I’ve searched for years for an antique Louis XV child’s chair, and I finally found one in the most unexpected place!
One of the things that I’ve had on my “wish list” for years is an antique gilt wood Louis XV child’s chair.
For the last ten years I have searched for this elusive piece of furniture, and while I have found other antique French children’s chairs, the Louis XV gilt wood armchair has always eluded me.
Periodically I would find them for sale at large auction houses but the prices were always astronomical, sometimes going for several thousand dollars. Even though I kept searching, I don’t think I really believed that I would ever find one, especially one that would fit my budget.
Sometimes, however, you will find just what you are looking for in the most unexpected places, at a time when you least expect it.
Facebook Marketplace is one of the many places where I do routine searches for antique French furniture.
Even though I routinely search FB Marketplace, I rarely find something that grabs my attention. However, last week while doing a quick search through the listings, I saw an ad that stopped me in my tracks.
The ad said, “Antique Chair $50”. That title normally wouldn’t have gotten my attention, however the picture attached to the listing showed a Louis XV style chair and it had a gilded wood frame which always makes my heart skip a beat!
I clicked over to read the description and there it was….”Beautiful kids chair for sale. Very heavy”.
I tried to contain my excitement, because after all, what are the odds that an authentic Louis XV child’s chair would be found on FB Marketplace for $50?!?
Thinking that perhaps it was just a small size adult chair, or even a small reproduction doll chair, I messaged the seller and asked for the measurements.
Thankfully, the seller got back to me immediately with the measurements. I compared those dimensions to another child’s chair that I have and got really excited when I realized that it actually was a diminutive French child’s chair!
The next morning, we traveled an hour and a half to pick it up, and to say that I was giddy with joy is an understatement!
I was so surprised to see that this sweet petite chair was in fabulous condition.
It’s a fauteuil style Louis XV chair. Fauteuil (fō′tĭl) means an upholstered armchair usually having sides that are open. It was made in France c. 1880.
The chair still retains the original gilt finish that reflects the passage of time and the use this chair once provided to the children of an affluent French family.
The beauty of this finish is impossible to replicate in a new chair because of the wonderfully random nature of the wear!
The chair has the beautiful flowing lines of the style that was immortalized under the reign of Louis XV (1723-1774) which happens to be my favorite of all of the Louis style chairs.
The back of the chair has such an elegant shape to it with a rounded top that’s embellished with carved flowers in the center.
The front of the seat is also adorned with the carved bouquet of flowers.
All four of the legs have the characteristic cabriole leg that you’ll see on all true Louis XV style furniture.
The upholstery is in a gorgeous cranberry damask that’s still in beautiful condition with only a tiny bit of staining.
I originally thought that I would reupholster it, but after bringing it home, I’ve decided that I love this color set against the shades of blue that I normally decorate with.
I’ve been adding more color this year to my decor and this little piece works perfectly.
The Louis XV period aligned with the Rococo period in European art and design, and this timeframe was one of extreme wealth.
During this period, children’s furniture was designed and made just as the “adult” size furniture was made, but in diminutive sizes. Only the affluent French families owned these sweet petite pieces.
I’m still amazed that I found this little French chair after almost a decade of looking for one. You just never know where you’ll find those special pieces.
I don’t believe that the woman I bought it from knew what a treasure she had. I don’t think she even knew it was French.
She had owned it for many years and used it as a prop to photograph her grandchildren. She told me that she had originally found at an estate of an Italian woman where the surviving family was literally giving the contents of the home away! Can you even imagine?
Miss RubyLou is trying to decide if she likes this child size Louis chair.
I’m not sure she’s crazy about it, but like the previous owner said, it makes a great photography prop!
Do you have a “wish list” for certain antique pieces? I would love to hear what’s on your list!