Regency Furniture (Mahogany, Rosewood and Ebony 1800-1830)
Grecian Couch c 1805
Regency followed a style in France after the coronation of Napoleon as Emperor (Empire Style).
Prince George became Regent from 1811-1820 - this was a period of classical furniture. Furniture had moved from natural evolution to return to Classical form for example settee returned to a couch with scrolled ends supported by sphinx heads on lions legs as shown.
Designers who distinguished themselves in this period were Thomas Hope, George Smith, and Henry Holland. George IV had a large influence over the craftsmen of the time.
Features of Regency Furniture
Regency Library Table c 1825
- It was fashion to copy the furniture of the classical Roman and Greek times be it winged Griffins, lions heads, animal legs, Roman Gods anything that was popular back then.
- The addition of brass to wood. Brass inlays were longer lasting than marquetry and this lead to the revival of French Boulle decorations.
- Sofa Table - long narrow table with a drop leaf aty each end and two drawers.
- Sabre Leg decorated with reeding or brass inlay
- Trafalgar chair used in mourning, death of Nelson. Cable twist, sabre legs.
- Metal Grille
- Commode was replaced by the chiffionier - straight front low cupboard
- Cheaper pieces sometimes painted with black lacquer -revival of japanning
- The current fashion was for decorating walls with paintings which led to lower pieces. Tallboys disappeared and bookcases and cabinets became smaller.
- Wide use of metal mounts, lion paw feet, fretted brass grilles cover glass doors, pierced galleries, supports for shelves. Ormolu - imitation gold.
- Chest with front pilasters of classic forms, sphinx head on animal legs or caryatid - female figure
- Scrolled end couches. Wooden frame often gilded.
- Circular tables, some with marble tops, stood on plinth base with animal feet
- Novelties - Canterbury to carry music or plates
- Davenport small writing desk.
- Twin quadrople tables
- Sideboard in the Adam style with solid pedestals and urns grew quite massive.
- Lyre shape used for table end.