Antique Bergere Chairs
Antique Bergere Chairs are original upholstered chairs with enclosed armrests and backs.
History & Description
The frame of Bergere Chair seats is also upholstered but the rest of the wooden framing is typically left exposed and may be decoratively moulded or carved. The frame is constructed from either painted or gilded beech or mahogany, walnut or fruitwood finished in wax.
Bergère chairs first appeared during the Régence in Paris, circa 1715 to 1723. The profile of the chair did not achieve full development until the Rococo period and it was later remodelled to reflect the subsequent Louis XVI, Directoire and American and French Empire Styles.
The name bergère was coined in mid-eighteenth century Paris and translates to “shepherdess chair”. Its design was a gradual evolution from late-seventeenth century chair design, such as the wing chair.
Guide for collectors
Instances of antique bergère chairs sold at national auction houses are quite common. However, as a general rule, the most important examples are sold through international auctioneers, such as Christie’s.
Collectors should look out for bergère chairs designed by notable furniture designers, such as Georges Jacob (1739-1814) and Paul Ibre (1883-1935).
Notable auction sales
On April 29th 2000 at Christie’s in Monaco, a set of Louis XVI mahogany mobilier del salon, consisting of a bergère, two fauteuils and four chairs, made by Georges Jacob, realised a price of F2,237,500 ($400,483).
On November 27th 2007 at Christie’s in Paris, a carved ebony, partially silver patinated and upholstered bergère chair, made by Paul Ibre, circa 1912, realised a price of €168,250.
On April 24th 2008 at Christie’s in London, a regency mahogany bergère chair, attributed to Marsh & Tatham, circa early-nineteenth century, realised a price of £90,500.
On April 16th 2012 at Christie’s in Paris, a Royal Louis XVI bergère from the Chateau de Compiegne, circa late-eighteenth century, realised a price of €109,000.