|“Queen Anne period English furniture epitomises the highest pinnacle of sophistication and good taste”. I heard this time and time again from many long time friends, collectors and dealers in antiques.|
Furniture of this period was often veneered in walnut laid down on pine. It’s a lot to ask for this combination to survive 300 years or so, as these woods are particularly vulnerable to worm and damp. Clearly what remains is rare and, as a result, inevitably costly.
Queen Anne’s short reign (1702-1714) could not have produced much antique furniture, even bearing in mind the Queen Anne style was interpreted for a time in the provinces and in the American colonies beyond 1714.
Proportion in 18th century furniture is vitally important. This applies also to all period furniture, but in particular to furniture made during this very short period. Here fractions of an inch will make all the difference. You will observe this when looking at Queen Anne ‘revival’ furniture of which there was a huge quantity produced, particularly in late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of it was well made, and over time may have acquired colour, wear and surface, enough sometimes to deceive the untrained eye.
Examine this beautifully drawn walnut games table, ca. 1710, illustrated below:Observe the control and delicacy of design so typical of the reign of Queen Anne. Walnut veneered and feather banded. It has developed a lovely golden colour & surface during 300 years – this is impossible to recreate. Note also that when open, a leg is positioned at each corner thanks to a ‘concertina’ action. This gives the table stability and satisfying proportion. The outset corners are for candle stands, and note the ‘guinea wells’. Gambling was hugely popular and reached its zenith in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The perils of play: Eighteenth-century ideas about gambling www.histecon.magd.cam.ac.uk/docs/crump_perils.pdf · PDF fileThe perils of play: Eighteenth-century ideas about gambling Justine Crump A pamphlet published in 1784, Hints for a reform, particularly in the gambling clubs, declared that a national propensity to gamble placed Britain in grave peril.
Card game – Wikipediahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_game