The furniture design used during the period of King James I and King James II is referred to as Jacobean furniture. This style underwent various changes during this time period under the impact of the different reigns. In the beginning stage the Elizabethan style, which reigned supreme from 1603 to 1688, inspired changes in the Jacobean style. Later the commonwealth style which was stark and sported very little decorations influenced the Jacobean design markedly. In the last stages of the Jacobean style the Flemish Baroque style wrought distinct changes in the furniture style.
Colonial Americans patterned their furniture style based on the early Jacobean furniture designs. But the designs that emerged were very archaic as skilled designers were few and far between at that period. The style that resulted was termed as early American furniture. The furniture that was made during this period was tough and durable. But they were giant sized and very awkward to use. Cupboards, wainscot chairs, circular tables and chests constituted the pieces that evolved during this time. The famous Brewster and Carver chairs, which had spindles occupying the frames of the chairs, were named after the two renowned Colonials of that age.
The wood used for the furniture was mainly from oak and pine wood. Chairs with spindled frames, rounded Spanish legs which had intricate patterns and rush seats characterised the chairs of this period. The tables and chests of drawers had elaborate patterns carved on them with numerous scrolls and opulent panels and twists done on them.
The basic patterns involved in the Jacobean style were very clear-cut and down to earth in quality. Squares and rectangles were the only shapes employed and the fronts were mostly flat and plain. The pieces were joined by pegs and sported mortise and tenon joints. Veneering was done on the furniture making it look lavish and flamboyant. A lot of inlay patterns were also used. Elaborate painting works were done to make these pieces look rich and stylish.
The upholstery for the chairs and settees in the Jacobean style was done with silk, velvet and crewelwork. Some used leather, linen and tapestries too to give the furniture a magnificent and stately look.
If you are in search of true authentic Jacobean style furniture then the auction houses of England are your choice. As most pieces done during this period were tough and durable, they have lasted for many years and some are found to be in good shape even now. The historic Jacobean furniture is very much in demand for the opulence and style it portrays. Many replicas of this style of furniture have come up in the stores making these designs within your reach.