Antique Sofas and Settees
1840 - 1900
The Victorian period for furniture spans approximately three quarters of a century, which allowed ample time for the transition of decorating tastes to occur and for several sub-genres and revivals to emerge and evolve. Here are a few of the major styles of the period.
Gothic Revival - (approx. 1830-1860) - Think churches and the design motifs found there and you have a good feel for this furniture style - design elements such as arches, quatrefoils, trefoils, spires, crockets.
Rococo Revival - (approx. 1840-1865) - High-style furniture of French influence marked by use of naturalistic flora and fruit as well as C-scrolls and S-scrolls. Early pieces may have used mahogany, but common Rococo often used Walnut, while the top-end leveraged Rosewood. Laminated Rosewood construction is usually a good first sign of a possibly valuable piece.
Renaissance Revival - (approximately 1860-1890) - Renaissance Revival 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 and Neo-Grec.
Eastlake and Aesthetic Movement - (approximately 1880-1900) - A movement away from the showy complicated designs of prior eras, this furniture has stylized natural elements (flowers, leaves), shallow incisings, and turnings. On finer pieces, marquetry, inlay and veneering can also be found.
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