightly managed, and gilt with burnished Gold, the whole
will have a noble appearance. The carving at the Top is the Emblem of
Watchfulness, Assiduity and Rest. The Pillows and Cushions must not be
omitted, though they are not in the Design. The dimensions are 9 feet
long without the scrolls; the broadest part of the Seat from Front to
Back 2 feet 6 inches; the Height of the Back from the Seat, 3 feet, 6
inches, and the Height of the Seat 1 foot 2 inches without Casters. I
would advise the workman to make a model of it at large before he begins
to execute it.” The massive frame is carved with shells, and on the top
rail in a cloud is seated a Cupid with his arm in the strap of a
buckler. Two large birds are carved below him on either side in the
centre of the sweeping curves and near them are bunches of flowers. The
arms are carved, and upholstered in a silk or damask the pattern of
which is a combination of flowers and large scrolls. One of the arms
ends in a grotesque head,—a kind of gnome with a long peaked beard.

[Illustration: PLATE XXXVIII]

Neither does Chippendale scruple to avail himself of one of Meissonier’s
trophies consisting of a hunting-horn, stag’s head, gun and net,
designed for the King’s portrait and the Royal Hunt; and Meissonier’s
_Livre de Légumes and Livre d’Ornements_ have been attentively studied
for the shell-work, fountains, balconies, balustrades, swags of
bell-flowers and laurel, colonnades, flowers, acanthus leaves, fruits,
animals, birds, human beings, dripping water, cascades, feathers, flags,
scrolls, musical instruments, fragmentary peristyle effects, implements,
weapons, vegetables, icicles and spiky effects.

The japanning and lacquering that Chippendale so frequently recommends
is doubtless inspired by the Vernis Martin; and all the gilded
ornaments, handles, shoes for legs of his pieces, from the French _or
moulu_ work.

Let us first examine the beds. We find “Dome Beds,” “Canopy Beds,”
“Gothic beds,” “Chinese Beds,” “Field” and “Tent Beds,” and “Couch” and
“Sofa Beds,” besides numerous designs for “Bed Posts” and “Cornices.”
His four-post bedsteads are, as a rule, 7 feet, 6 inches high; 6 feet, 4
inches high; and 5 feet wide. The canopy is generally surmounted by a
carved cornice furnished with an intricate arrangement of laths and
pulleys by which the curtains are drawn up. As the curtains and valances
are sometimes required to fall in symmetrical festoons and loops when
drawn up, the mechanical devices require detailed description. In one
“Gothic Bed with a drapery curtain,” the four posts of which are “made
into eight cants and indented,” has pullies fixed at each corner to draw
up the curtains. This bed appears as No. 2 on Plate XXXVIII.

No. 3 on Plate XLVIII. is a favourite with Chippendale. It appears in
his first edition as Plate XXXI. and in his third as Plate XXI. This is
more than 6 feet high, over 6 feet long, and 5 feet, 6 inches wide. He
says this “is a dome bed, the side of the dome and the cornice I have
form’d into an elliptical form, to take off the seeming weight which a
bed of this kind has when the cornice runs straight. There are four
dragons going up from each corner; the curtains and vallens are all in
drapery. The head-board has a small Chinese Temple with a joss, or
Chinese God; on each side is a Chinese man at worship; the outside of
the dome is intended to be japan’d and Mosaic work drawn upon it; the
other ornaments to be gilt; but that is left to the will of those who
shall please to have it executed.”

[Illustration: PLATE XXXIX]

Of the full drawing on the same plate, Chippendale gives no description.
The dimensions that he gives are 6 feet, 4 inches for the length; 7
feet, 6 inches for the height; and 5 feet for the width. The long and
tightly rolled and covered bolster below the ornamental head-board is
the style he required for all his beds. Pillows never appear. This bed,
as well as the Dome Bed just described, is dated 1753. This bed can be
greatly simplified by substituting for the carved cornice and headboard
plain ones following the same general outlines covered with the same
materials as the curtains, and plain feet may be covered with a deep
valance that touches the floor. Chippendale himself suggests such
treatment when his beds are thought too difficult of execution. However,
he prefers the wood to show, as is natural to a carver, because in his
ten very handsome designs for bed pillars he says “they are all designed
with pedestals, which must certainly look better than Bases of stuff
around the Bed, and the Pillars seem to be unsupported.”

Another bed has pillars “composed of reeds with a palm branch twisting
round,” the pillars being 8 feet, 6 inches high; and the bedstead 6
feet, 7 inches long and 6 feet wide.

The “Field” or “Tent beds are heavily draped, but the curtains and
festoons are made to take off, and the laths are hung with hinges for
the convenience of folding up.”

Another, is a “Chinese Bed,” the “curtains and vallens are tied up in
drapery, the tester is canted at each corner, which makes a sort of an
elliptical ornament or arch, and if well executed will look very well.”
Another bed “may be gilt, or covered with the same stuff as the

Before dismissing the four-post beds, the question of cornices must be
considered. Chippendale gives numerous designs for “Cornices for Beds or
Windows.” These are carved and are supposed to be gilt, or painted, or
japanned, brightened with gold. Such designs as the scroll and leaf are
frequent, as shown in No. 1 on Plate XL. while other ornaments are the
crown, the urn, the shell, the eagle, the draped urn, the grotesque dog
or monkey’s head holding the ends of two garlands in his mouth, the
long-tailed and open-beaked bird.

Turning now to the Canopy, Couch and Sofa beds, we find Chippendale
describing a “Couch with Canopy. The Curtains must be made to draw up in
Drapery, or to let down, when it is occasionally converted into a Bed.
This sort of Couch is very fit for alcoves, or such deep Recesses as are
often seen in large Apartments. It may also be placed at the end of a
long gallery. If the Curtains and Valances are adorned with a large gold
Fringe and Tassels, and the ornaments gilt with burnished gold, it will
look very grand. The Crane at the top of the Canopy is the Emblem of
Care and Watchfulness: which I think it not unbecoming in a place of
rest. The length of the bed cannot be less than 6 feet in the clear, but
may be more if required. The Breadth is 3 feet or more, in proportion to
the length. The height may be determined by the place it is to stand

Another “Couch bed,” he tells us, “was made for an alcove in Lord
Pembroke’s house, at Whitehall.” This bed is a sofa of sweeping curve,
three short cabriole legs supporting it in front. A stiff rolled bolster
is placed at each end of the sofa crosswise. Four slender posts hold a
canopy draped and decorated with a Chinese feeling, only tassels are
used for ornaments instead of bells. The drapery is arranged in four
symmetrical festoons, caught back gracefully at the sides and falling
nearly to the short leg of the sofa. This was really a kind of _lit de
repos_ rather than a bed properly speaking; but there is one that can be
used either as a sofa or a bed. He describes it as follows: “A Chinese
Canopy with Curtains and Valances tied up in Drapery, and may be
converted into a Bed by making the front part of the seat to draw
forward, and the sides made to fold and turn in with strong iron hinges
and a proper stretcher to keep out and support the sides when open. The
curtains must be likewise made to come forward, and when let down will
form a Tent.”

Another of his designs is a “Chinese Sopha with a canopy over it, with
its curtains and vallens all tied up in drapery. This design may be
converted into a bed, by having the Sopha so made as to come forward,
the curtains to draw to the front of the Sopha, and hang sloping, which
will form a sort of a tent, and look very grand. The ornaments are
designed for burnished gold.” Another “is a Chinese Sopha, intended for
the same use as the former; the design is different from the other, and
if well executed by an ingenious workman, it cannot fail of giving

Another “Chinese sopha” is represented on Plate XLI., which is purely a
sofa and not a bed. This has a pagoda-shaped canopy decorated with bells
and the drapery arranged in formal festoons. At the back is a piece of
silk ornamented in the style of Boucher, and the sofa, which is a French
_canapé_, bears a design reminiscent of Watteau,—a “gallant scene”
showing a lady in a large hat and flowing gown seated on a bank while
her companion is a gentleman in a cocked hat.

Specific directions accompany four designs of Sofas. “When made large,
they have a bolster and pillow at each End,” and Cushions at the Back,
which may be laid down occasionally and form a mattress. The upper sofa
is designed to have the Back Corners Circular, which must look well. The
Sizes differ greatly; but commonly they are from 6 to 9 or 10 feet long;
the Depth of the Seat from Front to Back from 2 feet, 3 inches, to 3
feet; and the Height of the Seat 1 foot 2 inches with casters. The
scrolls are 18 to 19 inches high. Part of the carving may be left out,
if required.

The _chaise longue_ also appears, and of it the designer says: “This is
what the French call ‘_Péché Mortel_.’ They are sometimes made to take
asunder in the middle: one part makes a large easy chair and the other,
a stool, and the feet join in the middle, which looks badly.” This, of
course, is the _duchesse_, consisting of a _fauteuil_ and a _tabouret_
(see pages 208 and 209). Chippendale recommends for this a “thick
mattress, 6 feet long in the clear; and 2 feet, 6 inches to 2 feet

Turning now to the chairs, a close examination will show almost double
the number actually represented; because Chippendale often gives
different motives for carving on the two sides of the special chair. He
draws French chairs, Gothic chairs, Chinese chairs, Garden chairs, Hall
chairs and his favourite “Ribband Back chairs.” The latter, one variety
of which appears to the reader’s left on Plate XXXVIII., is one of
“three Ribband-back Chairs, which, if I may speak without vanity, are
the best I have ever seen (or perhaps have ever been made). The Chair on
the left hand has been executed from this Design, which had an excellent
effect, and gave satisfaction to all who saw it. I make no doubt but the
other two will give the same content, if properly handled in the

The length of the front leg is 19 inches; the rail of the seat
(upholstered with small nails touching one another) is 22¾ inches; the
seat is 18 inches square; and the back from seat to top rail 22 or 23
inches high. “If the seats are covered with red morocco,” Chippendale
assures us, “they will have a fine effect.”

Describing a series of eighteen chairs, Chippendale says these “are
various designs of Chairs for patterns. The front feet are mostly
different for the greater choice. The seats look best when stuffed over
the rails and have a Brass Border neatly chased; but are most commonly
done with Brass Nails, in one or two Rows; and sometimes the Nails are
done to imitate Fretwork. They are usually covered with the same stuff
as the Window Curtains. The Height of the Back seldom exceeds twenty-two
inches above the Seats.”

Another set is thus described:

“Eight designs of French chairs, which may be executed to advantage.
Some of them are intended to be open at the Back; which makes them very
light, without having a bad effect.” (The Dimensions are the same as
those given above, “only that the highest Part of the Back is 2 feet, 5
in.”) But sometimes these Dimensions vary according to the Bigness of
the Rooms they are intended for. A skillful workman may also lessen the
carving without any Prejudice to the Design. Both the Backs and Seats
must be covered with Tapestry, or other sort of Needlework.

We also find:

“Four designs of French chairs with Elbows and for the greater Variety,
the Feet and Elbows are different. The little moulding, round the Bottom
of the Edge of the Rails, has a good Effect.” The Backs and Seats are
stuffed, and covered with Spanish leather or Damask, etc., and nailed
with Brass Nails. The seat is 27 Inches wide in front, 22 Inches from
the Front to the Back and 23 Inches wide behind; the Height of the Back
is 25 Inches, and the Height of the Seat 14½ including Casters.

The “French chair” is the _fauteuil_, and the designs of the covers as
represented in his third edition show design, in the “Chinese taste,”
flowers, birds, pagodas, balustrades, mandarins and jars, or designs
from Æsop. For example, one dated 1759, shows the dog crossing the brook
with a bone in his mouth.

Of “Six Designs of Chairs for Halls, Passages, or Summer Houses,” he
says: “They may be made either of Mahogany or any other Wood, and
painted, and have commonly wooden Seats. The Height of the Gothic Back
is two Feet, four Inches, and the others one Foot, eleven Inches, and
the Height of the Seat seventeen or eighteen Inches. If you divide the
Height of the Backs in the Number of Inches given, you will have a
Measure to take off the Breadth of the circular Parts of each Back.
Arms, if required, may be put to these chairs.”

Again, he gives “two designs of Chairs for Gardens and a long Seat.”
One, considered “proper for Arbours,” has a branch for a leg, garden
tools crossed form the back, which is surrounded by blades of grass bent
in an oval form. The seat, which “may be placed in Walks or at the Ends
of Avenues,” is 7 feet and has in the centre a leaf or shell. The second
chair, “proper for grottoes,” is composed of two shells, one forming the
back, the other the seat, the legs are dolphins standing on their tails,
the cabriole leg formed by the arch of the dolphin’s neck.

Four plates give “a variety of new pattern chairs, which, if executed
according to their designs, and by a skillful workman, will have a very
good effect. The fore feet are all different for your better choice. If
you think they are too much ornamented they can be omitted at pleasure.
The proper dimensions of those chairs are 1 foot, 10 inches in the
front; 1 foot, 5½ inches behind; and 1 foot 5 inches from the front of
the back foot to the front rail; the back, 1 foot, 10½ inches high; the
seat 1 foot, 5 inches high; but that is made lower according as the seat
is to be stuffed.”

Two plates present “six new designs of Gothic Chairs; their feet are
almost all different, and may be of use to those that are unacquainted
with this sort of work. Most of the ornaments may be left out if
required. The sizes are the same as in the preceding chairs, and may be
lessened or enlarged, according to the fancy of the skillful artist.”

“Three Gothic chairs” “are suitable to a library and eating-parlours.”

“Nine Designs of Chairs after the Chinese Manner ... are very proper for
a Lady’s Dressing-Room: especially if it is hung with India paper. They
will likewise suit Chinese Temples. They have commonly Cane-Bottoms,
with loose Cushions; but, if required, may have slipped Seats and Brass

The backs and legs are of fret work. The seat is 19 inches deep, 17
inches long; the back, 20 inches high, and the legs from floor to seat,
17 inches, and those made of pierced fretwork are 2½ inches wide.

Three plates show “nine Chairs in the present Chinese manner, which I
hope will improve that taste, or manner of work; it having yet never
arrived to any perfection; doubtless it might be lost without seeing its
beauty: as it admits of the greatest variety, I think it the most useful
of any other. The sizes are all specified on the designs. The three last
I hope will be well received, as there has been none like them yet

The width of the square leg was 2½ inches, seat front rail, 1 foot, 10
inches; back of seat, 19 inches, depth, 17½; height of back, 19½ inches.
Another leg, 1½ inches wide; 17 inches high; (or 2½ if carved in
open-work fret) front seat rail, 22½ inches; back of seat, 19 inches;
depth, 17 inches; height of back from seat, 20 inches.

Four plates give “eight different designs of French Elbow Chairs, of
various patterns, which I hope will be of great use, if properly
applied. Some of those chairs are design’d to be open below at the seat,
which greatly lightens them, and has no ill effect. The common sizes are
as follows: 2 foot, 3 inches in front, 1 foot, 11 inches over behind; 1
foot, 10 inches from the front of the back to the front of the seat
rail. The seat is 1 foot, 2½ inches high; the height of the back, from
the seat, is 2 feet, 3 inches; but those dimensions differ according as
the rooms are larger, or smaller: the ornaments on the backs and seats
are in imitation of tapestry, or needlework. The carving may be lessened
by an ingenious workman without detriment to the Chair.”

[Illustration: PLATE XL]

The full drawing to the reader’s right on Plate XXXVIII. shows a Gothic
chair. Nos. 5, 6, 7 and 8 are typical chair backs, No. 5 being
“Chinese,” as is plainly shown by its fret-work and mandarin hats. Nos.
3 and 4 are the legs of “Chinese chairs,” and No. 9 the leg of a “French

In not one of Chippendale’s drawings of chairs does the simple
ball-and-claw foot occur. In one or two instances, however, there is a
lion’s claw, or paw.

We find the straight, square leg; the straight leg carved with a chute
of husks and resting on a square base; the cabriole leg, ending in a
kind of scroll and resting upon a leaf; a leg resting upon a shell; a
leg formed of a bunch of reeds wrapped with a ribbon; a leg ending in a
hoof, with a ram’s head carved on the spring of the cabriole knee, a
lion’s claw holding a very flat ball; and a leg upon which a curious
sort of wingless dragon is crawling. (See Plate XXXVIII., No. 9.)

Another leg shows a dolphin’s tail gracefully carved upon a cabriole
curve, while his head is used for the foot. In another chair the
dolphin’s tail is used for the foot. Fret-work is used in the Gothic and
Chinese designs.

The Chinamania had by no means subsided in Chippendale’s day. The case
or shelf full of choice bits of porcelain was to be met with in many
rooms, and always in the lady’s boudoir and dressing-room. In
Chippendale’s first book, a number of china cases, Chinese cases,
Chinese hanging shelves and Chinese shelves standing on feet appear, and
even one labelled “India cabinet” shows the same style of treatment,
which is, of course, either fret-work or a conglomeration of pagodas,
mandarin hats, Chinese figures, bells and turned-up edges mingled with
leaves and scrolls and dripping water. In the first edition of
Chippendale’s book (Plates CV., CVI., CVII., CVIII. and CIX.) are china
cases. “The latter,” he says, “is a very neat china case upon a frame,
with glass doors in the front and ends; betwixt the middle feet is a
stretcher, with a little canopy which will hold a small figure. This
design must be executed by the hands of an ingenious workman, and when
neatly japann’d will appear very beautiful.” This is the china case that
is shown on Plate XXXVIII., and is dated 1753. The glass doors are
enriched with ornate vines thick with leaves and flowers and dripping
water. The ornaments of the top and sides are decorated with little
bells, and there is a generous use of fret-work. Plate CX. of the first
edition also shows a “china case with glass doors;” and Plate CXI.
another, of which Chippendale seems to be very proud. He says it is “not
only the richest and most magnificent in the whole, but perhaps in all
Europe. I had a particular pleasure in retouching and finishing this
design, but should have much more in the execution of it, as I am
confident I can make the work more beautiful and striking than the
drawing. The proportion and harmony of the several parts will then be
view’d with advantage and reflect mutual beauty upon each other. The
ornaments will appear more natural and graceful, and the whole
construction will be so much improv’d under the ingenious hand of a
workman as to make it fit to adorn the most elegant apartment.”

[Illustration: PLATE XLI]

China cases on which to place the china are most elaborately carved; one
of these in the Chinese style “may be soft wood and japanned, or painted
and partly gilt.” A china case very proper for a lady’s dressing-room
may “be made of any soft wood and japanned any colour.”

Hanging shelves for china are shown in Nos. 3 and 4 on Plate XLII. The
latter is confessedly “in the Chinese taste.” In some of his highly
ornamental cabinets the ornaments are intended to conceal the joining.
He says: “They may be brass or silver finely chased and put on, or they
may be cut in filligree work in wood, brass or silver.”

Chippendale fills four plates with a variety of Chinese railings, “very
proper for gardens and other places, and may be converted (by the
ingenious workman) to other uses.”

It is not likely that any confessed admirer of the French would neglect
the commode. Sometimes he labels them “buroe dressing tables,” “commode
bureau tables” and “French commode tables.” This is what he calls one
design, dated 1753, which appears on Plate XLII., which has drawers at
the top and in the middle and doors at the ends. “The ornaments should
be carved very light,” he remarks, and these are a delicate kind of
fret-work below the three top drawers and a profuse display of dripping
water with leaves in the ovals of the doors, while the bottom is
ornamented with leaves and the feet are leafy scrolls. Nos. 6 and 7
(Plate XLI.), are also portions of French commode tables, the former has
drawers at the side and is enriched with the _rocaille_ work of which
Chippendale was so fond and the favourite dripping water. No. 7 shows
only the leg.

The lady’s dressing-table received much attention from Chippendale. As a
rule, he made it of rosewood ornamented with rich brass-work, and
further decorated it with festoons of drapery. One, dated 1761, is
described as a kind of commode. On top was a glass that came forward on
hinges, on either side was a cupboard plain or silvered (i. e.
quick-silvered); inside were drawers and pigeon-holes. “Two have been
made of rosewood, which have given entire satisfaction,” adds
Chippendale. All the ornaments were gilt and the dressing-drawer was
full of compartments for all the little trinkets that are so necessary
to women.

A Toilet, or Dressing-Table, for a lady is described as follows: “The
Dressing Drawer under the glass should be divided. On the top is a large
looking-glass which comes to the front with joint hinges, and over it a
compartment, and on each side, and parts with doors that represent
drawers. The ornaments should be gilt in burnished gold, or the whole
work may be japanned and the drapery may be silk damask with gold fringe
and tassels.”

[Illustration: PLATE XLII]

Another toilet for a lady’s dressing-room is thus described: “The glass,
made to come forward with folding Hinges, is in a carved frame, and
stands in a compartment that rests upon a plinth, between which are
small drawers. The drapery is supported by Cupids, and the Petticoat
goes behind the Feet of the Table, which looks better. The ornamental
parts may be gilt in burnished gold or Japanned. A China case in the
Chinese style, may be of soft wood and Japanned, or painted and partly
gilt.” A china case “very proper for a lady’s dressing-room may be made
of any soft wood and Japanned any colour.” Chippendale’s convenient
shaving-tables, and basin-stands, dressing-boxes and all other furniture
for the dressing-room with their folding glasses and compact arrangement
of drawers and partitions, prove that many years before Sheraton’s time
there was a demand in England for such articles. Clothes-presses,
wardrobes, chests, etc., also show that in Chippendale’s book nearly
every article of furniture for every kind of a room is to be found.

One of his shaving-tables has rigid, simple lines, very like Sheraton,
with “a folding top and a glass to rise out with a spring catch.” “There
are places for soap, razors, bottles,” and there is a device “to bring
the glass forward when the gentleman is shaving.” With it is a bason
stand with a glass to rise on the shaving table. Three other bason
stands are merely frames for the bason to stand in.

The bookcase received a great deal of attention from Chippendale. The
“Gothic Library Bookcase,” a good example of which is shown on Plate
XXXIX., seems to be one of his favourite types. Others he describes as
“a rich Gothic Library Book-Case, with Gothic columns fix’d upon the
doors to open with them; the doors are different, but may be made alike
if required. This design is perhaps one of the best of its kind and
would give me great pleasure to see it executed, as I doubt not of its
making an exceeding genteel and grand appearance. The upper doors are to
be glazed.”

Again we have “a Desk and Book Case in the Chinese taste: the doors are
intended for glass, and will look extremely well. The small columns on
the canopy above the cornice project forwards. The fret-work at the
bottom of the Book-Case is for two small drawers.” There is also “a
small desk and Book Case in the Gothic taste.”

For these he gives numerous designs of trimmings for ornamental
glass-doors, a specimen of which appears on Plate XLII., No. 2. Other
bookcases were combinations of bookcases and writing-desks. Some of them
he calls “bureau desk and bookcase.” Two examples of the desk and
bookcase are shown as Nos. 2 and 3 on Plate XXXIX. One of these has many
of the so-called “Gothic” characteristics, with its pinnacles and
crockets, although the inverted C and shell-like scroll is in evidence,
while the other is quite “Chinese,” with its fretwork and
umbrella-shaped ornaments despite the dripping-water decoration upon the
glass doors. Sometimes another combination appears of a dressing-table
with a bookcase, and a table and bookcase is not uncommon either. A
writing-table and bookcase for a lady has “the middle feet come out with
the drawer, which hath a slider covered with green cloth or Spanish
leather for writing upon.”

Chippendale designed convenient library furniture, the forms of which
are solid and intended for comfort. His “buroe tables” usually consist
of two square tiers of drawers hollowed out in the centre and covered by
a large slab. Sometimes he makes a sweeping line as in No. 1 on Plate
XXXIX. On the same Plate, No. 5 exhibits the knee-hole of another “buroe
table” ornamented with a little carving. No. 5 on Plate XLI. shows one
end of a “library table.” Other tables are described as follows:

“A Gothic Table with different feet, the one solid, the other cut thro.”

“A Gothic Writing-Table, with one long drawer at the top, doors at each
end, drawers in the inside, and a recess for the knees.... The columns
are fixed to the doors and open with them.... This table has been made
more than once from this design, and has a better appearance when
executed than in the drawing.”

“A Gothic Library Table, the corners canted, and a Gothic column is
fixed at each corner; that fixed upon the doors, and opens with them.”

Another writing-table “hath a writing Drawer which draws out on one end
and has Term feet to support it.” The top “rises with a double horse to
stand to read or write upon.” Another plate shows a Library Table with
circular doors at each corner.

A writing-table in the Gothic taste has a “recess for the knees, and the
pillars are fixed to the Doors and open with them.”

“A Library table” has “drawers and doors on both sides with upright
Partitions for Books and Drawers for Works.”

Of another Library table he says: “The ends form an oval with carved
terms fixed to the Doors and which must be cut at the astragal, base
mouldings to open with the Doors.”

Another writing-table has drawers in the under part, small drawers and
“pigeon-holes” and a place for books in the upper. In another
writing-table “half of the front feet come out with the Drawer,” and in
one corner is a “quadrant drawer for ink and sand.”

Another has a “flap on hinges in the top that rises to write upon.”

Frames and brackets for marble slabs, picture frames and frames for
looking-glasses, girandoles, sconces, etc., etc., appealed very
naturally to the carver. The very charming bracket, No. 1 on Plate XLII.
with its frets, its scrolls, shells, roses, and leaves, which was, of
course, intended for gold leaf, is very simple when compared with the
girandoles and mirrors, of which Chippendale has given so many examples.
One frame for a marble slab (really a console table) he evidently likes.
It is “supported by two piping Fauns, leaning against two vines,
intermingled with foliage, etc. It will have a grand appearance,” he
adds, “if executed with judgment and neatly gilt.” Æsop and mythology
and Chinese subjects afford Chippendale plentiful suggestion for other
consoles. The pier glass on Plate XLII. shows Chippendale when he is
most himself. This is 44 inches high and 28 inches wide, and the frames
fairly bristle with spiky tufts of grass, scrolls, leaves, flowers,
dripping water and long-tailed, open-mouthed, excited birds, while at
the top under a small canopy stands a Chinese holding a tray of fruit.
The mirror is in three panels: a large central one with a smaller one on
each side.

The girandole was also subject to the most fantastic kind of carving,
out of which the sconce arms emerged in graceful sweeps. One of great
interest is carved with the fox and grapes from Æsop while another
represents a piece of ruins intermingled with various ornaments, and
another shows a squirrel eating nuts.

No sideboard nor buffet appears in any edition of Chippendale’s designs.
He gives a number of sideboard-tables, however, which are long, heavy
tables that stand on four legs. These he carves ornately in either the
Gothic or Chinese style, and specimens are shown on Plate XLI., Nos. 1,
2, 3 and 4.

“Chandeliers,” Chippendale says, “are generally made of glass and
sometimes of brass. But if neatly done in wood and gilt in burnished
gold, would look better and come much cheaper.”

A standing-candlestand appears on Plate XLI. This is delicately and
gracefully carved in wreathing leaves and scrolls, blossoming flowers
and dripping water. Other articles for illumination are “lanthorns” for
halls, passages and staircases; some of them are square, some have six
sides and others are egg-shaped. These he directs to be “made of brass
cast from wooden moulds.”

The chimney-piece afforded Chippendale the greatest scope. He published
many designs far more ornate than the one that appears in Plate XXXVII.
Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to follow out all the details of
carving bestowed upon them. One very ornate example, he says, “requires
great care in the execution. The Imbossments must be very bold and the
Foliage neatly laid down, and the whole properly relieved. The top may
be gilt, as likewise some other ornamental parts.”

Grates, ornamental parts of grates of wrought brass and fire-screens
also receive attention. The cornice, wall decorations, borders for
paper-hangings, designs for frets that may be applied to various uses,
patterns for “handles and escutcheons for brass-work” appear among all
the miscellaneous articles. Chamber organs, book shelves, china shelves,
terms for busts, stands for tall china vases and beakers and
fire-screens are all included. Among the latter we may note that those
that stand on four legs are commonly called “horse fire-screens.” Some
of them slide up and down, others stand on the horse-leg, and others

Clock-cases also appear; one is ornamented with Gothic columns, and one
with a serpent running around the oval dial, “representing Time lasting
to Eternity, and the Wings on the sides show how swiftly it flies away.”
Table clock-cases also occur.

One of his handsome cisterns, or wine-coolers, which always stood
beneath the sideboard table, was cut in the form of a shell supported by
cherubs with tails that rose out of the grass. This was to be executed
in “wood or marble and cut out of the solid.” The other designs “may be
made in parts and joined with the Brass-work.” Tea-kettle stands of
delicate proportions, tea-trays and tea-chests received much attention.
Some of them had brass or silver ornaments and some were in the Gothic
or Chinese taste. The breakfast table and the china table, intended both
for use and the display of porcelain, are represented.

No. 1 on Plate XXXVII. is a breakfast table. Its height is 28 inches and
its leaves 45 inches. Its carved straining-rails are interesting. No. 2
on the same plate is a china table, the straining-rail of which drips
profusely with icicles or falling water.

From a careful study of the _Gentleman’s and Cabinet-Maker’s Director_
we find that Chippendale’s favourite ornaments are the shell, the fret,
the endive and acanthus leaves, the dolphin, the wyvern, the ram’s head
holding swags, the squirrel, the crow, the fox, the long-tailed and
long-billed bird, the dog, the lion, the masque, the quatrefoil,
ribbons, flowers of various kinds, the spiky thorn, bells, the Chinese
mandarin, the Chinese pagoda, the Chinese umbrella, the Chinese canopy
with bells at the corners, the monkey’s head, the cockatrice, the pine
cone, Cupids, satyrs, Bacchantes, boys blowing horns, the rising sun,
the two cɔ, the eagle, the horn, violin, pipes, and the lion’s head. We
also note an occasional use of the fluttering ribbon, attributes of
music, poetry, hunting, emblems of war, the sea, the bull’s head, the
serpent among flowers, the caduceus, and Venus rising from the sea in
her shell.

