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The Great Chairs of the History
Transcript of The Great Chairs of the History
The Klismos Chair
Sella Curulis Chair
Throne of Heterpheres
The Roman Empire was established on the Tiber River on the Italian peninsula in 753 BCE. According to famous mythology, Rome was founded by two brothers, Romulus and Remus, twin sons of god of the war - Mars. Through the years, the Roman Empire became one of the greatest political and military nations that spread over vast European geographic territory; from British Isles on the North to the Mediterranean Sea coast, including Egypt, Greece, and parts of Asia Minor, on the south. The Romans admired the Greeks immensely; much of their culture was derived from Greek models. They highly developed Hellenistic culture, but also built incredible infrastructure, aqueducts, viaducts, bridges, temples, etc.
Beauty of the Roman cities is in the buildings. Romans were incredible urbanists; they lay out the cities on grid. The center of cities was Forum. The Romans introduced two new orders: Tuscan and Composite orders.Furthermore, Roman engineering achievements enabled the construction of large scale building projects and domed structures, such as domed buildings, aqueducts, and massive amphitheaters.
Buildings in Forum served as commercial, religious, political, and legal centers of the city
Roman Temple of all Gods
The triangular section of a gabled roof; usually appears on the short ends of the buildings
The bridge that is constructed to bring fresh water from rivers to the cities
The remains of Roman domestic interiors suggest a life of solid comfort. Little has been found of the Roman's furniture, since nearly of it was made out of wood and consequently perished. But few tables, couches, and chairs of marble or bronze survived
A Roman inlaid iron curule chair. A folding chair used by the highest ranking judicial magistrates of Rome.
The iron legs are decorated - in niello and inlays of gold, silver, and red copper - with geometric patterns on the outside and inside with scrolling vines
Another popular chair was bisellium, a double chair or settee, which often consisted of wooden frame on turned or carved legs ending in a carved horse's or mule's head
The Roman throne chair
The Roman throne evolved from the Greek throne. It became popular in the imperial period for official occasions. Solium had turned or rectangular legs, also it was larger and heavier than its Greek ancestor. This Roman form strongly influenced thrones of later periods, especially those of bishop in the early Christian church
Ancient Greece was most developed civilization from archaic period to the antiquity which provided the foundation of modern Western culture. Greeks first developed democratic society where property was own by the citizens. Furthermore, they developed first cities in the world. Not only were they great city planners, but also great builders. Greeks believed in many gods and goddess. In their honor, in Athens, they build the Acropolis, the building collection of temples honoring Greek gods and goddesses. Four periods of ancient Greek civilization influenced Greek architecture and design: Geometric, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic period. Also, ancient Greek civilization developed philosophy, art, theater, design, and many other aspects of life.
Acropolis, Athens, Greece
Iconic Ancient Greece Chair
The Klismos chair also has saber legs. “Saber legs” is term used to describe concave-shaped furniture legs.
Klismos chair was the popular style of the side chair used in everyday ancient Greek life. The Klismos was made mostly out of wood with slender proportions
The crest rail is curved and the back support has the right degree of curvatures, making the Klismos one of the earliest examples of an ergonomically designed chair.
This little sculpture dates from 3300-2000BCE. It is belong to the Cycladic culture that was part of ancient Aegean culture. A lyre player is placed on the chair which shows early chair design. We can notice design influence for the Klismos chair because the sculpture has similar saber legs
The distinctive style of Klismos chair was carved out of stone for the box seats at the Greek amphitheaters.
Greek amphitheater was built into hillsides for better natural acoustics. Theaters were large and open-air constructions. They consisted of three main parts: the orchestra, the skene, and the audience. People gathered in amphitheaters for Greek theater
These stone chairs were carved out of stone. They were placed as the first row of Greek amphitheaters. We can notice style similarities with Klismos chair. Also, these chairs were reserved for important political officials.
Klismos chairs in amphitheaters
Working class families had furniture necessary to perform daily domestic tasks. The Klismos chair, as we will see in the examples, was one necessity that every household had to have. Some of the furniture was decorated with gilding, fine carvings, and inlay.
