QUEEN ANNE CHAIRS - 1700 - 1730
A highly distinctive style, actually extending well
beyond Queen Anne's reign.
Backs have a curving outline with elongated scrolls flowing into dipped top rail. Broad
Vase-shaped splats, after about 1710 slotting I into a 'shoe'. Cabriole legs and drop-in seats. All these are classic features.
Early, taller, 'bended back' versions were curved in section to fit the sitter's back. Seat. rails were shallow, cabriole legs slender
and ending in hoof or pad feet. They had simple' turned stretchers with one additional
stretcher at the back.
Later versions of Queen Anne chairs had lower backs, sometimes broader and occasionally rounder seats, with deeper, often shaped, rails, no stretchers and bolder, squatter cabrioles, sometimes ending in claw-and-ball feet. Strengthening
ears or 'shoulder pieces' were added either side of the knee. Legs could be decorated with fine C-scrolls and/or scallop shells carved on the knee. The back uprights were flat-fronted, a feature which subsequently became standard on chairs of most types.
Armchairs had their arms set back several inches from the front rail - they were no longer continuous with the front legs. Some had distinctive 'shepherd's crook' arms.
A few chairs had upholstered seats and backs, with no gap between them. These could be tall, with straight sides and
top, or lower and 'spoon-backed '.
Top quality later versions with all the best features have the highest values. Pairs may be
about three times the value of a single; a set would be exceptional. Armchairs too are rare,
and very expensive.
Victorian (and later) craftsmen loved to
reproduce Queen Anne chairs, but often in mahogany - generally an instant giveaway - and too thin in the legs. The backs were often too high and the seat
rails too shallow. They tend to look rather mean, reflecting the economic use of timber.