If you’re curious about Regency chairs’ history and how to identify this style of chair, Greg and I are delighted to tell you everything you need to know. Our photos will also show you how these classic chairs continue to be an elegant choice for today’s homes. Our Guide to Regency Style Furniture tells you all about the Regency period in general, and how it inspired interior designers. Today we’ll talk specifically about Regency chairs’ history and style.
The Regency era refers to the years 1811 – 1837 at the end of the Georgian period. It is named specifically for the 9 years before King George IV took the British throne. In those years he was Prince Regent, or acting monarch, on behalf of his father King George III who was too sick to do his duties.
These were exciting times for furniture design, and Regency chairs, tables and sideboards were the perfect match for the classically proportioned Regency architecture. Imagine the graceful rooms that you see in a Jane Austen movie and you’ll have a good idea of the look!
Regency Style Furniture
Regency style furniture included chairs for the dining room, living room and hallway and these chairs reflect the general tastes of the Regency period. Furniture design continued the Neoclassical feel of the Georgian era, drawing on ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian design.
- The focus was on stately and clean-edged looks with straight lines.
- The unfussy furniture designs were symmetrical and streamlined, without any ornate carved detail.
- Beautiful dark woods and dramatic decorative veneers gave a sense of luxury and added to the design appeal.
- Gold and metal accents were a high-quality accent against the gorgeous wood.
Typical features for Regency chairs include:
- Dark woods and exotic veneers including mahogany and rosewood to create an imposing and monumental look.
- Straight lines or classically rounded lines and arcs.
- Gilded accents and brass or metal accents.
- Classic decorative symbols such as rosettes, laurel wreaths, acanthus leaves and lyres, which are U-shaped harps. Lion masks are another decorative accent.
- Chair legs typically are saber legs, concave legs, turned legs, and legs with classic column looks, sometimes joined by X-shaped stretchers.
- Claw and ball feet also give a majestic feel, and decorative paw-shaped feet are sometimes covered in metal.
- Arms are set high on the uprights of the chair, creating a formal look.
- The chair backs are often topped with broad and flat crest rails for a noble appearance.
The neoclassical furniture designs of the famous 18th century English furniture maker Thomas Sheraton became popular during the Georgian period and his timeless designs were still heavily influencing chair design during the Regency era.
The cabinet maker and chair designer Thomas Sheraton left a legacy so powerful that people still seek out his beautifully proportioned chairs today. The original antiques are very rare and expensive but we are very happy to offer many high-quality reproduction Sheraton chairs on our website.
Regency chairs are a great choice for the dining room, but they also look wonderful in any room of the house, whether as occasional seating in a bedroom or hallway or as a side chair in a living room. Interior designers love these chairs because they work well in our 21st century homes despite their historic origins. They have a classic look that gives a sense of history and upscale traditional elegance, but also a streamlined silhouette that suits our contemporary lives.
We hope you enjoyed this post on Regency chairs’ history and styles! If you are shopping for Regency chairs then please browse our large selection at the link, with competitive prices that include free shipping!