Early Flemish Baroque furniture, dating from the 17th century, was but a slight adaptation of the late Renaissance style. Typical are oak cupboards with four doors and chairs with seats and backs of velvet or leather held in place by nails. Most pieces are massive, solid unpretentious pieces made of local woods with turnings. Dutch furniture of this period can be distinguished by its simpler design and a preference for molded panels over carved ornament. Later, marquetry and walnut-veneer surfaces became the most common decorative treatments.
This style flourished between 1608 and 1720 in Virginia and New England. It included unpretentious wood furniture of simple construction with little design detail and crude copies of Jacobean, Carolean, and William and Mary. Most pieces echoed European styles.
Between 1515 and 1547, the transitional period between Gothic arts and the classical revival. Characterized by arch form, ornament and detail in style and decoration, high relief carving with diamond shapes and architectural pilasters, and ornamented with olive, laurel, and acanthus leaves. Pieces usually featured no hardware.
Popular during the reign of Elizabeth I of England in the latter half of the 16th century, Elizabethan furniture is massive and often heavily carved. The style regained popularity in the early 19th century.
The period distinctions of English furniture are somewhat indefinite owing to the variety of labels according to monarchs, designers, typical woods, external influences, etc. Changes were happening so rapidly that primarily the type of wood used distinguished the boundaries of the English style. Classified by the separation of the ages of oak, walnut, mahogany, and satinwood.
Sophisticated style with great attention to detail and ornamentation.
This was the American`s reaction to the Neo-classic style during the late 18th century. Federal is more geometric and is lighter and more delicate than preceding styles. Details include fine inlay and refined turnings. Chair backs are either square cornered or curved.
Finnish furniture designers used bent and laminated (layers of solid wood) woods to create organic, humanistic forms and lightweight open shapes. These designers were also the first to experiment with tubular steel in furniture design.
Though this style ranged in time from about 1100 to 1500, until 1400 French furniture was indistinct from the Gothic style of Northern Europe - ecclesiastical. The nomadic lifestyle established the need for chests, coffers, and benches. Prominent pieces were those that served dual purposes and were easy to travel with. Originally based on the Italian Renaissance, the French furniture of the 16th Century was very detailed and graceful with inlay marquetry of ivory, mother of pearl, and various colors of wood.
A period from about 1714 to 1790 that reflects the British interpretation of Palladianism (early), the Rococo (mid) and Neo-classicism (late).
The style period between 12th and 16th century is known as Gothic. This style derived from Roman architecture and was seen in France by the middle of the 12th century. It is characterized by the use of highly decorative panels and the use of indigenous woods. It was revived in England around 1740 and known as `Gothick." North Americans began to make their own versions in the mid 1800`s.
From 9th century B.C. with Egyptian roots. Characterized by use of bronze animal legs, gilding and encrusted jewels and stones. Used native woods such as olive, yew, and cedar. It features sweeping curves on legs and backs, and centers on couches, chairs, stools, tables, chests, and boxes. Usually not highly decorated.
(See also Federal) George Hepplewhite, author of the posthumously published The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer`s Guide (1788), stated his goal as `to unite elegance and utility." Hepplewhite style is conservative, retaining design elements from earlier periods such as the cabriole leg, but tended to have a lighter appearance than the Adam style, its contemporary.