William IV - the brief reign of William IV (1830 – 1837) marked a period of transition between the Regency period (which had been an age of innovation based on revivalist styles such as ancient Egypt, and the Grecian designs) and the Victorian era.
William IV furniture is similar in style to Regency furniture with many of the designs from the Regency period being copied but often executed in a much heavier manner with chairs, tables and other items being coarser and clumsier in appearance when compared with those made during the Regency period.
Popular pieces produced during this period include tilt top dining tables and pillared extendable tables. Sofa tables and drum tables were also favoured at the time as were sideboards and card tables. Heavy brass fittings were a prominent feature such as lion’s paw feet on tables. Chairs frequently sported sabre legs to the back with stumpy bulbous turned legs to the front. The rope twist carved back was also much in favour.
This period also saw the introduction of the more exotic timbers such as rosewood and zebra wood. With the Industrial Revolution getting under way furniture making saw the increased use of mechanisation a trend set to accelerate during the Victorian period.
This short, but important transitional period eventually gave way to the romanticism of the Victorians but the furniture it produced was usually of good quality and it remains sought after and desirable today.
is a rich warm reddish brown wood that has a distinct grain with dark brown and black outlining. One variety of Rosewood can vary significantly from another even though it is of the same species. These Rosewoods, native of India, South East Asia and Brazil, were dense and awkward to work with. It was renowned for quickly bluntening cutting tools and visibly darkening in colour when over prepared.
The Brazilian species of Rosewood was by far the most beautifully figured and therefore it became the most sought after and rare. This was the wood of choice for the great box makers, David and Thomas Edwards who used it to veneer some of their finest pieces.