x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Object of desire: Beidermeier longue

Adored by the likes of Cleopatra and Joséphine, the chaise longue has come a long way since its crude beginnings.

Adored by the likes of Cleopatra and Joséphine, the chaise longue has come a long way since its crude beginnings.

While its design may have undergone a massive transformation throughout the ages - one of the earliest examples, from about about 900CE, featured ropes - the chaise longue has retained its 18th-century concept: a place to lounge or relax during the day for ladies of leisure who did not want to risk messing up their elaborate hairstyles or creasing their complicated dresses, no doubt to the relief of their servants.

Whether it is ultra modern or an antique collector's item, the chaise longue makes a statement in any setting, none more so than this Beidermeier classic from Germany (circa 1820). Made of birch wood, its stylish simplicity and blond notes combine easily with both art deco and contemporary furniture.

"This creates a relaxed mood and informal atmosphere, unlike the many antique styles that demand a more formal setting," says Håkan Groth, a London-based Beidermeier specialist and a partner in Rupert Cavendish Antiques.

"Beidermeier is essentially Empire furniture, but shorn of its ormolu mounts, excessive gilding and aggressive self-importance; its subtle appeal lies in its simplicity."

The German Beidermeier chaise longue costs £7,500 (Dh42,707) from Rupert Cavendish Antiques, 610 King's Road, London (www.rupertcavendish.co.uk)