Rabu, 20 Januari 2016

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Antique Furniture Styles and Reproduction (16th and 17th centuries)

Antique Furniture Styles and Reproduction. Many people own a real or reproduction piece of antique furniture. For the novice it is notoriosly difficult to tell the diference between a real antique and a reproduction, or even between different historical styles, so it can help to know a little about the changing fashions in furniture throught our history.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, England's growing prosperity was reflected in the demand for a wider variaty of furniture to fill the many new houses which were being built. The florid version of reanissance style which was coming in to England from Germany and the Netherlands suited ostentatious Elizabethan taste. Furniture was ornate and it was unusual to find a piece of furniture without some kind of decoration. Elaborate inlay work, interlacing scrolls, strap-like bands and formal flower patterns covered the surface, while legs were carved into bulbous forms.

The commonest wood was oak, sometimes inlaid with other woods. Sueviving oak furniture has darkened naturally with age, unlike the Tudor-style furniture of the 19th and 20th centuries which was dark stained or varnished.

Along with the increashing prosperity came a growing desire for comfort. Chairs were lighter, easly moved, and many more of them were comfortably upholstered in velvet silk. 
Jacobean furniture mostly followed Elizabethan forms but was a little less florid. The completely upholstered bed, fashionable on the continent, became popular in England's great housess, with matching chairs and stools upholstered in the same fabrics.

Restoration To Queen Anne
The puritan dislike for anithing elaborate kept furniture simple and basic during the Commonwealth but with the restoration of the monarcy, a reaction set in. Charles II had continental ideas of comfort and a taste for Baroque style. Both furniture and houses were destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666 and the roomier, lighter houses with painted pine panelling and delicated-moulded  plaster cellings that replaced them called for lighter, more elegant furniture. Walnut replaced oak and veneering became popular.
Veneering made it possible to use beatyfully-marked woods that were small in section or fragie. A variety of cloured woods, even ebony,  mother of pearl and ivory were cut, like the pieces of jigsaw puzzle, to build up pictorial designs (called parquetry). Lacquering also became fashionable, and many lacquered chest and panels were imported from the Orient. It was Indian furniture that first introduced cane to Europe. Cane mesh was used for chair and chouch seats as well as chair backs, making them lighter,  more comfortable and cheaper. Cane contrasted well with flamboyant, eleborate carving typical of the restoration chair.

Furniture became leaner and taller throughout the William and Mary period. Decoration grew more restrained. By the end of the 17th century, the life of the English gentleman had become more relaxed and this is reflected in the less elaborate furniture of Queen Anne's reign - beauty of line was preferred to ornament. The S-shaped curve was the most important element of this furniure. Marquetry and parquetry were discarded in favour of all-over veneers, usually of walnut. Textiles for upholstery and hangings were the major source of decoration and hight standart of embroidery resulted.  

Court cupboard / Buffet of Oak
Style : Unique to England and designed to hold the family silver. It consists of two or three open shelves with drawers in the friezes. The supports are bulbous in form or are carved into grostesque beasts.

Buffet of oak antique
Elizabethan Poster Bed
Style : Heavly-carved tester supported in front by two freestanding posts with cup and cover decoration. Supported at the head by a carved and inlaid headboard. Tudor and Jacobean beds were prestige pieces and highly prized.

Elizabethan poter bed
Elizabethan poter bed
Panel-Backed Chair 16th and 17th centuries
Style : A light and comfortable style of chair. The boxed-in base of earlier style has gone, and the back is angled for comfort. It is also carved and inlaid.

Panel-backed Chair
Oak Draw - Leaf Refectory Table
Style : A new piece which was useful in the comparatively small dining room - it still popular today for that reason. The top rest unattached on a frame supported by heavy legs linked by stretchers. Two leaves resting under the main table can be pulled out.

Oak draw - leaf refectory table
Leaf Refectory Table

Antique leaf refectory table
Antique leaf refectory table
Upholstered Bed (19th Century)
Style : Wooden bed base with an elaborately upholstered bedhead and tester. Bed posts of great height are completly hidden by drapery.

Upholstered Bed (19th Century)
Upholstered Bed (19th Century)
Queen Anne Knee Hole Desk
Style : The drawers surround a higed cupboard compartment. Usually made in walnut with brass handles and lock. Has good storage space and is also useful as a small dressing table.

Queen Anne Knee Hole Desk
Queen Anne Knee Hole Desk
Queen Anne Knee Hole Desk 20th Century
Queen Anne Knee Hole Desk 20th Century

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