The ‘Glorious revolution’ when Queen Mary and her Dutch Husband William of Orange overthrew her father Catholic King James II.

Motives for the conquest were complex, however heavily influenced by political and religious differences.

William brought his Dutch furniture style with him to their kingdoms, along with encouraging Dutch artisans to follow them to England.

William and Mary Furniture

The furniture design period spanned the late 17th and early 18th Century and was found in the Netherlands, England, Scotland and English American colonies.

It was a transitional style between Mannerist furniture and Queen Anne furniture. The William and Mary style was the first period to move away from the popular boxy Jacobean style previously used.

Common characteristics of the furniture were robust and sturdy pieces, emphasising both straight lines and curves, and featuring elaborate carving and woodturning.

It was one of the first styles to imitate Asian design by incorporating lacquered elements to the furniture pieces. This was later called ‘japanning’ which was a technique of varnishing.

There were several styled feet used during the era such as: boldly turned, scroll and Spanish, ball, bun, hoof and turnip feet.

Woods such as walnut and maple were both readily used, resulting in dark characteristics, pine, cedar, oak timbers were also used during this period.

Veneers and slices of wood in varied textures and colours were also used to decorate cabinets and desk fronts. The woods were often paint stained and lacquered similar to Chinese style, exaggerating the colours of the wood and adding more character.

Chairs and tables: Chairs were generally high backed with lavish embellishments, scrolled back side chairs were most common they often incorporated woven cane.

William and Mary Silver

We can all appreciate that silver spoons, beakers and bowls from this era are extremely rare and highly important.

Silver toys originated in Europe during the 17th century and were made initially for the children of Kings and Queens. At the time England was suffering under Puritanism and silver toys were not made available in England until the Restoration of Charles II in 1660. The earliest English silver toys date from 1665 and were made in London. By the mid-18th century silver toys were readily available and used by wealthy and royal children.

The William and Mary style wouldn’t look out of place in a stately home, farm house cottage, or complimenting a modern interior. Which is why we wanted to celebrate and highlight is as the first in our series of Kings and Queens.

 Shop 2Covets collection.