The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence for Britain. Some scholars date the beginning of the period in terms of sensibilities and political concerns to the passage of the Reform Act 1832.
The era was preceded by the Georgian period and succeeded by the Edwardian period. The latter half of the Victorian age roughly coincided with the first portion of the Belle Époque era of continental Europe and the Gilded Age of the United States.
Culturally there was a transition away from the rationalism of the Georgian period and toward romanticism and mysticism with regard to religion, social values, and the arts. The era is popularly associated with the values of social and sexual restraint.
The term Victorian used to describe an Antique is referring to the popular styles of the time as related to furniture,art,etc.
The style includes a plethora of floral designs that are feminine and lacy. The use of wallpaper (floral or formal), elaborate furniture carving, and rich trims and embellishments, with Oriental and Gothic touches mark the distinctive Victorian decor.
Victorian wood was usually stained dark. They used mahogany, oak and walnut to make their massive and elaborately carved furniture. Marble tops were added to many pieces.
The Art Nouveau Era--
An international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art". It is known also as Jugendstil, pronounced [ˈjuːɡn̩tʃtiːl ], German for "youth style", named after the magazine Jugend, which promoted it, as Modern (Модерн) in Russia, perhaps named after Parisian gallery "La Maison Moderne", as Secession in Austria-Hungary and its successor states after the Viennese group of artists, and, in Italy, as Stile Liberty from the department store in London, Liberty & Co., which popularised the style. A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants but also in curved lines. Architects tried to harmonize with the natural environment. It is also considered a philosophy of design of furniture, which was designed according to the whole building and made part of ordinary life.
The term Art Nouveau used to describe an Antique
It is characterized by non-geometric plant and floral-inspired motifs, as well as highly-stylized, sinuous lines. It was a reaction to mass production and a return to handcraftsmanship and the human imagination. Designers in the movement include Charles Rennie Mackintosh, René Lalique, and Louis Comfort Tiffany
The Arts and Crafts Era--
Arts and Crafts was an international design movement that flourished between 1860 and 1910, especially in the second half of that period, continuing its influence until the 1930s. It was led by the artist and writer William Morris (1834–1896) and the architect Charles Voysey (1857–1941) during the 1860s, and was inspired by the writings of John Ruskin (1819–1900) and Augustus Pugin (1812–1852). It developed first and most fully in the British Isles, but spread to Europe and North America. It was largely a reaction against the impoverished state of the decorative arts at the time and the conditions in which they were produced.
The term Arts and Crafts used to describe an Antique
In the United States, denotes the style of architecture, interior design, and decorative arts that prevailed between the dominant eras of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, or approximately the period from 1910 to 1925, It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often applied medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and has been said to be essentially anti-industrial. Alot of furniture from this period is known as Mission Furniture ane labeled as such instead of Arts&Crafts.Also Known As: Mission
The Art Deco Era--
Art deco (/ /), or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s and into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and jewelry, as well as the visual arts such as painting, graphic arts and film. The term "art deco" was coined in 1966, after an exhibition in Paris, 'Les Années 25' sub-titled Art Deco, celebrating the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes (International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts) that was the culmination of style moderne in Paris. At its best, art deco represented elegance, glamour, functionality and modernity. Art deco's linear symmetry was a distinct departure from the flowing asymmetrical organic curves of its predecessor style art nouveau; it embraced influences from many different styles of the early twentieth century, including neoclassical, constructivism, cubism, modernism and futurism and drew inspiration from ancient Egyptian and Aztec forms. Although many design movements have political or philosophical beginnings or intentions, art deco was purely decorative.
The term Art Deco used to describe an Antique
It is based on stylized geometric shapes such as stepped forms, chevrons, sunbursts, and curves and was considered quite modern at the time. It is primarily known for its use of man-made materials such as chrome and stainless steel. Natural materials such as inlaid wood were also used and with its rich and vibrant colors, it is still glamourous and distinctive. Also Known As: Art Moderne
The Depression Era--
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in 1930, and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s. It was the longest, most widespread, and deepest depression of the 20th century.
The term Depression Era used to describe an Antique
Most recognized collectible from this time period is Depression Glass which was defined as inexpensive made glass but elegant in design. The time period is from 1929 to about the mid 1940's. Also alot of furniture was made with what was considered poorer quality woods and had applied veneers to add a more expensive look. BUT the quality of these items are superior if taken care of, to what is made today.
Vintage & Retro--
These two phrases are used very loosely and really reflect anything considered collectible and not yet even 50 years old. Vintage is sometimes used for anthing old, or if the owner is not sure of exact time frame. Myself I believe these two phrases should be limited to or not be used until an item is at least 30 years old. In other words items from the 1950's thru 1960's are Vintage and items from the 1970's are Retro. Thats right, I am snobbish on this one and get a little preturbed when I see an item marked retro or vintage and it was made and promoted as a future collectible in the 1980's and even later. Examples:Collector Plates,Beannie Babies so on and so forth.
So I hope this helps you understand the meaning behind the phrase used to label or describe the next Antique or Collectible you come across. It is even possible that what you see tagged is wrong, and if so, at least maybe you can feel more confident in your purchase, having this knowledge..