- 1 When did people start using dining tables?
- 2 What did the first table look like?
- 3 Did Romans have tables?
- 4 Did ancient people have tables?
- 5 What is a gypsy table?
- 6 What is a regency table?
- 7 What is the difference between Georgian and Victorian furniture?
- 8 Why was Victorian furniture so dark?
- 9 What were old tables made of?
- 10 What are old tables made of?
- 11 What wood was used for furniture in the 1800s?
What were tables made of in the 1800s?
Almost all chairs and tables were made of wood until the beginning of the 19th century, when new materials inspired new designs.
When did people start using dining tables?
The Evolution of the Dining Room and Dining Table Bill Primavera By Bill Primavera As a realtor who writes about homes, as a writer who sells homes, I am always curious about various features of a home, specifically their history. My curiosity recently focused on the dining room, and in particular, the dining table.
- I remember my first dining room set, which looked more like a kitchen set since it was made of chrome, was purchased from Macy’s for $35.
- That was more than a half-century ago.
- In 2019 dollars, that would be $297, but still a bargain.
- A modest start, but considering that I never could cook and never sat at the table for a meal when I was a bachelor, there was no need for anything more substantial.
Today my dining table is a massive slab of beveled glass set upon two truncated Ionic columns, with six modern chairs, all purchased wholesale 30 years ago from a Chicago furniture mart for $10,000. It’s hard to imagine a time when the dining room table wasn’t the focal point of the dining room.
Through most of history, people dined on small tables or stone platforms rather than large dining room tables. Tables were used for writing and playing games, not for dining. The Greeks were the first to design rooms specifically designed for eating – or in their case – feasting. These rooms featured couches of stone or wood which accommodated only men, chauvinist pigs that they were, while women stood by and youths sat on the ground.
Ancient Romans also ate their meals in a special room, and obviously liked the company of women a bit better than the Greeks, accommodating them on the same kind of couches where the men ate. It wasn’t until the 16 th century that dining room tables became popular.
Although many types of tables had been around since ancient times, they were not the dining room tables we know today, which are smaller and more feminine in style, embracing the furnishing styles of their various periods. By the Victorian era, well-to-do consumers spent lavishly on their dining rooms, outfitting them with upholstered chairs, mahogany sideboards, beautiful bone china and expensive linen napkins and tablecloths.
Mealtime for them was an event, and they staged their meals as comfortably as they could afford, which included a table substantial enough to support its lavish offerings. In most homes the dining room table was in or near the kitchen. However, that was not always the case.
Historically, the dining room and kitchen were far from each other, on a different floor and sometimes even in a different building. since kitchens could get hot and were sometimes the cause of house fires. That can be found in restorations such as Colonial Williamsburg and nearby at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson and the Roosevelt home in Hyde Park.
Through the years, the dining table has shrunk from long trestle tables with benches in the Middle Ages, designed to seat everyone in the castle. The dining table became smaller as the nobility began to prefer more intimate gatherings in parlors off the main hall.
At the beginning of the 18 th century, it was not uncommon for the ladies to withdraw from the dining room after dinner. Because gentlemen would stay to enjoy drinks and cigars, the dining room became more associated with men, and its décor and furniture reflected this more masculine bent. Amusingly enough, in Victorian times, any suggestion in décor of the female shape was considered risqué.
This included table legs. Therefore, unseemly table legs were kept out of sight and covered up to avoid inciting men’s imaginations. Before the late 18 th century, it was difficult for American families to dine together regularly, in part because dining rooms and dining tables were not yet a thing.
- Rooms and tables had multiple uses and families would eat in shifts, if necessary.
- If there weren’t enough chairs for all family members, the men would sit and the women and children might stand, coming and going from the table.
- The rise of the American family dinner depended upon the arrival of the dining table and the dining room from Europe, where they had been embraced since Elizabethan times.
One of the first American homes to have a room specifically meant for dining was Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, built in 1772. The dining room, with the dining table at its center, began to be incorporated into wealthy homes across the country, eventually trickling down to the middle class.
- My home may not be Versailles or Monticello, but as I sit at my dining table with family and friends, I indeed feel like the king of my castle.
- Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest running public relations agency in Westchester (www.PrimaveraPR.com), specializing in lifestyles, real estate and development.
To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076. Examiner Media – Keeping you informed with professionally-reported local news, features, and sports coverage. : The Evolution of the Dining Room and Dining Table
Where was the first table?
Ancient Egypt – The earliest known dining tables were found in ancient Egypt, where dining tables were used by the wealthy to display their wealth and status. They were often made from wood or metal and were intricately carved and decorated. The tables were rectangular or oval in shape and were supported by four legs.
