Elizabethan Furniture

Essay by Iwantbrains32High School, 10th gradeA-, May 2004

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The Elizabethan Era is known for its massive, ornately carved furniture. Carvings that are often seen throughout churches of this time inspire this style of furniture. Derived from the delicate plaster detail of churches, rooms are filled with heavily paneled walls. Elizabethan furniture is designed to remain in place, a result of the massive size and weight of the pieces. One of the most elaborate pieces, the bed, is adorned with luscious tapestries and fabrics, a common feature of this era. The surroundings from this time are distinctively created to represent their belief in large, ornately decorated furnishings.

The Elizabethan Furniture design is one of several results of Henry VIII's departure from the church. With his departure, he invited craftsmen from all over Europe to beautify the English Court, during which this furniture went through a heavy transformation. The style began from copying the characteristics of the churches.

Churches have massive and elaborate oak carvings from floor to ceiling as well as throughout the churches interior furniture pieces. Decorate carvings were also found on the church's screens, stalls, and pulpits. Not only is the Elizabethan style influenced by the churches, but by a mixture of previous furniture styles including; Gothic, Italian, French, and Flemish. Its Gothic influence accounts for the reason why the furniture of this period is so massive. The elaborate carved pieces and paneling not only originates from the churches but also from the Italian Renaissance style. All of these features are evident throughout the Elizabethan style of furniture.

The most prevalent pieces of furniture at this time include: beds, stools, tables, and fireplace mantles. The most valued and most expensive piece in the home is the bed. Previously, before the Elizabethan Era, beds were simple, and less massive, and strait-line in nature. Now they...