King James I ascended the throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth and this marked the beginning of a new era known as the Jacobean era. Since Jacobean period began immediately after the end of the Tudor dynasty, it was only natural that there would be heavy influence of thoughts and culture on the Jacobean society.
The same can be said to be the case in respect of furniture during Jacobean era. During the early years of Jacobean period, furniture style remained almost the same as the Elizabethan style. However, with change in times, different furniture styles emerged.
Jacobean furniture was heavy, strong and was extremely durable. Oak was mainly used to make the furniture pieces. Pine and Walnut were also used to make furniture. Chairs, tables, stools, beds, chests, etc were some of the furniture that could be found in every house. Some changes in the making of the furniture are peculiar to the Jacobean era.
For instance, during this era, the idea of long tables was also introduced. Women found it particularly difficult to adjust themselves in the chairs with their heavy dresses. So, to tackle the problem Farthingale chairs were introduced so that the women could sit in the chairs with ease.
Chairs displayed a wide range of shapes. For instance, the seats were rectangular and their backs were straight. The legs of tables and chairs were perpendicular. Earlier, the legs of the tables were bulb-shaped. The 'X' shaped chair was a typical feature of the Jacobean period.
One of the special features of Jacobean furniture was use of upholstery on furniture like chairs. Gate leg table was a Jacobean invention. These were made either in circular, rectangular or elliptical shapes. During this period, the embellishment gradually became simpler and smaller, chests of drawers took the place of chests.
Even the drawers and knobs were carved to give it a new look. A chair known as the Farthingale chair was made particularly for women. During the late Jacobean, chairs with leather and embroidered seats were imported from France.
The style of Jacobean beds remained more or less similar to the Elizabethan era. The designs were simple. Cupboards and Chests of the Jacobean period were beautifully carved. Table designs of the Jacobean era underwent certain crucial changes. Firstly, the width of the table was increased and secondly, the table top could be folded into two parts.