French-style Gilt Chairs

c. 1850

The French-style gilt furniture is from Seward’s home in Washington DC on Lafayette Square, across from the White House. Seward rented the home, known as the “Old Clubhouse,” during the 8 years he served as Secretary of State, early 1861 through March 1869. Foreign ambassadors and dignitaries used this furniture when they visited Seward’s home in Washington. This Rococo Revival furniture was popular in the US in the 1850s and 1860s. Based on 18th century French furniture forms and decoration, especially gilded surfaces. The marble top table features 18th century style cabriole legs and the graceful curves associated with French furniture design. This French style is the most opulent, intentionally excessive version of the Louis XV form. 

It is very likely our 16th President Abraham Lincoln sat on these chairs while visiting Seward in his D.C. home.