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”)

Rare Victorian

Rare Victorian

John Werry's in-depth blog on rare Victorian Furniture, with detailed, informative and often humorous posts on doze… [read review or visit site]

George Hunzinger Furniture

George Hunzinger Furniture

Scott Geyer's blog on the innovative Victorian furniture designs of George Jacob Hunzinger, who began manufacturing… [read review or visit site]

Index of American Design

Index of American Design

The Index of American Design project (1935-1942) was an effort to catalog American decorative arts objects from the… [read review or visit site]

The Scrap Album

The Scrap Album

Malcolm Warrington’s The Scrap Album is a handsomely organized site, as you’d expect from an articulate champio… [read review or visit site]

Buffalo Architecture and History

Buffalo Architecture and History

Chuck LaChiusa's wonderful guide to the architecture and history of Buffalo, NY, also happens to host an impressive… [read review or visit site]

Chipstone

Chipstone

This beautiful site showcases the collection of Stanley and Polly Stone of Fox Point, Wisconsin, consisting of earl… [read review or visit site]

Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards

Stevengraphs Bookmarks and Postcards

Malcolm Roebuck's tribute to the ornate silk picture bookmarks and postcards ('Stevengraphs') produced by Thomas St… [read review or visit site]

Kentucky Online Arts Resource

Kentucky Online Arts Resource

This huge online database from the Speed Art Museum is a rich trove of beautiful photos and reference information o… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

19thc Antique Victorian Wood Carved Putti Angel Curio Cabinet Wall Shelf Etagere19thc Antique English Mahogany Blind Door Hanging Victorian Era Corner Cabinet1800s Walnut Victorian Furniture Pediment Eastlake Flowers Carved Cabinet Crest 19thc Antique Victorian Era Ebonized Flower Painting Pedestal Table Plant Stand19thc Antique Table Top Primitive Chest Of Drawers Old Victorian Miniature ChestExquisite Extremely Rare Victorian French Boulle Writing Slope With Fittings Antique 19thc Victorian Mop Inlaid Painted Papier Mache Lap Desk Nr1800s Walnut Furniture Corbels Victorian Spindle Shelf Brackets Piano Table Legs3 Primitive Architectural Fragments Walnut Victorian Furniture Crests PedimentsAntique Victorian Dome Top Storage Chest Stage Coach Steamer Boat TrunkRare Original 1880's Victorian Half Size Wooden Stage Coach Trunk W/ LinerRare Victorian Pair Bevelled Wall Mirrors With Pink Opaque Fluted Epergne's Huge Antique Newel Post Pineapple Caps Furniture Finials Pair Victorian BookendsPair Gothic Carved Storage Display Boxes Victorian Walnut Dresser Buffet DrawersLot Of Vintage Casters Wheels,asst. Tools, Decorative + Victorian Hardware LookAn Original Antique Victorian English Chesterfield Sofa - Circa 1860 (est)Antique Victorian 19thc 1800s Black Ebonised Gilt Overmantle Mirror 95cm/65cmBeautiful Victorian Hat Rack Tree And Brush With Horns Mirror 1890'sVintage Victorian Green Velvet Loveseat Mint ConditionCarved Renaissance Victorian Walnut Table Legs Parts For Repurpose, Upcycle. Pair Of Antique Victorian Wood Medallions For Victorian Bed Or DresserAntique Noyes Victorian Music Bible Dictionary Folding Cast Iron Oak Book StandVintage 1800's Eastlake Upholstered Carved Victorian Chairs (2)Arched Antique Victorian Walnut Pediment Crest Crown W/ Large Center MedallionAntique Oak Eastlake Early Victorian 3-tier Wall Or Free Standing Shelf Project5 Ornate Antique Victorian Brass Drawer Pulls Dresser Desk HardwareTransitional Eastlake To Aesthetic Movement American Victorian Childs Oak RockerBeautiful Victorian Needlepoint Arm Chair W/balloon Back - Gorgeous NeedlepointGold Victorian Era Cast Iron Foot Stool Ornate Antique Ottoman Foot Rest SeatAntique Victorian Footstool Mahogany 16 X 16 X 15 Antique Early 1900's Victorian Coolectible Needlepoint Urn Motif FootstoolVictorian Wood Folding Chair W/ Carpet/needlepoint Floral Seat & BackCarved Victorian PedimentVintage "shabby Chic" Victorian Style Decorator Wicker Magazine StandAntique Steamer Trunk Victorian Ladies Embossed Tin N Wood Travel ChestAntique Steamer Trunk Vintage Victorian Dome We Will Ship.

Recent News: Victorian Furniture

Source: Google News

Faith calendar
HeraldNet, July 12th

which continues today and Sunday. The three-story, 18th-century-style doll house features a shake-covered roof and turret, operational windows and doors, and Victorian furniture. Tickets also are sold at local businesses. More info: Iris, 360-793-0534...Read more

Cheap, come get: City seeks buyer who will move house
Hendersonville Lightning, July 10th

A partial list of the contents, White said, includes Tiffany style lamps, marble top tables, Victorian furniture, brass and silver plates, statuary, oil paintings, Royal Albert china sets, crystal luster sets, clock sets, furniture, model car...Read more

Stuck in Time – Meet the Man Who Lives Like It's 1946
odditycentral, July 10th

“But the older part of the house where the visitors wouldn't see, you have all the hand-me-downs, the Victorian furniture.” Ben inherited most of his collectibles from his relatives, but he's worked hard to hunt down some of the great pieces of...Read more

Infinity Custom Furniture
Community Impact Newspaper, July 9th

The couple designs everything from Victorian furniture to more modern pieces, and even offers a few less expensive pine-based products in-store. “It used to be 10 years ago, the nature of the business was 85 percent Victorian design or French,” Moe said...Read more

Jeri Rowe: Girls learning to become royalty in life, community
Greensboro News & Record, June 28th

Last week, I sat with her in Chapel Hill in a high-ceiling room full of portraits and Victorian furniture. Her voice was a whisper. She fingered the butterfly necklace, a gift from her mom, and she told me about her life. She left Mexico at age 1. Her...Read more

Victorian furniture prices down, silver up
Clinton Herald, June 28th

This was the center piece of the Victorian furniture and 15 years ago would have sold for $3,000 to $4,000. This piece shows the fall of Victorian furniture from its high in the 1990s to the present day market. A pair of matching lamps, which were just...Read more

Scouring clearance sales for top quality furniture with a difference
Irish Independent, June 26th

"We were buying heavy dark Victorian furniture that nobody else wanted and we couldn't possibly afford shop prices. You needed to be handy, though, to clean them up. I bought a lovely military chest with brass corners and found a newspaper folded...Read more

Mementos truly hold meaning
Nashua Telegraph, June 23rd

I'm not much into Victorian furniture, but it's a pretty piece of furniture and every time I look at it, I have happy feelings. I couldn't go to Kentucky with Bill and Lucy, because of prior commitments. I wanted Lucy to go because I wanted her to have...Read more