One of the most used accessory items in Greek home were the vases. Often made out of clay and lavishly decorated with motifs of architectural detailing. Various shapes and sizes of vases served different purposes: hydria for water, amphora for wine, and lekythos for oils
Even on the vases’ decorations, we can notice the Klismos chair. A woman is depicted sitting on the Klismos chair reading. On the vases, women are usually depicted doing household tasks
If we look closely at the vases, we will notice motifs, a common design pattern. Most of them are floral designs such as anthemion, antefixes, palmette, and honeysuckle patterns. Anthemion is a motif based on Egyptian palmette flower, while antefixes are curved spiral that also appears on gabled roofs of Greek temples
Culture of ancient Egypt dates from 4000 BCE. As a culture that offered many design solutions in fields of architecture and design, we can see the influence on today’s architecture and interiors The most famous architectures of Egyptian culture are, temples, monuments, pyramids, palaces for the pharaohs. Ancient Egyptian temples were of limestone, sandstone and granite.
The content and decoration of ancient Egyptian tombs reveal much information about the furniture of the period. Especially known is furniture from New Kingdom, beginning in about 1575 BCE, a period represented by the treasures from the tomb of the pharaoh Tutankhamen. In Egypt furniture was used very little. It was affordable only by the wealthy and was rare even in palaces. It was generally made from any of several local woods – chiefly cedar, cypress, and juniper imported from Syria, ebony like wood and occasionally precious metals, ivory or other luxury materials. Papyrus and other reeds and rushes were used for seating and bedding, as were cotton and linen.
Folding stools were favored by Egyptians for use in private chambers, as is often represented in tomb painting
A Tutankhamen stool, which was found in his tomb, imitated the folding type by using an X-form base with each leg carved into the delicately shaped head of duck.
Highly decorative throne chair features design motifs with spiritual significance
A falcon with its wings spread wide and solar disk, symbolizing the sun god Ra, appear on he crest rail to offer protection to the pharaoh
Other motifs decorating the chair include lotus and papyrus blossoms, rosettes and checker patterns
Hetepheres Gold Chair
This chair was used as ceremonial chair. It is reconstructed based on hammered gold castings recovered from Hetepheres tomb that had once covered the now decomposed wooden frame
The furniture maker constructed the chair by using mitered joints at the crest rail. A wooden seat was dropped into place, providing support for loose cushion
Three Lotus flowers, a symbol of lower Egypt, act as a support for the armrest
Lion legs and pawn feet appeared in chairs and stools made for Pharaohs as a symbol of their strength and power as leaders of their country
Middle Ages Civilization
The medieval period, often called Middle Ages is the time period between the fall of the Roman Empire during fifth century CE and the beginning of the European Renaissance in 15th century. the collapse of Roman Empire ended the political stability of Europe, with resulting drop in living standards that had a lasting effect on the function and the importance of furnishings. After the turn of the first millennium, population growth in Western Europe led to expanded city centers. Construction of large castles was built for wealthy rulers and gentry, and immense church compounds dominated the largest cities across Europe and into the British Isles.
Castle compounds were large enough to house the nobility and extended families along with servants and mercenaries who worked for them. the fortification of these castles depended on the strength of the defenses. Often high walls surrounded these compounds, reached only by crossing a moat, and acted as a deterrent to keep intruders out.
The Catholic Church gained strength as the spiritual leader of the people. Large scale cathedrals became the most prominent structure in town, and many were visible for miles on the horizon before evidence of a city could be seen.
The castes and abbeys of medieval Europe were sparsely furnished. The most common seat was stool, and it remained so until the 17th century. Throughout the Middle Ages, feudal concepts were integrated in social behavior. Everyone acknowledged the power of the overlord. He alone sat in a chair, which became ultimate symbol of feudal rule.
The authority of both Church and King was expressed by special seat, which symbolized the power of one individual, whether spiritual or temporal. Throughout the period, chair and throne had much the same meaning.
