In America, the Gustavian chair was reintroduced as one of the mismatched chairs at the kitchen table of TV characters, Monica and Rachel on the popular sitcom Friends. The characteristically white, straight lined wooden chair was a mainstay on the set and with collectors of painted furniture too.
The whitewashed and light blue painted chairs are typical color combinations for the style of the late 19th Century chairs named for Sweden’s king. Traditionally, antique Swedish furniture from the Gustavian period demonstrates a dull matte finish, unlike the high sheen finishes found on most French and English antiques. Swedish painted pieces were commonly colored in grey, white, yellow ochre, and blue.
Traits of Gustavian Chairs
A good quality Gustavian chair has painted seats and a decorated back splat. The chair’s back splat is comprised of three simply designed pieces inserted into a square format crest rail and lumbar support bar. Most Gustavian chairs have a hard bottom seat and legs which end in a spade form. The white washed/blue palette with an overwhelming grey tint and simple, straightforward design elements is often referred to as Gustavian style furniture. This style relates to the popular style known to have been popular during the Gustavian period, circa late 18th/early 19th Century in Sweden.
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