Tag Archives: prie-dieu

Religious Treasures: Antique French Prie-Dieu Prayer Chairs

As we approach Easter week, we often have more inquiries about the antique religious treasures in our online store. During this Holy Week, I wanted to shine a special spotlight on antique French prayer chairs, also called a prie-dieu in French.Antique French Prie-Dieu for sale at EuroLuxHome.com

These exceptional pieces of furniture are not only beautiful in design, but they are created purely for the purpose of prayer and devotion. Prie-dieu literally means “Pray god” and people use it as a knee rest in their prayers and as a support for prayer books.

This superb antique French prie-dieu currently on sale in our online store is a wonderful example.  It is finely crafted in cherry wood and upholstered with green velvet and it dates to about 1890. Notice the decorative shell on the back of the chair and the turned spindle posts.

When we find a prie-dieu while on our buying trips in France, we know that these pieces have been treasured for many years, often for much more than a century. It is touching to to imagine how many devout worshippers have paid their religious devotions and dedicated their prayers while supported by these chairs.

Here is another example of a prayer chair, which we found during one of our antiques buying trips. Although prayer chairs were most often for private devotional use at home, some would also be found in churches, like this one that we discovered for sale at a church in Normandy.

antique French Prie Dieu

The chair dated to 1890. It was a bit sad and sorry for itself, but the carvings in the oak wood were lovely and in good shape.

Prie-dieu antique French

So we brought it home and had it reupholstered in red velvet, to keep the overall look of the prayer chair as close as possible to the original upholstery.  Isn’t it gorgeous? Our customers thought so, and we quickly got a lot of inquiries and it was snapped up.

The prie-dieu was given its name around the early 17th century although the item of furniture was used long before that. You might sometimes have seen a prie-dieu used at a church wedding, where it is provided for the elaborately bedecked bride and her groom to kneel on during the service!

The prayer chairs above are quite ornate in their carvings and design, but here’s another example with a simpler but no less lovely design.

Vintage French Prayer Chair

This vintage French prie-dieu is still currently available in our online store at the time of writing, and it is crafted in walnut wood and boasts a rattan seat. It dates to about 1930, which explains the lighter and more streamlined silhouette, reflecting the tastes of the modern era around the Art Deco period.

If you’ve enjoyed our exploration into the prie-dieu, then you might also enjoy reading my blog post about other kinds of Antique Religious Treasures. You can also browse the vintage and antique French prayer chairs in our online store.

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.

Antiques Buying Trip in France

Bonjour from France! Greg and I landed in Paris at the weekend on an antiques buying trip around Northern France, Belgium and England. Come along for the ride! We’ve been posting more photos as we go on our EuroLux Facebook page so you can follow us there too and see pictures of the treasures we find.

Antiques shopping in France

Our first stop in France? We immediately hit the famous antique market in Saint Ouen. This market is in a suburb of Paris just north of the popular tourist area of Montmartre which is crowned by the lovely Sacré-Cœur Basilica.

Antiques hunting in France

Basilica of St Denis
There was lots to see, and sometimes the most wonderful antiques are tucked away in unexpected places so you have to keep your eyes wide open! This started getting difficult by the time we’d spent the day antiques shopping. We could barely keep our eyes open at all with the jet lag kicking in! So we decided to visit the Basilica of Saint-Denis. As you can see, it was a perfect sunny day.

 

The Basilica of Saint-Denis was the very first Gothic cathedral ever built. It has been on my bucket list for many years and was even more beautiful in person!

Basilica of St Denis Paris

The Basilica is in Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris. The choir was completed in 1144 and was the first example of a building that used all the elements of Gothic architecture.

We sell quite a lot of antique French Gothic furniture and new pieces with Gothic influences, so it was fascinating to see the building that led the way for this entire style!

Inside Basilica

The stained glass is exquisite, as you can see from this rose window. Most French kings between the 10th and the 18th centuries were buried here at the Basilica, and French Queens were often crowned here too. It became a place of pilgrimage for many.

antique French Prie DieuThen we headed off to Normandy and Brittany for a few days. In Normandy one of my favorite picks of the day was this gorgeous antique prie-dieu prayer chair circa 1890.  I always buy a prie-dieu chair when I find a good one! Prie-dieu literally means “Pray god” and people use it as a knee rest in their prayers and as a support for prayer books. We’ll reupholster the padded knee rest in red velvet.

French Chateau FougeresSometimes when you’re on the road on an antiques buying trip, things don’t turn out quite as expected. Greg and I have learned that if the addresses on your list don’t pan out but there is a massive chateau nearby, stop for the chateau instead!  This is in the medieval part of Fougeres, on the Brittany-Normandy border.

We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into our antiques buying trip in France. More photos and stories to follow and you can see more from our journey on our Facebook page!

AimeeAvatarAimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her husband and best friend, Greg. Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way. She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Find us on Facebook or connect with EuroLux on Google+. Or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.