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Fauteuil Dagobert_EN

The Dagobert Chair

The “Dagobert Chair” is a type of traditional French armchair, designed from the image and drawing of the legendary bronze throne of King Dagobert I, who reigned in France during the 7th century. For many centuries, kings of France sat on this throne on the occasion of special ceremonies.
dagobert 1In the 11th century, the throne was listed as one of the treasures of the Abbey of Saint-Denis. Indeed, it was symbolically passing from monarch to monarch – for the matter, the chair was already rather damaged by this constant use.
In the 18th century, the armchair was transferred to the Royal Library in order to be preserved, along with 13 other treasures considered to be artistic and scientific monuments.
For centuries, Dagobert’s throne has been seen as an attribute for royal status, and the fact the king sat on this throne symbolised the legitimacy and the continuity of his authority.
Dagobert’s throne was used as such for the last time by Napoleon Bonaparte during the very first ceremony of the Legion of Honour in 1804 (the story tells that Napoleon Bonaparte broke this damaged chair by sitting on it). dagobert 2
A copy of Dagobert’s throne, made of cast iron covered with gold, was produced at the beginning of the 19th century and is still located in the Basilica of Saint-Denis. Its status of episcopal throne makes it a protected historical monument since 1999. 
Thus, the highly symbolical signification of the chair has been preserved over the centuries. It is not surprising that the throne was reproduced many times, which led to the creation of a specific type of furniture: the ‘Dagobert’.
The Dagobert chair is one of the oldest sorts of French armchairs.
This chair is usually lower than the ones from the following centuries, and often folding (it was appropriate for the life of the time, because of their owners constantly travelling, especially during the wars of the feudal era).
The form of the seat recalls the curved thrones used in Ancient Rome. The armchair is characterised by an X-shaped structure and a wide backrest, generally of Gothic or Renaissance style. The seat is usually made of taut leather or hessian, fixed on both sides. The edges of the armrests are decorated with lion heads, the same way the royal throne was.

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