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How to Recognise Victorian Furniture

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Victorian furniture was made in the mid-eighteenth century: It is named after the Queen of England at that time, Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837 to 1901. There are some key characteristics, specific to this period of furniture and décor style. Here are some tips to help in identifying these pieces:

1. Look for curves: Victorian furniture has exaggerated curves, Elliptical shapes are a key factor in this style also, and many chair backs, seats, and tables, are oval in shape.

2. Pay close attention to decoration: Furniture from this period has elaborate carvings, since new technology had made machine carving possible for the first time. Many of these carvings are elaborate, and can be seen in wood carvings and marble fireplaces.

3. Observe what kind of wood the furniture is made from: mahogany, walnut, and rosewood, were the most popular wood choices of the era.

4. Look for dark finishes: Much of the wood was finished in rich, deep, dark colours; Victorian reproductions are often made from lighter coloured woods like oak, for a more country style. The finish is a key way to differentiate authentic Victorian from modern reproductions.

5. See if there is marble included: a lot of Victorian furniture, like tables and dressers, featured heavy marble tops. Much of this marble is in warm soft colours and earth tones.

6. Study the upholstery of the furniture: The upholstery in Victorian times was plush and rich; Horsehair stuffing was very popular. The fabrics used for Victorian furniture were often in bold patterns and strong colours, while elaborate trimmings and fringes were used to embellish the upholstery.

Once you learn what to look for, you will find that the Victorian style is fairly easy to recognise.