ReIntroductions Of Nineteenth Century Design. Curiosity About Decorative Arts Opened Door To Revival Styles.
One thing is certain, when reviewing the nineteenth century furniture design there were many instances of period furniture revival. The revival styles were brought to the forefront, it is thought, due to the fact the Empire Style was the forerunner of the time period. The Empire Style was merely a continuation of Neo-classical styling with an archaeological edge to it in the way of ancient Egyptian adornment and design. Curiosity about decorative arts in past time periods opened the door to revival styles.
One style that was revived and very popular during the period of the 1800s was Louis XIV as well as Elizabethan furniture. There was a reintroduction of the straight turned leg. Furniture elements fitting the Baroque style also made an appearance. Louis XIV styling was manufactured in sets and were block-styled and square. Additionally, the furniture items were lavishly upholstered.
Louis XVI styling was once again, revived. The Louis XVI styling appeared in groupings of furniture and provided design elements such as round, tapered legs, chairs and sofas with oval backsides, and (once again) elegant upholstered furniture. Further, the Louis XVI styled leg was frequently used on furniture items that were upholstered and constructed to be comfortable and where structural design consisted of a metal frame. In fact, the only wood that was obvious on the item was on the legs. The rest of the furniture was covered in the finest fabric. The upholsterer of Louis XVI styling was afforded the delight of embellishing the furniture item with lavish tassels, braids and in employing the technique of tufting.
Another master proponent of revival during the nineteenth century was the English poet and artist William Morris. Morris did not prefer the furniture produced by machine at the time, and rallied for a return of handcrafted furniture construction. Morris was inspired by the furniture construction dating back to the Middle Ages. Morris based his designs and concepts on the styles of artists and woodworkers from the preceding era. His design ideas were considered significant and followers of Morris included Ernest Gimson and the Barnsley family. These designers/craftsmen were able to produce small amounts of fine quality furniture made by hand, the quality which has never been surpassed.
In conclusion, the nineteenth century was a time where revival styles were reintroduced to a large extent; some furniture was made by machine; and other designs were produced by means of handmade construction.