The Queen Anne period of 1702-1714 was one of the most productive in walnut cabinetry where veneering in walnut became very popular and produced elegant hand crafted pieces of drawing room furniture. The requirement for smaller pieces of furniture, coupled with the beauty of walnut, prompted a surge in the production of new pieces. The bureaux or antique desk was a marriage of separate pieces of furniture, the writing slope and chest of drawers, which were now fixed together to form the desk. The whole, then veneered in walnut, made an impressive small piece of furniture where in wealthy households the husband and wife often owned one each.
Another piece of furniture becoming fashionable during this period was the secretaire cabinet. Again, this was two pieces of furniture put together to form one, where a mirrored cupboard with shelves inside was fixed to a chest of drawers. The top drawer of the chest would come down to provide a writing surface with the lower drawers used for storage. The bureau bookcase would be similar except that it would have a bookcase rather than a cabinet top. Again the whole piece would be veneered with walnut to complete the look.
The dining chair also became highly stylised during the Queen Anne period. The easily recognised cabriole leg is thought of now as representative of Queen Anne furniture where the leg, often with shell and other carvings on the knee, was fitted to cabinets and chairs. The back of the chair, or splat, was usually made of solid walnut and the seat was padded and could be removed.
Period and revival Queen Anne antique walnut desks, bureaux and antique chairs can be bought from Lancashire, Cumbria and many other UK antiques dealers.
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