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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Function and fashion mean few positives for furniture indexantiquestradegazette.com, February 11th
For this reason Post-1770 Mahogany (1521) and Early Victorian furniture (1493) now carry the lowest of all AFI index figures. One positive from the 2015 AFI, Andrews noted, is that the indices "have reached a point where they are so low that...Read more
Susan Hiller's search for the right mediumApollo Magazine (blog), February 9th
The museum looks boring now but they had wonderful old Victorian furniture. I believe Damien Hirst has bought most of it.' However, she professes she's not a collector: 'When I was young I collected colour crayons, shells, cards, the usual things. I...Read more
Baxter Springs museum receives grant to improveJoplin Globe, February 7th
BAXTER SPRINGS, Kan. — The Baxter Springs Heritage Center and Museum recently received a grant from a national organization of museums to help it improve. The grant, from the American Alliance of Museums based in Washington, D.C., will pay for an ...Read more
Victorian Valentine Dinner scheduled at The Bowen HouseLogan Daily News, February 5th
He was drawn to the intricate designs, and as he had been collecting Victorian furniture at the time, he and his wife Jeanne decided it would be nice to have artifacts from all the various holidays to reflect that era. Victorian Valentines are vastly...Read more
Des Barres Navigational Chart Sails to VictoryMaine Antique Digest, February 3rd
Nine lots of fine Victorian furniture attracted bidders who rarely see good quality Victorian at auction. All of it descended in the family of David Stanton, a wealthy cotton merchant and owner of The Elms in Natchez, Mississippi. The lot that broke...Read more
How to furnish your Victorian pubMorningAdvertiser.co.uk, February 2nd
Furnishing your pub to suit your audience while remaining authentic can be a difficult process. With more than 25 years' experience in the antiques industry, Phil MacGregor and Alan Howard of Pub Furniture UK, offer their advice on Victorian-style pubs ...Read more
What's in the attic? White on white for 2016Greensburg Daily News, January 26th
I remember walking into a decorator shop in 1992 and seeing for the first time what has come to be known as “shabby chic.” Being accustomed to my dark red walls and ornate Victorian furniture, my first thought was “this will never sell.” As we all know...Read more
Treasures: Victorian furniture falling out of styleNaples Daily News, July 6th
It appears to be in excellent condition, but unfortunately, Victorian furniture is so out of favor that its value has dropped dramatically since 2008. Collectors like Davenport desks, but this one is so Victorian that while it once had a value in the...Read more