What Period is My Furniture From? Antique Furniture Guide

Furniture Style and British Monarchs
Elizabethan Era Furniture Style

Antique furniture has always retained its value among collectors, museums, and the general public. This is because these masterpieces are rare in today’s world, and it’s simply spectacular to see the mastery of the experts who made them. Whatever the reason is, the old, antique, and amazingly created furniture attracts people’s attention, and every enthusiast wants to have such a piece of history.

Suppose you have one at your home. In such a case, it’s essential to define what period is your furniture from and how old it really is. This article will introduce you to different nostalgic styles that have been used to make furniture. The following information reveals different eras in Britain’s history, the styles used to make furniture at that time, dates, and more. Let’s explore and reveal the different furniture ages!

Furniture Style and British Monarchs

The furniture style has been evolving from the beginning, representing a particular era with each new revolution. If you have a particular old furniture piece, the best way to identify its era is to match it with the other from the same time. Let’s explore different furniture styles from different periods!

Elizabethan Era (1558 – 1603)

The furniture from this era is exceptionally scarce, and most available pieces are kept in museums. Therefore, there are few chances you would have furniture from this era. In this era, oak was primarily used to craft different furniture pieces, but a few finer pieces were also sculpted from walnut. Interestingly, you’ll see Gothic styles and European-inspired touches in these pieces, revealing that Europe inspired the English furniture makers.

Key Features

  • Heavy table with four or six round legs and turnings with the trims of nulling, gadrooning, and acanthus leaves for decorations.
  • Chairs use high backs.
  • Fruit, vine leaves and acanthus leaves, and grotesques were design inspirations.
  • Most extended decorations were sculpted on the furniture to display wealth and get respect. 

Table of Contents

Discover solutions for every sleeper from the UK’s most trusted bed brand

jacobean era furniture style
restoration period furniture style

Jacobean Era (1603 – 1649)

The Jacobean Era sometimes stands for the reigns of both James I and Charles I, while a few call the James I period (1603 – 1625) Jacobean and Charles I (1625 – 1649) as Carolean period. In the first half of this period, the furniture was made from oak and decorated with geometric inlay and broad carvings with pine materials. Gold and silver replaced the materials in the second half, while leather and velvet were also introduced.

Key Features

  • Strong furniture designs with deep-straight lines and geometric features are deeply ingrained into the piece.
  • These furniture pieces were heavy and massive, and the chairs were without arms, so they were uncomfortable to sit on.
  • Gardoons became plainer than in the Elizabeth era while the shapes transformed to more like an oval.

Cromwellian Era (1649 – 1660)

The Cromwellian Era was when England’s Republic political movement tried to replace the traditional monarchy government with a republic. This movement heavily influenced almost every aspect of life. The furniture is moulded to focus on utility and functionality rather than luxury and decoration. This was the point when simplicity started altering the art of sculpting furniture.

Key Features

  • Furniture lacks decorations, or you may say excessive decoration.
  • Cabinets, chests, tables, and chairs were less derivative but angled sharply to show people’s unworthiness towards nice things.
  • Even the decorated furniture was entrenched with simple geometric patterns.

Restoration Period (1660 – 1689)

Once the Cromwellian Era ended and the monarchy returned, furniture craftsmanship evolution caught its speed. This was the period when the baroque style got famous and spread all around the country.

Key Features

  • Restoration furniture style is known for its attention-grabbing colours and decorations.
  • This era was when birds, acanthus, cupids, and floral motifs became standard design practices.
  • The wing chairs, elaborate benches, and upholstered stools became famous. Additionally, the chair frames were often gilded and silvered, and the finest fabrics were used to make the sitting comfortable.
  • Bookcases were introduced and became popular.

William and Mary Period (1689 – 1702)

This era is the most persuasive for furniture in England’s history. The pieces of furniture became lighter, more slender, taller, versatile, and more comfortable. Most of the furniture was made from walnut and sculpted with bun feet to make it easy to replace the broken feet.