The throne of Maximilian, archbishop of Ravenna from 545 to 556, sixth century ad,. An almost perfect example of a ruler's chair, this seat is of wood decorated with carved ivory panels in late-classical style.The panels represent John the Baptist, the four Evangelists, and a variety of scenes from old and new testaments.
The royal coronation chair at Westminster Abbey was inspired by the design of ancient Roman throne with decoration of eagles, dogs, or lion's head.
Along with the throne, another of the most ancient chairs was the x shaped stool or chair which was also inspired by Roman senatorial sella curulis. the stool was viewed as the most functional type of seating. they were light weight and often had built in handles that made them transportable from room to room. such chair was know as faldstool. Medieval portable chairs were supplied with loose cushions, as similar chairs in classical times. In some instances were even upholstered.
For Interior Design students and everyone else that seek to learn about chair design throughout the history.
Louis XIV Chair
Louis XV Chair
Louis XVI Chair
Queen Anne Chair
The name for this period is derived from French "renaitre," meaning to be reborn. It is used to describe the cultural milieu of the 15th and 16th centuries. Those centuries are consider to be the origin of the modernity because during that time rebirth of classical ideologies appeared. After dark ages, the establishment of Greek studies at Florence University prompted Italians to explore their heritage and rediscover the beauty of classicism. Italy became center of the European Renaissance. Enlightenment soon followed as western Europeans were introduced to the great philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians of ancient Greece and Rome. Better economic circumstances allowed middle class to get wealthier, educated; therefore, living standards drastically improved from the Medieval Ages.
Cathedral of Florence
Italy is the heart of the Renaissance being home to the most famous artists, scholars, scientists, philosophers, architects and rulers. Among building churches and cathedrals, large-scale palaces, villas, and chateaus were built for the wealthier merchant classes. Unified proportions of classicism were incorporated into architecture and design.
Architect Andrea Palladio published Four Books on Architecture, which influenced both contemporary Italian design and architects throughout the Europe. Villa Rotonda established the Italian Renaissance
Palladio's design for the Villa Rotunda is testament to his exploration of classical forms. The Villa emphasized perfect symmetry on each of its four facades and in the interior planning. Furthermore, Villa established Italian Renaissance style with its large Ionic porticoes, central dome, and monumental staircases arranged on all four sides.
Villa Rotonda Interiors
The interiors had high ceilings with windows placed at the top, leaving walls open for decoration. Intricately woven tapestries were hung against brick or stone walls to provide beautiful decoration. Walls were usually plastered, allowing skilled artists to paint elaborate frescos rivaling ancient Roman examples.
Trompe l'oeil scenery expanded the imagination through false representations of bookcases, landscapes, and intarsia
During the 16th century, an establishment middle-class economy enabled more people to own fine furnishings for their homes than any previous time in history. Wealthier merchant classes could afford to own furnishings designed for luxury and comfort in the latest style
Carving was the most common decorative feature. Turned baluster and urn shapes were used on chair and table legs, often made more decorative with carved motifs.
Seats became lighter, their construction more complex and sophisticated. Renaissance chairs were decorated with motifs from classical architecture, including strongly profiled bases and cornices that accentuated their horizontal elements
Italian for stool or bench.
This light, portable wooden chair consisted of a quite elaborately carved, often pierced, back above a plank seat supported not by legs but carved vertical slabs of wood at front and back. Although chair was quite uncomfortable, it is small enough to be moved from the bedroom into dining hall when necessary.
Its creator, in stroke of genius, cleverly added a high, thin, architecturally balanced backrest
The shape of sgabello is derived from a low stool with three legs mounted at an angle, the simplest type of char that had been popular since Middle Ages.
Sgabelli were often made of walnut and usually supported by two heavy legs in the north Italian style
Women usually sat in these chairs because the absence of arms accommodated their cumbersome skirts
X-framed chair with six or more frames, arranged from front to back. Its structure resemble that of its ultimate ancestor, the ancient Roman Sella Curulis. The Savonarola chair was decorated with classical motifs, generally inlaid or carved in low relief.
