Sella Curulis, the chair of state, is derived by the ancient writers from currus (chariot). The sella curulis is said to have been used at Rome from a very remote period as an emblem of kingly power, having been imported, along with various other insignia of royalty, from Etruria. However, much earlier stools supported on a cross-frame are known from the New Kingdom of Egypt. A related design, along with two other ancient fragments from the Museo Borbonico in Naples, Italy, is illustrated in John Murray, A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, London, 1875, p.520.
The form found its way into stylish but non-royal decoration in the archaeological second phase of neoclassicism in the early 19th century.
In France, the designers such as Charles Percier and Pierre-François Fontaine had created designs for stools and armchairs of curule form in the late 18th century. Georges Jacob is known to have executed a number of its variants, including a set of fauteuils for the French Supreme Court, in 1795. Another interesting example, by Jean-Baptiste Demay, is at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris. Jacques-Louis David, praised for the tremendous attention to detail in his paintings, depicted a fine example of a curule in his masterpiece Les amours de Pâris et d’Hélène, now in the Louvre Museum, Paris.