Years before Victoria became Queen, English society was becoming Victorian, reaction, political unrest, the Evangelical Revival all played their part in the change, but a major cause was the growing importance of the middle classes. In 1832 the Reform Bill was passed, setting the middle classes on the road to political power. From now on their standards and values were to be a major influence.
For the first time, ordinary comfort is becoming the determining factor in the design and making of furniture. With a great increase in the numbers of middle class homes more furniture was needed and it was made in an abundance of styles, but again for the first time in history it was with the desires of the consumer. Furniture was serious, it was more imposing, rounded, with ample ornament, decoration, curving and gloss, turned legs replaced the straight leg of earlier periods. Furniture was mainly made in mahogany and rosewood with the revival of oak (Victorian Gothic) and lacquered furniture. This was the start of the furniture manufacturing industry employing thousands and thousands of people.
Available in many different forms and sizes, affordable for everyone.
Monarchs: Queen Victoria
Important Developments: Gothic Revival 1851 Great Exhibition Arts and Crafts style influential
Materials: Mahongany, Rosewood etc