The Victorian era was one of many revivals from faithful reproductions of Queen Anne and designers like Sheraton, Hepplewhite and Chippendale, to the mock medieval styles of the Victorian Gothic Revival. However the epitome of Victoriana for many is a return to the curving shapes of the French Rococo and nothing emulates this more than sets of balloon-back antique dining chairs which (more…)
In the days when what we call antique furniture was considered modern, there was usually a side table for every wall in the house. Each had its own function depending on where it was placed. The hall table could be rather bare where visitors could place hats, cards or the newspaper. In kitchens there were scrubbed pine varieties used for food preparation and cooking; in dining rooms more ornate (more…)
Where most fine antique furniture over the past three hundred years was designed for comfort and show, the hall chair never was and remained quite separate from fancier drawing room and boudoir furniture.
Its main purpose was to provide rather cold comfort to visitors and trades people waiting to be seen by the owner of the house. In the 18th century, it was still (more…)
The octagonal table has been a firm favourite since the time of the Renaissance. These multifunctional tables were made in England as far back as the 16th century and increases in popularity resulted in many oak varieties being seen in the English home. These early examples were sturdily constructed, often boldly carved, with eight turned or fluted legs and an adjoining stretcher between each leg a few inches off the floor and most, like round tables of the time, measured three feet across. These earlier tables were (more…)
If one piece of furniture depicted the Victorian era, what would it be: a large bulbous mahogany sideboard, an elegant chaise longue, or perhaps the good old chest of drawers.
The onset of mass produced furniture in the Victorian era had meant that more families than any other time in British history now had a selection of reasonable furniture at their disposal to use in their homes. What mass production also meant was a proliferation of styles that furniture manufacturers could draw on from Elizabethan, through to Queen Anne, Georgian, Rococo and Regency. (more…)
In real terms, the Regency period only existed between 1811 and 1820 when the Prince Regent took the place of his father George III who was deemed unfit to rule. However Regency style really transcended the period 1795 to 1837.
The most famous architect and interior designer to influence the neo-classical designs of the Regency period was Robert Adam. Ironically Adam was dead when Regency was at its height but his influence on design carried over from the middle to late 18th century and into the Regency period. (more…)
At the beginning of the 20th century, most people had a sideboard in their dining room. The popularity of the sideboard was due to its flexibility where it could combine such diverse elements as a wine cooler or cellaret, to plate warmer in the same piece of furniture. Pieces were also being mass produced during the Edwardian period which meant that many homes would have one and the sideboard was becoming very much a part of middle class living. (more…)
Jonty Hearnden now referred to the antiques world’s answer to Hugh Grant is selling his antiques business because celebrity means he is never there. Reported in the Daily Mail recently, Jonty has decided to sell the business that he runs with his mother because he is never there due to increasing television commitments. (more…)
With airports fast becoming clogged up with waiting passengers, striking airline crew and zealous safety checks, and motorways suffering from nose to nose traffic and nasty accidents, according to an article in The Observer recently, the train seem to be racing ahead of its once serious rivals to provide stress free holiday travel.
Travelling on trains like the Orient Express (more…)
Prominent cabinet maker and member of the Royal Family, David Linley, was reported as saying in the Financial Times recently: (more…)