Periods of Histroy

Each of our items is dated and quite often names of monarchs are used to describe an era. This section explains the meaning of some of the terms we use to describe antiques.

Circa – Approximately (Commonly used term in the antiques trade to give approximate date of an item)

17th, 18th, 19th and 20th Century – The 17th century is anything dated from 1601 – 1700. The 18th century is anything dated from 1701 – 1800. The 19th century is anything dated from 1801 – 1900. The 20th century is anything dated from 1901 – 2000.

William & Mary - The phrase William and Mary usually refers to the coregency over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, of spouses (and first-cousins) King William III (William II in Scotland) and Queen Mary II. Their joint reign began in February 1689, when they were offered the throne by the Parliament of England, replacing James II (James VII in Scotland), Mary's father and William's uncle/father-in-law, who was "deemed to have fled" the country in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Parliament offered them co-regency at the couple's behest. After Mary died in 1694, William ruled alone until his death in 1702. William and Mary were childless and were ultimately succeeded by Mary's younger sister, Anne.

William III & Mary II

Queen Anne - (6 February 1665 – 1 August 1714) ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain. Anne was plagued by ill-health throughout her life. From her 30s onwards, she grew increasingly lame and corpulent. Anne died without any surviving children and was the last monarch of the House of Stuart. Under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, she was succeeded by her second cousin George I of the House of Hanover, who was a descendant of the Stuarts through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, daughter of James I (James IV of Scotland).

Queen Anne

Georgian - The Georgian era is a period of British history, normally defined as including the reigns of the kings George I, George II, George III and George IV, i.e. covering the period from 1714 to 1830, (with the sub-period of the Regency, defined by the Regency of George IV as Prince of Wales during the illness of his father George III). Sometimes the reign of William IV (1830 to 1837) is also included. The term "Georgian" is normally used in the contexts of architecture and social history. 

George I – The period of history between 1714 and 1727. George was born on 28 May 1660 in Hanover, Germany, the eldest son of the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In 1682, George married his cousin Sophia and they had two children. A decade later, he divorced her for alleged infidelity and imprisoned her in a castle until her death in 1726.

George I

George II – The period of history between 1727 and 1760. In 1743, George led his troops into battle against the French at Dettingen, he was the last British king to fight alongside his soldiers. George died on 25 October 1760.

George IIGeorge II

George III – The period of history between 1760 and 1820. He became heir to the throne when his father died in 1751, succeeding his grandfather George II in 1760. He was the first Hanoverian monarch to use English as his first language. George III was the third Hanoverian king of Great Britain. During his reign Britain lost its American colonies but emerged as a leading power in Europe. He suffered from recurrent fits of madness and after 1810, his son acted as regent.

George III

Regency – Regency may be a period of time when a regent reigns (a non-ceremonial monarchy holds power) in the name of the current monarch, or in the name of the Crown itself, if the throne is vacant. Specific political eras derived from this usage and artistic style periods named after these. Regency refers to characteristics of the style, especially in furniture, prevalent in England during the period 1811-1820 of George, Prince of Wales (later George IV). 

George IV – The period of history between 1820 and 1830. King George IV was known for his self-indulgence and short attention span. Together with his evident ability to abandon political principles and to forget friendships, he won little praise. He became depressed by his evident failure to reinvent himself, as monarch and the ailing king withdrew himself into a fantasy world of laudanum and alcohol!

George IV

William IV – The period of history between 1830 and 1837. William IV was not initially intended to succeed the throne but his marriage to Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen and the death of George III's second son meant he became the heir. He was initially very popular, his insistence on a simple coronation contrasting with the extravagance of his brother's reign.

William IVWilliam IV

Victorian – The period of history between 1837 and 1901. Queen Victoria’s reign defines this era as a time of great change in Britain. In terms of furniture an eclectic mix of styles and excessive ornamentation became common. Plump, heavily upholstered furniture featured heavily as well as flowers, birds and animal decoration being portrayed realistically rather than the previously stylised versions of art nouveau.


Edwardian – The period of history between 1901 and 1910. The Edwardian period lasted a mere nine years from when Queen Victoria’s reign ended and King Edward VII was crowned king. The Edwardian style is fresh and light, informal, feminine. Furniture of the era includes bamboo and wicker, flowers/floral patterned pieces and pastel colours.

Edward VII

George V - The period of history between 1910 and 1936. George was a grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and He was monarch through the First World War (1914-1918). His reign saw the rise of socialism, communism, fascism, Irish republicanism, and the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape. He was plagued by illness throughout much of his later reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII in 1936.

George V

Reproduction – ‘Something reproduced, especially in the faithfulness of its resemblance to the form and elements of the original.’ The term reproduction refers to an item that has been made to look like a copy of an antique piece. (Any item that is reproduction and not antique is clearly labelled as such on our website and in our shop.)

Art Nouveau - Art Nouveau is an international movement and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that peaked in popularity at the turn of the 20th century (1890–1905). A reaction to academic art of the 19th century, it is characterized by organic, especially floral and other plant-inspired motifs, as well as highly-stylized, flowing curvilinear forms. Art Nouveau is an approach to design according to which artists should work on everything from architecture to furniture, making art part of everyday life.

Art Deco – Art Deco was a popular international design movement from 1925 until 1939, affecting the decorative arts such as architecture, interior design, and industrial design, as well as the visual arts such as fashion, painting, the graphic arts, and film. Its popularity peaked in Europe during the Roaring Twenties and continued strongly in the United States through the 1930s. Although many design movements have political or philosophical roots or intentions, Art Deco was purely decorative. At the time, this style was seen as elegant, functional, and modern.

Meiji Period - The Meiji period, also known as the Meiji era, is a Japanese era which extended from September 1868 through July 1912. This period represents the first half of the Empire of Japan during which Japanese society moved from being an isolated feudalism to its modern form. Fundamental changes affected its social structure, internal politics, economy, military, and foreign relations.