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William and Mary Furniture

It was during the time from 1688 to 1702 that furniture began to develop along slender, more graceful lines and become more adapted to comfort. William and Mary brought back with them to England Dutch preferences as well as the men to produce these styles.

Entirely different than the straight uncompromising furniture it succeeded, this style began the trend toward the attractive furniture which was to follow.

Bun feet, Spanish scroll feet, and serpentine stretchers appeared, along with the characteristic legs with their inverted cup turnings. Dutch cabriole legs were introduced and became much favored. Hood tops and shaped aprons were often used and softened the straight lines even more.

Much of the furniture was tall: beds, clocks, highboys, even the rounded top chair backs.

Decoration consisted of caning, lacquering (from the Orient) and veneering, which first began to be used widely. There still was carving, but inlay and marquetry proved more popular. Colors were vigorous: strong reds, blues and greens in upholstery, along with gilding and lacquering, produced rich coloring against the paneled walls and dark furniture of which walnut was the principal wood.

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