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French Country & Provincial Furniture

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The heritage of French country furniture spans a lengthy timespan, roughly from 1650 to 1900, although of course reproductions continue to be made in modern times. French provincial furniture began to be made in large amounts in the 18th century and continued to be widely produced throughout rural areas of France during the 19th century above all in the provinces of Normandy (known for its carved furniture), and also Bordeaux and the Loire Valley.

Characteristics of French Country Design

What is conjured up in most minds by the name of Provence style furniture and French country decor is large, waxed farmhouse tables, rustic armoires and buffets, simple design ladderback chairs with rush seats, wrought iron lamps, and iron day beds.

Country French Furniture
Country French Furniture.

Much country French furniture was made in imitation of currently popular items in the fashionable centres of Paris and Lyon especially during the time of of the three Louis', Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI. While the more ornate city furniture was usually highly polished and made of exotic timbers such as mahogany or rosewood, provincial furniture was produced by cabinet makers from local timbers such as oak, beech and walnut and the fruit tree woods.

Country French Home
Country French Home.

Indeed French country antiques derive much of their charm and appeal from the rough and natural tone of their wood.

Antique Country Furniture

When shopping around for antique provincial furniture from France it is well to be aware that such items as French provincial chairs, in particular, generally are without the normal kind of structural reinforcement and are therefore fairly fragile. Other pieces however such as tables and sideboards were made solider stuff.

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