They were often adorned with carvings of hieroglyphics and other decorative motifs. The tables were used to serve food and drinks and were also used for socialising and entertainment. The wealthy would often host banquets and feasts on their dining tables and would invite their friends and guests to dine with them.
The tables were also used for religious ceremonies and rituals. Overall, ancient Egyptian dining tables were a symbol of wealth and status and were an important part of daily life for the wealthy.
Where did the dining table originate?
By Philippa Baker, 2nd February, 2014 It has often been said that modern design owes much of its success to the trends that preceded it, and furniture is no exception. The history of the dining table goes all the way back to the early Greeks and Romans, civilisations famous for their love of banqueting. Whilst the word ‘table’ is derived from the Latin word ‘tabula’, the earliest models were used by the Ancient Egyptians, albeit in a purely practical sense. The birth of more recreational designs coincided with the emergence of European empires, who placed a great emphasis on lavish living and opulent dining.
- These were often crafted from marble, as seen in the Modena, elegantly evoking this timeless influence.
- Initially shapes were big and rectangular which enabled the head of the household to occupy the top end, giving him the privileged position of viewing all of his guests at once.
- Back then families were not only larger, but extended family habitually lived together in one community.
As a result the table acted as the centrepiece of the dining hall, with mealtimes just as much about socialising as they were about food and drink. “Traditional dining tables were composed of a range of different materials, principally wood, marble or metal. As time passed, the Romans introduced the circular model to Italy, an invention that continues to endure as a popular alternative to conventional rectangular dining tables, Circular designs allow each seated member of the party to have equal view of other diners, without the need for an obligatory host or head of the table.
- This undoubtedly produces a more informal, relaxed, and egalitarian atmosphere that is more in keeping with contemporary dining habits.
- Our round dining tables represent a stylish throwback to the middle ages, when revelry and feasting was the order of the day.
- When looking at the designs of modern day dining tables it cannot be denied that we’ve come a long way from ancient civilisation, as well as the ornately decorative designs of the much more recent Victorian era.
With state-of-the-art materials and the latest technological processes, we’re now bombarded with an exciting array of styles, sizes and materials to adorn our dining furniture, catering to a broad spectrum of individual tastes and requirements. Pairing clear glass with a stylishly sculpted polished chrome frame, the Palermo Glass Table is great example of a modern model that could only have been dreamt of by our ancestors. Even now, as designs continue to evolve, one thing remains consistent. Over the years these timeless structures have retained their central allure and community focus, and will no doubt continue to do so. Stylishly re-enforcing family values all the while emphasising the importance of communication and companionship, they beautifully encapsulate the essence of good living – and that is one thing that will never change.
What were the tables like in Victorian times?
The Victorian dining table – styles and materials – Much Victorian furniture is characterised by exaggerated curves, heavy proportions, ornate decoration and dark wood. Despite the advancements towards modern times furniture makers looked to the past and the reassurance of history with strong Gothic and Louis XV influences which can for example be seen in the elaborate carving of dining table legs.
Victorian dining tables because of their robust, dark and solid feel, often have a strong sense of presence which can be enhanced by research in to their provenance – some of the most collectable pieces are associated with famous people or have interesting stories behind them. There are three main characteristics of Victorian dining tables – 1.
Dark woods – Most Victorian tables are made from dark woods particularly mahogany, rosewood, and walnut. Reproductions on the other hand are usually made from other woods, such as oak, which may have been stained with dark, deep browns.2. Heavy proportions – Victorian tables generally feel very substantial and robust featuring large surfaces and bulky pedestals.3.
What were Victorian tables made of?
Queen Victoria’s reign defined not only an ideological and political movement, but an aesthetic one as well, which was embraced throughout the United Kingdom, later through much of Europe, and ultimately, in the United States. She was respected culturally as a woman of the people, and creatively as a trend-setter, as her taste in furniture influenced the stylistic sensibilities of her people.
Victorian furniture is known for its ornateness, orderliness, and eclectic approach to unifying design themes from a variety of periods into a coherent framework. While it incorporated elements of Renaissance, Rococo and Gothic influences, Victorian Furniture is often characterized by its use of velvet, hard woods with dark finishes, intricate tufting, detailed needlework, floral patterns and romantic imagery.
