Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary.............. Styles of FURNITURE...............Victorian styles

Transitional Early Victorian: Empire/Victorian

Overall: American Empire period but with Victorian details, such as the wavy molding, medallions and smaller details of applied carving.

Much of the furniture in this decade was made by cabinetmakers who continued to use American Empire forms and worked with hand tools. There are also the simple country pieces, some of them made by cabinetmakers who had migrated West and settled in various communities in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and western Tennessee.

Characteristics of their work are simplicity of line, sturdy construction and utilitarian design without carved detail.

Lastly there are the examples produced by small early furniture factories in which a combination of machine sawing and planing with handfitting and finishing can be observed. Chairs, tables, sofas and some chests of drawers and desks are among these. If a marble top is present, it can be either white or colored and richly mottled.

All the major furniture forms appear in the Transitional style.

New pieces include the ottoman, the Lazy Susan table, the wardrobe and bookcase.

Wood - mahogany, rosewood and black walnut. Also maple, butternut and other native hardwoods for country-made pieces, often stained red or brown.

Construction -


Handles - mushroom-turned wooden knobs with inset keyhole surrounds or applied wooden keyhole rosettes

Size - proportions ponderous and lines often heavy


Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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