In his _Analysis of Beauty_, Hogarth says: “There is scarce a room in
any house whatever where one does not see the waving line employed in
some way or other. How inelegant would the shape of our movables be
without it! How very plain and unornamental the mouldings of cornices
and chimney-pieces without the variety introduced by the _ogee_ member,
which is entirely composed of waving lines!”

The above was printed in 1753, just at the height of the Louis XV.
period and the year before Chippendale published his designs. In a few
years all that Hogarth so justly admired was destined to pass away, for,
as we shall see in the following chapter, the reaction against the
graceful and fantastic curve had already begun.

                           LOUIS XVI. PERIOD


                           LOUIS XVI. PERIOD

The Louis XVI. style is easily recognizable. In every kind of furniture
whether viewed from the full face or profile, the straight line strikes
the eye. It is everywhere, in all the uprights, in the leg and backs of
tables and chairs, and parallel lines are close together. Another
striking object is a peculiarly slender oval that appears in medallions
and vases and all kinds of ornaments. Oval medallions are to be met with
on panels and wood marquetry in light tints. These medallions, in which
the favourite device is a basket of flowers, are surrounded by a frame,
or border, of a straight row of eggs, itself bordered within by a row of
pearls. At the top of the medallion is a knot or bow of ribbon, from
which falls on either side a little bunch of flowers.

The indications of the coming Louis XVI. style really began between 1745
and 1750, and developed at the same time that the rococo was in full
flower. The discoveries made in Pompeii and Herculaneum are responsible
for the enthusiasm of certain masters of decoration for the straight
line and the regular forms of Greek art. Madame de Pompadour greatly
favoured this new style.

This period is characterized by a peculiar liking, or pretended liking
for everything relating to the fields and to nature. Books of _Idylles_
and _Bergeries_ are multiplied; _l’homme de champs_ has appeared in
literature; and the word “_sensible_” is very fashionable. The works of
J. J. Rousseau, Berquin and Bernardin de Saint-Pierre are now being
widely read. Ornamentation includes all the pastoral attributes (such as
shepherds’ crooks, shepherds’ and shepherdesses’ hats, scythes, rakes,
spades, watering-pots, pipes, flutes, Basque drums, and bird-cages),
knots of ribbon, wreaths of roses, bunches of flowers, baskets of
flowers, falling garlands, sheaves of wheat, architectural eggs and
pearls, or beads, parallel groovings, the thyrsus, quivers, torches, the
lyre, the broken column, the grooved shaft, the little open galleries or
rails on the tops of pieces of furniture (see Plates XLVIII. No. 1;
XLVII. and XLIV.) and round, oval, elliptical, or long square medallions
containing pastoral subjects. Acanthus scrolls with slender stems
support the tablets; and the mouldings are almost invariably bordered
with pearl headings. The laurel leaf in the form of a wreath, or a swag,
is often used; and the husk, or bell-flower, drops down the pilasters
and legs of furniture. (Typical legs appear as Nos. 6 and 7 on Plate
XLVII.) The vase is exceedingly prominent. Sometimes it holds flowers,
sometimes a pine cone or a flame; the shield is also evident; the
woodwork is often oak painted white; the walls are divided up by
pilasters delicately carved and painted in colours, and often the
mouldings are gilt. The chairs and sofas are covered with rich silk or
tapestry. Pastoral subjects, flowers and trophies are worked for the
backs and seats. Cabinets and tables are inlaid with woods of various
colours: tulip-wood, rosewood, pear, holly and ebony are all in use; and
bright colours are obtained by chemical treatment.

A critic has asked: “How is this? Should a decorator lose all sense of
appropriateness and invite you to sit down upon a pigeon, to obliterate
a love scene, and lean your back against a panier of fruit, or a basket
of flowers?” The answer was: “Is it not as absurd to eat from a plate
decorated with flowers which will mingle with the sauces, or to drink
from a cup decorated with butterflies which might fly down your throat!
If the pigeons, baskets of flowers and pastoral scenes delight the eye,
that is sufficient.”

The materials used in this style are principally white marble, bronzes
covered with a soft burnished gold, woods painted white, or in pale
delicate hues, such as grey, with which is mixed a little blue, green,
or red. To these numerous shades of grey the name “celadon” was given.

“The effort was everywhere made to substitute straight lines for curved
and broken lines and unsymmetrical forms, so that simultaneously a right
principle of construction was recognized and ornament was no longer
required to serve constructive ends. It recovered its place as mere
decoration, and as such was added or applied to furniture, though not
always happily, for chairs and tables were adorned with freely modelled
festoon and floating ribbons and garlands, which were too loosely
connected with the objects decorated, and stood in too slight connection
with them. Not only were the structural parts of furniture once more
made rectilinear, but their profiles and dimensions were decidedly more
delicate, and the legs of chairs and tables tapered downward to a point.
Although this is essentially right in principle, as it gives furniture a
more portable appearance, still it can be carried too far. This was so
much the case with the furniture of this period that tables, chairs,
high-legged secretaries and cabinets look poor and thin, stiff and
stilted,—an effect which is not condoned by their elegant prettiness.”

The above quotation is from Falk, who goes on to say:

“That which was new in the style of Louis XVI. consisted in the
employment of antique ornamental designs, which, having lately been made
known through the excavations at Pompeii, had become fashionable; we
mean those flowery, conventional, and charming arabesques interspersed
with many graceful animal forms, with which the decorators of the time
skilfully and pleasingly added an approach to the realistic use of
natural forms, quite opposed to the system of Rococo ornament. Perfectly
preserved examples of this style of ornament, which was used at the
Petit Trianon, still exist in the above-mentioned boudoir of Marie
Antoinette at Fontainebleau, as well as in the palace at Haga,[19] both
painted on and carved in the woodwork, although the latter is not left
in its natural colour, but is gilded in various shades.”

Pollen describes the interior decoration of the rooms of this period as

“The panelling of rooms, usually in oak and painted white, was designed
in severe lines with straight moulding and pilasters. The pilasters were
decorated with well designed, carved work, small, close and splendidly
gilt. The quills, that fill the fluted columns still seen round so many
interiors, were cut into beads or other subdivisions with much care.
Fine arabesque works in the style of the Loggie of Raphael, partly
carved in relief, partly drawn and painted, or gilt, with gold of a
yellow or a green hue, the green being largely alloyed with silver, and
with silver leaf as well.... The houses built for members of the
brilliant court of Marie Antoinette at Versailles and Paris, were filled
with admirable work in this style, or in the severer but still delicate
carved panelling in wood plainly painted. The royal factories of
Gobelins and of Sèvres turned out their most beautiful productions to
decorate the rooms, the furniture, and the table service of the young
Queen and her courtiers. The former of these factories produced the
tapestries for wall hangings.... Gobelins tapestry was used for chair
backs and seats, and for sofas. Rich silks from the looms of Lyons, and
from those of Lucca, Genoa and Venice were also employed for this kind
of furniture, both in France and Flanders, Germany, Italy, and Spain, as
well as in our own country. But in all these matters France led the

One of the specialties of this period is the great use of porcelain
applied to the front of furniture; these placques are round or oval, and
frequently a long rectangle. This fashion had already become popular
during the former reign; but it was carried to excess in the days of
Louis XVI. Jacquemart says:

“We again repeat that no classification exists that is not defective;
between the end of the reign of Louis XV. and the beginning of that of
Louis XVI. there is certainly no marked transition; the sobered
furniture in the style _à la reine_ is still seen with its chequered
marquetry and delicately chased bronzes. Louis XV., the founder of the
Porcelain manufactory of France, no doubt caused Sèvres plaques with
bouquets, bordered with turquoise blue to be inlaid in the furniture he
had around him, or which he offered as gifts. And yet it is more
particularly in the reign of Louis XVI. and at the time when Amboyna
wood and spotted mahogany were replacing marquetry mosaic, that
porcelain and Wedgwood cameos were incrusted in panels, friezes, and the
drawers of furniture; it may be permitted, therefore, for the sake of
clearness, to call the overlaying of furniture with china by the name of
the sovereign who so especially admired and patronized it. In fact, the
period of Louis XVI. is that in which cabinet-making employed its
resources most largely and multiplied its styles.”

[Illustration: PLATE XLIII]

Among the designers who are classed under the epoch of Louis XVI., but
whose works are a mixture of Louis XV. and Louis XVI. styles, are Roubo,
Lucotte, Watelet, Jean Baptiste Pierre, Dumont, Demontigny, Charles de
Wailly, Le Lorrain, Choffart and Neufforge. The latter, a native of
Liège, was one of the most prolific designers of the age. His eight
books of architecture with supplement give examples of interior
decorations. The fifth volume, which appeared in 1763, is devoted
exclusively to mantel-pieces, ceilings, tables, stoves, commodes,
parquet floors, vases and other furniture; and many designs of sofas,
cabinets, buffets, _armoires_, clocks, consoles and commodes are
included in the eighth volume published in 1768. Although Neufforge
published all his designs during the reign of Louis XV., they form a
complete illustration of both the exterior and interior decoration of
houses of the Louis XVI. style. However, Neufforge did also produce some
designs in the _style Louis XV._ A mirror by Neufforge appears on Plate
XLVII., No. 2.

The most important designers of the Louis XVI. period are: Delafosse,
Ranson, Forty, De Lalonde, Salembier, Fragonard, Boucher _fils_, de
Cuvilliés _fils_, Marillier, Moreau le jeune, Prieur, Petitot, Cauvet,
Fay and Le Canu. Others of reputation include: Boulanger, Simon Challe,
Houel, Bellicart, Saint Non, LePrince, Bachelier, Liard, Robert, St.
Aubin, Renard, Queverdo, Fonlanieu, Pariset, Moreau, Houdan, Beauvais,
Le Geay, Bertren, Janel, LaRue, Parizeau, Bonnet, Duplessis _fils_,
Fossier, Huet, Demarteau, Percenet, Pouget, Tibesar, Gardette Ponce,
Moithey, Panseron, Desvoyes, Taraval, Charton, Aubert Parent, and

Delafosse (b. 1721) designed every species of interior decoration, and
every kind of furniture and ornament in use, besides innumerable
trophies, pastoral attributes, and attributes of music, painting,
science, hunting, fishing, etc., etc. His furniture includes sofas,
_canapés_ and _fauteuils_ in the picturesque taste, and chairs in the
antique taste, Turkey ottomans and beds, gondola sofas, French, Italian
and Chinese beds, and couches and settees in all the novel forms of the
day, as well as window-seats, secretaries, corner-cupboards,
candlestands, pedestals, stoves, and chimney-pieces. In some of his
designs there are reminiscences of the Louis XV. style, but he is
regarded as one of the exponents of the Louis XVI. style and their
individuality has given them the name “_genre de la Fosse_.”

Fragonard (b. 1733; d. 1806) has among his designs bas-reliefs gay with
fauns and Bacchantes in luxuriant foliage, panels and over-doors, and
charming studies for ceilings, especially adapted for boudoirs.

Forty, designer, engraver, carver, etc., worked in Paris from 1775 to
1780; and in taste and execution his works are perfect examples of the
time. In addition to books of vases, iron work for balconies, gratings,
stairways, and designs for goldsmiths, he published eight books entitled
_Œuvres de Sculptures en bronze_, in which are designs for girandoles,
lustres, clocks, candelabra, dials, barometers, etc., and a “design for
Two Toilettes,” representing everything that is appropriate to the use
of a lady, and ornamented with the proper figures and allegorical
attributes. Jewel-boxes, powder-boxes, comb-trays, etc., are included.

De Lalonde’s first publications, in the Louis XVI. style, are addressed
“to artists and persons who wish to decorate with taste”; and he assures
them that everything is in the newest style. They include borders and
frames, both square and round, feet for furniture, tables and consoles,
doors, cornices, entablatures, girandoles, lustres, candelabra,
trophies, soffits, vases, mantel-pieces, over-doors, ceilings and
rosettes for ceilings, fire-places, locks and knobs for the use of doors
and furniture, chimney-pieces and sconces. His thirteen books of
furniture represent sofas, _lits de repos_, _bergères_, duchesses,
_banquettes confidents_, ottomans and other varieties of beds and sofas,
_fauteuils_ of both the square and gondola form, billiard and
card-tables, desks of the cylinder and tomb shapes and desks with hind’s
feet, commode desks, commodes of marquetry, square commodes and commodes
with hind’s feet, corner-cupboards, screens, chiffonniers, bookcases
with pilasters, little toilette commodes, _demi-toilettes_,
flower-stands, etc., etc. Other books show numerous designs for the
table service. The later publications of De Lalonde approach the new
Classic taste. In these there are numerous plates for the decoration of
apartments, cornices, consoles, ceilings, doors, alcoves, windows,
chimney-pieces, girandoles, lustres, sofas, _canapés_, _fauteuils_ and
beds, most of which are “in the antique taste.” Among the chairs there
is a _chaise renversée à bergère_, a _fauteuil à griffon_, a _chaise
élastique_, a _fauteuil à tête renversée_, and a _fauteuil à chimère

De Lalonde’s designs were exceedingly popular. His beds and sofas _à la
duchesse_, _à la polanaise_, _à colonnes_, _à trois dossiers_, _à la
turque_, etc. are legion, and his chairs, arm-chairs, _bergères_,
screens, tabourets, consoles, etc. appeared at Trianon and
Fontainebleau, and many of them survived the Revolution. De Lalonde
continued his work under the Directoire and so slavishly followed the
fashion that his work leads directly into the style of the Empire as
expressed by Percier and Fontaine.

De Lalonde is fond of the ribboned leg (see No. 3, Plate XLVI.) and the
grooved leg; and his favourite ornaments are the quiver, the urn, the
lyre, the garland, the burning torch, and, in his combinations of
trophies, the ribbon plays an important part. Specimens of De Lalonde’s
works are shown on Plate XLVI., Nos. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7.

Ranson was particularly fond of trophies and flowers. He composed many
designs and motives for the embroidery of arm-chairs. His books give all
sorts of trophies and floral designs for various kinds of decoration. He
also designed a great deal of furniture, particularly beds. Among the
varieties exhibited in his plates are: _Lit à Impériale à colonnes_,
_lit à chaire à prêcher_. _Lit à la Polonaise à tombeau_, _lit à
l’antique_, front and side view, _lit à la duchesse_, _lit à la
chinoise_, _lit à la Romaine_, _lit à la militaire_, _lit à la Panurge_,
_lit à la Polonaise à tombeau retroussé à la chinoise_.

Ranson was particularly fond of the pastoral accessories; and he groups
large hats, shepherds’ crooks, spades, trowels, and bird-cages, and
throws around them garlands and ribbons. The round or oval frames of his
chairs are generally surmounted by a garland of roses wherein doves
sometimes bill and coo, or a quiver of arrows is set. An example of the
latter design appears as No. 3 on Plate XLIV. Two sofas by Ranson are
shown on Plate XLIV., Nos. 1 and 2. The first is a “sofa with drapery
and cushions,” the second is an “_ottomane à la reine_.”

[Illustration: PLATE XLIV]

The cabinet-makers made a vast number of Ranson’s designs.

Salembier’s publications are chiefly devoted to the study of ornaments,
particularly trailing foliage and arabesques, the acanthus and the
thistle leaf. He designed no large pieces of furniture, but there are a
few plates of consoles, _guéridons_, sconces, chandeliers, clocks, feet
and corners of tables; friezes and panels for doors are also included.

In Salembier’s designs, the foliage is not very luxuriant, and the
acanthus leaf takes the place of the shell. The figures of Cupid that he
uses are more like the Greek in treatment; and although his ornaments
are plentiful, they grow slenderer. His arabesques are very ornate,
although they are composed of light elements, mingled with branches,
mosses and grass.

Petitot’s best book contains many views and studies of a salon in the
purest Louis XVI. taste. He also published sets of vases.

Jules François Boucher (b. 1736, d. 1781), the son of the famous
painter, published various decorations for panels, elevations for
alcoves, windows, buffets, details of _armoires_ and commodes,
libraries, drawing-rooms, cabinets, bath-rooms, dressing-rooms,
boudoirs, bedrooms, dining-rooms, vestibules, etc. His work is
particularly valuable; for the decorations, like those of Neufforge,
give a more correct idea of the general ornamentation of the Louis XVI.
period than the very rich and elaborate designs of Cauvet, Salembier and

Cuvilliés (b. 1734, d. 1805) was for a time architect of the Bavarian
court, and his stay in Germany greatly influenced his taste. His works
deal chiefly with ornamentation, but designs for stoves, terms, vases
and fountains are found among his drawings; and “niches in two Gothic
styles” were published about 1770.

Marillier (b. 1740, d. 1808) chiefly designed flowers, trophies and
cartouches. He also produced “new ornament composed in the most modern
taste to be made in gold, silver, copper and other metals.” These
include trimmings for commodes, buffets and other pieces of furniture,
besides lamps, candelabras, sconces for mantel-pieces, hearth furniture,
etc. Marillier’s work shows the best characteristics of the Louis XVI.

Prieur’s taste led him to arabesques, but, among his large collection of
designs, one book is devoted to the decoration of apartments. Its six
plates comprise a round dining-room, drawing-room, bedroom, boudoir,
vestibule door and two ceilings.

A number of Beneman’s signed works exist, and are of massive and severe
form. His heavy commodes of rigid lines are ornamented with handsome
metal mounts; and many of his pieces announce the coming Empire style.

At Fontainebleau and the Louvre, are preserved many articles by Dugourc,
whose favourite ornament was the quiver.

Cauvet (b. 1731, d. 1788) designed ornaments, chiefly arabesques.
Typical trophies and arabesques are shown on Plate XLV. Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4
and 5.

A great number of painters, decorators and designers devoted their
attention to the urn and vase forms: innumerable volumes entitled
“_vases composed in the antique taste_ or _suite des vases_,” were
published by Vien, Jacques, Saly, Watelet, Pierre, Wailly, La Live de
Juilly, Simon Challe, Saint Non, Petitot, Cauvet, Houdan, Beauvais,
Bertren, Gachet, La Rue, Bonnet, Joly, Duplessis, _fils_, Percenet,
Scheemakers, Moithey _l’ainé_, Nicolet, Dupuis, Courture _l’ainé_,
Marchand, Perault, Pannier, Doré and Normand.

Others gave great attention to designing iron-work for balconies, locks,
bolts and mounts for furniture; and even stoves received much
consideration. Bosse, for instance, gives eighteen models in his
_Collection des dessins de Poêles de formes antiques et modernes, de
l’invention et de la manufacture du sieur Olivier, rue de la Roquette,
faubourg Saint-Antoine_.

Other designers published books of arabesques, trophies, flowers and
other ornaments for the use of interior decorators. Among the most
interesting of these is Charton’s _Collection de douze cahiers de
plantes étrangères en fleurs, fruits, corail et coquillages_, published
in 1784.

One of the most prolific designers of textiles was Pillement (b. 1728;
d. 1808), and his plates show all the popular motives and subjects of
the day: branches, ribbons, stripes mingled with flowers, and those
patterns of winding ribbons alternating with straight stripes bespangled
with flowers called _Dauphines_, which were introduced at the time of
the Dauphin’s marriage with Marie Antoinette in 1770. From the time that
the Princesse de Lamballe assumed charge of the Queen’s household,
feathers were much used as a design for textiles; and the affected
pastoral life at Trianon gave rise to the gayest sort of materials in
which the winding stripes and interlacing ribbons are not only sprinkled
with flowers, but all the pastoral attributes. About 1780, the round
medallions came in and lasted till the beginning of the Nineteenth
Century. Of course, the growing taste for the antique had its effect
upon the decoration of materials, and the columns, volutes, lyres, heads
of Minerva and other Classic ornaments became more and more popular.
However, amidst all the changes, one thing persisted. This was the
stripe. At first, it was hidden under ribbons and flowers, branches and
feathers, but all the scattered ornaments became smaller and less
noticeable until they disappeared altogether, and left the dominating
stripe. Mercier wrote in 1788: “Everybody in the King’s cabinet looks
like a zebra.”

The Marquise de Pompadour, who favoured the new styles, was fond of the
stripe. Her bed at Marly was quite in advance of the style associated
with Marie Antoinette. It was draped in a rich silk composed of blue and
white stripes sprinkled with bouquets of flowers.

Typical coverings of the day are shown on Plates XLIV., XLV., and XLVI.

Fay was a famous designer of textiles, and wall paper which imitated
them in pattern and colour. The material known as _quinze seize_, a kind
of taffeta, whose name was derived from its width was much used for
curtains, and also a heavy silk, called _gros de Tours_. They remained
fashionable during the Empire. Another favourite material was the _toile
de Jouy_, which was a kind of printed linen or _cretonne_ made at the
factory of Jouy in Josas, which Oberkampt established in 1759. His
productions there became enormously popular, and the designs were
printed from the best talent that could be engaged,—such as Huet, for

It is singular that the two most famous cabinet-makers of the Louis XVI.
period were Germans,—Riesener and Roentgen. Riesener (b. about 1730)
came from his native town near Cologne to Paris, and, as we have seen,
worked in Œben’s shop. When the latter died in 1768, Riesener carried on
his business, and up to the outbreak of the Revolution, produced a great
deal of furniture. He became “_ébéniste du Roi_” and worked for the
Royal family until they left Versailles. Of course he began to work
under Louis XV., his most important production having been made for that
King himself (see page 213); but as the greater part of his work was
accomplished during the following reign, he is always classed among
artisans of the Louis XVI. period. Many of his pieces are from designs
by De Lalonde. They include tables, chairs, cabinets, chests-of-drawers
and corner-cupboards that are now prized. Riesener is particularly noted
for his marquetry. He was fond of inserting a panel of a single piece of
wood bearing in its centre a gay and graceful bunch of flowers, a
wreath, or trophy, and enriching the border with a diaper pattern of
three or four quiet colours. He often stamped his name upon the panel
itself. His favourite woods for inlaying were: tulip, rosewood, holly,
maple, laburnum, and purple-wood (_copaifera pubiflora_). Riesener also
made furniture, particularly chests-of-drawers and cabinets of
snake-wood, or other brown woods in which the grain is waved or curled,
and also worked in plain mahogany and letter-wood, depending upon
Gouthière’s metal mounts for the decorative effect. Fashion also forced
Riesener to introduce, somewhat against his will, painted porcelain into
his furniture in place of his inlaid panels. One of his productions of
this class appears on Plate XLVII. It is a _chiffonnier-secrétaire_ of
mahogany with ornaments of chiselled copper, and plaques of Sèvres
porcelain. The subjects of the latter are birds. The two lower plaques
are apparently held by knots of ribbon made of copper chased and gilt. A
little open-worked gallery runs around the back and sides of the top,
the front moulding of which is ornamented with the festoon. The commode
on Plate XLVIII. is also one of Riesener’s works.

David Roentgen is often known as “David.” He was born near Coblentz, and
seems to have kept his shop there, visiting Paris to dispose of his
wares; and, obtaining the interest of Marie Antoinette, he established a
shop in Paris. He introduced a new kind of marquetry, in which the
shadows and shading were actually done by pieces of wood; and, as a
journalist of the period said, was done like “stone mosaic.” The woods
he used for his marquetry work were lighter and gayer than Riesener’s.
He employed various white woods, such as pear, lime, and other
light-coloured woods, and frequently tinted them other shades by burning
them, or by chemical processes. Like Riesener, he worked also in plain
mahogany and letter-wood, and also veneered furniture with these woods.
His productions were also brightened by Gouthière’s chased and gilt
handles and key-plates. Roentgen was particularly clever about
introducing mechanical devices into his furniture. His greatest period
of activity was between 1780 and 1790.

Among other noted cabinet-makers were Leleu, Saunier, Carlin (who made
many articles for Marie Antoinette), Levasseur, Avril, Pafrat (who
worked with Carlin), Philippe-Claude Montigny (who copied the works of
Boulle), Benman, Stockel, Weisweiler, and Schwerdfeger. Quite a colony
of German cabinet-makers, attracted by the success of Riesener and
Roentgen, as well as the hope of gaining the interest of the young
Austrian Queen, settled in the faubourg Saint-Antoine.

Although some of the beds popular during the last reign survived,
particularly the alcove and niche beds, many new varieties were
introduced, and the books of such designers as Ranson, Delafosse, and
Salembier, contain many drawings of beds. The canopy generally becomes
smaller and smaller, until it dwindles into a crown or ring to hold the
curtains, and is known as _lit à couronne_,—a variety that continued
popular throughout the Empire. The great four-post bed and the _lit en
housse_, occasionally recorded in inventories and sales, are survivals
of the past; most of the new beds take some form of the sofa. The
favourite _lit à l’anglaise_ is really nothing but a square sofa. Indeed
the dividing line between the beds and sofas is not clearly marked, for
the “bed with three backs,” as they still defined it, is draped and
furnished with the customary two bolsters and a decorative canopy and
curtains. The distinction was not very rigidly observed even at the
time. For example, in 1773 we read: “For sale at M. Carré’s, _rue
d’Enfer_ a _lit à l’anglaise_ of yellow damask that forms a sopha 5 feet
wide and 6 feet long; the frame of carved walnut.” In 1785, “a cane bed
with three backs that may serve as an ottoman in a summer drawing-room,”
is offered for sale.

Columns rarely appear now, and when they do, they are usually light.
Sometimes, indeed, they are of iron, and covered with the same material
as the curtains. It is preferred to place the bed sideways (_vu de
face_) against the wall. In this case, the headboard and footboard are
of equal height and exactly alike. (See Plates XLIV. and XLV.) Often the
headboard and footboard are covered with the curtain-material; they are
also left plain and printed, or lacquered or gilded. Natural wood
ornamented with bronze gilt _or moulu_ decorations is used. The use of
veined woods gradually did away with the practice of covering the head
and footboards. When the headboard was higher than the footboard, the
head was placed against the wall (_vu de pied_), or it stood in the
corner. Muslin, Persian, silk, and other materials were used for
draperies, and these were trimmed with bows of ribbon, fringe, cords and
tassels. The curtains and counterpane were subject to a formal
arrangement of loops and festoons, and feathers still decorated the
canopy. Among the most popular varieties were _lit à la Polonaise_, _à
la Turque_, _à la Chinoise_, _à tombeau_, _à double tombeau_, and _à
l’anglaise_. There was another new bed called _à la dauphine_, which did
not long remain in fashion. Ranson designed one in 1780. This was a _lit
à impériale_ or _à dôme_, which was light and rather graceful. Instead
of being supported by columns the dome was held by an iron armature. The
_lit à l’Italienne_, so named on account of the draping of the curtains,
was very popular in 1775; and the _lit à couronne_ had a round or oval
canopy, surmounted by a festoon drapery, trimmed with ball fringe. Two
curtains, similarly trimmed, fell from the canopy on either side of the
bed to the floor.

[Illustration: PLATE XLV]

The forms, colours, and styles of the beds in use during the Louis XVI.
period may be gathered from the following list: _lit à housse_, crimson
velvet, trimmed and embroidered with gold, Maréchal Duc d’Estrées, 1771;
_lit à la polonaise_, blue damask and _moiré_, Boucher (the painter),
1771; _lit à housse_, green damask, Madame Favart, 1772; bed of
embroidered muslin, the Duc de Bouillon, 1772; _lit de Perse_, white
background with various cut-out decorations, Duchesse de Brissac, 1773;
bed of Indian damask, Chevalier d’Hestin, 1775; crimson velvet with gold
braid, Duke of Saint-Aignan, 1776; yellow satin embroidered with gold
flowers, Marquise de Courcillon, 1777; Indian damask, Mme. le president
Talon, 1779; bright yellow damask (worth 24,000 _livres_), unknown,
1779; crimson damask, Marquise de Saint Georges, 1779; and crimson and
white _moiré_, la Comtesse de Bérulle, 1779. In 1780, crimson seems to
be the favourite hue, but there are also fine beds of blue and white
damask, crimson and white brocade, and yellow damask, and in 1781–1782,
yellow and white damask, green damask, blue damask, blue and white
watered silk, blue and white brocade, Persian, tapestry and blue satin
embroidered with gold and silk. Yellow camlet and damask in three
colours occur in 1784, and in 1787 Oriental stuffs and imitations of
them are the rage. In 1787, the Marquis de Ménars had a beautiful bed of
embroidered blue _moiré_; the Duc d’Orléans, a _lit à la duchesse_ of
flowered silver velvet, trimmed with gold braid and fringes; and the
financier, Beaujon, a large canopy bed hung with Gobelin tapestries.

In addition to these, we may call attention to the following
folding-beds: a “_lit d’ante-chambre_ in the form of a secretary” was
offered at the sale of the Marquise de Vigean’s effects in 1783; and at
the sale of Mme. Le Gros’s articles in 1784 “a bed of crimson damask
enclosed in an _armoire en secrétaire_.” A French newspaper also offered
for sale in 1785 “a pretty bed enclosed in a secretary made of mahogany
with trimmings of gilded _or moulu_, 7 feet high and 3½ feet wide,
proper for both city and country”; and four years earlier a “bed in the
form of a commode and garnished with copper” was also offered for sale.