During the Victorian era, furniture manufacturing shifted largely from hand-made to machine-made, making it far more accessible, and because of this, Victorian Furniture was an all-encompassing genre that included all types of furniture, from chairs, settees & sofas to end tables, coffee tables, beds and case goods. The Victorian era brings us endless inspiration here, and we’re proud to call Newel home to hundreds of English, French and American Victorian pieces. When we’re not assisting clients, designing spaces or re-arranging the showroom with new arrivals, one of our favorite past-times is experimenting with existing inventory. Pointed arches, spires, dark wood finishes and church-inspired ornamentation were characteristic of this period. A more ornate, upper-class style whose ornamentation reflected natural motifs such as fruit, shells and flora. More expensive pieces were constructed of Rosewood, while common designers in this style used walnut. While Rococo found elegance in a feminine design sensibility, Renaissance inspired Victorian Furniture took on more masculine characteristics such as cartouches, human & animal figures, burl panels, and combined Gothic, Egyptian and Greek influences. Ornamentation became more refined. Charles Eastlake, for which his company was named, and who called for the production of “simple sturdy furniture” rebelled against the over-the-top embellishment of Rococo inspired pieces. Depictions of flora became more stylized, and overall forms became more architectural.
Marvin Schwartz, author of “American Furniture: Tables, Chairs, Sofas & Beds” cites Eastlake’s Victorian Furniture as the “first glimpses of modernism” Victorian Era Furniture was produced between 1837 and 1901 and originated in England was the first the first style of furniture to be mass produced Victorian Furniture is known for its dark finishes, ornate embellishments, heavy proportions and gilding, and wood types such as mahogany, oak, walnut and rosewood.
Wicker was also a popular construction material during this era. Unlike many other historical styles of furniture, Victorian Furniture cannot be identified by its style of legs or feet, as it drew upon influences from many other styles. For this reason, it can be said that Victorian, itself, is not a style but a period.
During the Victorian Era, as it became a social norm for people to cover their ankles, furniture legs and feet were commonly concealed by draping of fabric, which according to Marryat’s book, “A Diary in America”, was out of fear that that bare legs were provocative. Others argue this was done to protect their cherished furniture from being damaged.
The Chesterfield Sofa, a staple of Victorian Furniture is as popular today as it was during the 19 th century and continues to influence trends in modern upholstery and interior design The coiled spring was invented and patented during the Victorian era, resulting in shorter legs and more durable upholstery
Did they have tables in the 1800s?
As early as the 1700s, designers had realized dining tables could be improved by adding extra leaves held by a swing leg at the end of the table or on a slide attached under the tabletop. By the 1800s, slides were made so table leaves could pop into position when the table was pulled apart.
What did the first table look like?
The History of Dining Room Tables Today, a dining room table seems like an absolute necessity in any home, but you might be surprised to learn that tables haven’t always been as popular as they are today. We all know a table is a piece of furniture with a flat top and one or more legs; it’s usually used to work on, eat from, and place items upon.
Some common types of tables are the dining room table, the coffee table, and the bedside table. To discover the grand and ancient history of the dining room table, read below. Tables were made and used by the Ancient Egyptians very early, around 2500 BC. They were constructed with wood and alabaster, often little more than stone platforms used to keep objects off the floor, though a few examples of wooden tables have been found in ancient tombs.
Food and drinks were usually kept on large plates that were then placed on a pedestal to be eaten; the Egyptians made use of many small tables and elevated playing boards. The Chinese also created very early tables in order to master the arts of writing and painting, as did people in Mesopotamia.
- The Greeks and Romans made more frequent use of tables, notably for eating, and Greek tables were pushed under a bed after use.
- The Greeks invented a piece of furniture very similar to the gueridon, which is a small table supported by one or more columns with a circular top.
- Tables were made of a variety of materials including marble, wood, and metal, sometimes with richly ornate legs.
Later, large rectangular tables were made of separate platforms and pillars. Furniture during the Middle Ages is not as well-known as that of earlier or later periods, and most sources show the types of tables used only by the nobility. In the Eastern Roman Empire, tables were made of metal or wood materials, similar to that of the Greeks and Romans, usually with four feet and frequently linked by x-shaped stretchers.
Tables for eating were often large and round or semicircular. In Western Europe, the invasions and internecine wars caused most of the knowledge inherited from the classical era to be lost, and as a result, most tables became simple trestle tables, though small round tables made from joinery reappeared during the 15th century.
In the Gothic era, the chest became widespread and was often used as a table. Refectory tables first appeared as early as the 17th century as an advancement of the trestle table. These tables were usually quite long and wide, capable of supporting a sizable banquet in the great hall or other reception room of a castle.
