Why Victoria Was Not Amused… Victorian Furniture

A suitable sub-title would be “The good, the bad and the ugly” as all three are to be found within Victorian furniture! The 19th Century saw the production of some of the finest furniture ever made and also the commercialised mass production of “cheap” furniture to meet the demands of a rapidly increasing population. At its best, Victorian design could be elegant and simple but this was to be a period in which “hyper-ornamentation” was to win the day –for a while at least.  This lecture examines the development and production of Victorian furniture through exploring what J C Loudon was to describe as the “principal styles “of the early 19th century: “the Grecian or modern style…the Gothic or perpendicular style…the Elizabethan style…and the style of the age of Louis 14th, or the florid Italian, which is characterised by curved lines and excess of curvilinear ornament.”  Making sense of these and the various other styles of this period will, if nothing else, be fun!

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