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American Empire, also called Federal, is a French-inspired Neoclassical style of American furniture and decoration that takes its name and originates from the Empire style introduced during the First French Empire period under Napoleon’s rule.

In American furniture, the Empire style was most notably exemplified by the work of New York cabinetmakers Duncan Phyfe and Paris-trained Charles-Honoré Lannuier.

The curved lines of ancient Greek furniture were used in legs of tables and chairs; classical motifs such as the lyre were used in decoration, and pillars and scrolls were often incorporated. Pillar and scroll style furniture is typical of the Empire period; this feature was not seen in early Federal furniture.

Many of these pieces have seen wear and tear and are in need of repair or refinishing. Here are some examples of the artistry of the refinished Empire style and how it works for many different styles.

Photo credit to Create Inspire


Photo credit to Re-inVintage

Photo credit to All Dolled Up

Happy Painting!