These chair were made from walnut and had multiple staves that enabled the chair to fold lengthwise. The crest rail was hinged on one side and clamped into place on the opposite side, maintaining the stability of the chair when it was open
Savonarola was designed to fold.
In less decorative form, the chair was popular among monks and friars, which is probably how the chair became known by the name of infamous friar Savonarola
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The French term baroque translates as “irregular” and it is used to describe a change in artistic style that emphasizes lively patterns, superfluous ornamentation, and contrasting textures. In the mid 16th century, big changes occurred in religion and political world. Intellectually, attitudes toward God, science, and human existence were more rational, which liberated culture from spiritual dominance by the church. At the end of 16th Louis XIV came to rule. France was also wealthiest and most populated country in Europe, which allowed lavish lifestyle for the royals.century, when France became a leading political force in Europe,
Trevi Fountain in Rome
The king Louis XIV, the sun god, took initiative to develop art and culture in France during his reign. Without any inhibition with wealth, the Sun god king established French National Style. He commissioned to build most opulent palace for royals just outside the Paris in Versailles. Many architects and craftsmen were involved in creation of the Versailles Palace. LeBrun, Le Vau, Hardouin-Mansart, and Le Notre were responsible for designing the palatial residence and gardens. However, the most popular and grandiose hall in palace was the Galerie des Glaces, or the Hall of Mirrors.
The Hall of Mirrors
The Hall of Mirrors, designed with 17 lunette windows overlooking the garden, featured equal size mirrors hung opposite each window which created a room bathed in sunlight. Ultimately, the Hall of Mirrors became envy of Europe for its beaut and lavish social events that took place.
Baroque furniture consistent of bold, solid compositions characterized by dynamic movement, and dramatic, sculptural elements were symmetrically arranged.
An exaggerated fullness of scale and proportion lent grandeur to there pieces, as did a theatrical contrast of light and dark through use of deep molding and carving and through striking juxtapositions of color.
The completion of the palace of Versailles established French design as the standard of fine quality and taste for the rest of Europe. Characteristics of furniture were magnificent and massive structures that often were adequately oversized and not scaled to normal stature.
Chairs especially were luxurious grandeur expressed in deep carving, tortoise shell, and ebony inlay with gold, silver, and ormolu mounts.
Placet and Ployants
Fauteuil is typical French armchair design in period of Louis XIV. It is upholstered armchair with open sides. Since 17th century this chair remained popular.
The arms were placed lower toward the front of the chair than at the back, which allowed for more relaxed positioning of the arm.
deep and lavish carving was one of many characteristics that baroque chairs have. It emphasizes the dramatic and theatrical elements of the furniture which was very common for baroque
Fauteuil de la Reine
This chair has typical Flemish "C" scroll arm post, as well as square pedestal leg which were characteristics of Louis XIV design
Fauteuil de la Reine is a chair form of 17th century that has a high, square back. Associated with royal court, is was formal piece intended to be set against a wall
French baroque furniture in the Louis XIV style because of the Flemish "S" scroll leg
Similar to fauteuil, bergere chair was upholstered below arms, usually with wide loose cushion in its wide seat for more comfort. It was first made for Louis XIV and remained popular ever since
The number of fauteuils and bergeres was limited in Versailles, since the chairs were made for the Sun god and his aristocracy. However, stools with either upholstered seat or removable cushion were in great abundance.
Placet is a very low four legged stool covered with fabric. The placet permitted the user to sit very close to the floor. Part of it was Louis XIV obsession that nobody can sit higher than him. He would sit in his fauteuil, while others on placets in great halls of Versailles
French x-frame folding stool. it was a staple at court, where chairs were reserved for royalty on formal occasions. It was upholstered in luxurious fabrics.
The Eighteenth Century Europe
The 18th century was eclipsed by political upheavals that brought about wars and revolutions in Europe and America. In England, Queen Anne unified Scotland and England and formed Great Britain. America was facing the revolution fighting for independence from the British.
