Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chair #251

—Designed by Ed Hardy

This Rococo armchair, circa early 1700s, is made of giltwood and upholstered with a chenille seat and back. Love the claw and ball feet.

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The ball and claw foot was developed in Holland around the very early 1700s. The inspiration came from a Chinese motif of a dragon clutching a pearl. The design evolved into a claw clutching a ball, which made its way from Holland to England and from there to America, all within the first part of the eighteenth century. There are two variations: a lion’s claw, which is more popular in England, and an eagle’s claw, which is more popular in America. You’ll find examples of ball and claw in Chippendale and Queen Anne furniture, and later work in the traditional style that takes its inspiration from that period.

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The word Rococo is a combination of the French rocaille, or stone garden (referring to arranging stones in natural forms like shells), and the Italian barocco, or Baroque style. Due to Rococo love of shell-like curves and focus on decorative arts, some critics used the term to derogatively imply that the style was frivolous or merely modish; when the term was first used in English in about 1836, it was a colloquialism meaning "old-fashioned". However, since the mid 19th century, the term has been accepted by art historians. While there is still some debate about the historical significance of the style to art in general, Rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in the development of European art. —From Wikipedia

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