Faux Bamboo – Fashionable Orientalism in the Victorian era

Rocking Chair Victorian 1880s Turned Wood Faux Bamboo

A Faux Bamboo 1880s Rocking Chair


Orientalism is the term used by art historians, literary academics, and comparative cultural scholars for the imitation of aspects in Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. It tended to be a romanticized mishmash of what the Western world though of as ‘exotic’. Orientalism affected fashions in clothing, furniture, paintings and jewellery. It started in the 18th century, but it was at its height during the 19th century, and still lingers on into the 20th and 21st centuries.

Faux Bamboo Wardrobe

Faux Bamboo Wardrobe

Bamboo-constructed and decorated furniture was all the rage. Of course, this meant there were occasions when there was a shortage of real bamboo furniture to meet the demand. And so the faux bamboo look was created, where wooden furniture was turned, carved and painted to resemble bamboo furniture.

Imitation bamboo cupboard

Imitation bamboo cupboard

Faux bamboo furniture was made along the lines of traditional furniture, which is why there are still examples around today.

Classic English style faux bamboo Armoire

Faux Bamboo French Armoire


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Filed under Fashion, History, Orientalism, Steampunk Aesthetic, Uncategorized, Victorian Era, Victorian-era Fashion

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