The day bed or chaise longue had been a fashionable piece of furniture in wealthy English households since the restoration of Charles II to the throne in 1660. Originally it took the form of an elongated chair supported by six or eight legs on which women could rest during the day without having to retire to their bedrooms which could be some distance from the family sitting rooms.
The term ‘chaise longue’ came into fashion during the 18th century and was illustrated by Chippendale in his 1762 Director. However it was the Victorian taste for the 18th century French Rococo that created the typical 19th century chaise longue which was a combination of the earlier English day bed and a French Rococo sofa. The French sofa had come about by joining together two low armchairs with a stool placed in between.
English Regency chaises at the beginning of the 19th century were typically double ended and reflected this French construction. However the later Victorian chaises tended to be single ended but with the heavy scrollwork and accentuated cabriole legs so reminiscent of the French rococo style. These elaborate chaises were made of walnut which also reflected the French taste, often part upholstered in velvet and deep buttoned. The chaise continued to be commercially manufactured well into the Edwardian period although styling became simpler, after which the three piece suite began to take prominence in the smaller homes of the growing urban classes.
Anyone looking for chaises, bookcases, tables and antique dining chairs in Lancashire , Cumbria or the surrounding areas should see a reputable antiques dealer for advice.
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