Queen Anne (1725-1760)

The style of furniture made during the reign of Queen Anne (1702 to 1714) is known for its curved lines, restrained ornament with plain veneers, claw and ball feet, cabriole legs, and scallop shell motifs. Although named for the queen, this style actually became more robust during the years of her successor George I (1714-1727), and its influence carried well into the 18th century, from England to the colonies. Queen Anne fashion appeared in Boston about 1725, at first with turned feet, and after about 1733, claw-and-ball feet with an elegant cabriole leg became a more popular option. The style may have arrived later in Philadelphia. In contrast to the earlier William and Mary style of furniture, which was marked by rectilinearity and straight lines, the Queen Anne style's use of subtle, delicate curves for decoration becomes more pronounced, compared to carving or inlaid decoration of other styles. The scrolls are more restrained than the exuberant, scrolled ornamentation of the Chippendale style of baroque furnishings that overlapped and then eventually succeeded the Queen Anne style.

Heather Bowling, Digital Collections Content Coordinator, 2016.

Drawn from

  • John T. Kirk, American Furniture: Understanding Styles, Construction, and Quality. New York: Harry N Abrams, Inc., Publishers, 2000.
  • Elizabeth Birdwell Bates and Jonathan L. Fairbanks. American Furniture: 1620 to the Present. New York: Richard Marek Publishers, 1981.
  • Getty Vocabulary, AAT (Queen Anne, AAT: 300021197).