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The Regency period covers the reign of George, Prince of Wales, and beyond as he presided over the country during the instability of his father’s sovereignty. This period also presents an era of social and cultural evolution as the Prince Regent positively endorsed the development of creative movements including sculpture, decorative arts, music, painting and more. This new sophistication and craftsmanship became known as the ‘Regency Style’, which continued throughout the Georgian period to span a lot more than a single decade.
The furniture of the era became smaller and lightly elegant in order to facilitate a focus on informal and functional arrangements within the household. Alongside the scale of the furniture, design elements including the use of brass and ormolu in the form of inlays and mounts were popularised. These were used to enhance the resplendent mahogany, rosewood and zebra woods of the era, and as the 19th century progressed, lighter woods including amboyna, maple and satinwood were introduced to appease the growing scale of furniture pieces.
Typical shapes of the Regency period include reinvented emblems from classical periods and inspiration drawn from the admired Chinese designs. The saber leg, scroll arm and cross frame stool are all important and distinguishing design motifs of the Regency period, and represent lifestyle changes in the home of the era.