Relevant categories: Desks,Oil Paintings,Cabinets and Chests
To View Our Range Of Victorian Antique Furniture Please Click Here
(Above photo - Victorian Credenza Cabinet - Walnut Sideboard 1860 )
Victorian antique furniture The Victorian revivalist furniture is a unique antique style made from 1837 to 1901 when Queen Victoria reigned in England. It often adopted decorations and motifs from previous periods to bring back the best from the past.
Despite the variation in which they exist, Victorian furniture is elegant and opulent. Queen Victoria had a great sense of grandeur, shaping the offerings of furniture makers from that period. As a result, her reign was marked by elaborate, grand furniture.
exists in various styles, most of which sought to revive the best elements from the past. Whether tables, cabinets, chairs, or sideboards, the furniture pieces have iconic features, making them authentic with time.
To understand Victorian furniture, there’s the need to know how past furniture design influenced it. This article explores the historical perspective of Victorian furniture to help you know how to pick them. Keep reading for more information.
( Above Photo: Set Victorian Dining Chairs Cabriole Leg )
The Gothic period lasted between the 12th and the 15th century. The primary influence was the French gothic architecture, which sprung up at the start of the 12th century.
In the Victorian period, furniture makers were heavily influenced by medieval gothic architecture, creating the gothic revival style that imitated the glorious European cathedral and castles. The furniture had geometric forms and detailed carvings, a popular decoration of the 19th century.
Furniture makers used walnut, oak, and rosewood to make gothic revival furniture. They created intricate carvings and utilized heavy fabrics such as velvet and leather to upholster chairs.
Also, the designers used ornamentation with foliate motifs while incorporating elements like crockets, trefoils, quatrefoils, spires, and arches. The gothic revival style was used to make chairs, desks, cabinets, tables, etc.
( Above Photo: Victorian Oak Dining Set - Table and Chairs Suite 1880 )
In the 1870s, the Victorian period saw the emergence of Jacobian Revival furniture. Instead of handmade furniture pieces, Victorian furniture makers started making the centuries-old furniture in factories.
The designs featured adaptations of Jacobean Strapwork, which had been popular in the 17th century. Mostly, these furniture pieces had wide and flat details infusing ornamental molding.
There re-emerged storage chests, circular tables, and spindled chairs as a break from the prevailing currents. The chairs have dramatic fabrics with nature scenes, rich patterns, and flowers. However, the furniture style was generally rigid and had solid-looking pieces and incised ornamentation.
( Above Photo: Victorian Oil Painting Punting on the Cam - Cambridge River Scene Portrait )
When Louis XV ascended to the throne in France, he influenced the development of the rococo style with his strictness. With time, the rococo style made its way across the English Channel, becoming an integral part of furniture making in England.
The French-influenced furniture style was popular for fruits motifs, shells, flora, and the love for nature. It is a grand style that features heavily ornamented furniture pieces.
Rococo-style furniture featured popular woods and materials such as rosewood and mahogany. The furniture pieces had gold finishes and round curvaceous corners, while chairs had tufting upholstery. By attempting to revive the rococo style, Victorian furniture makers sought a complete departure from the flat gothic and Jacobean styles.
( Above Photo: Victorian Dining Table and Set Hepplewhite Chairs Mahogany Set )
The better part of the early 19th century was marked by attempts of artists and furniture makers to bring back the best from the classical and renaissance periods.
By 1850, Victorian England witnessed heavy furniture pieces defined by bold features, a total departure from the elegant rococo-style pieces.
Renaissance-revival pieces had masculine arches, human and animal figures, and fluted legs imitating the columns in classical Greek architecture. The tyle came due to the increased travel of people from England to Greece and other parts of Europe.
( Above Photo: Victorian Bureau Desk Mahogany 1850 )
Towards the end of the 19th century, furniture makers sought to completely depart from the revivalist movement that had so far defined the Victorian period. Their efforts resulted in the Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized handmade items rather than the increasing use of mechanization.
Arts and Crafts furniture had simple designs marked by straight lines and neutral or natural upholstery. Instead of relying on heavy machinery, Arts and Crafts sought to recapture the spirit of craftsmanship, developing a style that reflected their beliefs.
Given the eclectic nature of Victorian antique furniture, the features are varied, depending on when and by whom it was made. Here is an overview of this particular furniture style:
Victorian furniture has a rather formal and somber look regardless of the style, with chairs having balloon-shaped backs, curved arms, and upholstered and round shapes, tapering to the seat. Besides, chair legs can be straight, round, or have multiple turnings, seats can be square, horseshoe-shaped, or curved. Chairs have whorl, round, or clawed feet.
Victorian antique furniture had ornamentation with motifs such as animals, vines, and foliage. However, there were variations, especially in the styles that sought to break from the past. For example, Arts and Crafts furniture had angular lines and geometric shapes. Furniture makers carved intricate designs in the wood, created inlays of contrasting materials, and included turned pieces.
One of the main features of Victorian antique furniture is generous upholstery. Apart from cushioning, the seats were covered with richly colored fabric. The preferred material was hair cloth, from camel or horsehair. Other fabrics include tapestry, plush, velvet, and velour. Typically, the tapestry is heavier and includes intricate designs and patterns.
Victorian furniture makers favored dark woods like walnut, rosewood, and mahogany, occasionally using ash and oak. Replicas of Victorian furniture sometimes relied on lighter but heavily stained woods to bring out the dark-hued originals. Wood sections were joined together using dovetail joints.
The drawer pulls for Victorian furniture are elaborate and take the form of fruit or leaf-shaped wooden handles. Some drawer pulls are wooden mushroom-shaped knobs or glass knobs, which are round or rosette-shaped. Also, brass rosette-shaped handles were standard.
Victorian antique furniture pieces remain some of the most collectible-worthy pieces globally. They are available in different shapes, sizes, and styles. If you are looking for good Victorian furniture, check out its characteristics.
How to Identify a Victorian Chest of Drawers
How to Identify a Victorian Open Bookcase
Antique Coffee Tables - Everything You Should Know
Victorian Open Bookcase - A Brief History
How to Decorate with a Victorian Open Bookcase
Antique Hall Tables - Regency Consoles For Elegant Interiors
4 Ways to Use Victorian Pedestal Desks
History of the Victorian Parlour - Canonbury Antiques
Everything You Should Know About Victorian Salon Chair - Canonbury Antiques
Victorian Interiors - An In-Depth Look from Canonbury Antiques
Antique Sofa Tables - Regency and Victorian Buying Guide from Canonbury
The Bureau Bookcase Defined by Canonbury Antiques
Recently Viewed Items
Victorian Pedestal Desk Antiqu...
Victorian Oil Painting Artists...
Victorian Oak Dining Set - Tab...
Victorian Cabinet - Glazed Ant...
In the realm of interior design, few pieces command attention and admiration quite like Art Deco cocktail bar cabinets.
Georgian bureau bookcases are exquisite pieces of furniture that blend the functionality of a writing desk with the storage capacity of a bookcase.
Antique credenzas are timeless pieces of furniture that add both functionality and elegance to any space.