In Part One of this series of articles about the history of antique furniture, we looked at the different styles that emerged during the Renaissance period right through to the Baroque Period.

This journey took us through the Tudor style which was heavily influenced by Europeans, Elizabethan style which was modelled on work done by our Italian counterparts, to Jacobean style which featured heavily in oak and walnut furniture, and then right through to the Baroque period.

The next style of note was the Rococo style, and this is where pieces moved away from the simpler designs of its predecessors, and more in to ornate, detailed and florid designs.

The Rococo Style

The Gregorian style of antique furniture design was developed during the Rococo period, and early Gregorian pieces were also influenced by Queen Anne's design. The whole ideology of furniture had become almost a status symbol and this meant that furniture took on a role in both comfort and versatility.

It was certainly evident that during the mid-Gregorian era, mahogany was the overwhelming choice of wood, outshining the previously popular walnut. Although both the French and Gothic styles were evident during the Rococo period, English furniture makers were starting to become more experimental as they leaned toward designing pieces such as ornately designed mirrors and chairs with ribbon backs.

The famous English antique furniture maker Thomas Chippendale was influenced by the Rococo style, and whilst his designs kept some of the features, he stopped short of the full blown French influence. In fact perhaps the most successful exponent of British Rococo was a carver and furniture designer who worked in London during the mid 1700s, a gentleman by the name of Thomas Johnson.

As time went on, so did the style. Late Gregorian design can almost be characterised as leaning back towards the more classical style of antique furniture. In fact, you will hear this period referred to as the neo-classical period. During this time, sleek shapes such as columns, ovals and circles were used.

The Eclectic Or Victorian Period

The Victorian period saw a revival of previous styles combined with modern and new one, and as a result you can often find the combination of both classic and contemporary styles in one piece of furniture.

As the sub title of this section suggests, the Victorian period is also known as the eclectic period, due in part to its eclectic revival of many historic styles. It was also responsible for introducing many cross-cultural influences, with styles and designs from Asian and the Middle East clearly evident in both furniture and fittings.

During the Victorian period there really was no one dominant style of furniture, with designers preferring to use combinations of styles that related to various periods in time such as Tudor, Elizabethan and Neoclassical to name but a few. In fact, arguably the most popular styles during this period were the Gothic and Rococo revival styles.

There is no doubt that the Victorian period signaled a significant shift in the design, perception and function of furniture. Generally speaking a person’s house would have been neatly divided in to separate rooms, with very obvious distinctions between public and private spaces.

The sitting room was considered the most important and was often a room used for showcasing furniture. This meant that the room was used a lot and so it in many cases reflected the style and status of the owner of the house, such was the importance placed on it.

As well as the sitting being important, the dining room would have been the second-most important room in the house. This meant that the sideboard was often a focal point, as was the style of your dining table and the chairs that would surround the table.

And so this concludes Part Two of articles covering a brief history of antique furniture, and the many influences along the way that give us the diversity in styles and designs that are still popular in many houses today.

Dave Hicks is the founder and owner of D J Hicks Antique Furniture based in the Cotswolds in the UK. You can see the quality of his antique reproduction furniture, cabinet making, upholstery and restoration services by visiting his site: And Dvd Drive Not Working,Drive Sector Not Found Error,K330b Bios Update,Sub Spooler Fix,Wmplayer Exe Windows 7
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