The lower drawing on Plate XLIV. represents a _lit de repos_, or
“_causerie_,” such as was used at Trianon. The wood is walnut, gilded
all over. A carved garland of flowers decorated the top of the head and
foot-board, and the grooved columns are surmounted by a carved
pineapple. The drapery is a light Florentine silk, green in hue, trimmed
with cords and tassels and fringe of white, green and pink.

The bed on Plate XLV. is from a water-colour design by Rousseau de la

The window-curtains and draperies have also changed, to be in sympathy
with the furniture. They are far more studied than ever before, and it
is the cutter whose abilities are required rather than the graceful
draper. Every bit of material must count, and the shape is determined
upon by the scissors. The straight line is insisted upon, and festoon,
scarf and lambrequin are combined in a precise and formal manner. When a
lambrequin is cut in denticulated ornaments, sometimes the teeth end in
a point, and sometimes they are rounded. The _cantonnière_ has entirely
disappeared, and the scarf is now an obligatory accompaniment to bed
curtains and window-curtains. The curtains are heavily wadded and lined,
and beneath them thin muslin or taffeta curtains hang. The draperies are
trimmed with braids, cords, fringes, small bell-shaped balls, and long
or short but rather slender tassels.

Gilded and lacquered cornices are used, and cornices of white and gilt
whose flowers and other ornaments are painted in appropriate colours.
The latter style was known as _camaïeux_. On Plate XLIV., Nos. 3 and 4,
specimen cornices with the correct drapery are shown. The central
ornament of each is a composition of garlands, quivers and burning
torches. Another arrangement of window drapery appears in Plate XLIII.

The lyre clock (No. 3, Plate XLVII.), and the screen (No. 4, Plate
XLVIII.), are also typical examples.

The commode becomes more popular than ever. The _bombé_ commode of the
preceding reign is succeeded by a piece of furniture in which the
straight line predominates, and which usually stands on grooved feet.
Some commodes have doors and others long drawers, with two simple
handles on either side of the key-plate. When five drawers are placed
one above the other, the feet naturally become lower than those of the
Louis XV. period. Commodes were made of plain mahogany, amaranth and
violet-wood. Marquetry work gradually yielded to plain panels bordered
with a delicately chased bronze moulding, and the top was covered with a
marble slab. Doors and drawers, however, were sometimes ornamented with
inlays of flowers or trophies in the centre of the panel. Very few
lacquered commodes were made. The commode on Plate XLVIII. is a
transitional piece by Riesener. It is of marquetry, ornamented with
chased gilt bronze mounts. The legs show the Louis XV. influence. Above
it, on the same Plate, is another piece that retains sympathy with the
former period. This is a “demi-toilette.” Its curving hind’s feet are
ornamented with a bronze gilt acanthus, and delicate metal-work
decorates the moulding above the three drawers. (See detail No. 5).

The _chiffonnier_, or tall case of drawers, occurs in the inventories of
this reign. It was used in the dressing and bedrooms.

The console, or pier-table, still holds its place under the mirror
between the windows. It bears little resemblance to the superbly carved
and decorative console of the former reign. It is composed of straight
lines, a straight grooved leg, or a leg grooved and tapered, as shown on
Plate XLVIII., No. 1. The ornaments are slight, merely a little gilded
metal gallery around the top and base, a small ornament, a rosette or
trophy, in the centre under the slab, and sometimes a little decoration
on the legs. The straining-rails sometimes unite to form a sort of
basket or tray to hold flowers or a piece of porcelain, and sometimes
the legs are united by a solid piece of wood, as appears on Plate
XLIII., which also shows the favourite style of standing upon it a
single Sèvres vase. The console was not only made of mahogany and brass
work, but it was frequently painted in a light colour. Grey or celadon
was a favourite hue. At the sale of the Versailles furniture, during the
Terror, “two consoles, painted in pearl-grey, elegantly ornamented with
carving and having very handsome slabs of Carara marble,” were sold.

[Illustration: PLATE XLVI]

A console in which the characteristics of the approaching Empire style
are evident is shown as No. 5 on Plate XLVII. In the original, a double
eagle sits upon the straining-rail directly below the chubby cherub. The
eagle is accompanied by a branch of laurel. It will not be long before
the classic head of the term leg is succeeded by the sphinx.

Typical drawing-room tables are shown on Plate XLIII. It is very rarely
that a table of gilded wood is met with in a drawing-room or _petit
salon_. Solid or veneered tables of rosewood, amaranth, violet-wood or
mahogany, decorated with brass-work or gilded copper, are the
favourites. Sometimes the top consists of a marble slab, and sometimes a
square of velvet or cloth is framed in a border of wood ornamented with
a metal moulding; but the table-cloth is rigorously avoided.

In the boudoir, tables painted and lacquered in the Vernis Martin style
are met with. In the boudoir as well as in the drawing-room, the “flower
table” also occurs. This must have been a _jardinière_, because Percier
uses the word _table à fleurs_ for his _jardinières_. Growing flowers
were greatly preferred to cut flowers for decoration, and were placed on
tables or stands in vases and baskets made of gilded metal or gilded
osiers. The flower table, however, was arranged purposely for growing
plants. It resembled the pier-table, and was often ornamented with
porcelain plaques. In 1777, a Parisian advertisement reads: “For sale, a
beautiful _table à fleurs_, now being made, of satin-wood lined with
lead, the four feet in scrolls ornamented with shoes gilded _or moulu_,
as also the rings that form the handles; with a drawer also lined with
lead to drain the water.”

Writing-tables with desks that lift up and down at pleasure to any
height required, by means of mechanical devices, were also placed in the
boudoir. Work-tables were sometimes combined with the writing-tables.

Numerous kinds of card-tables were in use and tables called “_de
bouillote_,” which were round, folding or fixed, and stood on four feet.

The extension dining-table, mounted on four, six or eight feet and
opening at the middle, appears in this period, and a very useful article
is introduced into the dining-room. This is the _table servante_, a
species of dumb-waiter, with drawers and shelves arranged in tiers and
supported on four feet. Some of the drawers are large enough to hold
bottles or a carafe, while others are intended for corkscrews and small
articles. The feet, which are grooved, are mounted on casters. This
piece of furniture is represented in the caricatures by Charlet,
Grandville and H. Monnier.

A kindred article is represented in the upper right-hand corner of Plate
XLVIII. This is a breakfast table made by Carlin and Patrat. It is now
in the South Kensington Museum.

Desks or bureaux, like the commodes, became heavier and approached the
sarcophagus in shape. The rolltop cylinder was the most popular design.
One of these is represented on Plate XLVII., No. 4. The cabinet was also
in use, and sometimes it was constructed especially for the corner of a
room. A corner cabinet is shown on Plate XLVII., No. 1, with its panel
inlaid with a floral design, and its grooved column at the side that is
of the vase shape, and supports a small urn with a burning torch. It was
considered proper to place a vase on the top of the cabinet. The tall
vase was greatly used as a decoration, and was placed not only on
cabinet and pier-table, but a pedestal was frequently provided for it.
(See Plate XLIII.)

Another specimen of a cylinder desk is represented on Plate XLIV. It is
in the style of Riesener, and is made of mahogany with delicately chased
metal trimmings. The frieze is a combination of scrolls, griffins and
leaves; the panels of the doors and the cylinder are also bordered with
metal; the foot is encased in a metal leaf; and the key-plates are
ornately worked. The legs and pilasters are grooved. The top is covered
with a marble slab surmounted by an open-worked metal gallery.

The seats differ greatly from those of the former period. In these, the
curved outline entirely vanishes. During the transitional period, the
feet are of the console outline, ending in a scroll or shell, or peg-top
shape that succeeded the leaf shoe; and before the medallion was used
for the back of the chair frame, the violin shape was employed. The next
change was a sort of projecting square, then the shape of the handle of
a basket, until the form is reached that shows a perfect square between
two straight columns, each ending in a steeple ornament and making a
kind of frame for the covering. (See Plates XLVI. and XLVIII.) The small
arm-chairs were called _cabriolets_, but the frames of each were
similarly ornamented with beads, winding ribbons, laurel leaves, etc.
The richest chairs had a carved and gilt ornament in the centre of the
top rail, usually a bow of ribbon, a bouquet of flowers, or a garland of
small blossoms or leaves.

Plain woods, such as mahogany, walnut, or amaranth, are often used for
the frames, but far more universal is the use of wood carved and gilded,
or carved and painted according to fancy. Some mahogany and rosewood
arm-chairs are brightened by the application of chased and gilded bronze
ornaments. The upholsterers of the day furnished the chairs with round,
flattened or half round cushions. The projection of the back cushion was
regulated by the material with which it was covered, so that the latter
should be exhibited to its best advantage. Many arm-chairs had removable
cushions that fit into the frame of the chair. The cushions were
sometimes tufted.

[Illustration: PLATE XLVII]

The old damask of the past used for furniture coverings now gave place
to figured and embroidered satin, the designs representing birds, vases
full of flowers, Cupids, quivers smothered with garlands of flowers, a
bouquet held by a bunch of ribbon, and, finally, stripes. The tones were
light: two colours, one of which in two or three shades, were often
employed, the favourites being pale blue, rose, yellow, lilac and grey.
The manufactories of the Gobelins, of Beauvais and Aubusson produced the
same designs and pictures in their tapestries which were in great vogue
for chairs and sofas. Garlands, shepherds and shepherdesses, subjects
from Boucher and Fragonard and trophies were reproduced most exquisitely
upon light backgrounds. Persian, Chinese and Polish subjects witness how
the decorators tried to study the designs of foreign and Oriental
countries. The stamped velvets of Utrecht had smaller patterns and very
frequently were striped. Braids were of innumerable varieties, and
tassels and ball-fringe were universally used for trimmings. Arm-chairs
were ornamented also with festoons of drapery, and were called
_fauteuils à la polonaise_, _à la turque_, _à la chinoise_, and in all
probability matched the beds and sofas of these names. Radel, De
Lalonde, Salembier, and others give many designs of the draped
arm-chair. Typical chairs are represented on Plates XLVI. and XLVIII.
The arm-chairs on Plate XLVI. are by De Lalonde. Nos. 2 and 3 are
drawings of the same chair, No. 2, showing the correct projection of the
cushion of the back, which was a subject of so much study. No. 5 is a
“_voyelle_,” also by De Lalonde. The plan of its seat appears as No. 4.
No. 2 on Plate XLVIII. is an arm-chair of walnut and gold. The
arm-chairs for the desk were made of mahogany, or painted wood. They
were of the gondola form, and were supplied with cushions for the back
and seat, which were not unfrequently of cane. The third foot placed
directly in front now seems to have been given up. The _fauteuil
bergère_ still belongs to the drawing-room, but its lines are straighter
than its parent (see Plate XXXVI., No. 1), and the elbow is more
aggressive. A typical Louis XVI. _fauteuil bergère_ is shown in No. 3 on
Plate XLVIII. This is also called _fauteuil confessional_. In this reign
the cushions of seat and back are often stuffed with hair instead of
feathers, and tufted. Like the specimen on Plate XXXVI., this _fauteuil
bergère_ is often supplied with a separate cushion for the seat, covered
like the rest of the chair.

Another typical chair was the “_voyeuse_,” the back of which was shaped
like a lyre, and reached from the seat to the top rail. The latter was
stuffed. Men sat astride the seat, and rested their arms upon the rail.
This chair was generally in the card-room.

The dining-room chairs usually had cane backs and seats, or rush. The
frames of oak or ebony followed the forms of the dining-room chair, or
had turned bars or carved splats. Mahogany was also used, and often the
frames were painted. As a rule, the chairs were furnished with removable
cushions, but sometimes they were covered with velvet or leather.

The form of the sofa, or _canapé_, was similar to that of the chair, as
will be noticed by an examination of Plate XLV. Sofas were of the
gondola, basket, or medallion form, and were slightly lower and deeper
of seat than those of the former reign. Sometimes they had high wings or
cheeks at the ends, something after the shape of No. 3, on Plate
XLVIII., which gave them a cosy, comfortable appearance. A typical
_canapé_ is represented on Plate XLVI. The frame is of carved and gilded
wood, and it is covered with tapestry in the style of Boucher. The
central medallion represents a pastoral subject,—a child with a dog,
cock, and birdcage with a border of roses and daisies, and on either
side are two trophies of musical instruments. The seat is similarly
covered. The sofa, No. 7, on the same plate, is one of De Lalonde’s.
This has a good deal of metal work, and the familiar _patera_ that is
placed at the head of the leg, and, in fact, wherever the wood is
joined. This “sopha” has four front legs. Like the model below there is
an open space under the arm. The omission of the cushion stamps it of a
later date.

The little rounded and low sofa was often called an ottoman; but this
name is also applied to large pieces. For instance, No. 2, on Plate
XLIV., is called “_Ottoman à la reine_.” This is by Ranson, who is also
responsible for the sofa above it. The latter permits the square pillow
as well as the round bolster. The varieties of the draped sofa, known
variously as _lit de repos_, _chaise longue_, _duchesse_, _bergère_, _à
la turque_, _à la polonaise_, _à la chinoise_, etc., are too numerous to
mention, and merge into the bed. It is hard to tell even from the
contemporary drawings what is a sofa and what is a bed, as both appear
with and without canopies. For example, No. 6, on Plate XLVI., is called
“sofa bed _à l’antique_.” The frame is of plain mahogany, and the
drapery is arranged in scant festoons. This piece is very close in
feeling to the Empire sofas, and the scroll end sofas of the early
Nineteenth Century that exactly follow the outline produced by the bird,
cushion and roll of No. 6. The _duchesse_ is still composed of the
_fauteuil_ and _tabouret_. Sometimes it is made in three instead of two

The apartments of the Princesse de Lamballe consisted of an
ante-chamber, a dining-room, a dressing-room, a billiard-room, a bedroom
and a boudoir. They display the Louis XVI. furniture in full flower
(1785). Some idea of the height of the rooms can, of course, be gained
from the length of the curtains.

The ante-chamber contained twelve square chairs covered with yellow
_bazanne_,[20] the frames painted white; a six-leaved screen covered
with red cloth, 6 feet high; and a sofa-bed.

The dining-room was furnished with twenty chairs, three screens and a
commode. The curtains, 14 feet, 6 inches high, were of heavy crimson
silk trimmed with gold braid. The woodwork of the chairs was painted
yellow, and they were covered with crimson _panne_ velvet fastened by
gilt nails on a gold braid. Two of the screens had six leaves and were 6
feet high. One was covered with crimson _panne_ fastened by gilt nails
on a gold braid; the other with crimson silk velvet, fluted and nailed
similarly. The third screen was covered with crimson damask; its frame
was carved and gilt. The commode was _à la Régence_, 4 feet long, of
veneered wood with a marble slab on top, and two long drawers with
lock-plates, rosette handles, chutes and shoes of copper gilt. The room
was lighted by a splendid lustre of Bohemian crystal, with eight gilded
branches (2 feet, 7 inches high and 2 feet wide); and a pair of arms,
each with three _rocaille_ branches (22 inches high and 15 inches wide).
The heat was supplied by a grate.

The drawing-room was hung with green and white damask. It had a frieze
of carved wood, partly gilt and partly painted white. Two large square
arm-chairs, eighteen square chairs of gilded wood, four _voyeuses_, and
two little chairs were covered with the same green and white damask as
the hangings. The framework was carved and painted white. There were
also twenty-four mahogany chairs with lyre backs, the seats of which
were covered with green leather fastened by gilt-headed nails that
touched one another. The window-curtains, of two lengths each (9 feet, 8
inches long), were of heavy green silk, trimmed with silk braid. A rich
carpet covered the floor. The light was obtained by means of a Bohemian
crystal lustre, over 3 feet high, with six silver branches and three
pairs of sconce-arms. The fire-place was highly ornamental, and the
tongs and shovel had gilded knobs.

The billiard-room was hung with green damask, and the curtains were of
heavy green silk. Here were twelve chairs and four _voyeuses_, and a
_banquette_ covered with green Utrecht velvet, fastened with gilt-headed
nails. The framework of these seats was painted white. There were also
several stools and benches covered with green morocco.

The bedroom had a _moquette_ carpet (14 feet, 6 inches by 25 feet) of a
white background on which were ovals of green, upon which flowers tied
with ribbons were represented. A very ornamental grate furnished the

The boudoir reflected the taste of the age. The hangings and furniture
coverings were of heavy silk with a white background, on which a lozenge
design was represented, as well as bouquets of flowers tied with blue
ribbons framed in a kind of trellis-like border. The frames of the
furniture were carved and gilt. The seats consisted of a settee, with a
square cushion, two pillows and two round bolsters; six square
arm-chairs, a _bergère_ with a square cushion, and a screen. The niche
(6 feet wide and 9 feet, 9 inches high) was hung with the same material
as the rest of the boudoir, and was lined with white silk. The
window-curtains matched the alcove and bed draperies. There was a
handsome lustre of rock-crystal with eight branches of copper gilt, a
screen of crimson damask with a beech frame; an “_ottoman en gondole_”
painted white, covered with crimson damask, fastened with gold nails to
the frame, and equipped with a square hair pillow and two feather
pillows with tassels; seven crimson damask arm-chairs and a walnut
writing-table with drawer.

The apartments of Mlle. Guimard, the actress, in 1786, give excellent
hints for furnishings of this period. In the ante-chamber, on the ground
floor, were twelve chairs covered with green _moquette_, two buffets, a
fountain with a filter, a stove, a wooden coffer and figures in the

In the dining-room, there were three tables for ten, fifteen, and thirty
covers. The eighteen chairs were upholstered in green and white Utrecht

The greenhouse contained five _banquettes_, or forms, covered with green
Utrecht velvet, and three girandoles carried by plaster figures standing
on white marble pedestals.

In the passage to the boudoir was a _banquette_ covered with “Pekin.”

The boudoir was furnished with two settees, two _bergères_, and two
chairs covered with tapestry; and a desk stood in a counterfeit doorway.
The window-curtains were of green taffeta, and a carpet covered the
floor. In the bedroom, two large pictures took the place of hangings. A
sofa-bed stood in the niche, draped with crimson and white Genoa velvet.
The niche was hung with the same material. Two sofas, six square-backed
arm-chairs, and a two-leaved screen and two _banquettes_ were covered
similarly, but the four _cabriolets_ were upholstered in brocade.
Another screen was covered with tapestry. There were also a foot carpet,
an open fire-place with rich hearth furniture, pictures, and two
lily-shaped girandoles of copper gilt, _or moulu_. A _moquette_ portière
screened the passage to the _garde-robe_. The “Baths” occupied three
rooms. The bath-room and its niche were hung with Persian; the window
curtains were white, and here stood a _canapé_ and four _cabriolets_.
The cabinet next to the bath contained a settee, four _cabriolets_, and
two window-curtains, all in “painted Pekin.” The furnishings of the
fireplace were gilt _or moulu_. The dressing-room was hung in damask
paper, and its six _cabriolets_ were upholstered with crimson and white

Mlle. Grimard’s suite upstairs consisted of antechamber, dining-room,
drawing-room, dressing-room, bedroom, writing-room, and _garde-robe_.
The ante-chamber was furnished with six cane chairs and a faïence
fountain. The dining-room seats, covered with blue and white velvet,
comprised six chairs and two arm-chairs.

The _salon_, or drawing-room, contained five tables: one stood in each
corner and one in the centre. There were six square arm-chairs, four
chairs, and a settee of green and white damask, and the one _tabouret_
was covered with tapestry. The walls were hung with watered silk, and
the curtains were green taffeta. The dressing-room contained four
arm-chairs, and four chairs covered in blue and white damask; and the
window-curtains were of blue taffeta. The arm-chair used at the toilette
was upholstered in leather. The chimney-piece was “_à la Prussienne_,”
and the hearth furniture was gilt _or moulu_. The bedroom was lighted by
two windows, which were hung with curtains of green taffeta. The _lit en
niche_ and the alcove draperies were of Indian dimity. The four
arm-chairs and four chairs were covered with _toile de Jouy_. (See page
264.) The fireplace furnishings were gilt _or moulu_. In the
writing-room, the two curtains were of green taffeta; and the desk
arm-chair was covered with green velvet. Two china corner-cupboards
stood in the _garde-robe_.

The _Cabinet des Modes_ from 1786 to 1790 gives many examples of
furniture and interior decorations that are excellent records of the
taste of the last years of the Louis XVI. style. The volume for 1786
gives designs for a clock and candelabra; bed in the form of a pulpit,
front and side view, _lit de repos_, or _causeuse_, arm-chairs “in the
latest fashion,” _bergères_, _chaise à chapeau_ and _chaise à resaut_,
“temple _flambeaux_ and _cassolettes_ for the decoration of a
mantel-piece,” bed “_à la Turque_,” and decoration for a boudoir.

[Illustration: PLATE XLVIII]

A _lit à la Polonaise_, a decoration for a bedroom with alcove with
columns, cabinet clock, sofa with three backs, or “_sofa pommier_,”
large arm-chair for a drawing-room, two _voyeuses_ for a card room, and
a chair appear in the second volumes. The third contains mantel-pieces,
girandoles, clocks, a cylinder desk, a console, and the decoration for a
_salon_. Another decoration for a _salon_ appears in the volume for
1789, also a clock, girandoles, a Chinese lantern, _pots pourris_, or
perfume-burners, a sofa of three divisions, a _fauteuil à chapeau et à
colonnes_, a hearth and a settee. The volume for 1790 leads directly
into the Directoire style, as the plates for the “_lit à la
fédération_,” “new arm-chairs of antique form,” “antique arm-chair,”
“Etruscan chair,” candelabra, and “_salon nouveau_” plainly show. Most
of these designs are by Charpentier.


Footnote 19:

  Copy of the Little Trianon built by Gustavus III., of Sweden, in his
  park at Haga near Stockholm.

Footnote 20:

  A kind of dimity.

                            THE ADAM PERIOD

[Illustration: PLATE XLIX]


                            THE ADAM PERIOD

Reaction from the rococo style doubtless marched with the same gradual
and certain steps in England as in France. The Louis XVI. style crossed
the channel and brought with it all its bitter contempt for “rock and
shell,” its passion for the straight line, and its love for mortuary
urns and arabesque ornamentation. In English decorative art, this style
is known as “Adam.”

Although Robert and James Adam had great influence in creating and
strengthening the “taste for the antique,” they were not the only ones
who made war upon the rococo, Gothic and Chinese. One of these was
George Richardson, who, like Adam, travelled in Italy. He published _A
Book of Ceilings composed in the style of the Antique Grotesque_, in
1776; _A New Collection of Chimney-Pieces in the style of the Etruscan,
Greek and Roman Architecture_, in 1781; and _A Series of Original
Designs for Country Seats or Villas, containing Plans, Elevations,
Sections of Principal Apartments, Ceilings, Chimney Pieces, Capitals of
Columns, Ornaments for Friezes, and Other Interior Decorations in the
Antique Style_, in 1795.

Placido Columbani published _A New Book of Ornaments_, in 1775; and _A
Variety of Capitals, Friezes, Cornices and Chimney-pieces_, in 1776.
These are designs for the interior decoration of rooms, chiefly of
panels to be made in wood, or stucco, or painting.

John Crunden was another. He issued _Designs for Ceilings_, in 1765;
_Convenient and Ornamental Architecture_, in 1768; _The Joiner and
Cabinet-Maker’s Darling_, in 1770; and, with Thomas Milton and Placido
Columbani, _The Chimney-Piece Maker’s Daily Assistant_, or a _Treasury
of New Designs for Chimney-Pieces_.

N. Wallis published, in 1771, _A Book of Ornaments in the Palmyrene
Taste_, which was followed by _The Carpenter’s Treasure_ and _The
Complete Modern Joiner_, which contain designs for ceilings, panels,
pateras, mouldings, chimney-pieces, door-cases, friezes, tablets for the
centre ornaments, chimney-pieces, and door-cases and ornaments for
pilasters, bases and sub-bases. The greater number were of allegorical
subjects. Wallis was fond of the “Raffle” leaf (indented foliage, such
as the acanthus). J. Carter was another designer in the Adam taste. His
ceilings greatly resembled Richardson’s. The latter describes one of his
own chimney-pieces as follows: “The plain ground round the pilasters and
architrave may be of jasper, or antique green; and the ornaments of the
frieze and pilasters might be done of _scagliola_,[21] and should be
executed in wood; the ornaments will produce a fine effect if painted in
the Etruscan manner—in various colours.” A _Triumph of Venus_ is a
tablet of another chimney-piece, “suitable for an elegant gallery or
Drawing-room. She is sitting in a shell drawn by Dolphins guided by
Cupid, in the air and accompanied by a Triton blowing his shell trumpet,
and holding Neptune’s trident. The plain ground round the pilasters with
termes may be of variegated colours, but all the rest should be of plain
white marble.” Of the ceiling for a dressing-room he says: “The oval
picture represents Diana bathing attended by her Nymphs. The small
circles contain figures representing hunting-pieces and sacrifices,
which may be painted in _chiaro-oscuro_, or executed in stucco in the
manner of antique bas-reliefs.” A chimney-piece, suitable for a Parlour
or Dining-room, is thus described: “The ornaments of the frieze may be
of white marble, laid on dark grounds. If the cornice, with the frieze
and back pilasters, be carved in wood, the moldings of the architraves
in marble, might be quite plain.”

It will therefore be seen that the “Adam style” was a fashion. Taste was
running its natural course and the reaction to the antique, from the
curve in favour of the straight line, had set in.

The social position of the Adam brothers helped them greatly in towering
above the other English designers and decorative artists of the day.
Their father, William Adam, was an architect of reputation in Scotland;
and sent his second son, Robert, to the University of Edinburgh, where
he formed important friendships. In 1754, he went to Italy with a French
architect and made a careful study of the ruins of the Emperor
Diocletian’s palace at Spalatro in Dalmatia. He was made F.R.S. and
F.S.A. while abroad; and, on his return to England, in 1762, become
royal architect. His brother James was closely identified with him in
all his work. The nobility and gentry not only patronized them, but
received them socially; and when Robert died in 1792, and was buried in
Westminster Abbey, the state of his funeral and the high rank of the
persons who attended and officiated, prove the regard in which he was
held. Adam, therefore, is of a very different class from Chippendale,
Heppelwhite and Sheraton; and, although he designed much furniture to
accord with the rooms that he altered and decorated, he never made any.
The Adam brothers were purely designers: they employed special artists
to work for them. These were Angelica Kauffman, and her husband, Antonio
Zucchi, and Cipriani; also Pergolesi, whom they brought from Italy, and
who Mr. Heaton says “beyond doubt was the unacknowledged author of most
of the beautiful details of Adam’s book.”

Among their most important works that include interior decoration were:
Sion House, the Duke of Northumberland’s seat in Middlesex; Kenwood,
Lord Mansfield’s house near Hampstead; Osterley House, near Brentford;
Shelburne (now Lansdowne) House, Berkeley Square, London; Keddlestone,
Derbyshire; Luton House, Bedfordshire; and Compton Verney, Warwickshire.

[Illustration: PLATE L]

“Whatever were the architectural defects of their works, the brothers
formed a style, which was marked by a fine sense of proportion, and a
very elegant taste in the selection and disposition of niches, lunettes,
reliefs, festoons, and other classical ornaments. It was their custom to
design furniture in character with their apartments, and their works of
this kind are still highly prized. Amongst them may be specially
mentioned their sideboards with elegant urn-shaped knife-boxes, but they
also designed bookcases and commodes, brackets and pedestals,
clock-cases and candelabra, mirror-frames and console tables of singular
and original merit, adapting classical forms to modern uses with a
success unrivalled by any other designer of furniture in England. They
designed also carriages and plate, and a sedan-chair for Queen
Charlotte. Of their decorative work generally it may be said that it was
rich but neat, refined but not effeminate, chaste but not severe, and
that it will probably have quite as lasting and beneficial effect upon
English taste as their architectural structures.”[22]

Like Chippendale, they claimed more originality than they were entitled
to when they wrote in their preface:

“We have not trod in the path of others, nor derived aid from their
labours. In the books which we have had the honour to execute we have
not only met with the approbation of our employers, but even with the
imitation of other artists, to such a degree, as in some measure to have
brought about in this country, a kind of revolution in the whole system
of this useful and elegant art. These circumstances induced us to hope
that to collect and engrave our works would afford both entertainment
and instruction.”

They paid much attention to colour, and remark:

“We have thought it proper to colour with the tints used in the
execution, a few copies of each number, not only that posterity might be
enabled to judge with more accuracy concerning the taste of the present
age, and that foreign connoisseurs might have it in their power to
indulge their curiosity with respect to our national style of ornament;
but that the public in general might have an opportunity of cultivating
the beautiful art of decoration hitherto so little understood in most of
the countries of Europe.”

The Adams tell us they intended to prefix to their book a dissertation
regarding the rise and progress of architecture in Great Britain, “to
have pointed out the various stages of its improvements from the time
that our ancestors relinquishing the Gothic style, began to aim at an
imitation of the Grecian manner, until it attained that degree of
perfection at which it has now arrived.”

Thus the Gothic had no more admiration from the Adams than it had when
Evelyn denounced it.

It is interesting to let them exhibit their own taste and rating of
British architects.

