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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The Victorian Hotel Now Adds Deluxe Double Room to Options for Vancouver ...PR Web (press release), November 20th
The Double Delxue rooms, now available at the Victorian, are equipped with a number of luxuries set amongst an atmosphere that will remind you of a by-gone era, with 14 foot high ceilings, Victorian furniture and original hard wood floors. About The ...Read more
Antiques Considered - Nov. 19, 2014Journal Press - King George, November 18th
The architecture of the sideboard and the superior level of its execution place this piece in the upper range of Victorian furniture. Unfortunately, the Victorian Era is not as popular in today's culture as it was a generation ago. As such, today this...Read more
Victorian opulence is in vogue once again - and it's all thanks to the Downton ...Daily Mail, November 7th
Prices for Victorian furniture are a steal. You can pick up pieces for half the price of Ikea with twice the personality in junk shops, auctions and charities such as Emmaus. Its 70 second-hand shops are a trove for wooden furniture, silver, brass and...Read more
What's It worth? Thonet furniture, Alice Scott watercolor, platform rocker ...The Oregonian - OregonLive.com, October 16th
Q. I write in the hope that you will be able to shed some light on three pieces of furniture I acquired several years ago. The settee still has what appears to be the original upholstery. The upholstery on the chairs is in tatters, but the frames and...Read more
Infinity Custom FurnitureCommunity Impact Newspaper, July 9th
The couple designs everything from Victorian furniture to more modern pieces, and even offers a few less expensive pine-based products in-store. “It used to be 10 years ago, the nature of the business was 85 percent Victorian design or French,” Moe said...Read more
Victorian Furniture & Porcelain Highlight 21st May Antiques & Collectors ...Lincolnshire Echo, May 19th
Victorian Furniture & Porcelain highlight this Wednesday's Antiques & Collectors auction at Unique Auctions second auction room at The Fosseway, Newark Road, Aubourn, LN5 9EJ. Items include Fold Over Card Tables, Loo Tables, early Staffordshire etc...Read more
Grant helps Tinker Swiss Cottage restore Victorian furnitureWREX-TV, February 5th
The staff at Tinker Swiss Cottage are working to restore some of the historic home's key items, thanks to a grant through US Bank and the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois. While most of the grants the museum receives go toward maintenance ...Read more
Belter made best late Victorian furnitureCt Post, July 19th
Belter made best late Victorian furniture. Published 3:25 pm, Thursday, July 19, 2012. This table sold at a Neal Auction in New Orleans in April 2012, for $27,060. The heads carved into the wooden edge of the table top were the clue to the maker...Read more