Colonial Revival architecture ................................... Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary
Furniture - Colonial Revival in Buffalo, NY
Table of contents:
Colonial styles - Pre-Revolutionary War
"Colonial" style in architecture and furniture includes all the styles which existed during the Colonial period of American history. The Colonial period ended once the Colonies declared independence from England.
Architectural styles include the following:
- Spanish Colonial 1600-1840
- Southern Colonial 1600-1700
- New England Colonial 1600-1700
- New England Colonial - Georgian 1700-1800
- French Colonial 1700-1830
- Dutch Colonial 1700-1830
Furniture styles, of course, corresponded to the architectural styles.
The furniture styles that existed in the English-speaking colonies included the following:
- Pilgrim style 1630-1690
- William and Mary 1685-1725
- Queen Anne style 1725-1750
- Chippendale style 1750-1780
Colonial Revival 1880-1930
Colonial Revival: Style in furniture and architecture that imitated or freely interpreted American designs from the Pilgrim to Federal eras. Begun in the 1880s, it became the dominant style of the early 20th century.
Proportions: Narrower and more slender than 18th-century originals.
Essential elements: Traditional 18th-century motifs and shapes rendered more schematically. Some modern construction techniques such as metal braces.
Woods: Oak; or traditional high-style woods such as mahogany and walnut.
Notable forms: Most Colonial types.
- Marvin D. Schwartz, American Furniture: Tables, Chairs, Sofas and Beds. 2000
The Kittinger Furniture Company of Buffalo is nationally known for its 20th century reproductions and has been furnishing the White House for decades.
"Whatever is new, is bad," Wallace Nutting wrote in 1925. A minister-turned-entrepreneur who almost single-handedly popularized the colonial revival style via the sale of period furniture reproductions, Nutting (1861-1941) was one of the most acerbic partisans in an aesthetic fight waged in the early decades of the twentieth century - a battle between modernism and tradition.
In the 1920s and 1930s the cream of the American aristocracy was firmly entrenched in the latter camp.
- Gregory Cerio, "What Modern Was," The Magazine Antiques, May 2008, p.113
Colonial Revival examples:
- Illustration above: Armchair - Wilcox Mansion / Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site
- Slant front desk - Colonial Revival and Hoosier Furniture
- Combination sofa/settee - Colonial Revival and Hoosier Furniture
- Dressing table - Colonial Revival and Hoosier Furniture
- China cabinet - Colonial Revival and Hoosier Furniture
- Pilgrim style - Various pieces of Kittinger furniture - Seymour H. Knox House / Blessed Sacrament RC Church Parish Office
- Pilgrim style - 3 wainscot chairs - Saturn Club
- William and Mary style side chair - St. John's Grace Episcopal Church
- William and Mary style armchair - St. John's Grace Episcopal Church
- 2 turn-of-the-century press-back side chairs - Reikart Barbershop, Amherst Museum, Amherst, NY
- Turn-of-the-century press-back side chair - Hoover House, Amherst Museum
- Platform rocking chair - Hoover House, Amherst Museum
- Federal style bookcase - Old Editions Book Shop and Café