In the Middle Ages, upper class Britons and other European nobility in castles or large manor houses dined in a room designated as the great hall. The great hall was a large, multi-function room capable of seating the bulk of the house’s population: the family would sit at the head of the table on a raised dais with the rest of the room’s inhabitants arranged in an order of diminishing rank away from them.
Tables in the great hall were typically long trestle tables with benches for sitting. The sheer number of people in the great hall would probably make for a busy, bustling atmosphere. Some scholars have claimed that great halls were probably smelly and smoky, but in reality, these rooms had large chimneys and high ceilings, which would have allowed for an airy atmosphere.
The owners of large houses began to develop a taste for more intimate gatherings in smaller “parlers” or “privee parlers” off the main hall. This shift is thought to be as much because of political and social changes as it was to allow for a greater sense of physical comfort. Over time, nobility began taking their meals in the parlour, and the parlour became a functional dining room as we know it today.
These parlours were often accessible via grand staircases that led from the dais in the great hall into the private parlour. Eventually, meals in the great hall were saved for special occasions. Towards the beginning of the 18th century, a pattern emerged where the ladies of the house would withdraw from the dining room after dinner into the drawing room.
- The men would remain in the dining room to have drinks, which resulted in dining rooms taking on a more masculine tenor.
- Today, a typical North American dining room will contain a table with chairs arranged along the table’s sides and ends.
- If space permits, the room may also feature sideboards and china cabinets.
Tables in modern dining rooms will often have a removable leaf to allow for a larger number of people during special occasions without taking up space when it isn’t being used. In modern American and Canadian homes, the dining room is adjacent to the living room, increasingly used only for formal dining with guests or on special occasions.
For informal daily meals, most medium size houses and larger houses will have a space adjacent to the kitchen where tables and chairs can be placed. Larger spaces are often called a dinette while smaller spaces are referred to as breakfast nooks. Many homes also have a breakfast bar or an area on the island where chairs can be set for informal dining.
For many families in Britain, the dining room is only used on Sundays and other meals are eaten in the kitchen. In Australia, the use of a dining room is still prevalent, but not an essential part of modern home design. For most, it is a room to be used for special occasions or celebrations.
Smaller homes, similarly to the United States and Canada, use a breakfast bar or table placed within the confines of a kitchen or living space for meals. No matter your dining room needs, Laurel Crown has beautiful antique pieces to bring your interior design dreams to life. Let us help you build your perfect dining room today.
: The History of Dining Room Tables
What were old tables made of?
Demilune Tables – Demilune, which means “half-moon” in French, is the ideal name for these “half-round” tables. The lack of corners on these semi-circular tables allows them to hug the wall. Demilunes, which were common in France in the 1700s, were the ideal, small decoration to beautify the constrained hallways or entranceways of Parisian residences.
- From the elaborate Louis XVI design to the more traditional English Hepplewhite and Sheraton antique table types, they are available in almost every style.
- They were made of gilded wood, satinwood, or mahogany.
- Exquisite marble top countertops, marquetry, or hand-painted ornamentation are also excellent examples.
These adaptable tables might even include a single drop leaf or storage.
Did Romans have tables?
Even though the Romans valued space in their interior design, they also valued well made, and elaborate furniture pieces. The most commonly used pieces were the lectus or couch, mensas (tables) and the sellas (stool like chairs). The lectus was a reclining couch used for seating at banquets and while dining.
Did ancient people have tables?
The Table: A Brief History It may be a simple inanimate object, but we would be lost without the humble table. It has been serving many purposes since the times of ancient Rome and Egypt and comes in a multitude of designs, shapes and sizes. Four-legged tables were first documented in ancient Egypt. © Pxhere Egyptian tables The Egyptian gaming tables were used to play a board game called Senet using a board fashioned out of stone. There was also a game called Mehen (alias “game of the snake”), played on a table with a surface carved into the shape of a snake.
Although these games are known to have existed, historians are unsure of the exact rules, since there is little documented evidence of how they were played. Other small tables held plates of food. They were often made of stone and could be ornately carved. Some of these tables were found in ancient tombs and shrines.
They were known as “offering tables” and provided food for the afterlife. Greek and Roman tables In ancient Greece and Rome, four-legged tables were also used, as were slab-sided tables, which were commonly used as altars. The tables in ancient Rome were very low, as they were used by people seated on couches.
- Over the centuries, table heights have risen to coincide with changes in seating.
- The more recent tables are higher to reflect being used with dining chairs.
- In ancient Greece, tables were quite similar to those in Rome, with one central leg, three legs or four legs.
- They often had a circular top and were used mainly for dining.
