The closest many of us will ever come to a genuinely intimate relationship is that we share with a chair, particularly a long favored chair, like this gaily upholstered bergère.
A bergère is an enclosed upholstered French armchair, (fauteuil) with back and armrests supported on an upholstered frame. While the seat frame is over-upholstered, the rest of the wooden framing is exposed.
A bergère may be molded or carved, beech painted, or gilded, made of fruitwood, walnut or mahogany with a waxed finish. It may include padded elbow rests perched atop the armrests. It is fitted with a loose, but tailored, seat cushion and designed for lounging in comfort, with a deeper wider seat than that of a regular fauteuil (armchair), although more formal models of the bergère are available as well. In the White House for example.
In the eighteenth century, a bergère was essentially what is known as a meuble courant, which literally translates to a current piece of furniture. Current, because it was designed to be moved about to suit convenience, rather than being ranged permanently or formally along the walls as part of the decor.
Who could resist its warmth, whimsy and happy countenance that smiles from whichever corner it graces? Like the friend who accompanies you to a party reminding you you’re not alone in a room of strangers, the silent, sturdy and reliably devoted bergère is your private accomplice, your most trusted confidante, the one true plush pal that will never drop you, disappoint you or let you down. The fold of its strong, unyielding arms never wavers, equivocates or shuns the simplest of life’s surprises: a post-party collapse, a vexing decision, a defeated slump, a quiet cry, a stunned silence, or the blissful fog of sleep.
Each day it greets you with the gentlest of nudges, the softest of caresses, and each night, in grateful commendation, it gathers you into its protective arms to soothe, shelter and calm, reminding you once more, lest you forget, of its fealty, faithfulness, and unapologetic love.