Know Everything About The History of European Furniture
countries produce different types of woods. And produces different
type of furniture each unique in their own styles. And the
development of these different styles of wood products was also due
to the encouragements from their rulers and influential people.
on the mainland of Europe varied from country to country, but both
craftsmen and ideas were interchanged from time to time. Local tastes
and the use of local timbers often played a part in creating a
fashion that spread eventually from east to west. There is no space
here to deal with the detailed history of the subject in each
individual land, but some general notes may be helpful. French
furniture, having attained a worldwide interest and importance, is
described at greater length.
furniture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is not greatly
different from that made elsewhere in Europe at those dates. However,
the principal wood used in England was oak, but in France it was
walnut, which was plentiful there. Just as many foreign workers came
to London, so did others to Paris; it is almost impossible to
distinguish an Italian-made
cabinet from one made in France by an Italian craftsman. It was
not until the end of the seventeenth century that French
furniture gained its recognizable distinction. The first to give
his name to a style there was Andre Charles Boulle (1642-1732), who
perfected marquetry, originating in Italy, employing tortoiseshell
and brass which was used mostly on furniture veneered with ebony.
This is known now either as Boulle or Buhl work, and the majority of
it that has survived was made in Victorian
times, or later. Old work of the eighteenth century is very valuable
($3,000 to $6,000 for a piece would not be considered extraordinary),
but the nineteenth-century copies fetch a tenth or so of this.
has his name coupled with the most extravagant of furniture designs,
known as Rococo; a style that spread throughout Europe. The term
means ornamented with shells and scrollwork and similar patterns, and
until one grows accustomed to it, the dictionary definition of
'tastelessly florid or ornate' may often be thought to apply. To our
eyes it is noticeable principally for a generous use of curved.
lines, and an 'unbalanced' look. Out of its elaborate setting there
is no doubt that Louis
XV furniture appears very showy, but when it is seen in the
rooms for which it was designed it takes its place unobtrusively in
the decorative scheme.
The French had
a liking during the eighteenth century for small tables and cabinets,
chests of drawers (called commodes), large writing tables with
leather-covered tops having a row of drawers beneath and tall legs,
and upright cabinets with drop-down fronts concealing a writing
space. Veneering was the usual decoration, aided by parquetry and
marquetry set off with ormolu mountings. When compared with the
sophisticated outside appearance, most of the pieces exhibit very
rough finishing of the woodwork not usually seen, and a glance at the
inside or underneath of a piece will prove this.
Many of the
and cabinets are supported on delicately curved cabriole legs so
slight that it is a wonder they can stand without breaking. Chests of
drawers always have a slab of colored marble as the top, and many
other pieces are similarly finished. Chairs and settees were carved
usually of beech-wood, sometimes finished with gilding and sometimes
painted in pale colors. Mirror-frames were gilt, and are often very
like English ones of the same date.
countries used different types of woods. In England they mostly used
but in France it was walnut,
which was plentiful there. Some time the cabinet made in Italia and
France are difficult to distinguish from one another. There were
great differences in their price tags as well with their production
ages. Monarch Louis XV extravagant furniture designs known as Rococo.
He designs different styles of furniture
with different types of woods that suits his tastes.