Archive for the ‘Victorian’ Category
The Fleur de Lis design has been immensely popular throughout European history, but is almost always associated with the French monarchy, although it has never been officially recognized by the French government. It is still predominantly used on coats of arms throughout the region, more specifically with the King of Spain and the house of Bourbon, as well as many French-speaking Canadian provinces.
The name Fleur de Lis translates into ‘lily flower’ although it is actually more similar to an iris than a lily. It is said to have actually been named for the flowers of the river lis, which were irises. Since saying that is quite a mouthful, the name was shortened. While there are some documents that support this theory, few remain intact as this was before the 12th century, B.C.
The ties between the symbol and the French monarchy can be traced back to the twelfth century, when kings Louis VI and Louis VII started using the design as propaganda on scepters trying to help portray themselves as saints. Further uses of this design in France were on their nation’s flag, a banner that has changed several times over the centuries to include or remove it.
In modern times, this symbol is often used as a decorative element on everything from the tops of fences, the arms of crosses and in many scouting troop uniforms, such as the Boy Scouts of America. It is also very prevalent as elegant touches on homes in the forms of door knockers, or embellishments on door handles or other pieces of cabinetry hardware. The fleur-de-lis is the main element in the logo of most Scouting organizations, representing a major theme in Scouting: the outdoors and wilderness. The World Scout Emblem of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, has elements of which are used by most national Scout organizations. The symbol was chosen by Sir Robert Baden-Powell as it had been the arm-badge of those soldiers qualified as “Scouts” (reconnaissance specialists) when he served in the British Army. The classical description of this shape in Scouting literature connects the compass rose with the purpose of Scouting’s principles—namely that Scouting gives one’s life direction. The stars stand for truth and knowledge, the encircling rope for unity and its reef knot service.
These door knockers come in your choice of six different finishes (antique copper is pictured to the right) so that you may best accent your front door. Included with each one is a striking block as well as a pair of mounting screws in a matching finish.
The Neoclassical architectural style came to be in the mid 18th century in Spain and Poland, and was heavily influenced by classical Greek architecture as well as by Italian architect Andrea Palladino. Many of the details of the style can be compared to the Rococo style as well as the Late Baroque. One of the biggest differences between the Neoclassical style and the classic Greek style is the Neoclassical focuses more on the walls, where the Greek prided themselves on their proficiency in chiaroscuro. Some historians go even further to suggest that this style came about so that architects could embrace the sensitivity of ancient Rome combined with ancient Greek.
This architectural style was a worldwide phenomenon that occurred at more or less the same time throughout the globe, rather than eventually spreading to the United States and Europe. Many people don’t see the distinction between the High Neoclassical style and the Late Baroque, as they tend to have the same terms associated with them but the High Neoclassical style tends to have more planar qualities than sculptured ones. All aspects of the former are flatter depth-wise, especially the bas-reliefs. Where these may be built directly into the wall in a Late Baroque sculpture, they were more often framed in panels, tablets, or friezes in a High Neoclassical one.
Buildings portraying this style can be found all over the globe but some are more popular than others. The Old Museum in Berlin, one of Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s projects, Sir John Soane’s Bank of England in London are popular European examples. There are two extremely famous ones in the United States as well; the White House and the Capitol, both in Washington, D.C.
The Second Empire architectural style was named after the French-inspired elements that appeared during the Second French Empire. The style was at the height of its popularity between 1865 and 1880, and while it was most popular in the United States, a variation can be seen in parts of France where it is called the Napoleon III Style. The Second Empire style has many elements specific to this time period, but, just like with any other style, some of the elements were influenced by other architectural time periods, like the Gothic Revival and Italianate styles.
