The transitional era saw a shift from the exuberance of the Louis XV style to the classically inspired Louis XVI style. The archaeological excavations carried out at Pompeii and Herculaneum in 1763 swept away originality and novelty, and imposed rigour and restraint. The curved forms disappeared to create perfect symmetry. The Louis XVI style emerged from this transition.
The return to the simplicity of forms highlighted the very refined ornamentation: flat surfaces were adorned with finely crafted gilt bronze ribbons, laurel leaves, rosettes, interlacing motifs, and palmettes. Amaranth, sycamore, tulipwood, and violet wood were all used in the new marquetry techniques: cube patterns, quadrilobed panels, and butterfly-wing designs. Greek fillets were very fashionable. The arched legs of the furniture were protected at their ends with roquillards (acanthus leafs) or spirals.