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A Concise History of American Period Furniture
By Stanley D. Saperstein
Queen Anne, 1702-1715
The Queen Anne period is often called the "first modern furniture period." It introduced the cabriolet leg, the Windsor and Banister chairs, and overstuffed upholstery.
Characteristics: Almost universal cabriolet legs and flowing lines. The primary consideration in Queen Anne is comfort and simplicity of ornament. Carving, when used, is simple and low in relief. Walnut is most generally used, although some pieces were produced in oak, pine, and ash. Mahogany appeared in the last few years of the period.
The principal motif used for decoration in the scalloped shell, which appears at the knees of cabriolet legs, the top of the chair rails, or the center of seat frames. Acanthus and floral motifs are also used. Favored fabrics were damask, brocade, velvet, and embossed leather.
Chair feet used are the Dutch pad food or the drake foot. Seats are often shaped. The gate-leg cabriolet tables were introduced during the period, and the highboy was developed with cabriolet legs. Lowboys became popular dining room pieces.
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