Regency Furniture History

A quick guide to Regency furniture history

Regency is a term used to describe a style in English decoration and furniture of which successive phases extended over rather more than the first quarter of the 19th century. The term is loosely applied, the period to which it refers does not, in fact, coincide with that of George, Prince of Wales (1811 - 1820) nor does the style reflect the personal tasted of the Prince Regent during those years.

Regency Furniture

Regency furniture took one step further the neoclassical antique style seen in Robert Adam Furniture and his descendants in later Georgian times. While previously the antiques of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome were a source of inspiration for furniture designers, in the Regency period attempts were made to make actual copies of ancient furniture, and there was a new interest in the heritage of Egyptian furniture.

Regency-style furniture has plain, slender, elegant lines and avoids shapes and curves for surfaces. The use of carving and elaborate forms of decoration and ornament-like marquetry declined. There is a great deal of brass work employed and much use of rosewood and zebrawood, because they allowed striking use of colour in veneers, alongside mahogany, which was still the wood of choice. Woodworking machines were adopted to cut costs of manufacture, French polishing came to be used extensively. During the end of the Regency period, Gothic and Chinese styles underwent a revival.

Regency Antiques

Regency antiques mellowed with age and matured with beauty and will sit happily in the smallest home to largest mansion As with Georgian antiques, Regency pieces have survived in large numbers due to the quality of the craftsmanship and timbers used. They have mellowed with age and matured with beauty and will sit happily in the smallest home to largest mansion to be admired by all.

Regency Furniture Facts

Monarchs: George IV

Dates: 1820-1830

Important Developments: Greek Revival style influential 1793–1815: Napoleonic War with France

Materials: Rosewood, Zebrawood and Brass