During the 17th and 18th centuries in France, furniture created for French royalty was intricate and ornate, with wooden pieces often highly carved and even gilded. Of course the Parisian court society set the fashion for the rest of the country, which adapted the highly ornamental furniture style to better suit life in the more practical provinces.
Palace furniture was carved from exotic imported woods, but French provincial pieces were crafted from the wood of trees that were indigenous to the region in which they were made. Apple, cherry, elm, pear and walnut were the most common woods, although mahogany was also used occasionally. There is little veneer or inlay work in the French provincial style; usually the furniture is made of solid wood.
The carving on provincial pieces may not have been as intricate as that on the furniture found in Versailles, but it was every bit as symbolic to its users. French provincial decorative motifs were more relative to the country life: wheat sheaves, cornucopias and grapes symbolized abundance, shells fertility, and doves or hearts signified love. Pieces carved with fruit or flowers represented heavenly grace.
French aristocrats followed fashion in furnishings as in most other things, and most could afford to replace delicate pieces; furniture was often highly polished, painted or gilded, and made from thinner wood to give it a more graceful silhouette. Provincial furniture was also decorative, but its owners were primarily concerned with its practicality. It is made of thicker wood with lower-maintenance finishes such as hand-rubbed beeswax or simple clear shellac.
French Provincial Furniture- Armchairs
French Provincial Furniture- Dining Room Series
French Provincial Furniture- Living Room Series
French Provincial Furniture- Bedroom Series
Article Resource: http://www.fp-furniture.com/
Picture Resource: Above products are all produced by Filiphs Palladio Furnishings