In the United States, the style tends to be portrayed through rectangular towers with a steep mansard roof, which is the most typical of the French style from which it was derived. Most often, these roof crests have an iron trim, and sometimes they also have decorative lightening rods attached. The façade of the home is generally composed of wood, brick, or stone, and may also have paired columns. Most of the floor plans for Second Empire houses fit one of two styles: symmetrical with the tower in the middle or asymmetrical with the tower off to one side. Just like many things French, the more elaborately decorated and expensive-looking the better!
While there are a multitude of homes that were constructed in this style during the height of popularity, and most are still standing, the majority of the more well-known buildings are commercial properties, or government ones. In fact, so many government buildings were constructed during President Grant’s time in office that they were actually said to be created in the “General Grant Style”, rather than the Second Empire. The reason that so many large buildings were constructed in the Second Empire style is due to the versatility of their size.
The Italianate style holds a specific place within the 19th century Classical style. Just like many other architectural styles, this one developed within a much larger style, yet has such distinct features and decorative elements it is in a class all its own. The basis of this style is 16th century Italian Renaissance, but many buildings and monuments built under this style also exhibit Palladianism and NeoClassicism. Because of this, the Italianate style is also sometimes called the Neo-Renaissance style.
This style started at the very beginning of the 19th century in Great Britain by the British architect John Nash. His first project in this style was a small country house in a small village in the West Midlands portion of the country. This was possible by adopting certain aspects of both the Regency and Victorian styles. Nash passed the torch to another British architect in the 1830’s, Sir Charles Berry. Some of Berry’s creations had such a uniqueness of their own that they have been dubbed “Berryesque”. Many of these buildings incorporated less of the Palladian style an more of an Italian Renaissance feel despite the overall rustic look of most of Nash’s buildings.
Like many other architectural styles that originated in the United Kingdom, the Italianate style quickly spread throughout Europe and parts of the globe. Around the same time that Nash was making a name for himself the Italianate style was making a name in the United States. From 1840 to the 1890’s is when it was at the height of popularity, and was promoted primarily by architect Alexander Jackson Davis.
The United States used the style mostly to build houses, and unfortunately few of them still stand today. The oldest example of this style is the home of a former governor of North Carolina John Motley Morehead. This home is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. The popularity of Italianate architecture in the time period following 1845 can be seen in Cincinnati, Ohio, the United States’ first boomtown west of the Appalachian Mountains. This city, which grew along with the traffic on the Ohio River, features arguably the largest single collection of Italianate buildings in the United States in its Over-the-Rhine neighbourhood, built primarily by German-American immigrants that lived in the densely populated area.
The Queen Anne style came over to the United States and began getting popular around 1880, not long after its popularity was booming in England. Just like with some other things, the term Queen Anne style is loosely used. Many of the same architectural elements seen in England are not the same seen here in the United States.
In fact, the US version of the Queen Anne style is much more similar to the Craftsman style than its British counterpart. While some of the features of these two design styles are similar, there are more differences. The biggest similarities are the asymmetrical facades paired with overhanging eves, towers, and Dutch Gables. Large wraparound porches often accentuate all of the above in classic Queen Anne Style.
Some of the most decorative elements that are significant in this architectural style are not found on the outside of the home, but rather in the decorations and hardware that adorn the interior. Door hinges, door knobs, cabinet hardware and much more are pieces that characterize the Queen Anne style perfectly, and may be similar or even identical to pieces found over in Great Britain.
The Craftsman/Queen Anne style can be found throughout the country, but perhaps the most famous example of this are the painted houses that line the streets of San Francisco. They are the epitome of this style.
If you want your home to portray the Queen Anne or Craftsman Victorian architectural styles, the best way to achieve this is from the inside out. If your home already has some of the exterior elements, that is an added bonus. Adding little touches throughout the interior are a great and affordable way to change the style of your home.
When picturing a Queen Anne house, what most often comes to mind are “gingerbread” houses. These houses have lacy, delicate features like turned porch posts and ornamental spindles. Some interior uses of this style are demonstrated above. This design is often called Eastlake, because it shares characteristics of the work by Charles Eastlake.
