French Regency or Regence Furniture
1715 - 1723
The Regence, or French Regency, period refers to the time after the demise of Louis XIV when France was ruled by Philippe, the Duke of Orleans, during Louis XV's minority.
Regence furniture represents another phase of the wider and preceding Baroque furniture of Louis XIV. Its main distinguishing characteristic is seen in the work of Juste Aurele Meissonnier, in whose published designs we see a very asymmetrical, organic style using natural motifs, these forms becoming popularised and used and by other furniture makers as well as metalsmiths, and other craftsmen.
Regence Furniture & Interior.
It was in fact in the work of metalworkers such as goldsmiths and bronzesmiths where we see the best expression of Regence furniture design. Gilt mounts composed of assymetrical scrolls, shell designs, and floral motifs predominate. By asymetrical, to spell it out, is meant that the ornamentation on either side of a piece of furniture did not match exactly, and this rather sinous, curvy, style is the forerunner to the later Rococo of Louis XV furniture.
Regence furniture is a particular favourite of antique dealers and collectors.