Throughout history there have been innumerous resurfacings of previous style periods where a once favored mode of design has become repopularized and brought into a modern culture as an homage to the antiquated and a nod to a future unknown and unseen. One such example would be the Gothic Revival, or Neo-Gothic, period of the mid nineteenth century which was highly in demand during the Victorian Era.
In terms of its influence on antiquities and design, there was a direct and distinct correlation with the medieval epoch. This is clear in many of the stylistic touches. Following are some common identifiable features: pointed arches as decorative elements and as window shapes, decorative crowns (gable or drip mold), decorative tracery (ornamental openwork patterns), and the use of heavy woods finished in a dark stain (such as rosewood, oak and walnut). Upholstery choices are typically conceived in heavier fabrics such as velvet, brocade or leather and design elements include trefoil and quatrefoil shapes, pointed arches and gargoyles. These are expressed using heavy, intricate carvings on tables, chairs and beds. Many of the antiquities constructed during this period also mimic buildings in style and form.
Furniture with elaborate painted scenes was a hallmark of the Gothic Revival style. This usually incorporated architectural elements resulting from a serious study of the art, architecture and design of the Middle Ages. Figures in medieval clothing are often included, as was the incorporation of heraldic motifs, such as coats of arms. Additionally, Gothic script was frequently used on pieces in this era.
This period was reflective of the sentiments and leanings of the era and as such has been written into history.
“Historically, art has always had a market. When one medieval fiefdom defeated another they would drag back its jewels, gold, tapestries and art objects as the spoils of war. Art equaled power, riches and culture.“