In historic drawings depicting banquets, some showed diners having a single small table each, rather than collectively using a large table. In Greece, tables were smaller because it was customary to push them under the bed after use. The Greeks invented a design similar to the modern-day guéridon: the small, highly decorative and circular-topped table.
Supported by one or more columns, or human and mythological sculpted figures, they were made of metal (typically silver or bronze), marble or wood, with richly ornate legs. The Greeks also made large, rectangular tables, while the Romans crafted a semi-circular table called the mensa lunata. This became popular across Italy.
Western tables In the Western world, the earliest tables were very simple, consisting of wooden boards supported by trestles, dating from the Medieval era. They were erected at meal times and stored away to save space when not in use. They were the predecessor of the modern trestle table.
- The long, narrow, trestle tables used for group dining in places such as monasteries were known as refectory tables.
- Another long Medieval dining table, catering for many people, comprised a number of four-legged tables joined at their feet by sturdy fasteners.
- These were called “joined tables”.
- They were huge and often had collapsible drop-leaves to increase their capacity further.
By the 16 th century, in Tudor times, dining table legs had become much more ornate and were often crafted with large, bulbous turnings. Over time, single and double pedestal tables evolved. At the same time, tables designed to stand against a wall, rather than in the centre of the room, also appeared.
- They were made with wall brackets and had only two legs.
- They were known as console tables.
- Similar types of table in the same “family” were pier tables created to occupy the wall space between windows, hall tables and side tables.
- Specialist designs In the 18 th and 19 th centuries, a table known as a “loo table” was created to play the popular card game of lanterloo, nicknamed “loo”.
It had a round or oval top and was also used as a candle-stand, tea table, or small dining table. It typically had a tilting mechanism, so it could be stored when not in use. The Pembroke table was launched in the 18 th century and remained popular throughout the 19 th century.
- It had an oval or rectangular top.
- Most had at least one drawer and they were designed so they could be moved easily or stored.
- They were mainly used for serving tea, dining, writing and for other occasional uses.
- The worktable was designed in the 18 th century to hold sewing implements and materials, providing a convenient place for women who sewed to store everything in one place.
Sewing was something upper-class young ladies were expected to learn as an accomplishment, while it was a way of earning money and repairing the family’s clothing for ordinary working class people. The tables commonly had a rectangular top, folding leaves, and drawers fitted with partitions.
- When you’re looking for the perfect table, or any other furniture item for that matter, Furniture Rental is a leading UK furniture rental provider.
- We serve many sectors including local authorities, landlords, tenants, care homes, relocation agents and more.
- Please contact us for more information on our affordable services.
: The Table: A Brief History
Who invented dining table?
Answer and Explanation: The first tables were created by the Ancient Egyptians several thousand years ago. However, these early tables were used not for dining but rather to keep important objects off the floor. The Greeks and the Romans were the first cultures to use tables for the purpose of dining.
Why was the dining table invented?
During ancient times, families were not only larger, but the house constituted of a community with several families living together. Hence, there was a need of large dining tables that acted as a center piece for dining room.
Why is it called dining table?
Because at one time dinner was the only formal meal, so it was served in the dining room on the dining table, while breakfast was served at the breakfast table and luncheon would have been served outdoors on a patio table if possible. Meals were prepared on the kitchen table.
Is dining table necessary?
Way to Better Health – Eating together tends to make people healthier. Studies have revealed that children who eat with their families stay healthier. When children eat with their family, they tend to model the eating habits of the elders in the family.
It goes a long way, and the tradition is carried on. Look out for various dining room sets to look forward to a future where families, friends, and loved ones come closer to the table. Want to buy the perfect chairs for your dinning table? Check out Nilkamal Furniture. Conclusion When one considers the history of the dining room table, it becomes clear and more evident that the simple piece of furniture is an essential part of family culture.
Every family comes closer and benefits from gathering together at the dining room table every day or on a special occasion. The art of dining together becomes a ritual engraved in one’s system. At a time when people are turning toward redesigning their homes, the dining room table is one piece of furniture that features on top of the list.
What is a gypsy table?
‘Gypsy’ tables appear to have been the principal product of the Lyndhurst workshop. Typical examples have circular tops into which are screwed three legs turned to. resemble bamboo. The legs are united just above ground level by a circular shelf and.
What is a regency table?
Regency Pedestal Tables – Canonbury Antiques specialise in classic English dining furniture – and one of our favourite pieces has to be the Regency pedestal dining table, As with all furniture from the Regency period – which is heavily influenced by classical architecture and design – the design ethos is clean and refined, making them perfect for contemporary interiors.
