Elizabeth I English furniture
1558 - 1603

Characteristic of this style is the enrichment of every surface with flamboyant carved, turned, inlaid, and painted decoration in the spirit of the English Renaissance.
The English Tudor Tudor chair period was one of beautiful woodwork, though it was still heavy and sparse by modern standards. Sideboards became fashionable as a way to display plate. The feather bed made an appearance, replacing the straw mattress. Elaborate four poster beds were the mode. Tudor English furniture was made of oak or wood which was obtained locally, highly ornate, carved and heavy.

1603 - 1625, 1688

English Jacobean  is used to describe England during the time when James I was king, which was from 1603 to 1625, to King James II (1688). Jacobean comes from the name Jacobus, which is Latin for James. Oak and pine were the most popular woods of choice. The English furniture retained many  Elizabethan characteristics but the ornament gradually became simpler and undecorated. Jacobean English furniture was very sturdy, massive in size, notoriously uncomfortable, and made to last. Armchairs and chairs without arms, were richly upholstered with copper nails.

Carolean (from the Latin Carolus, Charles) style or Restoration style
1630 - 1685

refers to the decorative arts popular in England from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 to the late 1680s after Charles II (reigned 1660 ˇ¦ 1685) New types of English furniture introduced in this period include cabinets on stands, armchairs, wing chairs, chests of drawers and day beds. These are evident in English furniture in the use of floral marquetry, instead of oak, twisted turned supports and legs, exotic veneers, cane seats and backs on chairs, velvet upholstery and ornate carved and gilded scrolling bases for cabinets.

William and Mary      william and mary chair
1689 - 1702

William and Mary has Dutch and Chinese influences. Huguenot refugees from France worked in the cabinetmakersˇ¦. It is characterized by trumpet turned legs terminating in a ball or Spanish foot, padded or caned chair seats, and Oriental lacquer-work. The chair backs were shaped slightly to fit, double-arched on cabinets and settees. and the back legs were splayed out at the bottom to prevent the chair from tipping backward. Some of the English furniture was made of oak, but the Colonial workmen were finding walnut, maple, pine, apple-wood, sycamore, and other native woods much easier to use. Marquetry became an important feature of decoration often the form of elaborate floral patterns, cockle shell and acanthus leaf, or the very popular seaweed. The banisterback chair, with and without arms, replaced the caneback chair. Some of the English furniture was painted and gilded. And there were many more settees, upholstered or with loose cushions.

The Queen Anne style English furniture      queen anne chair
1702 - 1714

Queen Anne was the last monarch of the English House of Stuarts. The Queen Anne style is a refinement of the William and Mary style with lighter, graceful, more comfortable English furniture.
The single most important decoration of Queen Anne English furniture was the carved cockle or scallop shell. Cabinetmakers replaced the straight, turned legs with more graceful cabriole legs. The leg had an out-curved knee and an in curved ankle.
Walnut became the preferred wood along with cherry and maple. Imported mahogany began to be favoured. Regardless of the wood, a small amount of Queen Anne English furniture was painted white.
The feet in which the legs of English furniture terminate underwent alteration and improvement. Ultimately claw and ball feet make their reappearance, and makes an attractive finish to the heavier type of cabriole leg that evolved after the disuse of the stretcher. Scroll feet are generally associated with the earlier Queen Anne English furniture, but there were also club feet, spade feet, the drake foot which was carved with three toes and a square moulded type of foot.
Card and the collapsible bridge table or gaming tables were another Queen Anne innovation.
Still popular are lacquer work, the rich oriental wares and china, the use of gesso design, and the Dutch marquetry cabinets, with their bombe sides and fronts and profuse decoration.

Georgian     georgian

George I, born in 1660,
Walnut and also veneered with walnut (veneering: covering with thin layers)
The serpentine curves, the cabriole leg of rounded section and the claw-and-ball-foot were all features of George I period chairs in England.
Walnut chest-on-chests became more architectural and decorative, often with pediments and bracket feet. There is an increased use of carved ornamentation
George I and early years of George II until about 1730; mainly a continuation of the Queen Anne style, but rather heavier.

George II style English furniture
1727 - 1760
George II, born in 1683, was king in Great Britain from 1727 until his death in 1760.
Mahogany replaced walnut as the fashionable wood.
British designerˇ¦s, along with the rest of Europe, were being influenced by Rococo style. They were decorating English furniture with C-scrolls and foliage, scrolled feet and asymmetrical curves. You will notice a lot of claw-and-ball feet, scroll feet and cabriole legs.
Chest-on-chests shown molded cornice, crossbanded or featherbanded walnut veneer, brass lion masks, bracket feet.

George III style English furniture
1760 - 1820

George III was the grandson of George II. He was born in 1738 and reigned from 1760 until 1811 over the United Kingdom. The Prince of Wales, George IV, acted as Regent for the next 9 years until the death of George III in 1820.
Mahogany was the preferred wood. Painted satinwood and giltwood expressed the English interpretation of Rococo.
First came the neo-classical style led by Adam - vertical lines, ovals, circles, columns, urns, disciplined carving, gilding and painting related to the Louis XVI style.
The George III period lasted from 1765 to I 1800, but the term is sometimes extended back to 1730.

Georgian cabinet makers
Thomas Chippendale(1718 - 1779) was a cabinet maker and interior designer.
Chippendale published his English furniture designs in The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director.
George Hepplewhite(1727- 1786) was a cabinet and chair maker. His wife published his original designs in The Cabinet Maker and Upholsterers Guide in 1788.
The neoclassical Hepplewhite style is most recognised by his shield back chair.
Sheraton 1751-1806, providing a domestic, middle-class version of neo-classicism.
Robert Adam (3 July 1728 . 3 March 1792) was a Scottish neoclassical architect, interior designer and English furniture designer.

Regency + William IV Period     regency chair

The brief reign of William IV was an important period of transition between the Regency (an era of innovation but based on revivalist styles such as Jacobean, French and the Grecian designs) and Victorian eras. The romanticism that was to characterise the Victorian era had begun to take hold.
This period saw the introduction of more exotic imported timbers like rosewood and zebrawood. There was an increasing use of machines. All English furniture had turned supports, often tapered and carved.

Victorian style English furniture     victorian sofa

Queen Victoria was born in 1819. She reigned longer than any other British monarch.
The Victorian style English furniture draws its influence from gothic forms with heavy proportions, dark finish, elaborate carving, and ornamentation. Victorian English furniture has a strong Rococo and Louis XV influence. Exaggerated curves, lush upholstery and decorative carvings are featured.
Samuel Pratt patented in 1828 the coiled spring for use in upholstery. To accommodate the springs in chairs, upholstery on seat had to be improved in quality and seats were made deeper. This meant that chair legs became shorter.
The early part of this period, machines beginning to replace hand labour.
Iron also made its appearance in the early Victorian English furniture.
The factories had changed, the designers of Victorian English furniture no longer had direct contact with the customer. Mahogany and rosewood were the woods of choice with oak making something of a comeback from the depths of time.

Edwardian English furniture
1901 ˇ¦ 1910

Now mass produced as machinery was used in full force.
The art nouveau and neoclassical influence is evident.
Satinwood was the favoured wood type for inlays, usually in combination with ebony.
Bamboo or wicker was introduced during the Edwardian period often seen in couches and wing-back chairs.