An elegant Empire Mahogany Armchair with cream upholstery, featuring smooth curved arms and a slightly reclined backrest, set against a plain dark background.

Early 19th Century French Empire Mahogany Fauteuil

This early 19th-century French Empire mahogany fauteuil is a quintessential example of the grandeur and elegance of the Empire style, reflecting the period’s neoclassical influences and superior craftsmanship.

Design and Characteristics

  1. Coved Square Backs: The fauteuil features coved square backs, providing a robust yet elegant structure that complements the overall design. This style of backrest is both comfortable and visually imposing, fitting the grand aesthetics of the Empire period.
  2. Scroll Arms: The scroll arms are enriched with carved stylised acanthus leaves and anthemia (honeysuckle motifs), which are hallmark decorations of the Empire style. These classical elements draw inspiration from ancient Greek and Roman art, symbolising growth, eternity, and beauty.
  3. Legs: The chair stands on scroll legs at the front, which add a dynamic and decorative element, while the sabre legs at the back provide stability and a sleek, curved profile. This combination of leg styles enhances both the aesthetic and functional aspects of the fauteuil.
  4. Mahogany Wood: The use of mahogany, known for its rich colour and fine figure, reflects the luxurious materials favoured during the Empire period. The quality of the wood used in this piece highlights the attention to detail and the high standards of craftsmanship.

Historical Context and Usage

The Empire style, named after the First French Empire under Napoleon Bonaparte, was prominent in the early 19th century. This style was characterised by its grandeur, symmetry, and use of classical motifs, all intended to convey the power and stability of Napoleon’s regime.

  • Classical Inspiration: The use of classical elements such as acanthus leaves and anthemia in the fauteuil’s design was intended to evoke the splendour of ancient civilisations. This association with classical antiquity was meant to legitimise and glorify the Napoleonic rule by drawing parallels with the powerful empires of the past.
  • Luxurious Materials: The preference for high-quality materials like mahogany in Empire furniture underscored the wealth and sophistication of its owners. The rich color and fine grain of mahogany made it a popular choice for creating elegant and durable furniture pieces.
  • Functional and Aesthetic Appeal: Empire furniture was designed to be both functional and decorative. The robust construction ensured durability, while the intricate carvings and use of luxurious materials provided an aesthetic that was both imposing and refined.

Example from Nicholas Wells Antiques

Nicholas Wells Antiques offers a selection of Empire-style furniture, including pieces similar to this mahogany fauteuil. Their collection showcases the elegance and historical significance of the Empire period, with items that reflect the neoclassical influences and superior craftsmanship of the time.

For more information and to view specific items, you can explore their collection on 1 (3)​​ (2)​​ 

Nicholas Wells Antiques advisors are available to answer all your questions. 

Please email us or call +44 (0)207 6920 897
An elegant Empire Mahogany Armchair with cream upholstery, featuring smooth curved arms and a slightly reclined backrest, set against a plain dark background.

Empire Mahogany Armchair

Stock Number: 4050

A French Early 19th century Empire Mahogany Fauteuil having coved square backs with scroll arms enriched with carved stylised acanthus and anthemia. The whole standing on scroll legs at the front and sabre legs at the back. Throughout the mahogany is of good colour and figure.
  • Height: 93 cm (36.6 inches)
  • Width: 55 cm (21.6 inches)
  • Depth: 47 cm (21.5 inches)


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Telephone: +44 (0) 207 6920 897

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Approximate Dimensions

  • Height: 93 cm (36.6 inches)
  • Width: 55 cm (21.6 inches)
  • Depth: 47 cm (21.5 inches)


Period & Circa Date:


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In the UK Online sales of this kind are known as ‘distance selling’. We offer a refund to customers if you’ve told us within 3 days of receiving the goods that you want to cancel. You have another 14 days to return the goods once you’ve told us of your intention. A refund will be issued within 14 days of receiving the goods back in the same condition. Return shipping should be the same level as received with insurance, we recommend using the same shipper at your cost. If needed we will help organise suitable shipping.

We will refund the purchase price, excluding delivery costs and taxes, within 14 days of the safe receipt of items in the same condition as supplied. The liability for any damage incurred during transit will remain with the sender. We recommend that adequate insurance is placed on items when returning them to us.

All returns must be communicated prior to an item being sent back.

We extend these Return terms to our international clients.

Delivery Options

We will ship worldwide however the costs vary between countries so please email us for a quote. Depending on the item we will recommend the most suitable method.

Our preferred international shipping methods include fine art shippers Gander and White, Art Logistics, Cadogan Tate for items over £5,000. For Fedex, DHL or UPS shipments we expertly pack in-house in wooden crates or heavy duty cardboard – Suitable for most items under £5000. If you have your own shippers we are very happy to coordinate with them.


All items are sent fully insured at the invoice value.


All items are inclusive of all local taxes but may be subject to additional charges for importation and taxes local to the client. Antiques are zero-rated to the USA, all items ship with the correct paperwork. While we are not liable for these additional charges we do encourage clients to research these prior to purchasing items from us. We will make a full value disclosure, as required by the insurance, on all items sent overseas. This is required to ensure proper insurance cover in sending valuable items.


Where required we will oversee the completion of all export licenses for high-value items. We will also arrange for CITES paperwork for materials of endangered species including ivory, tortoiseshell, stuffed birds etc.


This is dependent on the size and value of the object, all items are checked over and polished before shipping and will generally have wooden crates made. This all takes time so expect 10 – 20 working days for delivery unless the item is small in which case 2-3 days from order.


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