Types Of Victorian Furniture

The Victorian era spanned the years from the 1830s to 1900, when Queen Victoria was on the British throne. Interior design styles focused on the ornate and the historical, drawing on revivals of past eras of design. Furniture was considered a status symbol, and rooms were filled with many pieces, often not all the same design style.


  1. Furniture production took a huge jump in Victorian times, with the advent of mass manufacture of many types of furniture. This made Victorian furniture more readily available to the middle class, and often these “reproduction” type pieces of furniture were not well made. Victorian furniture abounds in today’s antique shops because of this burst in production.
  2. Types

  3. Victorian furniture designers took their designs from earlier fashions, particularly the Gothic style and the Rococo style. Tudor and Elizabethan furniture was also reimagined and modified in Victorian designs. Furniture in Renaissance and Neo-Classical styles also were seen in Victorian-era decorating. English, French and Italian Rococo revival furniture pieces were among the most popular in homes, while artistically, the Gothic revival designs became the most influential to later generations, as they are now considered to be hallmarks of Victorian design.
  4. English

  5. In England, the Victorian styles of furniture were all the rage as they came out, and the trend in design was focused on England, as its queen gave her name to the age. “Englishness” was a quality prized in furniture. For that reason, the English oak became a popular furniture wood at this time, although it was not the most widely available wood. Revivals of classic English designers like Thomas Chippendale and Robert Adam became popular in the late Victorian furniture designs, resulting in many reproductions of their work produced for the large middle-class market.
  6. American

  7. Though America was no longer a colony of England, English culture and designs still had an enormous impact on American home design in the Victorian age, including furniture. Corresponding with the early Victorian designs in England was the so-called Eclectic period in American furniture, which drew on all the different types of revivals and influences that English furniture designers used in Victorian times, and combined them with simpler, colonial styles as well. In the last two decades of the century, when English furniture was progressing through its late Victorian phase, American furniture was turning more toward the Arts and Crafts ethos.
  8. Early Victorian

  9. The interior design and art style that preceded the Victorian age was the Regency style, a simpler style drawing on Grecian and classic lines. Early Victorian furniture shows a transition from these designs to more ornate, more highly decorated pieces of furniture, also called the “high Victorian” style. Furniture was designed for its location in the house and children’s furniture retained more simplicity. Classic, heavy Tudor-like furniture was to be found in men’s rooms and dining rooms. Designers mixed several styles in this time period, with no one style predominating the furniture market. Shoddy craftsmanship accompanied the rise of mass-market furniture, with lots of ornate decoration and veneers added to disguise poor joins and low-quality woods. The style that emerged was more heavily Gothic and Rococo with the added decorations. Furniture was carved intricately and upholstered in velvet fabrics for an expensive look. Ironwork furniture also came onto the market and was especially popular in bedrooms.
  10. Late Victorian

  11. In the later Victorian period, from the 1860s to the turn of the century, two major art and design movements began, influencing the end of the period and the development of other late Victorian styles. The Arts and Crafts movement and the aesthetic movement began to gain ground, both of which considered furniture as an art form. The extravagance of the early Victorian furniture came to be seen as wasteful, and painting furniture rather than carving it became fashionable. The amount of upholstering done decreased, and straight lines predominated over the flares and curves popular in furniture of the early Victorian age. Japanese designs were brought in to some furniture, and other designers were influenced by antique styles, including Etruscan and Egyptian.

Read more: Victorian Furniture Styles | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5382010_victorian-furniture-styles.html#ixzz0qemZMTOS

Antique Doll Care


Some people make the mistake of storing antique dolls in plastic boxes. This can lead to problems if moisture finds its way into the box and causes mold to grow on the doll’s clothes. The best place to store antique dolls is in a chest or cupboard. For added protection, you should wrap acid free paper around each doll. Also, you should never lay dolls down on their back for lengthy periods of time. Lay them face down to prevent their eyes from falling out.


Wooden antique dolls should never be exposed to water as this can leave a stain on them. For other types of dolls, you should only use distilled water and a soft cloth to to clean them. If you make the mistake of using soap, the residue can cause the doll to become discolored. Antique dolls made of cloth can be vacuumed safely by putting a layer of nylon netting on the end of the vacuum hose.


Many people choose to display their antique dolls around their homes for decorations. If you do this, you should be sure to dust them whenever you dust your home. You should never put them in a place where they are exposed to excessive sunlight. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can fade the paint on the doll and also fade the colors of the clothes.


If you have wooden antique dolls, you should check them occasionally for insects. Insects can easily destroy wooden dolls. Once they have infected one of the dolls, they can quickly move on to the other dolls in your collection.


It is common for people to leave their antique dolls in the basement or attic. This is not the ideal place for these dolls because of the fluctuating temperatures from season to season. Antique dolls should be stored at a constant room temperature.

Antique dolls should always be taken care of properly, especially when they may be sold in the future. If you take good care of them, you can be assured that your investment will pay off in the future.

Important Antique Questions

How old does an item have to be to be an antique?

There is a great debate about how old an item has to be to be considered an antique. The standard is 100 or more years. There are some antique dealers out there that like to say 50 years. This is so they can sell more items as antiques and charge higher values.

Is my item valuable because it is an antique?

Just because the item is an antique does not mean it has a high value. Age is one of the many factors in determining an antique value. Here is a short list of factors that make an antique valuable:

  • The age of the antique
  • The condition of the antique
  • Rarity of the antique
  • Market demand for the antique
  • Maker of the antique
  • Quality of the antique

How can I tell if my antique is real?

Trying to determine the authenticity of an antique can be very hard. Most popular antiques went into reproduction as soon as they hit the market.  Even if the item is from the correct time period it can still be a reproduction. Most of the time the term period piece is used to represent this. Research is one of the best tools you can use to determine the authenticity of an antique. If you have any uncertainty about the authenticity of an antique I would suggest finding a specialist in that field to help.

How does the condition of an item affect its value?

There are many answers to this question. Damage can have a dramatic effect on the value of an antique. If an antique is very rare, minor damage is going to have less of an effect on the value than if the same damage was on a mass produced antique that can be found rather easily. With common antiques minor damage usually has about a 25-50% effect on the value.

Where do appraisers get there information for an appraisal?

We get our information from many sources. Here are some of the resources we use:

  • Comparable sales over the last 5 years
  • Past auctions
  • Antique retail dealers
  • eBay
  • Antique trade magazines
  • A network of appraisers and specialist

Should I clean my antique?

Cleaning an antique can cause damage. This damage may not be seen right away. Before cleaning an antique make sure you research the best method you should use to clean your antique. The recommended way to do this is to have your antique cleaned professionally or to ask a specialist. Many cleaners today can have harsh affects on antiques. Dusting your antiques and general cleaning will help protect your antique items and their values.

What is the best way to sell my antique collection?

The answer to this question varies a lot depending on the situation of the sale. When selling antiques you have many options. Depending on your situation and the amount of work you want to do will determine what your best option is. Here is a list of places to sell your antiques:

  • Auction houses
  • eBay
  • Consignment with an antique store
  • Private sale
  • Newspaper or online ad service such as craigslist

When collecting antiques your best tool is knowledge. Doing some research can save you time and money.