“Queen Anne” was a quintessential style of 18th-century furniture that paired elegance with efficiency to respond to the new tastes of their contemporary consumer. Emulated and echoed by contemporary makers, the style endures today.
Queen Anne furniture takes its name from Anne, who served as sovereign over England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1702 to 1714. Prior to Queen Anne’s reign, the design aesthetic of her father, King William III (1650-1702) was the favored style. This earlier style, known as “William and Mary,” or “Early Baroque,” emphasized weighty forms that often showcased dense scrollwork, rounded contours, organic accents, and lavish embellishments.
The designers of Queen Anne’s day, though, actively evolved furniture-making into a style that maintained a sense of elegance, but that also proved more versatile. Furniture makers began to strip away the grand opulence of earlier furnishings to create forms that were multi-functional and adequately light enough to whisk around a room.
Queen Anne furniture all shared a striking, cosmopolitan blend of subdued Baroque flourish that echoed both Classical and Asian designs. S-curved chair backs, for example, could be seen as both borrowing east Asian elements while also alluding to the scrollwork that was characteristic of the Baroque era. This is one of the reasons why Queen Anne furniture is also known as “Late Baroque.” Perhaps most exciting about the Queen Anne furniture revolution was the emphasis on comfort. Amply cushioned seats, combined with ergonomically-inspired back supports, made Queen Anne seating the ideal combination of class and comfort.
Our 4 Queen Anne chairs date back to 1890-1920, they have a beautiful golden nut brown finish. While the slip seat pads were clearly redone in the 1970s the fabric can easily be replaced as well as added cushion for ultimate comfort. These chairs demonstrate the classic Queen Anne form with their “vase” or “S” splat form as well as pad feet.