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Empire Benches

EMPIRE STYLE

From 1804–15, Napoléon I reigned as the emperor of France, bringing the country into a new era of opulence after the fall of the monarchy and the tumultuous years of the French Revolution. He declared, “We must have very solid things, made to last 100 years.” Empire-style furniture followed suit, with imposing pieces constructed from mahogany and adorned with gilded ornaments. Expanding on the neoclassicism popularized in the previous century — such as in ​​Louis XVI style — Empire style borrowed from the great civilizations of antiquity, from Egypt to Greece and Rome, to connect this nascent empire to the power of the past.

Napoléon I believed the production of fine furniture would reflect the stature of the republic, with his official architects Charles Percier and Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine leading the way with their work on his residences.

Luxurious materials, symmetrical shapes and bold colors characterize antique Empire-style bedroom furniture, armchairs, cabinets and other structures, with frequent motifs including mythological creatures, geometric designs, acanthus leaves, eagles, bees (the imperial emblem) and swans, a favorite of Empress Joséphine.

Flat surfaces, like marble tabletops, were accented with decadent details, such as the bronze furniture mounts made by sculptor Pierre-Philippe Thomire for the French palaces. Martin-Guillaume Biennais, who worked as the imperial goldsmith, crafted intricate luxury objects that mixed wood, fine metal, mother-of-pearl and ivory. Ormolu — or elaborate bronze gilding — was essential to French design in the 18th and 19th centuries as a cornerstone of the neoclassical and Empire styles.

The style became popular abroad, influencing the American Empire style. Stately pieces carved with sprigs of olives by cabinetmaker Pierre-Antoine Bellange were acquired by American President James Monroe for the White House in 1817.

Find a collection of antique Empire tables, lighting, seating and other furniture on 1stDibs.

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Style: Empire
Danish Early 19th Century Mahogany 3 Seater Empire Bench
Located in Kastrup, DK
Elegant Danish Empire bench made of mahogany with inlays of satin wood and ebony. Features a backrest with vertical spindles adorned with an ebony border and three demilunes with lig...
Category

Early 19th Century Danish Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Fabric, Ebony, Mahogany

French Empire Style Bench with Hand-Carved Swan Figureheads
Located in Middletown, MD
Freshly reupholstered late 19th century Empire style bench in a neutral cream-colored fabric. Artisan crafted in solid, rich walnut wit...
Category

Late 19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Walnut

19th Century Black French Antique Empire Ebonized Mahogany Sofa Bench, Recamier
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A black, antique French sofa bench-recamier made of hand crafted ebonized Mahogany, in good condition. The canapé is particularized by two side backrests, standing on four arched wooden...
Category

Early 19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Mahogany, Fabric, Ebony, Upholstery, Cotton

French Empire Period Billiard Room Bench openable Dry Bar Columns and Drawers
Located in Firenze, IT
This one of a kind museum quality piece of furniture is an important French Empire period bench or settee dating back to late 18th – early 19th century that furnished the billiard room...
Category

Early 19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Brass, Bronze, Ormolu

19th Century Baltic Mahogany Long Bench - Antique Empire Silk Sofa, Canapé
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A dark-brown, antique Baltic long bench with two pillows made of hand carved Mahogany, in good condition. The three seater sofa, settee is stand...
Category

Mid-19th Century Baltic Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Fabric, Silk, Upholstery, Mahogany

Pair of Empire Style Mahogany Benches
Located in Essex, MA
Rectangular upholstered seats with klismos form bases with turned stretchers, bronze mounts and paw feet.
Category

1820s French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Mahogany

Empire Style Parcel-Gilt Mahogany Hall Bench
Located in Stamford, CT
Empire style parcel-gilt mahogany hall bench, early 20th century.
Category

Early 20th Century French Empire Benches

Materials

Mahogany

Empire Style Wooden Bench, Gold Leaf Finishing, Handcarved and Made in Italy
Located in Barlassina, IT
Empire style bench. It was designed and made for the first time in 1992 and showed at Salone del Mobile . This bench named "Opera" has become during these years an iconic classic ite...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Empire Benches

Materials

Wood

French Empire Recamier
Located in Hamburg, Hamburg
This French Empire Recamier is a stunning eye catcher. Newly upholstered with luxurious mohair this piece is guaranteed to draw attention, circa...
Category

1820s French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Mohair

Danish Birch wood Empire Bench with Lyre Motif
Located in Kastrup, DK
Elegant early 19th century Danish Empire birch wood bench. The two arms are showcasing beautiful lyre-shaped and arrow carvings. Seat newly upholstered w...
Category

Early 19th Century Danish Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Fabric, Birch

