19th century

In the 19th century, a great deal happened both in society and in art. In many ways, the century was a period of mixed styles – but although people mixed styles liberally, they did so deliberately.


Different styles came to represent different values, and the way artifacts, individual rooms and entire buildings were shaped depended on the purpose they were intended to fulfil. Archeology, art history and cultural history are examples of academic disciplines founded in the 19th century whose scientific discoveries, systematic classification and description of the ideas and designs of different eras influenced how the various styles were reused.

Thanks to a great many technical and organizational improvements during the 19th century, glass became something that anyone could own. As consumption increased, the number of models available both for everyday use and for decorative purposes increased manyfold. A new phenomenon was the large sets of glassware that became popular as middle-class prosperity increased.

 

Modern interiors of the time featured substantial curtains and draperies, and well-padded sofas, pouffes and cushions, often richly decorated and edged with tassels and fringes.

As a result of technical progress, jewellery production exploded in the 19th century, and the growing middle class provided a constantly expanding customer base. Jewellery was often worn in sets comprising several matching pieces. Exclusive, costly pieces were sold alongside cheaper, mass-produced jewellery.

 

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