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Title: Chats on Old Furniture - A Practical Guide for Collectors
Author: Hayden, Arthur
Language: English
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CHATS ON OLD FURNITURE


[Illustration: _Jacobean Chair._]


CHATS ON OLD FURNITURE

_Press Notices, First Edition._

"Mr. Hayden knows his subject intimately."--_Pall Mall Gazette._

"The hints to collectors are the best and clearest we have seen; so that
altogether this is a model book of its kind."--_Athenæum._

"A useful and instructive volume."--_Spectator._

"An abundance of illustrations completes a well-written and
well-constructed history."--_Daily News._

"Mr. Hayden's taste is sound and his knowledge thorough."--_Scotsman._

"A book of more than usual comprehensiveness and more than usual
merit."--_Vanity Fair._

"Mr. Hayden has worked at his subject on systematic lines, and has made
his book what it purports to be--a practical guide for the
collector."--_Saturday Review._


CHATS ON OLD CHINA

BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

_Second Edition._

_Price_ 5s. _net._

_With Coloured Frontispiece and Reproductions of 156 Marks and 89
Specimens of China._

A List of SALE PRICES and a full INDEX increase the usefulness of the
Volume.

This is a handy book of reference to enable Amateur Collectors to
distinguish between the productions of the various factories.

_Press Notices, First Edition._

"A handsome handbook that the amateur in doubt will find useful, and the
china-lover will enjoy for its illustrations, and for the author's
obvious love and understanding of his subject."--_St. James's Gazette._

"All lovers of china will find much entertainment in this
volume."--_Daily News._

"It gives in a few pithy chapters just what the beginner wants to know
about the principal varieties of English ware. We can warmly commend the
book to the china collector."--_Pall Mall Gazette._

"One of the best points about the book is the clear way in which the
characteristics of each factory are noted down separately, so that the
veriest tyro ought to be able to judge for himself if he has a piece or
pieces which would come under this heading, and the marks are very
accurately given."--_Queen._


IN PREPARATION.

CHATS ON OLD PRINTS

_Price_ 5s. _net._

_Illustrated with Coloured Frontispiece and 70 Full-page Reproductions
from Engravings._

With GLOSSARY of Technical Terms, BIBLIOGRAPHY, full INDEX and TABLE of
more than 350 of the principal English and Continental Engravers from
the XVIth to the XIXth centuries, together with copious notes as to
PRICES and values of old prints.

LONDON: T. FISHER UNWIN, ADELPHI TERRACE.

[Illustration]



Chats on Old Furniture

A Practical Guide for Collectors

By Arthur Hayden

Author of "Chats on English China"

LONDON: T. FISHER UNWIN
1 ADELPHI TERRACE. MCMVI

       *       *       *       *       *

_First Edition, 1905._
_Second   "     1906._

_All rights reserved._


[Illustration: _Portion of Carved Walnut Virginal._]



PREFACE


This volume has been written to enable those who have a taste for the
furniture of a bygone day to arrive at some conclusion as to the
essential points of the various styles made in England.

An attempt has been made to give some lucid historical account of the
progress and development in the art of making domestic furniture, with
especial reference to its evolution in this country.

Inasmuch as many of the finest specimens of old English woodwork and
furniture have left the country of their origin and crossed the
Atlantic, it is time that the public should awaken to the fact that the
heritages of their forefathers are objects of envy to all lovers of art.
It is a painful reflection to know that the temptation of money will
shortly denude the old farmhouses and manor houses of England of their
unappreciated treasures. Before the hand of the despoiler shall have
snatched everything within reach, it is the hope of the writer that this
little volume may not fall on stony ground, and that the possessors of
fine old English furniture may realise their responsibilities.

It has been thought advisable to touch upon French furniture as
exemplified in the national collections of such importance as the Jones
Bequest at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Wallace Collection,
to show the influence of foreign art upon our own designers. Similarly,
Italian, Spanish, and Dutch furniture, of which many remarkable examples
are in private collections in this country, has been dealt with in
passing, to enable the reader to estimate the relation of English art to
contemporary foreign schools of decoration and design.

The authorities of the Victoria and Albert Museum have willingly
extended their assistance in regard to photographs, and by the special
permission of the Board of Education the frontispiece and other
representative examples in the national collection appear as
illustrations to this volume.

I have to acknowledge generous assistance and courteous permission from
owners of fine specimens in allowing me facilities for reproducing
illustrations of them in this volume.

I am especially indebted to the Right Honourable Sir Spencer
Ponsonby-Fane, G.C.B., I.S.O., and to the Rev. Canon Haig Brown, Master
of the Charterhouse, for the inclusion of illustrations of furniture of
exceptional interest.

The proprietors of the _Connoisseur_ have generously furnished me with
lists of prices obtained at auction from their useful monthly
publication, _Auction Sale Prices_, and have allowed the reproduction of
illustrations which have appeared in the pages of the _Connoisseur_.

My thanks are due to Messrs. Hampton, of Pall Mall, for their kind
permission to include as illustrations several fine pieces from their
collection of antique furniture. I am under a similar obligation to
Messrs. Waring, who have kindly allowed me to select some of their
typical examples.

To my other friends, without whose kind advice and valuable aid this
volume could never have appeared, I tender a grateful and appreciative
acknowledgment of my indebtedness.

    ARTHUR HAYDEN.

[Illustration: _Italian Chair about 1620_]

[Illustration: _Spanish Chest._]



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

PREFACE                                                                7

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS                                                 13

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                          19

GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED                                                23

CHAPTER

   I. THE RENAISSANCE ON THE CONTINENT                                31

  II. THE ENGLISH RENAISSANCE                                         57

 III. STUART OR JACOBEAN (SEVENTEENTH CENTURY)                        79

  IV. STUART OR JACOBEAN (LATE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY)                  109

   V. QUEEN ANNE STYLE                                               133

  VI. FRENCH FURNITURE. THE PERIOD OF LOUIS XIV.                     155

 VII. FRENCH FURNITURE. THE PERIOD OF LOUIS XV.                      169

VIII. FRENCH FURNITURE. THE PERIOD OF LOUIS XVI.                     189

  IX. FRENCH FURNITURE. THE FIRST EMPIRE STYLE                       201

   X. CHIPPENDALE AND HIS STYLE                                      211

  XI. SHERATON, ADAM, AND HEPPELWHITE STYLES                         239

 XII. HINTS TO COLLECTORS                                            257

INDEX                                                                275

[Illustration: _Chippendale Bureau Bookcase._]



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


JACOBEAN OAK CABINET; decorated with mother-of-pearl, ebony, and ivory.
Dated 1653. (By permission of the Board of Education)     _Frontispiece_

CARVED WOOD FRAME; decorated with gold stucco. Sixteenth Century.
Italian                                                     _Title page_

                                                                    PAGE
CHAPTER I.--THE RENAISSANCE ON THE CONTINENT.

   PORTION OF CARVED CORNICE, Italian, Sixteenth Century              33

   FRAME OF WOOD, with female terminal figures, Italian,
      late Sixteenth Century                                          35

   FRONT OF COFFER, Italian, late Fifteenth Century                   38

   BRIDAL CHEST, Gothic design, middle of Fifteenth Century           39

   FRONT OF OAK CHEST, French, Fifteenth Century                      44

   WALNUT SIDEBOARD, French, middle of Sixteenth Century              45

   CABINET, FRENCH (LYONS), second half of Sixteenth Century          48

   EBONY AND IVORY MARQUETRY CABINET, French, middle of
      Sixteenth Century                                               50

   SPANISH CABINET AND STAND, carved chestnut, first half
      of Sixteenth Century                                            51

   SPANISH CHEST, carved walnut, Sixteenth Century                    52

CHAPTER II.--THE ENGLISH RENAISSANCE.

   CARVED OAK CHEST, English, Sixteenth Century                       59

   BENCH OF OAK, French, about 1500                                   60

   PORTION OF CARVED WALNUT VIRGINAL, Flemish, Sixteenth Century      61

   CARVED OAK COFFER, French, showing interlaced ribbon-work          61

   FIREPLACE AND OAK PANELLING, "Old Palace," Bromley-by-Bow.
     Built in 1606                                                    64

   ELIZABETHAN BEDSTEAD, dated 1593                                   66

   PANEL OF CARVED OAK, English, early Sixteenth Century              68

   MIRROR, in oak frame, English, dated 1603                          71

   COURT CUPBOARD, carved oak, English, dated 1603                    73

         "      "    carved oak, early Seventeenth Century            74

         "      "    about 1580                                       75

   ELIZABETHAN OAK TABLE                                              78

CHAPTER III.--STUART OR JACOBEAN. SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

   GATE-LEG TABLE                                                     81

   OAK CHAIR, made from Sir Francis Drake's ship, the _Golden Hind_   83

   OAK TABLE, dated 1616, bearing arms of Thomas Sutton               85

   CHAIR USED BY JAMES I.                                             87

   JACOBEAN CHAIR, at Knole                                           89

   JACOBEAN STOOL, at Knole                                           90

   CARVED WALNUT DOOR (UPPER HALF), French, showing ribbon-work       91

   OAK CHAIR, with arms of first Earl of Strafford                    93

   ITALIAN CHAIR, about 1620                                          94

   HIGH-BACK OAK CHAIR, Early Jacobean, formerly in
      possession of Charles I.                                        95

   JACOBEAN CHAIRS, various types                                     97

   EBONY CABINET, formerly the property of Oliver Cromwell            99

   JACOBEAN CARVED OAK CHAIRS, Yorkshire and Derbyshire types        101

   JACOBEAN OAK CUPBOARD, about 1620                                 101

   JACOBEAN OAK CHAIRS                                               105

   CARVED OAK CRADLE, time of Charles I., dated 1641                 107

CHAPTER IV.--STUART OR JACOBEAN. LATE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

   INTERIOR OF DUTCH HOUSE, latter half of Seventeenth Century       111

   CABINET OF TIME OF CHARLES II., showing exterior                  112

      "    "   "                   showing interior                  113

   PORTUGUESE HIGH-BACK CHAIR                                        115

   OAK CHEST OF DRAWERS, late Jacobean                               117

    "    "   panelled front, late Jacobean                           119

   CHARLES II. OAK CHAIR                                             120

   CHARLES II. OPEN HIGH-BACK OAK CHAIR                              121

   CHARLES II. CHAIR, cane back and seat                             122

   JAMES II. CHAIR, cane back and seat                               123

   WILLIAM AND MARY CHAIR                                            125

   PORTUGUESE CHAIR-BACK (UPPER PORTION), cut leather work           128

CHAPTER V.--QUEEN ANNE STYLE.

   QUEEN ANNE OAK SETTLE                                             135

   QUEEN ANNE MIRROR FRAME, carved walnut, gilded                    137

   OAK DESK, dated 1696                                              139

   OAK CUPBOARD                                                      140

   QUEEN ANNE CABINET, burr-walnut panel                             141

   QUEEN ANNE CHAIRS, various types                                  143

   DUTCH MARQUETRY CABINET                                           147

   QUEEN ANNE CLOCK                                                  148

   QUEEN ANNE SETTLE, oak, dated 1705                                149

   OLD LAC CABINET                                                   150

   LAC CABINET, middle of Eighteenth Century                         151

    "     "     showing doors closed                                 152

    "     "     chased brass escutcheon                              154

CHAPTER VI.--FRENCH FURNITURE. THE PERIOD OF LOUIS XIV.

   CASSETTE, French, Seventeenth Century                             157

   CHAIR OF PERIOD OF LOUIS XIII.                                    159

   PEDESTALS, showing boule and counter-boule work                   163

   BOULE CABINET, OR ARMOIRE                                         165

CHAPTER VII.--FRENCH FURNITURE. LOUIS XV.

   COMMODE, by Cressent                                              171

   COMMODE, formerly in the Hamilton Collection                      173

   COMMODE, by Caffieri                                              175

   ESCRITOIRE À TOILETTE, formerly in possession of Marie Antoinette 179

   SECRÉTAIRE, by Riesener                                           181

   "BUREAU DU ROI," the masterpiece of Riesener                      183

CHAPTER VIII.--FRENCH FURNITURE. LOUIS XVI.

   JEWEL CABINET, "J. H. Riesener," Mounts by Gouthière              193

   COMMODE, by Riesener                                              197

CHAPTER IX.--FRENCH FURNITURE. THE FIRST EMPIRE STYLE.

   PORTRAIT OF MADAME RÉCAMIER, after David                          203

   DETAIL OF TRIPOD TABLE found at Pompeii                           205

   SERVANTE, French, late Eighteenth Century                         206

   JEWEL CABINET OF THE EMPRESS MARIE LOUISE                         207

   ARMCHAIR, rosewood, showing Empire influence                      210

CHAPTER X.--CHIPPENDALE AND HIS STYLE.

   TABLE MADE BY CHIPPENDALE                                         213

   OLIVER GOLDSMITH'S CHAIR                                          215

   CHIPPENDALE SETTEE, walnut, about 1740                            217

       "          "    oak, about 1740                               219

   CHIPPENDALE CHAIR-BACK, ribbon pattern                            222

   RIBBON-BACKED CHIPPENDALE CHAIR, formerly at Blenheim             223

   CHIPPENDALE CORNER CHAIR, about 1780                              224

   GOTHIC CHIPPENDALE CHAIR-BACK                                     225

   MAHOGANY CHIPPENDALE CHAIR, about 1740                            226

      "         "         "    about 1770                            227

   CHIPPENDALE MIRROR                                                229

   CHIPPENDALE BUREAU BOOKCASE                                       231

   MAHOGANY CHAIR, Chippendale Style                                 232

   COTTAGE CHAIRS, beechwood, Chippendale style                      233

   INTERIOR OF ROOM OF ABOUT 1782, after Stothard                    235

CHAPTER XI.--SHERATON, ADAM, AND HEPPELWHITE STYLES.

