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Restoration Style (1660–1685)

Restoration Style was named Carolean style: during the restoration of Charles II monarchy it was used in England.

Portrait of Charles II; from a picture once in the Oak Room at Cashiobury

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History of Carolean Style

The Carolean style or Restoration Style is about English decorative arts, which became popular after Charles II came back to the throne in 1660. The return from exile on the Continent led brought to the elimination of the Puritan severity in the country. A completely new taste for magnificence and opulence and the introduction of Dutch and French artistic influences created a whole new sensibility.

Charles II portrait bust, Honor Pelle, 1684- Victoria and Albert Museum

Image source: by Yair Haklai

Restoration period Masterpieces

Squerryes Court in Westerham was a beautiful estate of red bricks. This mansion was built for Sir Nicholas Crisp, who purchased Squerryes in A.D. 1680. It is a manor house that was conceived in the Restoration period.

Squerryes Court, Westerham, Kent.

Image source: by L2F1

Ham House in Richmond was restored in the 1670s by the Duke of Lauderdale. The architect was William Samwell. The interiors are richly adorned with baroque murals on the ceilings by Antonio Verrio.

Old Father Thames Statue Outside Ham House, Richmond – London.

Image source: by Jim Linwood

Charles II wanted the architect Hugh May to supervise the modernization of the Royal Apartments in Windsor Castle, the largest baroque State Apartments in England. The extravagant appearance of his new interiors was heightened by very expensive textiles and wonderful tapestries, which, to be preserved, were exposed when the King and Queen lived in residence.

St George’s Hall, Windsor Castle, which was destroyed in the great fire of 1992.

Image source: by Ian A Gratton

Characteristics of Restoration Style

These are the main features of this style:


Flowing forms were a feature of the Restoration style. Particular carvings and high-relief decorations created a sense of dynamism that was gracefully contained by the symmetry of the overall design;


Ornate, rich finishes were very popular. Gold and silver were used to embellish wood and leather;


Spirally twisted forms were used to create supports;


Fruit, flowers, and acanthus leaves had long been used to decorate items of furnitures;

Small desk with folding top , ca. 1685 Marquetry by Alexandre-Jean Oppenordt (Dutch, 1639–1715, active France), French, Paris

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Armchair ca. 1685–89-Walnut; modern velvet, British

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