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 Don Draper of suburbiaHerald Scotland, January 31st
THIS one-bedroomed, modern house in the Glasgow suburb of Newton Mearns is very different from the home I grew up in: a 10-bedroomed Georgian manse with a massive garden and lots of Victorian furniture. THIS one-bedroomed, modern house in the ...Read more
Highland County Historical Society celebrates 50th anniversary, Part IIIThe Highland County Press, January 30th
The West Parlor is a small sitting room containing late Victorian furniture such as a matching settee and chair, ca. 1870. A large bookcase was presented to U.S. Senator and Ohio Governor, J.B. Foraker. Above the mantle is a portrait of John Dawsons...Read more
Last chance to stroll down Mulberry Lane: Store closes SaturdayHillsdale Collegian, January 29th
In the process of opening this store [I have] changed from Victorian furniture to primitive and older antiques. They go hand-in-hand.” While working in human resources, Miller came across a woman's address with the street name of Mulberry Lane. “I...Read more
Resident Evil HD Remaster | ReviewTwinfinite, January 24th
With Resident Evil HD Remaster, you get to inspect the old Victorian furniture thrown around the place. With the new level of graphical detail, you could see clearly the large volume of shelves, cabinets, and paintings that decorated the mansion...Read more
Greensburg Antique Show and Sale is this weekendTribune-Review, January 22nd
Antiques enthusiasts are forgoing the cut glass and Victorian furniture that were once favorites and now search for smaller art deco-style furniture and Italian 1950s Murano glass, Marshall said. Part of the shift in antiques shoppers is their...Read more
Burgundy shmurgundyBay Area Reporter, January 21st
Knudsen plays the putative dominatrix, or mean bitch empress of an unlived-in villa stuffed with fantastic Victorian furniture, worn Persian rugs, and dead winged-insects neatly framed behind glass. Her at-home make-up is basic tart, her costumes...Read more
Joe Rosson: Rare Victorian hall tree has magnificent detailed carvingKnoxville News Sentinel, January 10th
Let me start by saying that this piece is Victorian, but we know that Victorian furniture was made in a rather large variety of sub styles. There is, for example, Eastlake, which is an essentially rectangular style decorated with shallow machine...Read more
Don't be hasty when trimming down your treasure troveArizona Daily Star, January 9th
The bookcase desk needs to be shopped to a local auction with a record of selling good Victorian furniture. Check out their results with similar pieces before you consign. See what I mean about checking out the territory? Do your homework so you don't...Read more