Periods and styles.
It is quite common to classify an antique`s age by
historic period, referring mainly to the ruling monarch at the time. Sometimes inspiring a bit more interest than just a
numerical date, it can also help to put periods of history in convenient memorable chunks.
The past monarchs had more influence on popular
styles and the prosperity of the people compared to more recent monarchs. But of course
there are many influences on the styles, construction, materials and quality besides the
monarch; such as renowned designers of the time (themselves usually influenced by their
studies and travels) , religion, new technology, social activities, immigrant
craftsmen, access to imported timbers, development of trade guilds , studies in classical
architecture, increased literacy, roads, canals and rail, and the industrial revolution.
The trade often refers to periods or particular monarchs or a
particular century, or any kind of approximation or range of time depending on how certain
they are of their dating. But generally be careful not to confuse
descriptions in terms of style with actual historical period, this should be made clear
but occasionally is not. Earlier styles have been reproduced at much later dates, although even they
can be highly desirable antiques.
|Most furniture made from Oak. Gothic and
Baroque styles, fairly simple joined basic furniture.
|Walnut now very popular. Decorative veneers
and mouldings, rococo styles. Few surviving due to woodworm liking walnut.
|Mahogany now used very much. Neo-classical styles,
much varied types of cabinet made furniture
|Varied mix of styles and woods and quality
|| Elizabeth I
|| James I
|| Charles I
|| Charles II - 1685, James II
|| William and Mary
|| William II & Mary II (died 1694)
|| Queen Anne
|| Queen Anne
|| Early Georgian
|| George I - 1727, George II
|| Late Georgian
|| George III king until 1820
|| George IV, regent-1820, then king
|| William IV
|| William IV
|| Edward VII
Do beware that many in the trade are occasionally wrong in their identification.
Frequently pieces are brought in for restoration that are not actually what they
were described to be when bought. Don`t always trust auction room
descriptions to be completely accurate, although many auctioneers are very experienced and
knowledgeable sometimes it is not always possible for them to assess every lot in an
auction in such detail, the odd piece may slip through, sometimes to your benefit and
sometimes not. If unsure most auctioneers will be happy to aid you in a closer
examination. Also be very careful buying from online auctions. Buy from a reputable
established dealer, if you can and if you are still not sure then seek an expert opinion. A
professional restorers opinion is valuable, they should have a comprehensive
knowledge of furniture history , plus they can recognise the tell tale signs from a craftsman point of view.