Regency tables work on a pedestal system – hence the name. Each section of table with legs stands on the pedestal base – extra leaves can be added (or subtracted) normally by an easy to use slat system. The extra leaves are dropped into the table so it can extend to suit bigger occasions. These make them great for large upscale dinner parties where you need to accommodate upwards of 16 people.
We carry various Regency pedestal tables that are 16 feet in length. If required we can custom make them to a bigger specification, so size is as big as the imagination can take you. We have put these tables into foreign Embassies in London and at corporate HQs as they’re great for big board meetings. True to the Regency aesthetic – think Palladian architecture like London’s Regency Street by Nash, or Thomas Sheraton furniture – the design lines are fluid and angular. The table tops are quite thin (as opposed to the more chunky Regency versions) and look great in contemporary settings. Of course, if you have a large Regency pedestal table you really need some chairs to match. The classic Regency swag back chair is the perfect match for these tables and they are very comfortable to sit in. The drape – or swag – acts as the backsplat and again the swag is a popular Regency design motif.
Of course various other chairs – William IV, Chippendale, Trafalgar, Queen Anne etc – also look good around these tables. As you might know Canonbury Antiques specialise in dining sets so we can find the perfect table and chair combination to suit your taste, room and budget. Many of the sets are on display in our Canonbury Antiques Herfordshire showroom so please get in touch for an appointment.
Nothing be ats trying these sets out for size and comfort. The tables mainly come in either mahogany or walnut and we can find chairs to match both of these woods. The term Regency refers to the Regency era in England which ran from 1795 to 1837 when the Prince Regent ruled. ( Regency table with set of Chippendale dining chairs to match ) Please enjoy some videos below of Regency tables from the Canonbury Antiques YouTube channel:
Did Victorians have bedside tables?
Victorian Style Bedside Tables Bepoke Furniture With rounded edges and beaded detailed drawers, these bedside tables exude the furniture of the Victorian period. Larger in style than our other options within the Wargrave Collection, these tables make a statement within any bedroom, with three soft closing drawers providing plenty of storage opportunity.
As with all our Wargrave Collection, the pieces come with bun feet as standard, alternative options are available for an additional cost, please get in touch to discuss.Different styles of bedside tables can be found in the Wargrave and other collections.Measurements– 71 cm High – 48 cm Wide – 38 cm Deep
Our items can be made to size and chosen in a colour of your choice. Please get in touch for a quote. : Victorian Style Bedside Tables Bepoke Furniture
What is the difference between Georgian and Victorian furniture?
What Wood? – A Victorian Mahogany bookcase with Flamed Mahogany paneling to the doors. Compared to Georgian Furniture of the 18 th Century, which was predominantly made from Oak or Mahogany, Victorian design heavily featured the use of Walnut and Flamed Mahogany to give a more decorative finish.
- Walnut was utilised mostly for smaller pieces such as Arm Chairs or Nursing Chairs, Hall and Console Tables, and Occasional Tables to name a few.
- Mahogany was typically used for bigger pieces of furniture, for instance, Chests of Drawers, Bookcases, Sideboards and Dining Tables.
- Often Flame Mahogany veneers were then applied to these pieces to give a grand appearance.
Walnut or Mahogany was used in its solid form for crafting chairs, as the frames were impossible to apply veneer to. However, highly decorative Walnut and Rosewood were also used to compliment smaller table tops and surfaces.
Why was Victorian furniture so dark?
4. Wood – Victorian furniture makers favored dark woods like walnut, rosewood, and mahogany, occasionally using ash and oak. Replicas of Victorian furniture sometimes relied on lighter but heavily stained woods to bring out the dark-hued originals. Wood sections were joined together using dovetail joints.
How can you tell if furniture was Victorian?
How can you distinguish Victorian Era furniture ? – So, how can you tell if you’ve found an authentic Victorian piece of furniture? In lieu of production details, the untrained eye may find it difficult to tell if a piece of antique furniture is Victorian in style, which can be attributed to its rather eclectic influences. Victorian Mahogany Rounded End Bar, Circa 1880.M.S. Rau, New Orleans. Victorian furniture designers of the era drew on various influences, including elements of Gothic, Tudor, Elizabethan, Renaissance, English Rococo and Neoclassical styles. With such varied and rich inspirations, it is no surprise that furniture in the Victorian style tends to have ample ornamentation. Victorian Library Table by Holland and Sons, Circa 1850.M.S. Rau, New Orleans. The type of wood utilized may also indicate that the furniture originated in the Victorian period, Mahogany and rosewood were often considered the Victorian woods of choice, though oak was sometimes preferred for its symbolic significance as the national tree of England.
