POST 5: Historical Periods




English Period Furniture

Throughout the history of furniture, the changing styles have arrived by the conditions ruling at any one time. These conditions may have been the result of:

  • The Limits of Knowledge, wood expansion and contraction
  • The limits of equipment, only tools and saws
  • The Availability of Timber, Local supply, only solid timber
  • Economic Conditions, wealthy or not, changes
  • Peace or War, determine furniture, immobile, security
  • Overseas Influences, trade agreements, incentives
  • Reigning Monarch
  • A Movement
  • A Generic influence
  • A Religious Group

Britain had Oak and Beech as it’s native timber for furniture production, but with the discovery of new land and the establishment of overseas trade, other timber species suddenly became available:

  • Oak 1500-1600
  • Walnut 1660-1723
  • Mahogany 1715
  • Satinwood 1765

Prior to 1500, the Gothic Period, teaching and learning of craftsmanship was mostly overseen by the church. Therefore, most ornamentation on Gothic furniture follows the lines of ornamental stonework from the Gothic Churches and buildings.

The carpenter, blacksmith and the turner made the furniture. It consisted of tables, forms, stools and chests. The chest was the principal piece as it served not only as storage, but also a seat or table. Tables generally were loose boards on top of trestles.

Henry VII, came to the throne following the war of the roses in 1485, and was the first Tudor monarch. During this time Britain had found peace and order not previously known.

Henry VIII succeeded his father in 1509, and inherited his accumulated treasures. He continued to change the Gothic style by keeping up his father’s interest in foreign artists and craftsmen. More economical printing materials were available which allowed for pattern books from the continent.

The wealth of the country increased under the stable Tudor government and a new middle class was formed creating a demand for a new form of furniture.


Therefore the 16th Century can be divided into two halves. The first part, furniture consisted of carving on gothic framework, stools and forms were the only form of seating available. English Period Furniture

Select one of the below periods and make a post of 300 words, 6 images and 6 links. for interior design students please select furniture. Green design students can select either Furniture or wearable option.



  • Tudor Gothic C16th
  • Elizabethan 1558- 1603
  • Jacobean 1603-1660
  • Commonwealth 1649-1660
  • Restoration 1660- 1688
  • William & Mary 1689-1702
  • Queen Anne 1702-1714
  • Georgian 1714- 1806
  • Chippendale
  • Regency 1774- 1793
  • Hepplewhite
  • Adam
  • Sheraton
  • Victorian 1830-1901



  • 1643-1715 Louis 14th  
  • 1715- 1774 Louis 15th
  • 1774- 1793 Louis 16th



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