For something that has been around since the ancient Egyptians, the antique chest still remains a firm storage favourite.
Due to its longevity and popularity, many ages and variety of antique chests still survive and a fairly basic piece of furniture can make an attractive addition to any room in the house. Certainly the glorious patinas on 17th century heavily carved domed lidded oak coffers present a fabulous piece of early furniture that will fit perfectly into any smart living room and provide useful storage. Often these early chests will have the addition of a (more…)
As the Victorian era progressed, it was machine manufactured rather than hand crafted furniture that catered for the growing middle classes. Increased individual wealth meant that a much larger percentage of the population could now furnish their houses with a range of antique furniture from any period in history that they desired. However, there was also growing dissatisfaction with the quality of some of this new factory made furniture and reformers like A W N Pugin (1812-52) were seeking to revive the honest workmanship of much earlier Gothic furniture.
William Morris (1834-96) also supported Pugin’s thinking and in 1861 began the firm of Morris & Co, and with furniture designers such as (more…)
When we consider Regency antique furniture, we think of something rectilinear with simple lines and beautiful wood finishes based on architectural and archaeological ideas from ancient Greece and Rome. However, by the Regency period (1790-1830), antique cabinet makers had refined much of the slavish Neo-classical detail of the preceding 20 years or so to produce something much simpler in line with early Biedermeier that was being produced in both Germany and Austria in post Napoleonic Europe.
An example of a modern equivalent of furniture which heralds directly from Biedermeier styling is the (more…)
Antique furniture should not only look good, but it should feel, sound and smell good too, so you need more than one sense to determine whether it is the piece for you.
Antiques require close inspection, not only to determine that they are what they purport to be, but to satisfy yourself that they have all the qualities that you want. You need to run your hand along them and feel the grain and (more…)
Although mass production produced any type and style of furniture that Victorian households could possibly want, many pictures representing family life at the time often contain pieces of very old furniture like the gateleg table. There was an advantage to choosing old or antique over reproduction, in that it tended to be cheaper. Also, some Victorians, as a reaction against the growth of mass manufacture, were buying up these old pieces of furniture. We inherit our interest in antiques today in part because of the Victorian love of the historical look. In fact, antique furniture became so popular, that ironically the manufacture of reproductions had to (more…)
Gauging by the rise in numbers of people visiting Towneley Hall in Burnley where Antiques Master is filmed, it would seem that the new antiques show is a great success. According to a recent story in the Lancashire Telegraph, people visiting Towneley want to experience the setting that is used for the programme and are interested in the Regency Rooms in particular. The whole programme seems to have a Lancashire feel about it anyway, where resident expert Eric Knowles is (more…)
Of the three great antique furniture designers of the mid to late 18th century, namely Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Sheraton, it is perhaps Sheraton’s designs that are regarded as most relevant in style terms to modern living. Sheraton bridged the gap between Neo-classicism and Regency to produce furniture that was supremely elegant. His designs were (more…)
When considering early English furniture, we tend to think of heavy and cumbersome pieces of extensively carved oak that need large rooms and strong floors to accommodate it. However during the Cromwellian period and the reign of Charles II, living styles were changing and furniture was becoming smaller, lighter and finer. The Restoration period as it is called when Charles was restored to the English throne, produced many pieces of furniture that would fit into (more…)
Much has been written about Fiona Bruce recently in the media regarding the rather sexy persona that she brings to the Antiques Roadshow. It seems that the general public are still not quite sure about the type of image that a presenter of this long time British institution should present. After all, we live in liberated times, and are used to having female presenters and newsreaders, so why do many of us seem to object to the sexy image that Fiona is bringing to the Antiques Roadshow? Perhaps it is something to do with (more…)
Although there were many different styles of sofa table made during the Victorian era, the one that stands out by far from all the rest is the classical model. There are certain classical elements incorporated into this table that produce something fine. It is the usual size of around 2 feet wide and around 2 and a half feet high with flaps at either end that would extend the table to around 5 feet in length. When fully extended, this accentuates the (more…)