What were old tables made of?
Demilune Tables – Demilune, which means “half-moon” in French, is the ideal name for these “half-round” tables. The lack of corners on these semi-circular tables allows them to hug the wall. Demilunes, which were common in France in the 1700s, were the ideal, small decoration to beautify the constrained hallways or entranceways of Parisian residences.
From the elaborate Louis XVI design to the more traditional English Hepplewhite and Sheraton antique table types, they are available in almost every style. They were made of gilded wood, satinwood, or mahogany. Exquisite marble top countertops, marquetry, or hand-painted ornamentation are also excellent examples.
These adaptable tables might even include a single drop leaf or storage.
What are old tables made of?
When is Old an Antique? – There are many different styles of furniture, and each type has distinguishing features. For the most part, the furniture you’ll encounter will probably be limited to traditional English and American Colonial styles; you aren’t likely to find a Louis XV chair at a garage sale.
The basic English and American styles run the gamut from ornate to severely functional, from massive to delicate. Just remember, if you like it, the style is right. Technically, an antique is a piece of furniture with special value because of its age, particularly those pieces embellished with fine artistry.
The age factor is subjective: general antique stores label objects 50 years or older as antiques. Fine antique dealers consider objects 150 years and older to be antique. In the East, an antique is Queen Anne or earlier; in the West, it’s any piece of furniture that came across the mountains in a wagon.
A southern antique is a piece made before the Civil War. Wherever you look, it’s a sure bet that you won’t find a genuine antique from 1500 or 1600. What you may find is a genuine reproduction, and these can be extremely valuable. There are several ways you can spot an antique. The first giveaway is the joinery; machine-cut furniture wasn’t made until about 1860.
If the piece has drawers, remove a drawer and look closely where the front and back of the drawer are fastened to the sides of the drawer. If a joint was dovetailed by hand, it has only a few dovetails, and they aren’t exactly even; if it has closely spaced, precisely cut dovetails, it was machine-cut.
Handmade dovetails almost always indicate a piece made before 1860. Look carefully at the bottom, sides, and back of the drawer; if the wood shows nicks or cuts, it was probably cut with a plane, a spokeshave, or a drawknife. Straight saw marks also indicate an old piece. If the wood shows circular or arc-shaped marks, it was cut by a circular saw, not in use until about 1860.
Exact symmetry is another sign that the piece was machine-made. On handmade furniture, rungs, slats, spindles, rockers, and other small-diameter components are not uniform. Examine these parts carefully; slight differences in size or shape are not always easy to spot.
- A real antique is not perfectly cut; a reproduction with the same components is, because it was cut by machine.
- The finish on the wood can also date the piece.
- Until Victorian times, shellac was the only clear surface finish; lacquer and varnish were not developed until the mid-1800s.
- The finish on a piece made before 1860 is usually shellac; if the piece is very old, it may be oil, wax, or milk paint,
Fine old pieces are often French-polished, a variation of the shellac finish. A lacquer or varnish finish is a sure sign of later manufacture. Testing a finish isn’t always possible in a dealer’s showroom, but if you can manage it, identify the finish before you buy.
Test the piece in an inconspicuous spot with denatured alcohol; if finish dissolves, it’s shellac. If the piece is painted, test it with ammonia; very old pieces may be finished with milk paint, which can be removed only with ammonia. If the piece of furniture is very dirty or encrusted with wax, clean it first with a mixture of denatured alcohol, white vinegar, and kerosene, in equal parts.
The wood itself is the final clue. Very early furniture – before 1700 – is mostly oak, but from 1700 on, mahogany and walnut were widely used. In America, pine has always been used because it’s easy to find and easy to work; better furniture may be made with maple, oak, walnut, cherry, or mahogany.
What wood was used for furniture in the 1800s?
Victorian Woodwork: Common Details, Species, and Finishes | | “Victorian” architecture represents a series of architectural revival styles prevalent in the mid-to-late 19 th century. The classification is a reference and nod to the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), known as the Victorian era.
Both the British and French carried on a custom of naming architectural styles for the reigning monarch of the time, a trend that carried over to the United States as the term is often used for American styles and buildings from the same period. One would imagine that the Queen would be impressed had she known that her name would be associated with such a popular and enduring architectural style.
A style still cherished by countless artisans, preservationists and enthusiasts today. What characteristics of Victorian architecture differentiate it from its predecessors and successors? When one thinks of the Victorian style, the intricately designed woodwork comes to mind as its primary defining characteristic.
