The value of English antique furniture lies in their originality and authenticity. These are hard to find and their significance cannot be substituted or replaced. English antique furniture is some of the most remarkable specimens in the world. These have evolved and changed over the years, signifying cultural, economic and political changes of the times. The Jacobian period, Queen Anne Period, William and Mary era, Georgian and Victorian are important ages of furniture making. Before you buy or decide on a piece of furniture you need to have a better understanding about the period it comes from, the characteristics of furniture of that period and what qualities to look for.
Jacobean period. Strictly speaking, the reign of James I, (1603-25 ) but also used to cover that of Charles I (162549). Geometric moldings, split balusters, bobbin-turnings; popular until about 1720.
During Queen Anne’s reign, 1702- I 4, the cabriole leg donated; surfaces were veneered with walnut, but marquetry became less evident. English craftsmen, having acquired foreign skills, adapted these to their own style.
Gilded settee in the manner of Robert Adam circa 1775.
Georgian furniture styles made a lasting impact on the design of furniture and cabinet making industry in Britain. These had rich, elegant and compelling characteristics, and incorporated styles from previous eras. It witnessed a return to neoclassical art and design. Mahogany was a popular wood used in furniture making and solid oak also continued in use. Ornamental inlays, veneers, satinwood and yew wood crossbanding, astragal glass moulding, leather panelling with gold tooling, solid brass hardware, bracket feet and oval and swan-neck style pulls were common features of Georgian furniture.
Old English mahogany bookcase with cupboard base and glazed door top blind fret carving and dentil molding. Circa 1860. $15,750.00
Robert Adam, George Hepplewhite and Thomas Chippendale were some of the best cabinet makers of the period and their creations are still respected today. In the mid-18th century, Irish furniture was so extravagant in its use of richly carved mahogany – especially for side tables on cabriole legs – that a whole class is described as ‘Irish Chippendale’. Chippendale furniture is perhaps the most renowned. His signature furniture style was the Queen Anne-style cabriole leg while Chippendale furniture had other different style legs too. Lion’s paw, the ball and claw, the late Chippendale, the Marlborough, the club and the spade were the others.
Georgian furniture designs were carried over to the Victorian and Edwardian periods and continued to influence furniture making thereafter. Victorian furniture designs borrowed styles from Norman and Gothic periods as well. Just like antique furniture, antique lighting too comprised of the elegance of regency interiors.
Victorian rosewood chair on Cabriole legs. Circa 1890. $775.00
Antique chandeliers are great specimens of intricate glass carvings and lustrous designs. Victorian, Colonial, Empire, neo-classical and Tiffany are popular chandelier styles. Iron, brass, bronze, crystal, cut glass, mirror, antlers and nickels were used in the production of antique chandeliers. Make sure to go through pictures of all antique furniture and interior design items you are interested in before purchasing any. Keep in mind to find a reliable and well recognized dealer to buy them from.
Old English George III secretary chest with secret lettered compartment. Circa 1820. $11,500.00
Georgian Antique Furniture, Circa 1820.