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Collections / Antiques / Furniture / Antique furniture
Antique furniture

Antique furniture
Furniture Glossary
Furniture Styles
Taking Care of Furniture

Study Suits
Chairs and Armchairs
Bedroom Suites
 Private collections of this section

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Already for several thousand years furniture accompanies people. In the antiquity they knew all basic kinds of furniture - a table, chair, chest, and they could magnificently decorate it with wood, metal, faience, jewels. Only in XVIII century people began to make something similar again.

In Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia they knew benches, stools, chairs, armchairs, folding tables, playing tables, beds, couches, chests, cases. People made them of wood, reed, palm leaves, sinews and leather.

Later, in the Middle Ages when much of ancient culture was forgotten and lost, people made only the simplest and necessary furniture - benches, beds, tables.

The favorite and object of creative interest was a chest - it served not only as a storage of money, utensils and dress, but as a bed as well.

But in XII century people, like in ancient times, wanted luxury. So, there appeared new masters. Approximately at that time they invented and woodworking mill that allowed to make furniture easier and more elegant.

By the way, the chest (that very object of creative interest) served as a starting point for a new subject of furniture - from two chests put on each other there appeared a decorated case. And the bed, which had the central place in dwellings, in France and Netherlands was built in a wooden covering of walls.

So, new kinds of furniture appeared, new masters, manufacture of furniture was extending. But it does not mean, that it became available to all. At that time the attention was given to quality, furnishing that made furniture expensive enough, and in other cases it became a real work of art, master-piece.

For example, 500 years ago the privilege to sit on a chair during a meal or conversations was used only by noblemen and representatives of clergy. Simple people sat on what they could: on boxes, stubs.
The same concerns tables: in Europe of XVII century there were only massive oak tables intended specially for meals. Clearly, that they were not available to everything, and the majority of people continued to sit on stools at the fireplaces and put food with spoons in their wooden bowls directly from the pot on fire.

But to the middle of XVIII century more provided people already ordered their servants to place in the room some little tables with folding boards (they remind serving trolleys of modern restaurants). These little tables might be of the most different purpose, they were folded and put to a wall when there was no need in them.

In the middle of XVIII century "dumb waiter" appeared - the fun began after ladies left the dining room. And for men being able to do without the help of a maid this little table with several supports on which cheeses, desserts and drinks were placed was invented.

The room furniture appeared not earlier than in the second half of XVII century. The reason for that is simple: the majority of people (except for few aristocrats and clerics) were not able to read and write. In continuation of XVIII century literacy grew surprisingly quickly and desks appeared. As people got books, bookcases began to unite with writing-desks, bureau and secretaries with a sliding board appeared.

The middle class expanded and succeeded - and there appeared more upholstered furniture, the price of glass decreased and people began to make decorative mirrors. The furniture for a boudoir of a mistress of the house and for a study of the owner of the house was developed.

These subjects alongside with various furniture of XIX century make the most part of modern furniture collections. You see it`s not only a memory of the past, but also real works of art, which people should keep at least as memoirs on past epoch

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