Empire side chair.

Solid beechwood frame, hand carving, gold leaf finishings.

Napoleon Bonaparte deliberately encouraged a propagandistic style inspired by the glorious ancients. As a result, Greek and Roman Empires and later ancient Egypt inspired the opulent French Empire style. The French architects Percier and Fontaine, became the leading furniture designers in the 1790s. Golden eagle, palm leaves, laurel wreath, sphinxes, swan, bow and arrows, lyre… were symbols and motifs of the Empire style. The initials of the Emperor and Empress – N for Napoleon and J for Josephine  became the imperial cypher. The Empire style achieved therefore great popularity in Europe, especially in Russia. Royal and Imperial courts adopted and adapted the style locally. In England it was known as the Regency style.


Source: Wikipedia

Photo: Thomas Hennocque