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Arts and Crafts Furniture date from the late 19th and early 20th century and are made by hand in Oak and Walnut timbers.
Antique Arts and Crafts furniture was a movement caused by cabinet makers looking to keep to their traditional values and craftsmanship when building furniture. In reaction to the often heavy appearance of furniture of the mid-Victorian period, William Morris created the setting for the Arts and Crafts movement (Arts & Crafts was about simple lines and quality antique furniture). In 1888 the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society held its first exhibition. The most important members of the society included Voysey, Ashbee and Mackmurdo. They did not like the new form of mass production of furniture, so they tried to promote hand crafted cabinet making only using quality woods such as solid Oak or Walnut.
Renowned furniture makers of this period include William Birch who was a specialist designer of fine chairs, E W Godwin, Pugin, Shapland & Petter, Morris & Co and Bruce Talbert who all produced some of the best quality arts & crafts designs. Many of these pieces were made and sold by Liberty and Co of London.
Early examples were large and impressive to fill the houses of the late 19th Century. Most homes would have high ceilings so this huge solid Oak Arts and Crafts Victorian library antique bookcase circa, 1890 was ideal. It is a completely stunning piece of antique arts and crafts furniture, with an unusual pierced castellated cornice above four doors with moulded edges and original handles. This amazing bookcase still retains the original bevelled glass and is low wasted.
Other woods used were locally sourced Ash. Of nice larger proportions and stamped by the renowned cabinet makers Gillows of Lancaster, this Superb Arts & Crafts Ash Antique Writing Table / Desk dates from ca.1880. It has a moulded top with tooled leather writing insert above three ash lined drawers with ebonised and gilt edging along with the original brass handles.
Walnut was one of the main timbers used as this shade of timber appealed to the late 19th century audience. This quality set of antique dining chairs have lovely high backs with decorative Arts & Crafts carvings. They stand on splayed back legs with tapering front legs with moulded feet.
Unusual designs were fitted into arts and crafts furniture with inlays that would be very distinctive. This spectacular golden Oak Antique Bench would look truly stunning in most hallways. With a shaped back with Arts And Crafts cut out design above a beautifully figured seat and the arms are designed to store umbrellas and walking sticks and maintains the original drip trays. The fronts have the most elegant inlays with mother of pearl that are highly decorative.
Other impressive timbers used were in a Burr grain like this magnificent ‘Burr’ Pollard Oak Arts & Crafts Antique Wardrobe.It oozes style and quality, being constructed from the best possible grade of timbers, displaying exquisite carvings from a true craftsman and exhibiting fabulous brass ware. Its unusual design leads us to believe it was a custom made piece and although having a grand appearance it does have deceptively attractive proportions. The moulded cornice sits above an unusual half round moulded frieze below which can be found two small cupboard doors and a wardrobe door. The small cupboard doors display amazing intricately carved panels.
As Rosewood was not locally grown in the United kingdom, it was quite unusual to see in Arts & Crafts furniture but we do occasionally get some nice pieces. This high quality Rosewood Victorian Table is unusual and would make the ideal wine table. It has a beautifully figured circular top and moulded edge above elegant upright supports and splayed legs. The lower tier has a brass gallery, designed for holding a bottle of wine and three spinning glass holders to compliment accordingly.
This Spectacular 19th Century Country House Victorian Large Oak Arts & Crafts Antique Desk Chair / Carver Arm Chair dates from ca. 1890 and has a curved spindle back with out-swept arms, a shaped seat and four splayed legs with turned H stretcher for added stability.