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Revival Furniture Styles Popular in the Victorian Era


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Victorian Furniture Revivals
Gothic Revival chair, carved oak and pine

Gothic Revival chair, carved oak and pine, wool plush upholstery and wool tassels, brass nails, German, ca. 1851

Photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

There's nothing new about nostalgia. Furniture designers often reference, get inspired by, or just plain steal ideas, from previous periods. But the tendency was particularly strong during the 19th century, which saw wave after wave of Revival styles, as furniture makers systematically pillaged the past for ideas. Often, their interpretations had only a vague resemblance to pieces of the actual period - but then, their clients wanted smart furniture, not a history lesson.

Since Revival styles overlapped to a great degree, both in terms of when they were in vogue and the design elements they used, authorities often disagree on the precise dates that each style flourished. The following time periods reflect a general consensus as to eras.

Click on NEXT to see Egyptian Revival style.
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