There is one main design element that was very popular in the original Renaissance style as well as the Neo-Renaissance style is the great staircase. These were made popular by the French monarchy starting back in the 1500’s. Though slated as one of the classic examples of the French Renaissance, they were highly influenced by Italian architecture and the earlier Gothic style. While Gothic style and Neo-Renaissance don’t share characteristics, the French Renaissance was born out of the addition of Neo-Renaissance decoration to Gothic style buildings. Most architects of the Renaissance avoided drawing inspiration from the Gothic style, but insted focused more on classically styled buildings.
These staircases were extremely elaborate, often rising several stories. They were often made of carve stone, were spiral in fashion, and seated on the exterior of the building in an open, yet covered circular room to encompass it. They usually overlooked the courtyard area of the building, allowing the person utilizing it to enjoy the fresh air while still being sheltered, to an extent, from the elements. One of the main improvements that neo-Renaissance brought to this architectural staple was adding glass. This allowed the structure to remain in the true style to which it was intended.
The Neo-Renaissance period had two other major architectural styles that had great influence on it. The Gothic style has absolutely no similarity to the Renaissance style, but they appear simultaneously throughout this period. The Baroque style is viewed the same way When some of the older Gothic and Baroque buildings were remodeled, they were often adorned with the more ornamental Renaissance style.
The interiors of the Neo-Renaissance buildings didn’t have a specific style they adhered to. Instead, the design was at the mercy of whomever it was designed for. Their influence, potentially with a little from the architect itself, created style all its own. The purpose of the building was also taken into account, and decorated to reflect that. One of the most important elements that was taken into consideration was comfort
The Empire style of architecture is often added on to the end of the Neoclassicism period with a lot of people. This style took place in the late 19th century and unlike many other styles that focused on the exterior elements of a building, the Empire style was more about furniture, decorative, and visual arts. The architecture itself still had a part in what makes the style so unique, but on a much smaller scale than with some of the other Neoclassical styles. In the United States, the Second Empire style usually combined a rectangular tower, or similar element, with a steep, but short, mansard roof; the roof being the most noteworthy link to the style’s French roots. Prior to the construction of The Pentagon during the 1940s, the Second Empire-style Ohio State Asylum for the Insane in Columbus, Ohio was reported to be the largest building under one roof in the U.S., though the title may actually belong to Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital.
The style adopted its name from the first French emperor Napoleon I, and is known as the French Empire style there, but is also known by several different names throughout the United States and Europe. For instance, many people refer to it as the Regency style in Europe, the Biedermeier style in Germany, and the Federal style in the United States. While each area put their own general touches and flourishes to make it their own based on their culture, it is all generally the same exact style. The United States was particularly taken by this movement, and continued utilizing it to grace many of its metropolitan buildings long after the European countries had ceased.
Interior elements, such as those pictured above, may also share characteristics with the French Imperial style.
The style was first influenced, like many other aspects of art, by the ancient Romans. So much, in fact, that two French architects designed one of the most famous landmarks in France after another very famous one in Rome, Italy. No, not the Eiffel Tower; the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (pictured below). When it comes to decorating the homes built in this style the materials preference is generally richer woods, such as mahogany and ebony. Many of these materials were only available in certain parts of the world, making it necessary to have them imported, which made them more expensive. Bronze gilding was also extremely popular.
The American Craftsman architectural style began in the very last part of the nineteenth century and encompasses all sorts of different aspects of architecture and decorating. It really is more of an art form in itself. It became especially popular during the 1930’s, and during that time really started to develop its style.
The American Craftsman style is an adaptation of the British Arts and Crafts style of architecture. The British movement was started by William Morris in the 1860’s in response to the Industrial Revolution. Morris felt that the results of the Industrial Revolution took away from what architecture really means. Instead of relying on machines and mass production for everything, he felt that a personal touch and hand-made materials made all the difference. The movement was also created in response to the overly-elaborate Victorian era that had just ended.
