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

Source: Google News

Top items to include on a Victorian bookshelf
Christian Davies Antiques (blog), August 30th

As with many exciting historical periods, the Victorian age has left behind a wealth of fascinating objects. While some of these left-over antiques, such as the Bristol-docked SS Great Britain, won't fit on the shelf of a vintage-style feature wall...Read more

Victorian furniture – items that mirror the times
Christian Davies Antiques (blog), August 29th

For the majority of the 19th Century, Queen Victoria sat on the throne (1837-1901) and Britain underwent a time of political and social change. This brought with it a greater diversity in the nation's tastes and trends, with styles and inspirations...Read more

Antique swords of the East
Christian Davies Antiques (blog), August 29th

While some people like to collect teddy bears and others late Victorian furniture, others prefer their antiques to have a bit more of an edge. A growing number of collectors are gathering an assortment of antique swords, with many hailing from the East...Read more

Construction workers raise the roof for Bingley Music Live
Bradford Telegraph and Argus, August 26th

A team of 50 workers have been involved in the building of the two stages, catering tents, toilet facilities and a luxurious canvas "Green Room" for visiting stars, complete with leather Chesterfields and Victorian furniture. "My only slight anxiety is...Read more

Searching for 'Anne of Green Gables' on Prince Edward Island
New York Times, August 21st

The house's reconstructed rooms reflect the book with faithful accuracy, decorated in stiff Victorian furniture and scattered with details easily recognizable by fans: a black lace shawl spread across Marilla's bed; a brown, puffed-sleeve dress hung on...Read more

Hell Is Just... Other People: 'No Exit' at the Long Beach Playhouse
Long Beach Post, August 13th

The play opens on an empty room. Inside, there is a window without a pane or view, an abstract sculpture, a table with a letter opener upon it (hello Chekhov) and three items of miss-matched Victorian furniture that can be sat upon. Upstage there is a...Read more

Q&A With Mary Helen Bowers, Esther Gauthier and Taryn Toomey
Wall Street Journal, August 11th

After dancing with the prestigious New York City Ballet for a decade, Mary Helen Bowers took her final bow in order to pursue a bachelor's degree in English literature at Columbia University. While there, the Charlotte, North Carolina, native searched...Read more

Berry Hill: Grand plantation restored to former glory
GoDanRiver.com, August 2nd

Walking through the mansion, one cannot help but notice the massive windows that flood the rooms with natural light illuminating the mahogany and walnut Victorian furniture. “The windows were designed by the same architect that designed the windows in ...Read more