A taboret (also spelled tabouret or tabourette) or stool refers to two different pieces of furniture: a cabinet or a stool.
The popular sense refers to a small portable stand or cabinet, with drawers and shelves for storage. It is used as a method to bring organization to a work area. This name for a portable cabinet is common to artists. However, in the context of the Arts and Crafts Movement, a taboret is a stand for a plant or a beverage.
As a stool, it refers to a short stool without a back or arms. The name is derived from its resemblance to a drum (diminutive of Old French tabour).
A highly prized stool
The tabouret acquired a more specialized meaning in 17th century France at the court of Louis XIV in Versailles. Sitting in the presence of the royal family was a much coveted honor, and the tabouret was the way to do it. The court tabouret was an elaborate, upholstered stool with curved wooden legs and tassels, carried by a liveried and wigged servant. Duchesses were automatically granted the honor of sitting in front of the queen. In fact, this stool became such a symbol of privilege that when Louis XIV's mother, the Regent Anne of Austria, granted the tabouret to two non-duchesses, such a storm of protest was raised that she had to revoke the order.
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