For the last two weeks we’ve brought you our brief history of furniture styles, beginning all the way back to humanity’s first usage of rock and wood as seating and storage in the Stone Age through to the Ancient Roman empire. The Middle Ages, also known as the Medieval Period, followed the decline of the Roman Empire and lasted through to the Renaissance Period. The collapse of the Roman Empire caused a great pullback in luxury goods and the use of furniture fell dramatically, only to finally resurge during the revival of European society in the Renaissance. Here we’ll take a look at furniture styles throughout these periods and what made them distinct to that era.
The Middle Ages
With the Roman Empire’s collapse, much of Europe was thrown into an age of scientific regression and the production of luxury goods fell dramatically. Furniture of the medieval period reflects this. Relatively little furniture was owned by the population, even including the well-off lords and nobles. By the late Middle Ages, it was common practice for nobles who owned more than one dwelling to transport their furniture with them between houses. Due to this, foldable items like chairs or tables with removable tops were commonplace. It was also not rare for guests to come equipped with their own seating or sleeping arrangements. The furniture of this period is defined by practical, non-frivolous designs and innovation was driven by what is easy to transport.
The Renaissance began in Italy and spread across Northern Europe including Spain, France, Germany, and England. The Renaissance was defined by a boom in economic prosperity and a subsequent rise in demand for luxury items. While early Renaissance furniture kept form over style, by the later period curved, gilded pieces and ornamental designs were of the highest fashion. This also kick-started the Gothic trend of furniture styles found across France and England during the later Renaissance and laid the foundations for the explosion of different furniture styles that occurred across Europe in the centuries that followed.
William Wood Mirrors has a huge range of metal mirrors and mirrored furniture. If you’re looking for your newest piece today, check out our website. Same place next week for pt 4!