Ancient furniture came about after the the retreat of the last ice age. Ancient furniture started coming about when the hunter-gatherer communities began to acquire the skills of agriculture. There is evidence of ancient art still surviving to this day, but ancient furniture was made of wood. The furniture had rotted away long ago. Our knowledge of ancient furniture comes from the surviving art from that time period.
Ancient Egyptian furniture is almost the only surviving example of ancient furniture. Egyptians believed that all their possessions could be taken with them into the afterlife. The Egyptian furniture was preserved in the sealed tombs of the dead. Almost all the chairs were concave. And all furniture that had legs usually had animal feet on the bottom of the legs. Egyptian furniture is often times what inspired future furniture styles.
The history of Greek furniture can be traced back to Egyptian furniture. Greek furniture styles were stylish, simple and elegant. There were carvings in the wood of the furniture, but it was never over decorated with designs. The Greek houses were never over cluttered with furniture. Furniture was made for comfort instead of decoration. Yet, all of their furniture took on a beautiful and elegant look.
Greek Bedstead with a table
Roman's did not have much furniture in their homes. Romans usually preferred to have space and simplicity instead of a lot of furniture. Instead of having a lot of furniture, they usually had mosaics and water features to make their home beautiful. Today, there is a lot of furniture that we take for granted and that the Romans did not have. They did not have mirrors hanging on their walls. They did not have desks or dressers. No mantles and hat racks. They didn't have curio cabinets or book shelves. Their main furniture was a bed or couch, chairs or stools, tables and lamps.
Interior of an ancient Roman house
American settlers made furniture based on their experiences. They were trying to experiment and find out what suited them best. They were building their own homes and learning to grow their own crops. Some of their furniture was based on that of the homeland. But a majority of their furniture was made just to suit their lives.
Many different cultures furnished their homes in different ways. Some cultures and countries had a great impact on how furniture is today. Other cultures preferred to not have a lot of furniture at all. These are only a few of the cultures that have had a great impact on furniture making and artistry.
Furniture is and always will be a testament to how life used to be in different parts of the world. It gives us an overview of the way how ideas were conceived in different times, in different parts of the World with regard to acquiring comfort living.