A Chronology of the Furniture Influencing on Early American Colonial Furniture Styles History of Early American Colonial Furniture

A brief outline of the centuries is given in this chapter, in the belief that a bird's - eye view of the development of furnishing and decoration will prove useful. Only leading tendencies have been included, and the names of the most important men and events. The chapter will provide a means of ready reference from the earliest times.

The Pre-Christian Era

  • The Egyptian is the earliest mode, and is divided into Early Egyptian (4000 B.C. to 1525 B.C.) and the Theban (1557 B.C. to 525 B.C.).
  • The Assyrian is dated 1270 B.C. to 625 B.C.
  • The Indian includes Brahman, 1400 B.C. to 500 B.C., when the Buddhist era commences.
  • The Etruscan (1000 B.C. to 500 B.C.).
  • The Persian mode (625 B.C. to 330 B.C.).
  • The Chinese may be dated from the time of Confucius (500 B.C.).
  • The Greek periods are as follows: -Graeco-Pelasgic or Prehistoric (1900 B.C. to 1384 B.C.) Doric (700 B.C.); Ionic (600 B.C.); Corinthian; Hellenistic (290 B.C. to 168 B.C.).
  • The Roman may be dated from about 750 B.C. and the Pompeiian (pure Greek), 100 B.C.

First Century (1-100 A.D.)

  • Rome was the dominating force. Western Europe was practically barbarian, including England, France and Germany, except so far as Roman influence had penetrated.
  • In Egypt Roman art flourished.
  • The Persian Empire had given place to the Parthian, and its art was debased Persian.
  • Greece was a province of Rome.
  • China was a great but little known nation. Much in Chinese records must be regarded as merely legendary.
  • In Britain the Celtic gave place to the Roman from the date of the Roman Invasion (54 B.C.).

Second Century (101-200 A.D.)

  • Rome's sway continued over the Western nations.
  • The Parthians remained independent, but of little weight in matters artistic.
  • The European nations made gradual progress, consequent upon increasing familiarity with the Romans' manners and customs.

Third Century (201-300 A.D.)

  • Rome's art became luxurious. The conflict between pagan and Christian became more intense, and increasing dangers were experienced from the Barbarians of the North, who constantly threatened invasion, and obtained local successes. The Barbarians had no art.
  • The Parthian Empire had given way to the Sassanian, whose art was Persian.
  • The Europeans steadily progressed along Roman lines.

Fourth Century (301-400 A.D.)

  • Rome became Christian (nominally) in the reign of Constantine, and
    Byzantium (Constantinople) became the capital of the Roman Empire (330 A.D.). The Byzantine dates from this period.
  • Europe progressed considerably, its development being hastened by missionary zeal on the part of Roman Christians, who dispatched preachers.

Fifth Century (401-500 A.D.)

  • The Roman Empire fell (476 A.D.) under attacks by the Northern Barbarians. Great destruction of works of art took place. The Roman style became the Romanesque, a Byzantine corruption of pure Roman.
  • Europe adopted the Romanesque toward the end of this century. Ireland was still Celtic.
  • The dominating influence of the century was the Byzantine.

Sixth Century (501-600 A.D.)

  • The Romanesque style was still the dominant one.
  • Europe developed the Romanesque.
  • The Byzantine was now in its prime. The birth of Mohammed (571 A.D.) marks the commencement of the Mohammedan and Saracenic nations.

Seventh Century (601-700 A.D.)

  • The Byzantine continued to flourish, though in frequent danger from the Saracens, whose strongholds were in Arabia. Before the death of Mohammed (632 A.D.), the Saracenic, or Moorish, style was commenced.
  • Europe was still Romanesque.

Eight Century (701-800 A.D.)

  • The Romanesque flourished in France and Italy.
  • The Moors conquered Spain, and Moorish style rapidly developed.
  • The Saxon flourished in England.
  • The Byzantine flourished in the East and spread to Russia.

Ninth Century (801-900 A.D.)

  • The Moors continued to hold Spain. The Moresque style developed.
  • England continued Saxon.
  • The Romanesque continued to flourish in France and Italy.
  • The Byzantine continued to flourish in the East and in Russia.
  • Germany and Flanders became independent Powers. In both the-art was Romanesque.

Tenth Century (901-1000 A.D.)

  • The Moors continued supreme in Spain.
  • The Saxons continued supreme in England.
  • The Romanesque held sway in France.
  • The Russian Byzantine gave way to a new style formed by a conlbination of Byzantine and Celtic, the latter being introduced into the country by Irish Christian missionaries.
  • The pure Byzantine developed into the late or Italian style.

Eleventh Century (1001-1100 A.D.)

  • The Romanesque style continued to flourish in France and Italy, though Spanish influence extended to France, leading to the adoption of Moorish details.
  • The Byzantine continued to flourish in the East.
  • The Moorish in Spain entered its best period in this century, and the style remained the dominant one, though the entrance of Christianity into the northern part of the kingdom led to the introduction of the Romanesque.
  • The Norman Conquest (1066) led to the introduction of the Romanesque into England. Bayeux tapestry, wrought by Matilda of Flanders, wife of William the Conqueror.

