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Different Antique Furniture Styles

The world of antiques can seem challenging to navigate. By any traditional definition, an antique is an object that is at least 100 years old. Centuries have led way to distinctive furniture styles and decorative components that make each piece unique to the era from which it was formed. From 1600 to present day, historians and experienced antique collectors have been able to trace discrete furniture periods ranging in inspiration from individual furniture makers to utilitarian influence. In this helpful buying guide, we will examine and review the various antique furniture styles we have come to know and love.

Beginning in the Jacobean era, furniture styles were adapted from Europe to early America and featured straight lines, rigid designs, ornate carvings, and dark finishes that were reminiscent of medieval architecture. Early American furniture was inspired by these designs and settlers worked to adapt their homeland’s aesthetics using native woods, giving way to the Early American style period that produced practical and sturdy goods. One influential practice that came from this era and inspired furniture styles throughout the William and Mary, Queen Anne, and Chippendale periods was the art of japanning or lacquering furniture with a dark varnish.

Although antique furniture styles have always favored utilitarian design, the Queen Anne, Colonial, Georgian, and Chippendale time periods embraced international influence. These furniture styles incorporated more delicate and ornate features, including oriental fretwork, gadrooning, acanthus embellishments, cabriole legs, and so much more. Accent pieces such as these with French, Chinese, or Gothic influences are perfect on their own or when paired with modern statement pieces to create a transitional design scheme.

As we journey closer to contemporary furniture styles, we find slight variations on influence in the Federal (Hepplewhite), Sheraton, Empire, Victorian, and Gothic Revival eras. Woodworkers and craftsman began to prefer light construction with neoclassic motifs. Antique furniture styles of these time periods incorporated contrasting veneers and classical ornamentation to create a truly elaborate appeal.

Toward the end of the nineteenth century, antique furniture styles took a turn toward simpler construction while still utilizing detailed patterns. Give your home a timeless effect by choosing antiques and quality reproductions. Laurel Crown is the ultimate source for customer furniture services and unmatched craftsmanship. Explore our inventory today, and contact us with any questions or concerns.

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