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Queen Anne Style Furniture

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Queen Anne Style Furniture

New England Queen Anne Sycamore Highboy

- Morphy Auctions

Background on Queen Anne Style:

American furniture crafted in the Queen Anne style dates from the 1720s to approximately 1750, although the ruler it is named after died in 1714. This style falls within the Colonial period.

Furniture made in the Queen Anne style is often difficult to date exactly since it sometimes blends elements from the earlier William and Mary style and later Chippendale style, according to American Furniture: Tables, Chairs, Sofas and Beds by Marvin D. Schwartz.

Queen Anne Style Legs:

Marking a shift toward elegance and refinement in American furniture manufacture, Queen Anne style pieces were the first to incorporate the cabriole leg. Most pieces, even pedestal accent tables and bed frames, featured a cabriole-shaped leg even if on a shorter scale than those used on chairs and tables.

Queen Anne Style Feet:

The pad foot (illustrated in the photo shown above) is the most common found in Queen Anne style pieces, but spade and trifid feet were used as well. These replaced the heavy look of the ball foot used previously in William and Mary styling.

Woods Used in Queen Anne Style Pieces:

Many Queen Anne style pieces were crafted of walnut, but cherry and maple were used as well. Imported mahogany became popular with furniture craftsmen working in this style around 1750, according to Schwartz.

Other Queen Anne Style Features:

  • Simple fan and shell carvings embellished many pieces.
  • Chairs frequently have yoked-shaped top rails and back splats have a solid vase shape. Seats most often feature a horseshoe shape.
  • Space-saving features such as the tilt top and hinged drop leaf were often incorporated into Queen Anne style tables.
  • Upholstered pieces such as sofas and settees are rarely found in original Queen Anne style, but are common in later reproductions.

Later Queen Anne Styles:

Many reproductions have been produced in the Queen Anne style since the 1750s. While some of these are old enough to be considered true antiques, in comparison they do not have the finely crafted details found in early Queen Anne style pieces.

Even today Queen Anne influence is found in formal furniture design and manufacturing, especially the use of cabriole legs and pad feet.

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