Twelfth Century (1101-1200 A.D.)

  • Byzantine in the East.
  • The Moresque flourished in Spain.
  • The Early English style-a crude Gothic (1189).
  • French Gothic commenced in the latter half f this century.           

Thirteenth Century (1201-1300 A.D.)

  • Byzantine in the East.
  • Moorish still flourished in Spain. Alham"braic during this century.
  • French Gothic developed.

Fourteenth Century (1301-1400 A.D.)

  • Byzantine in the East, but weakening.
  • The Moorish still flourished in Spain, though in the North the Gothic gained increasing influence. Dutch (1383-1750).
  • Decorated Gothic or Ornamental English style (1307). Perpendicular or Florid Gothic (1399).
    In France the style was Gothic. Tapestry weaving intro­duced toward the end of this century. The Gothic style flourished in Italy.

Fifteenth Century (1401-1500 A.D.)

  • Byzantine (to 1453). The Turkish followed the Byzantine. Moorish (to 1492).
  • Italian Renaissance (a variation of the Byzantine).
  • Venetian Renaissance (1490).
  • Roman Renaissance (1444). Originated with Donato Lazzari, followed by Giacomo Barozzio (1507).
    Supreme period reached in Michael Angelo Buonarotti (1474).

Sixteenth Century (1501-1600 A.D.)

  • The Arabian (1500-1699).
  • German Renaissance (1550).
  • Spanish Renaissance (1500), Hispano-Moresque.
  • Flemish (1507-1750).
  • Venetian Renaissance (Palladio, 1518).
  • The Tudor or English Renaissance (1509). Introduced by John of Padua, architect to Henry VIII. Tapestry making introduced into England.
  • The Elizabethan Style (1558). Dutch influence became apparent. (Henry VIII., 1509-1547; Edward VI., 1547-1553; Mary, 1553-1558; Elizabeth, 1558-1603.)
  • French Renaissance (1515). - A freely ornamented Gothic, introduced by Fra Giacondo, about 1502, in the reign of Louis XII. (Louis XII., 1498-1515; Francois I., 1515-1547; Henri II., 1547-1559; Francois II., 1559­1560; Charles IX., 1560-1574; Henri III., 1574­1589; Henri IV., 1589-1610.)

 Seventeenth Century (1601-1700 A.D.)

  • Arabian ends (1699).
  • The Jacobean style (1603). Italian influence appeared. Mortlake tapestry manufactory established (1619). (James I., 1603-1625; Charles I., 1625-1649.)
  • The Cromwellian style (1653). (The Commonwealth, 1663-1659; Charles II., 1660-1685; James II., 1685­1689.)
  • The William and Mary style (1689). Dutch furniture largely imported. (William and Mary, 1689-1702.)
  • Italian Renaissance, followed by rococo styles.
  • Louis XIV. Style (1643). The Gobelins and Beauvais factories established. Rococo style appeared (1690). The era of Charles Le Brun, Andre Charles Boulle, Jean Berain, Jean Le Pautre, Daniel Marot. (Louis XIII., 1610-1643; Louis XIV., 1643-1715.)

Eighteenth Century (1701-1800 A.D.)

  • The Queen Anne style. Dutch influence still apparent (1702-1714).
  • The Georgian period. Era of the greatest British furniture designers. Inigo Jones (1744), H. Cope­land (1746), Thomas Sheraton. (1751), Thomas Chip­pendale (1754), Ince and Mayhew (1760), Man­waring (1766), R. and J. Adam (1773), M. A. Pergolesi (1777), Heppelwhite & Co. (1789). (George I., 1714-1727; George II., 1727-1760; George III., 1760-1820.)
  • The Regency in France (1715-1723) Philip, Due d'Orleans, Regent (died 1723).
  • Louis XV. Style. Rococo period. Leading men Watteau, Nicholas Pineau, Jacques Caffieri, Jules Aurole Meissonnier, Jacques Blondel, Denizol, Charles Cressent, Oeben, Tessier, Martin. (Louis XV., 1723-1774.)
  • Louis XVI. Style. Leading men: David Roentgen, Riesener, Gouthiere. (Louis XVI., 1774-1792, Marie Antoinette, Queen.)
  • The Directoire style. (Republic, 1792; the Directoire, 1795-1799; the Consulate, 1799-1804, Napoleon, Consul.)

Nineteenth Century (1801-1900 A.D.)

  • Victorian Style (1837).
  • New Art style, about 1885.
    (George IV., 1820­-1830; William IV., 1830-1837; Victoria, 1837-1901;Edward VII., 1901.)
  • The Empire style. David appointed by Napoleon. Jacob Desmalter, ebeniste. Percier, architect. (Napoleon I., 1804-1814.)
  • Modern French styles (1871).
  • L'Art Nouveau (about 1885).

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