The Tudor Revival Style




The Romantic English revival period gained popularity in the United States in the early 20th century. This style was partially influenced by the Queen Anne movement that took place during the end of the Victorian era. Aesthetic reformers proposed a sweeter, simpler lifestyle, and a simpler house to live in. Additionally, English style houses became popular during this time because of the intrigue with the picturesque. The Arts and Crafts movement, which took place in concurrence with the English revival period, encouraged the idea of living in what looked like a simpler time in the design of the home. Furthermore, English style houses were popular for their symbolic value. The late 19th-Century, and the early 20th-Century brought many immigrants of non-Anglo-Saxon heritage to the United States. Residents of English speaking Anglo-Saxon heritage that had lived in the United States for generations, built more English style houses to assert their heritage. For those without Anglo roots, the English house became a symbol of aspiration and good taste.


The Tudor Revival house was one of a few types of English style houses that were popular during this time. Other popular style included English Cottage and English Country house. Tudor was the name of the royal dynasty of English kings and queens that included Henry the 8th and Elizabeth the 1st. During the Tudor period, which took place in the 16th century, the construction of more durable houses led to a greater survival rate, and a larger number of houses were built that could be generalized into a style.


The Tudor revival style incorporates characteristics of English houses that were built during the time of Tudor ruled England. The half timbering of the house is the distinct characteristic that immediately points to the Tudor Revival style. Other characteristics that may help you identify a Tudor styled house include steeply pitched roofs, multiple front facing gables, asymmetrical floor plans, overhanging second floor, arrangements of tall, narrow, diamond-pane casement windows, and decorative brickwork.

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Inside an early 20th century Tudor revival house, you might find lots of dark colored wood and metal. Tudor revival chandeliers were typically shaped with a central ring hanging from a metal chain, with holders shaped for candlesticks. Additional half-timbering might be found on the ceiling of large rooms or stairwells. Light fixtures and furnishings will typically have ornamentation that has shapes similar to those seen on a heraldic crest or coat of arms. This includes shields, helmets, animals, foliage or vines, spade shapes, sword shapes, and the fleur-de-lis.


Tudor architecture has a profuse use of heraldic badges that typically include animals that symbolize certain traits. The benefit of putting heraldic decoration on a furnishing allows the combination of utility and adornment. The coat of arms of English gentry families was well recorded in the 16thcentury, and the ornaments used in heraldic crests that were so commonly seen were incorporated as ornaments into Tudor style architecture. The fire-breathing dragon, which was popular in English folklore during the middle ages. The dragon, was used in many coat of arms, as a symbol of guard and defender with keen sight and valiance. Dragons were perceived as powerful and protective. Other popular animals used as heraldry symbols included griffins, owls, and lions. These heraldry symbols, commonly seen during the Tudor period, were loosely incorporated in the Tudor revival period of the beginning of the 20th century.


Tudor Heraldry Symbols



The dragon is supposed to have a keen sight, which enables it to guard treasures well. It is also said to be the most valiant of creatures; therefore, the dragon is a symbol of a most valiant defender of treasure.
Dragons were perceived as powerful, protective, and with barbed tongues and have wings like bats with the ribs extending to the very edge of the skin.
In heraldry, great differences can be found in the way their ears are drawn and in almost all modern representations the tail is barbed, though the dragons of the Tudor period in England invariably had smooth tails.



The griffin is a mythical creature, with the head, wings and talons of an eagle and the body and hind legs of a lion. It is thus composed of the most royal of the birds and the beasts.
The griffin was thought to find and guard mines of gold and hidden treasures. It is a distinctive feature of the griffin is that it has ears, which are large and stand up from its head.
This is the only feature that differentiates a griffin’s head from an eagle’s. In heraldry, the griffin can be found in all sorts of positions but a female griffin’s wings are never closed.
A male griffin, for some reason, does not have wings’ instead it is adorned with spikes at various points on its body and the male griffin is seldom found.
In the middle ages hybrids such as this one were assumed to be possible and to actually exist, just as a mule, which is a cross between a horse and a donkey. Mules were known to not be able to reproduce though, so it seemed logical that a hybrid like a griffin would not be able to either. This explained why griffins were so rare and hardly ever seen.


