An extremely fine Empire gilt bronze mounted mahogany figural chaise-longue with two carved swans at the foot
Paris, date circa 1825
Length 185 cm.
The strict and severe lines of Empire design were often embellished with symbolic decorations, such as Napoleon's 'N', bees, laurel wreaths, winged Victories, eagles and swans. The swan was a favourite motif of the Emperor's first wife, Joséphine, who after their divorce refurbished some of the rooms at Malmaison, including her bedroom. Her gilded bed featured cornucopiae at the foot and swans at its feet. Charles Percier designed furniture with swans for Jacob-Desmalter. The swan appears in art of all ages, sometimes as an associated attribute of Apollo and also because of its beauty as an attribute of Venus.