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18th Century American Furniture

18th century American furniture is known best for its many new designs and its increase in prominence throughout American households. The vertical nature of 18th Century American furniture is perhaps most obvious in the tall secretaries of Newport which can reach nearly eleven feet in height. The prices for extremely high quality exact reproductions of 18th century American furniture is going up and up all the time and Potthast was one of the top makers and is heavily collected.


Furniture of the 18th century is highly admired by historians and craftsmen alike. "During the 18th and early 19th centuries, the cabinetmaker's art in America flourished at an extraordinary height of excellence, creating a great national heritage which is now referred to as traditional American furniture. Although cabinetmaker's pattern books and furniture imported from England were the primary source of inspiration for American craftsmen, their furniture was not a slavish copy of English designs. 18th century furniture designs and styles are still very popular today in the 21st century. Many fine antique reproduction furniture makers focus on this period for their quality, handmade reproduction antique furniture.

Rocking chairs were a cornerstone of 18th century furniture and were a must for any house that had a porch. The majority of rocking chairs had no finish, while others were painted to match other outdoor furniture. They were also known for comfort as compared with other outdoor furniture of the time. Oftentimes all that is remembered about 18th century furniture is the rocking chair. However, there is much more to 18th century furniture than the rocking chair.

Amongst the many new styles of furniture that were introduced in this era, two of the better known were Chippendale and Neoclassic. Chippendale furniture was named after designer and cabinet maker Thomas Chippendale. He published his furniture designs during 1754 in a book entitled, The Gentlemen and Cabinet Maker's Director. While the Chippendale style of furniture can be classified into three distinct types, American furniture was primarily based on that influence by Queen Anne.

Neoclassical furniture was also dominant during the 18th century. This type of furniture reflected the of the Greek and Roman furnishings. While the borders of Roman furniture were often lined with jewels, neoclassical furniture may only have a few strategically placed stones.

I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to an overview of 18th century American Furniture. There are many books that you can read that will give you a deeper insight into this period of American Furniture and its makers.

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