18th Century French Regency Chairs and Canapes


After Louis XIV, the design of French furniture, especially seats, has developed rapidly, especially in the design of the late Regency era. At that time, there were mainly two types of fauteuils: one was a chair made of rattan that was mainly used in summer, and the other was mainly used in winter. The interior of the seat and backrest was upholstered, and then the surface is wrapped by fabric.

Most of these seats made of beechwood and walnut. But sometimes, many other types of wood are also used in the same chair, especially those that are later gilded.

The armrests of the armchair are no longer aligned with the two front legs of the chair as in the Louis XIV period. The design of the backrest is also close to the times. It is adjusted slightly backwards to make it more convenient for ladies wearing French dresses. The unfolded skirt makes sitting more comfortably. The legs of the chair are curved, and even the geometry of the backrest and seat has begun to adopt curved shapes. In many cases, the upper end of the seatback is also designed as a "crossbow" shape. At that time, the rails connecting the legs of the chair were also disappeared or showed a curved "X" shape. This British style design made the seat more lightweight than the Louis XIV period.

A Set of Four 18th Century French Regency Beechwood Fauteuils  

A Pair of 18th Century French Regency Fauteuils


At that time, there were mainly two types of canapes. The first is a three-seater canape with armrests, usually made of rattan or upholstered in fabric or tapestries. The padding on the seats and backrest is not removable. The second type is usually a three-seat wingback canape. The seat and backrest have been filled, its backrest is higher than the first, and the side has padded wings.

18th Century French Regency Walnut Canape

18th Century French Regency Walnut and Beechwood Wingback Canape        

The bergère

These bergeres were invented during the Regency period, inspired by the confession armchairs of Louis XIV period. The difference between an ordinary armchair and a bergere is that there is no gap between the armrest of the bergere and the seat. The seat itself is completely cushioned, and the sides of the armrests are also made in such a way that the fabric can be nailed in or otherwise connected to the seat.

Bergeres are extremely rare and usually have wings. The shape is the shape of a high-back armchair during the Regency, but it can be felt larger, some have rails at the bottom, and some do not. With high back and side wings, it can be used as a headrest. The bergere can be considered the ancestor of today's "comfortable" chairs.

A Pair of 18th Century French Regency Bergeres

18th Century French Regency Wingback Chairs

The voyeuse

This is an upholstered or rattan chair. The seat is wider at the front and narrows when connected to the rear, so that the person sitting on it can have a more comfortable experience. There is a padding on the top bar, people can put their hands on the bar to listen to the conversation or watch the card game, hence the name.

18th Century French Regency Voyeuse

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