Like Rococo, the Regency period actually only spanned ten years or so (1810-1820), and only truly existed during the incapacity of George III where the Prince Regent acted as proxy until his father’s death. However, its styling influence on antique furniture actually spanned nearly forty years (1795-1830).
There were two strands to Regency furniture design in England, both following classical lines; the French taste which imitated Greek and Roman architectural styling as accurately as possible, and English Regency which followed French Empire which was influenced heavily by ancient Egypt. The designer Thomas Hope faithfully followed ancient Greek and Roman styles and introduced classical furniture pieces such as vase stands and scroll end couches, where designer Rudolf Ackermann followed the ancient Egyptian style brought about by Napoleon’s Syrian and Egyptian campaigns where dining chairs had scimitar shaped legs and turned rope back rails.
Other pieces of Regency furniture were varying sizes of tripod supported antique tables, the sofa, and the chiffonier for storing books, plus perhaps the most famous remnant from this period, the Regency sideboard. Brass inlay and garniture was also very popular. Thomas Chippendale junior, the son of the famous 18th century antique cabinet maker, was also producing fine furniture during this period.
Much of the plainer and more frugal styling of the Regency period, particularly in France, was due to post revolution and wartime austerity. As the 19th century progressed into the Victorian era, the refinements of Regency were put aside for more eclectic tastes in furniture, but Regency styling was revived later during this period and many times since.
No comments yet.