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Louis XVI era chairs

No new chairs were designed in the era of Louis XVI; instead the lines of the earlier chairs were simply modified: bergères and marquises, fauteuils en cabriolet (with a concave back), and à la Reine (flat-backed) chairs. What are the characteristics of a Louis XVI chair? The legs are in the form of a fluted or twist-fluted colonette that tapers towards its base. The arm supports of the seats only became upright and were transformed into balusters at the end of Louis XVI’s reign.

The back forms an oval or round medallion, or is crowned with a basket arch, whose two arch springs are indented and connect with the top of the side rails, which terminate in pine cones, panaches, or en graines (a decorative element). This form is known as en chapeau, a feature of most of the seats from this era. Another innovation introduced by the Louis XV style was the openwork design of the backrests that was used not only on rattan seats and rush-seat chairs (à la capucine), but also on luxury chairs. These backs are decorated with a stylised wickerwork basket, a sheaf, very often a lyre, and sometimes with a balloon (montgolfière).