11 Apr 2021
March 1, 2010 - Filed under: Antique Chairs — David

The Victorian era for antique dining chairs is one of many revivals of style. Faithful reproductions of Adam, Chippendale, Hepplewhite and Sheraton designs of 100 years earlier were being reproduced for a growing furniture market.

Dining chairs generally were becoming more generous in size during this period, moving away from the more classical lines to curvaceous uprights, and the top rails became heavier. The simulation of exotic hard woods like ebony and coromandel was also becoming popular and revivals were generally made of mahogany rather than the original walnut of the earlier period pieces.  Chairs were more loosely and less crisply carved, so could be differentiated from their period counterparts.  Much of this looseness of design was due in part to a revival of the French rococo that was in vogue from the 1840s onwards. Other revivals of the time were reproduced from the much earlier Gothic and medieval styles.

Victorian antique dining chairs were built to withstand heavy use. Wealthier clients chose solid rosewood, mahogany and American walnut for the carved splats and legs, with the seat frames made of birch or beech and veneered to match in. Earlier examples of the Victorian dining chair had drop in seats where later examples were over stuffed and attached to the chair frame. The best pieces were stuffed with white horsehair and upholstered in damask and Berlin woolwork. Fine examples of balloon back chairs were also being produced by most London furniture dealers at this time.

Many variants of these Victorian revival antique dining chairs can be viewed through dealerships in Preston, Lancashire, Cumbria and other parts of the country.

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