Monday, August 22, 2011

Canapes',Sofa,Lounge,Divan,Tete-a-tete,Sociables,Settee or LOVE SEAT?



French Louis XV- Canapes'- from 1904  St.Louis Worlds Fair. Entrance Hall- first  floor


American Walnut -Rococo Revial  Love Seat. Purple guest room.
 The term sofa,couch,lounge,divan,tete-a-tete,settee,sociables or love seat, all seem to have different meanings, especially in different parts of the world. We Americans, are the ones, that came up with the term,"love seat." A far cry from the French word,"canapes' or the Italian expression, "sociables." Leave it to the American's, to get right to it. Two people on one seat,"love seat." Some how it is not as romantic sounding, even if the world,"love", is attached.

American  Rosewood, Rococo Revial  Settee ,or as the Italian says, Sociable, with built in chaperone . Gentlemens parlor. 

American  Rococo settee in the Blue Guest Room. This is a dear piece, might be my favorite. might?

American, Hayward Wakefield ,wicker loveseat.

American Walnut, Rococo Love Seat, part of a 6 piece set, Ladies parlor. On-suite.

    The defination of Settee is, a long seat with a back. Usually seats two. A medium sized sofa,with upholstered seat with back and arms. I found no defination for  love seat. In the furniture and decorator world, the term means a two seat sofa or couch. Some would say, smaller couch.
   Different types of settees were given different names deriving from there function. To me the most beautiful name is the one the French have used for years to name the  love seat,"Canape'. The name sofa is from the Arbic world,"suffah.".Settees originally came from Italy. Today the sofa or settee in Italy is commonly called a sociable. We owe much of our interior design and decoration trends to Italy. I have always said, they were and still are, the father of interior design. After Italy the sofa moved on to France where it flourished. To make it more comfortable for seating, fabric  and padding was added and the button tufting technique was invented. The French world for sofa, love seat is ,"Canape" Soon the sofa trend made it's way to America. The early Federal and Empire period found them to be stiff, straight and with out much decoration. The American Rococo period,1840-1890, brought the French influence to America.
    American Rococo is the name for one of the great international ornamental styles of the 18th and 19th century. The  emphasis was on naturalistic ornament carved and engraved. This movement started in New York and Philadelphia and latter moved to New Orleans and finally Grand Rapids. Rococo, sometimes called the Antique-French style, because of it's origins in 18th century France. The American Rococo style has become the American's version of French's Louis XV. The most recognized of the Romantic Revials with complex curves,r-scrolls, the furniture of the reign of Louis XV's , reigned supreme in America in the 18th and 19th century.




red silk damask on French love Seat in Entrance hall.



    The Rococo furniture soon became mass produced in New York,Cincinnati ,Grand Rapids and New Orleans. Makers like Alexander Roux, from France, working in New York. John Henry Belter, who patented a process of laminating and steam bending wood. Joseph Meeks , and Mitchell and Romensburg,  in New York and Prudence Mallard in New Orleans. All were leading makers and  designers of the American Rococo Revial Style. No longer did Americans have to travel to France and Italy and import fine furniture to America. It was made and sold in almost every major city after 1840.
   The,"Sociable." was a settee with a low back, flanked by two chair seats on each side ,going in the opposite direction. This was soon to be called in America, A Courting Sofa., with a built in Chaperone in the center, it was safe for a young lady and a gentleman, to be seated, in public, together, with out a scandal.
    Rococo referred to as, "late Baroque", 18th century style developed as Baroque artist became increasing  ornate. The world Rococo is seen as a combination of the French word,"Rocaille", meaning skill, due to reliance  of artists,on these objects, to produce decorations, and the refined and fanciful style of the 18th century. Rococo is now widely recognized as a major period in art and design.
After Rococo, the French Louis Seize Revial Style, soon took over Europe and American. This form was more sever and straight in lines. The squared off lines, backs, seats and arms, were far more simple. This is a style that is very popular in the world of interior design today. It is a simpler, cleaner look and much easier to live with. It was well known for its painted pieces and they are highly sought after by collectors today.







