Antique furniture aficionados will have enjoyed Part I of this mini blog series where we’ve been discovering the changing styles of furniture through the periods of history as new monarchs took to rule. In Part II, we take a look at what the late 19th and early 20th centuries had in store for us.

Victorian Furniture – 19th – Early 20th Century

Queen Victoria’s long reign started in 1837. From here until 1901, just inside of the 20th century, furniture was made to please the growing middle class population. Families were large and they loved to entertain, so there was a much enhanced need for furniture.

Victorian furniture is popular to this day, with Victorian antiques readily available thanks to the abundance of production during the Queen’s reign. Homes filled with furniture would show off social status at the time, and later in the period machinery began to take over production to keep up with demand.

Mahogany retained its status as the most popular wood, with rosewood also rising in popularity. Victorian furniture from the early years followed the Regency style. It was curvaceous, the corners rounded and the decoration elaborate. The build was solid and the wood for the most part left unvarnished. Bedroom furniture was often embellished with iron, and sideboards painted with medieval fantasy scenes.

victorian style chair

Later into the mid Victorian period, a more glossy finish came into vogue and, as comfort became more important, sofas, easy chairs and padded dining chairs entered the scene.

Later into the mid Victorian period, a more glossy finish came into vogue and, as comfort became more important, sofas, easy chairs and padded dining chairs entered the scene. With entertainment still the trend, card tables became popular as did large, looming sideboards with carved detail and plenty of storage for the vast collections of dining paraphernalia found below.

Towards the end of the Victorian era, on the way into the 20th century, the Art Nouveau movement started to take hold, with designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Hugh Baillie Scott becoming popular worldwide.

Edwardian Furniture – 20th Century

In 1901, after the death of Queen Victoria, her son Edward VII took to the throne. It was a relatively short reign, ending in 1910. The furniture style of this period mainly consisted of antique reproduction furniture, copying older styles but using machinery for mass production and new techniques to adapt pieces to suit modern living and demands for greater comfort. Veneers allowed for eye-catching finishes, without the price tag of solid wood.

In 1901, after the death of Queen Victoria, her son Edward VII took to the throne. It was a relatively short reign, ending in 1910. The furniture style of this period mainly consisted of antique reproduction furniture, copying older styles but using machinery for mass production and new techniques to adapt pieces to suit modern living and demands for greater comfort. Veneers allowed for eye-catching finishes, without the price tag of solid wood.

Earlier designs such as Chippendale, for all their endearing splendour and charm, were outselling new designs and second hand – or should we say antique – furniture was very much in vogue.

Aside from this trend, Art Nouveau furniture continued to be in high demand. The leaf and flower motifs, elongated lines and sumptuous curves were much loved. Mahogany maintained its popularity, but oak started to make an appearance, and walnut and satinwood introduced a touch of something different.

Art Nouveau furniture

During the Edwardian era, Nouveau furniture continued to be in high demand. The leaf and flower motifs, elongated lines and sumptuous curves were much loved.

Bedroom suites saw a surge in popularity. They would be relatively simple in design and almost always punctuated with hand-bevelled mirrors. Dining suites also became fashionable and usually consisted of extending, wind-out tables with chair sets to match. Cabriole or turned legs would highlight the style.

Antique Reproduction Furniture: Popular Today as it Ever Was

So it turns out that reproduction antique furniture was as popular in the 19th and 20th centuries as it is today! If you’d like to explore a range for yourself, take a look here for all you need to replicate your favourite era in history.

You will find that Oficina Britannia has the best furniture about.