Dear Diva Readers,
top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 70px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>One of the reasons I often take VIP clients on multi-day or week-long tours to the Loire Valley is that it is an excellent way to learn about French furniture in real life. These photos from a recent trip to Chateau de Chambord show some classic French pieces.
Bidet – this bidet is a good example of types of furniture for the express purpose of “hygiene” created during the reign of Louis XV. It was usually accompanied by a “chaise percee” which had a seat that would lift inside of which stored perfumes and sponges.
Lit a la Polanaise -this draped and curtained bed is named after the Polish Princess Marie Leezuiska the bride of Louis XV. Her father was given the Chateau de Chambord as a present from the king but it was so cold and mosquito infested that he happily gave it back to the king, preferring not to live in this palace!
Table a Jeu – the game table was a key piece during the reign of Louis XVI as it embodied the carefree lifestyle associated with playing cards and being entertained
Secretaire a Pente – originally created during the reign of Louis XV this particular piece with floral marqueterie is in the style of his grandson Louis XVI. In English we would simply call this a “writing desk” as the purpose of his desk was to sit and write letters.
Table Desserte – in the Louis’ day this dessert table would have been piled high with accompaniments and a buffet of treats. This particular piece is exceptionally rare as it is original to the chateau and stands today where it stood in the past! During the revolution all the furniture in the chateau was sold and it is one of the few pieces the government was able to buy back after the Revolution to return to its rightful place in the palace.
Chiffonier – this “dresser” traditionally has 6 drawers each to hold different articles for different days of the week! This particular piece is marquetry and in the style of Louis XV.
Coiffeuse – this dressing table is for young ladies to do their hair and make up. The top folds up to conceal a mirror inside!
While you can’t shop at the Chateau de Chambord (save for the gift shop) it is a brilliant place to see and study antiques! I always encourage clients to spend time in museums – or better yet castles and grand houses – as it educates their eye! It’s sort of like how a wine tasting educates your palette.
On that note, sante!
The Antiques Diva ®
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