Charles Locke Eastlake
(1836-1909)

Charles Locke Eastlake was born on March 11th, 1836 and was named after his uncle, Sir Charles Lock Easlake (who did not have the "e" in Locke). This artistic uncle probably influenced his nephew's eventual career in art and design. He was a qualified architect but never practiced, instead dedicating his life to designing furniture, interior design, metalwork and jewelry.

Eastlake's highly influential work, "Hints on Household Taste" shaped the styles of many Victorian furniture makers of the time, including the venerable Gustav and Christian Herter - the Herter Brothers. Others influenced include Pottier and Stymus, Kimbel & Cabus, and Daniel Pabst.

The book originated out of a series of articles of the same name published in "The Queen" from 1865 to 1866. The book was published in 1868. Charles stated that his objective was "to suggest some fixed principles of taste for the popular guidance of those who are not accustomed to hear such principles defined."

By 1881 six revisions had been published and furniture produced following Eastlake's guidelines was (and is) known as "Eastlake Furniture". This furniture was not produced by his hand, but influenced by his design principles which promoted good design without the necessity of handcraftsmanship. Easlake had a documented disdain for overly decorative furniture such as those produced during the Rococo Revival period. Eastlake furniture is rectilinear in form, has stylized natural elements, shallow incisings and spindles.

© 2010 Rare Victorian

Other References

Victorian Cabinetmakers