Picture in your mind’s eye medieval cathedrals and the intricate and luminous religious text manuscripts copied out by hand and illustrated by monks in the Middle Ages, and you start to get a feel of the Gothic style. This dramatic and often romantic style originated in 12th century Europe and continued through the 1400s. In the 1800s, furniture makers in France and other countries revived the style and reinterpreted the look with their own creative touches and additions for their customers across Europe. The antique French Gothic furniture in our online gallery today dates from this revival period of the 19th century, rather than from the original medieval era!
There are various signs to look for to identify this distinctive style. The first and most obvious element is that the furniture will echo the arched windows and doors that were part of the architecture of buildings in this style, such as cathedrals and monasteries. So you will see pointed arch carvings or other details on the furniture, and doors shaped in this way too. Most of the furniture was made in oak wood which often has a dark stain. This will be enhanced by the patina of age on antique furniture. The furniture tends to be robust and sturdy, and buffets, chests and armoires often feature large ornamental hinges.
Other elements include intricate carvings of gargoyles, perhaps adorning an antique buffet, just as you might see on an old cathedral in Europe. Intricate tracery panels are also typical of the style, and the romantic tracery can look quite stunning on this sturdy style of furniture. Rosettes are also common symbols, and quatrefoils are a popular motif too. Quatrefoil means four leaves. If you already have furniture in this style in your space, then simply adding a wall mirror in a quatrefoil shape from our collection of new mirrors will play up the theme and add to the authentic look. Another way to add a touch of Gothic style is to choose wall sconces, probably in black iron, for your lighting.