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Victorian Antiques Buying Guide

Victorian Times

Victorian style is the name of British fashion, architecture, and the applied arts trends emerged in the second half of the 19th century. Named after Queen Victoria who held the throne from 1837 to 1901, this style is deemed as a balancing act between traditions and reforms. Victorian antiques are as unique as Her Majesty herself. They masterly blend visual aspects of the bygone eras and technological advances.

It is common to divide the Victorian period into three stages:

• Early Victorian period (1837-1851);

• Mid-Victorian period (1851-1875);

• Late Victorian period (1875-1901).

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Rococo Antiques Buying Guide

Rococo Motifs

Rococo antiques are a study in quaintness, intricacy, and chic worthy of royalty. If you are looking for items to become the focal point of your interiors or festive looks, you can fully bank on these bold pieces.

Rococo is a style in interior design, applied arts, painting, sculpture, and architecture that was popular in the mid-18th century. Stemmed from Baroque (it is sometimes called Late Baroque), it differs from it in a more refined, delicate, and sophisticated look.

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Regency Antiques Buying Guide

Louis XV of France

Regency is the name of a few interior design styles common for different historical eras. All three regency antique styles have sophistication and ostentatious luxury in common. That being said, there are drastic differences between the French, English, and Hollywood versions. From curvy-shaped and lavishly decorated French Regency, through straight-lined English interiors, to playful Hollywood designs, this is our comprehensive guide to divergent styles titled Regency.

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Queen Anne Antiques Buying Guide

Despite a short reign (1702-1714), Queen Anne bestowed her name to a fairly exquisite style of architecture and applied arts. Strictly speaking, the style started taking shape during the reign of Queen Mary and her husband, William III of Orange, and persisted for some time after Anna’s successor, George I, took the throne. Overall, its influence is noticeable throughout the first half of the 18th century.

The Queen Anne style flew across the ocean and had been a dominant force in the American colonies until the beginning of the 1800s. Overall, Queen Anne antiques display a transition from baroque to rococo. While early examples of furniture boast massive shapes, dramatic curves, and decorative details, later designs, especially those of American origin, became lighter, simpler, and more sophisticated.

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Neoclassical Antiques Buying Guide

18th century Europe experienced the so-called Age of Revivals. Styles that shaped the world centuries ago made a comeback. They retained their core features yet developed new ones, which made them catnip for contemporaries. One of the most influential of these revived styles was neoclassicism. Archaeological finds in Italy and Greece stirred interest in Ancient Roman and Greek cultures, and soon their distinctive features entrenched in architecture, interior designs, and works of art. 

The Neoclassical style started its march across Europe at the very beginning of the 18th century, and France was its jumping-off point. French Neoclassicism is also known as the Louis XVI or Louis Seize style. Neoclassical pieces made in Germany and Austria are known as Zopftil, which later evolved into the Biedermeier style. 

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Gothic Antiques Buying Guide

The 19th century saw the so-called period of revivals. Architects, designers, and artists nodded to the cultural heritage of the past. The parade of historical styles included Rococo, the Renaissance, Classicism but medievalism and its inherent Gothic features made, perhaps, the strongest impact. The Gothic Revival (also known as Victorian Gothic or Neo-Gothic) was a dominant force in fashion and interior design for only 30 years (from 1830 to 1860) but it bestowed a multitude of impressive pieces on us. Romantic, eccentric, majestic, Gothic Revival antiques are sought-after by collectors and those looking to add a touch of pizzazz to their interiors.

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Georgian Antiques Buying Guide

Sophisticated, timeless, and luxurious, Georgian antiques are catnip for collectors. With prices showing upward trends and exceeding thousands of pounds, furniture, jewellery, and household items made during the Georgian era are of particular interest to investors. Whether you’re looking for a profitable investment option or a striking accent for your interior, you can’t go wrong with Georgian style antiques.

The Georgian style is the general name for several trends in architecture, art, and design that prevailed in England during the reign of the four kings of the Hanoverian dynasty, from George I to George IV. In total, this period lasted from 1714 to 1830. Naturally, over the course of its natural evolution, the Georgian style underwent numerous stylistic changes. Nevertheless, it managed to keep the main features immutable, namely the harmony and symmetry of forms, simple mathematical relations, pale colour schemes with contrast accents, and elegant decor.

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Elizabethan Antiques Buying Guide

An engraved vintage illustration portrait image of Elizabeth I queen of England, UK

The Tudors, perhaps the most famous monarch dynasty, ruled the Kingdom of England from 1485 to 1603. The last of the rulers to bear the name Tudor was Elizabeth who became queen in 1558. During the reign of Elizabeth Tudor, England turned into a maritime power and one of the most influential parties in international trade. As England grew richer, it developed a strong interest in art and especially the works of Italian, French, Flemish, and Dutch masters. Eventually, the refinement of tastes resulted in the emergence of new trends in architecture and applied art. Although the designs introduced during this period formally belong to the last phase of the Tudor style, they were so distinct that Elizabeth secured her own name for the style appellation.

Elizabethan antiques are rare and valuable. Many of the items created in the second half of the 16th century turned into museum exhibits. Nevertheless, if you intend to purchase 400+ years old antiques, it won’t hurt to learn about their distinctive features. 

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Edwardian Antiques Buying Guide

After Queen Victoria’s death in 1901, her eldest son Edward VII ascended the throne. Although his reign lasted only 10 years until the outbreak of the First World War, it was marked by pivotal changes in society and the economy. They, in turn, entailed shifts in cultural life, fashion, architecture, applied art, etc., which now allows us to talk about the so-called Edwardian style. By the way, Edwardian antiques are the last true antiques since their age exceeds the required 100 years. Pieces that are ‘younger’ are rather vintage than antique.

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Arts and Crafts Antiques Buying Guide

The Arts and Crafts movements emerged in the 1860s and lasted up until the first decades of the 20th century. Ideologically and stylistically, it was a continuation of the Aesthetic Movement but with an emphasis on traditional crafts. Thanks to the recognition of artisan skills and dedication to nature, Arts and Crafts antiques are the epitome of harmony, genuineness, and hand-craftsmanship.

The movement started as a reaction to the pretentious and ornate styles of the Victorian era. Criticizing machine-made products and exaggerated decor, Arts and Crafts put the beauty of nature and the true value of handicrafts to the fore. The adherents of the movement glorified traditional manufacturing techniques believing that the replication of consumer goods destroyed their beauty and individuality.

The ultimate goal of the Arts and Crafts movement was to produce designs ‘by people and for people’. Its ideal was a harmonious living space that combined the creativity of nature and contribution from skilful craftspeople. By and large, the movement attempted to achieve its ideal by joint efforts of architects, artists, artisans, and designers.

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