The bombe chest is a piece of furniture that finds its roots in 16th century France, when craftsmen began to stray from the hard, classical furniture building styles that dominated the times. The result was a flowing, curved chest, more often than not decorated in intricate lacquered paint and finish work. Since those rebellious beginnings, the bombe style chest has come to signify the best in decorative woodwork and incredible finish design, making these wonderful chests an excellent addition to any home.
Bombe Chests Aren’t Cookie Cutter Material
While curved, rounded bodies and decorative artwork are generally the rule when it comes to these chests, it’s important to recognize that the term bombe (or Bombay) chest refers more to an aesthetic than any kind of antique furniture blueprint. Bombe style chests can be short, tall, skinny, fat, elaborately painted or sensibly stained. In other words, no two of these chests look alike, which is a big part of why they have become so popular and turn so many heads.
Another big part of the appeal of the bombe style is the artwork. Sure, the furniture makers of 16th century France were beginning to rebel with more flowing and curvacious furniture, but they didn’t quit there. They also began to experiment with artistic, intricate paint and lacquer design, as well. The result was a style of finishing that came to be known as “chinoiserie.” Oriental and tropical scenes and themes were the most popular subjects of those stunning designs, both motifs that continue on in modern bombe chests. (by Matt Goering)