A brief intro to furniture history

Furniture history is important to most props people. This is obviously an enormously complicated and involved topic. My aim here is merely to point to some resources for a general overview. Sometimes, a topic is so overwhelming, you don’t even know where to begin.

History of Furniture timeline
History of Furniture timeline

Maltwood has a useful History of Furniture timeline. The chart breaks down trends in material choice, makers, influences, and cross-lists them with European monarchs. You can click on the chart to get more details about the specific design movements.

You can fill an entire library with books that have been written about the history of furniture which, coincidentally, is where you can also find books. While the books you use have much to do with what show you are doing, there are some more general purpose books in the public domain which you can download free from various sites. These books are useful for furniture up to the early twentieth century.

Wikipedia provides a useful starting point for delving into the study of period furniture. The History Channel also has a brief article of use.

4 thoughts on “A brief intro to furniture history”

  1. Also, there are great books out there about how furniture reflects the politics of the time in which its made! Like, why certain chairs had high backs in the Ancien Regime (see intrigue and very stiff clothing). You should check out “Taste and Power: Furnishing Modern France”, by Leora Auslander. http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/6538.php

  2. thanks your article let me know the furniture history,but i like chinese furniture, i know chinese furniture have something called XiMao structures (Joints & Rivets structures) ,very famouse in furniture industry.

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