“Michael Angelo, Raphael, and other Italian architects of the
Renaissance boldly aimed at restoring the antique. But in their time the
rage for painting became so prevalent, that instead of following these
great examples, they covered every ceiling with large fresco
compositions, which, though extremely fine and well painted, were very
much misplaced, and must necessarily, from the attitude in which they
are beheld, tire the patience of every spectator. Great compositions
should be placed so as to be viewed with ease. Grotesque ornaments and
figures in any situation are perceived with the glance of an eye, and
require little examination. Inigo Jones introduced them into England
with as much weight, but with little fancy and embellishment. Vanburgh,
Campbell, and Gibbs, followed too implicitly the authority of this great
name. Kent’s genius for the picturesque, and the vast reputation he
deservedly acquired, made him in some measure withstand this prevalent
abuse; he has much merit in being the first who began to lighten the
compartments and to introduce grotesque paintings with his ornament in
stucco; his works, however, are evidently those of a beginner. Mr.
Stuart, with his usual elegance and taste, has contributed greatly
towards introducing the true style of the antique decoration; and it
seems to have been reserved for the present times to see compartment
ceilings, and those of every kind, carried to a degree of perfection in
Great Britain that far surpasses any of the former attempts of other
modern nations.

“Inigo Jones, who had long studied in Italy, rescued this art
(architecture) in a considerable degree from the Gothicism of former
times, and began to introduce into his country a love of that elegance
and refinement which characterize the productions of Greece and Rome.

“Instructed and encouraged by his example, Sir Christopher Wren became
more chaste; and having the felicity to be employed in executing the
most magnificent work of English architecture, he was enabled to display
greater extent of genius.

“Vanburgh understood better than either the art of living among the
great. A commodious arrangement of apartments was therefore his peculiar
merit. But his lively imagination scorned the restraint of any rule in
composition; and his passion for what was fancifully magnificent,
prevented him from discerning what was truly simple, elegant, and

“Campbell, Gibbs, and Kent have each their peculiar share of merit.”

From their own testimony we can, therefore, not agree with them, when
they write elsewhere:

“Inferior to our ancestors in science, we surpass them in taste.”
However, they insist that at the time they write, “greater variety of
form, greater beauty in design, greater gaiety, and elegance of ornament
are introduced into interior decoration.”

They were greatly in demand, as we have seen, and not only altered the
interiors and exteriors of many English mansions, but designed the
decorations. Chimney-pieces, ceilings, walls, niches, the handles of
doors, locks, key-plates, cornices, draperies, furniture, gold and
silver ware, and even damask for the table. Nothing seemed too great,
nor too slight for their hands. The attitude they had towards their work
may be appreciated by the following words:

“If we have any claim to approbation, we found it on this alone. That we
flatter ourselves we have been able to seize, with some degree of
success, the beautiful spirit of antiquity, and to transfuse it, with
novelty and variety, through all our numerous works.”

The pictures on Plates L., LI., and LII. are taken from the book by the
Adams. No. 1, on Plate L., is the curtain cornice of the Earl of Derby’s
Etruscan Room; No. 2 on the same plate is another cornice with drapery,
which, with the mirror below it, were made for Sion House. No. 4 is the
leg of a table and No. 5 is the upper part of the frame of a pier-glass.
The lower drawing is a sideboard table, under which, in the original
drawing, a wine-cooler stands. No. 3 is a table, also from Sion House.

The sofa appearing on Plate LI. is of mahogany, the woodwork fluted and
mounted with brass reliefs. The legs are characteristic of Adam. The
cover is woolen work on canvas.

The table on the same plate is inlaid and has a border of inlaid brass
and wood around the top. The two drawers under the top have borders of
brass and are decorated with brass lions. In the centre of each
crosspiece there is a decoration of leaves surrounding a rosette. The
legs are gilded at intervals, and are ornamented with gilt lion’s heads
and end in claw feet. This dates from about 1780.

The screen on the same plate is supported on a stand of wood fluted and
gilded, out of which rises a brass rod. The oval frame encloses a piece
of silk embroidery said to have been made by Queen Caroline. The little
picture in the centre is painted. No. 1 is a curtain cornice, of which
Adam says: “These curtains were intended as an attempt to banish absurd
French compositions.” No. 2 is a ewer, that also appears in the Adam
book. Plate XLIX. is a library after the Adam style. The full drawing on
Plate LII. is a commode from the Countess of Derby’s dressing-room; it
is richly decorated. No. 2 is a detail. No. 3 on the same plate from it
is a girandole, made for a niche in the Earl of Derby’s Etruscan Room.
The full drawing is “a design of a vase for candles to be fixed to the
wainscoting of a room”; the central vase is a perfume-burner. No. 1 is a
tripod of gilded wood, intended to support a base with candles.

Among the ornaments used by the Adam brothers were mythological
subjects, lozenge-shaped panels, octagons, ovals, hexagons, circles,
wreaths, fans, husks, medallions, draped medallions, medallions with
figures, the sphinx, the faun, goats, drapery, ribbons, eagle-headed
grotesques, griffins, sea-horses, the ram’s head, the patera, the
rosette, caryatides and other Classic motives.

The ornaments of the ceilings and walls were stucco picked out with
different tints, frequently pink and green. In handsome rooms, the
chimney-piece was of statuary marble, the overmantel carved in wood and
gilt, or painted. The drawing-room ceiling was coved and the
compartments painted. Pilasters were often used to divide the rooms and
the ornaments of these, like the arches and panels of the doors, were
painted. The frieze was stucco. Ornaments in the niches were frequently
gilt, as well as the girandoles and stucco ornaments of the ceilings.
The Adams also recommended ornaments printed on _papier maché_ and “so
highly japanned as to appear like glass.” Damask and tapestry were used
for hanging the drawing-room, but not the dining-room.

They assert that within the past few years there has been “a remarkable
improvement in the form, convenience, arrangement and relief of
apartments; a greater movement and variety, in the outside composition
and in the decoration of the inside, an almost total change. The massive
entablature, the ponderous compartment ceiling, the tabernacle frame
almost the only species of ornament, formerly known in this country, are
now universally exploded, and in their place we have adopted a beautiful
variety of light mouldings, gracefully formed, delicately enriched and
arranged with propriety and skill. We have introduced a great diversity
of ceilings, frieze and decorated pilasters, and have added grace and
beauty to the whole, by a mixture of grotesque[23] stucco and painted
ornaments, together with the flowing _rinceau_,[24] with its fanciful
figures and winding foliage.

“A proper arrangement and relief of apartments are branches of
architecture in which the French have excelled all other nations; these
have united magnificence with utility in the hôtels of their nobility,
and have rendered them objects of universal imitation.

[Illustration: PLATE LI]

“To understand thoroughly the art of living, it is necessary, perhaps,
to have passed some time among the French, and to have studied the
customs of that social and conversible people. In one particular,
however, our manners prevent us from imitating them. Their eating-rooms
seldom or never constitute a piece in their great apartments, but lie
out of the suite, and in fitting them up, little attention is paid to
beauty or decoration. The reason of this is obvious; the French meet
there only at meals, when they trust to the display of the table for
show and magnificence, not to the decoration of the apartment; and as
soon as the entertainment is over, they immediately retire to the rooms
of company. Not so with us. Accustomed by habit, or induced by the
nature of our climate, we indulge more largely in the enjoyment of the
bottle. Every person of rank here is either a member of the legislature,
or entitled by his condition to take part in the political arrangements
of his country, and to enter with ardour into those discussions to which
they give rise; these circumstances lead men to live more with one
another, and more detached from the society of the ladies. The
eating-rooms are considered as the apartments of conversation, in which
we are to pass a great part of our time. This renders it desirable to
have them fitted up with elegance and splendour, but in a style
different from that of other apartments. Instead of being hung with
damask, tapestry, etc., they are always finished with stucco, and
adorned with statues and paintings, that they may not retain the smell
of the victuals.”

The Adam brothers now describe what seems to them a correct arrangement
of a suite of apartments. These they themselves planned and decorated
for the Duke of Northumberland’s estate, Sion House, near London. “The
hall, both in our homes and in those of France, is a spacious apartment,
intended as the room of access where servants attend. It is here, a room
of great dimensions, is finished with stucco, as halls always are, and
formed with a recess at each end, one square and the other circular,
which have a noble effect and increase the variety.

“The ante-rooms on each side are for the attendance of the servants out
of livery, and also for that of the tradesmen, etc. These are relieved
by the back stairs in the towers. That on the side of the great
apartment is square, and is decorated with columns of verd antique
marble, which serve to form the room and heighten the scenery. The
ante-room, on the side of the private apartment, is formed into an oval,
a figure seldom or never used by the ancients, but has been sometimes
introduced by the moderns with success, and was here in some respect
necessary from the oblong shape of the room.

“Next to the ante-rooms are the public and private eating-rooms; the
public one is a room of great extent, finished with stucco and adorned
with niches and statues of marble; it is formed into a great circular
recess at each end and decorated with screens of columns. The private
one has also its recesses and stucco-finishing, and is relieved by a
back-stair for the use of the servants.

“Next to the great eating-room lies a splendid withdrawing room, for the
ladies, or _salle de compagnie_, as it is called by the French; this is
varied from the other rooms by the form of its ceiling, which is coved
and painted in compartments. It gives access into a gallery of great
length, though rather too narrow and too low to be in the just
proportion we could have wished. It is, however, finished in a style to
afford great variety and amusement, and is, for this reason, an
admirable room for the reception of company before dinner, or for the
ladies to retire to after it: For the withdrawing-room lying between
this and the eating-room, prevents the noise of the men from being
troublesome; and for this reason we would always recommend the
intervention of a room in great apartments to prevent such

“The little closets or cabinets, the circular one for china, and the
other square one for miniatures, at each end of the gallery, serve only
for an additional ornament. The gallery itself, as well as the private
apartments, is relieved by the circular back stairs, and gives access to
the ranges of apartments on both sides.

“The great circular saloon is a noble room entering from the hall, and
leading into the gallery and great stairs, relieves all the other
apartments: this serves also for a room of general rendez-vous, and for
public entertainments, with illuminations, dancing and music. The form
is new and singular; it is a circle within a circle, the smaller opening
into the larger, by eight piercings adorned with columns and terminated
with niches and statues, so that the scenery, like the decorations of a
theatre, apparently increases the extent, and leaves room for the
imagination to play.

“The private apartments are now the only part of the plan remaining
undescribed; on one hand is the Duchess’s bed-chamber, an ante-chamber
for the attendance of her maid; her toilet or dressing-room, her
powdering-room, water-closet and outer ante-room, with a back stair
leading to the intersols for the maids’ bedrooms and wardrobes, etc. On
the other hand is a dressing-room for the Duke, a powdering-room,
writing-room, with closet and stairs to intersols for His Grace’s
valet-de-chambre, and wardrobe, etc.”

The Adams also made changes at Kenwood in 1774, introducing their plans
and decorations into an addition. “The great room with its ante-room was
begun by Lord Mansfield’s orders in 1767, and was intended both for a
library and a room for receiving company. The circular recesses were
therefore fitted up for the former purpose, and the square part or body
of the room was made suitable to the latter. The whole is reckoned
elegant in its proportions and decorations, and the ceiling in
particular, which is a segment of a circle, has been greatly admired.”

This ceiling is in “imitation of a flat arch, which is extremely
beautiful and much more perfect than that which is commonly called the
coved ceiling,” and Adam thus continues to describe it: “The stucco-work
of this ceiling and of the other decorations is finely executed by Mr.
Joseph Rose. The paintings are elegantly performed by Mr. Antonio
Zucchi, a Venetian painter of great eminence; and the grounds of the
panels and friezes are coloured with light tints of pink and green, so
as to take off the glare of white, so common in every ceiling till of
late. This always appeared to me so cold and unfinished, that I ventured
to introduce this variety of grounds, at once to relieve the ornaments,
remove the crudeness of the white, and create a harmony between the
ceiling and the side walls with their hangings, pictures and other

The Adams were very fond of this combination of colour. Osterley Park,
the seat of the Earl of Jersey and one of the finest specimens of the
Adam style extant, had its dining-room similarly painted by Zucchi. It
is thus described:

[Illustration: PLATE LII]

“The dining-room at Osterley Park, owned by the Earl of Jersey, was
decorated by Zucchi in the Adam style. The walls of this apartment are
in tints of the tenderest green and the very palest pinks, these colours
being panelled by delicate scroll-work and artistic designs in the white
composition which was known only to the Adam brothers. Three large
pictures and several smaller ones, all being scenes and landscapes by
Zucchi, are framed in this white scroll-work, while the same curving
lines, with grapes and vine leaves, outline the pink and green panels of
the ceilings, the design of which corresponds with the design of the
neutral-tinted carpet. The tiny scroll patterns of the window mouldings
are repeated in the ornamentation of the mahogany doors with their
artistic brass locks and are again found in the designs of the _buffets_
and side tables, where the ram’s head is introduced, which occurs more
than once in both furniture and ornaments. Even the tablecloths were
made to correspond in their woven pattern, and some are still in use
bearing the date 1779. This careful and minute arrangement of detail is
found only in an Adam House.”[25]

W. Thomas was another designer in the Adam style; but of far greater
importance was Michael Angelo Pergolesi, who was employed by the Adam
brothers, and whose designs are equal to theirs. Pergolesi also employed
Zucchi, Cipriani and Angelica Kauffman. His books of designs came out in
parts from 1777 onward. One of Pergolesi’s rooms “has a low dado rail,
plain plaster walls, panelled round with a moulding, a fine mantel-piece
and a narrow ornamental compo frieze and plain ceiling.” Angelica
Kauffman painted ceilings, table-tops, and furniture-panels, which, like
Cipriani’s productions, represent cherubs, maidens, gods and goddesses,
and _amorini_.


Footnote 21:

  Scagliola, mentioned above, was a kind of plaster made of gypsum and
  Flanders glue. It was coloured to imitate marble. The Adam brothers
  made great use of it, as well as plaster of Paris pressed in metal

Footnote 22:

  Cosmo Monkhouse.

Footnote 23:

  “By _grotesque_ is meant that beautiful light stile of ornament used
  by the ancient Romans in the decoration of the palaces, baths and
  villas. It is also to be seen in some of their amphitheatres, temples
  and tombs; the greatest part of which being vaulted and covered with
  ruins, have been dug up and cleared by the modern Italians, who, for
  these reasons, give them the name of _grotte_, which is perhaps a
  corruption of the Latin _Criptæ_, a word borrowed from the Greeks, as
  the Romans did most of their terms, in architecture; and hence the
  word _grotesque_, and the English word signifying a cave.

  “In the times of Raphael, Michael Angelo, Julio Romano, Polidoro,
  Giov. d’Udine, Vasari, Zuchero and Algardi, there is no doubt but
  there was much greater remains of the grotte, than what are now to be
  seen, and in imitation of them were decorated the _loggias_ of the
  Vatican, the villas Madama, Pamfili, Caprarola, the old palace at
  Florence; and indeed whatever else is elegant and admirable in the
  finishings of modern Italy. The French, who till of late never adopted
  the ornaments of the ancients, and jealous as all mankind are of the
  reputation of their national taste, have branded those ornaments with
  the vague and fantastical appellation of arabesque, a stile which,
  though entirely distinct from the grotesque, has, notwithstanding,
  been most absurdly and universally confounded with it by the ignorant.

  “This classical stile of ornament, by far the most perfect that has
  ever appeared for inside decorations, and which has stood the test of
  many ages, like other works of genius, requires not only fancy and
  imagination in the composition, but taste and judgment in the
  application; and when these are happily combined, this gay and elegant
  mode is capable of inimitable beauties.

  “Vitruvius with great reason condemns an over-licentiousness in
  compositions of this kind, and blames the painters of his time for
  introducing monstrous extravagances. We mean not to vindicate anything
  that deserves such appellations, but surely in light and gay
  compositions, designed merely to amuse, it is not altogether necessary
  to exclude the whimsical and bizarre.”

Footnote 24:

  “_Rainceau_, apparently derived from rain, an old French word,
  signifying the branch of a tree. This French term is also used by the
  artists of this country, to express the winding and twisting of the
  stalk or stem of the acanthus plant, which flowing round in many
  graceful turnings spreads its foliage with great beauty and variety,
  and is often intermixed with human figures, animals and birds,
  imaginary or real; also with flowers and fruits.

  “This gay and fanciful diversity of agreeable objects, well composed
  and delicately executed in stucco or painting, attains a wonderful
  power of pleasing.”

Footnote 25:

  E. Balch, _Glimpses of Old English Homes_.

                         THE HEPPELWHITE PERIOD

[Illustration: PLATE LIII]


                         THE HEPPELWHITE PERIOD

Quite different from the sumptuous book by Robert and James Adam is the
one that was published in 1788 by the firm of “A. Heppelwhite & Co.,
Cabinet-Makers.” This is a collection of three hundred designs by
cabinet-makers for cabinet-makers and gentlemen. The title-page, which
is also a table of contents, reads as follows:

“The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide, or Repository of Designs,
for every article of Household Furniture, in the Newest and most
approved Taste, displaying a great variety of patterns for Chairs,
Stools, Sofas, Confidante, Duchesse, Side Boards, Pedestal and Vases,
Cellerets, Knife-Cases, Desk and Book-Cases, Secretary and Book-Cases,
Library-Cases, Library-Tables, Reading-Desks, Chests-of-Drawers,
Urn-Stands, Tea-Caddies, Tea-Trays, Card-Tables, Pier-Tables,
Pembroke-Tables, Tambour-Tables, Dressing-Glasses, Dressing-Tables and
Drawers, Commodes, Rudd’s Table, Bidets, Night-Tables, Bason-Stands,
Wardrobes, Pot-Cupboards, Brackets, Hanging-Shelves, Fire-Screens, Beds,
Field-Beds, Sweep Tops for Ditto, Bed-Pillars, Candle-Stands, Lamps,
Pier-Glasses, Terms for Busts, Cornices for Library-Cases, Wardrobes,
etc., at large, Ornamented Tops for Pier-Tables, Pembroke-Tables,
Commodes, etc., etc., in the Plainest and most Enriched Styles.”

In his preface, Heppelwhite explains his ideas as follows:

“To unite elegance and utility, and blend the useful with the agreeable,
has ever been considered a difficult, but an honourable task.

“It may be allowable to say, we have exerted our utmost endeavours to
produce a work which shall be useful to the mechanic, and serviceable to
the gentleman. With this view, after having fixed upon such articles as
were necessary to a complete suit of furniture, our judgment was called
forth in selecting such patterns as were most likely to be of general
use—in choosing such points of view as would show them most
distinctly—and in exhibiting such fashions as were necessary to answer
the end proposed, and convey a just idea of English taste in furniture
for houses.

“English taste and workmanship have, of late years, been much sought for
by surrounding nations; and the mutability of all things, but more
especially of fashions, has rendered the labours of our predecessors in
this line of little use: nay, at this day, they can only tend to mislead
those Foreigners, who seek a knowledge of the English taste in the
various articles of household furniture.

[Illustration: PLATE LIV]

“The same reason, in favour of this work, will apply also to many of our
own Countrymen and Artisans, whose distance from the metropolis makes
even an imperfect knowledge of its improvements acquired with much
trouble and expense. Our labours will, we hope, tend to remove this
difficulty; and as our idea of the useful was such articles as are
generally serviceable in genteel life, we flatter ourselves the labour
and pains we have bestowed on this work will not be considered as time
uselessly spent.

“To Residents in London, though our drawings are all new, yet, as we
designedly followed the latest or most prevailing fashion only,
purposely omitting such articles whose recommendation was mere novelty,
and perhaps a violation of all established rule, the production of whim
at the instance of caprice, whose appetite must ever suffer
disappointment if any similar thing had been previously thought of; we
say, having regularly avoided those fancies, and steadily adhered to
such articles only as are of general use and service, our principal hope
for favour and encouragement will be, in having combined near three
hundred different patterns for furniture in so small a space, and at so
small a price. In this instance we hope for reward; and though we lay no
claim to extraordinary merit in our designs, we flatter ourselves they
will be found serviceable to young workmen in general and occasionally
to more experienced ones.”

From the above quotation, it will be noticed that the firm of
Heppelwhite and Company eschews extravagant designs, and aims to
represent at the same time what is newest and most fashionable. We see,
too, that previous publications sold, such as Chippendale’s, Ince and
Mayhew’s, Edwards and Darly’s, and others that we have mentioned, are
considered entirely out of date.

As far as Heppelwhite is concerned, neither the Chinese nor Gothic style
ever existed. The straight line is insisted upon, and he prefers to any
other the tapering and slender “term” leg ending in the “spade” foot.
(See full drawings on Plates LIV., LV., LVI., and LVII., and Nos. 2 and
3 on Plate LIV.) The legs are frequently inlaid with the husk, or
bell-flower, in satin-wood. His favourite ornamentations, whether
carved, inlaid, or painted and japanned, are the bell-flower in swags
and chutes, the lotus, the rosette, the acanthus, the shell, the urn
with and without drapery, and the three feathers of the Prince of
Wales’s crest. (See Plate LVI., Nos. 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8.) The brass-headed
nail is always used for fastening the material to the frames of his
seats. These are always placed close together, and are sometimes
arranged in the form of festoons, or scallops, around the seat. The
stripe is his favourite design for coverings. The festoon and the
ornamental tassel he greatly admires.

The Heppelwhite chair has attained great fame. Generally speaking, its
proportions are as follows: height, 3 feet, 1 inch; height to seat
frame, 17 inches; depth of seat, 17 inches; and width of seat in front,
20 inches. Many chairs, however, are recommended to be made “according
to the size of the room or pleasure of the purchaser.” For coverings of
drawing-room chairs, such as Nos. 1, 5 and 8 on Plate LVI., silks and
satins of light colours with printed oval medallions, or floral designs
were used, and more particularly stripes, which were becoming more and
more fashionable in France. Blue, or red, morocco leather, put on with
ornamental brass nails, is another popular method of upholstering these
articles. One of Heppelwhite’s instructions is that “leather backs or
seats should be tied down with tassels, of silk or thread.” For the open
back and carved chair, such as Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 on Plate LVI. silk,
satin, and leather are used, and horsehair, figured, checked, plain, or
striped, is also popular.

No. 7 on Plate LVI., which may be of mahogany, or japanned, has a cane
bottom in the original design, and “should have a cushion of linen,
leather, etc.”

Some of Heppelwhite’s carved chair-backs are square, and anticipate
those of Sheraton represented on Plate LXII.; but he was fonder of the
shield form. Backs of this shape were covered as in No. 5, Plate LVI.,
or had carved and open-backs, as the other examples shown on the same

Of chairs he writes:

“Chairs in general are made of mahogany, with the bar and frame sunk in
a hollow, or rising in a round projection with a band or list on the
inner and outer edges. Many of these designs are enriched with ornaments
proper to be carved in mahogany. Mahogany chairs should have the seats
of horsehair, plain, striped, chequered, etc., at pleasure, or cane
bottoms with cushions, the cases of which should be covered with the
same as the curtains.

“For chairs, a new and very elegant fashion has arisen within these few
years, of finishing them with painted or japanned work, which gives a
rich and splendid appearance to the minuter parts of the ornaments,
which are generally thrown in by the painters. Several of these designs
are particularly adapted to this style, which allows a framework less
massy than is requisite for mahogany, and by assorting the prevailing
colour to the furniture and light of the room, affords opportunity, by
the variety of grounds which may be introduced, to make the whole accord
in harmony, with a pleasing and striking effect to the eye. Japanese
chairs should have cane bottoms, with linen or cotton cases over
cushions to accord with the general hue of the chairs.”

The full drawing on Plate LVI. is “an easy chair,” which Heppelwhite
calls also a “Saddle Check,” the “construction and use of which is very
apparent: they may be covered with leather, horsehair, or have a linen
case to fit over the canvas stuffing, as is most usual and convenient.”

Chairs with stuffed backs he called “cabriole.” No. 5, on Plate LVI., is
labelled a “cabriole chair.” Heppelwhite assures us that it “is of the
newest fashion.” It consists of a shield-shaped back; a little cushion
upon the arm, fastened by means of tiny nails; and a leg composed of
reeds bound with ribbon, surmounted by the square patera that hides the

[Illustration: PLATE LV]

Twelve designs of chair backs, resembling chairs of the Sheraton style,
are “proper to be executed in mahogany or japan; some of them applicable
to the more elegant kind of chairs with back and seats of red, or blue,
morocco leather; in these backs, which are sometimes made a little
circular, are frequently inserted medallions, printed or painted on silk
of the natural colours; when the backs and seats are of leather, they
should be tied down with tassels of silk or thread.”

“Stools,” he says, “should match the chairs, the framework should be of
mahogany, or japanned, and of course should be covered like the chairs.”
His “window stools” are particularly graceful. They are intended to be
placed directly under the window, and their “size must be regulated by
the size of the place where they are to stand; their heights should not
exceed the heights of the chairs.” Two of his designs, which he
considers “particularly adapted for an elegant drawing-room of japanned
furniture,” are covered in “taberray or morine of pea-green or other
light colour.” The one represented on Plate LV. is of “carved mahogany
with furniture of an elegant pattern.” He assures us that this “will
produce a very pleasing effect.” Another one he recommends to be
“japanned and covered with striped furniture;” and two others are
“covered with linen or cotton to match the chairs. One is tufted and
ornamented with buttons and the other has a scalloped valance trimmed
with fringe. A tiny tassel hangs in the centre of each scallop.”

The general characteristics of the stuffed Heppelwhite sofa appear in
the full drawing on Plate LIV., which also shows the correct covering
fastened to the frame by a border of gilt nails. The dimensions of the
sofa vary according to the size of the room, but the “proportion in
general use” is as follows: length from 6 to 7 feet; depth about 30
inches; height of the seat frame, 14 inches; and total in the back, 3
feet, 1 inch. “The woodwork should be either mahogany or japanned, in
accordance to the chairs, and the covering also must be of the same.” A
long square sofa he calls “the newest fashion,” and recommends that “the
frame should be japanned, with green on a white ground and the edges
gilt; the covering of red morocco leather.”

French forms and names were just as popular with Heppelwhite as with
Chippendale. On Plate LIV., No. 5, is shown a confidante of
Heppelwhite’s design. He writes:

“This piece of furniture is of French origin, and is in pretty general
request for large and spacious suits of apartments. An elegant
drawing-room, with modern furniture is scarce complete without a
Confidante, the extent of which may be about nine feet, subject to the
same regulations as sofas. This piece of furniture is sometimes so
constructed that the ends take away and leave a regular sofa; the ends
may be used as Barjier Chairs.” The last name refers to the _bergère_.

Heppelwhite writes of the _duchesse_:

“This piece of furniture also is derived from the French. Two Barjier
chairs of proper construction, with a stool in the middle, form the
Duchesse, which is allotted to large and spacious ante-rooms; the
covering may be various, as also the framework, and made from 6 to 8
feet long. The stuffing may be of the round manner as shown in the
drawing, or low-stuffed with a loose squab, or bordered cushion, fitted
to each part; with a duplicate linen cover to cover the whole, or each
part separately. Confidantes, sofas and chairs may be stuffed in the
same manner.”

[Illustration: PLATE LVI]

Another variety is the “bar back,” which appears as if four open-back
chairs (similar to No. 7, Plate LVI.) are placed side by side, the two
end ones being supplied with an elbow, the general outline of which
follows that of No. 8, or No. 5, on Plate LVI. We are told that this
kind of sofa is of modern invention; and “the lightness of its
appearance has procured it a favourable reception in the first circles
of fashion. The pattern of the back must match the chairs; these also
will regulate the sort of framework and covering.”

Heppelwhite’s beds are much lighter in general appearance than
Chippendale’s, both with regard to framework and the hangings. “Beds are
an article of much importance,” he thinks, “as well on account of the
great expense attending them as the variety of shapes and the high
degree of elegance which may be shown in them. They may be executed of
almost every stuff the loom produces. White dimity, plain or corded, is
peculiarly applicable for the furniture, which, with a fringe or
gymp-head, produces an effect of elegance and neatness truly agreeable.
The Manchester stuffs have been wrought into Bed-furniture with good
success. Printed cottons and linens are also very suitable, the elegance
and variety of patterns of which afford as much scope for taste,
elegance and simplicity as the most lively fancy can wish. In general,
the lining to these kinds of furniture is a plain white cotton. To
furniture of a dark pattern, a green silk lining may be used with a good
effect.” One of Heppelwhite’s beds on the general model of the one
represented as Nos. 1 and 2 on Plate LVII. was hung with dove-coloured
satin curtains with a lining of green silk. “The Vallance to this bed,”
he writes, “is tied up in festoons. The cornice of mahogany may come so
low as to hide the curtain rods.” He also gives designs of “Venetian, or
waggon top beds,” “dome top beds,” “square dome top beds,” “press beds”
and “field beds,” and gives the following instructions with regard to
the richest kinds:

“In staterooms where a high degree of elegance and grandeur are wanted,
beds are frequently made of silk or satin figured or plain, also of
velvet with gold fringe, etc. The Vallance to elegant beds should always
be gathered full, which is called a Petticoat Vallance. The Cornices may
be either of mahogany carved, carved or gilt, or painted and japanned.
The ornaments over the cornices may be in the same manner; and carved
and gilt, or japanned, will produce the most lively effect.

“Arms or other ornaments to Stuffed Head Boards should be carved in
small relief, gilt and burnished. The Pillars should be of mahogany,
with the enrichments carved.”

The field-bed, of which a design dated 1787 appears on Plate LVII., is
the French _lit à tombeau_ and _lit à double tombeau_. In England it was
known as the single-headed and double-headed field-bed. A single-headed
bed of this kind appears on Plate XXXVI., No. 8; and this Louis XV.
model was copied by Chippendale for his later plates, in which many
varieties of the field-bed appear. The bed represented on Plate LVII.
needs no explanation. The cornice, or “sweep,” is delicately carved.
Urns surmount the bed-posts. Below it, on Plate LVII., are “sweeps for
field-bed tops” dated 1787 (Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7). Another design in
Heppelwhite’s book for a bed with a sweep top is intended to be made of
plain mahogany or with gilt ornaments. The headboard and draperies are
quite elaborate. “The drapery may be the same as the furniture or the
lining, the ornaments gilt, the headboard is stuffed and projects like
the back of a sofa. The addition of stuffed headboards gives an elegant
and high finish to the appearance of beds.”

