Canapé seating, which was first introduced in 17th century France during the reign of Louis XIV, was a more functional and less formal derivative of a lit de repos (daybed) and was able to accommodate more individuals than a fauteuil (armchair). This superb canape was hand-carved in the 1800s in the style of Louis XVI, with motifs inspired by the Neoclassical aspect of the period.
Adorned with a husk of olive leaves, the en chapeau back is accentuated by the steeply curved ends. Plush manchettes interrupt the carvings, before resuming on the other side of the upholstery in the form of a volute handrest. The fluted arm stumps below, which are reminiscent of a column, form the starting point of a rapidly sloping cornucopia molding that terminates with an eruption of flowers. A fluted molding, known as fasces, embellishes the apron, interrupted by rectangular joints for four toupie feet: two in the front and one on each side (the fasces terminate in the back at the joinery of the two back feet). All six feet are carved identically, with bundled arrow fletching over a tapering fluted column.
The manchettes, the back, and the single, long seat are all upholstered with an off-white linen with blue stripes. Numerous small nailheads attach the fabric to the stripped wood, which has a beige color. Capable of seating at least three adults, our French canapé can be used in a sitting room such as a library or living room or used on a landing or in a hallway.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with minor age separations. Light stains to the upholstery, which is not original. The wood has also been stripped more recently.