Victorian Style Furniture
Perfect in Victorian Homes
Victorian style furniture can blend well in many different types of homes, but they look exceptional in old Victorian homes. The Victorian era, which lasted from 1837 to 1901, was the period of time in which Queen Victoria was on the throne in England. The artistic style that was popular during her reign became known as “Victorian” and if the style had to be described in one word, that word would be “lavish.”
Antique Victorian furniture is known for several of its unique characteristics including its dark finish, its detailed carvings and its overall “heavy” appearance. The style became widespread in England due to the fact that the country experienced an Industrial Revolution during Queen Victoria’s reign. This allowed furniture manufacturers to mass produce the type of furniture that became popular as a result of the Queen’s style preferences.
Today, Victorian style furniture is still produced. But, modern-day Victorian furniture is not exactly the same as antique Victorian furniture. It is designed to look like the pieces that would have been produced between 1837 and 1901. But, just like any other type of antique reproduction, new pieces are not as historically significant.
Victorian Styles in England Influences the “American Victorian” Era
During the height of the Victorian era, people in America began adopting their own version of the style. Americans used woods that were easily accessible to them at the time. These woods include walnut and hickory. Furniture makers built bed frames, chairs, tables, and all other home furnishings in the American Victorian style. The furniture resembled the Victorian style but was unique enough to be distinguished from furniture originating in England. American Victorian pieces of furniture are different from England’s Victorian pieces partly because they showed natural wood cuts and sometimes even featured wood bark.
Typical Characteristics of Antique Victorian Style Furniture
Size: Victorian styles are known for their size. The furniture produced in this era was large and bulky. Pieces of furniture from this era were big and elaborate – yet they were still artistic.
Color: Most Victorian style antique furniture is dark. Because of the woods used to create the furniture produced in England during the Victorian era, such as walnut and mahogany, the furniture is naturally dark and rich in color.
Carving: Because there was an industrial revolution during the Victorian era and furniture was able to be mass produced, the ability to add complicated carvings to every-day furniture became a reality. The most typical carvings included shapes taken from nature – such as plants and animals.
Chairs: Most Victorian style chairs included velvet upholstery. If not velvet, another type of very lush and soft material was used to cover chair seats to make the furniture soft and comfortable. The fabric that accompanied Victorian style furniture was always dark in color.
Other Characteristics: Victorian styles often included marble sideboards, tassels made of fabric, and curves in the wood, and low scrolled arm chairs.
To the novice, it can be hard to differentiate Victorian styles from the artistic styles that came before and after the Victorian era. It is similar to both the Gothic style and the Art Nouveau style. The combination of the likability of Victorian style and the ability to mass produce items were the two most important factors that contributed to the popularity of this style during the reign of Queen Victoria.