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Empire Polychrome Decorated & Parcel-Gilt Iron Day Bed

A fine Empire polychrome decorated and parcel-gilt iron day bed the front cast with descending swans’ heads and cornucopia legs ending in paw feet. Together with a later corona similarly decorated. Circa 1825. 41-1/2″ high, 83″ wide’, 40″ deep.

The Empire style was popular in France during the first half of the 19th century, characterized by its opulence and grandeur, often used classical motifs and themes. A polychrome decorated and parcel-gilt iron day bed from this period would have been a highly luxurious piece of furniture, likely used for lounging and entertaining.

Polychrome decoration refers to the use of multiple colors in the design, while parcel-gilt refers to the technique of applying gold leaf to only certain parts of the object. The combination of both techniques on an iron day bed would have created a striking visual effect, with the intricate and detailed design of the bed highlighted by the gold accents.

The use of iron in furniture making was also popular during the Empire period, as it was seen as a strong and durable material that could support the weight of the elaborate decorations. The day bed has been intricately designed with a curved or scrolled shape, and elaborate motifs, typical of the Empire style.

An Empire day bed would have been a symbol of wealth and luxury during the early 19th century in France, and would likely have been found in the homes of the wealthy and aristocratic classes. Today, such a piece would is considered a valuable antique and a rare example of the opulence and craftsmanship of the Empire period.