|Hand-carved Louis XIII chair, petite tray-top table, French Quarters, Fayetteville. Hand-painted screen, marble and bronze Bacchus bust, Marshall-Clements, Little Rock. Aubusson pillow, Antiques on Kavanaugh, Little Rock. Porcelain bowl with gilt bronze ormolu, The Antique Co., Little Rock.|
Offering a truly elegant collection of antique furnishings, the French styles from the 17th to the 19th centuries ranged from restrained looks to opulently adorned pieces. From Louis XIII to Louis XVI, the majority of wood furniture and accessories were crafted from oak and walnut, with popular techniques such as turned or twisted legs being used on chairs and tables, in addition to the classic cabriole leg style. Heavily carved accents, such as animal and nature motifs, could be found on chair backs and on case goods, and the art of marquetry—using wood veneers of various shapes to create often elaborate and geometric designs—frequently dominated large and small furnishings alike.
Other ornamental hallmarks of French furniture design include the use of gilt bronze, or ormolu, on the knees of cabriole legs, chair backs and mounted on the corners of desks, chests and other large pieces of furniture, architecturally inspired mouldings on case goods, and marble tops on console tables and desks.
|Hand-carved Louis XVI table de milieu topped with miniature Louis XVI chest and 19th-century bronze doré grandiole with Baccarat crystals and malachite base. Hand-carved walnut Louis XV-style chair with green velvet upholstery. All from French Metro Antiques, Fayetteville.|
|Oak and tiger oak 19th-century smoking chair, tea caddy set, Morris Antiques, Keo. Leather-topped Chippendale console with matching bench, part of a pair, D. May Antiques, Little Rock.|
Perhaps the name most synonymous with English furniture is that of Thomas Chippendale. The epitome of classic British design, Chippendale’s works have been replicated since their debut in the early 18th century, and are still copied today. And although Chippendale is primarily known for his chairs, the cabinet maker turned furniture designer created everything from Asian-inspired suites of furnishings to heavily decorated desks and chests to simple chairs and tables. Hallmarks of such designs include cabriole legs with decorated “knees” and ball-and-claw feet on chairs and tables, the use of woods such as oak and maple, and intricately designed splats and stretchers on chairs.
|Tibetan chest, Chinese rice bucket and leather Geisha shoes, Pacific Rim Imports, Little Rock. Red jade teapot and low elm wood bench, Indigo Home, Little Rock.|
Wooden furniture has been a staple in Asian culture since ancient times. An excavation of a site dating back to 250 BC revealed wooden furniture with the popular lacquerware decoration that is still sought-after today. The use of lacquer was not only a decorative accent, but it also had a practical application, as the all-over covering made the furniture more resistant to insects. Other hallmarks of Asian furnishings include the frequently lightweight nature of the items, which allows for easy transporting. Native woods, such as elm wood, rosewood and sandalwood, were prized mediums for cabinet and furniture makers, while bamboo was typically reserved for nonessential pieces. And although lacquerware and other means of ornamentation helped create decidedly opulent and colorful furnishings, the underlying design remained clean and simple, with occasional curves and flourishes.