HBO’s epic new fantasy series, Game of Thrones, has given food for thought to antique collectors. It has not gone unnoticed that the furniture used in the set designs bears a distinct resemblance to the antique chests and Victorian dining chairs sold by Lancashire Gothic Revival specialists. With the V & A’s Cult of Beauty exhibition, which explores the Gothic romance of the Aesthetic Movement, further stoking the fire, interest in antique furniture of the Gothic Revival period looks set to rocket.
Game of Thrones explores a fantasy world in which warlocks, dusky maidens and sword-wielding warriors reign supreme. In a video on the series’ website, set designer Gemma Jackson admits to having borrowed freely from the designs of mediaeval and pre-mediaeval Europe; both original artefacts, and things which “copy that kind of relationship.” It’s obvious that much of this inspiration came from the Victorian Gothic-slash-Aesthetic movement, which was itself a complete fantasy, totally removed from the truth of the Mediaeval period.
While you’re unlikely to find a Raven Winged iron throne studded with swords at your local antique dealer in Preston, you will find Victorian dining chairs and antique chests in a similar vein. Some Victorian “throne chairs” look as if they’ve come straight from a film set, and a lot of Arts & Crafts furniture in Lancashire has the rough-hewn look fantasy set designers adore.
For a softer approach, ask your local antique dealer in Preston about antique balloon back dining chairs by Gothic Revival designers. These have Mediaeval-inspired scrolls and trefoils, but are lighter in style – and padded for comfort!
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