France has been a home to kings and aristocrats, at the same time middle class people like officials and peasants dwelled the country. That is why French furniture comprises both intricately patterned, sophisticated furniture and simple provincial furniture made for towns and cities.
The tradition of French royal furniture was initiated by Louis XIV of France, where favoured craftsmen would be eligible to design furniture for the premises. Silver furnishings and tapestries were made at Gobelins factory to serve as royal furniture as well as ambassadorial gifts. They have since then been a celebrated item of French furnishing.
Furniture associated with the times of Louis XIV, XV, XVI still survives to this day and is collected by auctioneers and collectors of history.
Carved furnishings, which included beds and all seat furniture, occupied the carvers and gilders until tortoiseshells and ivory were incorporated in the 17th century. This specialty than retained control over the furniture industry, often complemented by the bronze that decorated these pieces.
Curved vertical supports for pieces of furniture are a typical feature of French furniture, which originally began from China and Greece and later emerged in Europe and then France during the 18th Century. Carvings, especially wheat patterned carvings on dining chairs woven with rush, are most typical.
Only a little of French Gothic furniture has survived to this day and most of French furniture can be seen to have evolved from European styles.
Artistic and Technical Ability
French furniture displayed the highest level of artistic and technical ability. Furniture makers of the eighteenth century required almost six years of training before they could begin their own workshop. Admired and renowned internationally, it was used to adorn houses and places all over Europe.
Furniture making has become a designer industry in itself now and since the World War II ended, the making of furniture is France has been delegated to the industrial design world on an international ground.