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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
George Hunzinger Furniture
Index of American Design
Buffalo Architecture and History
The Scrap Album
Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards
Kentucky Online Arts Resource
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Victorian Furniture
Source: Google News
17th C. - 20th C. Fine Art & Antiques to be AuctionedPR.com (press release), May 20th
Many period game tables, 18th and 19th century Spanish, English and French and Victorian furniture. Fine Oriental rugs, chandeliers, sterling silver, cut glass and crystal stemware, pre-Columbian art pieces, Minton, Rosenthal, Sevres and Mason's...Read more
Antiques appraised at Harwinton fundraiserTorrington Register Citizen, May 17th
On Saturday local residents brought in items ranging from American Indian artifacts, victorian furniture and accessories from Victorian time period. The event announcement stated no guns, stamps, dolls or coins. Advertisement. “Stamps, dolls and coins ...Read more
Recliner shows simple style of Mission furnitureChicago Daily Herald, May 8th
The simplicity of the furniture was a clear comment on the curvilinear lines and ornate designs of the mass-produced factory-made Victorian furniture. Myriad makers of Arts and Crafts furniture quickly followed Stickley's lead. Stickley, along with his...Read more
Rob Pruitt's Quirky PerspectiveWall Street Journal, April 30th
Dishware, Victorian furniture, children's books and DVDs. “Things do tend to pile up, especially for a person like me who doesn't like to throw anything away,” Mr. Brant said. The sale could be dismissed as a tabloid stunt, a chance to ogle or scoff at...Read more
Weston to open slave cabin to visitorsFauquier Times, April 30th
The main house has a mix of Federal and Victorian furniture. It is furnished throughout. Sometime during the family's occupancy a new staircase was added to replace one whose outline can still be seen where a wall went up. The kitchen is outfitted for...Read more
Live Entertainment, Hands-On Kids Fun, Spectacular Rides at 59th Annual ...Ventura County Star, April 28th
It will feature CVD signage and Western and Victorian furniture for sale--all in keeping with CVD's country roots. The Emporium will also have a photo booth area complete with western style clothing. Museums, Family Fun. A number of local museums and ...Read more
Matched blackamoors, Old Paris vases, Brooks etagere lead Stevens' April 18 ...ArtfixDaily, April 28th
The contents of a 12,000-square-foot mansion (rococo Victorian furniture, a huge European dining table with 18 chairs, palace-size rugs, a large grandfather clock, mirrors and more) will be sold to the highest bidder, probably sometime in early June...Read more
Victorian opulence is in vogue once again - and it's all thanks to the Downton ...Daily Mail, November 7th
'Hunt out sofas and chairs with decorative carving. Victorian wood furniture is solid as a rock,' says interior designer Phoebe Oldrey. 'Get them upholstered in bold fabrics to have as statement pieces.' Prices for Victorian furniture are a steal. You...Read more