Door and window trims were bold and heavy in detail and, when any attempt was made at ornamentation beyond flat, rectangular mouldings, Greek key fret and anthemion motifs generally appeared and also square thistle or acanthus leaf paterae at the angles. The panels of doors and shutters were small, with the occasional exception of large panels in the lower halves of doors, and were defined by a number of small, flat mouldings which often gave them a complex appearance. The woodwork was usually painted white, although such pale colours as pearl or light grey were now and then used by way of variety. Green, or sometimes white, Venetian blinds were much in fashion at this period and added a touch of decorative interest to the windows which otherwise they would not have possessed. Floors were of plain boards without any essay at adornment. In hallways marble tiles were sometimes used, either solid white or black and white chequered.

Plaster decoration consisted of moulded cornices and of ceiling borders and central ornaments that echoed the motifs of the woodwork in the manner already mentioned as occurring in contemporary houses in England. Ceiling borders were not invariably used, but the central ornaments in the larger and more important rooms were rarely omitted as they formed a point of departure from the ceiling for the imposing chandelier which had by now come to be regarded as an almost indispensable adjunct.

Mantel-pieces of black or dark grey veined marble, oftentimes with two plain pillars supporting the shelf, were in common use. White marble and wood painted white, and fashioned in the same pattern, were also much used. In some of the more elegantly equipped rooms the low mantels of white marble were elaborately carved in the current French style and in some instances displayed griffin or caryatid side supports instead of the pillars just alluded to. These latter pieces of sculpture were really very beautiful and imparted an air of elegance and distinction to any room in which they were placed, quite sufficient to redeem any impression of heaviness conveyed by the other items of fixed equipment.

The architectural and decorative mode that followed the Classic Revival, which, indeed, grew from it and into which the Classic Revival gradually declined when its period of decadence set in, is discussed in Chapter IX (Nineteenth Century Episodes And After).

Furniture And Decoration

In the early part of the eighteenth century - the last years of the reign of William and Mary and the reign of Queen Anne - every article of furniture that we now have was in use and, besides this, there were some things that we have since allowed to fall more or less into oblivion to our own great decorative loss. While many of the mobiliary fashions of an earlier date persisted to some extent - the panelled oak pieces and the more elaborate walnut creations of late Stuart times and the walnut, mar-queterie and lacquer achievements of the William and Mary era - and especially in the provincial towns and country districts, a new and powerful influence in furniture design was everywhere apparent. This new element has been called the curvilinear influence and was particularly manifest in the prevalence of cabriole legs for seating furniture, tables and cabinet work, shaped aprons for tables and wall furniture, shaped and curving tops or cresting for bureau bookcases, cupboards, cabinets, highboys and other pieces of wall furniture, shaped heads with cyma curves for panelling and mirror tops, and even the introduction of curved lines into structural features such as the fronts of bombe or "kettle-front' ' cabinets and chests of drawers. This influence came into England directly through Dutch channels, but was only one instance of similar concurrent influences prevailing throughout Europe which may be attributed to a complex and mixed Baroque and Oriental parentage.

Although oak continued to be used to some extent for furniture making, the favourite and fashionable, and we (may also say the standard, wood was walnut, either solid or as a figured veneer laid on over a base of oak or of some other wood. The cabinet makers of the period, however, did not restrict themselves in their finer work to the expression of their talents in walnut alone. They made considerable use of other woods which increasing commercial facilities were placing within their grasp; they freely employed marqueterie in the more refined "sea weed" patterns which had superseded the larger multi-colored floral and foliated motifs; they continued to produce many pieces of lac-quer, admirable in colour - red, green, cream, yellow, blue, brown, silver and black - and in decoration; they decorated not a few pieces with paint and parcel gilding; they strained various fabrics over carved and moulded wood bases; and last, but not least in significance, under the impetus of designs furnished by such men as Kent and his school, who required pieces of a certain scale and pomp to accord with the stately interiors then being created, they executed massive and heavily carved tables and consoles, coated with gesso richly gilt and topped with slabs of marble or vari-coloured scagliola, as well as other pieces in a similar monumental vein to match.

About 1720 mahogany began to be used and the advent of this wood as a material for furniture construction opened the way for developments in both structure and ornamentation that would not have been possible in any of the previous media. Before speaking more explicitly, however, of the changes induced by the popularisation of mahogany as a cabinet wood, attention should be called to what has aptly been termed "Architects' Furniture," a species of mobiliary equipment that exercised a profound effect upon the appearance of a great many interiors during the first half of the eighteenth century. Architects were designing stately rooms with lofty ceilings and broad wall spaces on a scale and in a style hitherto unknown in England. For these spacious interiors the "small calibre" furniture of the familiar "Queen Anne" pattern was totally inadequate in scale and often unsatisfactory in the minutiae of style. The want of something more imposing was partially filled by the heavy carved and gilded pieces * of which mention has already been made, but there was still an obvious need for something further in the way of large case work. And this further need was met by the architects who proceeded to design large bookcases, cupboards, presses and cabinets in a scale commensurate with the positions they were to occupy and in a style that was distinctly architectural in conception, even to the details of ornamentation, free use being made of pillars, pilasters, entablatures, pediments of various types, urns and cornices whose every feature was transferred from architectural to mobili-ary usage. This was one step farther than, and a logical development from, the built-in cupboards and buffets previously discussed. This " architects' furniture" was constructed either in the natural cabinet woods current at the time, chiefly walnut and mahogany, or else was made of pine or deal and painted to accord with the fixed woodwork of the room in which it was placed.