The “press bed” is nothing more or less than a folding-bed in the shape
of a wardrobe, with two big doors beneath which are drawers. Heppelwhite

“Of these we have purposely omitted to give any designs: their general
appearance varying so little from wardrobes, which pieces of furniture
they are intended to represent, that designs for them are not necessary.

“The upper drawers would be only sham and form part of the door, which
may be made to turn up all in one piece, and form a tester; or may open
in the middle, and swing on each side; the under drawer is useful to
hold parts of the bed furniture; may be 5 feet 6 inches high, 14 feet

“Nine designs for Cornices which are suitable for beds or windows are
here shewn; these may be executed in wood painted and japanned, or in
gold. A mixture of these two manners produces an elegant and grand
effect. The foliage may be gilt, and the groundwork painted; or the
reverse.” One of these appears as No. 4 on Plate LIV. This exhibits the
curtain and toothed lappets, or points, of the lambrequin below the

The sideboard with Heppelwhite is quite different to that of
Chippendale. The latter merely designs a long plain table with carved
legs and no drawers. Heppelwhite’s sideboard is a far more highly
developed piece of furniture. Sometimes the drawers were arranged in
compartments, for various uses, and the sideboard had a cavity between
the front legs to accommodate a wine-cooler. Pieces of plate and
knife-cases stood upon its wide slab. The sideboard represented on Plate
LIV. has Heppelwhite’s characteristic inlay of the husk or bell-flower
done in satin-wood and the characteristic “spade” foot. An inlaid floral
ornament decorates the corners below the front drawer.

Heppelwhite remarks:

“The great utility of this piece of furniture has procured it a very
general reception; and the conveniences it affords render a dining-room
incomplete without a sideboard.” The one represented on Plate LIV. has
several drawers. The right-hand drawer “has partitions for nine bottles.
Behind this is a place for cloths or napkins, occupying the whole depth
of the drawer.”

“The drawer on the left hand has two divisions, the hinder one lined
with green cloth to hold plate, etc., under a cover; the front one is
lined with lead for the convenience of holding water to wash glasses,
etc., there must be a valve-cock, or plug, at the bottom, to let off the
dirty water; and also in the other drawer, to change the water necessary
to keep the wine, etc., cool; or they may be made to take out. The long
drawer in the middle is adapted for table linen, etc.

[Illustration: PLATE LVII]

“They are often made to fit into a recess, but the general custom is to
make them from 5½ to 7 feet long, 3 feet high, and 28 to 32 inches

He also gives designs for “sideboards without drawers; the ornaments to
the front of which may be carved, painted, or inlaid with various
coloured woods.” This kind is merely the old sideboard table.

Of pedestals he writes:

“Pedestals and vases are much used in spacious dining-rooms, where the
last-described kind of sideboards are chosen; at each end of which they
are placed. One pedestal serves as a plate-warmer, being provided with
racks and a stand for a heater; and is lined with a strong tin; the
other pedestal is used as a pot cupboard.

“The vases may be used to hold water for the use of the butter, or iced
water for drinking, which is inclosed in an inner partition, the ice
surrounding it; or it may be used as knife-cases, in which case they are
made of wood, or of copper japanned. The height of the pedestal is the
same as the sideboard and 16 or 18 inches square; the height of the vase
about 2 feet, 3 inches.”

Of the knife-case, he says:

“The universality of this piece of furniture renders a particular
description not necessary. It may be made of mahogany inlaid, or of
satin or other wood at pleasure.”

Four designs of _vase knife cases_ are given. “They are usually made of
satin, or other light-coloured wood, and may be placed at each end on
the sideboards, or on a pedestal; the knives, etc., fall into the body
of the vase, the top of which is kept up by a small spring which is
fixed to the stem, which supports the top; may be made of copper,
painted and japanned.”

One of these is shown on Plate LV., No. 4.

“Cellerets,” he tells us, “called also _gardes de vin_, are generally
made of mahogany, and hooped with brass hoops lacquered; the inner part
is divided with partitions, and lined with lead for bottles; may be made
of any shape. These are of general use where sideboards are without

Plate LIII. shows all of these articles except the celleret. The
sideboard is similar to that on Plate LIV. and upon it stand knife boxes
and a lustre. Pedestals supporting the vases described above stand on
either side. Above is an ornate mirror.

“Candlestands are very useful in large suits of apartments, as the light
may be placed in any part at pleasure—in drawing-rooms, in halls and on
large staircases, they are frequently used. These designs may be
executed in mahogany or wood japanned.” A very graceful example appears
as No. 6 on Plate LV. It has five branches, three of which only are
shown in the sketch here. This is to be made in mahogany or japanned
wood and the branches are lacquered brass.

No. 1 on Plate LIV. represents a little urn-stand “to set the teapot
on.” This is about 26 inches high and can be painted or varnished or
inlaid with various coloured woods.

The “Pole fire screen,” a specimen of which is shown on Plate LV., No.
5, “may be ornamented variously, with maps, Chinese figures, needlework,
etc. The screen is suspended on the pole by means of a spring in the
eye, through which the pole goes.” These articles are made of mahogany
or japanned wood.

The Horse fire-screen is supported by uprights standing on feet. The
screen slides up and down in grooves in these uprights. The framework is
usually of mahogany and the screen is covered with green silk
needlework, etc. Heppelwhite’s lamps are often ornamented with brass
work. He gives, however, a square one to be made in mahogany. Of great
importance are his mirrors with sconce arms, which he calls
“Girandoles,” and remarks: “This kind of ornament admits of great
variety in pattern and elegance; they are usually executed of the best
carved work,—gilt and burnished in parts. They may be carved and
coloured suitable to the room.” A very graceful example is shown as No.
3 on Plate LV. The mirror fills the entire oval. Girandoles also hang on
the walls of the room shown as Plate LIII.

Pier-glass frames are “almost invariably of good carved work, gilt and
burnished.” The square shape is most fashionable, Heppelwhite says, and
directs that “they should be made nearly to fill the pier. They must be
fixed very low, and the panels of the sides are frequently made of
various coloured glass.” What he means by this will be understood by
referring to the large mirror over the sofa in Plate LIII.

Pier tables “are made to fit the pier and rise level with, or above the
dado of the room, nearly touching the ornaments of the glass.”

“Tables in general,” we learn, “are made of the best mahogany. Their
size is various but their height should not exceed 28 inches.”

“Card-tables may be either square, circular or oval: the inner part is
lined with green cloth; the fronts may be enriched with inlaid or
painted ornaments; the tops also admit of great elegance.”

Specimen card-tables are shown on Plate LIV., Nos. 2 and 3. Pembroke
tables are the most useful of this species of furniture; they may be of
various shapes. The long, square and oval are the most fashionable.
These articles admit of the greatest elegance in the workmanship and
ornaments. The tops “are inlaid, painted or varnished.” A beautiful
example is shown on Plate LV. This table is supplied with a drawer below
the top, the leaves of which fall at the two sides of the drawer.

Heppelwhite made a great variety of other tables, such as “tambour
writing tables,” “night-tables” shaving-tables, and dressing-tables of
all kinds. His dressing-tables were the result of much thought. In them
we see the convenient mechanical and folding arrangements that Sheraton
carried so far in his various devices. In one of Heppelwhite’s
dressing-tables, the drawer is divided into compartments for pins,
combs, essences, etc., and the looking-glass rises from the drawer on
hinges, or it can be made to lie flat. “Rudd’s Dressing Table” also
appears, which Heppelwhite says is “the most complete dressing-table
ever made, possessing every convenience which can be wanted; or
mechanism, or ingenuity supply. It derives its name from a once popular
character, for whom it was reported it was invented.” Here the drawers
can be made to swing around in any desired position, and the
looking-glasses also swing on pins after they are elevated.

Another ladies’ dressing-table is a simple table, the slab of which
lifts up or can be opened out. In the centre of it is the dressing-glass
which can be made to rise and stand. Around it are little compartments
for articles of the toilet. Then he makes also what he calls
dressing-drawers. This is an “ordinary chest-of-drawers, one drawer of
which is fitted up as a dressing-drawer.” Some varieties have serpentine
fronts. Two of his mahogany bason-stands appear as Nos. 1 and 2 on Plate
LV. Hanging-shelves for books or china are made of mahogany and are
suitable for ladies’ rooms.

Commodes are often richly inlaid; some of them indeed are made of
satin-wood and are shaped like half a drum. Chests-of-drawers, double
chests-of-drawers and wardrobes are of the plainest forms and made of
plain mahogany with a simple ring handle or knob.

The long bookcase of the type on Plate XXXIX. Heppelwhite calls library
case. Describing these, he says: “They are usually made of the finest
mahogany; the doors of fine waved or curled wood. May be inlaid on the
panels, etc., with various coloured woods. The ornamental sash bars are
intended to be of metal which, painted of a light colour, or gilt, will
produce a light, pleasing effect.” The dimensions are determined by the
place where it is to stand.

The dimensions of Heppelwhite’s desk and book-case are length, 3 feet, 6
inches; depth, 22 inches; height of desk, 3 feet, 2 inches, including 10
inches for the inside of the desk; total height about 6 feet; depth of
bookcase, about 12 inches. These are “usually made of good mahogany. The
drawers and internal conveniences admit of much variation. The designs
show three different ways of making them: the patterns of the book-case
doors may also be very much varied. On the top, when ornamented, is
placed between a scroll of foliage, a vase, bust, or other ornament
which may be of mahogany, or gilt, or of light-coloured wood.”

A tambour writing-table and bookcase appears on Plate LVII. This
requires little explanation except to note that it has three drawers and
a cylinder tambour shutter that rolls back and reveals all the
pigeon-holes, nests of drawers and writing-table, while the upper part
consists of shelves enclosed by two doors.

Of the latter, Heppelwhite says: “Tambour writing-table and bookcase,
the doors to which are intended to be made of and ornamented with metal
frames; these painted of a light, or various colours, produce a lively
and pleasing effect. The reeds are here drawn forward to shew the
appearance when shut.”

The library table is from 3 to 4 feet long and 3 feet deep. It is of
mahogany, and covered on top with leather or green cloth. Some of them
have cupboards in front for books, papers, etc.

The room on Plate LIII. is an arrangement of Heppelwhite’s own plan,
regarding which he remarks: “Having gone through a complete series or
suit of Household Furniture, we were strongly advised to draw out a
plan, which should shew the manner of properly disposing of the same:
with this intent, aided by the advice of some experienced friends, we
here shew, at one view, the necessary and proper furniture for a
Drawing-room, and also for a Dining-room or Parlour, subject to the
following variations: If the object of this plan was a Drawing-room
only, on each side of the chimney-piece there should be a sofa, and on
the opposite side, instead of a sofa, should be a confidante: the
sideboard also should be removed, and an elegant commode substituted in
the place. The remaining space may be filled up with chairs. For a
dining-room, instead of the pier-tables, should be a set of
dining-tables. The rest of the furniture, and the general ordonnance of
the room is equally proper, except the glass over the sofa, which might
be omitted; but this is mere opinion, many of the Dining Parlours of our
first nobility having full as much glass as is here shewn.”

The proper furniture for a Drawing-room and for a Dining-room or
Parlour, being thus pointed out, it remains only to observe, that the
general appearance of the latter should be plain and neat, while the
former, being considered as a State-room, should possess all the
elegance embellishments can give.”

The side of the room which the reader cannot see contains four windows,
furnished with window stools and lambrequins; and, between each window,
pier-glasses and pier-tables stand. These semi-circular tables were
used, when necessary, to extend the square table in the centre of the
room: one being placed at each end, for the extension table had not come
into fashion.

                          THE SHERATON PERIOD


                          THE SHERATON PERIOD

Thomas Sheraton, an English journeyman cabinet-maker, settled in London
about 1790. From that date until his death in 1806, he seems to have
stopped working at his trade and to have spent his time writing
practical books on furniture. His first publication, _The Cabinet-Maker
and Upholsterer’s Drawing-Book_, appeared in 1791; but he had previously
published eighty-four _Designs for Furniture_. In 1803, he issued _The
Cabinet Dictionary_; and in 1804–7, _The Cabinet-Maker, Upholsterer and
General Artist’s Encyclopædia_ appeared.

How many of the models in Sheraton’s books are his own it is hard to
tell. He claims very few of them, and remarks in the _Cabinet-Maker and
Upholsterer’s Drawing-Book_ that “it is intended to exhibit the present
taste of furniture and at the same time to give the workman some
assistance in the manufacture of it.” Sheraton, like Chippendale, whose
“designs,” he says, “are now wholly antiquated and laid aside, though
possessed of great merit according to the times in which they were
executed,” and like Heppelwhite also, therefore exhibits the fashions of
his time—fashions that came from France. From what he himself writes, it
would seem that he gathered designs from various sources and worked for
popularity. He says:

“In conversing with cabinet-makers, I find no one individual equally
experienced in every job of work. There are certain pieces made in one
shop which are not manufactured in another, on which account the best of
workmen are sometimes strangers to particular pieces of furniture. For
this reason, I have made it my business to apply to the best workmen in
different shops to obtain their assistance in the explanation of such
pieces as they have been most acquainted with. And, in general, my
request has been complied with, from the generous motive of making the
book as generally useful as possible.”

He then informs the reader of “the difficult task I have had to please
all.... I find some have expected such designs as never were seen, heard
of, nor conceived in the imagination of man; whilst others have wanted
them to suit a broker’s shop, to save them the trouble of borrowing a
bason-stand to shew to a customer. Some have expected it to furnish a
country wareroom, to avoid the expense of making up a good bureau and
double chest-of-drawers, with canted corners, etc., and though it is
difficult to conceive how these different qualities could be united in a
book of so small a compass, yet, according to some reports, the broker
himself may find his account in it, and the country master will not be
altogether disappointed; whilst others say many of the designs are
rather calculated to shew what may be done, than to exhibit what is or
has been done in the trade. According to this, the designs turn out to
be on a more general plan than what I intended them, and answer, beyond
my expectation, the above various descriptions of subscribers. However,
to be serious, it was my first plan, and has been my aim through the
whole, to make the book in general as permanently useful as I could, and
to unite with usefulness the taste of the times.”

This taste changed gradually from the Louis XVI. style to that of the
Empire. Sheraton, consequently, covers these two periods. Sheraton had
his own tastes and his own ideas, however, and his books are full of his
individual fancies and instructions. He was a great admirer of carving.
When we read: “Having possessed a strong attachment and inclination for
carving in my youth, I was necessarily induced to make attempts in this
art, and on succeeding in some degree, I was employed in the country
occasionally in it,” this explains the many graceful designs that he
gives for carved splats and bannisters of chairs. He was also fond of
inlaid and painted furniture, and greatly liked the new fashion of
inlaying with brass, especially for black woods. Satin wood, too,
particularly of a “fine straw colour,” which has a “cool, light and
pleasing effect in furniture,” he also admired, and thought tulip-wood
and zebra-wood (of the “scarce brown and white streaked variety”),
beautiful for cross-banding.

Mahogany he uses for dining-room, library and bedroom furniture, and for
chairs with carved backs. He brightens much of his mahogany with such
brass ornaments, as handles, key-plates, columns, rails and claw-feet,
and often inlays it with a few small lines of brass, as he does
rosewood. Rosewood he recommends for choice pieces, such as work-tables,
secretaries, etc. Brass beads is another form of ornament that he likes
to use. The straight line appears in the forms of the Sheraton
furniture. The chair leg is frequently reeded, or turned and decorated
with twisted flutes and fillets. The tambour shutter Sheraton makes much
use of, and he likes to introduce all kinds of mechanical devices into
his furniture.

Among his favourite ornaments are the husk, or bell-flower, the swag, or
festoon, the column, the lyre, the lotus, the acanthus, the urn, the
vase and the patera, the latter being used especially to hide the screws
of beds and joining of chair-frames (see Plate LXIII. and Nos. 10 and
11, Plate LXII.). Like Chippendale, he gives an immense number of
book-case doors composed of panes arranged in ornamental designs, and
behind these he flutes green silk curtains. During his last period, the
wire door appears for commodes, cabinets and other pieces.

Sheraton’s drawing-room furniture was of white and gold, of satin-wood,
wood painted and japanned, or of rosewood. The coverings for the
drawing-room chairs were silk or satin, the designs being stripes or the
oval medallion. In 1803, he advocates cane.

Sheraton has very little to say about textiles or colours. He speaks of
printed cottons, and silks and taffeta of all colours, plain, striped,
checked, flowered and mixed with gold and silver. The only colour about
which he has any thing to say is blue: “Blue and white, blue and black,
very light blue and yellow will harmonize. Blue kills some colours; and
on which account before any be used to join with another colour, they
should be compared together; and if the more brilliant colour to which
it is joined becomes therefore less vivid, some other colour should be

He gives many directions, however, regarding the arrangement of rooms.

“As the entrance, or hall, of any well built house ought always to be
expressive of the dignity of its possessor, so the furniture ought to be
designed in a manner adapted to inform the stranger, or visitant, where
they are, and what they may expect on a more general survey of every

“As the hall is a general, or ought to be a general opening to all the
principal apartments, it should be furnished so as not to be mistaken
for the most superb division of the structure, or where they may expect
to meet the nobler person who resides in it. The furniture of a hall
should therefore be bold, massive and simple: yet noble in appearance
and introductory to the rest.”

It is interesting to note that the Adam stucco-work has had its day and
that there is a return to the Boucher treatment of the ceiling. Sheraton
remarks: “Plastered ceilings are supposed to be more common in Britain
than in other countries. The manner of finishing ceilings has been
various, at different times, in this country. A sort of very heavy
ornamented plaster work was formerly introduced, together with pannelled
work in heavy mouldings. Within about thirty years since, this kind of
ceiling work has been composed in a much lighter style, and variegated
with painted panels, often from the heathen mythology, or other poetical
subjects. At present some of the most elegant rooms have no plastered
ornaments in their ceilings, but are painted to imitate an open sky,
with some faint scattering of clouds.”

The walls were hung with paper.

The window generally reached to the floor, with small panes of glass,
from four to eight in a sash. The window was also furnished with a
blind. “The most fashionable blinds,” Sheraton assures us, “are of wood
painted green all except the frame which is of mahogany. The blind part
is either composed of upright or horizontal narrow laths ⅛ of an inch
thick painted a bright green and which move by means of a lever to any
position for admitting more or less light.”

The cornice was painted and japanned, or carved and gilded, and from it
hung the draperies.

“Festoon window-curtains,” says Sheraton, “are those which draw up by
pullies, and hang down in a swag. These curtains are still in use in
bedrooms, not withstanding the general introduction of the French rod
curtain in most genteel houses. A festoon window-curtain consists
generally of three pulls, but when a window is extensive they have four
or five.”

[Illustration: PLATE LVIII]

An example of the French rod is shown on Plate LIX., No. 1, dated 1803.
Sheraton says: “The French window rod is made of brass about ¾ of an
inch diameter, having a pulley at the left end and two at the right, one
of which is fixed on a pin perpendicular to the rod. At present, they
frequently make the French rods of satin wood two to a window to lap
past each other about three inches in the centre; so that the curtain
draws half on each side separately, or only half of it may be drawn at
once; and when they are both drawn out they lap over each other.” The
chimney is invariably furnished with a glass. Sheraton says:

“In elegant rooms, the chimney-glass is usually carried to the under
side of the cornice of the ceiling; but to reduce the expense of the
plate, sometimes a broadish panel is introduced at the top of the glass
with a frieze and cornice above all, included in the frame of the glass.

“The most generally approved pilasters for chimney and pier-glasses are
those of 3, 5, or 7 reeds, worked bold; but which, in my opinion, still
look better by being parted with a ground one-third of the width of the
reed which may be matted to relieve the burnished reeds. It is not
unusual to have a twisting branch of flowers, or a ribband round the
reeds rising upwards, and terminating in some sort of Composite,
Corinthian, or Ionic capital. The panel above the glass is sometimes
made quite plain and covered with silk as a ground for drapery, tacked
under the cornice of the glass to match that of the windows.”

“Glasses for chimney-pieces run various, according to the size of the
fire-place, and the height of the wall above. To save expense, they are
sometimes fitted up in three plates, and the joints of the glass covered
with small gilt mouldings or pilasters. At other times with the naked
joint only. When they are of one plate, the frame in general is made
bolder and more elegant.”

The floor is completely covered with a carpet having a border which has
to be neatly mitred at the corners.

“The kitchen, the hall, the dining-parlour, the ante-room, the
dining-room, the library, the breakfast-room, the music-room, the
gallery of paintings, the bedroom and dressing apartments, ought to have
their proper suits of furniture, and to be finished in a style, that
will at once, show, to a competent judge, the place they are destined

“The library should be finished in imitation of the antiques; and such
prints as are hung in the walls ought to be memorials of learning, and
portraits of men of science and erudition.

“The music-room may be conducted in a more gay style; and the paintings
or prints of the muses and masters of music may consistently make a part
of furnishing; and chairs and stools of a richer variety of colours may
be admitted with propriety.”

“The ante-room is an introduction to the drawing-room and partakes of
the elegance of the apartment to which it leads, serving as a place of
repose before the general intercourse be effected in the whole company.
Here may be placed a number of sofas of a second order with a pianoforte
or harp or other matters of amusements till the whole of the company be

“The tea-room, or breakfast-room, may abound with beaufets, painted
chairs, flower-pot stands, hanging bookshelves or moving libraries and
the walls may be adorned with landscapes and pieces of drawings, etc.,
and all the little things which are engaging to the juvenile mind.

“The lodging-room admits of furniture simply necessary, but light in
appearance, and should include such pieces as are necessary for the
accidental occasions of the night. Here should be a small book-shelf
with such books as should tend to promote our pious resignation of body
and soul to the care of the great author of the universe and divine
superintendent of human happiness.

“The dressing-room exhibits the toilet-table and commode with all the
affairs requisite to dress as bason stands, stools, glasses, and boxes
with all the innocent trifles of youth.

“The drawing-room is to concentrate the elegance of the whole house, and
is the highest display of richness of furniture. It being appropriated
to the formal visits of the highest in rank, and nothing of a scientific
nature should be introduced to take up the attention of any individual,
from the general conversation that takes place on such occasions. Hence,
the walls should be free of pictures, the tables not lined with books,
nor the angles of the room filled with globes; as the design of such
meetings are not that each visitant should turn to his favourite study,
but to contribute his part towards the amusement of the whole company.
The grandeur then introduced into the drawing-room is not to be
considered as the ostentatious parade of its proprietor; but the respect
he pays to the rank of his visitants.” He also informs us that:

“The furniture used in a drawing-room are sofas, chairs to match, a
commode, pier-tables, elegant fire-screens, large glasses, figures with
lights in their hands and bronzes with lights on the cap of the
chimney-piece, or on the pier-tables and commodes, and sometimes a
mirror with lights fixed at the end of the room, or the side, as may
best suit for the reflection or perspective representation of the room,
on the surface of the mirror.”

“A drawing-room is of that sort which admits of the highest taste and
elegance; in furnishing of which, workmen in every nation exert the
utmost efforts of their genius. To assist me in what I have here shewn,
I had the opportunity of seeing the Prince of Wales’s, the Duke of
York’s, and other noblemen’s drawing-rooms. I have not followed any one
in particular, but have furnished my ideas from the whole, with such
particulars as I thought best suited to give a display of the present
taste in fitting up such rooms.”

“In the drawing-room here (see Plate LVIII.), everything will appear
easily understood to a workman in town, who is accustomed to see such
apartments; but for a stranger, and those workmen who reside in the
country, it will be proper to point out a few particulars.

“The pier tables have marble tops and gold frames or white and gold. The
glasses are often made to appear to come down to the stretcher of the
table; that is, a piece of glass is fixed in behind the pier table,
separate from the upper glass, and by reflection makes the table appear
double. The small piece of glass may be fixed either in the dado of the
room, or on the frame of the table.

[Illustration: PLATE LIX]

“The arches above the windows are merely artificial, being only wooden
frames put up, strained with canvas; after which the same kind of stuff
which the curtains are made of is formed to appear like a fan, and
drapery tacked on to it.

“Panelling on the walls are done in paper with ornamental borders of
various colours.

“The figures above the glasses are paintings in clare-obscure. The sofas
are bordered off in three compartments, and covered with figured silk or
satin. The ovals may be printed separately, and sewed on. These sofas
may have cushions to fill their backs, together with bolsters at each
end. In France, where their drawing-rooms are fitted up in the most
splendid manner, they use a set of small and plainer chairs, reserving
the others merely for ornament.

“The commode opposite the fire-place has four doors; its legs are
intended to stand a little clear of the wings; and the top is marble to
match the pier tables. In the frieze part of the commode is a tablet in
the centre made of an exquisite composition in imitation of statuary
marble. These are to be had of any figure, or on any subject, at Mr.
Wedgewood’s, near Soho Square. They are let into the wood, and project a
little forward. The commode should be painted to suit the furniture, and
the legs and other parts in gold to harmonize with the sofas, tables,
and chairs.”

“The dining-room is one of the principal apartments of a house, and
ought always to be of a bold and an accommodating proportion. In
noblemen’s dining-rooms, where the windows are all on the side opposite
to the fires, there may then be a recess at each end of the room in
which a sideboard may stand, with columns before it placed at the
extremities, which produces a very august appearance and renders the
service considerably more easy at dinner than where there is but one
sideboard. The furniture of a dining-room ought to be bold, substantial
and magnificent, in proportion to its dimensions.

“The dining-parlour must be furnished with nothing trifling, or which
may seem unnecessary, it being appropriated for the chief repast, and
should not be encumbered with any article that would seem to intrude on
the accommodation of the guests. The large sideboard, inclosed or
surrounded with Ionic pillars; the handsome and extensive dining-table;
the respectable and substantial-looking chairs; the large face glass;
the family portraits; the marble fire-places; and the Wilton carpet are
the furniture that should supply the dining-room.”

The Prince of Wales’s dining-parlour in Carlton House is recommended as
a good type.

“The Prince’s has five windows facing St. James’s Park. His windows are
made to come down to the floor, which opens in two parts as a double
door, leading to a large grass plot to walk in. If I remember right,
there are pilasters between each window, but this is intended to have
grass. In his is a large glass over the chimney-piece. To these glass
frames are fixed candle branches. At each end is a large sideboard,
nearly twelve feet in length, standing between a couple of Ionic
columns, worked in composition to imitate fine variegated marble, which
have a most beautiful and magnificent effect. In the middle are placed a
large range of dining-tables, standing on pillars with four claws each,
which is now the fashionable way of making these tables. The chairs are
of mahogany, made in the style of the French, with broad top rails
hanging over each back foot; the legs are turned, and the seats covered
with red leather.”

[Illustration: PLATE LX]

The curtains are “of the French kind.”

“Many dining-rooms of the first nobility have, however, only two columns
and one sideboard, and those of less note have no columns.”

Correct drawing-room seats are shown on Plate LXII. The central one is
purely Louis XVI. in style, painted in any colour and is covered with
silk, but Sheraton recommends that the chair-frame be “finished in
burnished gold, the seat and back covered with printed silk. In the
front rail is a tablet with a little carving in its panels. The legs and
stumps have twisted flutes and fillets done in the turning, which
produce a good effect in the gold.”

Another parlour arm-chair, which he says can be made of carved mahogany
or of black rosewood and gold, “will produce a lively effect,”
particularly if “a brass beading is put round the stuffing to hide the
tacks.” Specimen backs of chairs that may be of carved mahogany or
painted are shown on Plate LXII., Nos. 1 to 9. These are dated 1792,
Nos. 10 and 11 are specimen chair legs.

“It appears from some of the latest specimens of French chairs, some of
which we have been favoured with a view of, that they follow the antique
taste, and introduce into their arms and legs various heads of animals;
and that mahogany is the chief wood used in their best chairs, into
which they bring in portions of ornamental brass; and, in my opinion,
not without a proper effect, when due restraint is laid on the

Of the sofa shown on Plate LXII. Sheraton says it may be “done in white
and gold, or japanned. The loose cushions at the back are generally made
to fill the whole length, which would have taken four; but I could not
make the design so striking with four, because they would not have been
distinguished from the back of the sofa by a common observer. These
cushions serve at times for bolsters, being placed against the arms to
loll against. The seat is stuffed up in front about three inches high
above the rail, denoted by the figure of the sprig running longways; all
above that is a squab which may be taken off occasionally. If the top
rail be thought to have too much work, it can be finished in a straight
rail, as the design shews.”

“Our sofas are never covered with a carpet, but with various pattern
cottons and silks.”

When the commode is decorated with wire-doors, Sheraton insists that
green, white or pink silk shall be fluted behind them. The cabinet on
Plate LX. is treated in this way.

“As pier tables are merely for ornament under a glass, they are
generally made very light, and the style of finishing them is rich and
elegant. Sometimes the tops are solid marble, but most commonly veneered
in rich satin or other valuable wood, with a cross band on the outside,
a border about two inches richly japanned and a narrow cross band beyond
it, to go all round. The frames are commonly gold or white or burnished
gold. Stretching-rails have of late been introduced to these tables, and
it must be owned that it is with good effect, as they take off the long
appearance of the legs and make the under part appear more finished;
besides they afford an opportunity of fixing a vase or basket of
flowers, which, with their reflection when there is a glass behind,
produce a brilliant appearance.

