Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary
Interest in Mohammedan art and architecture, the increased importance of Turkey in diplomatic affairs, and the building of the Suez Canal all contributed to a vogue for furniture which resembled that of a Turkish divan.
The American interpretation is limited to side and arm chairs, sofas, couches and ottomans, the double or "conversation" chair and the circular sofa.
Made originally in sets for parlor or library, this Turkish style is the predecessor of the overstuffed furniture of 20th-century manufacture. (At the time Turkish furniture was being produced in English and American factories, the palaces and fine residences of Constantinople and Cairo were being refurnished with carved and gilded furniture, chiefly imported from France.)
Wood - native hard and soft woods for upholstery-covered frame, black walnut or maple for turned legs
- rectangular or shaped frame completely concealed by overstuffed upholstery for chairs, sofas and similar pieces
- seats supported by coil springs
- back and arms deeply padded and made with or without coil springs;
- short baluster or vase-turned legs, castered and concealed by deep fringe-enclosed arms, flaring or bolster-shaped
Decoration - plain or figured upholstery material with corresponding fringe from seat to floor and arm tassels; upholstery material including plush, velour, brocatelle, tapestry, brocade and, less frequently, leather
Size - always oversize with large low seat
Example: Turkish Room of Crown Prince Rudolf - Hofmobiliendepot Imperial Furniture Collection, Vienna, Austria