Antique French Empire Solid Mahogany Ball Foot Curule Bench Seat Low Stool
Located in West Chester, PA
Wonderful antique bench with curved seat and solid mahogany curule frame on ball feet.
Category

Early 20th Century American Empire Benches

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

1920'S French Leather Stool
Located in Houston, TX
A 1920s French leather upholstered stool epitomizes vintage elegance with its perfectly distressed leather upholstery and timeless design, reflecting the stylish craftsmanship of the...
Category

Early 20th Century French Empire Benches

Materials

Leather, Wood

Handsome leather and wrought iron military campaign sale bench.
Located in Allentown, PA
This is a hand wrought iron and leather campaign style bench. This bench has a dark brown leather basket weave to the seating. The bench has a hand wrought iron sleek empire style fr...
Category

1980s Unknown Vintage Empire Benches

Materials

Iron

Large Late Empire Upholstered Bench with Carved Gilt Carvings
Located in Kastrup, DK
Decorative and elegant Late Empire bench with upholstered seat. Frame crafted in beech with original white color and delicate gilt woodcarved details. Resting on elegant turned taper...
Category

Mid-19th Century Danish Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Fabric, Beech

pair of French early 19th century Empire st. Mahogany benches
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A handsome and high quality pair of French early 19th century Empire st. Mahogany benches. Each bench is raised by curved square legs and supported on paw feet connected by two turne...
Category

19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Fabric, Mahogany

Empire Style Heraldic Coat of Arms Carved Mahogany Double Eagle Bench
Located in Germantown, MD
An early 20th Century Empire Style Heraldic coat of arms Intricately Carved Mahogany Double Eagle Bench with loose seat cushion. Measures 36.5" in width, 25" in depth and stands 37.5...
Category

Early 20th Century American Empire Benches

Materials

Mahogany

Late Empire Upholstered Bench with Carved Gilt Carvings
Located in Kastrup, DK
Decorative and elegant Late Empire bench with upholstered seat. Frame crafted in beech with original white color and delicate gilt wood carved details. Resting on elegant turned tape...
Category

Mid-19th Century Danish Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Fabric, Beech

Empire Early 19th Century Solid Walnut Antique Bench
Located in Casale Monferrato, IT
Antique Italian empire bench early 19th century. The bench is made of solid walnut wood. Excellent antique good conditions of the wood. Characterized by a seat with folding panels.
Category

Early 1800s Italian Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Walnut

19th Century French Empire Upholstered and Gilt Painted Stool Bench
Located in Dallas, TX
This elegant painted wood bench was crafted in northern France, circa 1890. The antique seat stands on carved spiral etched legs decorated with brass flor...
Category

Late 19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Walnut, Upholstery

21st Century Empire-Style Bed Bench with Plated Fabric by Modenese Interiors
Located in PADOVA, Italy
This lovely pleated bench by Modenese Gastone Interiors will make a classy statement at the foot of a bed or as part of the decor in any living or night ...
Category

2010s Italian Empire Benches

Materials

Gold Leaf, Silver Leaf

Empire Style Painted Iron Bench, 19th Century, French
Located in El Monte, CA
A highly decorative and unique 19th century French empire painted and parcel gilt cast iron upholstered bench. Parcel gilt border is of a rich gold with warm red undertone painting jester...
Category

Late 19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Iron

Pair of French 19th Century Empire St. Mahogany and Giltwood Stools
Located in West Palm Beach, FL
A handsome pair of French 19th century Empire st. Mahogany and giltwood stools. Each circular stool is raised by three square tapered legs with the front leg displaying a handsome pa...
Category

19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Mahogany, Giltwood

Mint Condition Empire Sofa Sette Loveseat Couch Fine Carved Details Lions Feet
By J. Horner
Located in Rockaway, NJ
Note: Full price include new upholstery service, buyer to provide fabric. Mint condition empire sofa sette loveseat couch fine carved details lions feet. The frame is stunning vint...
Category

20th Century American Empire Benches

Materials

Upholstery, Walnut

Antique Empire Style Gilded Scroll Arm Window Bench with Winged Eagle Supports
Located in London, GB
Antique Empire style gilded scroll arm window bench with beautifully carved winged eagle supports on down swept legs with feathered claw feet. This extraordinary piece features a ...
Category

Early 20th Century Unknown Empire Benches

Materials

Leather, Linen, Upholstery, Natural Fiber, Giltwood

Italian Neoclassical Hall Bench
Located in New York, NY
Italian neoclassical hall bench. Large and handsomely proportioned cassapanca / walnut bench in two parts with upper dental carved trim around arms and paneled back. All fitted into ...
Category

