History and Origins of 18th Century Furniture
Furniture that was created during the 18th century is often called Queen Anne furniture, because she commissioned the creation of these beautiful pieces and was instrumental in their design. Popular 18th century furniture makers include George Hepplewhite and Thomas Chippendale.
This type of furniture is very significant and valuable because it is from an era when all furniture was made by hand. The 18th century is actually considered to be the last era for every piece of furniture to be created by master craftsman, as opposed to the following eras when furniture was often produced by machines. There were assembly lines and mass-manufactured furniture with a less personal feel in the 19th century and beyond. 18th century furniture is distinctly creative, yet practical and reflects the personal style of the people who crafted the pieces on their own.
Forms and Functions
During the 18th century, homes with smaller rooms were being built so furniture needed to fit into these rooms comfortably. 18th century furniture makers designed pieces that would fit into these small rooms, but would also be comfortable and have practical uses. They made chairs more inviting by covering them in overstuffed upholstery. During this time, furniture came in various types such as Chippendale, Sheraton and Federal styles. Queen Anne is another style that was quite possibly the most popular of all of the others. Queen Anne furniture often featured the cabriole leg, which no other previous type of furniture had used before.
Specific characteristics really set 18th century furniture apart from its predecessors and all furniture that came after it. This type of furniture utilized cabriole legs, which is a shape that is similar to the letter S. These legs were used on the bottom of cabinets, chairs and other pieces. 18th century furniture makers also utilized curving lines and certain woods like walnut, mahogany and satinwood.