Victorian antique furniture refers to pieces made during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), and includes both mass produced pieces and those hand crafted in small shops by designers such as Herter Brothers, Allen and Brother, Merklen Brothers, John Henry Belter, Alexander Roux and R.J. Horner.
Although some designers like George Hunzinger put labels or stamps on all their furniture, many did not, so attributing a Victorian piece conclusively can require lots of research. In terms of wood, walnut is generally inferior to rosewood, which was used on higher end pieces.
There are many, and very different, Victorian furniture styles. In fact, famous Victorian designer Charles Eastlake himself hated Rococo, which is mid 1850s Victorian. Here are some of the main Victorian styles:
1) Gothic Revival (circa 1830-1860). Think churches and you have a good feel for this furniture style - design elements such as arches, quatrefoils, trefoils, spires, and crockets.
2) Rococo Revival (c. 1840-1865). High-style furniture of French influence marked by use of naturalistic flora (flowers, shells) and fruit as well as C-scrolls and S-scrolls, and highly sinewy curved lines.. Early pieces may have used mahogany, but common Rococo often used Walnut, while the top-end leveraged Rosewood.
3) Renaissance Revival (c. 1860-1890). Reverses the feminine elegance of Rococo around the time of the Civil War by espousing masculine arches, cartouches, animal and human figures, inlaid panels, burl panels, gilt incising, and ormulu mounts. Subgenres include Egyptian Revival, Modern Gothic, and Neo-Grec.
4) Eastlake and Aesthetic Movement (c. 1880-1900). Moving away from the showy complicated designs of prior eras, this furniture has stylized natural elements (flowers, leaves), rectangular forms and severe lines, shallow incisings and turnings. On finer pieces, marquetry, inlay and veneering can also be found.
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Recent News: Victorian Furniture
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Pilot Getaways: Chesapeake Bay EscapeAOPA Pilot, October 1st
The 24 guestrooms with Victorian furniture, hardwood floors, and Italian marble fireplaces make a romantic setting for a weekend away. Complimentary kayaks and paddleboats are available to explore the waterways behind the Inn, and there is a large ...Read more
Runway rebel: fearless fashion designer Destani Hoffman does it her wayThe Huntsville Times - al.com, September 24th
"We had them crouching in old tunnels, lounging on Victorian furniture on top of broken and cracked rubble and posing against cracked walls." Hoffman submitted the photos to several magazines, and they were snapped up by an edgy international ...Read more
Antiques Considered - September 24, 2014Journal Press - King George, September 23rd
are typical of the style, and the beveled edge to the top further document the age. Most Victorian furniture is not selling well at the present time, as opposed to 40 years ago when it was more popular. Having the wooden top indicates that the...Read more
Buntport blends tapestry of stories in comic Naught BitsNorth Denver Tribune, September 18th
The set is simple, with elegant Victorian furniture appropriate for Lansdowne House, and a nice 1950s-era slide projector and screen. The lighting is a key element to this production, with different colors for each of the three stories helping to...Read more
Sarah Waters muses on class and identity in The Paying GuestsA.V. Club, September 14th
are now reduced to jobless, homeless civilians. Even Frances' father is wrapped up in the Wrays' (and the country's) frutiless search for integrity, his expensive Victorian furniture all appraised as worthless knock-offs after his death. Ultimately...Read more
Antiques Considered - September 10, 2014Journal Press - King George, September 10th
Victorian furniture is down at the present time. This table is a good example of its genre, but its market is more limited than it might have been 30 years ago. It dates from 1850, and most likely is of Mid-Atlantic origin, as it is typical of the...Read more
Jasper County's Victorian HouseNewton Daily News, September 2nd
Victorian furniture was inspired by earlier designs and was marked by exaggerated ornamentation. Of special interest in those forms, heavy as they are, is the certain grace and charm of Victorian coziness that they possess. The 1900 home in Jasper...Read more
Jerry Davich: Working man's reality embraces time on the jobPost-Tribune, August 31st
The couple specialize in repurposing original Victorian furniture items by giving them a more modern look. They now do shows throughout the tri-state region while attending college, home-schooling two young kids and picking through old barns and estate ...Read more