Periods of History Information
Each of our items are dated and quite often names of monarchs are used to describe an era. This section explains the meaning of some of the terms we use to describe antiques.
Approximately (Commonly used term in the antiques trade to give approximate date of an item)
17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Century
The 17th century is anything dated from 1601 – 1700. The 18th century is anything dated from 1701 – 1800. The 19th century is anything dated from 1801 – 1900. The 20th century is anything dated from 1901 – 2000.
The Georgian era is a period of British history, normally defined as including the reigns of the kings George I, George II, George III and George IV, i.e. covering the period from 1714 to 1830, (with the sub-period of the Regency, defined by the Regency of George IV as Prince of Wales during the illness of his father George III). Sometimes the reign of William IV (1830 to 1837) is also included. The term "Georgian" is normally used in the contexts of architecture and social history.
The period of history between 1714 and 1727. George was born on 28 Mary 1660 in Hanover, Germany, the eldest son of the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In 1682, George married his cousin Sophia and they had two children. A decade later, he divorced her for alleged infidelity and imprisoned her in a castle until her death in 1726.
The period of history between 1727 and 1760. In 1743, George led his troops into battle against the French at Dettingen, he was the last British king to fight alongside his soldiers. George died on 25 October 1760.
The period of history between 1760 and 1820. He became heir to the throne when his father died in 1751, succeeding his grandfather George II in 1760. He was the first Hanoverian monarch to use English as his first language. George III was the third Hanoverian king of Great Britain. During his reign Britain lost its American colonies but emerged as a leading power in Europe. He suffered from recurrent fits of madness and after 1810, his son acted as regent.
Regency may be a period of time when a regent reigns (a non-ceremonial monarchy holds power) in the name of the current monarch, or in the name of the Crown itself, if the throne is vacant. Specific political eras derived from this usage and artistic style periods named after these. Regency refers to characteristics of the style, especially in furniture, prevalent in England during the period 1811-1820 of George, Prince of Wales (later George IV).
The period of history between 1820 and 1830. King George IV was known for his self-indulgence and short attention span. Together with his evident ability to abandon political principles and to forget friendships, he won little praise. He became depressed by his evident failure to reinvent himself, as monarch and the ailing king withdrew himself into a fantasy world of laudanum and alcohol!
The period of history between 1830 and 1837. William IV was not initially intended to succeed the throne but his marriage to Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen and the death of George III's second son meant he became the heir. He was initially very popular, his insistence on a simple coronation contrasting with the extravagance of his brother's reign.
The period of history between 1837 and 1901. Queen Victoria’s reign defines this era as a time of great change in Britain. In terms of furniture an eclectic mix of styles and excessive ornamentation became common. Plump, heavily upholstered furniture featured heavily as well as flowers, birds and animal decoration being portrayed realistically rather than the previously stylised versions of art nouveau.
The period of history between 1901 and 1910. The Edwardian period lasted a mere nine years from when Queen Victoria’s reign ended and King Edward VII was crowned king. The Edwardian style is fresh and light, informal, feminine. Furniture of the era includes bamboo and wicker, flowers/floral patterned pieces and pastel colours.
‘Something reproduced, especially in the faithfulness of its resemblance to the form and elements of the original.’ The term reproduction refers to an item that has been made to look like a copy of an antique piece. (Any item that is reproduction and not antique is clearly labelled as such on our website and in our shop.)
ArtNouveau is an international movement and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that peaked in popularity at the turn of the 20th century (1890–1905). A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly-stylized, flowing curvilinear forms. Art Nouveau is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from architecture to furniture, making art part of everyday life.
Art Deco was a popular international design movement from 1925 until 1939, affecting the decorative arts such as architecture, interior design, and industrial design, as well as the visual arts such as fashion, painting, the graphic arts, and film. Its popularity peaked in Europe during the Roaring Twenties and continued strongly in the United States through the 1930s. Although many design movements have political or philosophical roots or intentions, Art Deco was purely decorative. At the time, this style was seen as elegant, functional, and modern.