   HEPPELWHITE SETTEE, mahogany                                      241

   SHERATON, Adam, and Heppelwhite Chairs                            243

   OLD ENGLISH SECRÉTAIRE                                            250

   SHIELD-BACK CHAIR, late Eighteenth Century                        251

CHAPTER XII.--HINTS TO COLLECTORS.

   DESIGN FOR SPURIOUS MARQUETRY WORK                                259

   "MADE-UP" BUFFET                                                  261

   CABINET OF OLD OAK, "made-up"                                     267

   DESIGN FOR SPURIOUS MARQUETRY WORK                                273

   PIECE OF SPANISH CHESTNUT, showing ravages of worms               274



BIBLIOGRAPHY


GENERAL.

    Ancient Furniture, Specimens of. H. Shaw. Quaritch. 1836. £10
    10s., now worth £3 3s.

    Ancient and Modern Furniture. B. J. Talbert. Batsford. 1876. 32s.

    Antique Furniture, Sketches of. W. S. Ogden. Batsford. 1889. 12s.
    6d.

    Carved Furniture and Woodwork. M. Marshall. W. H. Allen. 1888.
    £3.

    Carved Oak in Woodwork and Furniture from Ancient Houses. W. B.
    Sanders. 1883. 31s. 6d.

    Decorative Furniture, English and French, of the Sixteenth,
    Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. W. H. Hackett. 7s. 6d.

    Ecclesiastical Woodwork, Remains of. T. T. Bury. Lockwood. 1847.
    21s.

    French and English Furniture. E. Singleton. Hodder. 1904.

    Furniture, Ancient and Modern. J. W. Small. Batsford. 1883. 21s.

    Furniture and Decoration. J. A. Heaton. 1890-92.

    Furniture and Woodwork, Ancient and Modern. J. H. Pollen.
    Chapman. 1874-5. 21s. and 2s. 6d.

    Furniture and Woodwork. J. H. Pollen. Stanford. 1876. 3s. 6d.

    Furniture of the Olden Time. F. C. Morse. Macmillan. 12s. 6d.

    Gothic Furniture, _Connoisseur_. May, 1903.

    History of Furniture Illustrated. F. Litchfield. Truslove. 25s.

    Marquetry, Parquetry, Boulle and other Inlay Work. W. Bemrose.
    1872 and 1882.

    Old Furniture, English and Foreign. A. E. Chancellor. Batsford.
    £1 5s.

    Old Furniture from Twelfth to Eighteenth Century. Wyman. 1883.
    10s. 6d.

    Style in Furniture and Woodwork. R. Brook. Privately printed.
    1889. 21s.


PARTICULAR.

    ENGLISH.--Adam R. & J., The Architecture, Decoration an
    Furniture of R. & J. Adam, selected from works published
    1778-1822. London. 1880.

    Adam, The Brothers. _Connoisseur._ May, June and August, 1904.

    Ancient Wood and Iron Work in Cambridge. W. B. Redfern. Spalding.
    1887. 31s. 6d.

    Chippendale, T. Cabinet Makers' Directory. Published in 1754,
    1755 and 1762. (The best edition is the last as it contains 200
    plates as against 161 in the earlier editions. Its value is about
    £12.)

    Chippendale and His Work. _Connoisseur_, January, July, August,
    September, October, November, December, 1903, January, 1904.

    Chippendale, Sheraton and Heppelwhite, The Designs of. Arranged
    by J. M. Bell. 1900. Worth £2 2s.

    Chippendale's Contemporaries. _Connoisseur_, March, 1904.

    Chippendale and Sheraton. _Connoisseur_, May, 1902.

    Coffers and Cupboards, Ancient. Fred Roe. Methuen & Co. 1903. £3
    3s.

    English Furniture, History of. Percy Macquoid. Published by
    Lawrence & Bullen in 7s. 6d. parts, the first of which appeared
    in November, 1904.

    English Furniture and Woodwork during the Eighteenth Century. T.
    A. Strange. 12s. 6d.

    Furniture of our Forefathers. E. Singleton. Batsford. £3 15s.

    Hatfield House, History of. Q. F. Robinson. 1883.

    Hardwicke Hall, History of. Q. F. Robinson. 1835.

    Heppelwhite, A., Cabinet Maker. Published 1788, 1789, and 1794,
    and contains about 130 plates. Value £8 to £12. Reprint issued in
    1897. Worth £2 10s.

    Ince and Mayhew. Household Furniture. N.d. (1770). Worth £20.

    Jacobean Furniture. _Connoisseur_, September, 1902.

    Knole House, Its State Rooms, &c. (Elizabethan and other
    Furniture.) S. J. Mackie. 1858.

    Manwaring, R., Cabinet and Chairmaker's Real Friend. London.
    1765.

    Mansions of England in the Olden Time. J. Nash. 1839-49.

    Old English Houses and Furniture. M. B. Adam. Batsford. 1889.
    25s.

    Old English Oak Furniture. J. W. Hurrell. Batsford. £2 2s.

    Old English Furniture. Frederick Fenn and B. Wyllie. Newnes. 7s.
    6d. net.

    Old Oak, The Art of Collecting. _Connoisseur_, September, 1901.

    Sheraton, T. Cabinet Maker's Drawing Book. 1791-3 edition
    contains 111 plates. Value £13. 1794 edition contains 119 plates.
    Value £10.

    Sheraton T. Cabinet Directory. 1803.

    Staircases and Handrails of the Age of Elizabeth. J. Weale. 1860.

    Upholsterer's Repository. Ackermann. N.d. Worth £5.

    FRENCH.--_Dictionnaire de l'Ameublement._ H. Havard. Paris. N.d.
    Worth £5.

    _Dictionnaire Raisonné._ M. Viollet-le-Duc. 1858-75. 6 vols.
    Worth £10.

    French Furniture. Lady Dilke. Bell. 1901.

    French Eighteenth Century Furniture, Handbook to the. Jones
    Collection Catalogue. 1881.

    French Eighteenth Century Furniture, Handbook to the. Wallace
    Collection Catalogue. 1904.

    History of Furniture. A. Jacquemart. Chapman. 1878. 31s. 6d.
    Issued in Paris in 1876, under the title _Histoire du Mobilier_.

    _Le Meuble en France au XVI Siècle._ E. Bonnaffe. Paris. 1887.
    Worth 10s.

    JAPANESE.--Lacquer Industry of Japan. Report of Her Majesty's
    Acting-Consul at Hakodate. J. J. Quin. Parliamentary Paper. 8vo.
    London. 1882.

    SCOTTISH.--Scottish Woodwork of Sixteenth and Seventeenth
    Centuries. J. W. Small. Waterston. 1878. £4 4s.

    SPANISH.--Spanish and Portuguese. Catalogue of Special Loan
    Exhibition of Spanish and Portuguese Ornamental Art. 1881.



GLOSSARY OF TERMS USED


    _Armoire._--A large cupboard of French design of the dimensions
    of the modern wardrobe. In the days of Louis XIV. these pieces
    were made in magnificent style. The Jones Collection at the
    Victoria and Albert Museum has several fine examples. (See
    illustration, p. 165.)

    _Baroque._--Used in connection with over ornate and incongruous
    decoration as in _rococo_ style.

    _Bombé._--A term applied to pieces of furniture which swell out
    at the sides.

    _Boule._--A special form of marquetry of brass and tortoiseshell
    perfected by André Charles Boule in the reign of Louis XIV. (See
    Chapter VI., where specimens of this kind of work are
    illustrated.) The name has been corrupted into a trade term
    _Buhl_, to denote this style of marquetry. Boule or _Première
    partie_ is a metal inlay, usually brass, applied to a
    tortoiseshell background. See also _Counter-boule_.

    _Bureau._--A cabinet with drawers, and having a drop-down front
    for use as a writing-table. Bureaux are of many forms. (See
    illustration, p. 231.)

    _Cabriole._--Used in connection with the legs of tables and
    chairs which are curved in form, having a sudden arch outwards
    from the seat. (See illustration, p. 143.)

    _Caryatides._--Carved female figures applied to columns in Greek
    architecture, as at the Erectheum at Athens. They were employed
    by woodcarvers, and largely introduced into Renaissance
    furniture of an architectural character. Elizabethan craftsmen
    were especially fond of their use as terminals, and in the
    florid decoration of elaborate furniture.

    _Cassone._--An Italian marriage coffer. In Chapter I. will be
    found a full description of these _cassoni_.

    _Commode._--A chest of drawers of French style. In the chapters
    dealing with the styles of Louis XIV., Louis XV., and Louis
    XVI., these are fully described and illustrations are given.

    _Counter-Boule._ _Contre partie._--See Chapter VI., where
    specimens of this work are illustrated. It consists of a brass
    groundwork with tortoiseshell inlay.

    _French Polish._--A cheap and nasty method used since 1851 to
    varnish poor-looking wood to disguise its inferiority. It is
    quicker than the old method of rubbing in oil and turpentine
    and beeswax. It is composed of shellac dissolved in methylated
    spirits with colouring matter added.

    _Gate-leg table._--This term is self-explanatory. The legs of
    this class of table open like a gate. They belong to Jacobean
    days, and are sometimes spoken of as Cromwellian tables. An
    illustration of one appears on the cover.

    _Gothic._--This term was originally applied to the mediæval
    styles of architecture. It was used as a term of reproach and
    contempt at a time when it was the fashion to write Latin and to
    expect it to become the universal language. In woodcarving the
    Gothic style followed the architecture. A fine example of the
    transition between Gothic and the oncoming Renaissance is given
    (p. 44).

    _Inlay._--A term used for the practice of decorating surfaces
    and panels of furniture with wood of various colours,
    mother-of-pearl, or ivory. The inlay is let into the wood of
    which the piece inlaid is composed.

    _Jacobean._--Strictly speaking, only furniture of the days of
    James I. should be termed Jacobean. But by some collectors the
    period is held to extend to James II.--that is from 1603 to
    1688. Other collectors prefer the term Carolean for a portion of
    the above period, which is equally misleading. Jacobean is only
    a rough generalisation of seventeenth-century furniture.

    _Lacquer._ _Lac._--A transparent varnish used in its perfection
    by the Chinese and Japanese. (See "Consular Report on Japanese
    Lacquered Work," in Bibliography.) Introduced into Holland and
    France, it was imitated with great success. Under Louis XV.
    Vernis-Martin became the rage (_q.v._).

    _Linen Pattern._--A form of carving panels to represent a folded
    napkin. This particular design was largely used in France and
    Germany prior to its adoption here. (See illustration, p. 60.)

    _Marquetry._--Inlays of coloured woods, arranged with some
    design, geometric, floral, or otherwise, are classed under this
    style. (See also _Parquetry_.)

    _Mortise._--A term in carpentry used to denote the hole made in
    a piece of wood to receive the end of another piece to be joined
    to it. The portion which fits into the mortise is called the
    tenon.

    _Oil Polish._--Old furniture, before the introduction of
    varnishes and French polish and other inartistic effects, was
    polished by rubbing the surface with a stone, if it was a large
    area as in the case of a table, and then applying linseed oil
    and polishing with beeswax and turpentine. The fine tone after
    centuries of this treatment is evident in old pieces which have
    a metallic lustre that cannot be imitated.

    _Parquetry._--Inlays of woods of the same colour are termed
    parquetry work in contradistinction to marquetry, which is in
    different colour. Geometric designs are mainly used as in
    parquetry floors.

    _Reeded._--This term is applied to the style of decoration by
    which thin narrow strips of wood are placed side by side on the
    surface of furniture.

    _Renaissance._--The style which was originated in Italy in the
    fifteenth century, supplanting the Mediæval styles which
    embraced Byzantine and Gothic art; the new-birth was in origin a
    literary movement, but quickly affected art, and grew with
    surprising rapidity, and affected every country in Europe. It is
    based on Classic types, and its influence on furniture and
    woodwork followed its adoption in architecture.

    _Restored._--This word is the fly in the pot of ointment to all
    who possess antiquarian tastes. It ought to mean, in furniture,
    that only the most necessary repairs have been made in order to
    preserve the object. It more often means that a considerable
    amount of misapplied ingenuity has gone to the remaking of a
    badly-preserved specimen. Restorations are only permissible at
    the hands of most conscientious craftsmen.

    _Rococo._--A style which was most markedly offensive in the time
    of Louis XV. Meaningless elaborations of scroll and shell work,
    with rocky backgrounds and incongruous ornamentations, are its
    chief features. _Baroque_ is another term applied to this
    overloaded style.

    _Settee._--An upholstered form of the settle.

    _Settle._--A wooden seat with back and arms, capable of seating
    three or four persons side by side.

    _Splat._--The wooden portion in the back of a chair connecting
    the top rail with the seat.

    _Strapwork._--This is applied to the form of decoration employed
    by the Elizabethan woodcarvers in imitation of Flemish
    originals. (See p. 68.)

    _Stretcher._--The rail which connects the legs of a chair or a
    table with one another. In earlier forms it was used as a
    footrest to keep the feet from the damp or draughty rush floor.

    _Tenon._--"Mortise and Tenon joint." (See _Mortise_.)

    _Turned Work._--The spiral rails and uprights of chairs were
    turned with the lathe in Jacobean days. Prior to the
    introduction of the lathe all work was carved without the use of
    this tool. Pieces of furniture have been found where the maker
    has carved the turned work in all its details of form, either
    from caprice or from ignorance of the existence of the quicker
    method.

