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Furniture Of The Elizabethan And Early Stuart Period

The days of Queen Bess—The marked development in style—Some splendid examples—The furniture of the early Stuarts—When the shadow of Civil War loomed dark—Cromwellian oak.

WHEN Queen Elizabeth reigned in England, and visited so many country houses, the Gothic influence which had lingered long had entirely disappeared. It is probable that many of the traditional rooms in which Queen Elizabeth is said to have slept were never occupied by that august sovereign. Nevertheless it is true that the Virgin Queen honoured many of her subjects with visits, and when making one of her lengthy tours, or when paying a visit to one of her more distant towns, she would rest by the way at many country manor houses, as well as at the more imposing stately homes of England. Travelling by road was slow in those days, and the stages taken on such occasions were short. Hence it is that there are so many wonderful beds in which "Elizabeth slept." The news of her coming, although heralded in advance, would be too short to allow for any new furnishings to be done — for there were no house - furnishing emporiums where such an order could have been placed. Commissions took long to execute—especially the manufacture of a state bed, or one of the more important pieces of furniture for the great hall—hence all those courtiers who hoped sooner or later to receive a visit from the Queen had to be in readiness. To that cause is attributable, perhaps, the activity among the cabinet-makers of that day, and the many fine pieces of oak furniture which bear undoubted evidence of having been made during the Elizabethan period.

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

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