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
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
Live Entertainment, Hands-On Kids Fun, Spectacular Rides at 59th Annual ...Ventura County Star, April 29th
It will feature CVD signage and Western and Victorian furniture for sale--all in keeping with CVD's country roots. The Emporium will also have a photo booth area complete with western style clothing. Museums, Family Fun. A number of local museums and ...Read more
Matched blackamoors, Old Paris vases, Brooks etagere lead Stevens' April 18 ...ArtfixDaily, April 28th
The contents of a 12,000-square-foot mansion (rococo Victorian furniture, a huge European dining table with 18 chairs, palace-size rugs, a large grandfather clock, mirrors and more) will be sold to the highest bidder, probably sometime in early June...Read more
Antiques Considered - April 22, 2015Journal Press - King George, April 21st
Although the color of the marble top is quite popular among collectors of Victorian furniture, its broken condition appreciably affects the value of the table, despite the original condition of the wooden frame. Perhaps the piece could be separated and...Read more
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
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
Q&A on Collecting: Recliner with a MissionNewsOK.com, April 9th
Q: This is a picture of a recliner that has been in our family for at least 100 years. Wood slats support the back cushion. There are two spindles on both sides of the back to adjust the back position. The frame is oak, and the cushions have been...Read more