Different Styles and Ages of Antique Furniture – Furniture with special value due to its’s age and fine artistry will be considered Antique. Antique and vintage stores normally classify any piece older than 50 years to be antique but fine antique dealers will debate that furniture older than 150 years to be antique
What is the difference between Vintage and Antique
Any item older than a 100 years will be categorized as an antique whereas Vintage Items are much younger. Vintage is old but typically manufactured before 1999 or even earlier like the 1950’s.
Vintage items will include watches, jewelry, clothing and accessories. Electronics and cameras will also be classified as vintage
The age of a piece doesn’t directly determine it’s value – a vintage item from the 50’s could be much more valuable than an similar piece manufactured from an earlier time. Antiques in excellent condition do get higher prices because of their age and history.
Items older than 100 years or older are to be considered genuinely antique and collectors are familiar with hallmarks of popular styles throughout the ages.
If you find it hard to date an item yourself seek for an expert to give you advice
Ages of Antique Furniture
Furniture manufactured in the 1950’s to the 1960’s
Furniture manufactured between the 1920’s and 1940’s
Furniture maufactured between the 1920’s and 1930’s
Arts and Crafts
Furniture manufactured in the early 19’s
Furniture manufactured in the mid to late 1800’s
Different Styles of Antique Furniture
Here is a quick guide to help you distinguish between the different looks of antique furniture. It will also help you pick out the one that closely matches your décor and taste.
- Jacobean: English style (1640-1700), medieval in appearance with straight lines, rigid designs, sturdy construction, ornate carvings and a dark finish.
- Early American: Modelled after European furniture styles (1640-1700), particularly from England, France, the Netherlands, Scandinavia and Spain. Rudimentary utilitarian furniture made from local woods.
- William and Mary: Dutch and Chinese influences, characterized by trumpet turned legs terminating in a ball or Spanish foot, padded or caned chair seats, and Oriental lacquer-work. Named after William and Mary of England (1690-1725).
- Queen Anne: A graceful and moderately proportioned version of the above style, characterized by cabriole legs terminating in a pad or drake foot, fiddle-back chair back, and bat wing shaped drawer pulls. Named after Queen Anne of England (1700-1755).
- Colonial: Conservative and less ornate than other styles made from 1700-1780, it combines some characteristics of William and Mary, Queen Anne, and Chippendale.
- Georgian: A more decorative version of the Queen Anne style with heavier proportions, elaborately carved cabriole legs terminating in a pad or ball-and-claw foot, ornate carvings, pierced back splats, and the use of gilding. Named after George I and George II who reigned over England from 1714-1760.
- Pennsylvania Dutch: A simple, functional American country style (1720-1830) with Germanic influences and characterized by colourful folk painting on case pieces.
- Chippendale: Has French, Chinese and Gothic influences. American Chippendale, however, isa more ornate version of the Queen Anne style with cabriole legs, ball-and-claw foot, and broken pediment scroll top on tall case pieces. Named after British designer and cabinet maker Thomas Chippendale (1750-1790).
- Robert Adam: Named after architect Robert Adam (1760-1795)who designed furniture with classical details to fit the character of his classically designed homes in England.
- Hepplewhite: Neoclassic, characterized by a delicate appearance, tapered legs and the use of contrasting veneers and inlay. Named after English designer and cabinetmaker George Hepplewhite (1727-1786).
- Federal: Combines the neoclassic characteristics of Hepplewhite and Sheraton. It is characterized by graceful straight lines, light construction, tapered legs, and the use of inlay, and contrasting veneers. Period – (1789-1823).
- Sheraton: Also neoclassical with delicate straight lines, light construction, contrasting veneers and neoclassical motifs and ornamentation. Named after English designer Thomas Sheraton (1785-1820).
- Duncan Phyfe: Considered by some as an adaptation and refinement of Adam, Sheraton, Hepplewhite, and Empire type of furniture. It is characterized by carved or reeded legs and neoclassical motifs. Named after American cabinetmaker Duncan Phyfe (1795-1848).
- American Empire: Patterned after the French Empire with classical influences. It is moderately proportioned with classical ornamentation, coarse carving, and a dark finish. Period – (1800-1840).
- Shaker: Simple and functional, produced by the religious group, the United Society of Believers in self-contained communities within the United States. It is characterized by straight tapered legs, woven square chair seats and mushroom shaped wooden knobs. Period – (1820-1860)
- Victorian: The first furniture style of mass production (1840-1910), influenced by gothic forms with heavy proportions, dark finish, elaborate carving, and ornamentation. Named for Queen Victoria of England.
- Arts and Craft: The Arts and Craft style (1880-1910) also referred to as the Mission style is characterized by simple utilitarian design and construction.
- Art Nouveau: A naturalistic style (1890-1910)characterized by intricately detailed patterns and curving lines
Different Styles and Ages of Antique Furniture
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