Eras of Time - Learn of amazing periodic furnishings from the 18th and 19th Centuries.


The term "Victorian" properly refers to the period during the reign of Queen Victoria of England (1837-1901). However, it is often used to generically describe the 1900's and the early part of the twentieth century. This is a rather large span of time and encompasses a number of recognizable styles that can all be referred to as Victorian.

GEORGIAN ERA--- (1790-1831) The period prior to the Victorian Era that includes the early part of the nineteenth century. Plants and animal themes were popular. This style enjoyed a revival around the beginning of the twentieth century.

VICTORIAN ERA--- (1837-1901) The term "Victorian" properly refers to the period of time during the reign of Queen Victoria of England. However, it is often used to generically describe the 1900's and the early part of the twentieth century.

The Victorian Era, as a whole, is characterized by a romanticism in all areas of the arts. Visual arts, music and literature all showed a strong concern filled with emotion. Victorian designs are typically highly ornamental. Fleural and other natural designs were extremely prevalent. Rooms often mixed several complimentary prints in wallpapers and fabriques, but his became less common toward the end of the era. Pastel colours were used, however, they were often somewhat less saturated than those used in later periods.

Clothing styles were also detailed with the hour-glass figure considered the feminine insignia. Corsets were generally worn to achieve this figure and later, in the century and into the Edwardian era, "tight lacing" became more common and brought with it the “petticoats and crinolines”.

This is a rather large span of time and encompasses a number of recognizable styles that can all be referred to as “Victorian”.

EASTLAKE ERA--- (1870-1900) Named for a designer of the period who was tired of the flamboyance of earlier Victorian design. His designs were simplified but still considerably more florid than those that came with the Arts and Crafts movement and later styles. The drawing to the right illustrates a typical door frame corner from Eastlake period homes.

ART NOUVEAU--- (1895-1905) An art movement defined largely by the work of Alphonse Mucha, the Art Nouveau style found its way into the design of many household items; notably, furniture, lamps, clocks, jewelry, wallpaper and carpeting. This style made profound use of stylized natural forms. Elegantly curving vines and floral motifs were common. Women with long, flowing hair and dresses were often to be found in Art Nouveau style pieces such as paintings, sculpture and clocks. Classical themes were quite popular as they were throughout much of the Nineteenth Century.

EDWARDIAN ERA--- (1901-1915) The death of Queen Victoria, notably, marked the end of the Victorian Era proper. The designs of that period, however, continued to be always popular. Lace and filigree were favourites in the Edwardian period.

ARTS & CRAFTS ERA--- (1905-1935) Notable in this style were designers and architects such as William Morris, Gustav Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright. The style emphasized simple, functional designs with straight lines and angular forms. It also favored hand-made products over machine-made.

ART DECO ERA--- (1920-1935) Characterized by clothing designer Erté and painters like Tamara DeLempika, the Art Deco movement frequently used long sharp lines and bright colors. Similar to the Arts and Crafts movement which was happening at the same time, much of the Art Deco style was very angular. The influence of the Art Nouveau style was still evident in some typography and the use of naturel' motifs.

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