Pair of white painted beechwood armchairs in the neoclassical style, each with a rectangular padded back within a frame of carved lotus, or leaf-tip, molding with beaded toprail, which extends along the curved armrest to the padding, below the padding the scrolled handhold is decorated with a carved overlapping lozenge pattern, similar to coin molding, which extends down to the front chair rail, terminating in a stylized acanthus leaf, the bowed front rail and side rails likewise decorated in the same lozenge pattern, the legs in the shape of tapered, fluted columns headed by patera; the back is undecorated; the celery-green silk upholstery and cushion are modern.

Pair of Armchairs (Fauteuils à la reine)

Georges Jacob

About 1780-85

The craft of furniture making flourished in eighteenth-century France as new types of furniture came into use and changing styles required the constant refurbishing of grand interiors. During this period, chairs played an important role in the strict hierarchy that defined French society, and the armchair was reserved for the most important of persons.


This pair of chairs was made during the reign of Louis XVI in the Neoclassical style, which began as a reaction to the excessive and elaborate designs popular under previous monarchs. In contrast to the Régence and Rococo styles, the Neoclassical style is defined by more simplified, architectonic forms and decoration that consists of delicate elements adapted from those found in the ancient world. While many chairs during the period were gilded, this pair retains its original painted finish, indicating that it was probably made for a bedroom or other private space.