Style Files: Empire Style

The early 19th century Empire style is the second phase of Neoclassicism focused on architecture, design, visual arts and decorative arts. The style originated in France and spread through the rest of Europe before reaching the United States around 1830. Empire style takes it name from the rule of Napoleon I in the First French Empire where it was created to idealize Napoleon’s leadership and the French state. Similar styles include the Biedermeier style in the German, the Federal style in the United States, and the Regency style in Britain. Previously, in France, this style was known as Louis XVI made popular before the French Revolution.

The Empire style took much of its aesthetic from the Roman Empire. Empire style favors Corinthian richness over Doric simplicity. Napoleon was especially fond of two French architects, Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine, who studied ancient Rome and are credited with creating the French Empire style. Napoleon was accused of using them to spread propaganda through their architecture because he considered the Empire style to be “liberated” and “enlightened” furniture just like the people who were liberated and enlightened by the Napoleonic Code.

At AntiquitiesWeb we have revived the Empire revival and have a variety of exclusive pieces to liberate and enlighten your living space. These are a few of our Empire pieces:



Pair of Empire Revival Chairs – walnut and inlaid fruitwood, gold on gold patterned fabric, gilt bronze fittings, circa 1890-1910, part of suite with Sofa E38.


2 Empire Revival Chairs pieces were designed for the Hungarian Loire Tura Castle (designed by Miklos YBL) of the Baron Schlossberger Family & first made by the workshop of J. Danhauser (1780-1915), Vienna. Later pieces of this furniture were manufactured with variations for the Austrian Hungarian Middle Nobility. Part of a suite with Sofa E3/060.


Empire Revival Loveseat walnut and inlaid fruitwood, gold on gold patterned fabric, gilt bronze fittings, circa 1890-1910, part of suite with Chairs E38-1.


Empire Revival Table – originally designed by Sebastian Vogel (1799-1837) for the Baron Rudnyansky Family, Nagyteneny Castle. Collection restored with additions after 1885 fire, and then again after WW1 & WW2. Three known existing sets restored & repolished walnut with ebonized and gilt wood. Circa 1890. Part of suite with Sofa E5/015, Chairs E5/015-1.

If you’re looking for a unique table, a sofa or pair of parlor chairs contact AntiquitiesWeb. Our selection of top quality antiques are unique, original, and timelessly beautiful. Whether you are looking for a beautiful Empire antique or a set of chairs, AntiquitiesWeb has the piece for you. To see these pieces and more call us at 212-644-4236, contact us, or visit our New York gallery.

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