- Interiors decorated with extravagant, ornate furnishings, while decorative gables, eaves, and rooftop finials adorned the exteriors.
- Detailed carvings, dark woods, and heavy luxurious fabrics characterize Victorian furniture.
- The furniture was traditionally made from mahogany, rosewood, or walnut, sometimes painted or gilded.
Intricate carvings of natural images such as flowers, leaves, curling vines, ribbons, and bows adorned the pieces. Between approximately 1830 to the beginning of the 20 th century, an evolution of finish preferences transitioned through the Victorian design landscape.
- Over the time, popular opinions changed as did the finish and look of the woodwork within the home.
- Paint was the traditional finish of earlier Federal style homes of the late 1700’s and that carried well into the 1830’s.
- Designers at the time preferred an approach known as “three gradations of color” for a room.
Ceilings were painted a lighter color, followed by a darker wall, followed by incrementally darker tones for the woodwork. Nearly all interior woodwork, baseboards, doors, wooden mantles, etc. were painted in darker hues, or stained to deep rich tones.
- A bit of sensory, deception was part of the designer’s plan as well, as not all finishes within the home were necessarily, as they seem.
- And were popular used in both grand and modest Victorian homes.
- Artisans would apply an oil base coat to the wood, followed by another coat of a thinned darker paint, which was then manipulated with special tools and brushes to mimic the grain lines and natural features of different species of wood.
A final layer of varnish would be applied to protect the graining from wear and tear. In a similar process, various types of marble could also be faux painted on fireplace mantels, columns and paneling. For those skilled in the craft, observers would require a keen eye to recognize the alteration.
- By the 1850’s through the onset of the Civil War, times and preferences began to change and the Victorian style incorporated more bare wood elements.
- American homeowners, builders and architects embraced domestic woods like southern pine, black walnut, oak and chestnut.
- Finishing these woods called for less varnish in exchange for boiled linseed oil or other oils.
To add a barrier of safety to protect walls and the ornate wallpaper of the time, architects introduced chair rails as a functional yet stylish element into nearly every room where one might fight a place to sit. Decorative paneling of wood and plaster frames became prevalent during this period as well.
Faux graining remained popular as it was considered a means by which those with more modest incomes could use lesser grade woods and faux grain them to mirror more affluent alternatives. Noting of course the homeowner would need to be cautious of scrapes or scuffs revealing a substrate’s true identity.
The period between 1870 and 1890 represents the peak of Victorian architectural style. Ornate detail in woodwork and other decorative elements were elevated as a result of the Aesthetic Movement of the time. When it came to intricate detail, they were making every effort to impress.
- Ornate wooden mantelpieces, built-ins, doors and other woodwork were each important to the overall decor in the room.
- Multiple colors and patterns adorned the walls, ceilings and furniture.
- Also popular during this time was painting or stenciling the panels of doors with floral motifs.
- Natural wood returned as the preference; specifically, stained hardwoods in the more public spaces of the home while softwoods would be selected for less public spaces.
For example, a dining room or parlor would include stained hardwoods, while a bedroom would be painted with strong, bold color choices. By 1890, the trajectory reversed, the elevated ornateness of Victorian Style had reached its pinnacle and soon became blasé.
- People’s preferences began to return to simpler times.
- The more rustic and simple lines of the Arts and Crafts Movement coincided with the more classical lines of the Renaissance Revival movement.
- Interior woodwork began to be less ornate, with simpler mantles, wainscoting, etc.
- Coffered ceilings remained popular, but in simpler, less decorated form.
The Colonial Revival gained momentum and Arts and Crafts homes with their rich dark oaks and dark stained woods began to replace Victorian Style preferences. For those fortunate enough to own a Victorian home, regardless of period, or lucky enough to have one or two pieces of Victorian furniture within their home, the appreciation of the style is as treasured today as it was by the gifted artisans who created them.
- Their skill and eye for detail initiated an appreciation that impressed owners in the 19th century, is cherished by present day 21 st century caretakers, and is certain to endure for generations to come.
- At John Canning & Co., we have had the privilege of taking part in the of countless elements of Victorian-era woodwork, from parlor floors, to stenciled walls, to wainscoting, ornate fireplace surrounds to beautifully carved pieces of furniture.
We consider it an honor to play a small role in ensuring that these Victorian woodworking elements are preserved and restored for the future. Perhaps motivating the next generation of artisans who will be equally inspired by such a timeless and enduring style.
What type of wood was used in the 1800s?
Pine, oak, gum, hickory, walnut, cedar, juniper, and many other woods had commercial value for building construction, furniture, and other uses.