When we think of the bergère chair, what comes to mind could be something highly stylised from the Art Décor period like the upholstered tub bergère for example. In fact, not many people were adventurous or rich enough during this period to buy the new angular style of this classic and many stuck with the more traditional designs of bergère chair.
It was the lightness and style which made the bergère chair so popular. A typical bergère chair had the sides and back filled with woven cane and generally maintained their simple almost tub like lines with period modifications right through from their mid 18th century Louis XV origins in France to the 1930s and beyond.
Both Chippendale and Sheraton modified the French original design and upholstered or caned, they could be made in mahogany or walnut. Legs at this point were exposed and woods could be japanned or painted in dark lacquers and the upholstery made of silk, leather or damask. During the Regency period, styles could be very ornate indeed mimicking ancient Greece and Rome with often ebonised frames, gilded inlay, lion masks and paw feet. The revivals of the Victorian period primarily looked back to the original French examples, but fundamental shape remained the same. Even Arts and Crafts furniture designers such as William Morris produced simple square backed examples of this chair.
The tub bergère was distinctive due to its often severe uncluttered design and unbroken sweeping curve from back round to the arms, and was often well sprung and upholstered in sumptuous materials. These 1930s Deco examples rarely had legs, only short and broad feet.
Fine examples of antique bergère chairs can be found throughout Cumbria, Lancashire and London antique dealerships.
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