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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Auction of objects from a house that never existedChristian Davies Antiques (blog), April 24th
An upcoming US sale is set to feature around 600 items of furniture, all originally intended to furnish a home that was never built. The high-end furniture was intended for a 24-room mansion, covering 12,000-square-feet of space. The house was never...Read more
How to recognise late Victorian furnitureChristian Davies Antiques (blog), April 22nd
One of the main features of late Victorian furniture was the luxury and decadence. Rich fabrics were decorated with intricate edging and trimmings, and embroidery was also commonplace. Horsehair was mainly used to stuff the seats, and the cushions were ...Read more
The house of O'Neill lived in and stagedBoston Globe, April 19th
With its upright piano and Victorian furniture, the front parlor has the stiff formality of a room that saw little use. More striking is the back sunroom with wood-paneled walls and ceiling that Moger called the “Long Day's Journey Room.” True to O...Read more
Checking In: Disconnect from city life at Triton fishing lodgeMontreal Gazette, April 16th
The trophy trout in the lakes of Mauricie weigh up to two or three kilos. Need I say more? For an angler, that's as irresistible as a glistening lure for a hungry fish. La Seigneurie du Triton, a historic hunting and fishing lodge that opens for the...Read more
A Weed 'Bud And Breakfast' Is Opening In Denver, Like You Didn't See That One ...Bustle, April 15th
Adagio, a longstanding bed and breakfast with 6 rooms, is being transformed into ”the first all-inclusive Bud and Breakfast.” Victorian furniture is being kicked to the curb to make way for newly renovated and themed guest rooms, marijuana laced foods...Read more
The warehouse is one of the few Victorian buildings to have survived the ...BBC News, April 5th
A Victorian furniture maker's Swansea warehouse that has lain empty for almost 20 years is to become a centre for creative firms. The King's Lane warehouse is part of social landlords Coastal Housing's plans for High Street and the Strand. The work is ...Read more
Antiques dealer shuts up shop after 44 yearsBournemouth Echo, April 3rd
They now send a lot of Victorian furniture to an auction house in Texas but will dispatch their last container on April 14 and close the shop by the end of the month. Mike Sandy said Boscombe had a busy antiques trade when he opened the shop in 1970...Read more
The Shoppes at Sango: Antiques and Collectible Lovers' ParadiseClarksville Online, March 31st
available at the Shoppes at Snago. Booths at The Shoppes are pleasantly displayed so that you can see each item individually. Whether you are interested in high-quality Victorian furniture or Art Deco or shabby chic, there is something for everyone...Read more