Recognising Louis XIII, XIV, XV styles


The Louis XIII style: turned wood

  • The chairs with armrests became padded armchairs with armrests that frequently had a lion’s or a ram’s head at the end.
  • The poly-lobed panels on the chests, armoires, cabinets and tall cupboards were, for the most part, carved in diamond shapes and sometimes in a chocolate bar design.
  • The chair and table legs and the armoire feet were twisted, beaded or baluster with an X shape crosspiece.
  • Freestanding or attached twisted columns began to flank the armoires and sideboards.

The Louis XIV style: emphasis on volume and moulding

  • Extra conspicuous mouldings on armoires, sideboards and chests of drawers, echoing the splendour of the Palace of Versailles, built in the reign of the Sun King.
  • Grand cornices with majestic mouldings and impressive proportions on armoires and “deux corps” sideboards.
  • Bun feet on armoires, sideboards and tables.
  • Scroll or curly bases on the flat-back, high-back armchairs.

The Louis XV style: a flowery note

  • The furniture was decorated with sculpted flowers, acanthus leaves, foliage, fruits and scallops, all inspired by the rococo style.
  • The straight stretchers between the legs became arched, finely sculpted into curves (top and front view) on most of the pieces.
  • Curved legs were invented for the chairs, armchairs, tables and chests of drawers.
  • Remarkable feats were accomplished by master cabinetmakers in their pursuit of the curve. There are some fine examples of bombé, arbalète or tombeau commodes.

Professional advice:

Be cautious: a piece of period furniture may well be a reproduction.

Example: a “Louis XV sideboard” is genuine, whereas a “Louis XV style sideboard” may be a reproduction. Be careful of the wording.

Rest assured: the Aux-Rois-Louis salesroom gallery guarantees thoroughly genuine Louis XIII, Louis XIV and Louis XV furniture.