Advances in mass production during the Victorian era meant that opportunities presented themselves for the emerging middle classes to mimic the interiors of the upper classes. Furniture, therefore, became a focus for any number of revival styles for the class conscious Victorians to choose from and Victorian dining chairs particularly became machine turned reproductions of much earlier designs.
Initially, it was the effect of the crinoline and the curving lines of the French Rococo that perhaps more than any other revival style captured the Victorian imagination. The almost heart shaped curving lines of the back top rail of Victorian dining chairs, the nipped in centre, and rounder and wider seats set on sturdy baluster rather thancabriole legs meant that ladies of fashion wearing crinolines could sit easily, comfortably and securely.
Other faithful revivals of early 18th century Queen Anne, mid 18th century Chippendale (both these examples using the cabriole leg), Hepplewhite and Sheraton – whose designs reflected the clean lines of Regency and the neo-classical – began to eclipse the flowing lines of the Victorian French Rococo revival, and from the 1870s onwards these revival Victorian dining chairs were very popular. Machined veneers used tended to be much thinner than handmade period veneers, and the carving could be less crisp. Certainly Queen Anne period chairs were made of walnut where Queen Anne revival chairs tended to be made of mahogany. However, the best examples of these revival Victorian dining chairs are almost indistinguishable from period pieces.
Sturdy oak Victorian dining chairs were also reproduced in the Gothic and medieval styles by reformer-designers like Charles Eastlake. However, the comfort of these pieces could be compromised due to an over focus on aesthetics.
We at Christian Davies Antiques have a comprehensive selection of Victorian dining chairs for those looking for antiques in Preston, Lancashire and Cumbria and would be pleased to discuss the investment potential and provide information on the varying styles of these fine pieces of Victorian antique dining furniture .