Early 19th Century French Empire Mahogany & Ormolu Mounted Armchair
This is a splendid early 19th century french empire mahogany armchair with ormolu mounts and raised on square tapered legs … moreThis is a splendid early 19th century french empire mahogany armchair with ormolu mounts and raised on square tapered legs that terminate in carved paw feet. The mahogany is exceptionally beautiful in colour and has been embellished with striking ormolu mounts typical of the era. In particular, the pedimented back features distinctive gryphon and anthemion motifs above the padded back. The open arms are carved with striking lion head terminals. It has been upholstered in a fantastic golden fabric, which gives the chair its regal look. Add an elegant touch to your home with this exceptional armchair. The item is not cites pursuant. Condition: in excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned, polished and reupholstered in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation. Dimensions in cm: height 92 x width 61 x depth 62 height 45 - seat height dimensions in inches: height 36.2 x width 24.0 x depth 24.4 height 17.7 - seat height mahogany is probably one of the largest ‘families’ of hardwood, having many different varieties within its own species. Mahogany has been used for centuries in ship building, house building, furniture making etc and is the core structure of just about every 19th century vanity box, dressing case or jewellery box. It became more of a victorian trend to dress mahogany with these decorative veneers, such as kingwood, burr walnut and coromandel, so that the actual mahogany was almost hidden from view. Mahogany itself is a rich reddish brown wood that can range from being plain in appearance to something that is so vibrant, figured and almost three dimensional in effect. Although mahogany was most often used in its solid form, it also provided some beautifully figured varieties of veneer like ‘flame’ mahogany and ‘fiddleback’ mahogany (named after its preferred use in the manufacture of fine musical instruments). Cuban mahogany was so sought after, that by the late 1850s, this particular variety became all but extinct. Ormolu - (from french 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th century english term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze. The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-colored veneer known as 'gilt bronze'. The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of 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 circa 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury other techniques were used instead. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt. Empire style, is an early 19th century design movement in architecture, furniture, other decorative arts, and the visual arts followed in europe and america until circa 1830. The style originated in and takes its name from the rule of napoleon i in the first french empire, where it was intended to idealize napoleon's leadership and the french state. The style corresponds to the biedermeier style in the german-speaking lands, federal style in the united states and to the regency style in britain. The previous style was called louis 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 government system. Furniture typically had symbols and ornaments borrowed from the glorious ancient greek and roman empires. The furniture was made from heavy woods such as mahogany and ebony, 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. less
- 24.02ʺW × 24.41ʺD × 36.22ʺH
- Place of Origin
- Item Type
- Vintage, Antique or Pre-owned
- Unknown, Some Imperfections
- Condition Notes
- Good — This vintage item remains fully functional, but it shows sign of age through scuffs, dings, faded finishes, minimal … moreGood — This vintage item remains fully functional, but it shows sign of age through scuffs, dings, faded finishes, minimal upholstery defects, or visible repairs\. Cleaned, Polished, Reupholstered less
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