This is a beautiful pair of antique French Second Empire mahogany and ormolu mounted armchairs circa 1880 in date.
The mahogany is beautiful in colour and has been embellished with striking ormolu mounts.
There is an ormolu sphinx decorating each arm and the chairs are decorated with exquisite ormolu mounts consisting of laurel wreaths, rosettes and palmette mounts, and the chairs are raised on ormolu feet.
The overstuffed seats have been reupholstered in a sumptuous tan leather.
Add a touch of elegance to your home with this exceptional antique pair of armchairs.
In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned,polished waxed and reupholstered in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
Dimensions in cm:
Height 80 x Width 60 x Depth 55
Height 48-Seat height
Dimensions in inches:
Height 2 foot, 7 inches x Width 2 feet x Depth 1 foot, 10 inches
Height 1 foot, 7 inches-Seat height
Our reference: A1115
is an early-19th-centurydesignmovement inarchitecture,furniture, otherdecorative arts, and thevisual artsfollowed in Europe and America until around 1830.
The style originated in and takes its name from the rule ofNapoleon Iin theFirst French Empire, where it was intended to idealize Napoleon's leadership and the French state. The style corresponds to theBiedermeierstyle in the German-speaking lands,Federal stylein the United States and to theRegency stylein Britain. The previous style was calledLouis XVI style, in France.
The Empire style was based on aspects of the Roman Empire. It is the second phase of neoclassicism which is also called "Directoire", after a goverment system.
Furniture typically had symbols and ornaments borrowed from the glorious ancient Greek and Roman empires.
The furniture was made from heavy woods such asmahoganyandebony, imported from the colonies, with dark finishes often with decorative bronze mounts. Marble tops were popular as were Egyptian motifs like sphinxes, griffins, urns and eagles and the Napoleonic symbols, the eagle, the bee, the initials "I" and a large "N."
Gilded bronze (ormolu) details displayed a high level of craftsmanship.
Ormolu -(from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-caratgoldin amercuryamalgamto an object ofbronze.The mercury is driven off in akilnleaving behind a gold-coloured veneerknown as'gilt bronze'.
The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding orfire-gilding, in which a solution ofnitrate of mercuryis applied to a piece ofcopper,brass, or bronze, followed by the application of anamalgamof gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.
After around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury other techniques were used instead.Electroplatingis the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used onsilver, to producesilver-gilt..
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