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Tudor. 1485 - 1603
Add a Regal Touch to Your Home with Tudor Period FurnitureTudor style furniture is a popular choice that can add a true regal touch to your space. The furniture of the Tudor period is detailed, large, and, unfortunately, not very comfortable. Although the Tudor period in English history saw the beginnings of the English Renaissance, home furnishings were still sparse. To fill the void in the budding Tudor architectural style, furniture makers began to make furniture on a larger scale. Furniture during the Tudor period is often recognized for its very large size and its lack of upholstery, which likely reflects on the English attitude at the time of shunning any display of opulence, in protest of Catholic wealth. Tudor furniture is simple and solid for the most part, although one would not describe it as austere or somber by any means.
Timeframe for Tudor Period FurnitureHenry VII was crowned in 1485 and with his reign, the Tudor dynasty was born. Tudors sat on the throne for over a century, when the Tudor period ended in 1603 with the death of Henry VIIís granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth. The Tudor style of architecture and furniture mainly comes to us from the years of the rule under Henry VII, Henry VIII, and Mary Tudor, as furniture made during the reign of Elizabeth is known as Elizabethan.
Identifying Tudor Period FurnitureThe Tudor reign saw England relatively peaceful. With political quiet came large furniture that was considerably more permanent than ever before, and distinctly English by design. Large in both form and scale, Tudor furniture was designed on a grand scale. For example, tabletops built during the time were commonly three inches thick. Trestle tables measured as long as nine feet. Tables were made big and could be made even bigger with drop down sides that could be pulled up to add even more space. Befitting the large girth of Henry VIII, the chairs made during the Tudor period had super wide seats and high backs. They were carved decoratively, often with rose motifs.
The rose is often seen in Tudor carvings since it was the symbol of the house of Tudor and was found on the Tudor crest. Chests were carved ornately, with their tops often longer than the body of the piece, which allowed them to also be used as seating. Chests were made with legs that would keep them off of damp castle floors. The chilliness and dampness of the English island influenced Tudor period furniture. For example, dining tables were outfitted with stretchers. Stretchers allowed diners to get their feet up off the cold, damp floor during meals.
The most prominently used wood during the Tudor period was oak. This is because oak was most abundant in England during this time. Most Tudor furniture was built with oak. It is common to see authentic Tudor period furniture with hinges and metal straps holding oak planks together. Elaborately carved, tall four-poster beds were seen during this timeframe, and were typically large enough for many people to sleep in them at once, since most people had large families.