The owl symbolizes on who is vigilant and quick-witted.
The owl is always depicted in heraldry with its face affronte, or facing the observer, though the body is not usually so placed.


The Tudor revival style was most popular in suburbs of the 1920′s. We at Architectural Antiques had previously salvaged a Tudor revival style house from that time period where we’re located in Minneapolis. Tudor revival houses had most of their more exquisite hanging lights in the main public areas of the house, and fitted the private areas on the second floor of the house with flushmount lights. With the very distinctive switch to completely fitting houses with electric lights, lighting manufacturers marketed new lights with less wires hanging out everywhere, as more modern, and a more effective way of wiring one’s house. 


the tudor revival style in our inventory


Cast Brass Floral Pulls

These pulls feature a popular motif of the Tudor revival period, which included a flower on top of a flower. Flower designs were commonly used as heraldry symbols during the English Tudor period, and were incorporated into many designs of Tudor revival ornamentation and hardware. During the Tudor revival period of the early 20th century, brass was commonly used for hardware. The deep hue of the brass pulls that is highly attractive for designing an elegant and functional space, and can also match other burnished or off-gold colored hardware. Use these intricately detailed pulls on kitchen or bathroom cabinetry.


Tudor hammered iron double bulb flushmounts

This flushmount light would have likely been used in the upper floors of a Tudor revival house, were the more simple design would go in private spaces of the house, rather than those used to entertain guests. The radiating symmetrical design references the shape of a Tudor rosette detail, and the bulb holders take the shape of a flower petals. Place this light in a bathroom, kitchen, or hallway where some extra direct lighting is needed.


Tudor hammered iron single bulb flushmounts

This simple floushmount light successfully combine ascetics and function. The light uses the Tudor rosette detail, and was salvaged from a Tudor revival house. Tudor revival houses were of great popularity in the 1920s suburbs. Add this light near a bedside, right above a kitchen sink, or near a spot in for reading to add extra light with a decorative flare.


 Silver plated entry pendant

This pendant light references the Tudor style in its use of heraldry crest ornamentation, and diamond shaped leaded glass, which is the most classic form seen in Tudor style leadlight windows. The light also features helmet, shield, crest, and lion ornaments, which were commonly used symbols used in English decoration of the middle ages. The metal casing also features tiny rosette details that add a whole new level of intricacy to the pendant. Place this pendant light as the focal point in an entrance hallway or porch area in your own medieval home.


Deco Chandelier pair

The beginning of the 20th century saw a variety of style in lighting fixtures and their detailing. Shell shaped slipper shades were commonly seen in lighting fixtures of the time. This light mixes Art Deco with curved, twisting vines that reference floral ornamentation, rounded arch details, and an upside down spade shape that references a fleur de-lis shape of the Tudor revival period. The detailing in the light shades also feature more geometric crest shapes. This chandelier, made by the Lincoln Manufacturing Company, one of the biggest makers of slipper shades, is a presentation piece.  The Lincoln Lighting Company was one of the major lighting fixture manufacturers in the 1920's and 1930's and produced a wide range of ornate lighting solutions for homes and businesses in the United States. The Company was known for their quality and design, and seemed to target the growing middle class with their price points.


Walnut corner cabinets with hammered pewter knobs

Tudor revival homes of the beginning of the 20th century were known for the use of dark wood cabinetry.  The top of this cabinet include shape that looks like the top of a shield or crest. The glass in the upper cabinet door is separated into multiple panes, a feature you’re likely to see in Tudor style windows, and is in the shape of a Tudor style arch. The cabinet door knob even has the look of being hand-hammered, a feature of medieval hardware. Place this corner cabinet in a living room or dining room with other dark colored wood, or if your house had it, Tudor style half-timbering on its ceiling.