In France, Louis XV become a king at the age of five. During his ruling, France fought wars in Poland, England, and in North America. Also, France was involved in "Seven Years' War" where many of Europeans countries were conflicted. The war ended with signing treaty in Paris in 1763.
Architecture in 1700-1750
Hotel de Soubise, Paris
The first half of the century differed significantly from the second half, with more obvious changes seen in interior design and decoration. Gentle curves and ornamentation based in organic forms led to the use of the term "rococo". This new style of design remained fashionable in architecture and the decorative arts until around 1750 when Neoclassical period starts.
The new modern taste in interior design replaced rectangular classical symmetry with more organic, asymmetrical curves based on nature. Smaller scale Parisian townhouses, or hotels to the French, had sophisticated interiors designed for comfort and intimacy instead of grandiose Baroque style rooms designed to impress
These rooms features exquisite ceiling frescoes depicting mythological figures wainscoted walls painted in creamy white and embellished with gilt accents, rocaille (shell) motifs, and scrolls, complemented by delicate bouquets tied up with ribbons carved into modeling design
With the introduction of pastels of pastoral or idyllic scenic depicted rosy fleshed goddesses and putti in lush green gardens. Those idyllic scenes, painted on large canvases, complimented the interior decor.
Furniture became less formal and more comfortable, and its decoration began to rely on such naturalistic images as shells and flowers rather then classical architectural motifs.
The Regency style marks transformation between staunch Baroque styling and the more fluid Rococo period.
The Regency style, developed in France at the end of the 17th century, marked the beginning of the Rococo period as fluid curves replaced the straight lines of the Baroque period
Louis XV style furniture exemplified the almost feminine quality of the era: powdered wings, lace, and satin were worn equally by men and women who enjoyed a life of leisure entered on active social gatherings
Regency Bergere Chair
From the Baroque period, Regency style chair retains the square off tall and narrow back
Some influences of the Rococo add curvature on the seat rail and with the cabriole legs and scroll feet that rest on a small pad called "shoe"
The chair is upholstered in floral needlework
Chairs were designed with shorter backs and overall smaller proportions that fit nicely within the new, smaller scale rooms
Louis XV Bergere Chair
The cartouche back is upholstered with floral needlework. Cartouche is upholstered back of the bergere chair.
Manchette was added on Louis XV chair. Manchette is a small upholstered pad added to the armrest.
Legs of this bergere chair are called cabriole legs, slightly curved legs. Also, legs have scrolled feet which rest on a shoe
The frame around a shortened back is cinched at the mid point, giving shape to what is called a "cartouche back". A full serpentine curve is given to the seat rail
All carved details include foliate patterns
The late 18th and early 19th century
The term Neoclassical was first used during the 1880s and refers to the cultural period between 1750 and 1830. Significant changes in stylistic development had occur as a result of the rediscovery of Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Reconstruction of Pompeii
What seemed apparent in the discovery of these ancient Roman cities was that, previously, the European idea of classicism had been based in the still-standing structures of the Italian Renaissance and the writings of Palladio. Now, classicism in its purest form could be studied, modified, and incorporated into 18th century living. Books published at this time featured precise line drawing of the artifacts removed from the excavations.
France in 18th and 19th century
By the time Louis XVI inherited the throne in 1774, problems leading to the French Revolution were irreparable. The extravagant spending of the previous two monarchs at the Palace of Versailles coupled with costly military campaigns left France near bankruptcy. Changes in power shifted from democracy to republic to finally empire with Napoleon as a emperor of France.
The Early manifestations of Neoclassical period first appeared in France. Neoclassical elements were introduced in the interiors but quickly spread outward to all aspects of the structural space.
Petit Trianon Palace
Neoclassicism marked a return to rectangular forms, defiantly rejecting the serpentine curves and undulations typical of the Rococo. The early Neoclassic period coincides with the beginning of the reign of Louis XVI in France. Louis XVI gave the Petit Trianon palace to his wife, Marie Antoinette, and she began remodeling the interior in a true Neoclassical style.
Petit Trianon Interiors
Petit Trianon was built between 1762 and 1768, exemplified the transition toward synthesizing Neoclassical elements in both interior and exterior architectural details.
