It was during the Georgian periods from the early 18th century onwards that elegant dining in the truest sense of the word became commonplace in the houses of the wealthier classes. Prior to this, eating had been a rather all inclusive, rumbustious affair where family and servants hierarchically graded all sat together and ate around long trestle tables which were folded away when not in use.
In the reign of Queen Anne, at the beginning of the century, the characteristic features of the dining chair came into being. The meat filled diets of the middle and upper classes produced large people and dining chairs of the time had to be built sturdily to withstand constant heavy use. The seat therefore was broad and the backs quite high with a cresting rail and vase-shaped splat. The cabriole leg, which was a popular feature of the time and was also designed to be heavy weight bearing, had a pronounced curve with decorated knees, standing on ball and claw feet. The seats were usually upholstered for comfort.
This early design of dining chair remained popular until the middle of the 18th century when stylistically it began to change. Mahogany had now replaced walnut as the wood of choice. A brief trend for the fussy French rococo produced a much more fluid and heavily carved chair. Other influences such as chinoiserie and Gothic also made their mark. These more exuberant influences eventually gave way to the much cleaner and orderly lines of the neo-classical period based on ancient Greek and Roman designs.
When searching for antique dining chairs in Preston , Lancashire, local reputable dealers can show you a wide selection of period and revival chairs.
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