Although Rococo made only a brief appearance in Britain in the mid 18th century, it returned during the Victorian era, and from 1840 onwards became a pivotal part of what we regard now as typical Victorian furniture.
The heavily carved flowing styling and the cabriole leg in its French form rather than the Chippendale version took hold of chairs, dining tables, card tables and sofas. Victorian furniture was much heavier and exaggerated the Rococo form, and when coupled with plush upholstery, produced elaborate and luxurious pieces of furniture. Although mainly machine made, the frames were top quality and much of the finishing and polishing was done by hand.
Mass production was not only producing quality furniture, but speeding up the manufacturing process which also meant much cheaper furniture. It was the middle classes particularly that revelled in the availability of this revival Rococo furniture which emulated Rococo styling for the nobility a hundred years before. Even the Victorian aristocracy were happily indulging in the variety and availability of Victorian Rococo furniture being bought by the nouveau riche, where much older hand made pieces were being put into storage or being used by servants.
A wealth of Victorian Rococo furniture survives today and it fits well with the present fashion for French Rococo revival pieces from the end of the 19th century often referred to as ‘shabby chic’. Also much Victorian furniture of this period is mahogany throughout whereas 18th century hand made pieces were often mahogany veneered onto pine carcasses.
Victorian Rococo furniture remains very good value for money. When looking for Victorian dining chairs , Lancashire dealers can show you a good selection of pieces.
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