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Classic Styles

Suter's carefully reproduces the finest styles found in early America. From bedrooms to dining rooms, from living rooms to offices, a diverse selection is available in these enduring, classic styles:

Queen Anne

1702-1714

The graceful lines of Queen Anne furniture were introduced and named for Anne during her reign as Queen of England from 1702 to 1714. Influenced by Dutch and early English styles, the eighteenth century's flourishing craftsmen devoted their talents and natural skills to the undulating lines based on the "S" or cyma curves with double unbroken lines. Later, designers and craftsmen added their own conceptions, resulting in a "line of beauty."

The most distinctive characteristics of the Queen Anne style are the cabriole legs, wide flaring chair seats, scroll tops, Dutch feet, and claw-and -ball feet. Walnut was the first wood used in this style, and sometimes the era is referred to as the "Age of Walnut." With the passing of time, however, all woods have been used. The Queen Anne style is very popular today and is found in all types of homes.

Chippendale

Thomas Chippendale was the most famous of the English cabinet-makers, and he was the first private person for whom a furniture style was named. He was not only an eminent furniture manufacturer and designer; he was also a good businessman, an outstanding salesman, and a publisher.

Chippendale published The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, now called the Director. His book contained one hundred and sixty engraved plates of designs. Chippendale's work is very difficult to classify because he composed in many styles. He used different leg and feet combinations. Other characteristics he freely used were scrolls, acanthus leafs, knotted ribbons and interlaced straps, raccon shells and large curves.

Chippendale made almost all types of furniture and his designs are still a great favorite today.

Sheraton

1750-1806

Thomas Sheraton, an English designer and cabinet-maker, had many other talents. A great furniture maker, he was also a proficient builder, publisher, preacher, author and drawing teacher, He had a great influence during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. However, he was a very poor businessman; he lived and died in poverty.

Sheraton was a master at assembling and inlaying various woods. With his knowledge of construction, his work was structurally sound and correctly proportioned. The prominent characteristic of all Sheraton furniture is subtle gracefulness with reeding and fluting.

Through the years, many modifications have been made in the Sheraton style; however, it is still very popular.

Hepplewhite

1770-1790

George Heplewhite, a London cabinet-maker, established Hepplewhite and Company around the middle of the eighteenth century. No authentic piece of Hepplewhite furniture has been identified as the work of his company. However, his fame came two years after his death, when his widow, Alice Hepplewhite, published his Cabinet-Maker's Upholsterers' Guide. The Hepplewhite style originated from his book, not from his pieces of furniture.

Hepplewhite found heavy and massive forms of furniture to be distasteful. His work was luxurious and was freely copied from the Sheraton style. Hepplewhite's designs were slender, well proportioned, and characterized by curves rather than straight lines. To recognize his style, look for shield-shaped chair backs, short curved chair arms, and straight legs, all without carving. His ornamentation came from painting, japanning and inlaying.

Duncan Phyfe

1795-1854

Duncan Phyfe came to America in the early 1780's. By 1792, he had established his New York furniture shop. He employed more than one hundred craftsmen at his fashionable Partition (later Fulton) Street business.

Phyfe followed the fine designs of his predecessors, adding his very own embellishment. He produced furniture for 55 years, and he is the only American for whom a furniture style is named. The excellent proportions used in his style, with a combination of straight and curved lines giving the effect of lowness, made Phyfe a master of curves. His furniture was the furniture of the polite society of the time.

Although Phyfe was a master craftsman, he went through many phases of furniture design as tastes changed. When he followed the French style as a business necessity, for example, he called his furniture "butcher furniture." Because of the different phases, the phrases "early Phyfe" and "late Phyfe" are often used.