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Client Spotlight: Antique Brittany Furniture for Victorian Restoration

Client Spotlight: Antique Brittany Furniture for Victorian Restoration

Posted by Aimee Talbot on 10th Oct 2013

Angela M. recently bought several pieces of antique Brittany furniture from our gallery for the beautiful Victorian house that she is restoring in Galveston, TX.  The 1890 Victorian was almost completely gutted by fire about two decades ago. Here is the photo Angela sent us of the outside of the house as it looked nearly 120 years ago in the year 1894.

Our client's Victorian restoration home as looked in 1894

And below is a photo of the house “under new management” last year. Isn’t it gorgeous?

Front closeup

Angela says that the house is known for the lovely detailing around the porch of mariner’s wheels.  The white paint on the porch really makes those wheels stand out! Antique Brittany furniture is a perfect choice for the interior. The Brittany style often features maritime details such as ship’s wheels in tribute to coastal Brittany’s sea-faring history.

Brittany armoire 14-2A-1This is one of the pieces of antique Brittany furniture Angela chose for the house. It’s a display cabinet or bookcase dating to 1880, carved in chestnut with a beveled glass door. You can see the large ship’s wheel at the top of the French cabinet, tying in with the maritime theme of the house porch. The two galleries of spindles along the top and bottom of the bookcase are typical of Brittany style furniture. So are the hand-carved rosettes adorning the bottom drawer.
Antique Brittany Table KC-33A-1Angela also picked this Brittany style chestnut dining table dating to 1880. It’s a real stunner and the French craftsmanship is superb. Each leg boasts a carved figurine of a man or a woman wearing period regional costume. Carved figures of French country folk like these often decorate antique Brittany furniture. They are one of the most delightful characteristics of the style. The central stretcher beneath the table once again features a carved ship’s wheel.

Antique Brittany chairs KC-33B-1To match the table, Angela chose this splendid set of six Brittany dining chairs. Crafted in France in around 1880, the chestnut chairs are carved with an arched gallery of spindles on the crest rail. Each chair back features a carving of a French man or woman in happy pastoral scenes. Some of them are playing bagpipes. If you’re wondering why French country folk are playing bagpipes – an instrument that normally makes us think of Scotland – here’s the reason. Brittany is historically a Celtic nation, like Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. Similar Celtic traditions and symbols appear in all those regions as they had such close cultural ties. Hence the bagpipes, which are often portrayed on antique Brittany furniture.

Due to Angela’s arthritis, she is having much of the Victorian restoration work done for her. We all know these things take time! But we hope she sends us photos of the antique Brittany furniture in place once the house is further along. Angela says “I should have waited a while to buy furniture, but I love the Brittany style and just couldn’t resist!”

We’re glad she gave in to temptation. She chose some exceptional furniture that will blend perfectly into the stately Victorian house and stay true to the exterior’s maritime theme.

Aimee owns with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina. Connect with or you can sign up here to receive this blog in your inbox.