Louis XV Style Furniture (1730-1760)
Considered to be the most magnificent of all periods for French furniture, this was a period of constant creativity, and was influenced by the French royal mistresses: Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry. Grand entrances and sweeping open spaces were replaced by smaller more detailed oriented rooms, and were furnished with an eye to elegance, refinement, comfort and peacefulness. Furniture became functional and easily transportable without losing any of its grandeur. Foreign furniture stylists came to Paris, France to work at the Court: Bernard van Risen Burgh whose stamp was B.V.R.B. and Vandercruse known as Lacroix whose stamp was P.V.L.C. to name just a few.
It was a time when new pieces appeared to cater to daily use: chiffoniers, writing desks, card tables and roll-top desks. Ladies' furniture that was new included: dressing tables, chairs with short armrests, desks and even escritoires was designed. Armchairs, chairs, setees and daybeds started to appear. Cabriolet and bergere armchairs were also popularized. Dining tables, round or oval were always covered with a floor length tablecloth and marquetry and lacquer tables were all the rage, bu but always practical and beautiful.
Various ornamentation types included curved lines, exotic themes, flora and fauna combined with chinoiserie and female faces, flowers, and forms suggestive of rocks and shells as shown in the Decorative Crafts Rivara Credenza. Doves and dolphins and other elegant animals were the animal motifs of choice. Floral bouquets and garlands, isolated in bunches of three, surrounded by delicate greenery were common. Louis XV style delighted in asymmetry. Oriental themes invaded decoration: sultans, pashas, dervishes and monkeys moving gracefully through imaginary landscapes. Considerable bronze ornamentation was an essential part of some items and of course flower marquetry was also seen.