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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What goes around: The art of framingChristie's, March 26th
He also embarked on an investigation into how the National Gallery's 19th-century directors had set about the business of framing, much, he says, to the puzzlement of many colleagues: 'It was respectable to be interested in Victorian furniture 30 years...Read more
Off the Map: Wilder Museum a 'special treasure'The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines, March 22nd
In 1980, the Alderson addition was erected to house a collection of Victorian furniture and glass from Strawberry Point resident Marcey Alderson. “He collected the best of the best,” Formo said. The Victorian furniture is pristine and showcases...Read more
Deal lets historic Dalnavert House reopen doors to publicWinnipeg Free Press, March 17th
They travelled across the country and even to England gathering Victorian furniture, including buying custom-made wallpaper in England. Richardson has been the museum's anonymous benefactor ever since, providing annual grants of up to six figures in ...Read more
Honiton auction house enjoys its opening nightMidweek Herald, March 14th
There are all sorts of items up for auction, including luxury watches, Victorian furniture and several silver ornaments. Whittons will hold a silver, jewellery and watch auction today (Wednesday) and a paintings, furniture, ceramics and collectable...Read more
Community GardeningMaine Antique Digest, March 9th
Cultivating, in short, means growing something. Growing things—from gardens to kids to collectors—is about gentle encouragement, and encouragement means, at its very least, finding something positive to do or say. Don't like Victorian furniture? It's...Read more
Drawing # 1: Two Night stay at the Carriage House Bed & Breakfast in Historic ...Red River Radio, March 4th
William Perry Room is decorated with historic pictures of Jefferson, and exquisite Eastlake Victorian furniture. The marble topped dresser, washstand, and magnificent headboard are relics of an era gone by. A lovely teardrop chandelier compliments the...Read more
New Ownership and Strong Victorian Sales for FarmerMaine Antique Digest, March 3rd
The high lot of the sale came from a category that we are now beginning to see come to life—Victorian furniture. A John Henry Belter parlor table with its original marble turtle top sold for $29,900 (includes buyer's premium) against a presale...Read more
Everything at the historic Chalet Suzanne, from the land to furnishings ...ABC Action News, February 26th
"I'm very interested in the Victorian furniture, some of the settees they have," Kieswetter said. Ron Bauman is hoping to snatch up items that'll help him remember a place he has grown to love. "Some of the lamps and pictures, mirrors," Bauman said...Read more