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Russian Furniture

Russian Armchairs

As ET is partly Russian, a little background info on our Russian chairs: . . .

During the second half of the eighteenth century, Russia was to witness an unrivalled program of palace building, particularly under the enlightened rule of Catherine the Great (1762-1796). On June 28, 1762, Catherine dethroned her husband, Peter III, thus beginning a thirty-four year reign that would see her country become not only a modern state, but a power equal to the most significant of her European neighbours.

During her sovereignty, Russian territory expanded, the arts and sciences flourished, and many of the great palaces were built. So significant were the advances made in this period, it would be remembered as “the magnificent age.”

Closely linked to the construction of new palaces in Russia is the history of furniture manufacture. So many luxurious new buildings required appropriate furnishings, but without a significant source in Russia itself, the majority in the early period was imported from Europe. However, once the need was established, Russia would soon develop her own cabinet-making industry, the significant growth of which can be seen in the records of the Lepke sales, held in Berlin on behalf of the Soviet authorities on 6-7 November 1928 and 4-5 June 1929. The number of lots of Louis XV furniture (pre-1770) in Russian sales is three times that of furniture made later, suggesting a significant decline in furniture imports post-1770.

A feature that distinguishes the work of Russian cabinet-makers from their Western counterparts is their departure from strictly neo-classical patterns and designs. While their work does of course refer to these established motifs, their interpretations have a far more intimate and bucolic nature.