Posted by Ann on July 04, 1997 at 00:45:12:
In reply to Regency Furniture Styles posted by Elaine on July 03, 1997 at 00:00:51
The following info all comes from the book Jane Austen: In Style by Susan Watkins (ISBN 0-500-27900-4), published by Thames and Hudson 500 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10110. Copyright 1996, also published earlier under the title Jane Austen's Town and Country 1990.
"The eighteenth century and the early nineteenth century comprised an era of unparalleled creativity and beauty in furniture, pottery and interior design, no less than in architecture, landscape, art and music." (p. 88)
"Because of the cost, time and planning involved in setting up an eighteenth-century country house, the interiors must have looked simple, with a few well-made, quality pieces of furniture customarily arranged against the walls, surmounted by a sparse arrangement of pictures. This kind of simplicity was also characterized by formality and order. By contrast, the Regency heralded an age of clutter, with suited of rooms flowing one on to the next, all with the look of industry--newspapers scattered about, books opened, portfolios of prints set out to be admired--so that people gathered in the same room could be engaged in different activities and seperate conversations." (p. 88-89)
"The transformation from order to artful chaos was begun with the Scottish-born architect Robert Adam....Adam is credited with bringing the neo-classical style to England. This taste for the architectural designs of ancient Greece, Rome, and even Egypt, was widespread in Paris during the 1750's--particularly the Greek influence....While still employing the classical forms of previous generations, the change was towards a freer interpretation of these forms. Heavy ornamentation was replced by delecate motifs in low relief. Adam preferred pastel shades on ceilings as well as walls, set off with white decoration and some gilding..." (p 89)
Furniture designers of this era included, Adams himself, Thomas Chippendale the Elder (1718-1779) (p. 92), George Hepplewhite (d. 1786) (p. 95), Thomas Sheraton (1751-1806) (p. 96), and the Gillows workshops in Lancaster (p. 100).
"Mahogany was the favoured medium for furniture craftsmen during most of the eighteenth century...By 1750 it had replaced walnut as the choice wood for fashionable furniture. It was extremely adaptable to changes in design, came in greater widths and, unlike walnut, was resistant to worm. For lighter items of furniture, satinwood and rosewood were more popular, and satinwood veneering, inlay and paint were used adroitly by Sheraton and Hepplewhite, as they had been by Adam." (p. 96)
As for floor coverings:
"Carpets were now being woven in strips on looms, instead of being hand-knotted, and were thus cheaper to make. Cut-pile 'Wilton' carpeting, costing between four and six shillings per yard, could be fitted or given a decorative border. 'Brussels' carpeting--the name referred to the mode of weaving--was also popular; the uncut pile consisted of loops. The second half of the eighteenth century had already introduced several notable English carpet manufacturers: Passavant at Exeter, Whitty at Axminster and Moore at Moorfields. On the continent, Aubusson, an ancient center of tapestry-weaving in France, produced floral-pattern carpets woven in one piece by a tapestry process, with patterns in an eighteenth-century style. The majority of these carpets appeared in England in the nineteenth century. Savonnerie carpets--made by the French national carpety manufactory established in 1726 at Chaillot--and oriental carpets continued to be seen in wealthy households, though even in prosperous houses it was not uncommon to see that very inexpensive floor covering, the floor-cloth, made of hard-weaving canvas and often painted in geometric designs to imitate stone or marble." (p. 101)
I think that's enough for now!
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