WE’VE ALL HEARD THE TERM “VICTORIAN” applied to antiques, but how much do we really know about this period? A brief refresher course on dating antiques, courtesy again of Passages Antiques, gives us just what we might need the next time we are shopping and checking prices.

Strictly speaking, the Victorian period covers 1840 through 1900. Its name hinges on the reign of Queen Victoria; for more on that, Google is a great place to start. The dates we’re interested in are as follows:

    Early Victorian 1840 – 1860

Furniture in this period has an overall feeling of heaviness, woods are darker, legs and bases are chunkier. Dovetailing is wider apart. Keep in mind, “The heavier the furniture, the earlier it is.”

    Mid- to Late Victorian 1860 – 1900

At this time we see lighter furniture, sometimes painted, and an occasional use of birch veneers. During this span of time, the bamboo furniture that is still so popular was increasing in popularity. Just remember, “The lighter the furniture, the later it is.”

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