The Louisquatorze

and glory, their " bread-and-butter " was more than sure, while, to most of them fell the "plums" of their profession or craft.

The foregoing is a brief statement of the ruling conditions under which the " Louis-Quatorze " flourished, and, having glanced at them, we must now proceed to see, so far as space will permit, what the style ultimately became, and to what extent it furnished inspiration for our own designers and craftsmen.

It is extremely difficult, if not altogether impossible, to lay down a set of rules or give specified definitions that will enable the student to distinguish immediately and with perfect exactitude between late seventeenth and early eighteenth century French work. The different styles overlap, or rather blend at times with one another to such a degree that to classify them and apportion each of them to its respective period with exactitude is a task which calls for more than a mere superficial knowledge if success is to be gained. When we come to the " Louis-Seize " and u Empire " the difficulty is lessened, by reasons which will be explained later.

It will be remembered that the reign of Louis the Fourteenth was one of exceptional duration, lasting for over seventy years. As was only natural, during that period many changes and developments took place in fashion of furniture as in other matters, though they were neither so very great nor so revolutionary as might have been expected. It was, however, only the later phases which influenced the eighteenth-century English designer to any appreciable extent—that is to say, the phases immediately preceding the advent of the " Louis-Quinze." It is those, therefore, that concern us.

Before commencing my review of the chief characteristics of the " Louis-Quatorze " as a style, it may be as well to take a brief glance at one of the most notable of the workers in the appartements; at a man who rose to pre-eminence from

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