    _Veneer._--A method of using thin layers of wood and laying them
    on a piece of furniture, either as marquetry in different
    colours, or in one wood only. It was an invention in order to
    employ finer specimens of wood carefully selected in the parts
    of a piece of furniture most noticeable. It has been since used
    to hide inferior wood.

    _Vernis-Martin_ (Martin's Varnish).--The lacquered work of a
    French carriage-painter named Martin, who claimed to have
    discovered the secret of the Japanese lac, and who, in 1774, was
    granted a monopoly for its use. He applied it successfully to
    all kinds of furniture, and to fan-guards and sticks. In the
    days of Madame du Pompadour Vernis-Martin had a great vogue, and
    panels prepared by Martin were elaborately painted upon by
    Lancret and Boucher. To this day his varnish retains its lustre
    undimmed, and specimens command high prices.


Woods used in Furniture.

    _High-class Work._--Brazil wood, Coromandel, Mahogany, Maple,
    Oak (various kinds), Olive, Rosewood, Satinwood, Sandalwood,
    Sweet Cedar, Sweet Chestnut, Teak, Walnut.

    _Commoner Work._--Ash, Beech, Birch, Cedars (various), Deals,
    Mahogany (various kinds), Pine, Walnut.

    _Marquetry and Veneers._--Selected specimens for fine figuring
    are used as veneers, and for marquetry of various colours the
    following are used as being more easily stained: Holly,
    Horsechestnut, Sycamore, Pear, Plum Tree.

    _Woods with Fancy Names._

    King Wood, Partridge Wood, Pheasant Wood, Purple Wood,
    Snakewood, Tulip Wood.

These are more rare and finely-marked foreign woods used sparingly in
the most expensive furniture. To arrive at the botanical names of these
is not an easy matter. To those interested a list of woods used by
cabinet-makers with their botanical names is given in Mr. J. Hungerford
Pollen's "Introduction to the South Kensington Collection of Furniture."
At the Museum at Kew Gardens and in the Imperial Institute are
collections of rare woods worth examination.



I

THE RENAISSANCE ON THE CONTINENT


[Illustration: Portion of carved cornice of pinewood, from the Palazzo
Bensi Ceccini, Venice.

Italian; middle of sixteenth century.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]



CHATS ON OLD FURNITURE



I

THE RENAISSANCE ON THE CONTINENT

    ITALY. Flight of Greek scholars to Italy upon capture of
    Constantinople by the Turks--1453.

    Rediscovery of Greek art.

    Florence the centre of the Renaissance.

    Leo X., Pope (1475-1521).

    Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1520). Raphael (1483-1520). Michael
    Angelo (1474-1564).

    FRANCE. Francis I. (1515-1547).

    Henry IV. (1589-1610).

    SPAIN. The crown united under Ferdinand and Isabella
    (1452-1516).

    Granada taken from the Moors--1492.

    Charles V. (1519-1555).

    Philip II. (1555-1598).

    GERMANY. Maximilian I., Emperor of Germany (1459-1519).

    Holbein (1498-1543).


In attempting to deal with the subject of old furniture in a manner not
too technical, certain broad divisions have to be made for convenience
in classification. The general reader does not want information
concerning the iron bed of Og, King of Bashan, nor of Cicero's table of
citrus-wood, which cost £9,000; nor are details of the chair of Dagobert
and of the jewel-chest of Richard of Cornwall of much worth to the
modern collector.

It will be found convenient to eliminate much extraneous matter, such as
the early origins of furniture and its development in the Middle Ages,
and to commence in this country with the Tudor period. Broadly speaking,
English furniture falls under three heads--the Oak Period, embracing the
furniture of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries; the Walnut
Period, including the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries;
the Mahogany Period, beginning with the reign of George III. It may be
observed that the names of kings and of queens have been applied to
various styles of furniture as belonging to their reign. Early Victorian
is certainly a more expressive term than early nineteenth century.
Cromwellian tables, Queen Anne chairs, or Louis Seize commodes all have
an especial meaning as referring to styles more or less prevalent when
those personages lived. As there is no record of the makers of most of
the old English furniture, and as a piece of furniture cannot be judged
as can a picture, the date of manufacture cannot be precisely laid down,
hence the vagueness of much of the classification of old furniture.
Roughly it may in England be dealt with under the Tudor, the Stuart, and
the Georgian ages. These three divisions do not coincide exactly with
the periods of oak, of walnut, and of mahogany, inasmuch as the oak
furniture extended well into the Stuart days, and walnut was prevalent
in the reigns of George I. and George II. In any case, these broad
divisions are further divided into sub-heads embracing styles which
arose out of the natural development in taste, or which came and went at
the caprice of fashion.

[Illustration: Frame of wood, carved with floral scrollwork, with female
terminal figures.

Italian; late sixteenth century.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

The formation of a definite English character in the furniture of the
three periods must be examined in conjunction with the prevailing styles
in foreign furniture showing what influences were at work. Many
conditions governed the introduction of foreign furniture into England.
Renaissance art made a change in architecture, and a corresponding
change took place in furniture. Ecclesiastical buildings followed the
continental architecture in form and design, and foreign workmen were
employed by the Church and by the nobility in decorating and
embellishing cathedrals and abbeys and feudal castles. The early Tudor
days under Henry VII. saw the dawn of the Renaissance in England. Jean
de Mabuse and Torrigiano were invited over the sea by Henry VII., and
under the sturdy impulse of Henry VIII. classical learning and love of
the fine arts were encouraged. His palaces were furnished with
splendour. He wished to emulate the château of Francis at Fontainebleau.
He tried to entice the French king's artists with more tempting terms.
Holbein, the great master of the German school, came to England, and his
influence over Tudor art was very pronounced. The florid manner of the
Renaissance was tempered with the broader treatment of the northern
school. The art, too, of the Flemish woodcarvers found sympathetic
reception in this country, and the harmonious blending of the designs of
the Renaissance craftsmen of the Italian with those of the Flemish
school resulted in the growth in England of the beautiful and
characteristic style known as Tudor.

[Illustration: FRONT OF COFFER. CHESTNUT WOOD. ITALIAN; LATE FIFTEENTH
CENTURY.

With shield of arms supported by two male demi figures terminating in
floral scrollwork.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

The term Renaissance is used in regard to that period in the history of
art which marked the return to the classic forms employed by the Greeks
and Romans. The change from the Gothic or Mediæval work to the classic
feeling had its origin in Italy, and spread, at first gradually but
later with amazing rapidity and growing strength, into Germany, Spain,
the Netherlands, France, and finally to England.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

BRIDAL CHEST. GOTHIC DESIGN.

MIDDLE OF FIFTEENTH CENTURY.

(_Munich National Museum._)]

The Renaissance was in origin a literary movement, and its influence in
art came through literature. The enthusiasm of the new learning acting
on craftsmen already trained to the highest degree of technical skill
produced work of great brilliance.

Never did the fine arts rise to such transcendent heights as in Italy
from the fourteenth to the middle of the seventeenth centuries. The late
John Addington Symonds, in his work on "The Renaissance in Italy," deals
in a comprehensive manner with this memorable period, during which every
city in Italy, great or small, was producing wonderful works of art, in
painting, in sculpture, in goldsmiths' work, in woodcarving, in
furniture, of which now every civilised country struggles to obtain for
its art collections the scattered fragments of these great days. "During
that period of prodigious activity," he says, "the entire nation seemed
to be endowed with an instinct for the beautiful and with the capacity
for producing it in every conceivable form."

In the middle of the fourteenth century the Renaissance style in
woodwork was at first more evident in the churches and in the palaces of
the nobility in the Italian states. Some of the most magnificent
examples of carved woodwork are preserved in the choir-stalls, doorways
and panelling of the churches and cathedrals of Italy. The great artists
of the day gave their talents to the production of woodwork and
furniture in various materials. Wood was chiefly employed in making
furniture, usually oak, cypress, ebony, walnut, or chestnut, which last
wood is very similar in appearance to oak. These were decorated with
gilding and paintings, and were inlaid with other woods, or agate,
lapis-lazuli, and marbles of various tints, with ivory, tortoiseshell,
mother-of-pearl, or with ornaments of hammered silver.

The Victoria and Albert Museum contains some splendid examples of
fourteenth and fifteenth century Italian Renaissance furniture, which
illustrate well the magnificence and virility of the great art movement
which influenced the remainder of Europe. In particular, carved and
gilded frames, and marriage coffers (_cassoni_) given to brides as part
of their dowry to hold the bridal trousseau, are richly and effectively
decorated. The frame of carved wood (illustrated p. 35), with fine
scroll work and female terminal figures, is enriched with painting and
gilding. The frame on the title-page of this volume is of carved wood,
decorated with gold stucco. Both these are sixteenth-century Italian
work. In fact, the study of the various types and the different kinds of
ornamentation given to these _cassoni_ would be an interesting subject
for the student, who would find enough material in the collection at the
Victoria and Albert Museum to enable him to follow the Renaissance
movement from its early days down to the time when crowded design,
over-elaboration, and inharmonious details grew apace like so many weeds
to choke the ideals of the master spirits of the Renaissance.

The front of the late fifteenth-century coffer (illustrated p. 38) is of
chestnut wood, carved with a shield of arms supported by two male
demi-figures, terminating in floral scroll work. There are still traces
of gilding on the wood.

At first the lines followed architecture in character. Cabinets had
pilasters, columns, and arches resembling the old Roman temples. The
illustration of a portion of a cornice of carved pinewood appearing as
the headpiece to this chapter shows this tendency. The marriage coffers
had classic heads upon them, but gradually this chaste style gave place
to rich ornamentation with designs of griffins and grotesque masks. The
chairs, too, were at first very severe in outline, usually with a high
back and fitted with a stretcher between the legs, which was carved, as
was also the back of the chair.

In the middle of the fifteenth century Gothic art had attained its
high-water mark in Germany before the new art from Italy had crossed the
Alps. We reproduce a bridal chest, of the middle of the fifteenth
century, from the collection in the Munich National Museum, which shows
the basis of Gothic art in England prior to the revival and before
further foreign influences were brought to bear on English art (p. 39).

The influence of Italian art upon France soon made itself felt. Italian
architects and craftsmen were invited by Francis I. and by the
Princesses of the House of Medici, of which Pope Leo X. was the
illustrious head, to build palaces and châteaux in the Renaissance
style. The Tuileries, Fontainebleau, and the Louvre were the result of
this importation. Primaticcio and Cellini founded a school of sculptors
and wood-carvers in France, of which Jean Goujon stands pre-eminent. The
furniture began gradually to depart from the old Gothic traditions, as
is shown in the design of the oak chest of the late fifteenth century
preserved in the Dublin Museum, which we illustrate, and commenced to
emulate the gorgeousness of Italy. This is a particularly instructive
example, showing the transition between the Gothic and the Renaissance
styles.

[Illustration: FRONT OF OAK CHEST. FRENCH; FIFTEENTH CENTURY.

(_Dublin Museum._)]

The French Renaissance sideboard in the illustration (p. 45) is a fine
example of the middle of the sixteenth century. It is carved in walnut.
The moulded top is supported in front by an arcading decorated with two
male and two female terminal figures, which are enriched with masks and
floral ornament. Behind the arcading is a table supporting a cupboard
and resting in front on four turned columns; it is fitted with three
drawers, the fronts of which, as well as that of the cupboard, are
decorated with monsters, grotesque masks, and scroll work.

[Illustration: _By permission of T. Foster Shattock, Esq._

WALNUT SIDEBOARD.

FRENCH; MIDDLE OF SIXTEENTH CENTURY.]

The impulse given by Francis I. was responsible for much decorative work
in the early period of the French Renaissance, and many beautiful
examples exist in the churches and châteaux of France to which his name
has been given. It is noticeable that the chief difference between the
Italian and the French Renaissance lies in the foundation of Gothic
influence underlying the newer Renaissance ornament in French work of
the period. Flamboyant arches and Gothic canopies were frequently
retained and mingled with classic decoration. The French clung to their
older characteristics with more tenacity, inasmuch as the Renaissance
was a sudden importation rather than a natural development of slower
growth.

The French Renaissance cabinet of walnut illustrated (p. 48) is from
Lyons, and is of the later part of the sixteenth century. It is finely
carved with terminal figures, masks, trophies of ornaments, and other
ornament. In comparison with the sixteenth-century ebony cabinet of the
period of Henry IV., finely inlaid with ivory in most refined style, it
is obvious that a great variety of sumptuous furniture was being made by
the production of such diverse types as these, and that the craftsmen
were possessed of a wealth of invention. The range of English
craftsmen's designs during the Renaissance in this country was never so
extensive, as can be seen on a detailed examination of English work.

[Illustration: CABINET OF WALNUT

FRENCH (LYONS); SECOND HALF OF SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

Carved with terminal figures, masks, and trophies of arms.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

In Spain the Italian feeling became acclimatised more readily than in
France. In the sixteenth century the wood carving of Spain is of
exceeding beauty. The decoration of the choir of the cathedral at
Toledo is held to be one of the finest examples of the Spanish
Renaissance. In furniture the cabinets and buffets of the Spanish
craftsmen are of perfect grace and of characteristic design. The older
Spanish cabinets are decorated externally with delicate ironwork and
with columns of ivory or bone painted and richly gilded, exhibiting
Moorish influence in their character. Many of the more magnificent
specimens are richly inlaid with silver, and are the work of the artists
of Seville, of Toledo, or of Valladolid. The first illustration of a
cabinet and stand is a typically Spanish design, and the second
illustration of the carved walnut chest in the National Archælogical
Museum at Madrid is of the sixteenth century, when the Spanish
wood-carvers had developed the Renaissance spirit and reached a very
high level in their art.

