What Was The Furniture Style The Year You Were Born Antique Victorian Furniture – Who Was Alexander Roux?

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Antique Victorian Furniture – Who Was Alexander Roux?

Alexander Roux (pronounced “Roo”) was one of the leading cabinetmakers of the Victorian era in America, and today his name commands great respect around the world. antique victorian furniture.

Roux was born in France in 1813 and trained in a Rococo Revival style guild in his native country. He emigrated to the United States in the 1830s. And in 1836 (perhaps 1837) he opened a store in New York. Because French furniture was in vogue in New York at the time, Roux referred to himself as “the French cabinetmaker” in his advertisements and on the furniture.

His business prospered. In the 1850s, it employed 120 craftsmen. Roux used new technologies such as steam saws and milling machines that allowed him to quickly shape wood. This gave him more time to work on his fantastically ornate carvings.

Roux is best known for his Rococo pieces, but he hardly limited himself to that style. In fact, he brought his mastery to bear on the changing fashions of the day: the Gothic Revival of the 1840s; Elizabethan and Renaissance except Rococo in the 1850s; Modern Greek in the 1860s.

Roux created high quality pieces for elite clients such as William B. Astor. In 1853 he exhibited his work at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in New York. Roux’s business was extremely profitable. In the 1870s, he reportedly earned as much as $500,000, a huge sum for the day.

Roux was married three times and had six children. For one year, in 1847, his brother Frederick joined the firm. Roux himself eventually retired in 1881 and passed the business on to his son Alexandre J. Roux, who ran it until 1898.

Roux’s store occupied a number of locations in New York, including five different locations on Broadway and one on Fifth Avenue. Nineteenth-century America, with its new wealth and technology, proved the ideal place for Roux to develop his unique craft.

His work shows individuality of thought and freedom of form, which makes it highly sought after by collectors today antique victorian furniture. His rococo pieces contain an unusual variety of naturalistic carvings, such as pomegranates and pineapples, heads of deer, wolves and dogs, crabs, lobsters and other sea creatures. Roux preferred decorative woods such as walnut, even using the same as secondary interior woods.

In 2000, one of Roux’s elaborate sideboards was displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in an exhibit titled Art and the Empire City, 1825-1861.

Alexander Roux died in 1886.

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