|1884 Decker Bros. An 1880s piano is immediately identifiable by the three-paneled jigsaw scrollwork of its front board. This open filigree scrollwork always has repeated patterns, and is backed with rich, brilliantly colored silk. The elaborate legs feature a large top and large base. Victorian pianos have minuscule fold-down music desks, and the cheeks and fallboard are always curved.|
The Victorian Period
The term Victorian generally describes British society from 1837 to 1901, the years of the reign of Queen Victoria; or, in America, the late 19th century. However, the term defines a collection of interrelated attitudes more than an actual time span, and conjures up images of prudery, domesticity, sentimentality, social conservatism, romanticism, fussy and overfurnished parlors, middle-class stuffiness, and the opulence of an upper class of super-rich industrialists.
Recall the world that had come before. In America, many had lived on the frontier, with only the objects necessary for daily subsistence. The new, urban-based industrial age created an abundance of work for the newly arrived immigrants. There was a significant increase in wages for laborers and clerical workers alike, which in turn led to the formation of a growing class of individuals who were comfortable but not rich. The industrial age produced a new materialistic view of the world that encouraged people to consume as much as they could, and people began to collect things.