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The Rustic Chic Napoleon III Armchair

I have always found this armchair, named for Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, also known as Napoleon III, to be especially attractive.  As a genre Napoleon III furniture is pretty much a dog’s breakfast of various styles culled from a myriad of periods.  But there is something about this chair that I have always really liked.  Perhaps it’s the combination of simple upholstery with those black turned legs, often on casters, that’s so appealing.  This type of armchair fits easily into any rustic chic environment and is comfortably at home in dressed up or more casual interiors.

The reproduction Napoleon III chair shown above, from Suzanne Allen (www.suzanneallen.com,) takes a very historic approach with tufting and nailheads but the striped fabric keeps the chair snappy and young.  The blue stried velvet antique armchair shown below is from 145 Antiques (www.145antiques.com), a wonderful shop in New York.  145 has long had an excellent selection of this type of Napoleon III armchair as well as some really wonderful chaise longue versions.

For more on Napoleon III (Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte), take a look at www.wikipedia.com.

New York designer Sheila Bridges (www.sheilabridges.com) often uses the Napoleon III armchair in her interiors.

A grand portrait of Napoleon III by Franz Xavier Winterhalter

Top image from www.suzanneallen.com.  Blue chair images from www.145antiques.com.  Interior photograph from www.sheilabridges.com.  Portrait by Winterhalter from Wikipedia.


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