Recamiers and Sofa Beds

MPF Conservation is a full-service company specializing in conservation, restoration and preservation of furnishings of upholstered and non-upholstered objects, textiles and interior architectural elements; this page discusses recamiers (fainting couches), sofa-beds, and modern lounging furniture.

Left, American Wracheting Recamier circa 1860.
Below right, Double Love, a custom modern version of a reclining piece meant for two.

We are updating this page; please excuse our mess!

In most cases, the pieces below had a variation of the following performed on them. For the sake of brevity, we will only publish the differences in this list, under “Details”. Frames are often not completely disassembled due to issues in the frame or it is not necessary.

  • Excavated down to the frame
  • Cleaned all innards and set aside if they can be reused
  • Frame disassembled and joints repaired and reglued
  • Tacking margins filled with hardwood pins
  • Historic varnish was amended with several coats of pure shellac and rubbed to patina
  • Seat was traditionally upholstered and built-up with historic or appropriate fibers
  • Cotton batting topper
  • Muslin undercover encased entire sofa
  • New showcover

Banner is Juliette Recamier by François-Louis Dejuinne circa 1827. François-Louis Dejuinne (1786–1844) was a French painter, and painted Jeanne Françoise Julie Adélaïde Récamier (1777–1849) in her salon. Juliette, as she was known, was a French socialite who attracted the leading literary and political persona in early 19th-century Paris. The furniture was named after her.

American Wrachet Arm Recamier circa 1860

There is a pedal on the arm which allows the back to drop horizontally and the slender recamier becomes a bed.

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San Quentin Recamier circa 1996

This recamier was built by inmates in San Quentin. Mitchell discovered this when he reupholstered the piece in 1996.

It made it way to Oregon and a client saw it in an antique store in Jacksonville. He bought it and brought it to Mitchell as a gift, knowing he woudl work magic on the piece. Above left, the recamier when Mitchell fist saw it, and after in Kate’s gallery in Jacksonville, Dakala.

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American Double Wrachet-Arm Loveseat Recamier circa 1920

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This is an unusual These kinds of items were very popular with apartment dwellers as they could be used for sleepovers but did not take up much space.

Our client dressed it up in a very feminine manner, with floral fabric and tiny gingham bows.

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Greek Revival Recamier circa 1830

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Before treatment, left, and after treatment, right.

Before treatment, left, and after treatment, right and below.

Eastlake Sofa-bed circa 1880

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After treatment, installed in our client’s home, below.

For a full accounting of our treatment go to our blog:

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Custom Built

American Lawson Style Tête-à-tête circa 1979

MPFC created this tête-à-tête for a patron with eclectic tastes, mixing modern styles with antiques and treasures from her travels. It was originally built for her in 1979, and Mitchell reupholstered it in 1995.