Monthly Inspiration: Victorian Furniture

So I've talked about Rococo furniture and I've talked about Baroque furniture.  Now, I'm going to talk about Victorian furniture.  A lot of times people get it confused with Rococo and Baroque.  Hopefully I've given you  a better idea of what the differences are.  There are many reproductions or revival pieces of Victorian furniture, but the genuine pieces are from around 1850-1910.  The name would then stem from Queen Victoria of the UK. Whereas it's probably pretty difficult to find or even afford a genuine piece of Rococo or Baroque furniture, owning a genuine piece of Victorian furniture is more feasible.

 This was not a time of minimalistic tastes.  I would describe the Victorian era furniture as "beautiful clutter." There had been a lot of different changes with furniture before the Victorian era and also remember that depictions varied by country.  But by the time the Victorian era rolled around they were going back to the designs of Rococo and Neoclassical and even Gothic and Asian.  Staples of Victorian furniture are curvy but heavy lines, ornate tufted upholstery, and painted or stained furniture.  But there were even different styles of Victorian furniture within that period and it is hard to pinpoint just one influence. There were also a lot of new techniques of furniture making being used at this time.  The Victorians loved to ebonized their furniture.  That's why you can tell a lot of times when something is painted black that it may be from the Victorian era.


The great thing about Victorian furniture was that a lot of it was not just made in Europe but the US as well. You can find many Victorian style "doll house" homes in the US.  My wedding happened to be at a Victorian Museum in Pennsylvania.  I was a little obsessed with this Rococo inspired Victorian settee.  You can see more images from my Victorian inspired wedding here.

Woods of choice were Mahogany, Walnut, and Rosewood.  Some pioneers of Victorian furniture were:
  • Charles Eastlake of America.  He strayed from Rococo style
  • John Belter of America.  He loved Rococo style
  • Alexander Roux of France.  Rococo style.
  • R. J. Horner of America.  Loved elaborate detail.
  • William Wooton of America.  Loved Secretary Desks!
  • George Hunzinger of Germany.  Renaissance Revival Style.
  • Holland and Sons of England. Known for Gothic Revival.
  • Gillows of England.  Produced many Victorian styles of furniture.
Here are a few pieces of genuine Victorian furniture:




Here's a great cheat sheet to see if what you have is Victorian or a repro.  But buying a fantastic revival or repro is often more affordable and equally pleasing to the eye.  It just depends, I would say, if you are more of an Antique Collector or Interior Designer.  If all else fails take it to be appraised.  And you might want to think twice before you paint over a genuine piece.

Do you own any genuine pieces of Victorian furniture? 



21 comments :

  1. I don't own any Victorian furniture pieces but my mom has some beautiful chairs in our house that I love.

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  2. It's all so beautiful and intricate!
    And, the picture of you is so appropriate and pretty!

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  3. Hi. Visiting from the Lovely Thurs. Linkup. Look forward to seeing some of your DIY projects

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  4. I wish! That red sofa is amazing!

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  5. Hmm. I don't think I own a single piece. Which is funny, since I live in a Victorian house! But a little Victorian goes a long way in my opinion. If you start to gather too many pieces a room can feel like a museum. But I love that sofa! Thanks for sharing at Fridays Unfolded!

    Alison
    Nancherrow

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    1. Totally agree. Too much stuff and your house can easily look cluttered! Not a good look. But a few accent pieces are key!

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  6. I don't think I have any Victorian furniture, though I do think it's beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing at Amaze Me Monday...
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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  7. That photo is simply stunning, you were a beautiful bride - everything about the pic smacks of elegance! Gorgeous furniture pieces, I agree!

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  8. Very interesting and informative post. I like Victorian furniture in another person's house. I am short and it seems to overwhelm me! I would take the black writing desk in a skinny minute. Lovely bridal portrait.

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    1. I'd love that writing desk too. Thanks!

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  9. I enjoyed seeing all this furniture. I like the balloon back chair and the writing desk is fabulous. Love you photo sitting on the chair too. Found you today on Kathewithane.

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  10. What a beautiful bride! Love all the images of the furniture and the great information here, BR! Thanks for sharing this at my History & Home link party, take care. -Dawn @ We Call It Junkin.com

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  11. These are all amazing pieces. I was spying some Victorian pieces on craigslist today, maybe you convinced me to bite the bullet and purchase them. My fiance is going to kill me if I do lol, but thanks for the inspiration.

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  12. First of all you look so lovely on that settee! What a great tutorial for us! thank you so much for sharing at TTF this week!

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  13. I love Victorian furniture, Brittany, and have a whole house full! I even have a bed like the one you posted. You are gorgeous in your wedding gown on the settee! I hopped on over to see your wedding pics--how gorgeous. If I could have a do over, yours would be the wedding of my dreams. I just don't think my hubby and I are the vow recommitting kind of people! lol! So so gorgeous and the memory of a life time!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words. I absolutely loved everything about my wedding.

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I love to hear from readers! Questions and comments welcome. I try to respond to everyone (I respond back to your comments on the comments page so check back for a response). Thanks for reading!

-Brittany Ruth