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Old And Sold Antiques Digest Article

The Queen Anne Period

Furniture. In this period the Dutch influence continued to grow and comfortable furniture became common. Straight lines had practically disappeared, and furniture was built on curved lines to fit the shape of the body. The Rococo furniture of Louis XV influenced this period, but the English furniture was much simpler and stronger. This was the height of the age of walnut, which was used either in solid form or in veneering. Other woods were utilized in lesser quantities. Simpler woods were sometimes finished with brilliant-colored lacquer, decorated with gold. The turned leg went completely out of fashion, and the shaped stretcher was replaced by simple ones which also soon disappeared. The cabriole leg had now arrived and was often carved with a shell motif on the knee, ending with a club, spoon, or scroll foot. Even the case furniture had curved legs and sometimes double hoods to repeat the curved lines.

For the decoration of furniture, turning, carving, lacquering, gilding, and veneering were used rather sparingly, and marquetry had almost gone out of fashion. The beauty of the grain of the wood was preferred to carving, gilding, or ormolu. Shells and sun rays were carved on cabinet furniture; sphinxes, griffins, eagles, flowers, and human and animal figures were carved on table bases. Chinese motifs were used on lacquer pieces and on wall paper.

The typical chair of the period had a hoop back, spooned to fit the body, with a solid fiddle or vase-shaped splat down the center and a slight dip in the middle of the top rail often filled in with a carved shell ornament. The comfortable upholstered wing chair of this period is still a favorite. Settees often had rounded backs sometimes producing the effect of double chairbacks. The ever-popular daybed was graceful, having three or four cabriole legs on either side and a rolled headrest.

Very fine secretaries were made with broken pediments at the top and cabriole legs. Sometimes they were lacquered a brilliant color such as vermilion, green, or black. Cupboards, called dressers, with open shelves above and drawers below, appeared at this time. Sideboard tables with marble tops were used. Corner cupboards and cabinets were numerous because collections of' porcelain were fashionable. Chests on stands and tallboys or highboys, as they are called in America, were used for storing linen and silver. Knee-hole desks as well as many small desks were also made.

Small tables were common, the gate-leg and drop-leaf types being very popular. Many new tea tables, bedside tables, and gaming tables were created. The tilt-top variety had a round top with a pie-crust edge, and was supported by a single pedestal standing on three short cabriole legs. The card tables also had fold-over tops with projecting corners to hold candles.

The bedposts continued to be absurdly high and the framework was entirely covered with rich material, which was also used for drapery and bed covering. Beds became more simple late in the period. Round-top mirrors, in lacquered or partly gilded walnut frames, were very popular at this time. Sometimes they had small drawers below and were placed on dressing tables.

Textiles. Among the popular textiles were velvets, damasks, brocades, and petit point needlework. Oriental chintzes and printed cottons were very fashionable. Bright colors were used, particularly the primary colors, and black, and gold.

Modern Use of Queen Anne Style.     This furniture is a good type to use today in unpretentious homes as well as in elaborate ones. Its slight adornment enables manufacturers to reproduce it in medium-priced furniture that is desirable.

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