Relevant categories: Dining Chairs,Bookcases
( Above Photo: Georgian Breakfront Bookcase Mahogany Revival 1880 )
Georgian antique furniture pieces are some of the most recognizable from the 18th and 19th centuries. They were released over 100 years, starting with the ascension to power by George I in 1714 and George IV in 1830. Given the many influential people and designers behind the style, Georgian furniture exists in various styles and configurations. Notable furniture designers of that era include Robert Adam, Thomas Hope, Thomas Chippendale, and William Kent.
This article explores Georgian antique furniture in greater detail. Please keep reading to learn more about the history of Georgian furniture and the influential people behind it.
( Above Photo: Georgian Wine Table Mahogany Side Tables Antique )
When George assumed the reign of power in England in 1714, William Kent was already working as a furniture designer, landscaper, and architect in England. His designs had a heavy influence on Palladian and Italian baroque styles. Combining the two with the works of the architect Inigo Jones, Kent developed a rich, pompous, richly ornamented English style.
Kent designed sculptured, upholstered, richly carved, often gilded pieces of furniture. Previously, during the era of Queen Anne, designers had favored the Anglo-Dutch Style, which was less ornate. Now, with the ascension of George I to power, the Hanoverians having taken over the English throne, the opulent, powerful Italianate design became more popular. William Kent played a major role in popularizing this new furniture style.
( Above Photo: Georgian Wine Table Antique Mahogany Side Tables )
The rococo furniture style had originated in France in 1715 at the start of the Regence period. It is was a more playful Georgian furniture style and design. The reign of Louis XIV was marked with strictness and the demand for an orderly way of doing things. Furniture makers developed the rococo style in reaction to that. In a few years, the style had crossed over to England, defining another style of Georgian antique furniture.
Rococo, or rocailles in French, refers to the rocks and broken shells that became an important part of the style. It was highly-ornamented, utilizing 'C' and 'S' scrolls, acanthus leaf features, and shells like William Kent's style. Furniture from this era was characteristically asymmetrical, favoring decoration over functionality. The extremely ornate Chinoiserie became an integral part of the rococo furniture style. Rococo furniture pieces have serpentine lines, cabriole legs, scrollwork, bombe commodes, and sculptured ormolu.
( Above Photo: Georgian Knee Hole Desk Walnut )
As soon as George III took over the English throne, the Chippendale style emerged from the shadows to become the defining force behind Georgian antique furniture. In 1754 Thomas Chippendale published The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Directory, marking the start of a new era. The book contained three main styles, gothic, rococo, and Chinoiserie.
Generally, Chippendale Georgian antique furniture was lighter than the Kentian and rococo styles, which had been quite heavy. They appealed to the expanding mercantile and elite class. With the publication of the directory, the Chippendale designs became accessible to many people. Chippendale didn't have to make the furniture himself but was assisted by other designers who had adopted the style. Within a short time, this kind of Georgian antique furniture could be found in many homes around England.
( Above Photo: Georgian Sideboard - Mahogany Antique Server Buffet )
While maintaining modern styles, designers looked for inspiration from the ancient world. Before the 1770s, there had been major discoveries, including Herculaneum in 1738 and Pompeii in 1748. As a result, Johann Joachim Winkelman published the History of Art in Antiquity in 1764. In 1771, the Warwick Vase was discovered in Italy. Designers became more enamored by classical antiquity.
They applied strict architectural guidelines to furniture in an attempt to restore order. The new furniture became more appealing than the heavily ornamented Chippendale and rococo styles. Neoclassical Georgian furniture had motifs such as dartboards, beaded borders, egg, Vitruvian waves, festoons, swags, amphorae, fluted or reeded tapering legs, and Greek key.
This type of Georgian antique furniture is delicate and light but substantially ornamented. The designers behind this style include Robert Adam, Josiah Wedgewood, George Hepplewhite, and Thomas Sheraton. Each of them contributed to turning neoclassic furniture into what it is today.
( Above Photo: Antique Porters Chair - Georgian Leather Circa 1800 )
Regency furniture style sought to maintain devotion to classical antiquity and is aptly viewed as a variation of the neoclassic. From 1811, the Regency period made its debut and lasted for nine years until 1820. It is one of the most dominant Georgian furniture styles, remaining in force until the death of George IV in 1830. It involved the work of designers like Thomas Sheraton, George Smith, and George Hope, whose inspiration came from neoclassical architecture.
Regency furniture is more on the heavier side. Compared to neoclassical furniture, they are heavier. Apart from classical architecture, these furniture pieces were also heavily influenced by the discoveries made after the Napoleonic campaign in Egypt in 1798. Consequently, common motifs include beetles, sphinxes, snakes, and other Egyptian motifs. The furniture was japanned and decorated with ormolu in elegant combinations of gold and black.
( Above Photo: Antique Display Cabinet - Georgian Mahogany Specimen 1880 )
One of the best things about Georgian antique furniture is its strict adherence to quality and standards. It mainly features mahogany, which is a beautiful and durable material. Regardless of being more than 200 years old, a furniture piece from that area would certainly last for another two centuries.
While furniture-makers initially used walnut, after 1730, they relied on the imported mahogany, which was resistant to woodworm. You will likely find a durable piece, whether you want a chair, table, sideboard, or cabinet.
Georgian furniture is still widely desirable among antique collectors worldwide with such a rich history and unmatched design credentials. Buying several of these pieces can help you get a total overhaul; of your home's interior décor. Besides, antique furniture can retain or improve in its value, making it a worthy investment.
We've got you covered if you're looking for Georgian furniture for your home. We have a variety of furniture pieces, including desks, chairs, cabinets, sideboards, tables, etc., from which you can choose. Apart from our furniture pieces retaining their original features, they are elegant and capable of lasting much longer. We have both original works with a high price tag and recreations, the more affordable alternative.
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