Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016



Napoleon's wife Josephine loved to collect. She was especially drawn to Egyptian styles and when her husband was emperor she became France's leading tastemaker, bringing prestige to him through her patronage of the arts. Currently in Atlanta, Empress Josephine's taste, influence and possessions are the focus of an exhibition, The Eye of Josephine, closing May 18.

While visiting the installation, gazing at Greco-Roman and Egyptian antiquities once housed at Josephine's residence, Malmaison, I thought about Egyptian-inspired furniture that became popular in Europe after her death, later in the 19th century. For example, Thebes stools.

In 1883 this Egyptian-revival design was patented by Liberty & Co., and today similar stools are still made -- sometimes in sleek chrome and leather. The examples shown at top are from Jayson Home, and the 1920s version above is available through Antiques & Art Exchange.

This circa 1885 English interpretation is available through John Alexander.

Portrait of Josephine is by Baron Antoine-Jean Gros; Also shown, The Temple at Dendera by Vivant Denon


cotedetexas said...

Very interesting - as usual - you have such a good grasp of history! I always learn something.

Style Court said...

thanks joni!!

Topsy Turvy said...

Love Thebes stools, but didn't realize they were Egyptian. Great post!

Style Court said...

Thanks Lana! Egyptian-inspired :)

katiedid said...

I love this stool style. Madeline Stuart and Michael Smith both have very cool interpretations of this stool also. I am glad to see Jayson Home's! I bet it is a little more affordable! Thanks Courtney! :)

Style Court said...

Katie, thanks for the Michael Smith reminder!

pve design said...

I would like one of those stool for my camel when I need to go out and take a ride in the desert.
Oh they look very saddle like.

casapinka said...

Very interesting post - a history lesson and decorating in one.

Style Court said...

Thanks Pink! Love to hear that.