A Background Of The Style
The William and Mary style is also known as the early Baroque style in museums. This style dates back from about 1695 to the mid-1720s. The brand was named after the king and queen who reigned over England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1689-1694. This particular style is an American variation of the European Baroque style that was popular in the early 1600s. William and Mary style furniture was the transitional style between the Mannerist and Queen Anne style furniture.
This style was known to have French, Flemish, Dutch, and Chinese influences. This was the first style that began to move away from the boxier style of furniture such as the Jacobean style. The style itself accentuated unity, in which each of its parts contributed to the whole piece nicely.
Legs And Feet Styles
The leg styles that adorned the William and Mary style pieces were daringly turned. Turned means they were fashioned with tools such as chisels while being turned about on a lathe. The true elegance of this style was seen in the Flemish scroll leg, spiral, columnar, and trumpet leg shapes seen on this style of furniture. Scroll and Spanish feet were used in the most elegant William and Mary pieces. Turnip, hoof, bun, and ball feet were also widely used in William and Mary pieces.
Dark wood, such as walnut, was popular at the time. It was also a true characteristic of the William and Mary brand. Some pine, cedar, and oak can be found in many of the pieces as well. Veneers, which are thin sheets of wood that come in many different colors and textures, were popular to use on the fronts of desks and cabinets. It was common to see veneers and solid wood used together to construct one William and May piece.
Chairs And Tables
The chair designs used were much thinner than previous designs, and they included higher backs and fancy embellishments. Side chairs were most often made, but a few armchairs were made as well. These chairs were most commonly made of rush or cane, or upholstered in cushioned leather. Daybeds, which were actually chairs with extended seats, were introduced during this time.
Small tables were introduced in this era as well, for function and looks, such as tea tables and dressing tables. Gate-leg tables were most popular at this time. They were made in different sizes for different purposes. The butterfly table was also introduced at this time, with the tavern table being one variation.