Dragon pendant light

This light is exemplarily displays the characteristics of the Tudor period in its use of English folklore dragon silhouettes, twisted metal roping details, scrolling flared metal attachments, and the overall shape of a ring hanging from a chain. Dragons featured on English coat of arms of the Middle Ages symbolized power, protection, and valiance. The cutouts of within the ring add an extra dimension to the metal ring, from which you can spy the fiery orange shades. Hang this pendant light in a space with a high ceiling, like an entry way, a large room for entertaining, or a stairwell.


Tudor 5 candle chandelier

This chandelier displays many common features of the Tudor revival style including rounded arch shapes, hand hammered looking iron, and curling, flared out metal ends. Pointed fleur-di-lis shaped silhouettes, a symbol used in the coat of arms of English royalty, line the metal ring, resting above sunburst cutouts. The ring shaped light would likely be found hung from a decorative timber framed ceiling. Place this chandelier in a dining room above a central table, in a kitchen above a central island or table, or even in a master bedroom, adjacent to a centrally placed bed.


Nickel plated knob

These carefully crafted knobs were salvaged from a Tudor revival style home in Minneapolis. Metal that resembled a hand forged finish was typical for most hardware of the period. To create this look, a rotary tool or simply a hammer with a small point can be used to press into the metal, using a stippling motion, to overlay the surface in small dents. Nickel hardware fits well with stained wood doors, as the luster of the metal and the vibrancy of wood finish complement each other. Use this knob set for a door with a multi-pane window, or an arched door in the Tudor style.


Iron Tudor Sconces

These sconces take characteristics of the Tudor revival style including spiraling metal detailing that ends in a distinctive point, scrolling metal that ends in flared out curls, hand hammered looking metal, and the use of candle shaped lights with spade shaped points on the candle stick holders. The double arm sconce also includes a carefully crafted metal ornament at the top the references the shape of a fleur-di-lis. The back plate also reflects Tudor forms that resemble a skinny crest shape. Place this sconces on both sides of a door or window, or at points along a hallway.


Iron Tudor Scroll arm flushmounts

These flushmount light fixtures reference the Tudor period with its use of metal that look as though it was hand hammered, scrolling metal arms that flare out at the ends, and the use of a candle stick shaped light. A small Gothic crocket detail sits above the candle stick shaped light, while flower ornaments attach to the scroll work. The two scroll arm light features a candle holder that references the shape of a sword hilt, while the four arm scroll light features twisted metal that evolves into a point at the bottom of the fixture. Many metal Tudor style light fixtures that used candle shaped lights had pointed end pieces below the candle holder. Mount the intricately crafted lights in a hallway, or at a series of points along a kitchen ceiling.


Crystal Flushmount

This crystal flushmount light was salvaged from a 1920’s Tudor revival house in Minneapolis. A was common for the placement of flushmount lights in houses of the 1920’s, this fixture was on the second floor of the house, where most of the rooms were for private family use, rather than entertaining guests. However, this light could surely be a special piece with its use of crystals. The floral detailing on the upper portion of the fixture features ornamentation based of the Tudor style including, the fleur-di-lis, overlapping flowerets, and scrolling foliage. Mount this light in the same room as other pieces including ornamental detailing.


Roll top desk

During the Tudor revival period, the role top desk, which is a combination of the older style pedestal desk and cylinder desk, could have been easily mass-produced. The simple wooden slats could be manufactured very quickly in a uniform way. The roll top desk was the mainstay of the small or medium-sized office at the end of the 19th century, and the beginning of the 20th century. The hand hammered look of the hardware is distinctive of the Tudor revival style. 


Hammered Andiron Set

This unique andiron set features skinny crests with rosette ornamentation that references the long, skinny shaped detailing in Tudor doors and ornaments. The hammered look of the metal completes the materiality of the piece.