Relevant categories: Desks
(Above photo - Walnut Georgian Pedestal Desk )
Georgian pedestal desks transcended the 18th and 19th centuries, transforming from a simplistic style to a more embellished one. During the two centuries, several kings of England and different designers worked to produce some of the best furniture in the era. In this article, we shall discuss some of the individuals that greatly influenced the Georgian furniture style to make it what we know today. Let’s get started!
(Above photo - Georgian Knee Hole Desk )
During the reign of King George I, William Kent was the most prominent furniture designer. His major influences were the Palladian and Italian baroque styles. He also borrowed heavily from Inigo Jones and other designers to develop a unique, rich, highly-ornamented style. Thus, pedestal desks produced during the early Georgian period featured heavy ornamentation and a rich tone. At that time, the Hanoverians had taken over the English throne after the death of Queen Anne, making Kentian design the most predominant style.
(Above photo - Georgian Bureau Desk )
When George II became king, designers started looking to France for inspiration and adopting the more playful Rococo style. It has sprung out of Louis XIV’s strict reign and ended up across the English channel in furniture designers’ workshops. It is defined by using broken shell and rock motifs to create a unique embellishment of furniture pieces. The Georgian pedestal desks made during this time were highly symmetrical and heavily ornamented. They had scrollwork, bombe commodes, serpentine lines, cabriole legs, and beautiful ormolu sculptures.
Between the 1750s and 1760s, the Chippendale style became the most dominant force in designing Georgian furniture. In 1754, Thomas Chippendale released the famous “The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Directory,” describing the gothic, extravagant, and chinoiserie design styles. While the Kentian style had been heavy, the Chippendale style toned down on some embellishments and decorations. It has minimalistic but with a broad appeal to the mercantile as elite classes of society. As a result, the pedestal desks produced using that style were a bit toned down.
Furniture design during the 1770s got inspiration from the ancient world rather than contemporary styles like rococo and Chippendale. As part of the decorations, pedestal desks started featuring bearded borders, Greek key, egg, dart, and Vitruvian waves. The most influential designer was Robert Adam, Josiah Wedgewood, George Hepplewhite, and Thomas Sheraton.
(Above photo - Georgian pedestal desk in mahogany )
Regency style is closely related to the neoclassical movement because of its devotion to classical antiquity. It was the predominant style during George IV’s reign over Britain until he died in 1830. Compared to the neoclassical pedestal desks, their Regency counterparts were heavier, more solid, but with lesser embellishment. Some of the common motifs used in decorating these pieces included beetles, sphynxes, and snakes borrowed from Ancient Egypt. The furniture pieces were also “Japanned,” creating a clear contrast between gold and black. However, they had some elements borrowed from the Far East.
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