Regency Period Furniture (1800 - 1830)

The Regency period is different in that furniture periods are usually named after a king or queen of the time. The Prince of Wales assumed rule of the country in 1811 as an acting
monarch while his father was incapacitated by mental illness deeming him unfit to rule. His official title of Regent giving us the naming of the Regency period. Prince George eventually
became King George IV in 1820 upon his fathers death having served 9 years as Regent.


Prince George influenced the designs of the time drawing inspiration from Roman and Greek classical designs and moving towards a more elegant plain design rather than the detailed
carvings and curved lines of previous periods. The designers of the Regency period often took designs from museums, giving us Egyptian icons such as lions, gods, griffins and sphinxes.
The use of lacquer and also bamboo and wood carved to look like bamboo became more popular as a Chinese and Japanese revival came about.

The Regency style of furniture itself usually has plain lines with slender lines, the edges of the pieces normally being right angled. The furniture has an elegance about it and
is detailed but not overly detailed leaving a Regency style room not being too distracting in it's appearance. Also, the sizing of the furniture changes during this period from tall 
cabinets and shelving units more to shorter pieces that enabled designer from the time to decorate the walls with paintings. Lower furniture allowed for statues and sculptures to be
placed upon them.

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The wood used at the time was still mahogany and for the more exotic pieces ebony was often the wood of choice. Rosewood and Zebrawood added visually appealing surfaces and contrast
to the clean lines of the style. Metals such as brass and ormolu were often used for accents, sometimes they would be in the fluting of legs or used as the cover where two doors came

Brass rosettes and lions' heads were used on rings on cabinet doors and the drawers decorated many pieces, the bases of furniture legs could be animal feet cast in brass. Glass insets
on cabinet doors covered by brass grills in lattice patterns or scrollwork designs was also popular.

Recognised designers of this time include Henry Holland, Thomas Hope, Thomas Sheraton, and George Smith.