Key Features

  • Flemish, French, Dutch, and Oriental patterns became popular when the lines, shapes, forms, or colours started repeating through a piece of furniture.
  • Thin sheets of different materials like metal or wood, called marquetry, started being used to make decorations and significant effects.
  • Lacquer, a particular wood finish used in high-end furniture, started becoming a standard practice for providing luxury sense.

Queen Anne Era (1702 – 1714)

Queen Anne Era was another inspiring time for furniture and architecture, where everything evolved beautifully and fastly. Still, walnut wood was the prior choice to make furniture, draw designs, and attract people’s attention.

Key Features

  • Furniture became lighter, practical, compact, and comfortable with cushioned seats.
  • Cabriole legs are the most distinct feature of this era that mimic the natural form of the animal’s legs. You can use these ‘cabriole legs’ to differentiate a piece of furniture of this era from the others.
  • Other noticeable features of this era include ovolo mouldings on the drawer fronts and feather bandings.

Discover solutions for every sleeper from the UK’s most trusted bed brand

georgian era furniture style
victorian period furniture style

Georgian Era (1714 – 1830)

The Georgian Era is known for taking English furniture designs to their peaks, with several famous designers on the back. In this era, the furniture pieces were well-built with high-quality materials, and we can still see several pieces lasting in usable conditions. Interestingly, chinoiserie (Japanning) became a famous furniture implementation in the mid-Georgian era.

Key Features

  • The popularity of walnut wood fell in this era, and mahogany became the preferred wood to make furniture.
  • The chairs’ backs started becoming much lower with various styles, designs, and sizes.
  • Cabriole legs were still a trend, but claw and ball feet replaced the rounded dutch foot.

Regency Period (1812 – 1830)

The Regency Period is known for robust neo-classicism with many motifs designed on the furniture pieces. The most common design inspirations are lotus leaves and anthemion, while the turned reeded and sabre legs were used. Like the Georgian Era, mahogany was still the preferred wood to make pieces, but brass was introduced to decorate the furniture.

Key Features

  • French polishing became popular to give a shinier finish to the furniture.
  • Regency furniture started becoming famous in this era for having more straightforward looks.
  • Although mahogany was a famous wood, zebrawood veneers and rosewood also became famous practices.
  • Straight furniture legs also became famous.

William IV Era (1830 – 1837)

Although there aren’t many furniture-related innovations in this era, it’s essential to cover the minor details. One very noticeable thing is that the furniture becomes chunkier and more robust in this period than in the Regency era.

Key Features

  • The common motifs include crowns, lions, mythological creatures, torches, etc.
  • The legs of tables and chairs were straight, and few were even square.
  • Brass and bronze were the standard hardware used for decorations and other purposes.

Victorian Period (1837 – 1901)

This era carried several mixed practices to build furniture and draw attention. Although the early furniture followed the Regency trends, like curly decorations, the clean lining designs were totally out of fashion. People started liking and adopting flashier furniture pieces with several dominating curves.

Key Features

  • This era was a mix of different styles, where the pieces of furniture followed the Regency trends of curly backs, but other features went out.
  • People started liking flashier furniture to catch people’s attention.
  • Walnut, mahogany, and rosewood were the typical woods being used.
  • Corners of tables and chests become round.
  • Revivalist and romantic themes were used along with luxurious and heavy fabrics.

Edwardian Era (1901 – 1910)

The Edwardian Era pieces of furniture share several similarities with the Victorian Period pieces; eclectic styles are one of them. The furniture became lighter in this era, and inlays, floral designs, and simple lines were the most common practices.

Key Features

  • Dark wood was the standard material used in this era of furniture.
  • The size of the furniture pieces became smaller since the house at that time also started becoming smaller.
  • Inlays, brass mounts, and carved legs came to life again in this period.
  • Since electricity was introduced in this period, furniture was made to accommodate lampstands and other tools.

Discover solutions for every sleeper from the UK’s most trusted bed brand

Avatar Mobile
Main Menu x

Merry Christmas


Snooze into savings this Christmas!