Charles X style

Charles X style lasted from 1818 to 1834, partly during the reign of Charles X, comte d’Artois, during the Bourbon Restoration. One of the main features is the softening of shapes from the Empire style, as pieces of furniture were curvier. Dimensions were decreased so that pieces of furniture could fit smaller appartments. Comfort was one of the key-words in the making of furniture.
The use of bois clairs - light woods in warm blond tones such as bird's-eye maple – as well as marquetry and inlaid decorations made out of dark woods were fashionable as they suggested the monarchist splendour.
Charles X style, which took some features from the Empire style while differing from it, allowed a transition to Louis-Philippe style, as the abundant decorations broke definitively with the sobriety and Neoclassicism from the French Empire. For instance, the "style à la cathédrale" (cathedral-inspired style) started during Charles’s reign and thrived during Louis-Philippe’s.

Victorian Style

In the artistic field, the Victorian era was characterised by a veritable eclectism in terms of forms and sources of inspiration which were drawn in previous historical periods. This great diversity contrasted with the late century and stems from different social and economical factors related to the Industrial Revolution and to the rise of a new bourgeoisie. Close to the Napoleon III style which developed in France during the same period, it is a composite style, a symbol of luxury and greatness distinguishable by its richness, its variety and its diversity. Traditions of the past mix with current trends such as Romanticism, the Oriental taste or the Aesthetic Movement which preached Art for Art's Sake, celebrated the cult of beauty and impregnated all the artistic fields. A supreme symbol of luxury and elegance, the French taste had also known a great success between 1835 and 1880.
The Victorian style was marked, towards the en of the 19th century, by two new styles : the Arts and Crafts Movement and the Liberty and Co Style. The former developed in Great Britain and then spread accross Europe, in America and in Japan. The artists participated in this trend by advocating the craftman’s work, a simplier way of life and wanted to improve domestic design. The latter is inspired by Japan, China, Persia, India or Egypt. Its name comes from a very fashionable London store of the time. Anglo-Oriental artifacts were displayed along with items from current trends and then Art Nouveau


Directoire style

The Directoire style, which takes place from 1789 to 1804, is concurrent with the French Revolution, the Directory and the beginning of the Consulate. The period thus inherits a certain classicism, particularly through references to Antiquity both concerning the motifs and the rectilinear and geometric forms. The curule seats become for example a popular model.

The Revolution and the Le Chapelier Law cancel in 1791 the system of corporations releasing the artists of the restrictions on their area of performance. Jacob Frères, famous cabinetmakers of the time, are an example of this new freedom as in their Salon of Madame Recamier, surely the most known furniture of the Directoire style.

However, the period will not be at the origin of a real new creation. The Directoire style corresponds to the transition from the Louis XVI style to the Empire style: if it retains the rigor of the first, it announces some decorative themes of the second, especially after the coup of 18 Brumaire which brings the military and imperial motives.


Linked to the current political events with the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the colonization, Orientalism grows during the 19th century and is characterized by an important occidental interest for foreign lands.

First very present in literature and painting, Orientalism, thanks to the World's fairs, soon inspires architecture and decorative arts, and gives a certain forms and patterns renewal to ceramists and glassmakers in particular, such as Theodore Deck and Philippe-Joseph Brocard. The Barbedienne and Christofle houses will be the Parisian paragons of this dreamed East.

With the rediscovery of quarries in Algeria, onyx also becomes a privileged material, which Charles Cordier, especially, will exploit. Although decors are sometimes fantasized and create with multiple inspirations, the artists make a point of honor reproduce, even compete, with traditional techniques.