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Classic Furnishings

November 2023
1min read

The fine furniture of the era bore the unmistakable stamp of the Georgian house style; its symmetry and classicism were often translated virtually unchanged from the outside to the interior. Yet experts rarely describe an American piece as a Georgian chair or table. Instead they refer to the Queen Anne style, dominant in England and in this country from about 1720 to mid-century, and to the somewhat more exuberant Chippendale period that succeeded it. The examples shown here, from Colonial Williamsburg, would have been perfectly at home in Westover. Some Georgian pieces were imported from England, while others were the work of increasingly skilled and specialized native craftsmen. America’s furniture makers generally produced more restrained versions of the prevailing English styles. There was no loss of elegance, however. In appreciation of an early highboy, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote: ”. . . the moderns have invented nothing better in chamber furniture than those chests which stand on four slender legs, and send an absolute tower of mahogany to the ceiling. . . .”

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