French Furniture Styles

Art Deco Style, 1925

The richness and proliferation of its ornament is what is most striking about this style. It exploited every available ornamental resource with imagination, invention and refinement.

Furniture: Tables, rarely square, were crisply geometric in profile and light in appearance. Legs were gracious and bare of ornament. Armoires made of ebony and tulipwood tended to be richly decorated. Commodes were among the period's most attractive productions. Chair backs tended to be rather low and quite open, while legs were quite thin. Settees became increasingly prominent as the period advanced.

Art Deco Table

Materials and techniques: Art Deco delighted in costly materials. Exotic woods were preferred to European ones. Ebony and macassar were preferred.  Gilt bronze and copper were generously employed, as was silver and cast iron.  Leather became as pervasive as fabric for chairs and settees.

Ornament: Most ornamental techniques were used. Only carved wood sculpture was downplayed. The influence of cubism and abstraction was apparent. Elements were drawn from African art, vegetal, floral and maritime motifs. Curved lines were prevalent.

Source: French Furniture by Sylvie Chadenet

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