Antique Furniture and collection..!
Author: Inessa Stewart
Any piece of antique furniture speaks of a country’s past. Antique furniture mirrors the history of different nations on the whole. Antique furniture’s development is influenced by wars, travels and discoveries of its time. Antique furniture is often linked to opulence of a country. Let us examine the different types and styles of antique furniture from different countries.
Antique furniture from China became popular from among the Oriental furniture because of the travels of Europeans to that country and travelers from that country visiting other parts of the world. Other countries in the Orient did not gain much popularity in antique furniture as the Chinese gained. Korean and Japanese furniture are not considered so much for their antique value as that of the Chinese. From the origins of the Chinese antique furniture that can be traced back to second century BC, the transformation from tatami mats to wooden seats can be traced to the Tang dynasty. The Chinese antique furniture styles of Ming and Qing dynasties are particularly unique for their elegance and daintiness. The Ming style antique Chinese furniture has been considered to be the ultimate model of Chinese furniture, with its exquisite craftsmanship.
The English antique furniture history can be broadly categorized into Renaissance and Restoration periods. Renaissance is the earliest known period in the English antique furniture that represents Tudor style. A lot of influence from foreign furniture styles can be seen in this period. Restoration period or the baroque style was popularized during the rule of King Charles II. Renaissance antique furniture was basic and without adornment. The patterns followed in this type of furniture were medieval and Gothic. The popular wood during this period was oak though later on walnut wood gained some popularity. Baroque or Restoration antique furniture saw the use of mahogany and walnut and used less of oak. This period saw a great influence of the French and the Dutch on the antique furniture.
The French antique furniture has been a delight to connoisseurs of antique stuff. From the French furniture the armoires, chairs, chandeliers and tables are the most popular. The French furniture comprises both of the sophisticated items from Paris for the aristocracy and the rich, and furniture from the French provincial cities and towns that showcase talent of the districts. The other popular form from France was the furniture from country side that stayed up to the mid nineteenth century.
The American antique furniture is difficult to differentiate because the American antique furniture is influenced by the French and the English antique furniture. However, there is a distinguishing feature that defines an American antique furniture piece which is its practicality. Most American furniture pieces have more practical designs compared to their more lavish and elaborate English and French counterparts. For the American craftsmen, function was the primary concern, followed by decorative details. The American craftsmen differ from their European counterparts in this aspect.
Whichever country furniture you choose from, the best way to buy antique furniture is to walk into the antique furniture store, stay close to the antique pieces of furniture you wish to buy, feel it, and allow it to speak to you. Buying antique furniture is a matter of heart and you should buy when the piece relates to your aesthetic sense coupled with a sense of matching to your home.
About the Author
Inessa Stewart, the owner of Inessa Stewart’s Antiques & Interiors lives and breathes antiques. Her passion for all things antique is known all over the world. From a small gallery to the largest importer of European antiques in the USA, she has scaled great heights in the world of antiques.