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Furniture Styles and Periods



  • Antique Talk's Guide to Western Furniture Styles–Major furniture period or style definitions.
  • Furniture from ArtLex Visual Dictionary-Furniture design with illustrations of examples from throughout history. Link to periods in art history.
  • Furniture History–at, where features of each period are highlighted to provide an understanding of the style and how it was derived.
  • Furniture Styles–essays, articles, and pictures on the history, development and enduring traditions, periods and eras of home furniture styles from around the world both major and minor.
  • Furniture Timeline–Presented by the Maltwood Art Museum & Gallery at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, this timeline of styles from the 16th through 20th centuries shows the furniture period, prominent furniture makers and designers, design influences, typical timbers, design introductions, and decoration details.
  • Illustrated History of Furniture, by Frederick Litchfield, is now available online as an e-book through Project Gutenberg.
  • Online Furniture Style Guide from Connected Lines describes and dates nineteen popular furniture styles and their distinctive components, beginning with Jacobean style of the 1600s through Scandinavian Contemporary of the 1950s.
  • The Reading Room at offers an overview of the styles of European, English, American, Australian and Scandinavian furniture. For each style, exemplary photographs of furniture pieces are provided.

Medieval & Renaissance Furniture

Furniture of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 

  • Brass Foundry Castings–located in Kent, England offers a fully-illustrated and detailed mail order catalogue of 900  fittings dating back to the seventeenth-century, including a variety of  furniture mounts, a range of escutcheon pins,  hand-cut nails and more. 
Furniture of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 
  • 19th and 20th Century Architecture and Design–links to sites that illustrate the work of architects and artists of the 1870s to the 1930s.  
  • American Decorative Arts–20th century modern furniture.  
  • Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Functionalism (1889-1939)–as presented by the Bröhan Museum of Berlin.
  • The Arts & Crafts Home–A design source for home decoration, this excellent and comprehensive British site has numerous photographs of Arts & Crafts furniture, decoration and accessories. Its Research section includes information on books, antiques, architecture, biographies, interiors, movement histories, societies, places of interest, plus a chronology of the movement.
  • Arts & Crafts Museum–from the Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, this site features furniture and objects of the British Arts and Crafts Movement. Included are sections on techniques, style, and the Arts & Crafts today as well as a taster of the extensive archives, drawings and designs not normally on view. The site provides a reading list, and details of events, exhibitions, places to visit, and contemporary makers.
  • The Arts & Crafts Society Home Page–includes an events calendar, a searchable bibliography of A&C related resources, a forum for interactive discussion with experts, researchers and collectors, and a marketplace for services and merchandise.  
  • Centennial Furniture-brief essay on American furniture made ca. 1876, from the Smithsonian Preservation Quarterly.  
  • Mid-Century Modern-specializing in the finest re-issues of modern furniture classics from Knoll, Vitra and others.
  •–the "meeting place for twentieth century design connoisseurs," this French site features furniture, lighting, and decorative objects, with nearly all color images. Look for their virtual exhibition featuring More than 500 designers and manufacturers.

Furniture Dictionaries and Glossaries 

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