The American Craftsman movement first debuted at the 1897 Boston Exhibition. Several of the best craftsman in the country got together and started their own American Arts and Crafts Exhibition in April of the same year. This exhibit featured many of the country’s best writers, actors, painters, sculptors, architects, critics, and much more. It became the first of many exhibitions to come and one of the biggest draws for anyone with any ties or interest in the Craftsman movement.
The exhibition also created another group just a few short months later. The Society of Arts and Crafts debuted in June of 1897 and had twenty-one founding members. The purpose of this group is to “develop and encourage higher standards in the handicrafts”, and put strong focus on the relationships between designers and artists and encouraged its members to produce only the highest quality of work.
The Dutch Colonial architectural style is an 18th century style of architecture. Homes built in this style can be recognized by their gambrel rooftops and eaves along the length of the home. A gambrel roof is a symmetrical rooftop that has slopes on either side. If you still can’t picture what this looks like, think of the top of a barn; that is a gambrel roof. Many of the Dutch gambrels add a little flare, a slightly upturned edge to add a little more distinction between the two. Most Dutch Colonial Revival homes were built of wood, brick, or stone (or, occasionally a combination), with a shingle gambrel roof. In using a gambrel roof, the Dutch has realized they could have an almost complete second story, without inciting the tax that came with a two-story home.
When Dutch settlers came to North America and started establishing themselves in the community, they brought their architectural style with them. Many homes in New York, Delaware, Connecticut and New Jersey are based on Dutch Colonial architecture. Neighborhoods have dozens of different Dutch Colonials among their numbers, especially the primarily Dutch ones. In other parts of the world, primarily Germany, the Dutch Colonial style is characterized more by the use of brick and stone and their “V” shaped roofs rather than the gambrel ones. Some of these same characteristics can be seen in the older neighborhoods of New York, which was originally found by the Dutch. Some historians believe that these styles were not inspired by settlers from the Netherlands, but rather German settlers, though either claim could be true.
Homes built in the 1900’s and beyond are generally referred to as Dutch Colonial Revivals, inspired by the homes of the Dutch settlers. The states that make up New England are full of this style of home, and can be found all over the coast of Maine and Massachusetts. Perhaps the most famous of all Dutch Colonial and Dutch Colonial Revival homes is located at 112 Ocean Avenue. This home was not built as a famous landmark, but would later become known as the location of the Amityville Horror.
We learned from the previous post that the Victorian style of decorating was not really about furniture; it was about everything else. And when you think of the Victorin Era, you probably think of elaborate, overly decorated items, homes, and lots of gilding. While the Victorian style was predominant in England and other parts of Europe from 1830-1870, it wasn’t until about 1860 that it made it across the Atlantic and into the architectural styles in North America.
While America may have been behind the times in terms of architecture, the styles between the two continents were quite similar. Both focused on elaborately decorating everything, whether it is normally seen or not. Everything from homes, door knobs and door hinges was decorated, and extravagantly at that.
Since the technology was not quite advanced enough at the time, the majority of these pieces were hand-made so even if more than one copy was made they weren’t completely identical. It is completely common to find a few minor differences, generally caused by a slight difference in how the tools were held, or by user error. This never deterred people from buying the products; it gave them more character and class, and more often than not raised their value.
Victorian door hinges come in a standard 3 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ size as well as the larger 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ size, which is what most doors use. The design is generally carved on the interior of the hinge, only allowing it to be visible when the door is open. Because of this, it would be in your best interest to only display this piece on those doorways that remain opened the majority of the time.
These door hinges are offered in a variety of finishes, so that they will match any of your current decor. The most popular finish choices are polished brass and antique brass, although oil rubbed bronze is quickly gaining popularity. Each door hinge comes with a set of mounting screws in a matching finish so you won’t have to worry about finding the right one.