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The Louis XIII style fauteuil (armchair)

The term fauteuil did not yet exist at the time of Louis XIII. It was called a chaire or chaire à bras (‘pulpit’ armchair). Made from walnut or oak, the Louis XIII fauteuil is sturdy, rectilinear, and very elegant. It attests to a desire to improve comfort and relaxation and is characterised by a lower seat, a back inclined backwards, denser upholstery, and arm supports that curve downwards to fit the shape of the arms. The arms rest on carved acanthus leaves, animal heads, or female busts.

Several models of Louis XIII chaires à bras (‘pulpit’ armchairs) appeared: the study or dining room chair with a low, wide back, and the fauteuil de repos (easy chair) with a tall back (seventy-five to eighty centimetres). The Louis XIII fauteuil is characterised by the spiral or knobbed (en chapelet) forms, and mutton-bone legs resting on truncated or rectangular section dice, with the ensemble linked by an H-stretcher. It is upholstered with leather or tapestry secured with studs. The seat rail is sometimes embellished with a fringe or a skirt that conceal the legs.