“Some, in place of a stretcher, have a thin marble shelf with a brass
rim round it, supported by a light frame; in which case the top ought to
be of marble also.”

There are horse fire-screens, pole screens and tripod screens.

Pole Fire-Screens “may be ornamented variously, with maps, Chinese
figures, needlework, etc. The screen is suspended on the pole by means
of a spring in the eye, through which the pole goes; the feet of the two
outer ones are loaded with lead to keep them steady; may be made of
mahogany, but more frequently of wood japanned.”

The framework of Horse Fire-Screens should be of mahogany; the screen
may be covered with green silk, needlework, etc., at pleasure.

Tripod Fire Screens he made in white and gold, mahogany or japanned.
“The rods of these screens are all supposed to have a hole through them
and a pulley let in near the top on which the line passes, and a weight
being enclosed in the tassel, the screen is balanced to any height. The
rods are often made square, which indeed best suits those which have
pulleys, while those that are made round have only rings and springs.

“Such screens as have very fine prints or worked satin, commonly have a
glass before them. In which case a frame is made, with a rabbet to
receive the glass, and another to receive the straining frame, to
prevent it from breaking the glass; and to enclose the straining frame a
bead is mitred round.”

There were various sorts of dining-tables in use. “The common useful
dining-tables are upon pillars and claws, generally four claws to each
pillar, with brass castors. A dining-table of this kind may be made to
any size, by having a sufficient quantity of pillar and claw parts, for
between each of these there is a loose flap, fixed by means of iron
straps and buttons, so that they are easily taken off and put aside; and
the beds may be joined to each other with brass fork or strap

“The sizes of dining-tables for certain numbers may easily be calculated
by allowing 2 feet to each person sitting at table; less than this
cannot with comfort be dispensed with. A table 6 feet by 3, on a pillar
and claws, will admit of eight persons, one only at each end and three
on each side. By the addition of another bed, twelve, with four times
the room in the centre for dishes; but if a third be joined, with the
insertion of two flaps of 30 inches each, there will be agreeable room
for twenty persons.” He recommends a “dining-table for eight persons to
be 5 feet by 4 at which two upon each side may sit, but if reduced to 4
feet, 8½ inches long and 3 feet, 10 wide, it will dine the same number,
and take the same quantity of wood as a table 6 feet by 3.”

[Illustration: PLATE LXI]

The cellaret sideboard and sideboard with drawers which became
fashionable under Heppelwhite are still more developed in Sheraton’s
early period; but in his last period there seems to be a return to the
old “sideboard table” without drawers. The cellaret sideboard was always
supplied with a partitioned place for bottles of wine. “In large
circular sideboards,” Sheraton tells us, “the left-hand drawer has
sometimes been fitted up as a plate-warmer, having a rack in the middle
to stick the plates in, and lined with strong tin all round, and on the
underside of the sideboard top, to prevent the heat from injuring it. In
this case the bottom of the drawer is made partly open, under which is
fixed a small narrow drawer, to contain a heater, which gives warmth to
the plates, the same as in a pedestal.

“In spacious dining-rooms the sideboards are often made without drawers
of any sort, having simply a rail a little ornamented, and pedestals
with vases at each end, which produce a grand effect. One pedestal is
used as a plate-warmer, and is lined with tin; the other is a pot
cupboard, and sometimes it contains a cellarette for wine. The vases are
used for water for the use of the butler, and sometimes as knife-cases.
They are sometimes made of copper japanned, but generally of mahogany.

“There are other sideboards for small dining-rooms, made without either
drawers or pedestals; but have generally a wine-cooler to stand under
them, hooped with brass, partitioned and lined with lead, for
wine-bottles, the same as the above-mentioned cellarette drawers.”

On Plate LX., No. 3, is a pattern of a “sideboard table” which has four
marble shelves at each end. “These shelves,” he explains, “are used in
grand sideboards to place the small silver ware on.”

“It is not usual to make sideboards hollow in front, but if a sideboard
be required 9 or 10 feet long, as in some noblemen’s houses, and if the
breadth of it be in proportion to its length, it will not be easy for a
butler to reach across it.” A hollow front, Sheraton thinks, would
“obviate the difficulty and take off the appearance of great length.
Besides, if the sideboard be near the entering door, the hollow front
will sometimes secure the butler from the jostles of the other

“The pedestal is used to signify that part in cabinet furniture made
nearly to the proportion and figure of a pedestal in architecture. These
are generally placed at the end of sideboards, and are designed for
holding plates for dinner; for which purpose there are two wooden racks,
generally made of oak, in which the plates are placed. The plinth part
of these pedestals is generally formed with a drawer, containing an iron
stand and heater, which diffuses a warm air to the plates and keeps them
in proper temperature at the time of dining. These pedestals are lined
with tin completely over on the inside to prevent the heat from injuring
the wood. And it may be necessary further to observe, that when there
are two pedestals to a sideboard, one of them is generally fitted up in
the inside, either with plain drawers or as a cupboard. On such
pedestals is generally placed a vase.” This vase is usually a knife or
spoon case. On Plate LXI. a sideboard with pedestals is shown. The
pedestal parts are made separately and screwed to the sideboard, and the
top is one large piece screwed to the pedestal. Under the long drawer of
the front is a cupboard enclosed by a tambour shutter. The ornament at
the back is of brass “intended as a stay for silver plate, and has
branches for three candles.” If preferred the centre “may have a glass
lustre hung within it as an ornament.”

[Illustration: PLATE LXII]

Sheraton gives two designs for knife-cases, one concave, the other
convex. In one of them the corner pilasters have “small flutes of white
holly or other coloured wood let in, and the middle pilasters have very
narrow cross bands all round, with the panels japanned in small flowers.
The top is sometimes japanned, and sometimes has only an inlaid pattern.
The half-columns of the right-hand case are sometimes fluted out, and
sometimes the flutes are let in. The feet may be turned and twisted
which will have a good effect.”

“Cellaret amongst cabinet-makers denotes a convenience for wine, or a
wine cistern.” These were mostly in the form of a sarcophagus, “an
imitation of the figure of ancient stone coffins.” They are adapted to
stand under a sideboard, some of which have covers, and others without.
Sheraton gives one design supported by dolphins, whose heads form the
foot, while the tails curve upwards. The other design is supported on
lions’ paws, and ornamented with lions’ heads. He recommends rings at
each end of the cellaret, so that the servants can conveniently move
these pieces about. “The rings and heads should be cast in brass and
lacquered, and also the dolphins and lions’ paws.”

“Buffet, anciently an apartment separated from the rest of the room by
small pillars or balusters. Their use was for placing china and glass
ware, with other articles of a similar nature. In houses of persons of
distinction in France, the Buffet is a detached room, decorated with
pictures suitable to the use of such apartments, as fountains, cisterns,
vases, etc. These ancient buffets seem in some measure superseded by the
use of modern sideboards, but not altogether, as china is seldom, if
ever, placed upon them: and we therefore think that a buffet may, with
some propriety, be restored to modern use, and prove ornamental to a
breakfast room, answering as the repository of a tea equipage. Under
this idea, we have given a design of one intended to be executed in the
following style. The lower part is to be inclosed with doors, having
silk curtains, with worked brass or wire before them. The upright border
on the top of the lower part is of brass, together with those round the
china shelves. These shelves are supported at each end with four brass
columns, made very light. The lights on each side are of brass, and may
be unscrewed and taken away occasionally. As these buffets would suit
well to be placed one on each side of the fireplace of a breakfast room,
they might very conveniently hold such branches with the addition of one
on the top, which may be screwed into a socket; or a small figure
holding a light may be placed upon it. Under the cornice is a Gothic
drapery and fringe above it.” This design, dated 1803, is represented on
Plate LIX.

“There are three kinds of dumb waiters, but they are all made of
mahogany, and are intended for the use of the dining-parlour, on which
to place glasses of wine and plates, both clean, and such as have been
used.” The one represented on Plate LXI., No. 3, is “partly from the
French taste, on the top of which, where the glass is represented, is a
slab of thin marble, which not only keeps cleaner, and looks neater than
mahogany, but also tends to keep the wine cool, when a bottle for
present use is placed upon it. The shelves below are for plates and a
knife tray. The holes for the decanters have cases of tin fit into them,
and are japanned white, which shows through the front panel in the rail,
and makes it look lighter.”

Another dumb waiter that Sheraton recommends is a table similar in
general form to No. 1 on Plate LX. The drawers are used for knives, etc.
In the centre a shelf or waiter rises on a stem, and below it are four
trays for decanters, glasses and small plates. The drawers are lined
with “a tin case to fit loose in and japanned white, to have the plate
trays with the balusters. These are easily taken out, and may be cleaned
and replaced when necessary. And the workman must observe that the
waiters turn round on the pillars; for the under pillow has a beechnut
let into it, and the upper part screws itself home into it, so as to
admit the waiter to turn.

“The plate trays ought to be 11 inches in diameter in the clear, and the
opening for the hand 4½ inches. There is a turned astragal for the top
rail and the baluster.”

A supper tray called a “Canterbury,” Sheraton says is “made to stand by
a table at supper, with a circular end, and three partitions crosswise,
to hold knives, forks and plates at that end, which is made circular on
purpose.” An Archbishop of Canterbury is said to have invented this
piece of furniture.

Sheraton made a great variety of beds. They include French beds, state
beds, dome, canopy, alcove, and sofa beds. The former are very
intricate. He describes them as follows: “Beds of this kind have been
introduced of late with great success in England. The dome is supported
by iron rods of about an inch in diameter, curved regularly down to each
pillar where they are fixed with a strong screw and nut. These iron rods
are covered and entirely hid by a valance, which comes in a regular
sweep, and meets in a point at the vases on the pillars. Behind this
valance, which continues all round, the drapery is drawn up by pulleys
and tied up by a silken cord and tassels at the head of the pillars. The
headboards of these beds are framed and stuffed, and covered to suit the
hangings, and the frame is white and gold, if the pillars and cornice
are. The bed-frame is sometimes ornamented, and has drapery valances
below. Observe that grooves are made in the pillars to receive the
headboards, and screwed at the top, by which means the whole is kept
firm, and is easily taken to pieces. Square bolsters are now often
introduced, with margins of various colours stitched all round. The
counterpane has also these margins; they are also fringed at bottom, and
have sometimes a drapery tied up in cords and tassels on the side.”

[Illustration: PLATE LXIII]

Of the large bed on Plate LXIII. Sheraton says:

“This design requires no explanation, except that which relates to the
tester. The cove of the tester is to be formed by the ribs; one at each
mitre, and other short ones joined to them with the rest about five
inches apart from each other. At the upper part of the cove is a square
tester into which the ribs are fixed. On the edge of this tester, which
is made very light, is fixed a small moulding mitred all around. The
cove being formed, the ribs may be covered with strong board-paper, both
inside and out, which may either be japanned to match the furniture, or
it may be covered with the furniture itself. The circular part above the
cove is nothing more than a straight board fixed on to the upper tester.
For the sake of easy conveyance, the cove may be made in four parts,
mitering at each corner, and the ornament intended to be at each mitre
on the outside running entirely up to the feathers, will hide the joint.

“The swags of silk that appear on the drapery should be fastened to the
back part of the cornice in order that they may hang easy. The pillars
are to be japanned. The panel that hides the screws are made to slip
into a groove at the bottom, and being bevelled off behind at the top,
when raised up a little from their place, by pressing the finger on the
front, can easily be taken away to come at the screws. The valance and
drapery both together slip on to a lath as in common.” It may be
interesting to note that Sheraton preferred a “firm bed” to the soft
down or feather. He recommends first a straw mattress covered with a
flock mattress, upon which are placed a feather bed and then a hair

“The alcove, or recess,” he writes, “is used in Spain for seats and
sometimes for beds of state. The English have imitated these by
sometimes fitting up the end of long rooms in this style; which may
answer both for ornament and to bring any apartment of undue length into
proportion. In forming such an alcove for a place of retirement to rest
on, a couple of Corinthian columns may be placed on each side of the
room, so as to leave a spacious entrance into the alcove. The columns
should not be placed less than six feet from the end of the room, nor
more than nine, except in extraordinary cases. The seats are made low to
receive their cushions, and drapery valances are fixed to the under edge
of the frame. From surbase height the walls are covered with silk
quilted, or disposed into uniform panels, in any other manner to suit
the rest of the room. In the space between the surbase are placed back
cushions, or a stuffed back, framed to fit all round and screwed to.
From the frieze of the cornice below the ceiling is fixed draperies,
either with or without tails: such alcoves when properly applied have a
pleasing effect. When they are fitted up for beds, it will add to the
effect if the bed be placed on a double plinth, in the form of two
steps, laid with a carpet to suit the rest, and the effect will still be
heightened, if a drapery be fixed, parting from the centre of the
entrance and flowing down each side of the inner columns.

“There is a curtain under the drapery which slides on a rod, and may be
brought forward to cover the whole bed. The other tied up may be
considered as a fixed drapery, but may be taken down occasionally. The
tester and cornice need not project more than twenty inches, and the
length of the bed, including the volutes, about eight feet.”

“Duchess, a kind of bed composed of three parts, or a chair at each end
and stool between them. They are only intended for a single lady, and
are therefore not more than about 30 inches wide. The chair ends, when
apart, have the appearance of large arm or fauteuil chairs, and the
middle part may be used as a stool.” The tester is made to fold. The
arms of the chair part are dolphins, and an acanthus spray ending in a
scroll ornaments the back. The duchess is covered with a striped
material, a square or round cushion is at each end, and the drapery is
composed of two curtains falling from a kind of dome (ornamented by a
pineapple or pomme), while a scarf is slipped through rings and forms a
swag in front of the dome and two festoons at each side. An illustration
of Sheraton’s duchess is given on Plate LIX., No. 2.

Of camp or field-bedsteads there is a great variety. They all have
folding tester laths, either hexagonal or elliptical shaped, and hinged
so as to fold close together. In size they run about 6 feet long and 3
feet, 6 or 9 inches in width, and between 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet high
to the crown of the tester. “Suitable for low rooms for servants or
children, they receive their name on account of their being similar in
size and shape to those really used in camps.”

“A sofa-bed,” which is really the _lit anglais_ that was so fashionable
in France, appears on Plate LXIII., No. 1. Both of its ends are alike,
and, of course, it is supplied with two bolsters. Sheraton’s general
directions regarding the “sofa-bed” are as follows:

“The frames of these beds are sometimes painted in ornaments to suit the
furniture. But when the furniture is of very rich silk, they are done in
white and gold, and the ornaments carved. The tablets may each have a
festoon of flowers or foliage, and the cornice cut out in leaves and
gilt has a good effect. The drapery under the cornice is of the French
kind; it is fringed all round, and laps on to each other like unto
waves. The valance serves as a ground, and is also fringed. The roses
which tuck up the curtains are formed by silk cord, etc., on the wall,
to suit the hangings; and observe that the centre rose contains a brass
hook and socket, which will unhook so that the curtains will come
forward and entirely enclose the whole bed. The sofa part is sometimes
made without any back, in the manner of a couch. It must also be
observed that the best kind of these beds have what the upholsterers
call a fluting, which is done by a slight frame of wood, fastened to the
wall, on which is strained in straight puckers, some of the same stuff
of which the curtains are made.”

On Plate LXIII. No. 2 appears what Sheraton calls a “Grecian squab.” The
frame is of white and gold or mahogany. The end not visible in the
sketch turns up with a scroll. The back extends no further than shown.
It is a kind of _chaise longue_, which Sheraton calls “a long chair,
couch or squab.” The “_chaise longue_,” according to him, “has a stuffed
back and arm on each side with a bolster and its use pretty much the
same as the Grecian squabs or couches.” In another place he says “their
use is to rest or loll upon after dinner.”

A novelty is the “Turkey sofa,” which has been “introduced into the most
fashionable homes.” They are “an imitation of the Turkish mode of
sitting,” and are, therefore, “made very low, scarcely exceeding a foot
to the upper side of the cushion. The frame may be made of beech and
must be webbed and strained with canvas to support the cushions.”

Sheraton seems to have taken a particular pleasure in all the convenient
articles for the use of ladies, and these comprehend everything from
dressing and work tables to tiny comb and pin trays. The work-table was
generally a writing-desk as well, with compartments of all kinds
arranged with the greatest economy of space. No. 2 on Plate LX. is a
good specimen of a work-table dated 1793. The legs are lyre-shaped and
the top rises for writing. When let down it locks into the frame and
secures the bag where the work is kept. The work-bag is hidden by a
drapery that is tacked to a rabbet at the under edge of the frame all
around. The legs are lyre-shaped. No. 4 on the same Plate is a
“Pouch-table” dated 1803. The work-bag is attached to a frame which
pulls forward. In this bag ladies “deposit their fancy needlework.”
“When required to be elegant,” Sheraton remarks, “black rosewood is
used; otherwise they may be made very near of mahogany.” The example on
Plate LX. has a brass rail around each end. Sometimes the top is
finished as a chess-board. The “French work-table” was generally made of
satin-wood with a brass moulding round the edge of the rim. The tambour
shutter is often introduced into the work-table.

The Lady’s Cabinet dressing-table on Plate LIX. is composed of an
ordinary commode, upon the top of which is a case or nest of drawers
“when the washing drawers is in, a slider which is above it may be drawn
out to write on occasionally. The ink and stand are in the right-hand
drawer under the centre dressing-glass. Behind the drapery, which is
tacked to a rabbet and fringed or gimped to cover the nails, is a shelf
on which may stand any vessel to receive the dirty water. Above the
drapery are tambour cupboards, one at each end, and one in the centre
under the drawer. Above the tambour at each end are real drawers, which
are fitted up to hold every article necessary in dressing. The drawers
in the cabinet part are intended to hold all the ornaments of dress, as
rings, drops, etc. Behind the centre glass is drapery; it may be real to
suit that below, or it may only be painted in imitation of it. This
swings to any position, on centre pins fixed on the shelf above the
candle branches. The side glasses fold in behind the doors, and the
doors themselves, when shut, appear solid, with ovals in the panels and
ornamented to suit the other parts.”

Sheraton devotes many plates to articles that appeal to gentlemen. His
shaving-stands and dressing-glasses are marvels of convenience. The
tambour shutter appears in many of the night-tables, bason-stands, etc.,
etc., and when it is not employed, little silk curtains hang down across
the shelves or doors. No. 5 on Plate LX. is a “corner bason stand.” The
bowl or bason fits into the hollow and the water-jug stands in the
centre of the straining-rails.

The Pembroke Table differed little from Heppelwhite’s. It is “used for a
gentleman or lady to breakfast on. The style of finishing these tables
is very neat, sometimes bordering upon elegance, being at times made of
satin wood, and having richly japanned borders round their tops with
ornamental drawer fronts.”

The Harlequin Pembroke Table “serves not only as a breakfast table, but
also as a writing table, very suitable for a lady.” This was equipped
with “ingenious machinery,” and contained a “nest of drawers” that could
be “raised to any height.”

A design particularly associated with Sheraton is the “kidney library
table.” Of the one appearing as No. 3 on Plate LIX., Sheraton writes:
“This piece is termed a kidney-table on account of its resemblance to
that intestine part of animals so called. The drawers are strung and
cross-banded with mahogany laid up and down. The pilasters are panelled
or cross-banded, and the feet are turned.” This is intended for a
writing-table. The French call this shape _haricot_. The secretary and
book-case was popular throughout the whole Sheraton period. Two examples
are shown on Plate LXI. One is a full drawing, which needs no
description, except to say that silk, preferably green, is fluted behind
the glass doors. The other, appearing as Nos. 1 and 2, Sheraton thus

“The use of this piece is to hold books in the upper part, and in the
lower it contains a writing-drawer and clothes-press shelves. The design
is intended to be executed in satin-wood, and the ornaments japanned. It
may, however, be done in mahogany; and in place of the ornaments in the
friezes, flutes may be substituted. The pediment is simply a segment of
a circle, and it may be cut in the form of a fan with leaves in the
centre. The vases may be omitted to reduce the work; but if they are
introduced, the pedestal on which the centre vase rests is merely a
piece of thin wood, with a necking and base moulding mitred round, and
planted on the pediment. The pilasters on the bookcase doors are planted
on the frame, and the door hinged as usual. The tops of the pilasters
are made to imitate the Ionic capital.” The cylinder desk and bookcase
was also in use. “The style of finishing them is somewhat elegant, being
made of satin-wood, cross-banded and varnished. This design shows green
silk fluting behind the glass, and drapery put on at the top before the
fluting is tacked to, which has a good look when properly managed. The
square figure of the door is much in fashion now.” The rim around the
top is brass.

A good library table is No. 1, on Plate LX.

No. 1 on Plate LX. Sheraton calls very modern (1803). He recommends it
to be made of mahogany. “The toes and casters are of one piece cast in
brass. The nest of drawers in the centre rise, by two small springs
placed opposite to each other, which are constructed on the model of
baize door springs, which cannot but be understood by any workman who is
acquainted with hanging a door of that kind. In this table, there are
four real drawers made with square sides.” For card-tables, he says:
“The ornaments may be japanned on the frames and tongued in the legs.”

Turning now to smaller articles, we find that convex and concave mirrors
with gilt frames and branches for candles and standing tripods bearing
lights are very fashionable. Brackets for lamps are made usually of
brass and sometimes of mahogany. They are often screwed to the handrail
of the staircase. Brackets are also especially designed for clocks.
Clocks are also placed upon the chimney-piece and upon the commode. In
Sheraton’s _Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterers Drawing-Book_ there are a
number of tall clock-cases painted and japanned with ovals and
arabesques and fanciful pictures; but in 1803 Sheraton writes that the
tall clock-case is “almost obsolete in London,” and from what he says we
gather that no fashionable person would think of having one in his
house. The footstool is stuffed with hair and covered generally with
needlework. Its frame is oval, square, or octagon, with turned legs. Its
height without stuffing is 6 or 6½ inches; its length 9½ to a foot, and
its width 7 to 8 inches.

A group of three or four tables with very light frames made to draw out
and inclosed within each other when not wanted are known as quartette
and trio tables. These are used at entertainments, like the “rout
chairs,” which are “small painted chairs with rush bottoms let out by
cabinet-makers for hire for routs and other entertainments, whence their

Among Sheraton’s latest chairs there is an arm-chair with a movable
desk, having branching candle-sconces,—useful for the library; another
is a “hunting-chair,” with a square back and wings “stuffed all over
except the legs which are of mahogany and having a slide out frame in
front to make a resting-place for one that is fatigued, as hunters
usually are.” There is also a “tub easy chair,” “stuffed all over and
intended for sick persons, being both easy and warm; for the side wings
coming quite forward keep out the cold air.” Another is a _bergère_ with
a caned back and seat, supplied with loose cushions. “The stumps and
legs are turned and the frames are generally painted.”

This _bergère_ is dated 1803, when Sheraton recommends cane of “a fine
light straw colour.” He writes: “Caning cabinet work is now more in use
than it was ever known to be at any former period. About 30 years since,
it was gone quite out of fashion. But on the revival of japanning
furniture, it began to be brought gradually into use, and to a state of
improvement, so that at present it is introduced into several pieces of
furniture, which it was not a few years past, as the ends of beds framed
in mahogany, and then caned for the purpose of keeping in the bed
clothes. Sometimes the bottom of beds are caned. Small borders round the
backs of mahogany parlour chairs which look neat. Bed steps are caned.

“The commonest kind made of one skain only is called bead-work and runs
open. The best work is termed bordering and is of three skains, some of
which is done very fine and close with the skains less than a sixteenth
broad, so that it is worked as fine apparently as some canvas.”

Two of Sheraton’s original designs show the Empire influence. One is the
curricle which appears on Plate LXII., No. 12. Sheraton named these
chairs “from their being shaped like that kind of carriage. These may
claim entire originality, and are well adapted for dining-parlours,
being of a strong form easy and conveniently low affording easier access
to a dining-table than the commonest kind. The size of the front may be
two feet over all and nearly that from back to front.”

His other original design is the “Herculaneum,” “which I have so named
on account of their antique style of composition.” They are for “rooms
not only fitted up in the antique taste, but where apartments are
appropriated for the purpose of exhibiting ancient or modern
curiosities; and we particularly recommend them for the use of

He also presents “conversation chairs,” which are exactly the _voyeuse_.
(See pages 32 and 278.)

                           THE EMPIRE PERIOD


                           THE EMPIRE PERIOD

We have already seen in the Louis XVI. period indications of the
approaching Empire style; and noted that Lalonde leads directly into the
models of Percier and Fontaine. There was, however, a short transitional
period covering the years 1795 to 1799, when, after the Reign of Terror,
the Directoire endeavoured to restore order in France. It was but
natural that a society that held in high reverence the memories of the
ancient republics of Greece and Rome should develop the “antique taste”
under the guidance of “philosophic artists.”

As early as 1790, a writer exclaims: “We have changed everything;
liberty, now consolidated in France, has restored the pure taste of the
antique, which must not be confounded with the old Gothic taste. Hide
yourselves, Boulle marquetry, knots of ribbon and rosettes of gilt
bronze _or moulu_, bright and shining! Hide yourselves, hide yourselves,
marvels of Bernard! Now is the hour when objects must be made to
harmonize with circumstances!” “The boudoir,—the very sanctuary of
coquetry—became a political cabinet,” says de Goncourt, who goes on to
inform us that the charming pictures of Boucher, Fragonard, Lawrence,
and Lagrenées had to give place to caricatures and revolting prints of
the hour, while pictures of the destroyed Bastille supplanted graceful
mythological subjects.

“France,” he continues, “wished to dwell in the scenery of a tragedy,
with a Spartan body, in Etruscan chairs made of mahogany whose backs
were in the form of shovels, or two trumpets and a thyrsus bound
together. After these chairs she reclined in antique arm-chairs whose
framework was coloured bronze. She heard the hours strike from that
civic clock representing the federative altar of the _Champ de Mars_
with columns of marble and gilded bronze, and attributes of liberty. She
slept in ‘patriotic beds.’ In the place of the bunches of feathers, caps
were now placed on top of the fasces of lances that formed the
bed-posts; beds represented the triumphal arch erected in the _Champ de
Mars_[26] on the day of the Confederation. She also slept in the ‘_lit à
la Fédération_,’ of four columns in the form of fasces grooved and
painted in greyish white varnished, with the stems of the fasces gilded,
as well as the axes and iron supports of the canopy.”

Caffieri no longer designed the lustres and sconce-arms of _or moulu_;
the candelabra were now of porcelain, and represented Apollo and Daphne.
These figures were flesh-coloured. The body of Daphne was half covered
with the bark of the laurel, her head with green leaves, and her two
hands turning into branches supported two gilded sconces.

[Illustration: PLATE LXIV]

The geometrical panels of the new drawing-rooms were coloured that deep
brown, mingled with several other colours, which received the name
_genre étrusque_. Listen to these discords: “On the ceiling is a
reddish-brown rosette in the form of a parasol; a sky-blue frieze is
sprinkled with white cornucopiæ. On the sides of the mirror, sky-blue
pilasters are bordered with violet and white grape-leaves for ornament.
Large and small light brown panels with violet borders are ornamented
with little green parasols, and cameos with blue background with white
figures and brown and red ornaments. And in that loud chocolate colour
where some reds and greens try to recall to your mind the forsaken hues
of the past are mingled three shades of rose, amaranth, blue, lilac,
grey, emerald-green, moss-green, _aventurine_, citron, straw and
sulphur. That gentle scale that sang so sweetly on the furniture and
walls of by-gone days! that gentle scale that miserable taste has
forsaken for the tri-colour, and for wall-paper printed with the
distinctive signs of equality and liberty, from Dugoure’s Republican
Manufactory, _place du Carrousel_ at the so-called Hôtel de Longueville.
Then the taste of the Revolution runs after the factory of the _rue
Saint Nicaise, place de la Réunion_, to find some pictures with the
civic inscription ready for each citizen to place above his door bearing
these words: ‘Unity, Indivisibility of the Républic, Liberty, Fraternity
or Death.’”[27]

The Parisian hôtels that were remodeled and newly furnished for the
newly rich could not suggest the slightest reminiscence of the
aristocratic life that they had witnessed. The artists, therefore, were
forced to go to Greece and Rome for their models and motives. After
Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt, the sphinx is frequent as a decoration,
although it had long been familiar. The chairs, Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 on
Plate LXVIII., are from a periodical of the Directoire period 1793 and
1796; also the couch No. 2, Plate LXV. These show that the so-called
Empire style was in process of formation before Napoleon attained power.

The most important cabinet-maker of the period was Jacob Desmalter. He
was the son of Georges Jacob, who, during the reign of Louis XVI., was
famous for his furniture of gilded wood. His two sons worked together in
the _rue Meslée_; and, in 1793, got the order to make the furniture for
the Convention. This brought them into relation with Percier, who had
been commissioned to furnish the designs. About 1804, the younger Jacob
disappears from business and the elder added the name Desmalter to his
own, and soon removed his workshop to the _rue des Vinagriers_.
Desmalter’s fame became wide-spread: he made furniture for the courts of
Spain and Russia, and many pieces found their way also to England.

The famous workers in metal were Thomire, J. B. C. Odiot and Biennais.