    The Rococo Revial is my style of choice. I have been in love with it for many years. I love the soft curves, carving, button tufting and the Cabriole leg. Most pieces made in America are of Walnut wood. Sometimes you find pieces of rare rosewood. The earlier pieces were almost always done in black horsehair. That trend soon gave way for velvet and damask. Since, My Old Historic House, was started in 1845, with and 1860 addition, I have tried to fill it with furniture of that period. Most of the furniture in my collection is American and of the Rococo period.. I do have a couple of pieces of French, and a small sampling of English. All the furniture is from the 1840-1860 era. Mr. Elgin, who built my house, was a river boat Captain and I am sure he had access to fine things. I have found in my studies, that most American Homes ,of this period, were furnished with American made furniture. The decorative accessories were another story, usually imported from  the owners, "Grand Tour", of Europe. I have tried to stay true to this  ,when filling my Historic home.    I have to say, I fit right in with the rest of my American friends and neighbors and call my little couches, LOVE SEATS. I have for so long, it just comes natural. At least every one knows what I am talking about, when I say, that love seat, right over there. The love seats I am sharing with you today ,are all American, except the gold one, and it is French. It comes to me by way of the 1904 Worlds fair, that was held in St.Louis. The Mayor of St.Louis at the time, David R. Francis, and host of the fair, had a farm in the country, right beside the farm I grew up on.. When I was a young kid, I mowed the yard for his Grandson. When they sold the farm in 1995, there was an Estate auction and I bought this French Love Seat. Mr. Francis said it was from the French Pavillion at the Worlds  Fair. The large Chinese vase beside it, was also to have been at that fair.
The gold gilt love seat, is true to the Louis XV style.
   I hope you enjoy this little lesson on small sofas, also known as a love seats. I have a passion for them and want to buy every one I see. I just want to hug them.But alas, room  has run out, and I am afraid, there will be no more. Please come by some time really soon, for a real tour. I will leave the lights on . And  you can see which love seat is  your favorite? Oh yes, Sissy Dog will always meet you with a jump and a Kiss.








This settee and vase are from the 1904 St.Louis Worlds Fair.



My Old Historic House.

These are my storks, they rest on the roof of my house. Once while looking at random blogs , I saw a picture of my storks. It turned out to be Pat, from the Back Porch Musings blog,  she had driven by and snapped a picture. I emailed a comment and invited her for a real tour.  We have become friends,on and off the blog, every since then.I have been lucky as she has featured my house and blog several times on her blog.  It is such a small world. 


Mystery, this Gothic window is at the top of my stair case. I have tried for  5 years to get it open, today as I started down the steps, there it was, open. Go figure. 

40 comments:

red.neck chic said...

I'm a love seat kinda girl!!! I usually head straight for the mid-century modern with the clean lines and crazy fabric... but I'll take the one in your first photo just for some fun! ;-D

I like learning over here!!! Keeps me on my toes... unless I'm sitting on the love seat (although I have been known to walk up and down across the love seat...)

;-D Happy Monday!
robelyn

lvroftiques said...

Well Richard I know I sound like a broken record but "WOW!!" I can't get enough of your beautiful home and collections! My favorite is the french settee in your entry , but sheesh....It's a hard call!
Like you I want to bring home every beautiful settee I see (And lots of other stuff too! Lol!) *winks* And like you I'm out of space *sighs* I know Louis XVI is maybe easier to live with? But give me those rococo curves every time! *winks* Vanna

Sweet Old Vintage said...

I do believe my favorite is also your favorite... They are all stunning however... Ok the window... It is getting closer to a ghostly season...

Barbara F. said...

Each of these sofas are so lovely, growing up our sofa was always referred to as the "settee", funny I didn't think it originated in Italy. I love your storks on the roof, they look so real. xo,

Jillian's Bella Rosa Antiques said...

My favorite is the one from the St. Louis World's fair! I love knowing the history behind it. But you have some gorgeous pieces in your Old Historic House. Thank you for sharing them and thanks so much for stopping by my blog today!

Marcia said...

Well! We have been building these for 30 years and today I learned there are many more names for them besides 'love seat' and 'settee'. Of course, ours are rustic furniture, but nevertheless I learned something that will come in handy now. Thank you, Richard, for another beautiful and educational blog.

Shelia said...

Hi Richard! Oh, my goodness - more wonderful furnishings to look at from your old historic house! I couldn't even pick a favorite as they are all so beautiful! I love those little storks perched up there on your roof! Isn't that something about your little gothic looking window. Maybe your old house has a few little ghosts around! Oh, that would be fun to hear about!
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Curtains In My Tree said...

Oh how I would have loved to attend that estate sale of Mr david Francis.
i would have spent my retirement fund
love the Gothic window

janice

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

It's obvious...you have a resident ghost!!! It opened the window for you!!! :-) Love those sofas...wow, what a wonderful collection!!! I'm glad you have to choose and not me...

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

You have wonderful taste. Always a pleasure to view your treasures, and so refreshing to see furniture in it's original state.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Enjoyed seeing your collection and reading the history. Does your resident ghost make its presence known very often. :-D
Enjoy your evening.

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

What a wonderful collection of settee's! So many wonderful styles.

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Thanks so much for mentioning me, and the Back Porch, Richard.:-)

It is our opinion there are spirits in your home. Sweet spirits! J and I feel completely at ease in your home, even if some open windows when least expected.

Loved hearing the history, as always.

debchester said...

My fave would have to be that red, red, red settee in the Ladies Parlor, but I love them all. You're so right about finding room for them. I have no place at all, but last fall I got the chance to snap up two from an estate sale. They are now in my garage, shrouded in old sheets, patiently awaiting a day when I can show them off.

As for the window ... that is a mystery. Do you feel like your house is haunted? Or is it just a case of the house shifting a little due to this hot summer or the spring flooding? (I don't mean to cast cold water on all the commentors' romantic shivering over gothic spooks, but the last older house I owned had a door that wouldn't open in the fall and another one that wouldn't open in the spring.)

