Rococo Grande Dame

Imagine my surprise when the front door opened and I spotted this chair, just inside. It almost made me forget all about the person, my dear good friend, who had opened for me.

I had been totally unprepared for a meeting with so flirtatious a Rococo apparition right there in the hall. Yet, having captured my attention, the chair simply stood there, giving me the glad eye, fully aware of how absolutely captivated I was.

You tell me – what should one do in such a situation?

To be as bold as to actually take a seat on the chair seemed out of the question, and immediately quizzing the owner of the apartment about the age of the chair would surely be impolite. After two cups of tea, however, I felt that sufficient time had elapsed for me to be able to make a few tentative enquiries.

The Rococo grande dame in the hall had recently been dressed in fine new clothes. The chair itself was part of the inheritance after a much loved mother, who had purchased it in an antique shop in London many years earlier. Back then the covers were of a hard-wearing fabric, more modest in expression, that now had seen better days.

What an eye-catching beauty! What wonderful fabric! Delicate, maybe, but placed as it is in the hall, the chair assumes an air more like that of a museum piece than if it had been standing side by side with other chairs in a different setting. I could almost imagine seeing a cord suspended in front of the chair with a sign saying, “Please do not sit here.”

Perhaps I should mention that the chair is in the style of French Rococo, although it probably dates from some time during the Victorian era. But just look at that exquisite fabric – almost as if the details were hand-embroidered – and the magnificent gilding on the chair. Wow!

For me, it was love at first sight when I encountered this little chair, and I was head over heels besotted with it by the time I left the apartment. All the way to the lift I could hear my friend’s happy laughter – and I’m sure that her mother, too, is smiling sweetly in her heaven.

Gun Bjerkander Handberg


Note from Editor:


Christmas is right around the corner with cosy fires, warm drinks and lots of long evenings for reading. Vind and Våg Publishing House has published the trilogy Please Be Seated which would be a wonderful gift for anyone with an interest in furniture, chairs and antiques.


The Please Be Seated series is written by author and antique expert Gun Bjerkander Handberg which inspired her to write this monthly blog. So if you enjoy the blog you will certainly enjoy all three books which are now available online .

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