Relevant categories: Dining Sets,Desks,Tables
King George II reigned over Britain and Ireland between 1727 and 1760. During that time, there arose some very unique furniture styles that tended to take on the names of the designers. In fact, it was King George II who ushered in the popular Chippendale furniture style. Luckily there are a few pieces from that era which are still on sale. Many could be imitations but nothing prevents them from being called George II antiques as long as they are more than 100 years old.
Characteristically, George II antiques made less use of walnut and an increase in the use of mahogany. Of course, mahogany had been in use during Queen Ann’s reign. However, it was in 1745 during the early Chippendale period. The Dutch features of the Queen Ann era were dropped with the back of chairs becoming shorter and the outline more varied. This is the time when the ball-and-claw comes out as a replacement for the rounded Dutch foot.
What began as ‘transition furniture’ soon became true Chippendale designs, the very ones that characterize a George II antique. As the Dutch features became a thing of the past, more emphasis was put on gothic, Chinese, Louis XV, and French rococo styles. Today when looking for a genuine George II antique, make sure you check out for a combination of these styles.
Apart from Chippendale, other designers during the era of King George II included James and Robert Adam. Even though trained as a decorator and architect, respectively, they designed furniture and greatly impacted the look of the typical George II antique. After return from a trip to Italy, Robert Adam adopted a style that featured classic Italian and Roman art. The major contribution of the Adam brothers is they brought back the elegance, delicacy, and fine proportions that took the typical George II antique back to the simple and classic.
Due to the contribution of the Adam brothers, it is not hard to find a George II antique that has straight legs instead of the cabriole ones. They not only made delicate chairs but ensured that they had low backs and were narrow by nature. The inlay featured details such as garlands, festoons, ribbon bands, arabesques, acanthus leaf, oval sunburst, the urn, as well as the laurel wreath.
A George II antique is also likely to be made by George Hepplewhite who made shield-back chairs, with square legs that ended as spade feet. But he is best known for perfecting the sideboard and creating graceful and lighter four-poster beds. He was to hand the design mantle to Thomas Sheraton from whom we get a George II antique, here and there. He brought his strong artistic side to work and installed secret inlays and drawers onto desks. However, just like Hepplewhite, Sheraton borrowed a lot from his predecessors, the Adam brothers.
When you mention a George II antique, it doesn’t just refer to chairs and cabinets. It also includes clock cases, secretaries, and desks. Clock cases were tall with both broken arch and square tops. They were then inlaid or veneered. Original secretaries featured ball feet from a previous era. In later years, there emerged ball-and-claw feet, bracket, and eventually the short legs from the Adam and Sheraton eras.
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