Illustrated History of Furniture eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 273 pages of information about Illustrated History of Furniture.
had adopted the general change.  During this period the bahut or chest has become a cabinet with all its varieties; the simple prie dieu chair, as a devotional piece of furniture, has been elaborated into almost an oratory, and, as a domestic seat, into a dignified throne; tables have, towards the end of the period, become more ornate, and made as solid pieces of furniture, instead of the planks and tressels which we found when the Renaissance commenced.  Chimney pieces, which in the fourteenth century were merely stone smoke shafts supported by corbels, have been replaced by handsome carved oak erections, ornamenting the hall or room from floor to ceiling, and the English livery cupboard, with its foreign contemporary the buffet, is the forerunner of the sideboard of the future.

[Illustration:  Shakespeare’s Chair.]

[Illustration:  The Great Bed of Ware.  Formerly at the Saracen’s Head, Ware, but now at Rye House, Broxbourne, Herts.  Period:  XVI.  Century.]

Carved oak panelling has replaced the old arras and ruder wood lining of an earlier time, and with the departure of the old feudal customs and the indulgence in greater luxuries of the more wealthy nobles and merchants in Italy, Flanders, France, Germany, Spain, and England, we have the elegancies and grace with which Art, and increased means of gratifying taste, enabled the sixteenth century virtuoso to adorn his home.

[Illustration:  The “Queen’s Room,” Penshurst Place. (Reproduced from “Historic Houses of the United Kingdom” by permission of Messrs. Cassell & Co., Limited.)]

[Illustration:  Carved Oak Chimney Piece in Speke Hall, Near Liverpool.  Period:  Elizabethan.]

Chapter IV.

Jacobean furniture.

English Home Life in the Reign of James I.—­Sir Henry Wootton quoted—­Inigo Jones and his work—­Ford Castle—­Chimney Pieces in South Kensington Museum—­Table in the Carpenters’ Hall—–­Hall of the Barbers’ Company—­The Charterhouse—­Time of Charles I.—­Furniture at Knole—­Eagle House, Wimbledon, Mr. Charles Eastlake—­Monuments at Canterbury and Westminster—­Settles, Couches, and Chairs of the Stuart period—­Sir Paul Pindar’s House—­Cromwellian Furniture—­The Restoration—­Indo-Portuguese Furniture—­Hampton Court Palace—­Evelyn’s description—­The Great Fire of London—­Hall of the Brewers’ Company—­Oak Panelling of the time—­Grinling Gibbons and his work—­The Edict of Nantes—­Silver Furniture at Knole—­William III. and Dutch influence—­Queen Anne—­Sideboards, Bureaus, and Grandfather’s Clocks—­Furniture at Hampton Court.


In the chapter on “Renaissance” the great Art revival in England has been noticed; in the Elizabethan oak work of chimney pieces, panelling, and furniture, are to be found varying forms of the free classic style which the Renaissance had brought about.  These fluctuating changes in fashion continued in England from the time of Elizabeth until the middle of the eighteenth century, when, as will be shewn presently, a distinct alteration in the design of furniture took place.

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Illustrated History of Furniture from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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