Simultaneously with the Italianising of French art a similar wave of
novelty was spreading over the Netherlands and Germany. The Flemish
Renaissance approaches more nearly to the English in the adaptation of
the Italian style, or it would be more accurate to say that the English
is more closely allied to the art of the Netherlands, as it drew much of
its inspiration from the Flemish wood-carvers. The spiral turned legs
and columns, the strap frets cut out and applied to various parts, the
squares between turnings often left blank to admit of a little ebony
diamond, are all of the same family as the English styles. Ebony inlay
was frequently used, but the Flemish work of this period was nearly all
in oak. Marqueterie of rich design was made, the inlay being of various
coloured woods and shaded. Mother-of-pearl and ivory were also employed
to heighten the effect.

[Illustration: FRENCH CABINET.

Ebony and ivory marquetry work.

MIDDLE OF SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

(_From the collection of M. Emile Peyre._)]

[Illustration: SPANISH CABINET AND STAND. CARVED CHESTNUT;

FIRST HALF OF SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

Width of cabinet, 3 ft. 2 in.; depth, 1 ft. 4 in.; height, 4 ft. 10 in.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

The Italian Renaissance laid a light hand upon the Flemish artists, who,
while unavoidably coming under its influence, at first copied its
ornateness but subsequently proceeded on their own lines. Much quaint
figure work, in which they greatly excelled, was used by the Flemish
wood-carvers in their joinery. It is grotesque in character, and, like
all their work, boldly executed. The influx of foreign influences upon
the Netherlands was in the main as successfully resisted as is the
encroachment of the sea across their land-locked dykes. The growth of
the Spanish power made Charles V. the most powerful prince in Europe.
Ferdinand of Spain held the whole Spanish peninsula except Portugal,
with Sardinia and the island of Sicily, and he won the kingdom of
Naples. His daughter Joanna married Philip, the son of Maximilian of
Austria, and of Mary the daughter of Charles the Bold. Their son Charles
thus inherited kingdoms and duchies from each of his parents and
grandparents, and besides the dominions of Ferdinand and Isabella, he
held Burgundy and the Netherlands. In 1519 he was chosen Emperor as
Charles V. Flooded with Italian artists and Austrian and Spanish rulers,
it is interesting to note how the national spirit in art was kept alive,
and was of such strong growth that it influenced in marked manner the
English furniture of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century,
as will be shown in a subsequent chapter.

[Illustration: SPANISH CHEST; CARVED WALNUT.

SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

(_In the National Museum, Madrid._)]


RECENT SALE PRICES.[1]

                                                              £  s. d.
Chest, Gothic, carved with parchemin panels, with a
    wrought-iron lock, from Nuremburg Castle, German, about
    1500. Christie, January 29, 1904                         31 10  0

Cabinet, walnut wood, of architectural design, with folding
    doors above and below and small drawers, carved with
    arabesque foliage and scrolls in relief, and with
    columns at the angles, 69 in. high, 38 in. wide,
    French, middle of the sixteenth century. Christie,
    April 12, 1904                                           21  0  0

Coffer, oak, the front divided by six buttresses, the steel
    lock pierced with tracery, 65 in. long, 46 in. high,
    French, late fifteenth century. Christie, May 6, 1904
                                                            126  0  0

Coffer, large walnut wood, the whole of the front and sides
    carved in low relief, the lock is rectangular, and
    pierced with flamboyant tracery, French (provincial),
    early part of the fifteenth century, 84 in. wide, 36 in.
    high. Christie, May 6, 1904                              50  8  0

Coffer, walnut wood, the front and sides divided into
    arch-shaped panels containing Gothic tracery, 86 in.
    wide, 32 in. high, French, fifteenth century. Christie,
    May 6, 1904                                              52 10  0

Chair, walnut wood, with semicircular seat, the back
    composed of six upright rectangular panels, each
    containing various forms of Gothic tracery; below is a
    longitudinal panel of tracery, 27 in. wide, 29 in. high,
    French or Flemish, fifteenth century. Christie, May 6,
    1904                                                     91  7  0

Credence, oak, with folding doors and drawers above and
    shelf beneath, the corners are returned, the various
    door panels, &c., carved in low relief; at the back
    below is linen fold panelling, 54 in. wide, 62 in. high,
    probably French, early sixteenth century. Christie, May
    6, 1904                                                 336  0  0

Cabinet, walnut-wood, in two parts, of rectangular form,
    with folding doors above and below, and two drawers in
    the centre, carved with grotesque terminal figure and
    gadrooned mouldings, strapwork and duplicated rosettes,
    French work, early seventeenth century, 78 in. high, 48
    in. wide. Christie, May 6, 1904                         110  5  0

Cabinet, walnut-wood, in two parts, of rectangular form,
    with folding doors below and door above; at the sides
    are terminal male and female figures, the centres of the
    doors carved, 92 in. high, 49 in. wide, French work
    (Lyons School), second quarter of sixteenth century.
    Christie, May 6, 1904                                    99 15  0

[1] By the kindness of the proprietors of the _Connoisseur_ these items
are given from their useful monthly publication, _Auction Sale Prices_.



II

THE ENGLISH RENAISSANCE


[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Hampton & Sons._

CARVED OAK CHEST.

ENGLISH; SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

Panels finely carved with Gothic tracery.]



II

THE ENGLISH RENAISSANCE

    Henry VIII.      1509-1547.
    Edward VI.       1547-1553.
    Mary             1553-1558.
    Elizabeth        1558-1603.

    1525. Hampton Court built.

    1566. Increased commercial prosperity. Foundation of Royal
    Exchange by Sir Thomas Gresham.

    1580. Drake comes home from the New World with plunder worth
    half a million.

    1585. Antwerp captured by the Duke of Parma; flight of merchants
    to London. Transfer of commercial supremacy from Antwerp to
    London. Beginning of carrying trade, especially with Flanders.

[Illustration: BENCH OF OAK. FRENCH; ABOUT 1500.

With panels of linen ornament. Seat arranged as a coffer.

(Formerly in the collection of M. Emile Peyre.)

(_Royal Scottish Museum, Edinburgh._)]


The opening years of the sixteenth century saw the beginnings of the
Renaissance movement in England. The oak chest had become a settle with
high back and arms. The fine example of an early sixteenth-century oak
chest illustrated (p. 59) shows how the Gothic style had impressed
itself on articles of domestic furniture. The credence, or tasting
buffet, had developed into the Tudor sideboard, where a cloth was spread
and candles placed. With more peaceful times a growth of domestic
refinement required comfortable and even luxurious surroundings. The
royal palaces at Richmond and Windsor were filled with costly foreign
furniture. The mansions which were taking the place of the old feudal
castles found employment for foreign artists and craftsmen who taught
the English woodcarver. In the early days of Henry VIII. the classical
style supplanted the Gothic, or was in great measure mingled with it.
Many fine structures exist which belong to this transition period,
during which the mixed style was predominant. The woodwork of King's
College Chapel at Cambridge is held to be an especially notable example.

[Illustration: PORTION OF CARVED WALNUT VIRGINAL.

FLEMISH; SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

[Illustration: FRENCH CARVED OAK COFFER.

Showing interlaced ribbon work.

SECOND HALF OF SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

(Height, 2 ft. 1 in.; width, 3 ft. 1 in.)

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

The Great Hall at Hampton Court dates from 1531, or five years after
Cardinal Wolsey had given up his palace to Henry VIII. Its grand
proportions, its high-pitched roof and pendants, display the art of the
woodcarver in great excellence. This hall, like others of the same
period, had an open hearth in the centre, on which logs of wood were
placed, and the smoke found its way out through a cupola, or louvre, in
the roof.

The roofs of the Early Tudor mansions were magnificent specimens of
woodwork. But the old style of king-post, queen-post, or hammer-beam
roof was prevalent. The panelling, too, of halls and rooms retained the
formal character in its mouldings, and various "linen" patterns were
used, so called from their resemblance to a folded napkin, an
ornamentation largely used towards the end of the Perpendicular style,
which was characteristic of English domestic architecture in the
fifteenth century. To this period belongs the superb woodcarving of the
renowned choir stalls of Henry VII.'s Chapel in Westminster Abbey.

The bench of oak illustrated (p. 60) shows a common form of panel with
linen ornament, and is French, of about the year 1500. The seat, as will
be seen, is arranged as a locked coffer.

[Illustration: FIREPLACE AND OAK PANELLING FROM THE "OLD PALACE" AT
BROMLEY-BY-BOW. BUILT IN 1606.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

The Elizabethan woodcarver revelled in grotesque figure work, in
intricate interlacings of strapwork, borrowed from the Flemish, and
ribbon ornamentation, adapted from the French. He delighted in massive
embellishment of magnificent proportions. Among Tudor woodwork the
carved oak screen of the Middle Temple Hall is a noteworthy example of
the sumptuousness and splendour of interior decoration of the English
Renaissance. These screens supporting the minstrels' gallery in old
halls are usually exceptionally rich in detail. Gray's Inn (dated 1560)
and the Charterhouse (dated 1571) are other examples of the best period
of sixteenth-century woodwork in England.

Christ Church at Oxford, Grimsthorp in Lincolnshire, Kenninghall in
Norfolk, Layer Marney Towers in Essex, and Sutton Place at Guildford,
are all representative structures typical of the halls and manor houses
being built at the time of the English Renaissance.

In the Victoria and Albert Museum has been re-erected a room having the
oak panelling from the "Old Palace" at Bromley-by-Bow, which was built
in 1606. The massive fireplace with the royal coat of arms above, with
the niches in which stand carved figures of two saints, together with
the contemporary iron fire-dogs standing in the hearth, give a picture
of what an old Elizabethan hall was like.

[Illustration: ELIZABETHAN BEDSTEAD. DATED 1593.

Carved oak, ornamented in marquetry.

(Height, 7 ft. 4 in.; length, 7 ft. 11 in.; width, 5 ft. 8 in.)

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

Under Queen Elizabeth new impulses stirred the nation, and a sumptuous
Court set the fashion in greater luxury of living. Gloriana, with her
merchant-princes, her fleet of adventurers on the high seas, and the
pomp and circumstance of her troop of foreign lovers, brought foreign
fashions and foreign art into commoner usage. The growth of luxurious
habits in the people was eyed askance by her statesmen; "England
spendeth more in wines in one year," complained Cecil, "than it did in
ancient times in four years." The chimney-corner took the place of the
open hearth; chimneys were for the first time familiar features in
middle-class houses. The insanitary rush-floor was superseded by wood,
and carpets came into general use. Even pillows, deemed by the hardy
yeomanry as only fit "for women in child-bed," found a place in the
massive and elaborately carved Elizabethan bedstead.

The illustration of the fine Elizabethan bedstead (on p. 66) gives a
very good idea of what the domestic furniture was like in the days
immediately succeeding the Spanish Armada. It is carved in oak; with
columns, tester, and headboard showing the classic influence. It is
ornamented in marquetry, and bears the date 1593.

All over England were springing up town halls and fine houses of the
trading-classes, and manor houses and palaces of the nobility worthy of
the people about to establish a formidable position in European
politics. Hatfield House, Hardwick Hall, Audley End, Burleigh, Knole,
and Longleat, all testify to the Renaissance which swept over England at
this time. Stately terraces with Italian gardens, long galleries hung
with tapestries, and lined with carved oak chairs and elaborate cabinets
were marked features in the days of the new splendour. Men's minds, led
by Raleigh, the Prince of Company Promoters, and fired by Drake's
buccaneering exploits, turned to the New World, hitherto under the heel
of Spain. Dreams of galleons laden with gold and jewels stimulated the
ambition of adventurous gallants, and quickened the nation's pulse. The
love of travel became a portion of the Englishman's heritage. The
Italian spirit had reached England in full force. The poetry and
romances of Italy affected all the Elizabethan men of letters.
Shakespeare, in his "Merchant of Venice" and his other plays, plainly
shows the Italian influence. In costume, in speech, and in furniture, it
became the fashion to follow Italy. To Ascham it seemed like "the
enchantment of Circe brought out of Italy to mar men's manners in
England."

[Illustration: PANEL OF CARVED OAK.

ENGLISH; EARLY SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

Showing interlaced strapwork.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

The result of this wave of fashion on the domestic furniture of England
was to impart to it the elegance of Italian art combined with a national
sturdiness of character seemingly inseparable from English art at all
periods. As the reign of Queen Elizabeth extended from the year 1558 to
the year 1603, it is usual to speak of architecture and furniture of
the latter half of the sixteenth century as Elizabethan.

A favourite design in Elizabethan woodwork is the interlaced strapwork
(see illustration p. 68), which was derived from similar designs
employed by the contemporary stonecarver, and is found on Flemish
woodwork of the same period. The panel of a sixteenth-century Flemish
virginal, carved in walnut, illustrated, shows this form of decoration.
Grotesque terminal figures, half-human, half-monster, supported the
front of the buffets, or were the supporting terminals of cornices. This
feature is an adaptation from the Caryatides, the supporting figures
used instead of columns in architecture, which in Renaissance days
extended to woodwork. Table-legs and bed-posts swelled into heavy,
acorn-shaped supports of massive dimensions. Cabinets were sometimes
inlaid, as was also the room panelling, but it cannot be said that at
this period the art of marquetry had arrived at a great state of
perfection in this country.