Sissysmom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sissysmom said...

I love all your sofa, couch, lounge, divan, tete-a-tete, settee, sociables, love seats or whatever you want to call them!! LOL! I think my favorite is your favorite, the American Rococo settee. Although, the one from the 1904 St.Louis Worlds Fair is a close second. That reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Meet Me in St Louis.

Give Sissy Dog a pat on the head from me!

Stacy Leigh said...

My favorite is where ever Sissy is sitting! :) Nicely done Richard!!!

Pearl said...

So beautiful all of them, and your pillows are amazing to. I just have to have a tour someday. Love the gothic window. Hugs, Pearl

Ann from On Sutton Place said...

OK...doesn't the window opening sort of make you nervous? I would wonder how it happened until I made myself crazy. :o) The storks are incredible. You found the perfect place for them, as you always do with everything. I never tire of seeing your home.

xinex said...

You are so knowledgeable in so many things, Richard. Thanks for all the info. Your settees are so beautiful!...Christine

BeautifulDees said...

Oh your home is so lovely...I would love to come sit a while. You alway's have such wonderful thing's to post. I need to get a new camera...but I would never be able to top your lovelies. Thank you for your beautiful post's.
Love,Debbie:)

Deanna said...

Richard,
Enjoyed visiting your place tonite!

The sweet doll in the blue dress is what caught my eye. Love dolls. Everything looks so nice that you have shared.

Damask design is one of my favorites and my little sofa has it on it.

God bless and may your summer be a blessing,
d

Anna at the Doll House said...

So many beautiful places to rest a while. My favourite is the Louis sofa in the hall and I spied a very interesting wallpaper there too. I hope you might do a piece on wallpaper in the future.

Anna

akissfromthepast said...

wonderful furnitures! i love those kind of sofas! Timeless style :) i love it!

akissfromthepast.blogspot.com

Bernideen said...

All is fabulous here! Love the loveseats!

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Another fabulous post Richard, I had a loveseat many years ago, not quite as elegant as yours. The vase beside the one in the entry is gorgeous, I'm sure it must weigh a ton... strange about the window.. glad it's finally open.. give Miss Sissy dog a hug and a pat from me. hugs ~lynne~

outjunking said...

Richard,
I learned so much today from your post, thank you. Your home is so lovely and I found myself looking at every little detail.
Lisa

mississippi artist said...

They are all so lovely. I love that window,even if a ghostly hand has been opening it. My favorite thing is the storks on the roof-love them! I wonder what my neighbors would say if I did that? I guess they would just say well you are not from here-which is what they always say...Kiss Sissy.

bj said...

Well, being from West Texas where we say ya'll and fixin' to and love rodeos, I call 'em loveseats. :))
Actually, I did know that certain ones were called other things..and I adore all these you are showing.
I learned a lot from your post.

Divine Theatre said...

What a helpful ghost you have! They must love you for making their former home beautiful again!

Kisses to Sissy!

xoxo
Andie

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Just the sort of furniture that I would expect to see in some of the homes I read about....or castles. :)
Simply lovely!!
Mona

lvroftiques said...

Richard does your friend Ann have a blog? If so could you send me a link? Because if that pillow came from her (and it did) I NEED to see her place!!!! *winks* And if she doesn't have a blog....Please tell her she needs to! Vanna

Katie@LeBeauPaonVictorien said...

I can't pick just one favorite....they are all so beautiful! I have a "thing" for settees and chairs.....I always want more of them!
Thanks for sharing your beautiful collection.

Olive Cooper said...

Hi Richard, I am a new follower. Love your historic home and all your beautiful things. We have a house in Georgia that is also pre-Civil War but is not re-stored and probably will not be. I really enjoyed what you said about blogging in the previous post and I agree completely. Kindred spirits are found here. hugs♥Olive

p.s. I found you via that lovable nut Vanna!

xinex said...

Hi Richard! Stop by and come see my gifts on my blog....Christine

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Beautiful pictures and such an interesting post.

Thanks for the offer for the fruit. I have 2 baskets now, so I think I am on overload.

Hugs, Marty

Brigitte said...

Hi Richard,
Another most wonderful post.Ever sinceI followered your blog I/ve adnired your sofa's and settee's.It is a hard choice because they're all so fabolous but have to say your 6 piece parlor set is spectacular and stole my heart !!
It is always such a pleasure to read your blogs and I have to admit I am anxiously awaiting each blog.
Thanks for sharing :-))

Babs said...

Richard, All of your 'love seats' are perfect for your home. It's so nice that you have and enjoy those special pieces... and the colors..wow. Thanks for sharing the history of these love seat styles. Have a great weekend.

Alanza Ab said...

Hey nice post and it is also helpful for me but i also want some better post related to Divansoffor(Diva Sofa),please share if u have.


Thanks

Lounges perth said...

How I wish I could own..same sofa like that.