The _Recueil de Décorations Intérieures_, composed by C. Percier and P.
F. L. Fontaine (Paris, 1812), is the recognized authority on the
_Empire_ style. The authors speak of the influence engraving has had in
extending an acquaintance with styles, and say they will make use of it
to exhibit “those of our works in the nature of furniture, which, by the
importance of the places they were destined for, or the rank of those
who ordered them, may be regarded as appropriate to attest the correct
way of seeing things, composing them and ornamenting them at the present
period. This style does not belong to us; it is entirely the property of
the ancients and as our only merit is to have understood how to conform
our inventions to it, our true aim in giving these to the public is to
do all that is within our power to prevent innovations to corrupt and
destroy the principles which others will doubtless use better than we.

“The decoration and furnishing of houses are to houses what clothes are
to people: everything of this nature becomes old, and in a very few
years seems to be superannuated and ridiculous. The industrial arts,
which concur with architecture in the embellishment of buildings,
receive the same impulse from the spirit of fashion, and no kind of
beauty or worth possessed by these articles of taste can assure them any
longer existence than the interval of time necessary to find a new taste
to replace them. To do everything according to reason in such a way that
the reason may be perceived and justifies the means used,—this is the
first principle of architecture. However, the first principle of fashion
is to do everything without reason and never to do otherwise. The form
and needs of the body give no reason for the forms of clothes; because
people do not dress to cover themselves, but to adorn themselves.
Furniture does not make a virtue of necessity with regard to the forms.
We pass from the straight line to the tortuous, from the simple to the
composite and _vice versâ_. This is only too well exemplified in the
history of modern architecture and its vicissitudes.”

The true inspiration of this period was David, the painter; and it has
been aptly said that Desmalter did little but “translate into furniture
the Greco-Roman dreams of the painter of the Sabines.” Prudhon was
another artist of influence. The most famous decorative artists and
designers were Percier and Fontaine.

The general characteristics of the Empire style are stiffness, severity
and coldness. The forms are cubic and rectangular, without projections
or carvings. Round tables on tripod legs, sofas and beds with
heavily-scrolled ends, secretaries and desks with secret arrangements of
drawers, etc., and a great use of metal ornamentation are among the
prominent details of this style. The decorative motives are rosettes,
allegorical figures, mahogany columns of cylindrical shafts, without
flutings and surmounted by the Doric capital (and often with a bronze
gilt bracket), fasces, sphinxes, wreaths of laurel, and the swan used
upon the arms of chairs and sofas, the sides of beds and for the feet of
tripods. No. 1 on Plate LXV. is an interesting example of the use of the
swan. The sphinx was also used for decorating the arm of a chair, as
shown on Plate LXV., No. 3, and on the double chair on Plate LXVIII. Its
use as a table leg is exhibited on Plate LXV., and as a support for
candles on Plate LXVII. Clocks and candelabra are decorated with heroes
from ancient history in preference to divinities and allegorical
figures. A little clock supported by an eagle appears on Plate LXV. This
is one of Percier and Fontaine’s designs.

[Illustration: PLATE LXV]

The greater number of the designs on Plates LXV., LXVI., LXVII., and
LXVIII. are taken from Percier and Fontaine. Plate LXIV. is a
reproduction of one of Percier and Fontaine’s bedrooms. “The ornaments
that decorate this room,” they say, “are painted in oil upon plaster;
they fill, without being of any determined subjects, various
compartments; and among them are pictures of fruit, fragments of
ordinary objects, painted in _grisaille_ on a light background.” All the
furniture—the table opposite the bed, the tripod, the toilet, the bed
and the frame over the mantel-piece—is covered with bronzes, enamelled
paintings and incrustations of various kinds of wood. The isolated
pedestal at the head of the bed is an _armoire_, which contains
conveniences for the night. On the top of the tall column is a winged
goddess under which statue the letters “_La bonne déesse_,” appear. The
bed is of the form of the large drawing that is shown on Plate LXVI. The
two chairs on either side of the mantel-piece the designers tell us were
made by Jacob. The detail No. 3, on Plate LXVII. is an enlargement of
part of the mantel-piece, the fire-back of which represents the forge of
Vulcan. The open-worked grate is copper gilt. The designs on Plates
LXVI. and LXVII. are all by Percier and Fontaine, No. 1. on Plate LXVI.,
they say, is an arm-chair to stand in front of a desk; No. 2. is a
lustre made of rock-crystal and bronze; No. 3 is a sofa-bed, and below
it is a large sofa bed that was designed for a patron who was fond of
war and sport. The hangings and the decorations of the wall behind the
bed are therefore repeated here. The frame of the mirror is of gilded
bronze. The glass swings forward. The rich commode with drawers on Plate
LXVII. is an excellent example of the Percier and Fontaine work; above
it, No. 2, is another commode and above that No. 1 the end of a bureau.
Of the secretary on the same plate, they say: “This little piece of
furniture, designed to preserve books, papers and money, has a clock in
the upper part; below are secret drawers; in the centre a rolling
cylinder and writing table. Chimæras on each side of the table support
girandoles for lights. The whole is made of different kinds of wood
ornamented with bronzes.”

The rich sofa, or “double chair,” and the sofa-bed, on Plate LXVIII. are
also by these designers. Of the tea-table on Plate LXV., they tell us:
“The design of this table was sent to Russia so that it might be
executed there in porcelain and bronze; the compartments and ornaments
that decorate the table have to be painted in colour with the background
and the parts that stand out in relief of gold. The principal subject is
the birth of Amphitrite, who is surrounded by Tritons and dolphins.”

[Illustration: PLATE LXVI]

The cornice and lambrequin are unknown to the Directoire period; a pole
ending in an arrow, or thyrsus, supports two curtains of calico, or
silk. These curtains are relieved by a Greek border. The Empire taste
demands a little more. Satins and velvets are added to the above. The
drapery becomes very ample and beneath them are thin muslin curtains
embroidered in dots, stars and squares. Sometimes two rods are used at
each window to support the inner and outer curtains. A very fashionable
method of furnishing the window was to have two curtains of silk and two
of muslin. Decorative borders were used for these. The cornice is
restored, and consists of the palm, the thyrsus, a bow, or a laurel
wreath in gilded bronze, or painted wood. The colours of these draperies
are limited. There are but five strong hues—crimson, green, blue, yellow
and white—and there are no shades of these.

There was a tendency for patterns to become smaller; damask was
ornamented with little figures, or stripes; Gobelin tapestries were
supplanted by designs in _grisaille_ on a red, blue, or green
background. These many printed stuffs had pictures derived from Greek,
Egyptian, or Roman subjects, or mythology, and appeared as if printed on

The bed used during the Directoire was larger than the Louis XVI. bed.

Generally speaking, the beds were low; and were furnished with one or
two mattresses. Some of them had head and footboards of equal height;
others had only one headboard. During the Empire, the beds, most
frequently of mahogany, were ornamented with gilded bronze trimmings.
The frames were also painted with decorations painted in bronze effects.
Some of the beds were rounded, or scrolled at the ends, some had _pans à
bateau_ and some had pilasters supporting vases, busts and even
statuettes. The curtain was used. For some styles of beds, the curtains
were cast negligently over an arrow. Beds were also made in forms
appropriate to the calling of their owners. Some of the shapes seem to
have been inspired by the models of Du Cerceau and Bérain in the days of
Louis XIV.; for instance, the boat and shell. In 1792, we hear of a bed
shaped like a shell, with blue and white curtains. Lafayette had a bed
like this.

The beds often had ends of heavy scrolls and most of them had the
headboard and footboard of equal height. The round bolster appears at
each end, or a cushion that follows the form of the scroll, as shown in
the full drawing on Plate LXVIII. The canopy was frequently in the shape
of a crown, and from it hung the curtains. The heavy curtain was not
unfrequently accompanied with a thin diaphanous curtain that was
formally draped.

The dining-room is decorated in stucco, or painted in imitation of
marble. The furniture is mahogany. The chairs are covered with leather.
The window-curtains are of “Persian” taffeta, cloth or cotton, trimmed
with ball fringe. The dining-table is round or oval, and is often
supported on the pillar-and-claw.

The dining-room table also is round, and stands on four feet decorated
with lions’ heads or chimæras; or again it is supported by the
pillar-and-claw. The drawing-room table is frequently finished with a
marble top, or it is covered with a cloth. Upon it stands a lamp with
its shade.

A very ornate tea-table of porcelain brightened with gold and bronze
appears on Plate LXV. Above it is shown the decorative top. This is by
Percier and Fontaine. No. 6, on the same plate is another table; No. 7
is a tea-table; and No. 5 is another table. All of these are by Percier
and Fontaine. Another kind of table designed by Percier was the _table à
fleurs_, or _jardinière_. Some of his models, which were made by Jacob
Desmalters, are quite ornate. One of these is in the shape of a vase,
supported by sphinxes, and filled with growing plants. Upon this stands
another basin for growing flowers, or gold-fish, and above this again is
a decorative figure. Another design is a round basin or vase for flowers
supported by columns, on either side of which are smaller vases.

The console was a large square table decorated with sphinxes, or other
ornaments in gilded bronze. Often a mirror was placed at the back framed
by the legs.

The commode, like all the rest of the furniture, became more rigid in
form and decoration. It was made of walnut or mahogany; and during the
Directoire few were supplied with metal ornaments. Indeed, many of them
had neither rings nor handles on the drawers. The form of the commode
became still heavier during the Empire; but it was enlivened by ornate
metal trimmings. A richly decorated commode by Percier and Fontaine
appears as No. 2 on Plate LXVII. The _chiffonnière_, which had come into
fashion during the last years of the Louis XVI. period, increased in
popularity. It was generally a lady’s article containing drawers for
writing and needlework. The marble top was often surrounded by a railing
or gallery.

During the Empire, a set of drawing-room furniture consisted of one or
two sofas, six arm-chairs, six chairs, two _bergères_ and two
_tabourets_. The sofas were placed on either side of the chimney-piece.
One of the favourite varieties of the sofa was the _canapé pommier_,
introduced during the Directoire. Its back was square and quite low, and
was extended around the sides to take the place of arms. Sometimes the
seat was garnished with fringe, and sometimes the wood was left plain.

The many varieties of the draped sofa disappeared. The Directoire and
the Empire demanded that the forms of the settee, sofa, and _chaise
longue_ should be severe to accord with the arm-chairs. The back of the
sofa was stuffed, but not the sides or wings. At each end was placed a
feather pillow covered with the same material as the sofa. The most
popular sofa had a square back that was carried around the seat, forming
wings at each side instead of the elbow or arm. The new sofas were
called _Méridienne_ and _canapé pommier_. Tapestry, figured satin,
worsted damask or printed cloth, put on with braid, were used for
coverings. At the end of the Empire period, the divan was introduced.
This seat was suggested by the Eastern travellers.

The _banquette_ was covered with velvet trimmed with gold or silk braid
and fringe. The most fashionable _chaise longue_ was of the kind upon
which Madame Récamier is lounging in David’s celebrated portrait. Both
ends of this piece were alike. One end of a similar piece of furniture
appears as No. 2 on Plate LXV. The _bergère en gondole_ was also
popular. Its back was lower and more rounded than that of the _bergère_
on Plate XLVIII., No. 3. Gondola-shaped chairs and bar-backed chairs and
the heavy scrolled arm-chair were the favourites, also the double

[Illustration: PLATE LXVII]

The framework of chairs was generally mahogany, or painted and bronzed,
and, for very rich homes, gilded wood. The square form was preferred,
especially for the arm-chair, which rarely had cushions. Sometimes the
front feet were in the sabre, or glaive shape. The shield shape too was
used for the back and was ornamented with military trophies and laurel
wreaths. The back and seat were stuffed, and braids and borders framed
the cushions. The material used for covering was generally of a solid
colour with a design printed on it. Silk velvet, damask, or satin was
used. The design was often golden yellow. Sometimes back and seat were
sprinkled with rosettes or stars. Braids were used to hide the nails.
Printed cottons and worsted damasks were also used for cheaper
upholstery work. Ball fringe was much used to go around the back.

Desk chairs kept somewhat to the rounded and gondola form. The seats
were often a half circle, the feet turned or in the console shape.
Sometimes they were even carved in the shape of chimæra or lions whose
heads came up to the level of the arms. The back, too, was frequently
curved in the shape of a half circle. The top rail was sometimes covered
like the seat,—in leather. Some of these turning up in the centre of the
back like a cocked hat gave to them the name _fauteuils Bonaparte_.
Mahogany was chiefly used for the frames, though oak and walnut were
sometimes employed.

During the Directoire, the legs of the arm-chair were often X-shaped and
the arms ended in a lion’s head. The open-backed chair was very popular.
The one on Plate LXVIII., No. 2, is dated 1793; and Nos. 1, 3, and 5 are
of the year 1796. The “Trafalgar” that persisted for so long was a
development of No. 1. The chairs No. 1 and 3 on Plate LXV. are by Ch.
Normand (b. 1765; d. 1830), who also designed the _chaise longue_, No.
2, on the same plate. Normand’s earlier work bridges the gulf between
the styles Louis XVI. and the Empire.


Footnote 26:

  _Journal de la Mode_, 1790.

Footnote 27:

  De Goncourt, _La Société Française pendant la Révolution_. Paris,

                                THE END

[Illustration: PLATE LXVIII]





 Adam, James, 289, 292

 ——, Robert, 289, 292

 ——, James and Robert, apartments planned by, 299–303

 ——, colours used by, 294

 ——, decorations at Osterley Park, 304–305

 ——, decorations at Sion House, 301–303

 ——, dislike of Gothic, 294

 ——, furniture at Sion House, 297

 ——, opinion of British architects, 294–296

 ——, ornaments of the, 298

 ——, social position of, 291, 292

 ——, taste of, 294–296

 Adam style, the, 289, 291, 293–294

 ——, designers in the, 289–290

 Adam, William, 292

 Addison, quotations from, 116–117

 Æsop’s Fables, 205, 225, 244, 245

 Ahasuerus, beds of King, 67

 Alcove, the, 90–91, 154, 353–354

 —— bed, the, 154, 198–199

 Amaranth, 63, 68

 _Analysis of Beauty_, quotation from, 247–248

 Ancient furniture, 67

 Angola, quotations from, 166–167

 Ante-chamber, first, 168–169

 ——, second, 169

 Ante-room (Sheraton), 338

 Anthemion, definition of, 73

 Apartment, definition of, 168

 —— (Louis XV.) 168–169

 —— (Adams), 299–303

 Architects in decorative art, 4

 Architecture, changes in domestic, 114–116

 —— (Early Georgian), 137–138

 ——, taste for classic, 135, 138

 Arm-chair. See Fauteuil.

 Arm-chairs (Louis XV.), 204–205, 208

 —— (Louis XVI.), 276, 277–278

 Armoire (Boulle), 75–76

 —— (Louis XIII.), 9–10, 17

 —— (Louis XIV.), 87

 —— (Louis XV.), 203

 Arrangement of rooms, (Sheraton), 335

 Arras, 42

 Artist decorators (Louis XIII.), 4–5

 Assyrian furniture, 66

 Aubert, 164

 Aubusson tapestry, 205, 277

 Aumale, apartments of Mlle. d’, 96–97

 Auricular style, 5

 Aurora, 68

 Avril, 267


 Babel, 164

 Babin 164

 Bachelier, 164, 257

 Baillon, J. B., 215

 Ballin, Claude, 66

 Banc à lit, 80

 Banquette (Empire), 378

 Banquettes, (Louis XV.), 204

 Barjier Chairs, 316

 Bason-stands, (Chippendale), 241

 Bathroom, (Louis XV.), 183–184

 Bazanne, 280

 Beaufait, 130–131

 Beauvais, 257, 263, 277

 Bed, alcove, 154, 198–199

 ——, Mlle. d’Aumale’s, 78

 ——, à bateau, 375

 ——, camp, 355

 ——, Chinese, 228–229

 ——, couch, 230–231

 ——, Cromwell’s, 55

 ——, duchess, 355

 ——, field, 154, 229, 318–319, 355

 ——, French, 352

 ——, Gothic, 228

 ——, Hogarth, 152

 ——, Lafayette’s, 376

 —— (Louis XIII.), 19

 ——, Madame de Maintenon’s, 78

 ——, Marie Leczinska’s, 196

 ——, by Marot, 120–121

 ——, Mazarin’s, 77–78

 ——, Mme. de Pompadour’s, 187–188

 ——, press, 319

 ——, (Queen Anne), 120–121

 ——, rhymes about the, 56

 ——, by Schübler, 199

 ——, shell-shaped, 376

 ——, sofa, 355–356

 ——, tent, 229

 ——, truckle, 56

 ——, Tudor, 55–56

 ——, of Ware, Great, 55

 ——, see Lit

 ——, curtains (Jacobean), 57–58

 Bedroom, description by Shakespeare, 53–54

 —— (Early Georgian), 154, 155

 —— (Empire), 373

 ——, furniture (Jacobean), 58

 —— (Jacobean), 54–55

 ——, Mme. de Pompadour’s, 186–189

 ——, spangled, 55

 Bedrooms (Louis XV.), 170–171, 183, 185–186

 Beds (Chippendale), 227–231

 —— (Directoire), 368, 375

 —— (Early Georgian), 153–154

 —— (Empire), 375–376

 —— (Heppelwhite), 317–319

 —— (Jacobean), 56–57

 —— (Louis XIII.), 19–29

 —— (Louis XIV.), 76–80

 —— (Louis XV.), 185–186, 189–190, 193–194, 196–200

 —— (Louis XVI.), 267–270

 ——, patriotic, 368

 —— (Sheraton), 351–356

 ——, sofa, 267

 Bellicart, 257

 Beneman, 262, 267

 Bérain, Jean, 66, 68, 73, 84

 Bergère (Empire), 378

 ——, fauteuil (Louis XVI.), 278

 ——, en gondole, 378

 —— (Louis XV.), 208

 —— (Louis XVI.), 279

 —— (Sheraton), 362

 Bernard, 166

 Berquin, 252

 Bertren, 257, 263

 Biennais, 370

 Billiard room, 176

 Bimont, quotation from, 196

 Blanchard, 165

 Blenheim, Pope’s satire on, 138

 Blondel, 164

 ——, quotation from, 174–177

 Boffrand, Germain, 164, 178

 Bombé form, 74

 Bonheur du jour, 214

 Bonnes grâces, 20, 89–90

 Bookcase (Chippendale), 241–242

 —— (Heppelwhite), 325–326

 —— (Louis XV.), 213

 _Book of Designs in Cabinet and Chair-Work_, 224

 Bosse, Abraham, 4, 7, 9, 19, 60

 Bouchardon, 164

 Boucher, 164

 Boucher, J. F., fils, 257, 261

 Boudin, 166

 Boudoir, 177–178

 —— (Louis XV.), 180–181, 184–185

 Boulanger, 257

 Boulle, André Charles, 66, 74

 ——, clocks, 88

 ——, furniture, 74–76

 Bourgogne, Duc de, clock of, 215

 Boyle, Richard, 135

 Brackets (Chippendale), 244

 —— (Sheraton), 360–361

 Braids (Empire), 379

 —— (Louis XV.), 201, 205

 —— (Louis XVI.), 277

 Brass mounts (Chippendale), 227

 Bridgman, 136

 Brisseux, 164

 Breakfast-room, 338–339

 British architects, Adam on, 294–296

 Bufet, 130–131

 Buffet (Queen Anne), 130–131

 —— (Louis XV.), 169–170

 —— (Sheraton on), 350

 ——, credence, 10

 Buontalenti, Bernardo, 17

 Bureau (Jacobean), 59

 ——, Mme. de Gaudry’s, 85

 ——, Mme. de Maintenon’s, 85

 ——, Duchess of Orleans’s, 85

 ——, Duke of Orleans’s, 85

 ——, cylinder, 212

 ——, à la Kaunitz, 212

 ——, Louis XV.’s, 212–213

 ——, table (Louis XV.), 212

 Bureau. See Desk

 Bureaux (Louis XVI.), 275

 Burjair, 208

 Burlington, Earl of, 135, 137

 Burlington House, Piccadilly, 137

 Buroe dressing-tables (Chippendale), 239


 Cabinet, 10, 172

 —— (Jacobean), 49–50

 —— (Louis XIV.), 87–88

 —— (Louis XV.), 182

 —— (Queen Anne), 128

 ——, en niche, 175

 ——, à la Poudre, 202

 _Cabinet des Modes_, furniture in, 284–285

 _Cabinet Dictionary, The_, 331

 _Cabinet-maker’s Real Friend and Companion, The_, 224

 _Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book, The_, 331

 _Cabinet-maker, Upholsterer and General Artists’ Encyclopædia_, 331

 _Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer’s Guide, The_, 309–310

 Cabinet-makers, Arms of English, 120

 Cabinet-makers (Louis XV.), 165–166

 Cabinet-makers (Louis XVI.), 267

 Cabinet-making, books on, 223–224

 Cabinets, 12–17

 —— (Louis XIV.), 87–88

 —— (Louis XIII.), 12

 —— (Queen Anne), 128

 ——, à portes, 15

 Cabriole chair, 314

 Cabriolet, the, 204

 —— (Louis XV.), 205

 —— (Louis XVI.), 276

 Caffieri, Jacques, 165

 ——, bras de lumière by, 194–195

 ——, commodes by, 202

 Calembour wood, 127

 Callimanco, 58

 Camaïeux, 204

 Camlet, 154

 Campbell, 295, 296

 Canapé confident, 209

 —— (Louis XIV.), 81–82

 —— (Louis XVI.), 278–279

 —— (Meissonier), 209

 ——, Pommier, 378

 Canapé. See sofa

 Candelabra (Louis XIII.), 34

 Candlestands (Chippendale), 245

 —— (Heppelwhite), 322

 Candlesticks (Jacobean), 45

 —— (Louis XV.), 212

 —— (Sheraton), 360

 Cane, 334

 Caning, Sheraton on, 362

 Canterbury, the, 351–352

 Cantonnière, 89

 Canuc, 165

 Carlin, 267

 Carpet (Sheraton), 338

 ——, bedside, 58

 ——, foot, 44

 ——, table, 52

 Carter, J., 290

 Cartouche (Louis XIII.), 8

 Carving, 38, 39

 Case-of-drawers, 49, 59, 154

 ——, double, 154

 Causerie, 270

 Cauvet, 257, 262, 263

 Cavendish, quotation from, 46

 Caylus, 164

 Ceiling (Sheraton), 335–336

 Ceilings, Ware on, 139, 140, 141

 Celadon, 253

 Celleret (Heppelwhite), 322

 —— (Sheraton), 349

 Chair, cabriole, 314

 ——, conversation, 363

 —— “Cromwell,” 29, 60

 ——, crown-back, 153

 ——, curricle, 362–363

 ——, double, 62

 ——, Herculaneum, 363

 ——, Hogarth, 152

 ——, hunting, 361

 ——, low leather, 29

 ——, saddle check, 314

 ——, Trafalgar, 380

 ——, tub easy, 361–362

 ——, Voyeuse, 32, 278, 363

 —— (Chippendale), 232–237

 Chairs (Chinese Chippendale), 235–236

 ——, dining-room (Louis XVI.), 278

 —— (Directoire), 379–380

 ——, drawing-room (Sheraton), 343

 —— (Empire), 379–380

 —— (French Chippendale), 233, 234

 ——, Garden, 234–235

 ——, gondola (Louis XV.), 207

 —— (Gothic Chippendale), 135

 ——, hall (Chippendale), 234

 —— (Heppelwhite), 312–315

 —— (Jacobean), 60–62

 ——, japanned, 314

 —— (Louis XIII.), 29–32

 —— (Louis XIV.), 81–84

 —— (Louis XV.), 204–209

 —— (Louis XVI.), 275–276

 —— (Marot), 119

 —— (Meissonier), 209

 ——, painted, 314

 —— (Queen Anne), 118–120

 ——, rout, 361

 —— (Sheraton,) 343–344, 361–363

 ——, at Versailles (Louis XV.), 205–207

 Chaise longue, 32, 81, 279, 380

 —— (Chippendale), 232

 —— (Empire), 378

 —— (Jacobean), 53

 —— (Louis XV.), 209

 —— (Sheraton), 356

 Chaises cacquetoires, 29, 31–32

 ——, comfortables (Louis XV.), 208

 ——, meublantes, 29

 ——, perroquets, 29

 Challe, Simon, 257, 263

 Chamber, The, 170

 ——, The Great, 41

 Chambers, Sir William, 149

 Chambers, Sir William, quotation from, 148

 Chambre en alcove, 173–174

 ——, en niche, 173, 176

 ——, de parade, 171

 Chandeliers (Chippendale), 245

 —— (Louis XIII.), 34

 Chardin, 161

 Charpentier, 285

 Charton, 257, 263

 Chedel, 164

 Cherub, 11

 Chest (Jacobean), 59

 ——, trussing, 58

 Chests-of-drawers, 59, 325

 Chests-of-drawers (Heppelwhite), 325

 —— (Queen Anne), 128–129

 Chest-upon-chest, 154

 Chest-with-drawers, 59

 Chevillon, 164

 Chesterfield, Lord, quotation from, 137

 Chiffonnière, 372, 377

 ——, secrétaire, 266

 Chimney-back (Jacobean), 44

 Chimney-glass (Sheraton), 337–338

 Chimney-piece (Carter’s), 290–291

 —— (Chippendale), 245–246

 —— (Jacobean), 44

 —— (Louis XIII.), 9–10

 —— (Louis XIII.-Louis XIV.), 67–68

 —— (Queen Anne), 116

 ——, Ware on, 146–147

 China as a decoration, 116–117

 China cases (Chippendale), 237–239

 Chinamania, The, 116–117, 237

 China-shops in England, 113

 Chinese designs (Chippendale), 228, 229, 231, 235–236, 237–239, 242

 Chinese fad, The, 148

 Chinese furore, 135

 Chinese style, craze in England for, 138

 Chinese subjects, 141

 Chinese subjects, designers of, 142

 Chinese art, taste for, 73, 114, 166–167, 221

 Chinoiserie, 73, 161

 Chintz, 43, 154

 Chippendale, Thomas, 135, 142, 149

 ——, carver and decorator, 225

 ——, Chinese designs, 228, 229, 231, 235–236, 237–239, 242

 ——, fondness for japanned furniture, 225

 ——, fondness for Louis XV. style, 226–227

 ——, furniture, 222

 ——, Gothic designs, 228, 235, 241–243

 ——, little known about, 223

 ——, ornaments, 227, 229–230, 237, 247

 ——, style erroneously understood, 221

 ——, taste of, 225

 ——, theft from Meissonier, 226–227

 ——, use of brass mounts, 227

 ——, use of mahogany, 225

 Choffart, 257

 Cipriani, 292, 305

 Cisterns, 246

 City and Country Builder’s and Workman’s Treasury of Designs, The, 142

 Classic architecture, love of, 135, 138

 Claw-and-ball foot, 118

 Clock, Regency, 214

 ——, tall, 154

 Clocks (Chippendale), 246

 —— (Empire), 372–373

 —— (Louis XIV.), 88

 —— (Louis XV.), 214–217

 —— (Marot), 120

 —— (Queen Anne), 119–120

 —— (Sheraton), 361

 ——, at Versailles, 215–217

 Cochin, 164

 ——, quotation from, 162

 ——, reply to, 163

 Colbert, 66, 69

 Colbert, industrial system of, 69

 Colours (Directoire), 369

 —— (Louis XIV.), 68, 70

 —— (Louis XV.), 200

 —— (Sheraton), on, 335

 Columbani, Pietro, 290

 Comfort, increase in, 7

 Commode, 84–85

 —— (Empire), 377

 —— (Louis XVI.), 271–272

 —— (Sheraton), 344

 —— (Boulle), 74

 —— (Chippendale), 239–240

 —— (Cressent), 201–202

 —— (Heppelwhite), 325

 —— (Louis XV.), 188, 190, 201–203

 Confidante (Heppelwhite), 316

 Console, 33

 —— (Empire), 377

 —— (Louis XIV.), 87

 —— (Louis XVI.), 272–273

 ——, for porcelain (Louis XV.), 211

 ——, tables (Louis XV.), 212

 Conversation chairs, 363

 Corneille, quotation from, 6

 Cornices (Chippendale), 229–230

 —— (Heppelwhite), 318, 319–320

 —— (Louis XVI.), 271

 —— (Sheraton), 336

 Cornucopias, 8–9

 Couch (Jacobean), 53

 —— (Marot), 120

 —— and Squab, 53

 Counterpane, 20

 Courtepointe, 20

 Courture, l’ainé, 263

 Couverture de parade, 20

 Credence, 10

 Credenza, 130

 Cremer, 166

 Crepy, 164

 Crespine, 18

 Cressent, Charles, 160, 161

 Cressent, commodes by, 201–202

 Cromwell Chair, 60

 Cromwell, Oliver, 55, 113

 Crunden, John, 290

 Cupboard, “bread and cheese,” 45

 ——, court, 45–47, 48–49

 ——, livery, 45–48

 ——, press, 59

 Curricle, 362–363

 Curtains, 20–21, 57

 —— (Directoire), 374

 —— (Empire), 374–375

 —— (Louis XIII.), 19, 20

 —— (Sheraton), 336

 Curve (Louis XIV.), 71

 Curve, the broken, 141

 Cushion, the, 44

 Cussey, Domenico, 13

 Cuvilliés, 164

 Cuvilliés, console table by, 212

 Cuvilliés, fils, 257, 261–262

 Cymbeline, quotation from, 53–54


 Damask, 154

 Darly, M., 225

 Dauphine, the, 263

 D’Aviler, quotations from, 116, 118, 131, 169–170, 173, 174

 Debonnaire, 66

 Decker, Paul, 199–200

 ——, mirrors by, 210

 De Goncourt, quotation from, 369

 De La Cour, 165

 Delafosse, 257–258, 267

 De Lalonde, 257, 258–260, 277, 279

 Delany, Mrs., quotations from, 151–152

 Delaunay, 66

 Demarteau, 164, 257

 Demontigny, 256

 Designers of transitional style (Louis XV.—Louis XVI.), 256–257

 Designers (Louis XVI.), 257

 Desk (Jacobean), 59

 Desk and Bookcase (Heppelwhite), 325–326

 Desk. See Bureau.

