During the early part of Victoria’s reign c1845-1860, there was a serious Rococo revival that affected most furniture of that time. In smart middle class drawing rooms, card tables and chairs all took on the Frenchified cabriole leg which had been copied from the 18th century courts of both Louis XIV and Louis XV during the reign of Louis Philippe (1830-1848). Victorian Rococo however was very different from the French and English 18th century versions. For a start in true Victorian style it was much heavier and the Rococo designs were often greatly accentuated. Sofas took on heavily curved padded shapes with Rococo carved edges and plush furnishings. Also the construction of these pieces was generally very good. Although mainly machine made, they were hand finished, polished and upholstered.
It was popular during this time to buy new furniture. It was not just the burgeoning middle classes that were buying new either, the ancient nobility were also putting away their 18th century hand made pieces in preference to this well constructed machine made fashionable furniture. Certainly, the Great Exhibition of 1851 focused on the outstanding rather than everyday pieces of furniture, which is hardly surprising given the Victorian love of the French Rococo that an award went to a Frenchman M. Fourdinois for his walnut sideboard. Four other French cabinet makers also won awards.
Much good quality Victorian Rococo antique furniture from this period survives and Rococo styling still remains popular, even weathering the most minimalist of fashions. When looking to buy early Victorian antique card tables and antique dining chairs , Lancashire dealers can show you a good selection of pieces.
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