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Revival Furniture Styles Popular in the Victorian Era


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Egyptian Revival Style, 1800-1820
Gondola chair belonging to Empress Josephine of France

Gondola chair belonging to Empress Josephine of France, attributed to Jacob Frères, painted and bronzed wood, red velvet upholstery, ca. 1802-03

© Musée national des Châteaux de Malmaison et Bois Préau

Antiquity was already a popular influence in furniture around the turn of the 19th century. But Napoleon Bonaparte's conquests in Egypt sparked a mania for motifs and silhouettes that specifically reflected the civilization of the Nile: pharaohs, barges, sphinxes. Egyptiennerie, as the French called it, is a component of the overall Empire style (named for Emperor Napoleon's reign).

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