Interiors were design with purely geometric shapes; arcs, rectangles, and circles organized in strict symmetrical arrangements were incorporated into wall panels, mirror frames, and floor patterns.
Petit Trianon Interior
The Great Hall
Ceilings, door frames, and mantel piece molding incorporated the many Roman examples unearthed from the excavations at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Gilt swags, urns, laurel wreaths, and egg-and-dart motifs were superimposed over white, gray, or softly tinted walls.
Musee Carnavelet, Paris
Furniture remained small in scale, and the design moved away from organically inspired curves toward geometric shapes and symmetry, and idealized classical elements became the most decorative feature on chairs, tables, and case goods.
Louis XVI Style
Louis XVI style returned to Classic art influences by the refined taste of Marie Antoinette. A graceful style characterized by straight lines, lightness of form, roped, fluted or reeded legs and absence of stretcher.
Medallion back is rounded upholstered back rest on the Louis XVI chair. This oval back is delicately carved with padded scroll arms
This chair has rounded tapered leg
Louis XVI leg style: Fluted, round tapering and square leg
Guilloche , urns festoons patterns were incorporated into ornament of the chairs
A decorative motif of interlocking circles with or without further embellishment
A decorative treatment whereby colored woods, ivory, mother-of-pearl, metal, or tortoiseshell is inlaid into a veneered surface.
Brass or bronze mounts applied to furniture and other decorative accessories
Architecture in England
Palladian influences are seen on Chiswick House with its central portico and dome
Rococo in America
Cabriole is a leg formed to resemble the stylized front leg of a carpeting animal. The cabriole leg with its distinctive knee form is a strong characteristic of the Rococo period.
Undulating, repeatedly curving. More specifically, composed of a convex curve flanked by two concave curves
The French term for protective key plate
Massive walls were protecting nobles from attacks and intruders.
The defining characteristic of a flying buttress is that the buttress is not in contact with the wall like a traditional buttress; lateral forces are transmitted across an intervening space between the wall and the buttress.
Crossed barrel vaults
A vault is an architectural term for an arched form used to provide a space with a ceiling or roof. Crossed barrel vault allowed for cathedrals to be taller, and therefore allowed more light into interior.
Glass created by applying color with pigment.
A French term translated as "flower of the lily" a design motif of a stylized lily.
As an independent nation under the newly establishment United States of America, Americans were eager ti return to the more prosperous days before the Revolutionary War. Although there was a short period of economic depression, the young country recovered quickly, resuming its shipping industries along the eastern seaboard.
New Independent America
American Federal Architecture
The influence of Thomas Jefferson in creating a national style of architecture had brought the Greek Revival style to the forefront of American design. The style was chosen to represent the new democracy in the design and construction of the many government buildings in the nation's capital, Washington DC.
The White House was first built in 1792 as a Federal-style home as featured a low roof with a balustrade
Balustrade is a railing supported by balusters, esp. an ornamental parapet on a balcony, bridge, or terrace.
The White House
American Federal Furniture
With this proliferation of wealth, homes built during Federal period were grander than those built before the war, and more money was spent on furnishing the "public" rooms of the house as a symbol of independence and power gained with the war.
American furniture makers captured the simplicity of Neoclassic style illustrate in Hepplewhite's Guide and Sheraton's Drawing Book into graceful, well proportioned chairs, settees, and case goods.
American Federal Chair
The new style exemplified the confidence of the new republic as patriotic themes replaced more traditional ones; the American eagle appeared frequently as a decorative motif.
Sturdy in its construction, square, tapered legs usually reinforced with stretchers supported a tall upholstered back and seat.
Martha Washington Chair
Lolling was given to the "Martha Washington" chair and it had the same context as today's easy chair; it induced relaxation.
Lambert Hitchcock produced some of the finest examples of American country chairs.
Stretchers - a horizontal connecting member used between the legs of a chair or case piece to straighten its construction. Unlike runners, stretchers do not touch the floor.
