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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This boy's life: In his re-released memoir, Judson D. Hale of 'Yankee ...Concord Monitor, May 26th
My mother didn't associate our beautiful new house, complete with fancy silver wallpaper purchased in New York City, original oil paintings throughout, plush wall-to-wall carpeting also from New York, and elegant Victorian furniture brought up from...Read more
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
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
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