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
Auction CalendarBureau County Republican, December 17th
1-3 – New Years Holiday Estate Auction, Victorian furniture, antique rugs, spool cabinets, lamps, clocks, statues, artwork, pottery, fine glassware, costume jewelry, automobiles, toys, cast iron, firearms, duck decoys, coins, knives, military items, 10...Read more
Eddy Eats: The Bay Horse in Hurworth, outside DarlingtonGazette Live, December 14th
Anyway, having decided upon the batting order for the drinks, we were sat in the dining room, very much in a modern traditional country pub style (if such is not oxymoronic): fox and hounds romping across the wallpaper, solid Victorian furniture, and...Read more
That History Column: Survey of Kenosha needs in 1920 not so different from todayKenosha News, December 13th
That venerable building belongs back with the early Victorian furniture and other antiques.” — Coyla Marquissee. — “What the old town needs is better cooperation of citizens and city officials to pull together, especially the city council.” — M.J...Read more
The Doctor Fucked Off And We Were ThereTone Deaf, December 11th
Hardwood floors, deep burgundy walls with gold trim, and a scattering of Victorian furniture added a dramatic air to what was quite an emotional afternoon for the tight-knit Triple J clan. Guests and alumni including Tom Ballard, Illy, Amanda Shalala...Read more
STEP INTO HISTORY: Past and present intertwine on holiday house tour in ...Bucks Local News, November 30th
NEWTOWN BOROUGH – Guests taking this year's Holiday House Tour will step inside a house considered the most “elegant mansion” of its time, see a fireplace inlaid with Mercer Tiles and experience a Gothic Revival from the 1800s with modern-day ...Read more
'Little Boxes' a different kind of Painted LadiesSFGate, November 29th
“People would take Victorian furniture to the dump,'' he said. Times changed. Victorian clutter became Victorian charm 30 or so years ago. And now, many people think, modernism is making a comeback. Pecora is an unabashed admirer of the Victorian style...Read more
Size matters: The Arts Center hosts “Small Work Works!,” an exhibit featuring ...Corvallis Gazette Times, November 26th
Hiratsuka's pieces are colorful and bright, featuring subject matter such as Victorian furniture, fruits and vegetables, nature and, most prominently, his whimsical figures caught in action: performing on stage, reading a book about fungi, gardening...Read more
The Victorian Hotel Now Adds Deluxe Double Room to Options for Vancouver ...PR Web (press release), November 20th
The Double Delxue rooms, now available at the Victorian, are equipped with a number of luxuries set amongst an atmosphere that will remind you of a by-gone era, with 14 foot high ceilings, Victorian furniture and original hard wood floors. About The ...Read more