I just added to My Faux French Chateau store a beautifully carved, early 20th Century French Bergère chair! I purchased this chair at auction and was drawn to the beautiful, ornate floral carving on the exposed wood.
You may wonder exactly what a bergère is (pronounced "burr jair.") This fanciful name means "shepherdess chair" and was coined in mid-eighteenth century Paris.
Very simply, a bergère chair is an upholstered French armchair. Bergere chairs have upholstered backs, armrests and frames with part of the wood frame exposed and typically decoratively carved. The bergère has a long and wide seat cushion made for comfort and lounging. These early French chairs were made of walnut and beech but some were also made of a fruit wood or mahogany. The exposed wood on the chairs was either painted to match the wall panelling in the room in which they were to be used (beech wood was typically used if the chair was going to be painted) or left in the natural wood color, in which case walnut would be used.
If I were to keep this bergère , I'd probably eventually reupholster it in a light taupe or white French linen. Take a look at a very similar chair that I love in the Veranda Magazine photo below! This chair (front right) is a Louis XVI bergère upholstered in French linen.
Or, if I really felt inspired, I could paint the exposed wood on this bergère with my favorite French Bleu chalk paint and then reupholster it! (Painting this piece would be a tough decision though since this is an antique and not a reproduction.)
Take a look below at the wonderful painted bergère pictured on the beautiful French blog "Trouvais."
Or, I could keep it in the lovely fabric it is dressed in already! However, wherever it is used - this is a beautiful bergère chair and will make a wonderful addition to any room!
Au revoir, Mitty