It is noticeable that in the rare pieces that are inlaid in the Late
Tudor and Early Jacobean period the inlay itself is a sixteenth of an
inch thick, whereas in later inlays of more modern days the inlay is
thinner and flimsier. In the Flemish examples ivory was often used, and
holly and sycamore and box seem to have been the favourite woods
selected for inlay.

Take, for example, the mirror with the frame of carved oak, with scroll
outline and narrow bands inlaid with small squares of wood, alternately
light and dark. This inlay is very coarsely done, and unworthy to
compare with Italian marquetry of contemporary date, or of an earlier
period. The uprights and feet of the frame, it will be noticed, are
baluster-shaped. The glass mirror is of nineteenth-century manufacture.
The date carved upon the frame is 1603, the first year of the reign of
James I., and it is stated to have come from Derby Old Hall.

The Court cupboard, also of the same date, begins to show the coming
style of Jacobean ornamentation in the turning in the upright pillars
and supports and the square baluster termination. The massive carving
and elaborate richness of the early Elizabethan period have given place
to a more restrained decoration. Between the drawers is the design of a
tulip in marquetry, and narrow bands of inlay are used to decorate the
piece. In place of the chimerical monsters we have a portrait in wood of
a lady, for which Arabella Stuart might have sat as model. The days were
approaching when furniture was designed for use, and ornament was put
aside if it interfered with the structural utility of the piece. The
wrought-iron handle to the drawer should be noted, and in connection
with the observation brought to bear by the beginner on genuine
specimens in the Victoria and Albert Museum and other collections, it is
well not to let any detail escape minute attention. Hinges and lock
escutcheons and handles to drawers must not be neglected in order to
acquire a sound working knowledge of the peculiarities of the different
periods.

[Illustration: MIRROR.

Glass in oak frame with carved scroll outline and narrow bands inlaid
with small squares of wood. The glass nineteenth century.

ENGLISH. DATED 1603.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

[Illustration: COURT CUPBOARD, CARVED OAK.

ENGLISH. DATED 1603.

Decorated with narrow bands inlaid, and having inlaid tulip between
drawers.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

In contrast with this specimen, the elaborately carved Court cupboard of
a slightly earlier period should be examined. It bears carving on
every available surface. It has been "restored," and restored pieces
have an unpleasant fashion of suggesting that sundry improvements have
been carried out in the process. At any rate, as it stands it is
over-laboured, and entirely lacking in reticence. The elaboration of
enrichment, while executed in a perfectly harmonious manner, should
convey a lesson to the student of furniture. There is an absence of
contrast; had portions of it been left uncarved how much more effective
would have been the result! As it is it stands, wonderful as is the
technique, somewhat of a warning to the designer to cultivate a studied
simplicity rather than to run riot in a profusion of detail.

[Illustration: COURT CUPBOARD, CARVED OAK.

ABOUT 1580. (RESTORED.)

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

Another interesting Court cupboard, of the early seventeenth century,
shows the more restrained style that was rapidly succeeding the earlier
work. This piece is essentially English in spirit, and is untouched save
the legs, which have been restored.

[Illustration: _By kind permission of T. E. Price Stretche, Esq._

COURT CUPBOARD, EARLY SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

With secret hiding-place at top.]

The table which is illustrated (p. 78) is a typical example of the table
in ordinary use in Elizabethan days. This table replaced a stone altar
in a church in Shropshire at the time of the Reformation.

It was late in the reign of Queen Elizabeth that upholstered chairs
became more general. Sir John Harrington, writing in 1597, gives
evidence of this in the assertion that "the fashion of cushioned chayrs
is taken up in every merchant's house." Wooden seats had hitherto not
been thought too hard, and chairs imported from Spain had leather seats
and backs of fine tooled work richly gilded and decorated. In the latter
days of Elizabeth loose cushions were used for chairs and for window
seats, and were elaborately wrought in velvet, or were of satin
embroidered in colours, with pearls as ornamentation, and edged with
gold or silver lace.

The upholstered chair belongs more properly to the Jacobean period, and
in the next chapter will be shown several specimens of those used by
James I.

In Elizabethan panelling to rooms, in chimneypieces, doorways, screens
such as those built across the end of a hall and supporting the
minstrels' gallery, the wood used was nearly always English oak, and
most of the thinner parts, such as that designed for panels and smaller
surfaces, was obtained by splitting the timber, thus exhibiting the
beautiful figure of the wood so noticeable in old examples.


RECENT SALE PRICES.[1]

                                                             £   s. d.
Chest, oak, with inlaid panels under arches, with caryatid
    figures carved in box-wood, English, temp. Elizabeth.
    Christie, January 29, 1904.                              40  9  0

Tudor mantelpiece, with elaborately carved jambs, panels,  }
    brackets, sides, and cornice, 6 ft. by 7 ft. 3 in. high.}
    Herbert Wright, Ipswich, February 19, 1904             }
                                                           } 155  0 0
Old oak panelling, in all about 60 ft. run and 6 ft. 6 in. }
    high, with 17 carved panels and 3 fluted pilasters     }
    fitted in same, part being surmounted by a cornice.    }
    Herbert Wright, Ipswich, February 19, 1904             }

Credence, walnut-wood, with a cupboard and drawer above and
    shelf beneath, the corners are returned, the central
    panel has carved upon it, in low relief, circular
    medallions, pierced steel hinges and lock, 36 in. wide,
    50 in. high, early sixteenth century. Christie, May 6,
    1904                                                    346  0  0

Bedstead, Elizabethan, with panelled and carved canopy top,
    supported by fluted and carved pillars, inlaid and
    panelled back, with raised figures and flowers in
    relief, also having a carved panelled footboard. C. W.
    Provis & Son, Manchester, May 9, 1904                    22 10  0

Bedstead, oak Elizabethan, with carved back, dated 1560, and
    small cupboard fitted with secret sliding panel, and
    further having carved and inlaid panelled top with
    inlaid panels, the whole surmounted with heavy cornice.
    C. W. Provis & Son, Manchester, May 9, 1904              33  0  0

Sideboard, Elizabethan old oak, 6 ft. 2 in. wide by 7 ft. 6
    in. high, with carved canopy top; also fitted with
    gallery shelf, supported by lions rampant. C. W. Provis
    & Son, Manchester. May 9, 1904                           60  0  0

[1] By the kindness of the proprietors of the _Connoisseur_ these items
are given from their useful monthly publication, _Auction Sale Prices_.

[Illustration: _By kindness of T. E. Price Stretche, Esq._

ELIZABETHAN OAK TABLE.]



III

STUART OR JACOBEAN. SEVENTEENTH CENTURY


[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Waring._

GATE-LEG TABLE.]



III

STUART OR JACOBEAN. SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

    James I.          1603-1625.
    Charles I.        1625-1649.
    The Commonwealth  1649-1660.

    1619. Tapestry factory established at Mortlake, under Sir
    Francis Crane.

    ---- Banqueting Hall added to Whitehall by Inigo Jones.

    1632. Vandyck settled in London on invitation of Charles I.

    1651. Navigation Act passed; aimed blow (1572-1652) at Dutch
    carrying trade. All goods to be imported in English ships or in
    ships of country producing goods.


With the advent of the House of Stuart the England under James I. saw
new fashions introduced in furniture. It has already been mentioned that
the greater number of old houses which are now termed Tudor or
Elizabethan were erected in the days of James I. At the beginning of a
new monarchy fashion in art rarely changes suddenly, so that the early
pieces of Jacobean furniture differ very little from Elizabethan in
character. Consequently the Court cupboard, dated 1603, and mirror of
the same year (illustrated on p. 70), though bearing the date of the
first year of the reign of James, more properly belong to Tudor days.

In the Bodleian Library at Oxford there is preserved a chair of fine
workmanship and of historic memory. It was made from the oak timbers of
the _Golden Hind_, the ship in which Sir Francis Drake made his
adventurous voyage of discovery round the world. In spite of many secret
enemies "deaming him the master thiefe of the unknowne world," Queen
Elizabeth came to Deptford and came aboard the _Golden Hind_ and "there
she did make Captain Drake knight, in the same ship, for reward of his
services; his armes were given him, a ship on the world, which ship, by
Her Majestie's commandment, is lodged in a dock at Deptford, for a
monument to all posterity."

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

OAK CHAIR MADE FROM THE TIMBER OF THE _GOLDEN HIND_. COMMONLY CALLED
"SIR FRANCIS DRAKE'S CHAIR."

(_At the Bodleian Library._)]

It remained for many years at Deptford dockyard, and became the resort
of holiday folk, who made merry in the cabin, which was converted into a
miniature banqueting hall; but when it was too far decayed to be
repaired it was broken up, and a sufficient quantity of sound wood was
selected from it and made into a chair, which was presented to the
University of Oxford. This was in the time of Charles II., and the poet
Cowley has written some lines on it, in which he says that Drake and
his _Golden Hind_ could not have wished a more blessed fate, since to
"this Pythagorean ship"

          "... a seat of endless rest is given
    To her in Oxford, and to him in heaven--"

which, though quite unintentional on the part of the poet, is curiously
satiric.

[Illustration: _By permission of the Master of the Charterhouse._

OAK TABLE, DATED 1616, BEARING ARMS OF THOMAS SUTTON, FOUNDER OF THE
CHARTERHOUSE HOSPITAL.]

The piece is highly instructive as showing the prevailing design for a
sumptuous chair in the late seventeenth century. The middle arch in the
back of the chair is disfigured by a tablet with an inscription, which
has been placed there.

Of the early days of James I. is a finely carved oak table, dated 1616.
This table is heavily moulded and carved with garlands between cherubs'
heads, and shields bearing the arms of Thomas Sutton, the founder of the
Charterhouse Hospital. The upper part of the table is supported on
thirteen columns, with quasi-Corinthian columns and enriched shafts,
standing on a moulded H-shaped base. It will be seen that the designers
had not yet thrown off the trammels of architecture which dominated much
of the Renaissance woodwork. The garlands are not the garlands of
Grinling Gibbons, and although falling within the Jacobean period, it
lacks the charm which belong to typical Jacobean pieces.

At Knole, in the possession of Lord Sackville, there are some fine
specimens of early Jacobean furniture, illustrations of which are
included in this volume. The chair used by King James I. when sitting to
the painter Mytens is of peculiar interest. The cushion, worn and
threadbare with age, is in all probability the same cushion used by
James. The upper part of the chair is trimmed with a band of gold
thread. The upholstering is red velvet, and the frame, which is of oak,
bears traces of gilding upon it, and is studded with copper nails. The
chair in design, with the half circular supports, follows old Venetian
patterns. The smaller chair is of the same date, and equally interesting
as a fine specimen; the old embroidery, discoloured and worn though it
be, is of striking design and must have been brilliant and distinctive
three hundred years ago. The date of these pieces is about 1620, the
year when the "Pilgrim Fathers" landed in America.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

CHAIR USED BY JAMES I.

In the possession of Lord Sackville.]

From the wealth of Jacobean furniture at Knole it is difficult to
make a representative selection, but the stool we reproduce (p. 90) is
interesting, inasmuch as it was a piece of furniture in common use. The
chairs evidently were State chairs, but the footstool was used in all
likelihood by those who sat below the salt, and were of less
significance. The stuffed settee which finds a place in the
billiard-room at Knole and the sumptuous sofa in the Long Gallery, with
its mechanical arrangement for altering the angle at the head, are
objects of furniture difficult to equal. The silk and gold thread
coverings are faded, and the knotted fringe and gold braid have
tarnished under the hand of Time, but their structural design is so
effective that the modern craftsman has made luxurious furniture after
these models.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

JACOBEAN CHAIR AT KNOLE.

In the possession of Lord Sackville.]

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

JACOBEAN STOOL AT KNOLE.

In the possession of Lord Sackville.]

[Illustration: UPPER HALF OF CARVED WALNUT DOOR.

Showing ribbon work.

FRENCH; LATTER PART OF SIXTEENTH CENTURY.

(Height of door, 4 ft. 7 in.; width, 1 ft. 11 in.)

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

Carved oak chests were not largely made in Jacobean days--not, at any
rate, for the same purpose as they were in Tudor or earlier times. As
church coffers they doubtless continued to be required, but for
articles of domestic furniture other than as linen chests their
multifarious uses had vanished. Early Jacobean coffers clearly show the
departure from Elizabethan models. They become more distinctly English
in feeling, though the interlaced ribbon decoration, so frequently used,
is an adaptation from French work, which pattern was now becoming
acclimatised. The French carved oak coffer of the second half of the
sixteenth century (illustrated p. 61) shows from what source some of the
English designs were derived.

In the portion of the French door which we give as an illustration (on
p. 91), it will be seen with what grace and artistic excellence of
design and with what restraint the French woodcarvers utilised the
running ribbon. The ribbon pattern has been variously used by designers
of furniture; it appears in Chippendale's chair-backs, where it almost
exceeds the limitations of the technique of woodcarving.

Art in the early days of Charles I. was undimmed. The tapestry factory
at Mortlake, established by James I., was further encouraged by the
"White King." He took a great and a personal interest in all matters
relating to art. Under his auspices the cartoons of Raphael were brought
to England to foster the manufacture of tapestry. He gave his patronage
to foreign artists and to foreign craftsmen, and in every way attempted
to bring English art workers into line with their contemporaries on the
Continent. Vandyck came over to become "Principal painter of Their
Majesties at St. James's," keeping open table at Blackfriars and living
in almost regal style. His grace and distinction and the happy
circumstance of his particular style being coincident with the most
picturesque period in English costume, have won him a place among the
world's great painters. Fine portraits, at Windsor and at Madrid, at
Dresden and at the Pitti Palace, at the Louvre and in the Hermitage at
Petersburg, testify to the European fame of the painter's brilliant
gallery representing the finest flower of the English aristocracy,
prelates, statesmen, courtiers and beautiful women that were gathered
together at the Court of Charles I. and his Queen Henrietta Maria.

