Georgian Furniture Buyer’s Guide

One could argue that the Georgian era transformed the way we decorated our homes. Historically, the designs that we sell were initially intended for the wealthy and elite. However, it is worth noting that there was a high demand for early-Georgian furniture in middle-class homes during the 1700s. Generally, it is the wealthy and the elite that history remembers, still ordinary people still incorporate the latest fashions into their homes.

Classical Georgian furniture is still stylish according to the current fashion today. Therefore, we can assert that Georgian furniture has remained in style because of its timeless aesthetic and high-quality craftmanship. You now have the chance to incorporate chic, stylish sophistication into our modern homes. We can help you select the perfect pieces and styles at S&S Timms because we are a fourth-generation online antique dealer.

Moreover, we have always been passionate about history. We don’t just source and sell furniture. No, we live and breathe history through our online catalogue of beautiful, authentic Georgian furniture. Plus, we enjoy informing our clients about the history of each of our furniture pieces. So, we have created this online Georgian Furniture and Antiques Guide.

Georgian Furniture – A Brief History

This exciting period of history, the Georgian era, can be described as a “Golden Age” in terms of the design and craftsmanship of the furniture and décor. Similar to most periods in history, the Georgian Period is named after the first King of his name, George I. It can be asserted that the Georgian style has impacted furniture, style and décor (wallpaper). However, when you look at a design, you might notice that it has a range of features and combines different Georgian styles, for instance, rococo.

Generally, the rococo style is a combination of ribbons, flowers, scrolls and usually has a French undertone in the appearance. Oftentimes, the wealthy Englishmen would travel to countries like France, Spain and especially Italy to gain inspiration on style. It is worth noting that the Palladian design and style was highly sought after during this era. We help you create a fabulous living space with Georgian décor and furniture options if you continue reading. We will also show you how light is vital to creating an authentic Georgian aesthetic in your home.

So, when you think about the Georgian era, which Georgian style comes to mind? A large misconception is that many antique dealers or enthusiasts tend to describe these pieces as works of art. Although this is an apt description, they often neglect which era the piece comes from – is it early Georgian (the reign of George I 1714-1727)? How can you tell? Well, we always recommend sourcing a genuine antique dealer, like S&S Timms, as we have four generations of passion, expertise and a keen eye for details.

At S&S Timms Antiques, we like to inform our visitors about the history of our antiques, whether you are a fellow antique dealer or a customer. Why? Well, because there are so many different Georgian furniture, décor and architecture styles. But, how can you tell if your furniture piece is genuinely from the Chippendale era? So to help you, we have included the three most popular styles that you will find from the Georgian era.

Timeline for the Most Popular Georgian Styles

We are ready to introduce some of the most influential, talented furniture designers of the Georgian period, namely Thomas Chippendale, George Hepplewhite, and Thomas Sheraton. Perhaps you want to transform your home to ooze the Georgian period’s style, sophistication, and elegance. But if you have not studied history or are a new collector, how can you tell the difference in the Georgian furniture styles?

Well, this is where we are here to help. You might have found this article due to the array of options for décor different furniture styles. So, where do you begin? Especially since there is a range of designers because this period of history spans over four monarchs, all named George. We want to help you to understand the timeline of how the Georgian style evolved across the four monarchs. For instance, the early Georgian style was plain and simple, as was the fashion during Queen Anne’s reign.

The Georgian style was unlike anything we had ever seen before, from the beautiful design fine paintwork, not to mention the high-quality craftsmanship. As noted in the above section, the Georgian era started with George I inheriting the throne in 1714. This era ended with the death of George VI in 1830. Hopefully, our guide will help you better understand the most influential designers from this time.

George I

Italianate Design

William Kent can be described as one of the cataclysmic designers who transformed how we designed and created furniture. Kent played an influential role during the start of the Georgian era. It is worth noting that Kent worked as a designer, landscaper and architect during the reign of Queen Anne. Then, in 1714 after the death of Queen Anne, the William Kent designs started to become popular. One might assert that this was the catalyst of the Georgian revolution in terms of design, décor and style. Most people don’t realise that Georgian furniture, including the Italianate designs, is still popular today.

George II

The Rococo Design

Now, we are discussing one of the most elegant and popular styles; it can be described as being bright and playful compared to the earlier Georgian furniture. This style has many French undertones. Originally, this design was highly popular in France under the strict rule of Louis XIV. Eventually, wealthy Englishmen and designers began to bring the style over to the United Kingdom.

“Rococo” is a French term that originates from the French word “rocailles,” which signifies broken shells motifs and rocks important to this style. One way to describe this style is delicate due to the vast amount of ornamental features. Also, you will normally find excessive use of “S” or “C” within the shells, scrolls and acanthus leaves. To give you an insight into the features that encompass this type of style. Normally, you will notice that most Rococo designs are asymmetrical. Furthermore, these pieces normally enveloped the feature due to the height.

George III

The Chippendale Design

The Chippendale design became the more dominant style used during Georgian in England in the 1750s and 1760s. Then, in 1754, Thomas Chippendale launched his first furniture directory, “The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director.” It is worth highlighting that the Chippendale style has three distinct, different styles – rococo, chinoiserie and gothic.

Compared to William Kent, the Chippendale styles and designs were lighter, happier, more joyful. Therefore, they became highly popular in England across all class types. Undoubtedly, life was different in Georgian England. There were distinct classes in the aristocracy, elite, rich/wealthy, new money, middle class and working class. However, Chippendale tried to incorporate everyone to ensure his designs were acceptable to all, especially in the “Thomas Chippendale Directory.”

George IV

Regency Style

We have nearly reached the Georgian era’s end, concerning the four most popular Georgian furniture designs. It is worth noting that the Regency style tends to keep a classical aesthetic. Therefore, one can argue it is a natural evolution from the neoclassical style. Technically, this style only lasted nine years. However, it has since been classified as one of the most popular Georgian furniture styles.

Moreover, this remained the most popular style until the death of George IV in 1830. The three most prominent designers who used the regency style in their work are George Smith, Thomas Sheraton and Thomas Hope. All of these designers gained inspiration from architectural designs. Therefore, you will find that Regency-style furniture tends to be much heavier than the lighter rococo style.

The Final Word On Georgian Furniture

Hopefully, we have highlighted the importance that the Georgian period played in terms of how furniture is made and designed. Nowadays, the issue with furniture is that it’s poor quality or flatpack. Whereas, if you were to ask a reputable, genuine online antique dealer like S&S Timms, what makes Georgian furniture so popular? First, we would say that it is due to the quality of craftsmanship. For instance, one consistent theme across the four main décor styles and designs is that Georgian furniture is made using high-quality materials. Generally, most pieces are made with genuine mahogany. This material has proven that it can last the test of time. It makes us think that it might be better to furnish our homes with genuine Georgian furniture as it will last the test of time. Georgian furniture has been described as durable and forgiving. What we mean is that you can repurpose, varnish and restore this furniture to its former glory. Perhaps, it’s time to incorporate the Georgian style into your home? Please speak to a member of S&S Timms today to view our online brochure.

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