The style of Queen Anne furniture began in 1702 and lasted until 1714. While the era of Queen Anne was short lived, the style of Queen Anne furniture is one of the more common and more popular styles today.
Not long following Queen Anne’s ascendancy to the throne the furniture named for her period in time evolved. With heavy Dutch influence carried over from the William and Mary period, the cabriole legs were adapted from the French. Needless to say, since the English and the French were not on good terms at the time, there were adaptations and modifications to the French styling.
Although Queen Anne had little personal influence on the style development of her time, with our without her influence the style of furniture took on a more graceful look and appeal. The furniture became more comfortable. Of course, chairs were merely over a century old in their development from stools. While the English were enjoying the comfort of chairs for sitting and resting, Queen Anne styling added to the overall comfort in the design.
At first there was little ornamentation on Queen Anne furniture. In fact, it was quite plain in the early years. After Queen Anne died in 1714 the furniture became more ornate like the ornate French contemporary styles of the time. Unfortunately as the design became more ornate the quality of the furniture deteriorated. Too much ornamentation led to less emphasis on comfort and construction. Early Georgian furniture came into being with a more ostentatious appearance.
It must be said that in the beginning Queen Anne furniture was a little clumsy. The fine lines developed by English designers had not yet appeared on the scene. Even with the curved elements of the Queen Anne style, the furniture leaned toward a pleasing shape and structure, but could not totally escape the appearance of being a bit clumsy.