[Illustration: OAK CHAIR.

CHARLES I. PERIOD.

With arms of Thomas Wentworth, first Earl of Strafford (1593-1641).

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

In Early Stuart days the influence of Inigo Jones, the Surveyor of Works
to Charles I., made itself felt in woodwork and interior decorations. He
was possessed with a great love and reverence for the classicism of
Italy, and introduced into his banqueting hall at Whitehall (now the
United Service Museum), and St. Paul's, Covent Garden, a chaster style,
which was taken up by the designers of furniture, who began to abandon
the misguided use of ornament of later Elizabethan days. In the
Victoria and Albert Museum is an oak chair with the arms of Thomas
Wentworth, first Earl of Strafford, which, in addition to its historic
interest, is a fine example of the chair of the period of Charles I.
(illustrated p. 93).

[Illustration: ITALIAN CHAIR, ABOUT 1620.

Thence introduced into England.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

It is certain that the best specimens of Jacobean furniture of this
period, with their refined lines and well-balanced proportions, are
suggestive of the stately diction of Clarendon or the well-turned lyrics
of Herrick.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Hampton & Son_

HIGH-BACK OAK CHAIR. EARLY JACOBEAN.

Elaborately carved with shell and scroll foliage.

(Formerly in the Stuart MacDonald family, and originally in the
possession of King Charles I.)]

In the illustration of a sixteenth-century chair in common use in Italy,
it will be seen to what source the Jacobean woodworkers looked for
inspiration. The fine, high-backed oak Stuart chair, elaborately carved
with bold shell and scroll foliage, having carved supports, stuffed
upholstered seats, and loose cushion covered in old Spanish silk damask,
is a highly interesting example. It was long in the possession of the
Stuart MacDonald family, and is believed to have belonged to Charles I.

The gate-leg table, sometimes spoken of as Cromwellian, belongs to this
Middle Jacobean style. It cannot be said with any degree of accuracy
that in the Commonwealth days a special style of furniture was
developed. From all evidence it would seem that the manufacture of
domestic furniture went on in much the same manner under Cromwell as
under Charles. Iconoclasts as were the Puritans, it is doubtful whether
they extended their work of destruction to articles in general use. The
bigot had "no starch in his linen, no gay furniture in his house."
Obviously the Civil War very largely interfered with the encouragement
and growth of the fine arts, but when furniture had to be made there is
no doubt the Roundhead cabinetmaker and the Anabaptist carpenter
produced as good joinery and turning as they did before Charles made his
historic descent upon the House in his attempt to arrest the five
members.

There is a style of chair, probably imported from Holland, with leather
back and leather seat which is termed "Cromwellian," probably on account
of its severe lines, but there is no direct evidence that this style was
peculiarly of Commonwealth usage. The illustration (p. 97) gives the
type of chair, but the covering is modern.

That Cromwell himself had no dislike for the fine arts is proved by his
care of the Raphael cartoons, and we are enabled to reproduce an
illustration of a fine old ebony cabinet with moulded front, fitted with
numerous drawers, which was formerly the property of Oliver Cromwell. It
was at Olivers Stanway, once the residence of the Eldred family. The
stand is carved with shells and scrolls, and the scroll-shaped legs are
enriched with carved female figures, the entire stand being gilded. This
piece is most probably of Italian workmanship, and was of course made
long before the Protector's day, showing marked characteristics of
Renaissance style.

[Illustration: JACOBEAN CHAIR, CANE BACK CROMWELLIAN CHAIR.

ARMCHAIR. DATED 1623. ARMCHAIR. WITH INLAID BACK.

JACOBEAN CHAIRS.

(_By permission of T. E. Price Stretche, Esq._)]

The carved oak cradle (p. 107), with the letters "G. B. M. B." on one
side, and "October, 14 dai," on the other, and bearing the date 1641,
shows the type of piece in common use. It is interesting to the
collector to make a note of the turned knob of wood so often found on
doors and as drawer handles on untouched old specimens of this period,
but very frequently removed by dealers and replaced by metal handles of
varying styles, all of which may be procured by the dozen in Tottenham
Court Road, coarse replicas of old designs. Another point worthy of
attention is the wooden peg in the joinery, securing the tenon into the
mortice, which is visible in old pieces. It will be noticed in several
places in this cradle. In modern imitations, unless very thoughtfully
reproduced, these oaken pegs are not visible.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Hampton & Sons._

EBONY CABINET.

On stand gilded and richly carved.

FORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF OLIVER CROMWELL.

(From Olivers Stanway, at one time the seat of the Eldred family.)]

In the page of Jacobean chairs showing the various styles, the more
severe piece, dated 1623, is Early Jacobean, and the fine unrestored
armchair of slightly later date shows in the stretcher the wear given by
the feet of the sitters. It is an interesting piece; the stiles in the
back are inlaid with pearwood and ebony. The other armchair with its
cane panels in back is of later Stuart days. It shows the transitional
stage between the scrolled-arm type of chair, wholly of wood, and the
more elaborate type (illustrated p. 123) of the James II. period.

[Illustration: JACOBEAN CARVED OAK CHAIRS.

Yorkshire, about 1640.

Derbyshire; early seventeenth century.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

[Illustration: _By permission of the Rt. Hon. Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane,
G.C.B, I.S.O._

JACOBEAN OAK CUPBOARD. ABOUT 1620.]

In addition to the finer pieces of seventeenth-century furniture to be
found in the seats of the nobility, such as at Penshurst, or in the
manor houses and homes of the squires and smaller landowners, there was
much furniture of a particularly good design in use at farmsteads from
one end of the country to the other, in days when a prosperous class of
yeoman followed the tastes of their richer neighbours. This farmhouse
furniture is nowadays much sought after. It was of local manufacture,
and is distinctly English in its character. Oak dressers either plain or
carved, were made not only in Wales--"Welsh Dressers" having become
almost a trade term--but in various parts of England, in Yorkshire,
in Derbyshire, in Sussex, and in Suffolk. They are usually fitted with
two or three open shelves, and sometimes with cupboards on each side.
The better preserved specimens have still their old drop-handles and
hinges of brass. It is not easy to procure fine examples nowadays, as it
became fashionable two or three years ago to collect these, and in
addition to oak dressers from the farmhouses of Normandy, equally old
and quaint, which were imported to supply a popular demand, a great
number of modern imitations were made up from old wood--church pews
largely forming the framework of the dressers, which were not difficult
to imitate successfully.

The particular form of chair known as the "Yorkshire chair" is of the
same period. Certain localities seem to have produced peculiar types of
chairs which local makers made in great numbers. It will be noticed that
even in these conditions, with a continuous manufacture going on, the
patterns were not exact duplicates of each other, as are the
machine-made chairs turned out of a modern factory, where the maker has
no opportunity to introduce any personal touches, but has to obey the
iron law of his machine.

As a passing hint to collectors of old oak furniture, it may be observed
that it very rarely happens that two chairs can be found together of the
same design. There may be a great similarity of ornament and a
particularly striking resemblance, but the chair with its twin companion
beside it suggests that one, if not both, are spurious. The same
peculiarity is exhibited in old brass candlesticks, and especially the
old Dutch brass with circular platform in middle of candlestick. One
may handle fifty without finding two that are turned with precisely the
same form of ornament.

The usual feature of the chair which is termed "Yorkshire" is that it
has an open back in the form of an arcade, or a back formed with two
crescent-shaped cross-rails, the decorations of the back usually bearing
acorn-shaped knobs either at the top of the rail or as pendants. This
type is not confined to Yorkshire, as they have frequently been found in
Derbyshire, in Oxfordshire, and in Worcestershire, and a similar variety
may be found in old farmhouses in East Anglia.

In the illustration of the two oak chairs (p. 105), the one with arms is
of the Charles I. period, the other is later and belongs to the latter
half of the seventeenth century.

The Jacobean oak cupboard (illustrated p. 101) is in date about 1620. At
the side there are perforations to admit air, which shows that it was
used as a butter cupboard. The doors have an incised decoration of
conventional design. The lower part is carved in style unmistakably
Jacobean in nature. The pattern on the two uprights at the top is
repeatedly found in pieces evidently designed locally for use in
farmhouses.

It is not too much to hope that enough has been said concerning Jacobean
furniture of the early and middle seventeenth century to show that it
possesses a peculiar charm and simplicity in the lines of its
construction, which make it a very pleasing study to the earnest
collector who wishes to procure a few genuine specimens of old
furniture, which, while being excellent in artistic feeling, are not
unprocurable by reason of their rarity and excessive cost. It should be
within the power of the careful collector, after following the hints in
this volume, and after examining well-selected examples in such a
collection as that at the Victoria and Albert Museum, to obtain, without
unreasonable expenditure, after patient search, one or two Jacobean
pieces of undoubted authenticity.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Fenton & Sons._

JACOBEAN OAK CHAIRS.

Armchair, time of Charles I.

Yorkshire chair. Late seventeenth century.]


RECENT SALE PRICES.[1]

                                                              £  s. d.
Cabinet, Jacobean oak, with two drawers, and folding doors
    below enclosing drawers, decorated with rectangular
    panels in relief, inlaid in ebony and ivory, and with
    baluster columns at the side--48 in. high, 46 in. wide.
    Christie, November 27, 1903                              44  2  0

Cabinet, Jacobean black oak, 5 ft. wide by 6 ft. 2 in. high,
    fitted with cupboards above and below, with sunk
    panelled folding doors, carved with busts of warriors in
    high relief, the pilasters carved with mask heads and
    caryatid figures, the whole carved with floral scrolls
    and other devices. Capes, Dunn & Pilcher, Manchester,
    December 9, 1903                                         57  0  0

Chairs, set of three Jacobean oak, with canework seats, and
    panels in the backs, the borders carved with scrolls,
    and on scroll legs with stretchers. Christie, January
    29, 1904                                                 52 10  0

Table, Cromwell, oak, on spiral legs. Dowell, Edinburgh,
    March 12, 1904                                           11  0  6

Elbow-chair, oak, Scotch, back having carved wheel, "A. R.,
    1663." Dowell, Edinburgh, March 12, 1904                 60 18  0

Cabinet, Jacobean oak, with drawer and folding doors below,
    with moulded rectangular panels and balusters in relief,
    50 in. high, 46 in. wide. Christie, July 1, 1904         35 14  0

[1] By the kindness of the proprietors of the _Connoisseur_ these items
are given from their useful monthly publication, _Auction Sale Prices_.

[Illustration: CRADLE, TIME OF CHARLES I.

CARVED OAK; WITH LETTERS G. B. M. B. DATED 1641.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]



IV

STUART OR JACOBEAN.

LATE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

[Illustration: (_After picture by Caspar Netscher_)

INTERIOR OF DUTCH HOUSE.

LATTER HALF OF SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.]



IV

STUART OR JACOBEAN. LATE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

    Charles II.            1660-1685.
    James II.              1685-1688.
    William and Mary.      1689-1694.
    William                1694-1702.

    Sir Christopher Wren  (1632-1723).
    Grinling Gibbons      (1648-1726).

    1660. Bombay became a British possession. Importation of
    Indo-Portuguese furniture.

    1666. Great Fire in London. Much valuable furniture destroyed.

    1675-1710. St. Paul's Cathedral built under Wren's direction.

    1685. Edict of Nantes revoked. Spitalfields' silk industry
    founded by French refugees.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

CABINET OF THE TIME OF CHARLES II.

With exterior finely decorated with needlework.]


After the Civil War, when Charles II. came into his own again, the
furniture of the Restoration period most certainly took its colour from
the gay Court with which the Merry Monarch surrounded himself. The
cabinet which we reproduce has the royal arms embroidered on the cover,
and is a beautiful example of intricate cabinetmaking. The surface of
the piece is entirely covered with needlework. On the front stand a
cavalier and lady, hand-in-hand. On the side panel a cavalier is leading
a lady on horseback. On the back a man drives a laden camel, and on
another panel is shown the traveller being received by an old man in the
grounds of the same castle which appears all through the scenes. This
suggests the love-story of some cavalier and his lady. The casket is
worthy to have held the love-letters of the Chevalier Grammont to La
Belle Hamilton.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

CABINET OF THE TIME OF CHARLES II.

Showing interior and nest of drawers.]

As is usual in pieces of this nature, the cabinet contains many artfully
devised hiding places. A tiny spring behind the lock reveals one secret
drawer, and another is hidden beneath the inkwell. There are in all five
of such secret compartments--or rather five of them have been at present
discovered--there may be more. The illustration of the cabinet open
shows what a nest of drawers it holds.

In the days of plots, when Titus Oates set half the nation by the ears,
when James solemnly warned the merry Charles of plots against his life,
provoking the cynical retort, "They will never kill me, James, to make
you king," secret drawers were no doubt a necessity to a fashionable
cabinet.

