5 Pieces of Must-Have Gothic Furniture
The era of Gothic furniture, when compared to the other European furniture styles, lasted an incredibly long period, lasting from the 12th through the 15th century, while its characteristic ornaments survived side by side with the new influences up to the beginning of the 17th century. The furniture of the Gothic period, with its easily recognizable contours and ornaments, derived from Gothic Art which originated out of Romanesque art in northern France at the beginning of the 12th century. The spread of Gothic art was remarkably fast and cross-disciplinary, as the style quickly jumped out of its origins in architecture and into sculpture, painting (including fresco, stained glass, illuminated manuscript, and panel painting), and of course, furniture. By the 14th century, the style had spread throughout much of Europe and an "international Gothic" aesthetic had emerged. Interestingly, the term "Gothic" was actually attributed to the style by later Renaissance authors who were dismissive of the style, associating it with the "barbaric" tribes that were responsible for the sack of Rome in 410 AD.
Gothic style Furniture was initially simple and sturdy and, similar to the Gothic architecture, had local particularities, one of them being the wood used for its construction. In England, Germany, and the Low Countries it was mainly oak, in France, chestnut, in Italy and Spain walnut. Before long, the style had evolved into a more refined and elaborate form, reaching its zenith in the Flamboyant age, when exquisite works of art of an architectural appearance were created, with the characteristic use of double curves forming flame-like shapes. The fine carving, replete with motifs like Gothic arcades, depicting human and animal figures, gave Gothic architecture and indeed, furniture, its distinct and unique character. So, without further ado, here are five pieces of Gothic furniture that you absolutely must take a look at.
For the discerning home decorator, this direct copy of a French Gothic Revival antique, is indistinguishable from a period original! From the amazing hand-carving of heraldic crests and coats of arms to the melon bulb turnings, the wood and iron work this piece boasts is nothing short of breathtaking. A Design Toscano original, it requires their craftsmen over two weeks to replicate the fine mahogany, hand-rubbed to a burnished finish, and distressed just enough to reproduce a fine antique. The craftsmanship of the ironwork hinges, lock and key embellish the thick doors that open to reveal three shelves and two drawers for storage in this quality 5-feet tall masterwork.
A true masterpiece from Design Toscano, this antique replica was originally created for Lord Thomas Stanford Raffles, founder of the British colony of Singapore, and features everything we love about Gothic design. Its deep, large-scale solid mahogany hand-carvings of royal court symbols and massive growling lion heads require over a week of hard work by a single artisan. The comfortable seats and deeply cushioned backs are hand-upholstered and double piped on both sides in a heraldic jacquard of aristocratic gold, burgundy, and navy. Our regal Gothic throne is topped by an ornate hand-carved mahogany coat of arms as an investment in fine European styling. And while the throne is impressive enough by itself, you can even do one better and pair it with a matching ottoman!
Created at a time when the mystery and romance of the Gothic Renaissance period became a source of inspiration for craftsmen and artists, this handsome Design Toscano original buffet features a step front face. Don't be fooled by the barley twist columns and gloriously carved foliate panels in the double doors, this solid mahogany masterpiece opens to reveal extremely functional storage. Two drawers and elegant metal hardware enhance this antique replica work of furniture, making an excellent choice for both art and utility!
A throwback to the 18th century Gothic revival, this grandiose side table combines practicality and aesthetic like its namesake, the great philosopher and theologian St. Thomas Aquinas, once combined religion and philosophy. Hand-crafted from select hardwoods into three generous shelves and then highlighted by a rich walnut finish, this table is a fine example of Gothic-patterned fretwork to add to your home décor.
This hand carved chair is the perfect marriage of elegant simplicity and ornate handiwork. Whether as part of a dining set or as a standalone piece, its quality, solid pine construction and charm are second to none. Modeled after English cathedral architecture, it is rare to find such spirited Gothic design in a lighter-toned wood like this hand-waxed rich golden pine, gently distressed to appear aged. Best of all, it requires only simple assembly to be ready to go!
The Gothic style remains one of the most eye-catching and ornate forms of art developed in the Western world. And we are proud to play hosts to these intricate works of art and utility.