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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Chair
Identifier: 979.6.48
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1900-1920
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A nineteenth century Canadian black walnut chair with a caned back and seat. There are three turned balusters on the arms and two turned supports on the front and side of the legs. The front legs are turned and those in the back are straight.

The Victorian and Edwardian period in Canada saw the development of a wide variety of furniture styles that replaced the more classical styles of the Empire period. Some of the new styles included the rococo-revival or 'modern-French' style which brought about more "naturalistic and rounded" curves and more 'ornamental' details. Other styles included the Gothic-revival style with architectural elements like 'pointed arches, finials and tracery'. A popular style at mid-century was 'Elizabethan' with "characteristic ball or spool turnings". The latter decades of the period saw an increase in the manufacture and mass production of furniture including the largest Canadian factory, Jacques and Hay. Revival styles from many preceding periods continued to prevail with Victorian furniture, such as renaissance-revival, "characterized by the use of bold cornices, pediments and pilasters, high-relief carving, classical anthemia and a multitude of finials and drops". In addition, upholstery and materials like wicker, iron and brass were increasingly used as well. By the end of the century, furniture could be shipped around the country by rail, with mail-order businesses like the T. Eaton Company. "Furniture, English, Scottish and American"
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