12 Ages of American Furniture

The methodology and style of American furniture, like every other thing we have right now, has gone through various transitions. A whole lot of these transitions were largely influenced by the raw materials available at first and then external pieces. In this article, the twelve distinct periods of American Furniture will be highlighted. You may also want to see these antique buffets and sideboards.

12 Ages of American Furniture.

The first age of American furniture is the Early American Period. Here, the vast majority of wood used in creating furniture was Oak and fruitwoods such as apple or pine woods. Of course, softwood like a birch and cherry were also used. This period is characterized by the joinery of the mortise.

The second age of American style furniture is the Colonial period which lasted from about 1700 to 1780. Here, the American style furniture was greatly influenced and as such, modeled after the English style furniture; Chippendale, William, etc. Although. There were distinctions in the fact that they had very minimal ornaments.

The third period of American furniture is the Pennsylvanian Dutch period. Here, furniture making was largely influenced by the German tapered legs, hand paintings et cetera

The Fourth Period of American Style furniture is the graceful Federal period which lasted from about 1780 to 1820 before transitioning to the famous Sheraton Period. In this period, a lot of the hardware was made with brass and contrasting woods.

The Fifth Period of American Style Furniture was indeed named after Thomas Sheraton. This age was characterized by generous and stylish upholstery. To date, this remains the most widely reproduced style of American furniture

American Empire takes up the sixth and middle period of the 12 ages of American furniture. Here, we were largely influenced by the French designs of curved arms, claw feet, and raised panels.

The seventh period owes its roots to a religious period. It is called The Shaker. The style of this period was very basic and had a utilitarian theme. To distinguish, it was characterized by wooden knobs, visible joinery, and straight lines.

The Eight Period of American furniture is the Victorian Period, which as you may have guessed, was named after Queen Victoria. This period’s style differed greatly with the Shaker; a complete 180-degree turn. Here, the wood and tapestry had to match and there were a lot of detailed and intricate ornate designs. The most common materials used were rosewood, oak, and maple.

The Arts and Craft Mission which lasted from about 1880 to 1920 was not exactly widely popularized. Here, leather was used for upholstery as well as shellac for finishing.

From 1890 to 1910, we had the Art Nouveau which was largely a combination of previous ages taken up a notch with velvet upholstery, and brass and chrome hardware

The eleventh period was called the Traditional Revival. Looking at the fact that this was largely a rebirth of both the federal and colonial periods.

The last and present period of American furniture is called the Modern and Postmodern periods. This period birthed originality in the sense that there was a stepping back from both the English and French styles. Instead, they looked towards the Asian and African styles; plastic, metal, and even plywood.


There you have it, all 12 ages of American furniture exactly in that order.