The fluid lines of the Rococo in furniture design have made many appearances in Britain. From its first appearance in 1750, which really only lasted ten years or so, and was eclipsed by the much more restrained Neo-classical; to revivals during the Victorian era when it became very popular around the middle of the 19th century and remained as an archetypal style for that time. French Rococo revival pieces were also popular at the beginning and well into the 20th century in Britain and turn of the century revival pieces and new reproductions have become popular again in recent years.
Rococo design originated in France during the reign of Louis XV (1723-74). Elaborate furniture had very much formed part of the French court since the time of his father, the Sun King Louis XIV and Charles II returning from exile in France to the throne in Britain created a revolution in antique cabinet making with an injection of these ideas. In France, the shell motifs and flowing lines of French Rococo styling, plus elaborate ormolu mounts and parquetry veneers created stunning pieces of antique furniture, of which the commode made by Charles Cressent (1685-1758), remains as one of the finest examples. The overall design, with the juxtaposition of the geometric parquetry veneers and the rich flowing ormolu decoration that straddle the serpentine shaped drawers, with the whole piece topped with rich coloured marble, creates for many the archetypal piece of mid 18th century Rococo furniture.
Although commodes by Cressent are rare and almost priceless, much French and English Rococo Revival antique furniture can be found today in Britain and many fine examples of Victorian Rococo Revival antique cabinets can be sourced from antiques dealers in Preston.
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