Relevant categories: Bookcases
Like other furniture pieces of that period, the Regency Bookcase has a history dating back to between 1800 and 1830 when Prince Regent reigned until he was coroneted as King George IV. During his reign, the furniture made in England mainly featured the Regency style. Not only did the style define bookcases but all the other types of furniture. These pieces of furniture had common aesthetics, given that they were commissioned by the king himself. Today, furniture makers continue to be inspired by the style that characterised pieces from the Regency period. Here are features that define a classical Regency bookcase:
1. Classical Influence
At the command of Prince Regent, furniture makers went after recreating actual bookcases in artworks, vaults, and museums. With the discovery of ancient Egyptian artefacts, furniture makers sought to implement some of them when making furniture. That’s why your Regency bookcase is likely to feature griffins, lions, sphinxes, and god-like motifs. Some of the pieces made during that period have taken on a more Japanese and Chinese influence. Wood was either curved to look like bamboo or replaced with bamboo.
Pieces of furniture from the Regency period was full of ornamentation and thus elegant in nature. In place of elaborate carvings from previous periods, you are likely to find a Regency bookcase emblazoned with brass inlays as well as ormolu accents. The woodwork generally has plain surfaces and lines. As for the legs, they are slender and stand at right angles. It is the simplicity of the background that wonders when it comes to highlighting the ornamentation.
Furniture during the Regency period was more reserved when it comes to the size. Previously, bookcases were taller and featured a considerable number of shelves. That contrasts sharply with a typical Regent bookcase, which was shorter to allow for space for wall decorations. It made it possible for people to better display their treasures and curios.
Did you know that it is possible to know the period when a piece of furniture was made just by looking at the wood used to make it? When considering a Regency bookcase, you are likely to discover that its base pieces are mostly made of mahogany. To make the surface veneers, furniture makers used zebrawood and rosewood. Thus, the end product has a surface that was both striking and easy to clean.
To give a Regency bookcase its ornate appeal, furniture makers used brass and occasionally ormolu or bronze. The metallic inlays would be found on the hinges, handles, legs, and corners of a Regency bookcase. That’s in addition to laurel wreaths as well as carved rosettes. The glass inset on a Regency bookcase is most likely to be covered by lattice patterned brass grills.
5. Famous Designers
To help King George IV in his quest to influence the kind of furniture produced during his time, there were a number of well-known furniture designers doing the work. They include George Smith, Thomas Sheraton, Thomas Hope, and Henry Holland. If you are looking for a piece of Regency Bookcase, it is most likely made by any of these expert designers.
Now that you know what to look for in a Regency Bookcase, why don’t you go for it? You could either buy high quality reproduction or an original period antique.
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