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The Three Main French Louis Chair Styles and How to Identify Them

French Louis style chairs are very popular, but did you know that there are different types? This blog aims to share with you the three main types of Louis chair and how to identify the differences between them.

Louis XIV Chairs

The King who introduced these chairs was the same king who radically transformed Versailles Palace in the late 1600s. He was a lover of decadence, and these chairs are very much in-line with his opulent design style.

Louis XIV chairs certainly have an air of grandeur about them: the rectangular seat back is very high and resembles a throne. These chairs have a keenly royal and old-fashioned look about them, and anyone sitting in these chairs would be sitting perfectly upright, typically with their arms laid on rests that stretch to the very end of the seat.

Source: Unknown

Louis XV Chairs

King Louis XV reigned during the eighteenth century when Rococo art was becoming very popular. During this time, chair designs were more relaxed: not only did they become less rigid in style (boasting beautiful curves) but they were also more comfortable to sit in.

Louis XV chairs are characterised by curved wooden edges with intricately carved surfaces. The legs are typically cabriole style (shaped like an S) and the back style is commonly rounded with a slight tilt to allow the person to recline a little. Armrests were also much shorter than the Louis XIV chairs, allowing for greater mobility.

French chairs from this era include the famous Fauteuil (open arms) and Bergere (closed arms) chairs.

Source: Proven-Salle

Louis XVI Chairs

The Louis XVI period reverted to the neoclassical style of upright chairs. In 1770, Louis XVI married Marie Antoinette and so these styles are very much associated with her name.

Coupled with their upright backs, the Louis XVI chairs had fluted legs, which were thin and perfectly straight, almost like columns. Seat backs were either round or rectangular. These chairs may or may not have had armrests. Such chairs are often seen around dining tables today.