Rush seat -in furniture, a type of grass used to make chair seat
Stenciled fruits and flowers on back rest
The rocking chair was highly favored by Americans, and many chairs were retrofitted with skates or rockers attached to the ends of leg forms to achieve this.
Stenciled fruits and flowers on back rest.
The renewed interest in classical design was reflected in interior details seen as dentil friezes below crown moldings, triangular-shaped lintels over doors and windows, furniture that incorporates X-form supports, and chair that had a gentle roll to the back in their designs.
Regal colors of blue, green, crimson, and gold, dominated interior schemes, enhancing the coloring of mahogany furniture
The American Empire style of furniture and design emerged through the work of New York cabinetmakers
Charles Honore Lanuier
Phyfe's greatest contribution to the industry was perhaps his role in introducing the city to a unique blend of the English Neoclassical and Regency styles.
This chair is part of a large suite of furniture that includes a sofa, a pair of armchairs, ten side chairs, and a pair of footstools. It was once owned by Thomas Cornell Pearsall, a wealthy New York merchant and shipowner.
Assembling pieces from Pyfe factory
The delicate framing and lyre-shaped splat of this chair are considered hallmarks of the Phyfe style. The cabinetmaker included a drawing of a similar chair in an 1816 letter to prominent Philadelphian Charles Bancker.
The carved caryatids on these tables are bold and forthright and meant to attract attention from across the room. The figures, with their stylized inner wings, relate to the winged orb of Egypt, the symbol of the rising sun, and signify the adaptation of ancient Egyptian motifs in early nineteenth-century design
Lannuier first offered his patrons furniture executed in the delicate Directory (1795–99) style before moving on to the more robust French Consulate (1799–1804) and Empire (1804–15) approach. Lannuier often incorporated decorative elements taken from the architecture and furnishings of ancient Greece and Rome.
The tables are remarkable not only for their exquisite beauty but also because they are signed and dated masterpieces descended in the family of the original owner, Stephen Van Rensselaer IV of Albany
At the close of the 18th century, western culture faced enormous change as the Industrial revolution, giving power to those capitalizing on manufacturing. Industrialization brought wealth to entrepreneurs who earned profits off mechanization and distribution of consumer products.
The Industrial Revolution
Industrialization also brought new employment opportunities to educated middle class workers. These white collar, middle class managers sought a better standards of living for their families.
Houses built in the city or near factories replaced country villas, offering middle class families comfortable homes appropriately scaled to fit on narrow plots of land. Because of industrialization, lower cost machine-made goods had appeared to these new white collar working class people who wanted nice things for their homes.
In America, Andrew Jackson Downing published two books; Victorian cottage residences and he architecture of country houses. His books were instrumental in establishing the Gothic Revival Style in America.
Downing's books featured small cottages designed for the middle class in a style known as Carpenter Gothic. The houses were made from wood and were decorated with intricate millwork designs, charmingly called gingerbread.
Queen Anne Style
turret - is small tower that projects vertically from the wall of building such as a medieval castle
These queen Anne designs emulated the fancy millwork seen on carpenter Gothic houses on the waves, porch, and door frames. in fairy talelike fashion, these homes sported at least one large turret (a throwback to medieval castle).
The quaint designs of Downing's cottages inspired the later Queen Anne homes of the american Victorian period
The fancy exterior millwork on queen Anne style houses was repeated in the interior hallways, stairwells, and door casements.
The Victorian interior was filled with superfluous ornament - floral patterns created a sense of excitement with dark and dramatic architectural interiors.
Victorian period interior design took advantage of the abundance of household furnishings available at affordable prices because mechanization kept the cost low.
Queen Anne Chair
Paint combinations pushed the visual senses with their bright and contrasting colors accentuating millwork details.
Knickknacks - small decorative objects collected for their aesthetic value porcelain bouquets, ceramic birds, small animals
Ebeniste - The French term for a cabinetmaker
Cabriole leg was again introduced in Queen Anne style
Serpentine curve on back rest
Upholstery was rich with floral patterns
Rocaille gilt mirror
Objects and ornaments of little value