Wednesday, 6 March 2013

French Beds

As an online boutique specialising in authentic French furniture we stock a wide range of original French beds. Since beginning to import vintage French furniture in 2011 we have learnt a great deal about these beautiful pieces, and what makes them special. We are passionate ambassadors for real French furniture (over cheaply made reproductions) and here we hope to share some of this passion and knowledge.

Accept no imitations, l'original est le meilleur!

Vintage French Demi Corbeille Bed

Different Types of French Vintage Beds

Demi Corbeille French Beds 

Probably the most recognisable style and the type most associated with French Furniture. Demi Corbeille beds are upholstered frames, with a flat headboard and rounded end. They tend to have decorative cabriole feet and often carved detailing on the headboard and base board frames.

Corbeille beds can be found in a wide diversity of fabrics and colours. Sadly many have been reupholstered over the years in modern fabrics which tend to ruin the antique appeal of these beautiful pieces. Beds with the original fabric can be shabby chic in style, but it's all a matter of taste. Areas of worn fabric, as long as it's clean, add to the charm.

Detail of Original Fabric on a Demi Corbeille Bed

 Rounded end of vintage cabriole bed

The frames also come in different finishes. Some are in the natural wood, others in a cream crackle glaze. 

All French beds come as an unassembled headboard, base board and 2 side bars. In France all beds are sold with the bases separate. This is a cultural difference that often trips up ex-pats when they first move to France and buy a new bed.

Unassembled Demi Corbeille Bed Frames

Detail from Natural Wood Frame

Detail from Cream Crackle Glaze Frame

Capitone French Beds

Capitone French beds are easy to confuse with Corbeilles. They also have upholstered frames with a variety of fabrics. The big difference is that the frame itself is not rounded. Both headboard and baseboard are flat.

Vintage Capitone bed upholstered in blue velour

Capitone bed upholstered in original floral fabric

Like Corbeille beds Capitone have cabriole feet but the frames tend to be simpler in style. They are less ornate and perhaps a little more elegant and understated.

Both Corbeille and Capitone beds are secured with internal bolt screws. This makes for a very sturdy frame which is very easy to assemble. 

Louis XVI French Beds 

These bed frames can be found upholstered and unupholstered. Frames are sometimes solid wood or ratten. What denotes them is the style of the feet and the distinctive shape of the frame. Frames can be either plain wood or painted like the frame pictured below.

Breton French Beds

Breton beds, as the name implies, hail from Brittany. These pieces tend to be very distinctive as they are usually made of heavy dark oak with lots of carved detailing. In keeping with the Breton style it's common to find images with a maritime theme, such are ships wheels, boats and waves, but it's also common to find floral decorations, such as bouquets of flowers and strings of delicate roses.

Detail from a Breton Bed Frame with a Floral Theme

Breton Bed Frame with a Maritime Theme

Breton beds were often made as wedding gifts and as such it's common to find bedroom sets which also include a matching armoire and pot cupboard. These beds are very romantic and look particularly beautiful painted, which helps to bring out the quality and depth of the carving.

Painted Breton French Bed

Detail from Painted Breon French Bed

Henri II French Beds

Henri II furniture dates from around 1860 to 1900. Beds from this era are usually wooden, made of oak or chestnut. The head and base boards tend to be beautifully ornate with finials and pretty carving.

Henri II Bed

In keeping with the Henri style bed frames are rectangular in composition, often quite solid and heavy with either large bun feet or turned feet.

Louis French Beds

The term 'Louis' is a fairly generic term for reproduction pieces in the style of furniture from the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI. Original Louis XV pieces date from around 1730 onwards, evolving into the Louis XVI style, beginning around 1760. These two styles of furniture have greatly influenced the modern conception of 'French furniture' and many mass produced beds are made in this generic 'Louis style'. The French also made reproduction pieces in the Louis style, but these tend to be of a higher quality and usually date from the early to mid 20th century. The style is romantic and very feminine. Notable features include curved lines, cabriole feet and decorative motifs dominated by shell designs, birds and floral carvings.

Painted Louis Style Bed

Who are we? 

Dazzle Vintage Furniture is an online boutique specialising in authentic French furniture, lighting and accessories. We stock vintage armoires, French buffets, French vintage beds, antique mirrors and chandeliers. All our French furniture and lighting is original, vintage and imported directly from France. 

To see the vintage French beds we currently have for sale visit our French Furniture For Sale page: