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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Spring in Napa -- mix it up!Napa Valley Register, April 17th
For example, Victorian furniture tends to be ornate and mixes well with English, Asian and French furniture. Shaker style is very plain and clean, and mixes well with country, and even contemporary. You can artfully combine disparate styles and period...Read more
Greater Morristown weekend preview: Gardens of Earthly DelightsMorristown Green, April 16th
More than 40 antique dealers from five states are coming; look for automobile collectibles, early American and Victorian furniture, Lionel trains, stoneware, rare books and prints, 19th century vintage prints, porcelain, Majolica, Roseville, Daltons...Read more
Warmer weather brings area flea markets and antique shows outside to local ...WCPO, April 16th
At one of his recent shows in Lebanon, Metzger noticed marble-top Victorian furniture – the market for which was thought to be dead in the water in recent years – was commanding higher prices as were primitive country antiques. One category that has...Read more
It Happened In Crawford County: Auctioneer focusBucyrus Telegraph Forum, April 2nd
Adams built the home in 1880s known as the big Victorian house, filling it with Victorian furniture He stayed at the Deal House while the home was being built and met Miss Lizzie Ostermeyer there. He hired her as the housekeeper. Adams passed away in ...Read more
Mendham Rotary Club annual antiques show, sale April 18-19New Jersey Hills, March 31st
The show offers a wide range of items from automobile collectibles from late 1800's through early 1900's, early American and Victorian furniture, Lionel trains, stoneware, rare books and prints, 19th century vintage prints, porcelain, jewelry, Majolica...Read more
Hotel Tivoli: An Artists' Escape in the Hudson ValleyCondé Nast Traveler, March 31st
Out went all the dark Victorian furniture; in came lipstick-red chairs, vintage Murano glass chandeliers, bold carpets, plush pink sofas, an elegant bar, and of course art by the owners and their friends, including Robert Rauschenberg and Francesco...Read more
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