The 12 Periods of American Furniture

After the first colonists to the Americas set foundation on land, history tells us that it took a issue of years before the settlers were able to shift their focus from entirely surviving to pursuits such as furniture construct. As time went on, furniture began to evolve from merely utilitarian to stylish .

American carpentry styles have been through a act of periods, and each was heavily influenced by the available materials of the region a well as the pieces being built by English and french craftsmen. There are 12 overriding periods of american furniture styles, although many have sub-genres which may have been popular but ephemeral. many of these periods overlap and took on regional meaning, but below are the chief 12 .

Understanding these periods is important to the modern woodworker because it allows one to design furniture that fit within a particular music genre and build heirloom pieces that follow traditional techniques .

early American ( 1640 to 1700 )

The early american period was very the first menstruation where a clear-cut vogue began to appear within furniture pieces in the colonies that went beyond mere practicality. ornamental carvings, finials, raised panels and woodturnings were hallmarks of this period. Most cabinetmaking was of the mortise and tenon variety, with pine, cherry, birch, maple, oak and fruit woods such as apple comprising the majority of the hardwoods and softwoods used for these pieces .

Colonial ( 1700 to 1780 )

The Colonial menstruation was heavily influenced by pieces from England during this meter ( including William and Mary, Queen Anne, and Chippendale ), although the american versions tended to be far less ornamental and more button-down. Finishes were often oil varnish, key or wax over a mark. The dovetail joint began to make an appearance along with the mortice and tenon joint as a carryover from the early american english menstruation. Mahogany, elm, and walnut were besides more predominantly used in this period .

Pennsylvania Dutch ( 1720 to 1830 )

The Pennsylvania Dutch period was marked by heavy german influences. The pieces were simpleton and utilitarian, with the prevailing decoration colored hand-painted scenes. The furniture from this period features straight lines, simple turnings, and tapered legs made from walnut, oak, and pine .

Federal ( 1780 to 1820 )

The Federal Period introduced a variety of cosmetic stylings such as flute, inlays of contrasting woods to create shapes and designs, and banding with contrasting veneers as cosmetic borders. The pieces of this period exhibited a graceful elegance with dense french and english influence. Hardware was typically brass in a variety of shapes found in nature .

Sheraton ( 1780 to 1820 )

The Sheraton Period was the most widely-reproduced stylus of the early 1800s. Named after English architect Thomas Sheraton, the menstruation featured trust heavily on veneers and rich upholstery. Carvings were generally conservative, with intricate administration hardware catching the eye. dovetail joints were a hallmark of this time period .

American Empire ( 1800 to 1840 )

The american Empire period took more influence from the french than the English, with a greater emphasis on curl arms, cabriole branch, and flowery, paw or claw feet. Supporting column on the corners of dressers and glass in topographic point of raised panels were besides hallmarks of this period .

Shaker ( 1820 to 1860 )

The Shaker period was named after a religious movement of the menstruation, and the furniture influence was childlike and utilitarian. The appearance was primarily straight lines, weave or cane seat corporeal, basic turned wooden knob, and visible locking cabinetmaking .

victorian ( 1840 to 1910 )

The victorian period, named after England ‘s Queen Victoria, served as a very sharp contrast to the Shaker period. victorian furniture is formal, elaborate and deluxe. The upholstery of this period matched the flowery stylings of the wood, with needlepoint and tapestry adorning many of the most intricate pieces. Black walnut, oak, maple, and ash were common build up materials of the time with rosewood inlays for contrast .

Arts and Craft/Mission ( 1880 to1920 )

The Arts and Craft time period symbolized another minimalist period in furniture design. Leather was a common upholstery covering of the time period, probable more for practical than design reasons. Lacquer, shellac, and wax were park finishes on the wide kind of woods used during this period .

art Nouveau ( 1890 to 1910 )

The Art Nouveau period borrowed from a number of previous periods, with complicate cosmetic carvings and veneer inlays offset by brass and chrome hardware. upholstery in this period was from a variety of deluxe fabrics, including velvet, tapestries, leather, and linen .

traditional Revival ( 1920 to 1950 )

The Traditional Revival menstruation marked a revival of earlier periods, primarily the Colonial and Federal periods, brought back by popular necessitate. This menstruation relied on intricate inlays and veneers along with shapely turnings to decorate what were primarily straight lines.

modern and Post-Modern ( 1950 to Present )

The Modern and Post-Modern periods were a bare passing from the English and french charm and the periods of the past centuries. alternatively, this period relied heavily on asian and african influences. This period introduced furniture built from a number of mass-produce materials such as determine plywood, metals, and plastics .

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