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Queen Anne (1702-1715)
Historical --- Pious, kind and domestic, Queen Ann ruled in one of the brilliant period in English history. England was rapidly becoming the most powerful nation in the world and home furnishings were keeping pace, for no longer were the rich the only ones to enjoy them. The furniture of this period has its beginning in the styles of William and Mary and proceeded into the early Georgian styles. Queen Anne furniture is noted for its charming simplicity, delicate proportions, graceful curving lines and veneered walnut surface. It was also the most comfortable furniture produced up to this time.
General Attributes --- The most recognizable features of Queen Anne furniture are the cabriole leg and graceful curving lines. Dutch influence and simplicity of ornament is apparent. Carving when used, is simple and in low relief. Corners are rounded and pieces shaped to fit the body rather than to follow the straight lines of previous styles. Walnut was used almost exclusively, although mahogany was to appear in later pieces. Gilding and lacquer were sometimes used as decoration. The principal motif, introduced from Holland, was the shell, which appears at the knees of cabriole legs, the top of the chair splat or the center of the seat frame. Decorated Queen Anne style (1715-1725) was the greater elaboration of carving and in which additional motifs of honeysuckle, rosettes and husk were utilized. Favored upholstering fabrics are needlepoint, chintz, damasks, velvets and tapestries.
Chairs and Tables --- Typical chairs have high rounded backs and cabriole legs derived from China via Holland. Cabriole legs usually terminated in club (Dutch) or claw and ball feet. The single curved splat (Fiddle back) was designed to afford more comfort and was so successful that very few chairs with upholstered back were made at this time. Wing chairs have sturdy, comfortable lines. Chair back rails are continuations of the rear legs. Seats have rounded front corners, and backs of seats are considerably narrower than the front. The lower edge of the seat frame is often shaped. Tables generally had an oval or circular top, cabriole legs, and were sometimes designed with more than four legs.
Miscellaneous Pieces --- Highboys generally have cabriole legs, connected with stretchers in early pieces. In early models, the tops are flat, in later ones; highboys and tall cabinets have broken pediments with shaped finials at outer edge and center. Other popular pieces include the china cabinet, lowboys, bureaus, wardrobes and secretaries, and have the same general characteristics as the highboys. Settees or “Loves seats” have upholstered seats, and two joined chair backs usually with five legs.
Suggestions For Use --- The simplicity and gracefulness, together with its comfort, of Queen Anne styling lets it fit exceptionally well into apartments and homes. It mixes extremely well with contemporary or 18th century walnut pieces.
- Bookcases / Breakfronts / Cabinets
- Bureaus / Secretaires
- Desks / Writing Tables
- Chests / Commodes / Side Cabinets / Tallboys
- Side / Card / Tea Tables
- Occasional / Breakfast / Dining Tables
- Sideboards /Serving Tables
- Console / Center Tables
- Tea Caddies
- Lamps / Wall Lights
- Candlesticks / Candelabra
- Chippendale (1740-1779)
- Adam (1760-1792)
- Hepplewhite (1770-1786)
- Sheraton (1780-1806)
- Regency (1793 - 1830)
- Victorian (1830-1890)