Furniture History is a fascinating subject. Learning about furniture evolution gives you a vital understanding of how the craftsmanship of furniture began. From the earliest of times, man has invented things to make his life easier. The range of styles of furniture grew with the increased knowledge of the craftsmen as new materials and techniques became available, overseas trade and the economic conditions of the country. Furniture range was also dictated by the ruling monarch of the country and the conditions of the era. All those interesting facts about furniture will be described in a new rubric at FurnitureCart Blog.
The story of furniture is closely connected with the story of man. No one knows just when the first furniture was made. It probably came into being when primitive man found that his bed of leaves was more comfortable if he lifted it off the earth with sticks and logs. After the comfort and the usefulness of furniture were proven to him, primitive man began decorating his furniture with carvings, paintings, and inlaid patterns of various kinds. These decorations were not only for his own pleasure and the admiration of others, but also to glorify the gods he worshipped.
In the early civilizations, man spent a great deal of time and effort in creating and decorating his places of worship. He built altars on which he made sacrifices to his gods. From these raised altars he developed tables for his own use.
The growth of man’s ideas and interests can be traced throughout the history of furniture. In the decoration of Egyptian furniture, of which we have a clear record from about 4000 B. C., we find symbols of conquest and personal achievement.
The conquering Romans borrowed and adapted furniture forms freely among the tribes and countries of their enemies.
In the ornamentation of Greek furniture, we see evidence of the Greek love of beautiful lines and regular form.
Family life in the Early Middle Ages was perilous. There was little development of furniture forms. For nearly a thousand years, furniture was built only for the great Byzantine and Romanesque churches. During the Renaissance, the duties of a ruler toward his people and the rights of private property were recognized. Along with this new security for the family, a rich era in home furnishings developed. The talents and efforts of the greatest artists and craftsmen went into the making of Renaissance furniture. The beauty of the furniture of this period has never been excelled by craftsmen of modern times.
As the lot of the common man improved through political and economic changes, and also through discoveries and inventions, the refinements of home furnishings were developed as well. When England developed a more democratic form of government during the 1600’s and 1700’s, the furniture of those periods showed new ideas in beauty, comfort, and usefulness.
Changes in furniture styles are continuing along with changes in society. But in each new development of furniture form, there still linger traces of its heritage from the past. And in following the developments of various furniture forms of the Egyptians to the present day, a record is unfolded of man’s beliefs, needs, customs, and vanities.
To be continued…