 Desks (Louis XIV.), 87

 —— (Louis XVI.), 275

 Desmalter, Jacob, 370, 372, 377

 Desvoyes, 257

 Diana of Poitiers, 3

 Dining-parlour (Sheraton), 342

 ——, Prince of Wales’s, 342–343

 Dining-room (Empire), 376

 —— (Louis XV.), 177, 182

 —— (Sheraton), 341–342, 343

 Dining-table (Empire), 376

 —— (Sheraton), 346–347

 Directoire style, 285, 367, 370, 374, 375, 379–380

 Divan, the, 378

 Doré, 263

 Draperies (Louis XV.), 200–201

 —— (Louis XVI.), 270–271

 —— (Empire), 377–378

 Drawing-room (Sheraton), 339–341

 Drawing-table, 60

 Dressing-drawers, 325

 Dressing-room (Sheraton), 339

 Dressing-table (Chippendale), 240–241

 —— (Early Georgian), 154

 —— (Jacobean), 60

 —— (Heppelwhite), 324–325

 —— (Louis XIV.), 85–86

 —— (Queen Anne), 128–129, 129–130

 —— (Sheraton), 357–358

 Dubois, 164, 166

 Du Bois, quotation from, 115

 Du Cerceau, 4

 Duchesse, the, 209, 278, 279

 —— (Heppelwhite), 316–317

 Duchess bed, 355

 Dugourc, 262

 Dumb-waiter (Early Georgian), 153

 —— (Louis XVI.), 274

 —— (Sheraton), 350–351

 Dumont, 256

 Duplessis, 165, 213

 Duplessis, fils, 257, 263

 Dupuis, 263

 Dutch influence in England, 110

 Duvaux, 165

 Dyche, quotation from, 130


 Ear motive in decoration, 5, 210, 212

 East, influence on furniture, 160–161

 Ebéniste, 11

 Ebénisterie, 66

 Ebony, 11, 38

 Edict of Nantes, Revocation of, 110

 Edwards and Darly, 148

 Eisen, 164

 Elizabeth, Queen, 46

 Empire style, characteristics of, 372–374

 ——, growth of the, 370

 ——, ornaments of, 372–374

 ——, wood used, 379

 Encoignure (Louis XV.), 212

 England, Dutch influence in, 110

 ——, French art in, 110–111

 ——, French workmen in, 110–111

 ——, relations with the Netherlands, 37–38

 Engravings, 155

 Escritoire (Hogarth), 152

 Evelyn, John, quotations from, 50–51, 112–113, 114–115


 Falk, quotations from, 253–255

 Far East, commerce with, 111–112

 Fauteuil, 29–30, 81–82, 83

 —— (Louis XV.), 205

 ——, bergère, 207–208, 278

 ——, de commodité (Louis XV.), 208–209

 ——, confessional, 278

 Fauteuils Bonaparte, 379–380

 Fay, 257, 264–265

 Feathers in decoration, 263

 Festoon window curtains, 336

 ——, Heppelwhite’s fondness for the, 312

 Floor (Jacobean), 44

 Folding chair-bed, 152–153

 Fonlanieu, 257

 Fontaine, P. F. L., 370

 Footstools (Sheraton), 361

 Forms (Louis XVI.), 203–204

 Forty, 257, 258

 Fossier, 257

 Fouquet, 4

 ——, alcove of, 91

 ——, entertainment of, 70

 Fragonard, 257, 258

 Fraisse, 142, 165

 Frames (Chippendale), 244

 —— (Early Georgian), 155

 Frederick the Great, 168

 French art in England, 110–111

 —— decoration, influence on Langley, 143

 —— furniture, most perfect period, 160

 —— style, craze in England for, 138

 —— style, Heppelwhite’s admiration of, 316

 —— rod, the, 336–337

 —— workmen, in England, 110–111

 Fringe, 18

 —— (Louis XIV.), 82–83

 —— (Louis XV.), 201

 Furniture (Chippendale), 222

 —— and costume, analogy between, 7–8

 —— (Louis XV.), descriptions of, 185–194

 ——, metal, 67

 ——, sets of, 89–90


 Gachet, 263

 Gallery, 176

 Garde-robe, 168, 172, 176

 Gardes de vin, 322

 Garlands (Louis XIII.), 8

 Gamier, 166

 Gate-legged table, 51

 Gaudry, Mme. de, 85, 98

 Gay, quotation from, 137

 Genre étrusque, 369

 _Gentlemen and Cabinet-Maker’s Director, The_, 135, 222, 223, 224, 247

 Georgian (Early) Architecture, 137–138

 Germain, 164

 Germain, P., mirror by, 211

 Gibbs, 136, 295, 296

 Gilded wood, 67

 Gillot, 161

 Girandoles (Chippendale), 244, 245

 —— (Heppelwhite), 323

 Gobelin, 277

 Gobelins, manufacture des, established, 66

 Gobelins, artists and artisans employed at the, 66

 Gobelin tapestry, 205

 Godin, 216

 Goldsmiths, in decorative art, 4

 Gondola chairs, 207

 Gothic, Adam on, 294

 Gothic Architecture (Langley), 149

 ——, designs (Chippendale), 228, 235, 241–243

 ——, Mrs. Delany on, 150–151

 ——, Evelyn on, 114

 —— revival, 135

 ——, Langley’s influence, 150

 ——, Ware on, 149–150

 Gothic taste, the, 138, 221

 Gouthière, 266

 Gouvernet, La Marquise de, inventory of, 121–126

 Grate, 155

 Gravelot, 164

 Grecian squab, 356

 Gribelin, Samuel, 111

 Gros de Tours, 264

 Grotesque, Adam on 299–300

 Guéridon, 33

 Guiffrey, Jules, quotation from, 180

 Guimard, Mlle., apartments of, 282–284


 Halfpenny, 148

 Hall, the, 40–41, 335

 Hampton Court, 46

 Hancock, wall-paper of, 141

 Handles (Jacobean), 59

 —— (Queen Anne), 130

 Hangings, leather, 42

 Harlequin Pembroke Table, 359

 Harrateen, 154

 Hatfield House, 46

 Havard, quotation from, 75

 Hearth furniture (Early Georgian), 155

 Heinhofer, Philip, 16

 Henri II. style, 3

 Hentzer, Paul, 55

 Heppelwhite, A. & Co., firm of, 309

 ——, characteristics of, 312

 ——, fondness for the straight line, 312

 —— furniture, 309–310

 ——, ornaments of, 312

 ——, quotations from, 310–311, 326–327

 —— room, 326–327

 Herculaneum, 352

 —— chair, 363

 Hervey, Lord, quotations from, 137

 Hervieux, 213

 Hexagon, 9

 High-boy, 154

 Huet, 161, 257, 265

 Huguenot refugees in England, 111

 Huquier, 164

 Hogarth chair, 152

 —— furniture, 152

 ——, quotation from, 247–248

 ——, satire of Kent, 136–137

 ——, table by, 152

 Horse fire screens (Chippendale), 246

 Houdan, 257, 263

 Houel, 257

 House (Louis XV.), description of, 182–185

 Houses, decorated by the Adams, 292–293


 Illumination (Jacobean), 45

 Ince and Mayhew, 224

 India houses 113

 _Industrious Apprentice_, escritoire in, 152


 Jacob, Georges, 370

 Jacobean furniture. Tudor and Flemish mixture in, 37

 Jacquemart, quotations from, 178, 256

 Jacques, 263

 Janel, 257

 _Janua Linguarum_, quotation from, 45–46

 Japanese art, taste for, 166–167

 Japanned furniture, 154–155

 Jardinière (Empire), 377

 Jardinières, 273–274

 Jewels, Age of, 70

 Johnson, 148

 Jombert, 164

 Jones, Inigo, 37, 146, 295

 _Journal de la mode_, quotation from, 367–368

 Juhel, 215


 Kauffman, Angelica, 292, 305, 306

 Kent, William, 135, 136, 295, 296

 Kent, Hogarth’s opinion of, 136

 Kenwood, Adam’s decorations at, 304

 Kidney library table, 359

 Knife cases (Heppelwhite), 321–322

 —— (Sheraton), 349

 Knole, Sevenoaks, Kent, 38, 61

 ——, bed at, 57

 ——, bedrooms at, 54–55


 La Barre, 66

 La Bruyère, 67

 La Collombe, 164

 Lacquered furniture, 154–155

 Lacquers, old, 168

 Lady’s Cabinet Dressing-table, 357–358

 Lafayette, bed of, 376

 La Joüe, 142, 164

 La Live de Juilly, 263

 Lalonde. See De Lalonde.

 Lamballe, Princesse de, 263

 ——, apartments of the, 280–282

 Lampas, 19

 Lambrequin (Louis XIII.), 19

 —— (Louis XV.), 200–201

 —— (Louis XVI.), 271

 Lamps (Heppelwhite), 323

 Lange, 164

 Langley, Batty, designs by, 142, 144–145

 ——, quotations from, 143–145, 149, 150

 ——, influence on Gothic revival, 150

 ——, Walpole opinion of, on, 151

 Lanthorns (Chippendale), 245

 La Rue, 257, 263

 Lassurance, 164

 Lauzan, Comte de, 112

 Law, John, 159

 Leather, use of, 192, 209, 313, 314

 Le Brun, 4, 66, 68, 69, 159

 Le Canu, 257

 Le Geay, 257

 Le Grand, 164

 Leland, quotation from, 43

 Leleu, 267

 Le Lorrain, 257

 Lepautre, Jean, 66, 72, 84, 91

 Le Prince, 257

 Le Roux, 164

 Levasseur, 267

 Liard, 257

 Library (Sheraton), 338

 —— table (Sheraton), 360

 Line, the straight, insistence of the, 253–254

 Lit d’ange, 77–78, 79–80, 196

 ——, à l’Anglaise, 267

 ——, d’Anglaise, 196

 ——, à arc, 197

 ——, de baldaquin, 27

 ——, en baldaquin, 197–198

 ——, à chassis, 198

 ——, à la Chinoise, 277

 ——, à couronne, 267

 ——, en dome, 79

 ——, à double tombeau, 197

 ——, à la duchesse, 77, 80

 ——, de duchesse, 196

 ——, à la fédération, 285, 368

 ——, à flèche, 197

 ——, en housse, 19–21, 76, 267

 ——, à impériale, 28

 ——, à l’Impériale, 80

 ——, en niche, 197

 ——, en ottomane, 197

 ——, à la polonaise, 196, 277

 ——, à pavillon, 77

 ——, de repos, 32, 81, 197, 198, 270, 279

 —— (Chippendale), 230

 —— (Louis XV.), 192

 ——, à romaine, 197

 ——, à tombeau, 197

 ——, à tulipe, 197

 ——, à la Turque, 197, 277

 ——, vu de pied, 77

 Lit. See Bed

 _Livre de Légumes_ (Meissonier), 227

 _Livre d’ornements_ (Meissonier), 227

 Lodging room (Sheraton), 339

 Loir, Alexandre, 66

 Loir, Guillaume, 66

 London, a dépôt for Oriental art, 112

 Louis XIII. style, beginning of, 3

 Louis XIV., magnificence of, 66

 ——, takes Court to Versailles, 65

 ——, style, characteristics of, 70–73

 ——, ornamentation, 71–73

 Louis XV. style, 195

 ——, transitional from, to Louis XVI., 195

 ——, great masters of the, 164

 ——, style, small masters of the, 164–165

 ——, ornaments of, 164

 Louis XVI. style, 195, 196, 251–252

 ——, cabinet-makers, 267

 ——, furniture of last years, 284–285

 ——, ornamentation of, 252–253

 Low-boy, 154

 Lucotte, 256

 Lutestring, 55

 Luti, Chevalier, 135

 Luxury, in reign of Louis XIV., 70

 Luynes, Duc de, quotation from, 196


 Mademoiselle, La Grande, quotations from, 91, 111–112

 Mahogany, 11, 118, 334, 379

 Maintenon, Mme. de, 78, 80, 85, 86

 ——, apartments of, 92–96

 ——, tables of, 86

 _Maisons de Plaisance_ (Blondel), 174

 Mansart, 65

 Marchand, 263

 Martinet, 164

 Martins, The, 167–168

 Marie Antoinette, 255, 263

 Marie Leczinska, bed of, 196

 Marillier, 257, 262

 Marot, Daniel, 91, 111

 ——, furniture by, 119, 120–121

 ——, use of china in decoration, 116

 Marquetry, 11, 50, 87

 Marquetry (Riesener’s), 265, 266

 Marquetry (Queen Anne), 127–128

 Marquise, The, 208

 _Marriage à la Mode_, Bed in, 152

 Marsenois, 165

 Marvye, 164

 Mascaron, 8, 120

 Mazarin, Cardinal, 4, 12, 13, 18, 21, 28, 30, 32

 ——, bed of, 77–78

 ——, fondness for Oriental art, 111–112

 ——, lottery of Oriental goods, 70, 112

 Medici, Francesco de’, 17

 ——, Marie de’, 3, 6, 12

 Meissonier, J. A., 160, 162, 163

 ——, canapé by, 209

 ——, chairs by, 209

 ——, curves of, 194

 ——, designs by, 226–227

 ——, exponent of the Louis XV. style, 164

 ——, ornaments, 227

 ——, pier-table by, 211

 Mercier, quotation from, 264

 _Mercure de France_, quotation from, 69

 Méridienne, The, 378

 Metal furniture, 67

 Mezzotints, 155

 Michel, 164

 Middle Ages, rich furniture of the, 67

 Milanaise fringe, 18–19

 Milton, Thomas, 290

 Mirabeau, 168

 Mirrors, 68

 —— (Chippendale), 244

 —— (Heppelwhite), 323

 —— (Jacobean), 45, 60

 —— (Louis XIII.), 34

 —— (Louis XIV.), 89

 —— (Louis XV.), 190, 210–211

 —— (Queen Anne), 119

 —— (Sheraton), 360

 Mississippi Bubble, The, 159

 Moithey, 257, 263

 Molière, alcove of, 91

 Mondon, 142, 164

 Monkeys in decoration, 141, 142, 161, 211

 Monnoyer, J. B., 111

 Montigny, P. C., 267

 Moreau le jeune, 257

 Moreau, 257

 Mortlake tapestry, 42

 Mouldings (Louis XIII.), 9

 _Much Ado About Nothing_, 42

 Murray, quotation from, 131

 Music-room (Sheraton), 338


 Napolitaine fringe, 18–19

 Nest-of-drawers, 59

 Netherlands, influence of, on Jacobean furniture, 37

 Neufforge, 257

 Niche, 192

 Nicolet, 263

 Nile, Shipwreck of the, 168

 Nimeguen, Treaty of, 65

 Normand, C., 257, 263, 380

 Nottingham, Lord, quotation from, 113


 Octagon, 9

 Odiot, J.B.C., 370

 Œben, 165

 ——, bureau, begun by, 212

 Olive-wood, 45, 60

 Ollivier, 166

 Oppenord, 160, 163

 Orfèvrerie, 66

 Orient, L’, 112

 Oriental art, Evelyn on, 112–113

 Oriental art, 111

 Orleans, Duchess of, 85, 87

 Orleans, apartments of the, 100–102

 Orleans, Duke of, 85, 86

 ——, apartment of the, 98–100

 Ornamentation (Elizabethan), 39–40

 —— (Louis XIV.) style, 71–73

 —— (Louis XVI.) style, 252–253

 —— (Queen Anne), 119–120

 Ornaments (Adam), 298–299

 —— (Chippendale’s), 227, 229–230, 237, 247

 —— (Empire), 372–374

 —— (Heppelwhite), 312

 —— (Louis XV. style), 164

 —— (Louis XIII.), 11–12

 —— (Meissonier’s), 227

 —— (Sheraton), 334

 Osterley Park, Adam decorations at, 304–305

 Ottoman à la reine, 279

 Oudry, 164


 Pafrat, 166, 267

 Painted cloth, 42

 Palais de porcelaine, 73–74

 Palais Royal, The, 4

 Palais Soubise, 178–180

 Palladio, 135, 137

 ——, new edition of, 115

 Panache, 21

 Panelling (Jacobean), 41

 Panels (Early Georgian), 146, 147

 —— (Queen Anne), 117

 Pannier, 263

 Panseron, 257

 Parent, Aubert, 257

 Paris, changes in, 5–6

 ——, sets the fashions for Europe, 65

 Pariset, 257

 Parizeau, 257

 Parlour, the, 41

 —— (Jacobean), 52–53

 —— (Tudor), 52

 Parquetry, 68

 Passe, Crispin de, 4

 Pastoral subjects, 252, 253

 Pavilion bed, 28

 Pear-wood, 11, 38

 Péché Mortel (Chippendale), 232

 Pedestals (Heppelwhite), 321

 Pelham, Henry, 136

 Pembroke tables, 324

 —— (Sheraton), 358–359

 Pepys, quotations from, 43

 Perault, 263

 Percenet, 257, 263

 Percier, C., 370, 373

 Percier and Fontaine, 367, 372, 377

 ——, bedroom by, 373

 ——, examples from, 373–374

 ——, quotation from, 371–372

 ——, tables by, 376–377

 Percy, quotation from, 41–42

 Pergolesi, M. A., 292, 305–306

 “Persian,” 191

 _Petite Maison, La_, 181

 Petitot, 257, 261, 263

 Peyrotte, 164

 Philippon, Adam, 4

 Picau, 143

 Pictures (Louis XIII.), 34

 —— (Queen Anne), 118

 Pier-glass (Chippendale’s), 244

 —— (Heppelwhite), 323

 Pierre, J. B., 256, 263

 Pier-tables, 32

 Pier-table (Meissonier), 211

 —— (Sheraton), 344–345

 Pillement, 164, 263

 Pinaud, commodes by, 202

 ——, consoles for porcelain by, 211

 ——, console table by, 212

 ——, mirrors by, 210

 Pineau, 164

 Placards, 17

 Play-room, 175

 Pollen, quotation from, 255

 Pomeranian Art Cabinet, 16–17

 Pommes, 21, 27, 57, 196

 Pompadour, Mme. de, 165, 168, 264

 ——, bed of, 187–188

 ——, bedroom of, 186–189

 ——, fondness for Louis XVI. style, 252

 Pompeii, 252, 254

 Ponce, Gardette, 257

 Pope, quotation from, 136, 138

 Porcelain as a decoration for furniture, 256

 —— in decoration, 73–74

 —— in England, 113

 Portières (Louis XV.), 187, 191, 194

 Pouch table, 357

 Pouget, 257

 Poulleau, 165

 Press, 59

 Prevost, 164

 Prieur, 257, 262

 _Principes de l’art du tapissier_, quotation from, 196

 _Principles of Gardening_ (Langley), 150

 Prudhon, 372


 Quartette tables, 361

 Queen Anne, 110–111

 ——, furniture, 121, 126

 ——, house, 121–126

 —— style, 109–110, 116, 118

 ——, characteristics, 119–120

 ——, ornamentation, 119–120

 ——, panels, 117

 ——, tapestry, 117

 Queen Mary, 113

 Queverdo, 257

 Quinze seize, 264


 Radel, 277

 Raffle leaf, the, 290

 Rainceau, Adam’s definition, of, 300

 Rambouillet, Madame de, 7

 ——, blue parlour of, 68

 ——, Hôtel de, 91

 Ranson, 257, 260, 267, 279

 ——, examples from, 260

 Rebel, ornaments of, 5

 Récamier, Mme., 378

 Recueil, de Décorations Intérieures, 370

 Regency, The, 110

 ——, art of the, in America, 141

 ——, art of the, in England, 135, 141

 —— style, characteristics of the, 141–142

 ——, examples of, 211, 213–214

 Reign of Terror, 367

 Renaissance, The, 3

 Renard, 257

 Revolution, The Glorious, 110

 Ribband-back chairs, 232–233

 Richelieu, Cardinal, 4, 6, 14, 15

 Richardson, George, 289

 Riesener, J. H., 165, 213, 265–266, 267

 Robert, 257

 Rocaille, 162

 ——, decoration, 141

 Rochefort, Mme. la Maréchale, cabinet of, 97–98

 Rock-and-shell work, taste for, 221

 Rococo, 150

 Roentgen, David, 265, 266, 267

 Rohan, Anne Julie Charbot de, 178

 Rohan, Duc de, 178

 Romans d’aventure, 67

 Rose, Joseph, 304

 Rosewood, 225, 334

 Roubo, 166, 256

 Roumier, 142, 164

 Rousseau, J. J., 252

 Rubens, 3

 Rudd’s Dressing-table, 324–325

 Rueil, Castle, of, 4

 Ruins, fad for, 150

 ——, Langley on, 150


 Saint Non, 257, 363

 Saint-Pierre, Bernardin de, 252

 Saint-Simon, quotation from, 31

 Salembier, 257, 261, 267, 277

 Salon, the, 168

 —— (Louis XIV.), 104–105

 —— (Louis XV.), 171–172, 174–175, 182–183

 ——, petit, 177–178

 Saly, 263

 Satin-wood, 334

 Saunier, 267

 Scagliola, 291

 Scheemakers, 263

 Schübler, J. J., 199–200

 Schwerdfeger, 267

 Screens (Chippendale), 246

 —— (Heppelwhite), 322–323

 ——, horse fire, 323, 345

 —— (Louis XIV.), 88–89

 ——, Pole fire, 322–323, 345

 ——, Regency, 211

 —— (Sheraton), 345–346

 ——, tripod fire, 345–346

 Screetore, 59

 Secretary and bookcase (Sheraton), 359–360

 Serre-papiers, 212, 213

 Settee (Jacobean), 62

 —— (Queen Anne), 119

 Shakespeare, quotations from, 38–39, 53–54, 55

 Shaving-tables (Chippendale), 241

 Shell in Cabinet-maker’s arms, 120

 Shell, decorative use of, 120

 Shelves (Chippendale’s), 237–239

 Sheraton, Thomas, 331

 ——, arrangement of rooms, 335

 ——, books by, 331

 ——, cane, use of, 334

 ——, carving, love of, 333

 ——, on Chippendale, 223–224

 ——, on colour, 335

 ——, ornaments of, 334

 ——, use of mahogany, 334

 ——, quotations from, 331–332, 332–333, 335, 335–336, 336–338, 338–342,
    342–343, 343–344, 344–345, 345–346, 346–347, 348–349, 350, 350–351,
    352–355, 357, 357–358

 ——, rosewood, use of, 334

 ——, rooms, 338–343

 ——, two periods, 333

 Siamese Embassy to France, 111

 Sideboard (Heppelwhite), 320–321

 —— (Sheraton), 347–349

 ——, cellaret, 347

 Sideboard tables (Chippendale), 245

 Silver buffet, 4

 Silver furniture, 67

 ——, at Knole, 38

 Singerie, 161

 Sion House, Adam decorations at, 301–303

 ——, Adam furniture at, 297

 Society of Antiquaries, 135

 Sofa, bar-back (Heppelwhite), 317

 ——, beds, 267, 355–356

 ——, bed à l’antique, 279

 —— (Chippendale), 226–227, 231–232

 —— (Directoire), 378

 —— duchesse, 209

 —— (Empire), 378

 —— (Heppelwhite), 315–317

 —— (Louis XIV.), 81–82

 —— (Louis XVI.), 278–280

 ——, pommier, 285

 —— (Sheraton), 344, 356–357

 ——, Turkey, 356–357

 ——. See Canapé.

 Soubise, Palais, 178–180

 Soubise, Prince de, 178

 Spangled bedroom, Knole, 55

 Spanish foot, The, 62

 Sphinx in decoration, 370, 372

 Spindle ornament, 40

 St. Aubin, 257

 Stockel, 267

 Stools (Heppelwhite), 315

 —— (Marot), 119

 —— (Queen Anne), 119

 Strawberry Hill, 149, 151

 Stripe, the, 263–264, 312

 Study, the, 43

 Sweeps for beds, 319


 Table, breakfast (Chippendale), 246–247

 ——, “butterfly,” 52

 ——, card, 214, 274, 324

 ——, china, 246–247

 —— (Chippendale), 239–241, 240–241, 242–244, 246–247

 ——, tables, 274, 376

 ——, dressing, 240–241, 324–325

 ——, drawing-room, 273

 —— (Empire), 376–377

 ——, à fleurs, 377

 ——, flower, 273–274

 —— (Heppelwhite), 323–325

 —— (Jacobean), 51–52

 ——, library, 17, 326

 —— (Louis XIII.), 32–34

 —— (Louis XIV.), 86

 ——, Mme. de Maintenon’s, 86

 ——, Pembroke, 324

 —— (Queen Anne), 130

 —— (Regency), 213–214

 ——, servante, 274

 —— (Sheraton), 358, 360, 361

 ——, sideboard, 245

 ——, tambour writing and bookcase, 324–326

 ——, “thousand-legged,” 51

 ——, writing, 242–244, 274

 ——, work, 274

 Tabouret, 81–82

 Tallement des Réaux, quotation from, 7

 Talman, John, 135

 Talmont, Mme. la Princesse de, apartment of, 189–191

 Tambour writing-table and bookcase, 326

 _Taming of the Shrew_, quotation from, 38–39

 Tapestry, 18, 41–42, 117, 205, 277

 Taraval, 257

 Taste for the antique, 367–368

 Taste in England, Ware’s criticism of, 138–140

 Tavernier, 70

 Tea chests (Chippendale), 246

 —— kettle stands (Chippendale), 246

 —— room (Sheraton), 338–339

 —— table (Empire), 376–377

 —— trays (Chippendale), 246

 Textiles (Louis XIII.), 18

 —— (Louis XIV.), 68

 —— (Chippendale), 225

 Thomire, 370

 Thousand-legged table, 51

 Tibesar, 257

 Toile du Jouy, 264

 Toilet-glass (Early Georgian), 153

 —— table (Louis XV.), 203

 —— tables (Chippendale’s), 239–241

 Tolleverk, 216

 Torchère (Louis XV.), 212

 Trafalgar chair, the, 380

 Trio tables, 361

 Trunk, 59

 Tudor parlour, 52

 —— bed, 53–56

 —— home, Shakespeare’s description of a, 38–39

 Turkey sofa, 356–357

 _Twelfth Night_, quotation from, 55


 Upholstery (Early Georgian), 153–154

 —— (Empire), 379–380

 —— (Heppelwhite), 313, 314–315

 —— (Jacobean), 57–58

 —— (Louis XIV.), 82–83

 —— (Louis XV.), 205

 —— (Louis XVI.), 276–277

 —— (Queen Anne), 119

 —— (Sheraton), 334–335

 Urn stand (Heppelwhite), 322


 Val, apartments at, 102–104

 Vallance, petticoat, 318

 Vanburgh, 295, 296

 Van der Meulen, 68

 Vasari, 17

 Vase, form of (Louis XIII.), 8

 —— in decoration, the, 252–253, 262–263

 Vase-knife cases, 321–322

 Vases (Heppelwhite), 321

 Vassy, 164

 Vernis Martin, The, 168, 227, 273

 Versailles, magnificence of, 65

 Vervien, 164

 Vestibule, 169

 ——, 174

 Viaucourt, 66

 Vien, 263

 Viollet le Duc, quotation from, 6–7

 Voyelle, 277

 Voyeuse, the, 32, 278, 363

 Voltaire, 168

 Vouet, Simon, 4


 Wailly, Charles de, 257, 263

 Wainscot (Early Georgian), 146, 147

 Wall decorations (Louis XV.), 173

 Wall-hangings, Ware on, 147–148

 Wall paper, 336

 Wallis, N., 290

 Walpole, Horace, 17, 149, 150

 ——, quotations from, 136, 149

 Wardrobes (Heppelwhite), 325

 Ware, Isaac, quotations from, 138–140, 145–148,

 Watelet, 256–263

 Watteau, 142, 161, 225

 ——, designs by, 205

 Weisweiler, 267

 William, King of England, 110

 Winant, 213

 Window (Jacobean), 43–44

 Window-blinds (Sheraton), 336

 Window-curtains (Early Georgian), 153–154

 —— (Louis XV.), 187, 200

 —— (Louis XVI.), 270–271

 —— (Sheraton), 336

 Windows, 43

 Window-seat, 44

 —— stools (Heppelwhite), 315

 Windsor chair, 152, 153

 Wine-cooler (Chippendale), 246

 Wolsey, Cardinal, 46

 Woods (Early Georgian), 153, 154

 —— (Empire), 379

 —— (Jacobean), 38

 —— (Louis XIII.), 11

 —— (Louis XVI.), 276

 Work-table (Sheraton), 357

 Wren, Christopher, 296

 Wressil Castle, 43

 Writing-tables (Louis XV.), 190


 Zucchi, Antonio, 292, 304, 305


                          TRANSCRIBER’S NOTES

 1. Changed “feet long” to “feet wide” on p. 78.
 2. Changed “dairy” to “diary” on p. 112.
 3. Silently corrected typographical errors.
 4. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 5. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.
 6. Superscripts are denoted by a carat before a single superscript
      character or a series of superscripted characters enclosed in
      curly braces, e.g. M^r. or M^{ister}.

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