The regency period covers the reign of George IV to William IV between 1820 and 1830 and it was a time of great extravagance and ostentatiousness.
Regency furniture was built to last and it has done just that, much to the delight of collectors of antique Regency furniture.
The period was influenced by Greece, Rome and Egypt and although mahogany was still the favourite wood of craftsman, rosewood and ebony also began to appear.
Homes were elaborately furnished and decorated. Most rooms contained an open fire and the fireplaces were made of marble and decorated with leaves and flowers or figures from Greek or Rome.
Wooden cabinets and drawers were built in a symmetrical style. Marble topped cabinets can be found from this period. Brass was used for handles and inlays. Bookcases were inlaid with ebony and Ormolu was used to decorate pieces in gold .The Chaise Longue was a Regency favourite, and they had a definite Egyptian influence, were often large with a low back and curved scrolled arms.
Regency Mahogany dining tables were magnificent. Table feet were carved to look like animal paws and often the tables tilted to the side and were on castors to be more portable.
Small tables used for card games and were inlaid with ebony and topped with cloth or leather.
Mirrors were as popular in the Regency period as in the Georgian era and they kept within the Georgian style. They were rectangular or oval shaped and ornately carved in gilt-wood and sometimes had painted and gilded glass panels called eglomise.
Lighting in the Regency era was provided by oil lights, rush lamps and candles. Table lamps that were lit with oil can be found today, with clawed feet, like Regency chairs. They were made out of brass and gilt-wood and were usually decorated with delicate swirls or in a classical theme.
Every upper-class residence had a wine cellar and there are some splendid examples of wine coolers, stands and wine waiters to be found. They were mostly made from mahogany and were sometimes brass bound having legs with castors and were also often in the shape of a sarcophagus.
If you want to acquire a beautiful piece of Regency furniture, or any other Regency piece, visit the Peter Lipitch Antique Gallery Showroom in Fulham Road, SW3. They have a wide range of Regency antiques and you can rely on their expertise and integrity. They also have a web site at www.peter-lipitch-antique-furniture.com, where you can see beforehand, some of the antiques they have on sale.
*Image on the left:
A RARE GEORGE III SATINWOOD AND PAINTED CABINET (click to visit)
The figured top with superb colour and patination, divided into segments within a cross-banded zebra wood border and with carved rosettes to the frieze. Standing on a three sided carved stem and an inverted curved triangular platform base with paw feet and casters.