Thursday, October 5, 2017

American Furniture Styles: Victorian

By Gretchen Sawatzki

The Victorian period (1830 - 1890) regarding American furniture styles can be divided into a number of distinct styles including Gothic Revival, Neoclassical Revival, and the Rococo Revival to name a few. For furnishings not identified by a distinct category, the term "Victorian" became a blanket term for furnishings of period in which Queen Victoria reigned in England (1837-1901).

Classic Victorian parlor furniture. By Barrett, William Edmund, creator [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

During the Victorian period, Americans growing romanticism with all things English heavily influenced interior design and everyday culture. Americans adopted Victorian dress, principles, gender roles, and social structures, and everything became more opulent.

A Victorian era parlor fit for a Queen. By Miami U. Libraries - Digital Collections [No restrictions or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

While Americans' taste grew became more opulent, so did their design preferences. Furniture once created by the cabinetmaker, was now produced on a mass scale and even the lowest end pieces of furniture had details reflecting these tastes. Dining furniture grew in size to include sideboards, extendable tables, and comfortable chair, and parlors donned seven piece parlor sets for entertaining.

The Victorian period is marked by the revival of historic designs, utilized hardwoods, and preferred heavy decoration from all types of imagery.

   Antique Trader
   Wikimedia Commons

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