Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Meubles en Fer

So it's raining. We can still dream of the play of light and shadow filtering through the trees and enjoying new blooms while being comfortably settled into furniture that suits our little corner of Paradise. After all, it might be sunny tomorrow and well, we can imagine what we want in daydreams. These pictures come from an article in Plaisir de France from 1935 that speaks of "the importance of furniture in the decor of our gardens," or says it would have given that title to the article if it hadn't seemed too pedantic! In fact, metal outdoor furniture goes back to
Francois I in France when the influence of Italy for gardens and the mediteranian way of life was strong.

The oldest piece in the Edouard Montgommery collection: a Louis XIII folding armchair with woven hemp elements. Though this piece is rigid looking, in keeping with the rectilinear shapes of the time -- the natural possibilities of metal work often lead to elongated curves as in the small table above.

With Le Notre under Louis XIV, gardens à la francaise become a high art form and metal furniture styles are further developed. Germany, Poland, and Russia also start a vogue for garden fashion, but it is principally in the south of France that this craft industry develops. It continues today with companies like Hervé Baume.




This bench and chair from 1880 belonged to a Mme Tréfusis. Together they make the perfect setting for a family group photograph with the men in straw canotiers and tennis skirted women.

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