Catherine of Braganza, his queen, brought with her from Portugal many
sumptuous fashions in furniture, notably cabinets and chairs of Spanish
and Portuguese workmanship. The cavaliers scattered by the Civil War
returned, and as in their enforced exile on the Continent they had
cultivated foreign tastes, it was only natural that Dutch, French, and
Italian work found its way to this country and effected the character of
the early furniture of the Charles II. period. From Portugal came the
high-backed chair, having the back and the seat of leather cut with
fine design, and coloured or gilded. This leather work is of exquisite
character, and we reproduce a portion of a Portuguese chair-back of this
period to show the artistic excellence of the design. With Catherine of
Braganza came the marriage dower of Bombay, and from India, where the
settlement of Goa had been Portuguese for centuries, were sent to Europe
the carved chairs in ebony, inlaid in ivory, made by the native workmen
from Portuguese and Italian models, but enriched with pierced carving
and intricate inlay of ivory in a manner which only an Oriental
craftsman can produce. Having become fashionable in Portugal, they made
their appearance in England, and rapidly became popular. At Penshurst
Place there are several fine specimens of this Indo-Portuguese work,
with the spindles of the chair-backs of carved ivory; and in the
Ashmolean Museum at Oxford there is the well-known chair which was
presented by Charles II. to Elias Ashmole.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Hampton & Sons._

PORTUGUESE HIGH-BACK CHAIR.

Seat and back formed of two panels of old stamped leather, studded with
brass bosses.]

Both in this later Stuart period and in the days of the first Charles
inlay was considerably used to heighten the carved designs on oak
tables, chairs, and cabinets. The growth of commerce was responsible for
the introduction of many varieties of foreign woods, which were used to
produce finer effects in marquetry than the rude inlay of Elizabethan
days.

The Frontispiece to this volume represents a very handsome cabinet of
English workmanship, inlaid with ivory and mother-of-pearl. It is an
unusually fine example of the middle seventeenth century, and bears the
date 1653, the year when Cromwell forcibly dissolved the Rump Parliament
and was declared "Lord Protector of the Commonwealth."

Up till now oak--the hard, tough, English variety, and not the more
modern Baltic oak or American varieties now used--was the material for
the tool of the carver to work upon. With the introduction of more
flowing lines and curves, a wealth of detail, it is not unnatural to
find that softer woods began to find favour as more suitable to the new
decorations. The age of walnut was approaching when, under William the
Dutchman, and in the days of Queen Anne, a newer style of furniture was
to arise, made by craftsmen trained in the precepts of Grinling Gibbons
and following the conceptions of Sir Christopher Wren. It must be borne
in mind that in Italy the softer woods, such as lime, willow, sycamore,
chestnut, walnut, and cypress, had long been used for the delicate
carving during the height of the Renaissance and succeeding period, and
in France and Spain chestnut and walnut were favourite woods.

In the central panel of the Restoration chair-back, canework began to be
used instead of the Early Jacobean carving. Cane seats were frequent,
and loose cushions, attached by means of strings, covered these cane
panels and seats. The illustration (p. 122) shows a Jacobean chair of
this period.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Waring_

OAK CHEST OF DRAWERS. LATE JACOBEAN.

(Height, 3 ft. 3 in.; width, 3 ft.; depth, 1 ft. 10 in.)]

Belonging to these later Jacobean days are chests of drawers of oak with
finely panelled fronts. We illustrate two specimens, showing the old
brass metal work and the drop-handles. They are usually in two parts,
and are very deep from back to front. These are two typical examples of
this kind of furniture, which was in general use up to the days of Queen
Anne, when pieces are frequently found supported on a stand.

In the picture by Caspar Netscher, showing a Dutch lady at her toilet, a
good idea is conveyed of the kind of chair in use in Holland in the
latter half of the seventeenth century, upholstered in brocade, and the
rich tapestry tablecloth is a noticeable feature.

Before entering upon the last phase of Stuart furniture, and leaving the
days of Jacobean oak with its fine carving and handsome appearance--the
careful result of selecting the timber and splitting it to show the fine
figure of the wood--the attention of the reader should be drawn to the
fact that the appearance of the surface of furniture made subsequent to
this period begins to approach the results of the modern cabinetmaker
with his polishes and spirit varnishes and highly glazed panels and
table tops. The lover of old oak abominates varnish. The Elizabethan and
Jacobean carved oak furniture received only a preliminary coat of dark
varnish in its early days, mixed with oil and not spirit, which sank
into the wood and was not a surface polish, and was probably used to
preserve the wood. These old pieces, which have received centuries of
rubbing with beeswax and oil, have resulted in producing a rich, warm
tone which it is impossible to copy by any of the subtle arts known to
the modern forger. The collector should make himself thoroughly
familiar with the appearance of this old oak by a careful examination of
museum pieces, which, when once seen, cannot easily be forgotten.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Waring._

CHEST OF DRAWERS. PANELLED FRONT; LATE JACOBEAN.

(Height, 3 ft. 4 in.; width, 3 ft. 10 in.; depth, 1 ft. 10 in.)]

The Italian Renaissance furniture probably received an oil varnish, the
composition of which, like the varnish employed for old violins, has
been lost, but after centuries of careful usage and polishing, the
result, as seen in the fine specimens in the Victoria and Albert
Museum, is to give to them the appearance of bronze.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Hampton & Sons._

CHARLES II. OAK CHAIR.

Open back carved with shell and scrolled foliage. Stuffed seat covered
with old damask.]

There is little doubt that the Great Fire, which did such immense
destruction in London in 1666, in which some eighty-nine churches and
thirteen thousand houses were demolished, gave a considerable impetus to
the manufacture of furniture in the new style. It is not a pleasing
reflection to think how many fine pieces of Elizabethan and early
Jacobean furniture were consumed in the flames, including much of Inigo
Jones's work.

Under the genius of Sir Christopher Wren many of the city churches were
rebuilt, including St. Paul's Cathedral; and Greenwich Hospital and
Hampton Court were enlarged according to Wren's designs, with the
co-operation of the master woodcarver, Grinling Gibbons. In later
Jacobean days a splendour of style and an excellence of workmanship were
the outcome of the fine achievements in interior woodwork by Grinling
Gibbons and the school he founded.

The work of Grinling Gibbons consisted of most natural chains of flowers
and foliage, fruit, or birds or cherubs' heads, all faithfully
reproduced untrammelled by convention. St. Paul's Cathedral, Hampton
Court, Chatsworth, and Petworth House all contain work by him of
singular beauty. He trained many assistants to help him to carry on his
work, and one of them, Selden, lost his life in endeavouring to save the
carved room at Petworth from a destructive fire. The soft wood of the
lime was his favourite for detailed carving; for church panelling or
choir stalls, such as at St. Pauls, he employed oak; in his medallion
portraits or figure work he preferred pear or close-grained boxwood.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Hampton & Sons._

CHARLES II. OPEN HIGH-BACK OAK CHAIR.

Finely carved legs and stretcher. Stuffed seat covered in old Spanish
silk damask.]

The gradual development of the chair in the later Stuart days in the
direction of upholstered seat will be noticed in the specimens which are
given as illustrations. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 by
Louis XIV. drove some thousands of French workmen--weavers,
glass-workers, and cabinetmakers--to this country. The silk-weaving
industry established by them at Spitalfields was one of the results, and
silk stuffs and brocades were used for covering the seats and backs of
furniture. At Hampton Court the crystal glass chandeliers were made by
French workmen, whom Wren was glad to employ to assist him to make that
palace a worthy rival to Versailles.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Harold G. Lancaster & Co._

CHARLES II. CHAIR.

Cane back and seat, finely carved legs and stretcher.]

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Fenton & Sons._

JAMES II. CHAIR.

With cane back and seat, and finely turned legs and stretcher.]

The chair here illustrated shows the commencement of the use of cane
work in place of wood for the panel in back and for the seat. The James
II. chair illustrated shows the later development of the cane-back. The
William and Mary chair (illustrated p. 125) shows how the cane-back was
retained later than the cane-seat, and how rich damask was employed for
the upholstered seat. It is interesting to see how the stretcher, which
in earlier days was of use to keep the feet raised from a wet or
draughty floor, has now become capable of elaborate ornamentation.
Genuine examples of chairs of Elizabethan and Early Stuart days show the
wear of the feet of the sitters. The same wear is observable in the
lower rail of old tables. In later Stuart days the stretcher has left
its place at the bottom, between the two front legs. Since its use as a
foot-rest, owing to carpeted floors, is gone, it is found either joining
the legs diagonally, or higher up as an ornament with carved front. In
the eighteenth century it has almost disappeared altogether.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Harold G. Lancaster & Co._

WILLIAM AND MARY CHAIR.

Cane back. Seat upholstered in damask. Finely carved legs and
stretcher.]

Mirrors began to take a prominent place in interior decoration. The
house of Nell Gwynne in St. James's Square had one room entirely lined
with glass mirrors. Hampton Court is full of mirrors, and they are
arranged with considerable skill. By an artful arrangement the mirror in
the King's Writing Closet is placed at such an angle that the reflection
of the whole suite of rooms may be seen in it. The looking glasses made
in this country in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries
were the work of Venetian and French workmen. The plates had a bevel of
an inch in width, and these bevels followed the shape of the frame,
whether square or oval. A factory was established near Battersea which
produced some fine work of this nature. It will be noticed by the
collector who is observant that the bevels differ considerably from
modern bevels. The angle is not such an acute one, and sometimes the
edges are double bevelled. Many of the mirrors of the time of William
and Mary had an ornamented border of blue glass. Sometimes the mirror
was painted with festoons of flowers and with birds in French manner. In
imitation of Italian style the back of the mirror, in examples a little
later, was worked upon in the style of intaglio, or gem cutting, this
presenting a dull silver surface when seen from the front.

In picture frames, in chimneypieces, or in mirror frames the school of
Grinling Gibbons was still pre-eminent in carving. Now and again are
found traces of Italian or Louis XIV. influence, but as a whole the
English carver held his own, and the traditions of Grinling Gibbons were
maintained, and he did not easily allow himself to be carried away by
foreign elaborations.

When William of Orange came over in 1688 he brought with him many of his
own countrymen as military and civil advisers, and in their train came
artists and craftsmen, who introduced Dutch art into England, and
prepared the way for the more homely style of Queen Anne. Walnut
cabinets inlaid with various woods, and with ivory squares representing
miniature Dutch courtyards in the recesses of cabinets, had found their
way into England. With the period of William and Mary the cabriole leg
in chairs and in tables became popular--at first an English adaptation
of Dutch models--but later to develop into the glorious creations of the
age of walnut.

Blue delft jars and bowls, some especially made for William and Mary and
bearing the Royal arms and the cypher "W. M. R." and the Nassau motto,
"_Je main tien-dray_," still to be seen in the Queen's Gallery at
Hampton Court, were introduced, and it became fashionable to collect
china. Consequently the furniture in rooms had to be adapted for the
arrangement of this new class of ornament, and cabinets were largely
made with accommodation to receive vases and beakers and blue bowls on
their shelves. The earlier form have straight sides; but later,
especially in the next reign, they follow French designs, and are
swollen or _bombé_ at the sides.

[Illustration: UPPER PORTION OF CHAIR BACK OF CUT LEATHER.

PORTUGUESE. LATTER PART OF SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

With William, too, came over the plain walnut card-table. Clock cases of
the style termed "Grandfather" were of Dutch origin. The seats of chairs
were shaped and removable. The Dutch trade with the East Indies had
brought Oriental china and lac cabinets into Holland, and these, with
the coming of William, found their way into this country. Bureaux with a
number of secret recesses were introduced, and another Dutch importation
from the East was the now celebrated chair or table leg with claw and
ball foot. This came directly from China, and as in the case of delft,
which is the earthenware replica by the Dutch potter of fine blue
porcelain vases, from Nankin and Canton, where the Oriental perspective
and design have been slavishly copied, so with the furniture, the old
Chinese symbol of a dragon's foot holding a pearl, was repeated in the
furniture by Dutch cabinetmakers. Dutch marquetry made an early
appearance with simple ornamentation, sometimes enriched by ivory or
mother-of-pearl inlay, but later it developed into flowing floral
designs with figures, vases, fruit, butterflies, and elaborate scrolls
in various coloured woods, of which yellow was the predominant colour.


RECENT SALE PRICES.[1]

                                                              £  s. d.

