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
New AppreciationMaine Antique Digest, September 4th
They met plenty of dealers and collectors—“What an interesting bunch of people”—and compared likes and dislikes; they both ended up admiring marble-topped Victorian furniture. At booths, dealers happily took time and pointed out the finer points of...Read more
Kid Lit Style: Decor inspired by children's booksJournal Times, September 3rd
For an “Alice in Wonderland” room, use classic Victorian furniture and black-and-white checkerboard textiles. Add a big vintage-style wall clock and a teacup lamp (www.target.com ). Find rugs, nightlights and wall decals from Eric Carle books (“The...Read more
Writers' Bloc: Calling Off the GuardMonroe Courier, September 2nd
Like Kurt himself, the furnishings were tasteful, though comfortably worn and unpretentious. Persian rugs were a bit threadbare, Victorian furniture a little saggy and sterling silver scratched and worn. Still, I remained aloof. One of Kurt's stories...Read more
small business districts are thriving in New York CityThe Guardian, August 30th
Foundry, which opened in 2000. At that time, the mid-century furniture business was in Manhattan. Atlantic Avenue had a concentration of antique stores selling undesirable items, like dark Victorian furniture, brass beds, stained glass and small...Read more
Q & A with Rob de AvilaGlens Falls Post-Star, August 18th
Q. How has the selling end of things changed since the business started 22 years ago? A. Antiques in general get about a third of the price they did then. Antique furniture is dead. Mid-century is hot — '50s, '60s and '70s. Victorian furniture, I run...Read more
The Tale of Kid Decor: Bedrooms, playrooms by the bookKenosha News, August 12th
A palette of browns, indigo and gray, shaggy ottomans and a big sailboat pendant light set the scene for a “Where the Wild Things Are” rumpus room. For an “Alice in Wonderland” room, use classic Victorian furniture and black-and-white checkerboard...Read more
Decor inspired by kids booksDetroit Free Press, August 8th
For an “Alice in Wonderland” room, use classic Victorian furniture and black-and-white checkerboard textiles. Add a big vintage-style wall clock and a teacup lamp (like the one found at www.target.com). Find rugs, nightlights and wall decals from Eric...Read more
Treasures: Victorian furniture falling out of styleNaples Daily News, July 9th
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