Hand-carved during the 1800’s, in the style of Louis XVI, this pair of French armchairs have open arms, making them fauteuils. With its long, flat back, these can be further identified as à la Reine (Queen’s) armchairs. The chairs were carved in walnut and the deep, rich finish offsets the new pure white cotton upholstery seen on the back, the seat, and the manchettes.
Typical of Louis XVI style chairs, the four fluted and tapering legs (reminiscent of columns) are paired with a ringed protuberance above arrow feet. The slightly reclining backs are topped by a flowery margent with an ornate wreath and flanked by a pair of foliate cup finials outside of fluting. A crinkled ribbon is wrapped around the base of each wreath and extends on top of a foliate molding that envelopes the entire back and extends onto the arm post, interrupted only by floret joints at the upper corners. Volute leaves, imbricated disks, and a thin applique of gold borders adorn the arms and the stumps below. The seat is slightly bombe, with the persistence of the foliate molding seen on the upper parts of the chair.
Our pair of à la Reine armchairs is a beautiful example of French seating in the style of Louis XVI. Chairs from this period were typically smaller than chairs from preceding periods, giving them more flexibility in their uses. A la Reine armchairs were sometimes placed against a wall, with some people viewing them more decorative than functional, although they are very comfortable chairs. They can be used as side chairs in a living or game room, or host/hostess chairs at a dining table.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with minor rubs and light loss to the applied gold border on the sides of the arms. Some slight age separations with a missing section of the crinkle ribbon on the crown of the larger chair. Recent professional reupholstering with white cotton.