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Furniture HistoryFurniture has been a part of the human experience since the development of non-nomadic cultures. Evidence of furniture from antiquity survives in the form of paintings, such as the wall Murals discovered at Pompeii; sculpture, and examples have been excavated in Egypt and found in tombs in Ghiordes, in modern day Turkey.
- The Classical World Early furniture has been excavated from the 8th-century B.C. Phrygian tumulus, the Midas Mound, in Gordion, Turkey. Pieces found here include tables and inlaid serving stands. There are also surviving works from the 9th-8th-century B.C. Assyrian palace of Nimrud. The earliest surviving carpet, the Pazyryk Carpet was discovered in a frozen tomb in Siberia and has been dated between the 6th and 3rd century B.C.. Recovered Ancient Egyptian furniture includes a 3rd millennium B.C. bed discovered in the Tarkhan Tomb, a c.2550 B.C. gilded set from the tomb of Queen Hetepheres, and a c. 1550 B.C. stool from Thebes. Ancient Greek furniture design beginning in the 2nd millennium B.C., including beds and the klismos chair, is preserved not only by extant works, but by images on Greek vases. The 1738 and 1748 excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii introduced Roman furniture, preserved in the ashes of the 79 A.D. eruption of Vesuvius, to the eighteenth century
- The Dark Ages:
The furniture of the Middle Ages was usually heavy, oak, and ornamented with carved designs. Along with the other arts, the Italian Renaissance of the fourteenth and fifteenth century marked a rebirth in design, often inspired by the Greco-Roman tradition. A similar explosion of design, and renaissance of culture in general, occurred in Northern Europe, starting in the fifteenth century. The seventeenth century, in both Southern and Northern Europe, was characterized by opulent, and often gilded Baroque designs that frequently incorporated a profusion of vegetal and scrolling ornament. Starting in the eighteenth century, furniture designs began to develop more rapidly. Although there were some styles that belonged primarily to one nation, such as Palladianism in Great Britain, others, such as the Rococo and Neoclassicism were perpetuated throughout Western Europe.
- The Baroque and Rococo: The nineteenth is usually defined by concurrent revival styles, including Gothic, Neoclassicism, Rococo and the Eastlake Movement. The design reform of the late century, introduced the Aesthetic movement and the Arts and Crafts movement. Art Nouveau was influenced by both of these movements. The first three-quarters of the twentieth century are often seen as the march towards Modernism. Art Deco, De Stijl, Bauhaus, Wiener WerkstÃ¤tte, and Vienna Secession designers all worked to some degree within the Modernist idiom. Postmodern design, intersecting the Pop art movement, gained steam in the 1960s and 70s, promoted in the 80s by groups such as the Italy-based Memphis movement. Transitional furniture is intended to fill a place between Traditional and Modern tastes.
- Asian History: Asian furniture has a quite distinct history. The traditions out of China, India and Japan are some of the best known, but places such as Korea, Mongolia, and the countries of South East Asia have unique facets of their own. Traditional Japanese furniture is well known for its minimalist style, extensive use of wood, high quality craftsmanship and reliance of wood grain instead of paintings or thick lacquers. Japanese chests are known as Tansu, and are some of the most sought after of Japanese antiques. The antiques available generally date back to the Tokugawa era. Chinese furniture is traditionally known better for more ornate pieces. The use of un-carved wood and bamboo and the use of heavy lacquers are well known Chinese styles. It is worth noting that China has an incredibly rich and diverse history, and architecture, religion, furniture and culture in general among many other aspects can vary widely from one dynasty to the next.