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Antique Chair, Sofa & Daybed Styles

Illustrated examples to help you identify your antique chairs, sofas and daybeds

Bergère
The word may be foreign, but the bergère is one of the most familiar of chairs. Learn what a bergère is and how it developed. This glossary-style article defines and describes the bergère, indicating the furniture styles it represents and how it differs from other chairs.

Boudeuse Sofa
Meet the Boudeuse, sort of an anti-loveseat. This glossary-style article explains what a boudeuse is in the realm of Second Empire furniture.

Camel-back Sofa
Learn about the famous designer is associated with this style of antique sofa.

Canapé à Confidante
It sounds like something to eat, but a canapé à confidante is actually something to sit on. This glossary-style article defines a unique three-seater sofa called the canapé à confidante.

Canapé de l’Amitié Settee
The canapé de l’amitié is another one of those novelty couches so beloved in the 19th century. This glossary-style article explains and shows what a canapé de l’amitié is and how it reflects its era.

Chair Styles - Know Your Antique Chair Styles
A round-up of antique chair styles. Here's a listing of various types of antique chairs, with links to more detailed articles on each one. This list of antique chairs also contains links to more general antique-style articles.

Chaise Longue
Take a long look at the chaise longue, a combination chair and sofa. This glossary-style article describes the chaise longue, traces its origins and gives several examples of this combo sofa and chair. Developed in the early 1700s, the chaise longue remains a popular and comfy piece of furniture today.

Chesterfield Sofa
You've probably reclined in a Chesterfield sofa without knowing it. Learn all about the Chesterfield sofa, that bastion of men's clubs. This glossary-style article describes the Chesterfield sofa.

Corner chair
You won't mind being backed into a corner if you know what a corner chair is. Learn how to identify a corner chair, also called a roundabout chair. This glossary-style article defines and describes the corner chair, when it developed and what it looks like.

Couch, Sofa and Settee Styles
Whether used for lying down or sitting upright, the couch -- and its cousins, the sofa, the settee and the daybed -- has a long history, going back to classical Greek and Roman times. Here is a list of some common types that antique furniture fans are likely to encounter.

Curule
Here's a handy curule of thumb for identifying an ancient Roman furniture form that remains popular today. This article defines a curule chair, explains its origins and describes when the style flourished in antique furniture.

Daybeds - American and European Examples
Stretch out through three centuries worth of antique European and American daybeds, ancestors of our contemporary recliners.

Fancy chair
Learn the plain facts about the fancy chair. This glossary-style article describes a fancy chair and offers photos of different styles. Article explains the origins and definition of the fancy chair, along with other name for it and what style of furniture it belongs to.

Fauteuil
In the antique furniture world, a fauteuil refers to a specific type of chair. This glossary-style article defines a fauteuil, explains its origins and appearance, and depicts several types of the chair.

Gondola Chair
Let your furniture knowledge set sail by learning about the gondola chair. This succinct glossary-style article defines the gondola chair, giving several illustrated examples of this popular turn-of-the-19th-century style.

Hitchcock Chair
Unravel the mystery of the Hitchcock chair, America's first factory-produced chair. This article traces the history of the Hitchcock chair, a popular painted and stenciled chair of the early 19th century. Learn who invented the Hitchcock chair, how and where it was made, its characteristics and how to authenticate an original.

Hunzinger Lollipop Rocker
This unique rocking chair gets its name from the style of its carving. See an example here.

Indiscret Sofa
If you ever want a three-way -- conversation, that is -- the indiscret is perfect for you. There's nothing indiscreet about discussing the indiscret, a Victorian piece of furniture built for three. This glossary-style article describes the indiscret, giving several examples of this elaborate piece of mid-19th century furniture.

Klismos chair
Would you recognize a klismos chair? Learn what a klismos is and what it looks like. This glossary-style article defines the klismos, an ancient Greek chair revived in 18th-century Europe.

Ladder-back chair
Get a ladder up on recognizing antique chairs by learning what a ladder-back chair is. This glossary-style article describes and depicts the ladder-back chair, or slat-back chair. A mainstay of country furniture, the ladder-back chair has been around for centuries. The slat- or ladder-back chair was favored by Shaker craftsmen.

Loveseats: Furniture for Two
All about loveseats, including couches, chairs and sofas built for two.

Morris chair
Meet the Morris chair, the ancestral relative of recliners. This article defines and illustrates the Morris chair. Morris chairs were a quintessential piece of Arts and Crafts furniture. Learn what a Morris chair looked like and which famous furniture designers are associated with it.

Ribbon-back chair
Don't get tied in knots trying to identify a ribbon-back chair. This illustrated article defines and describes the ribbon- (or ribband-) chair. Learn about two types of ribbon-back chairs, and which famous furniture-maker is associated with the style. The ribbon-back chair is often associated with Thomas Chippendale.

Settee
Get set to learn what a settee is. Originating in the 1600s, the settee is still popular today. This illustrated article describes the settee, its history and how it differs from the settle (earlier) and the sofa (later).

Savonarola chair
Are you savvy enough to recognize a Savonarola chair? Do you know how a Savonarola chair differs from a curule? This glossary-style article defines a Savonarola chair, provides background and a photo. Learn the long, rich history of the Savonarola chair, also known as a Dante chair.

Settle - What is a Settle?
Don't settle for guesswork if you want to know what a settle is - just consult this brief article. This article defines and describes a settle, once a common piece of furniture, that is ancestor to modern sofas.

Shaker Chair
Learn about Shaker chairs beyond the ubiquitous ladder-back style through this illustrated article.

Soundalikes: Settle Vs. Settee
Though often used interchangeably – in fact, one looks like a misspelling of the other – settle and settee refer to two distinct types of antique seating. Learn the difference between a settle and a settee in this illustrated article that traces the history of two often confused, but distinct, types of furniture.

Slipper Chair
Slip into something comfortable when you slip into a slipper chair. This glossary-style article defines the slipper chair, gives several examples and names famous designers associated with it. Learn all about the slipper chair, an 18th-century invention that has endured.

Windsor Chair
Nothing says colonial America like the Windsor chair. Learn about the historic Windsor chair, how it was born in England but refined in the colonies. This illustrates traces the origins of the Windsor chair, defines and describes its characteristics, and distinguishes different varieties.

Windsor settee
Meet the Windsor settee, an elongated version of the Windsor chair. This article defines the Windsor settee.

wingback chair
Learn all about the features and history of the wingback chair, one of the 18th-century's most familiar pieces.

Writing-arm Chair
Works by Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain and countless schoolchildren have been produced on the writing-arm chair. This glossary-style article defines and traces the history of the writing-arm chair, with several illustrations.

Tête-a-tête Sofa
Let's put our heads together and learn about the tête-a-tête sofa. If furniture can be sexy, the tête-a-tête sofa is a piece of sexy furniture, designed for intimate conversations. This glossary-style article uses several illustrations to define and describe the tête-a-tête, a Victorian sofa.

chair-back settee
The Chair-Back Settee, as its name implies, is a sofa that looks like several chairs smashed together. This illustrated, glossary-style article defines the chair-back settee, a type of seat that flourished for two centuries.

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