Early 19th Century Italian Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Walnut

19th Century Painted Swedish Bench
Located in Gloucestershire, GB
A 19th Century Swedish bench from the Empire period, the back panel decorated with a classical scene of a pair of griffon. New seat cushion in plain linen.
Category

19th Century Swedish Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Wood, Paint

Empire Style High Sided Bench with Gilt Details and Mohair Velvet Upholstery
Located in Troy, MI
Circa 1920s French Empire style wooden stool has an antique white painted frame with gilded details and new gray mohair velvet upholstery. Two stools available at the time of posting...
Category

Early 20th Century French Empire Benches

Materials

Gesso, Upholstery, Wood

Elegant Antique French Carved Wood Recamier Bench with Bronze Mounts
Located in Hopewell, NJ
Elegant and rare French 19th century mahogany recamier bench having pronounced curved sides and lovely carved cabriole legs that terminate in gilded hairy paw feet. There are other g...
Category

19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Bronze

Fine Pair of Late 19th Century to Early 20th C Empire Parcel Gilt Benches
Located in Dallas, TX
A fine late 19th century to early 20th century Empire mahogany and parcel gilt pair of benches. Tufted upholstery.
Category

Late 19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Mahogany

Empire Style Ebonized Cross-Sword Bench with Gilt Highlights
Located in San Francisco, CA
the rectangular upholstered seat above an ebonized wooden frame raised on splayed swords with gilt handles; newer upholstery
Category

1960s American Vintage Empire Benches

Materials

Fabric, Wood

Bench Stool Swedish Black 19th Beige Linen Century Sweden
Located in New York, NY
Bench Swedish Black 19th Beige Linen century Sweden. A stool made during the 19th century in Sweden. Painted in our Laserow Black and upholstered in a beige linen.
Category

Early 19th Century Swedish Antique Empire Benches

5 French Empire Style Sphinx Mahogany Benches
Located in New York, NY
5 French Empire style (19th Century) mahogany square benches with bronze trim and winged sphinx legs (PRICED EACH).
Category

19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Bronze

Italian Midcentury Empire Style Painted and Upholstered Bench with Ram Heads
Located in Atlanta, GA
An Italian midcentury Empire style painted bench with carved ram heads and new upholstery. This exquisite Italian painted bench features a nicely curved seat that has been recovered ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Italian Empire Benches

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Sofa Bench French Empire Mahogany Brass Brown France
Located in New York, NY
A rare sofa made in France during the Empire period, circa 1790-1810. Mahogany frame with gilded brass decor shaped as palm leaves. Tapered legs en...
Category

19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

French 1860s Empire Style Walnut Bench with Out-Scrolled Sides and Swan Figures
Located in Atlanta, GA
A French Empire style walnut bench from the mid-19th century, with carved swan heads and new upholstery. This French walnut backless bench features an exquisite silhouette, flanked w...
Category

Mid-19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Upholstery, Wood, Walnut

19th Century French Empire Style Canapé
Located in Mt Kisco, NY
An elegant carved wood upholstered canapé.
Category

19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Upholstery, Wood

Empire Mahogany and Parcel-Gilt X-form Bench, France, circa 1820
Located in Atlanta, GA
An Empire mahogany and parcel-gilt bench, with X-shaped frame in the neoclassical taste. Dating from the first quarter of the 1800s, and most likely French in origin. Similar stools ...
Category

19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Upholstery, Mahogany

French Empire Carved And Gilded Window Seat
Located in Bradenton, FL
French Empire Carved And Gilded Window Seat. Beautiful fruitwood frame with gilt ornamentation and lovely curved legs. Light green leather upholstery with nailhead trim.
Category

19th Century French Antique Empire Benches

Materials

Fruitwood

Empire benches for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a broad range of unique Empire benches for sale on 1stDibs. Many of these items were first offered in the 21st Century and Contemporary, but contemporary artisans have continued to produce works inspired by this style. If you’re looking to add vintage benches created in this style to your space, the works available on 1stDibs include seating, more furniture and collectibles and other home furnishings, frequently crafted with wood, fabric and other materials. If you’re shopping for used Empire benches made in a specific country, there are Europe, France, and Italy pieces for sale on 1stDibs. While there are many designers and brands associated with original benches, popular names associated with this style include Marco Belloni , and Modenese Gastone. It’s true that these talented designers have at times inspired knockoffs, but our experienced specialists have partnered with only top vetted sellers to offer authentic pieces that come with a buyer protection guarantee. Prices for benches differ depending upon multiple factors, including designer, materials, construction methods, condition and provenance. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $975 and tops out at $50,062 while the average work can sell for $5,200.

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