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Time Periods

The age of British antiques is often stated by reference to the British Monarch ruling at the time it was made. The following list shows the dates for each period.

Date Range Monarch Period
1558 - 1603 Elizabeth I Elizabethan
1603 - 1625 James I Jacobean
1625 - 1649 Charles I Carolean
1649 - 1660 Commonwealth Cromwellian
1660 - 1685 Charles II Restoration
1685 - 1689 James II Restoration
1689 - 1694 William & Mary William & Mary
1694 - 1702 William III William III
1702 - 1714 Anne Queen Anne
1714 - 1727 George I Early Georgian
1727 - 1760 George II Early Georgian
1760 - 1800 George III Late Georgian
1800 - 1820 George III Regency
1820 - 1830 George IV Regency
1830 - 1837 William IV William IV
1837 - 1901 Victoria Victorian
1901 - 1910 Edward VII Edwardian

 

 

The following are some other terms also used to describe the time periods of British Antique Furniture:

Arts and Crafts Movement
A trend of the late 19th century away from industrialisation and mass-production, and back to handicrafts. William Morris was the most well known figure of the movement which sought to revive traditional crafts which were in danger of extinction. Applied to a wide range of crafts including calligraphy, needlework and embroidery, tapestry and interior furnishings, carpet making, metalworking as well as all forms of woodworking, cabinet making and furniture design. There are no universally agreed upon dates for the period, although 1860-1910 is often quoted. The peak of the movement was circa 1880-1900.

Chippendale Period
Term used to describe designs influenced by Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779). He was a cabinet maker and designer, and his furniture designs were very influential on the fashions of the day. A book of his designs, entitled The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Directory, was published in 1754. Cabriole legs with ball and claw feet, and rich carving of scrolls and foliage are typical of the style, with mahogany and walnut being the favoured woods. There are no universally agreed upon dates for the period, although circa 1750-1770 is a good guide.

Regency Period
The precise definition of the Regency era is from 1811 when King George III was deemed unfit to rule and his son the Prince of Wales ruled as his proxy, the Prince Regent, until 1820 when George III died and the Prince Regent became King George IV. In terms of antique furniture the Regency period normally refers to the general period from 1800 to 1830.

Sheraton Period
Term used to describe furniture from the later 18th and opening years of the 19th century, influenced by the designs of Thomas Sheraton (1751-1806). His name became identified with the prevailing fashions due to the influence of his published works including The Cabinet Maker and Upholsterers’ Drawing Book (published in four volumes 1791-94). There are no universally agreed upon dates for the period, with dates extending from 1780 to 1820, although circa 1790-1810 is a good guide.