Sunday, January 8, 2012

Regency Furniture 1809 -1815: Ackermann's Repository Series 1

I thought I'd get the New Year of 2012 off to an Ackermann's start and post the wonderful Furniture plates they published for the years 1809-1828.  Back in the Regency your home fashions were just as important as your personal wardrobe so Ackermann's included nearly as many furniture plates as it did fashions in every monthly issue.  I have found these images to be a wonderful treasure trove of digital inspiration and I hope you do too.  My favorite of all the Furniture plates have to be the curtains - I love them so much that I devoted an entire blog post to them in November 2011 that can be seen HERE.  I even digitally altered many of my favorites for easy use in digital artwork and posted those new creations to my deviantART account so other artists could use them too - I hope you take a look at them both.

My top pick for the 1809-1815 furniture plates is this Library Couch from 1811 done in a Regency "Greek Revival" Style
Frame for the above image was created by me and can be found on my deviantART account - HERE

A bit about Ackermann's for those who are new to my Ackermann blog posts.
Ackermann's Repository was a popular periodical, published in England from 1809-1828.
It's full name was "The Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashion, and Politics" published by R. Ackermann. but it was referred to as simply Ackermann's Repository to keep it simple.

These monthly issues were produced with the intention of binding each collection into book form
(2 volumes per year) and so the plates in each issue were were numbered accordingly into 3 series;
Series 1 ran from 1809-1815
Series 2 ran from 1816 - 1822
Series 3 ran from 1823 - 1828

The repository included a wide variety of entertaining articles
including the latest in furnishing trends.

Today I'm posting the hand colored furniture plates that were published for series 1 (1809-1815)

*** See my previous blog posts from June 29, 2011 - Dec 31, 2011 for other Ackermann images.***

Ackermann Repository Furniture Plates from 1809 - 1815

These hand-colored furniture plates from AR series 1 (1809 - 1815) show the popular and cutting edge in home decor for this time period in England.  Those with large disposable incomes would regularly update their home to stay current with the trends just as they regularly changed their wardrobes.  However those of lesser means would have use this information as inspiration for adding accents or key pieces to their homes so as to stay in the" mode" as it were. 

Several styles such as Grecian (neo-classical)  and Gothic were considered acceptable styles throughout 1809-1828 so redecorating to stay in fashion could be as simple as recovering existing furniture in a new fabric, hanging new drapes and painting a room an "in fashion" color.
These are all things that need to be done anyway from time to time to avoid having a "shabby" home; so when you really think about it, it resembles how many of us may update our home too from time to time.

This reminds me it's time to paint my kitchen - giggles.


This was the first year for Ackermann's Repository so the furniture plates they printed
were fairly normal home items such as tables, chairs, sofas and ladies toilet sets.
There was lots of beautiful gilded wood and some amazing trims.
I just love all the trims on the Regency items, be they furniture or fashion.

1809 - Sofa Bed from Ackermann's Repository

1809 - Drawing Room Chair Table and Accessories from Ackermann's Repository

1809 - Chaise Lounge and Window Seat from Ackermann's Repository

1809 - Ladies Secretary and Parlor Chair from Ackermann's Repository

1809 - Library Sofa and Candelabra from Ackermann's Repository

1809 - Ladies Toilet, Fauteuil, Footstool and Chamber Bath from Ackermann's Repository
Fauteuil - an 18th century, open-arm, carved relief, wooden chair with upholstered seat.
Chamber Bath -  A wash basin type of personal bath you would sit in to clean yourself.
(not the full immersion type of bathtubs we have today).

Here is the full Ackermann's description for the above 1809 Ladies Toilet

Ackermann's Description of the Ladies Toilet and Accessories

1809 - Drawing Room Chairs from Ackermann's Repository

Ackermann's Repository showed many furniture items in the Grecian style for 1809.
Beautiful wood with gilding, rich upholstered fabrics and lovely fringes and tassels.

Curtains were also considered part of the furniture plates they published.
These are two Ackermann's published in 1809.
To see all the Regency curtains from Ackermann's click HERE

To me this looks like a leopard spotted curtain and is one of my favorites

1809 - French curtain from Ackermann's Repository


 With the first year of publication behind them Ackermann's Repository chose to show some innovative furnishings and contraptions in their second year of publication.
A circular movable bookcase, convertible globe writing tables, and even a Regency era  invalid chair "wheelchair" was included in the furniture plates for 1810.

1810 - A new innovation - Circular Movable Bookcase from Ackermann's Repository

1810 - Gothic Library Furniture (Sofa, Table, Chair and Footstool) from Ackermann's Repository

1810 - Patent Sideboard and Dining Tables from Ackermann's Repository
 The above image if for the a Patented Sideboard with Dining Tables.
This could be commissioned in any size needed and was made in such a way that the dining tables can be shut up within the sideboard when not in use and the extra table leaves are stored as shown in the middle top drawer of the sideboard.

1810 - Convertible Globe / Writing Table from Ackermann's Repository

1810 - Comfortable Salon and Library Chairs from Ackermann's Repository

1810 - Sideboard and Dining Room Chair from Ackermann's Repository

1810 - Banquette suite of sofa and chair -  furniture for summer or foreign climates from Ackermann's Repository

1810 - Invalid Chair "Wheelchair" from Ackermann's Repository

 Below is the Ackermann's description for this innovative chair.
Ackermann's Repository Description of the Invalid Chair

from Ackermann's Repository

1810 - Innovative Library or Bedroom Chairs with Attached Accessories from Ackermann's Repository

1810 - Curtain Designs from Ackermann's Repository


Ackermann's continued to show us more interesting furniture innovations in the 1811 issues.
Among them were; a ladies convertible work/game table, a library chair that would flip and become a set of steps and the most interesting Merlin's Chair for invalids.

1811 - Swan embellished Circular Sofa from Ackermann's Repository

1811 - Two Drawing Room Chairs from Ackermann's Repository

1811 - Library Couch from Ackermann's Repository

1811 - Military Couch Bed from Ackermann's Repository

1811 - Ladies Work/Game Table from Ackermann's Repository

1811 - Bookcase from Ackermann's Repository

1811 - Merlin's Mechanical Chair and other ideas of modern transportation.
 The above chair as it stands was intended as another version of an invalid chair or "wheelchair" as we might call it; however the article that accompanied it also references may possibilities for a design such as this and I found it to be a most interesting read, so I have included it below.

 The author speculates that it could be powered by a small steam-engine (a Regency motorized wheelchair if you can image that) or that with an alteration in the design the steam powered contraption could be mounted with a small cannon (a Regency personal tank?) or even a new mode of self-moving engine for public conveyance.  I just found this fascinating and I hope you do too.

Ackermann's Description for the Merlin Chair Above

1811 - Convertible Library Chair/Steps from Ackermann's Repository

1811 - Card/Writing/Sofa Table and Trafalgar Chair from Ackermann's Repository
This innovative "gadget" table is a small, square, card table that can be converted into a double reading/writing table so that two persons can sit opposite each other to read or write without being able to overlook what the other - for privacy.  And finally by drawing out the ornamental brackets on either end, the writing/reading surfaces flip down so the item becomes a sofa table.

Two Window Curtain designs were published by Ackermann's in 1811
as part of the Furniture Plates.

1811 - French Window Curtain from Ackermann's Repository

1811 - French Drapery Design from Ackermann's Repository


Ackermann's Repository showed more traditional items of furniture in their 1812 issues;
however some of these items still contained a few fun "extras" to keep them interesting.

1812 - Bed created for the Marquis of Winchester less the family crest and other ornaments.

1812 - Cabinet Piano-Forte from Messrs. Wilkinson & Wornum of Oxford St.

1811 - Library Bookcase and retractable Writing Table

1812 - Ladies Toilette/Dressing Case
This was a most intriguing piece of ladies furniture that just could not be explained in a few words so I have opted to include the full Ackermann's description below for your entertainment.

Description of the above shown Ladies Dressing Case
1812 - Library Table and Chair by Ackermann's Repository

1812 - French Sofa and Drawing Room Chair by Ackermann's Repository

1812 - French Scroll Sofa and Table by Ackermann's Repository

1812 - Furnishings of Candelabrum, Footstool and Table

1812 - Bookcase by Ackermann's Repository

1812 - French curtain for the Library or Morning Room

1812 - Window Curtain for the Drawing Room


Ackermann's published some fairly ordinary furnishings for 1813; however the Pocock patented reclining chair was a bit out of the norm and though they called it a tastefully classic design I believe I would have skipped the gargoyles had I ordered one in 1813.

1813 - State Bed by Ackermann's Repository

1813 - Patent Fireplace - I used the blue part of the surround to create a frame HERE - see full post HERE

1813 - Cabinet and Dwarf Table (table for library, sitting room or boudoir)

Patented Reclining Chair - re-positionable back with double reclining foot-rest and attached table in a classical style.

1813 - A variety of fashionable Footstools

1813 - Antique style Sofa and Table

1813 - 2 chairs

1813 - French Window Treatments and various room accessories

There were also about a half dozen "Gothic" architectural plates published in various 1813 issues. (Conservatory, Hall, Library, Staircase, and Bedchamber).
Click HERE to see the previous post where those items 1813 Gothic items can be seen.


Chairs seemed to be the theme in 1814, most of the furniture plates for that year included at least one. I'm not sure if it were a new trend to replace one's chairs or if it was simply one of the more economical items in furnishings that could be purchased to update the look of a room.

1814 - Library Desk and Chair

1814 - Convertible Writing/Game Table

1814 - Bookcase with Fold-Away Writing Table

1814 - Table and Chair from Carlton House

1814 - Ottoman Couch

1814 - Bedroom Chairs ( I would not want to sit in one of these too long)

1814 - Hall Chairs (an uncomfortable seat for anyone requested to "wait here" by a servant of the house)

1814 - Parlor Chairs (come and sit for a while but don't stay too long)

1814 - Drawing Room Chairs (oh look at my pretty chairs, sit a while but don't dare lean back)

1814 - Window Treatments


Three window treatments and a decorated room were included as
Furniture plates in Ackermann's Repository 1815 issues.

1815 - French Cottage Bed and Chair

1815 - French Sofa, tables and lamp with globe for argand gas light

1815 - Table, Rack and Chair for an Artist or Collector

1815 - Furniture for a Music Room

1815 - Dining and Drawing Room Chairs

1815 - Sofa, Worktable and Candelabrum with argand lamp globe for gas light

1815 - Items that could display artwork such as embroidery or ladies drawings according to the full description in AR

1815 - Furnished French style Bed Chamber including draperies

1815 - Curtain for the Library

1815 - Drawing Room Window Curtain  - similar to that in the French Bed Chamber

1815 - Draperies

I hope you have enjoyed my start to the New Year with the first of 3 posts showing the Regency era furniture plates from Ackermann's Repository.  If you are like me there will be items here you love and others that make you wonder "what were they thinking" but all in all I have to say most of the items are quite beautiful even though many of them did not look very comfortable.
I guess that factor alone would have made you want to get up and move around
rather than to become a couch potato.

Join me again next time for the furnishings in Ackermann's Series 2 (1816 - 1822)

Thanks for visiting me here at

If you have enjoyed seeing these images from Ackermann's Repository 
and would like the opportunity to see and read an original for yourself 
they are are available on line at

Click HERE then choose the volume you are interested in.
You can then see and read them online or download 
them to your computer for future reference.


  1. What a wonderful, informative article, Evelyn! I'm looking forward to the next ones. I've enjoyed looking through your beautiful blog and loved all your lovely projects especially the articulated dolls. Thank you!

    1. Thanks Pink Rufflez - I'm so glad you are enjoying my blog. I've been having a blast with it myself too.

      The past 6 months of posting the amazing images from Ackermann's Repository has been a true labor of love and though I'm in the final posts to wrapping the series up; I'm sure I'll find other interesting things to post about in 2012.

      Thanks for letting me know you like the blog. It is greatly appreciated.


  2. Hi Evelyn, I'm just in love with your blog. I would like to do a writeup about it on my blog (I think many of the people who follow me would love your blog too). I also wondered if you have a blog button? I've added you to my blog list but if you have a button I'd love to add that too. With the writeup I would also like to dispay one of your regency digital pieces if that's ok with you. Thanks Laura

    1. Hi Laura! Thanks so much - I'm a big fan of your site and have been for some time; so yes, I'm thrilled you would want to include information and/or artwork from my blog on your. Go for it!!!

      I created a blog button today so please feel free to use it as well. I've even updated my blog to include your beautiful blog button too. It and it looks so much better than the list format blog links I was originally was using for Artfully Musing.


      FYI - I've made a slight Title change to my blog. It's still but where the old header title use to read EKDuncan - My Fanciful Art Quest it is now EKDuncan "My Fanciful Muse"

  3. Blown away by the images on the site, have spent an hour or so looking through so many cool things, frantically bookmarking them on Pinterest so that I don't forget any of them.

    Thank you so much for taking the time and effort :)

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know you are enjoying my blog Claire!

      I think the images are grand and appreciate knowing others enjoy them too!


  4. Hello!
    Ackermann had the art to illustrate everything that existed in his time.
    This is very valuable for the history.
    Thank you!

    1. Yes - Ackermann's Repository really does give us
      is a great reference on the Regency.

      And thought the images are not exact representations
      as a painting or a photo would be; these sketches have
      a special charm all their own. I also think the descriptions
      and articles are worth their weight in gold, so please remember
      to visit and read some of them for yourself.

      I have a direct link to the Ackermann's issues at the
      bottom of each of my Ackermann posts.

      Happy Reading,