What is Brittany Style Antique Furniture?

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What is Brittany Style Antique Furniture?
Do you like very heavily carved and dark antique furniture?  Do you collect or admire Folk Art?  Do you love Quimper pottery (the hand-painted style of ceramics from northwest France)?  The Brittany Style of antique furniture is not for everyone, but chances are if you like ornate and elaborately hand-carved furniture and appreciate the rustic quality of Folk Art, you will love antique furniture in the Brittany Style.

Located in the northwestern corner of France, the French province of Brittany, also known as Bretagne, was once an independent kingdom called Lesser Britain.  Brittany is still recognized as one of the six Celtic nations in the world today, as the Celtic language, Breton, is still spoken there and many Celtic traditions still survive today.  Drawing on the ornate and symbolic nature of Celtic Art, antique furniture produced in Brittany at the end of the 19th century was heavily carved and told a story through its symbolic carvings.

A Popular Style

The rise in popularity of Brittany Style antique furniture can be attributed to a collection of Breton songs, known as The Ballads of Brittany, that was published in 1839 by Théodore Hersart de la Villemarqué.  This collection was put together based on the centuries old oral tradition that had been handed down from generation to generation in Brittany and its intention was to preserve traditional folk tales, legends, and music.

This collection of songs created new interest in the history of the Celtic tradition in Brittany and sparked a great demand throughout France for locally-produced, hand-made Brittany Style furniture.  The Brittany Style of antique furniture is distinctive and easily recognizable due to its very ornate carvings.  The local economy in Brittany was heavily dependent on fishing and maritime activities, so one often finds circles and ship's wheels as a common decorative motif in the Brittany Style of antique furniture.

Most antique furniture in the Brittany Style was carved out of chestnut, a wood with a very dark finish. A hallmark feature of the Brittany Style of French Country Antique Furniture is the symbolic use of men and women in traditional Celtic dress to represent a strong work ethic, piety, and the enjoyment of life.

Reaping the wheat in the fields with a windmill in the background Spinning wool into yarn outside a small, thatched cottage Heads bowed in prayer in thanks for a crop of potatoes at sunset Another prayer of thanks for the blessings of the field, with a view of the town's cathedral in the distance Enjoying a pipe, and each other's company, at the end of a long day On the way to the local pub to enjoy a beer or glass of wine, and perhaps a little smooching... Relaxing at the end of the day and enjoying music played on a flute or the bagpipes...

The Brittany Style harkened back to the romantic ideal of a simpler time of days long gone.  Even at the end of the 19th century, it seems our ancestors looked back fondly on the old days.  Antique Furniture in the Brittany Style, while expertly carved by hand, has a rather primitive or rustic nature to it, both in subject matter and style, that elicits the sense that it truly should be classified as Folk Art.

This antique French home decor style is one of our absolute favorites, and we hope you see why! Whether you choose a Brittany bed, Brittany armoire or even a bookcase or dining chairs, you're sure to be impressed. This style of interior design is especially popular among customers looking to spice up their dining room and living room. Interior designers always love a classic way to remodel a living space! If you're looking for design ideas to decorate your space, this style is a great way to add to your beautiful home. From accent chairs to coffee tables and more, this is a great way to go. To learn more about bedroom decor, check out our guide on some of the best techniques here! I hope you've enjoyed learning about the distinctive French Country Brittany Style of antique furniture. It is one of our favorites at EuroLux Antiques!  Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you. Thanks for stopping by the EuroLux Antiques' Blog!
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Aimee @ EuroLux Home

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. With over 20 years' experience in acquiring and selling French Antique Furniture, she is very knowledgeable about furniture styles and how they are influenced by historical events. Aimee has shipped antique furniture and antique furniture reproductions to all 50 States and over 50 foreign countries. Subscribe to this blog for articles about antique furniture construction methods, style trends and even repair tips. Check out our YouTube channel!


  1. Tammy
    I have a dining room suite from Brittany France circa 1900.
    It has the table that doubles in size with 6chairs and a hutch and buffet
    With the original gold key to unlock cabinets. It has all the unique carvings
    If you would be interested I could email you some pictures.
    I need to sell it as I am moving and don't have room for it.
  2. Myles Bankston
    Myles Bankston
    Would like to know how to sell my antiques furtinures like these es you have. Please email me. Thank you.
  3. Laura Bowley
    Laura Bowley

    I am considering buying a beautiful piece that I am almost certain is a Brittany piece. How would I be sure? And how would I determine when it was created? I would love to know more about it.

    Thank you for your time,
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