Before I get started with today's subject,
I would like to thank Tim and Tami for their hospitality on Thanksgiving Day
and the wonderful meal they prepared and, especially, to let them know
that their love and caring for us is returned ten-fold.
I hope that all of you, as well,
had a memorable and wonderful Thanksgiving.
Victorian Cottage furniture
from the collection at the Rodgers House in Watsonville, CA
was popular in the United States,
particularly on the East Coast,
between 1830 and 1890.
As the American Civil War began winding down and luxury items were once again sought after,
cottage furniture began appearing in workshops
and then homes of the wealthy in places like Martha's Vineyard, Cape May, and the Berkshires.
Cottage furniture did not remain exclusive to the upper-class;
soon simpler, but equally elegant, versions could be found in homes
all along the East Coast.
Cottage furniture is true to the Victorian style.
There is some carving, usually in the form of finials and medallions,
but most of the decorations were painted. Flowers, fruit and other plants were the most common motifs.
Because the pieces were done by local cabinet makers,
most of which did not have any formal training,
the embellishments would have a slightly primitive style.
The most popular base colors were tan, blues, greens and pinks,
though there were a few rare examples where the natural wood is varnished
but left unpainted with the exception of the painted floral accents.
Restoration of Cottage furniture is difficult so tops of pieces were rarely painted in detail.
Photo taken from Victorian Homes magazine
Decorating magazines picture Victorian rooms filled
with grained mahogany, light-colored maple or reddish cherry furniture.
Rarely are painted pieces shown
and there are several reasons for this:
*Painted pieces have not been reproduced, so the supply is limited.
*In the 1950's it was fashionable to buy a painted piece and strip the finish to have a more modern look.
*Painted surfaces are difficult to restore, and many old chests and chairs were worn.
You will remember a few weeks ago,
I showed you our guest room dresser that I painted.
After living with it awhile,
I decided that it was a little bland and needed something to spice it up!
I must make this completely honest disclosure --
I am not an artist and
I cannot draw a lick --
so with the use of stencils and some paint,
I created my version of
Victorian Cottage furniture.
We picked up this inexpensive night stand at a garage sale.
Although it is a far cry from the Victorian era,
I liked its lines and it was a handy piece to put beside the bed.
With a small amount of work it fits right in --
sort of like putting lipstick on a pig!
One of the biggest misconceptions regarding antiques
is that our forefathers loved the appearance of the natural native woods in their furnishings.
They did not.
That is a fad of this century.
As a result, most painted furniture has been stripped and fine-finished
by well-meaning dealers and collectors.
Although costly mahogany and walnut was seldom painted,
our fore-fathers paint decorated nearly all their other wood furniture
to brighten their dark, oil-lamp lit homes.
Most facts about painted Cottage furniture were taken from Wikipedia.
All photos and some descriptions are my own.
Trucks full of these are arriving in town
and as the song says,
"It's the Most
of the Year".
Joining these great parties: