Victorian Homes Scramble Squares®
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Victorian Homes Scramble Squares®
|Dimensions||11 × 6 × .5 in|
The “Victorian” architectural style originated and thrived during the reign of England’s Queen Victoria, Monarch of Great Britain from her 18th birthday in 1837, when she was elevated to the throne following the death of her uncle, William IV, until her death at the age of 82 in 1901. Victoria’s long reign witnessed a dramatic evolution in English politics and in the expansion of the British Empire. The British Reform Act of 1832 had assigned legislative authority to Parliament’s House of Lords, with executive authority vested in a cabinet formed of members of the House of Commons, removing the monarch from directing the implementation of British law. On February 10th, 1840, only three years after taking the throne, Victoria married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Their relationship was one of great mutual love and admiration, bearing nine children and becoming well known as one of history’s most romantic tragic love stories. Queen Victoria respected and worked well with Prime Minister Lord Melbourne during the early years of her reign, but Prince Albert soon replaced Melbourne as the dominant male influence in Victoria’s life. She was thoroughly devoted to him, and completely submitted to his will. Victoria did nothing without her husband Prince Albert’s approval. Albert assisted in her royal duties and introduced a strict decorum in court, and England developed enormously, both socially and economically. When Albert died from typhoid fever at Windsor Castle on December 14th 1861, Victoria remained in self-imposed seclusion for ten years. The Queen’s own ethics, personal tastes and romantic devotion to Prince Albert gave rise to the English national pride that became connected with the term “Victorian England.”
Victorian architects drew deeply from this romantic era, as well as from nature, geometry, and personal inspiration to create their designs. Although early Victorian structures were relatively simple in style, those built in the United States after the Civil War became more complicated and ornately embellished. Architects advancing the Victorian style combined elements from other architectural styles as inspiration guided them, often resulting in elaborate visual effects. The architectural styles of post-Civil War America became more flamboyant, fueled by wealth created from its new industrial society. Many Victorian interiors were done in the grand manner reflecting their owners and builders. Interiors included smooth plastered walls, often in light colors, marble fireplaces, usually having heavy gold mirrors above them, elaborate ceiling cornices, hand carved pediments over doors, frescoed ceilings and large chandeliers. Victorian interior design advanced heavily molded, yet graceful door frames and wainscoting that complemented contemporary furniture styles. A shift to a brooding medieval interior style resulted in dark colorful interiors, reflective, perhaps, of Queen Victoria’s own self-imposed dark period following her loss of her beloved Albert. Before the latter part of the 19th Century, the houses of the tract builders tended to be monochromatic, usually white, beige or gray, but by the end of Queen Victoria’s reign, many Victorian homes were being painted in more romantic lighter, brighter colors. Today, vibrant colors are one of the more easily identifiable features of Victorian homes.
Many homes from the Victorian architectural period still remain today and are considered the pride of their neighborhoods. Many such homes have been turned into bed and breakfast inns, hotels and some are historical sites open for public tours.