Tudor Revival Architecture ....................... Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary

Furniture - Tudor / Tudor Revival

Tudor style - 16th century

The reign of the Tudors, 1485-1603, covers the last phase of the Gothic style and the beginning of the Renaissance.

Henry VIII: In the reign of Henry VIII the secular power displaced that of the Church, and domestic furniture began a robust development. Italian influences came with Italian architects; but only in details of ornamentation did furniture styles deviate from the established Gothic. Romayne (carved medallions, heads, or knobs used in the Jacobean and Restoration period as furniture knobs or pulls) work, scrolls and dolphins were added to the Tudor roses, palmetted bands and zigzags of the carvers' vocabulary. Intricate carving encouraged some use of walnut, more easily worked.

Elizabeth I: Under Elizabeth this Renaissance-Gothic combination attained its height, distinct from any Continental styles. Massive and large-scaled, the structural principles are simple and effective; joints are at right angles, well braced. The huge bulbous-melon turning appears on all upright members; stretchers are square and low. Paneled chairs, draw-top tables, court cupboards, colossal beds with heavy wooden canopies are prodigally ornamented with grotesques, caryatids, foliated scrolls, strapwork, gadrooning, inlaying, and other Italian exuberances.

Inigo Jones brought Italian architecture; Italian workmen followed. Religious freedom and commercial advantages attracted French, Flemish, German, and Dutch craftsmen, but their output appears strangely homogeneous.

- Joseph Aronson, The New Encyclopedia of Furniture, 1967

Tudor/Renaissance furniture features:

Typical furniture

Chairs: developed from the joint stool. The rear legs of the stool were extended to form a back, the front legs raised to form arm-rests. Some chairs had a box or cupboard below. Turner's chair: Except for the seat, all parts were turned

Joint stools

Oak court ("short") cupboard

Oak draw-leaf table: double top surface made of planks - the lower planks pull out to form an extension, held in place by the weight of the upper planks. Has massive baluster turnings with carved decoration. has carving on the underside of the frieze.

Refectory ("school or institution") tables



American Tudor Revival - early 20th century

In the early 20th century, the dominant styles were Arts and Crafts, Colonial Revival, and Tudor Revival. There were corresponding forms of furniture.

Oftentimes, revival Jacobean architecture and furniture styles are lumped together with "Tudor Revival."

Examples from Buffalo:

Photos and their arrangement © 2005 Chuck LaChiusa
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