5 Classic Antique Chair Styles and Their Modern-Day Counterparts

The greatest antiques will always be a true classic when it comes to furniture design and home decor. The following 5 chair styles may be the Grand-daddys of today’s chairs but,in most cases, if you look closely, you will see that not much has really changed over the years.

Queen Anne Style ca. 1725-1750

The classic of the classics. The Queen Anne style is accurately defined ad simple, elegant and comfortable. Named after Queen Anne of England who ruled from 1702 to 1714. This is considered the first of the great styles of the 18th century.

Example of a Classic Queen Anne Style Chair
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Contemporary Example of a Queen Anne Style Chair – wood construction
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Contemporary Example of a Queen Anne Style Chair – wood construction

Chippendale Style ca. 1749-1770:

A style named after Thomas Chippendale. He was arguably the most famous of English cabinetmakers. The style is influenced by Dutch, French, Chinese and Gothic furniture motif. Hallmarks of Chippendale style are elaborate carvings, graceful proportions, sinuous curves and straight lines. Japanning* is also employed in some cases.

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Example of a Classic Chippendale Style Chair
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Contemporary example of a Chippendale style chair – metal construction
Chippendale modern bernhardt
Contemporary example of a Chippendale style chair – wooden construction


Adam Style ca.1760-1790

Named after brothers Robert and John, James and William Adam, this style encompasses much more than just furniture. The brothers were designers and architects and they designed their furniture to  intrinsically fit into their projects. Knowing this, the use of architectural motif in their furniture becomes obvious.

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Example of a Classic Adam Style Chair
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Contemporary Example of a Adam Style Chair – wood construction



Hepplewhite Style ca. 1783-1800

Named after cabinetmaker, George Hepplewhite, a man who is responsible for an important book called the Cabinetmaker and Upholsterers Guidepublished posthumously  by his widow, Alice. Hepplewhite’s  designs that were slender,  curvilinear  and well balanced and proportioned. Some common characteristics of  Hepplewhite style are curved chair arms, straight legs, shield-shape chair backs, inlayed wood, and minimal carving.


Example of a Classic Hepplewhite Style Chair


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Contemporary Example of a Hepplewhite Style Chair – metal construction
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Contemporary Hepplewhite Style Chair – wood construction

Sheraton ca. 1795-1815

Thomas Sheraton is the namesake for this style. He is regarded as the last of the great designers of the 18th century. Motif is strikingly similar to Hepplewhite and distinguishing the two can be tricky.

Example of a Classic Sheraton Chair
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Contemporary Example of a Sheraton Style Chair – wood construction



*Japanning: to cover (something) with a hard black varnish.

Contact Counterpane Interiors for pricing on any of the contemporary chair examples shown in this post.


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