Dates of Accession of
Kings and Queens
of England

Date of Periods of
English Styles

Elizabeth 1558 Elizabethan 1558–1603
James I 1603 Jacobean 1603–1648
Charles I 1625 Cromwellian 1648–1659
Commonwealth 1649 William and Mary 1689–1702
Charles II 1660 Queen Anne 1702–1714
James II 1685 Georgian 1714–1820
William III and Mary II 1689 Chippendale 1749–1779
William III 1695 Hepplewhite 1775–1800
Anne 1702 Sheraton 1790–1805
George I 1714 Adam 1762–1792
George II 1727 Empire 1804–1814
George III 1760 Regency 1814–1830
George IV 1820    
William IV 1830    
Victoria 1837    

Principal Woods

OAK (to c. 1670)
WALNUT (c. 1650–1730)
MAHOGANY (c. 1730–1850)

Walnut was introduced to England circa 1650 and was popular through the early 18th-century, when mahogany became the preferred choice of cabinetmakers. By the early 18th-century (circa 1720) England had a large trade deficit with Scandinavia mainly as a result of imported timbers for shipbuilding, particularly softwoods. The British government was obliged to address the situation and thus removed import duty from goods imported from “The New World.” This included mahogany from the Spanish West Indies as well as imports from Jamaica, an English island.

As a result of international trade - in particular the Far East trade - new and more exotic timbers arrived in England beginning in the mid-18th century. Satinwood came from the East and the West Indies, while rosewoods, kingwood, and tulipwood came from the East.

By the late 18th century mahogany became cheap enough to be used not only for the external work, but also for the carcass construction.

By the 1850s walnut returned as a popular cabinet timber both in solid and veneered form. Victorian walnut veneer is often much thinner than early-18th-century veneer, as it was cut by machine and not by hand.


Veneering was first used in the second half of the 17th century (1650–1700).

Types of Veneer

  1. Crossbanding
  2. Straight banding
  3. Feather or herringbone banding


  1. Parquetry
  2. Marquetry
  3. Line inlay
Parquetry Marquetry
marquetry inlay satyr carving
Line Inlay
chinoiserie decoration

Antique Care Tips

  1. Objects should be used for the purpose for which they are intended.

  2. Chairs should not be tilted back or stood on.

  3. Drawers should not be overloaded, and they should be opened with both handles simultaneously–otherwise the drawer becomes twisted in the carcass.

  4. When using a ballpoint pen, always protect the table or writing surface by placing some padding under the paper.

  5. Ornaments should not be placed directly on surfaces without a layer of protective covering; for example, felt pads.

  6. Waxed furniture should be dusted weekly. Alternatively, a light coat of beeswax polish may be applied two or three times a year and then buffed.

  7. Polished French furniture should be dusted regularly and given a firm rub with a clean soft rag every three months. No other polishing is necessary.

  8. Chairs should be lifted by the seat rails, not by the crest rails or the arms.

  9. Chests of drawers should be lifted from the base of the carcass, not from under the rim of the top.

  10. Marble tops should always be removed from furniture before the item is moved.

  11. The marble should be carried in a vertical position, never horizontally.

For More Information

For more information on antiques on the Internet, visit these sites:

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