Important Attributes To Understand When Shopping For Antique French Furniture

Posted on: 23 December 2019

Whether you are picking up a few statement pieces to add to your home or you are an avid collector, French antique furniture is truly something impressive to have. Take a look at some of the important attributes to understand while shopping for French furniture. 

Understand Time Period Designations

Time-period designations are not always as clear-cut as just stating the year or century something was made. Instead, many antique furniture distributors refer to a piece according to who the ruler was during certain periods. For example, pieces made between 1715 and 1774 are often designated as Louis XV pieces. The same kind of attribution is also done with antique furniture from other countries, but it is not as common. The more you understand about the time period designations, the easier it becomes to track down pieces that you really like. You will know things like: 

  • What names are given in reference to certain time periods
  • What types of furniture are associated with certain French ruler names 
  • How old pieces are according to their designation 

Understand Style Detail Terminology 

Style terminology is always important when you are shopping for antique furniture, but it is even more important if you are shopping for French pieces. The French were notorious for making these incredibly intricate pieces that boasted so many different style nuances according to the craftsman that designed and built the piece or the individual who commissioned a piece to be made. The more you understand terms like gilded, marquetry, and friezes, the easier it is to narrow down searches for certain furniture pieces with specific style elements and details. 

Understand What Furniture Pieces Are Called 

Even though you may know a display shelf in America as a curio cabinet, in France, the piece may be called something like a vitrine. This is just one example of how what pieces are called can get a little confusing when you are shopping for French antique furniture pieces. It helps to do a little guided research on the typical names of the French furniture pieces you are searching for so you know what to ask for when you visit an antique shop or search online. 

With an understanding of these things, you can easily go shopping for something like an antique French Louis XV vitrine cabinet with lavish friezes on the front, and you will have no problem asking the right questions. Reach out to an antique furniture store for more guidance.