The American Empire style occurred during the early and middle portions of the 19th century and was generally associated with a revival of Classical decorative motifs. It is based on imperial forms from Greece, Rome, and Egypt, and was designed to draw parallels between the contemporary imperialism and the great ancient empires. The furniture of the period was consciously majestic and made of rich woods, metals, and stones. The forms are directly related to the Federal period, but the appearance is much more grandiose. Gilding, painting, carving, inlaying, and veneering were all used to create an appearance that conveyed the material abundance of classical America. Paw feet, swans, eagles, torches, harps, and wreaths are common decorative elements. Image: A Classical Carved and Parcel-Gilt Rosewood Card Table, Labelled by Charles-Honoré Lannuier (1779-1819), New York City, circa 1815. Sold for $497,500 June 1997.
In Greek art, the style of the 5th Century B.C., characterized by its emphasis on balance, proportion, and harmony; by extension, any style that is based on logical, rational principles.