Jacobean is the name used for furniture made by English designers from the period ranging from the rule of King James I to King James II. However, Jacobean furniture had been influenced by different reasons throughout this time. Elizabethan furniture influenced the first Jacobean furniture. The second period of Jacobean furniture was influenced by the commonwealth furniture, it was a simple design and it was not decorated. The last Jacobean furniture period was in the time called Carolean period in the reign of King Charles II. Flemish Baroque designers influenced the last period of Jacobean furniture.
Those who went to colonize America copied early Jacobean furniture; however their furniture was not as elaborate as the English one because of fewer skilled people in America. The Americans gave the name ‘Early American’ to their version of Jacobean furniture.
The Jacobean furniture was known for its large size and its sturdiness, it could last longer however it was very uncomfortable. The pieces that were produced in large numbers were cupboards, chests, trestle tables, circular tables and wainscot chairs. There were also chairs called Brewster or Carver made by filling the straight frames with small spindles. Those chairs were named after two colonists in America at that time.
The Jacobean furniture was made mostly from oak or pine. Chairs were made by splitting spindles, their feet were carved in Spanish style and they were made with a rush seat. The trestle, chests, and cupboards were beautified by Flemish scrolls, carving panels or ornamental twists. With all these designs, the Jacobean furniture of that period were very formal and appeared stately.
The construction of the Jacobean furniture was simple, it needed only assembling the mortise with tenon joints and to hold them with pegs. The lines were square or rectangular with a flat front surface. The ornate look was added by the inlay or veneering techniques. Sometimes the pieces had to be painted to add style to them.
The material use to upholster the Jacobean furniture was of high quality. The materials were silk, crewelwork, tapestries, velvet, or linen; sometimes leather was used for upholstering too.
If you want Jacobean furniture, you can get it from most of the auctions in England. You can get one which is as old as 100 years and still in good condition because they were made to last. However, if you need a new one, you can get it by getting in touch with manufacturers who are involved in reproduction of Jacobean furniture.