Why Arras?

Besides the wonderful furniture, Arras is commonly known for the destructive battles held there in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. The Arras Foundry produced iron until the beginning of the 1st World War, where it swapped furniture for munitions. Many furniture pieces from Arras surfaced around 1840 when one of three factories began manufacturing outdoor furniture.


How was it made?

Arras furniture is highly sought after, and many pieces have become collectors’ items around the world. Each piece has a distinctive style due to all the furniture being hand forged and riveted. The common difference between outdoor furniture from Arras and other areas was due to the shaping of the iron; imagine a hollow tube of iron and cut it in half vertically. The makers tried to get a collaboration of what was practical and what was desired at the time visually.  Despite this using more iron per metre, it had many structural benefits. Firstly, the shape of the iron gave it a stronger composition when being forged together. Secondly, with the furniture primarily being made for outdoor use, the curved nature of the iron allowed rain to run off the edges, preventing water from gathering on the surface, creating rust. Finally, it was believed that due to the curved edges, it would be more comfortable and eradicated the chance of sharp edges. We’d tend to agree with this too!


What makes Arras garden furniture so special?

Despite being well known for its simplicity and comfortability, many pieces boast intricate designs. The feet of furniture are one of the most unique features when it comes to identifying pieces from Arras. Either on the tables, chairs, benches or even plant stands, it is important to look out for either a hoof or a lion’s paw. For a collector who wanted to date their piece, it is believed that from the beginning the lion’s paw was more commonly found. However, after around 1900, due to financial repercussions, it became cheaper to produce the horses hoof instead. Not only due to financial reasons, the hooves were also seen to be a more desired design at the time. Another feature that collectors will look out for is the name of the factory which would have been stamped and attached to each piece after completion. However external factors such as paint, rust, and the weather, it has become ever increasingly difficult to find or read the makers’ name.


Why were they manufactured and where can Arras garden furniture be found?

Due to the practicality, simplicity, and comfortability, many of the pieces were created for the wealthy. It is believed that there was a gap in the high-end market at the time, who were slowly discovering the advantages of outdoor living. This allowed the makers to broaden their array of products to benches, chairs, plant stands, step ladders and other designs. These were made from high quality materials which were strong, water resistant and were the fashion for the privileged class. However, many pieces were seen to be found within public parks across France within the late 19th and early 20th Century, not just within private gardens.


Can Arras Garden Furniture still be found now?

Thanks to the durability of the raw materials used, Arras furniture, despite being highly collectable, can still be found. It’s unique features, such as the lion’s paws or horses’ hooves, give the pieces a unique look for anyone in search of high-end outdoor furniture.