Furniture of the 19th Century

In the 19th century, Europe and the United States experienced frequent change and advancement in society and culture as well as arts and design. Furniture made in this era reflect the fast-paced evolution of 19th century design. From the late Georgian era to the rise of Art Nouveau, this century provided beautiful pieces of furniture that are widely prized by collectors today.

American Mahogany Secretary and Bookcase, circa 1800

The Georgian Era

The Georgian era (1714-1830) was a period that was characterized by the reign of King George I, King George II, King George III, and King George IV in Great Britain and Ireland. The 19th century encompassed the reign of Kings George III and George IV. A smaller period during this time, the Regency period, lasted from 1811 to 1820. The architecture and design of the latter Georgian era was largely influenced by Neoclassicism and the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

English Georgian Chest of Drawers
Tripod Leg Tilt Top Table, circa 1810

Biedermeier

The Biedermeier period (1815-1848), centered in Germany, marked a shift in German society. Political stability resulted in the development of a new middle class. Biedermeier furniture comes from this middle class of Germans. Characteristics of Biedermeier design include clean lines, decreased ornamentation, and use of wood local to the area.

Biedermeier Glass Front Bibliotheque, circa 1840
Biedermeier Burl Wood Chest, circa 1840

The Victorian Era

The Victorian era produced a multitude of advancements in society and culture. The furniture designs of this period were largely influenced by Rococo and Gothic styles. Common motifs in design included nature and animals. Interior decoration was important to Victorians, and each room in the house was carefully detailed to the owners’ desires.

Victorian Ebonized Marquetry Table, circa 1870
English Rosewood Canterbury, circa 1830
French Louis XVI Style Commode, circa 1880
Renaissance Revival Wine Cooler, circa 1850

The 20th Century

The death of Queen Victoria in 1901 marked the beginning of the Edwardian Era. During this time, the Art Nouveau movement had gained popularity. Interior design of this era incorporated light, ethereal elements, much unlike the dark and heavy designs of the Victorian era. Materials for furniture changed from mahogany and oak wood to bamboo and wicker.

French Round Burl Walnut Table, circa 1900
Ornately Carved Walnut Buffet, circa 1900

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