Armchair, Charles II., oak, carved with cherubs supporting
    crowns, and with turned column supports. Christie,
    November 20, 1903                                        15  4  6

Chairs, pair, Charles II., oak, with cane seats and oval
    cane panels in the backs, spirally turned legs,
    stretchers and rails at the back. Christie, March 4,
    1904                                                     63  0  0

Armchair, Charles II., oak, with high back carved with
    arabesque foliage, with lions' masks and claw legs.
    Christie, March 29, 1904                                 63  0  0

Chairs, pair, nearly similar, carved with foliage. Christie,
    March 29, 1904                                           39 18  0

Armchair, Charles II., walnut-wood, of Italian design,
    carved with masks, cane seat and panel in back; and
    cushion, covered with old Flemish tapestry. Christie,
    March 4, 1904                                            77 14  0

Chairs, three, Charles II., oak, with oval panels of
    canework in the backs, the borders carved with foliage,
    flowers, and Amorini, and surmounted by busts. Christie,
    April 12, 1904                                           42  0  0

Chairs, set of twelve, Charles II., of chestnut-wood, with
    high backs carved with rosette ornaments, scroll
    foliage, and formal blossoms, on cabriole legs carved
    with flowers and shaped stretchers. Christie, July 1,
    1904                                                    462  0  0

Chairs, pair of chestnut-wood, with high backs slightly
    curved, pierced and carved at the top, and each inlaid
    with two cane panels, on carved cabriole legs and shaped
    stretchers, _temp._ James II. Christie, June 2,
    1904                                                     36 15  0

Cabinet, English marquetry, with folding doors, enclosing
    twelve drawers and small cupboard, and with four drawers
    below, the whole elaborately inlaid with vases of
    tulips, roses, and other flowers, small figures, birds,
    and insects, on a walnut-wood ground, 69 in. high, 47
    in. wide, _temp._ William III. Christie, February 12,
    1904                                                    105  0  0

Mirror, in case of old English marquetry, inlaid with large
    flowers and foliage in coloured woods and ivory on
    walnut-wood ground, 32 in. by 28 in., _temp._ William
    III. Christie, February 19, 1904                         43  3  0

Chairs, set of six, walnut-wood, with high, open backs,
    carved with foliage, the centre inlaid in marquetry, on
    carved cabriole legs and eagles' claw-and-ball feet,
    _temp._ William and Mary. Christie, June 2, 1904        315  0  0

Chairs, set of four, of similar form, open backs, carved
    with shell, and gadroon ornament, and on carved cabriole
    legs with hoof feet, the stretcher carved with a shell,
    _temp._ William and Mary. Christie, June 2, 1904        105  0  0

Cabinet, William and Mary, marquetry, veneered with
    walnut-wood, decorated with oval and shaped panels,
    inlaid, upon ebony field, 42 in. wide. Christie, March
    18, 1904                                                 65  2  0

Cabinet on stand, ebony, Dutch, seventeenth century,
    supported by six beaded columns with stage under and
    mirror panels at back, the upper part composed of doors
    carved in medallions; the centre doors enclose an
    architectural hall, inlaid in ivory, &c., with gilt
    columns and mirror panels, and fitted with secret
    drawers, 5 ft. 3 in. wide, 6 ft. 6 in. high and 22 in.
    deep. Jenner & Dell, Brighton, May 3, 1904              100  0  0

Corner cupboard, Dutch marquetry, 8 ft. high, having carved
    crown-shaped cornice, with centre vase, four doors, with
    bow fronts, inlaid with flowers and carved raised
    beadings, the interior fitted. C. W. Provis & Son,
    Manchester, May 9, 1904                                  32  0  0

Table, Dutch marquetry, with shaped front and two drawers
    inlaid with sprays of flowers in coloured woods and
    ivory, on cabriole legs, 32 in. wide. Christie, March 4,
    1904                                                     37 16  0

[1] By the kindness of the proprietors of the _Connoisseur_ these items
are given from their useful monthly publication, _Auction Sale Prices_.



V

QUEEN ANNE STYLE

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Hampton & Sons_

QUEEN ANNE OAK SETTLE.

Scrolled arms, panelled back and loose cushioned seat. Width 6 feet.]



V

QUEEN ANNE STYLE

    Anne  1702-1714.

    1707. Act of Union between England and Scotland. First United
    Parliament of Great Britain met.

    1713. The National Debt had risen to £38,000,000.


With the age of Queen Anne domestic furniture departed from the ornate
characteristics which had marked previous epochs. The tendency in
English furniture seems to have made towards comfort and homeliness. The
English home may not have contained so many articles of luxury then as
does the modern house with its artistic embellishments, and a popular
taste rapidly ripening into a genuine love of the fine arts. "A modern
shopkeeper's house," says Lord Macaulay, "is as well furnished as the
house of a considerable merchant in Anne's reign." It is very doubtful
whether this statement holds good with regard to the days of Elizabeth
or the days of the early Stuarts, but there certainly seems to have been
in the dawn of the walnut period a curtailment of luxurious effects that
might well tempt a casual observer to generalise in the belief that the
days of Anne spelt dulness in art.

The settle, the illustration of which is given (p. 149), bearing the
date 1705, the year after Blenheim, shows that Jacobean models of early
days were not forgotten. The inlaid borders are very effective, and
there is nothing vulgar or offensive in the carving. It is simple in
style and the joinery is good. A walnut mirror, carved and gilded
(illustrated p. 137), exhibits the same solidity. There is nothing to
show that the glorious age of Louis XIV. had produced the most sumptuous
and richly decorated furniture the modern world had seen. The simplicity
of this carved mirror frame is as though art had begun and ended in
England, and probably it is this insularity of the furniture of this
period, and the almost stubborn neglect of the important movements going
on in France that makes the Queen Anne style of peculiar interest.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Harold G. Lancaster & Co._

QUEEN ANNE MIRROR FRAME.

WALNUT, CARVED AND GILDED.]

The oak desk illustrated (p. 139), dated 1696, is similar to the one at
Abbotsford, in which Sir Walter Scott mislaid his manuscript of
"Waverley," where it lay among his fishing-tackle for eleven years.

Another piece of the same period is the cupboard with carved doors and
drawers beneath (illustrated p. 140).

[Illustration: OAK DESK.

WITH INITIALS "L. G." AND DATED 1696.

(_From the collection of T. E. Price Stretche, Esq._)]

Some pretty effects were now obtained by veneering, which was largely
coming into practice. The pieces with the burr-walnut panels, marked in
a series of knot-like rings, are especially sought after. This pattern
was obtained from the gnarled roots of the walnut-tree, and applied in a
decorative manner with excellent result.

[Illustration: _By permission of T. E. Price Stretche, Esq._

OAK CUPBOARD. SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

Metal handles of drawers, eighteenth century.

(Height 6 ft. 7 in.; width, 4 ft. 6 in.)]

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Brown & Bool._

Cabinet closed; showing fine mottled figure of burr walnut.

Cabinet open; showing drop-down front and nest of drawers.

QUEEN ANNE WALNUT CABINET.]

[Illustration: DUTCH MARQUETRY CHAIR. QUEEN ANNE CHAIR.

_By permission of Messrs. Hampton & Sons._]

[Illustration: QUEEN ANNE WALNUT ARMCHAIR. BLACK AND GOLD LAC CHAIR.

_By permission of Messrs. Waring._]

In the fine cabinet, the illustration of which is given (p. 141), the
style is typical of this period. The panels of the doors are of
exquisite finish, and show a beautiful walnut grain of peculiarly-pleasing
mottled appearance, and the mellow effect which time has given to this
specimen cannot be imitated with any degree of success in modern
replicas. In the illustration showing this piece when open, the rich
effect of the walnut in the middle panel may be noticed; the
contemporary brass handles to the nest of drawers are typical of this
style.

In chairs and in tables the elegant cabriole and colt's-foot legs were
now commonly adopted, and apparently, simple as is the construction, it
is only when Queen Anne pieces come to be repaired that it is found how
expensive an undertaking it is, owing to their ingenious construction
and the patient labour that was expended upon them, to produce
unpretentious and harmonious effects.

The assertively English spirit which was the dominant note of the
furniture of the early eighteenth century continued up till the early
years of the reign of George II. During this period, which covers half a
century, walnut was the wood mostly used in the manufacture of
furniture, and this walnut period shows a quiet dignity of style and a
simple proportion, reticently elegant and inornate without being severe.

The Queen Anne oak settle, with shaped panelled back and scroll arms,
which appears as the headpiece to this chapter, is especially
representative of the kind of piece in common use at the time; oak was
still employed in furniture of this nature. The legs show the newer
design, which was already departing from the elegant turning of earlier
Jacobean days.

In the Queen Anne chair which is illustrated in the group of chairs of
this period (p. 143), with open back and carved scroll foliage, the
cabriole legs are finely carved with lion masks and acanthus leaf
ornament, on lion's claw-and-ball feet. The seat is removable, and is
stuffed. Queen Anne chairs had high carved or plain splat backs. The
armchair in the same group shows this type of back. The Dutch
shell-pattern often appears either on back or at the juncture of the leg
with the seat. Chairs decorated in marquetry, in Dutch fashion, were in
use at this period. The one illustrated with the two above-mentioned
chairs is inlaid with birds and flowers, and the legs are cabriole. The
seat follows the growing usage of being loose and stuffed.

Dutch marquetry cabinets on stands, with straight uprights, were
imported and became a feature in the early eighteenth century
drawing-room (see illustration, p. 147). The earlier forms had straight
sides, but later, as the fashion grew, bureaux and large cabinets, with
the dimensions of a modern wardrobe, had taken their place, with _bombé_
or swelled sides, and profusely decorated in marquetry, with vases and
tulips and unnamed flowers of the cabinetmaker's invention, birds,
butterflies, and elaborate scrollwork, in which ivory and
mother-of-pearl were often employed as an inlay.

The stands on which the smaller cabinets stood were turned with the
spiral leg of Jacobean days, and later they have the cabriole leg, with
ball-and-claw or club feet. Cabinets and stands are frequently found
together, in which the one is much earlier than the other.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Hampton & Sons._

DUTCH MARQUETRY CABINET.

Fitted with shelves. Door richly inlaid with flowers and scrolled
foliage. On stand with turned legs and stretcher.]

Rich damask began to be used in the furnishing of hangings, and in some
of the palatial furniture of the period the looms of Spitalfields
produced the coverings. In Queen Anne's bedroom the hangings were of
rich silk velvet.

Clocks of the variety termed "Grandfather," either with fine walnut
cases or inlaid with marquetry, came into more general use in the days
of Queen Anne. An elaboration of carving on grandfather clock cases as
a rule is to be regarded with suspicion. Plain panels are not so
saleable as carved ones; the want is supplied, and many fine old clock
cases are spoiled by having the touch of a modern hand. The clock
illustrated is an untouched specimen. The walnut case is a fine example
of Queen Anne marquetry work. The works are by Sam Barrow, Hermitage
Bridge, London. The steel dial is richly mounted with cupids, masks, and
scrolls in chased brass.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Hampton & Sons._

QUEEN ANNE CLOCK.

Walnut case with marquetry work.]

Towards the middle of the eighteenth century and later, cabinets of
Dutch importation, and Japanese or Chinese in origin, were extensively
in use. In smaller numbers they had, without doubt, in the days of
William and Mary, been introduced, but it was not until the commerce
with the East had been well established that they became popular. In the
cabinet illustrated (p. 150) the cabinet-work is English, the drawers
are all dovetailed in the English manner, but the lacquered doors come
from the East. It is an especially interesting example, as the
pagoda-like superstructure is not often found complete.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Waring._

QUEEN ANNE OAK SETTLE. DATED 1705.

With borders in marquetry.

(Width, 5 ft.)]

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Brown & Bool._

OLD LAC CABINET.

ENGLISH; EARLY EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.]

Lacquered boxes had been sent home from the East by English, French,
and Dutch merchants, for many years, and with characteristic ingenuity
the French cabinetmakers had employed these as panels for their
furniture, but the supply not being sufficient they had attempted a
lacquer of their own, which is dealt with in a subsequent chapter on
Louis XIV. furniture. Dutch lacquer-work was a similar attempt on the
part of the craftsman of Holland to equal the Oriental originals.

[Illustration: LAC CABINET. MIDDLE OF EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

(Height, 2 ft. 5 in.; width, 2 ft. 8-1/2 in.; depth, 1 ft. 6-1/2 in.;
height of stand, 2 ft. 9 in.)

(_From the collection of W. G. Honey, Esq., Cork._)]

[Illustration: _W. G. Honey, Esq., Cork._

FRONT OF LAC CABINET (ILLUSTRATED), WITH DOORS CLOSED.]

In the early eighteenth century the English craftsman tried his skill at
lacquered furniture, it is true not with very successful results, but it
is interesting to see what he has left as attempts. The illustration (p.
143) of a chair in black and gold lac is of English manufacture. The
splat back and the cabriole leg give the date, and the specimen is a
noteworthy example. Another piece of the first half of the eighteenth
century period is the lac cabinet illustrated (p. 151). The metal hinges
and corners of this are of chased brass and of English or Dutch
workmanship. The shape and design of the drawer handles are frequently
found in nests of drawers of this period, and there was a singular
fondness shown at this time for numbers of small drawers and
pigeon-holes in furniture. The now familiar bureau with bookcase above,
and drop-down, sloping front covering drawers and recesses, dates from
this time. The escutcheon of the lac cabinet is illustrated in detail as
a tailpiece to this chapter to show the particular style of work found
on the locks and hinges and drawer-handles of pieces of this nature. As
has been said before, it is especially useful to the collector to make
himself thoroughly familiar with these details of the various periods.

It may be readily imagined that at a time when cards were the passion of
everybody in society, the card-table became a necessary piece of
furniture in eighteenth-century days, just before the dawn of the great
age of mahogany, when Chippendale, and the school that followed him,
eagerly worked in the wood which Raleigh discovered. They produced
countless forms, both original and adapted from the French, which have
enriched the _répertoire_ of the cabinetmaker and which have brought
fame to the man whose designs added lustre to the reputation of English
furniture.


RECENT SALE PRICES.[1]

                                                              £  s. d.
Chairs, six, mahogany, single, and one armchair to match,
    with shaped legs and openwork backs (early eighteenth
    century). F. W. Kidd, & Neale & Son, Nottingham,
    November 11, 1903                                        25  4  0

Chairs, eight Queen Anne, walnut-wood, with high backs, on
    slightly cabriole legs, with stretchers. Christie,
    December 11, 1903                                        33 12  0

Armchair, Queen Anne, large walnut-wood, carved with
    foliage, the arms terminating in masks, on carved
    cabriole legs and lion's-claw feet. Christie, March 29,
    1904                                                     50  8  0

Cabinet, Queen Anne, the lower part fitted with escritoire,
    the upper part with numerous drawers, shaped cornice
    above, 3 ft. 6 in. by 7 ft. 6 in. Puttick & Simpson,
    April 12, 1904                                           34  0  0

Chairs, four Queen Anne, walnut-wood, with interlaced backs
    carved with rosettes and a shell at the top, on cabriole
    legs carved with shells and foliage; and a pair of
    chairs made to match. Christie, July 8, 1904             44  2  0

[1] By the kindness of the proprietors of the _Connoisseur_, these items
are given from their useful monthly publication, _Auction Sale Prices_.

[Illustration: _W. G. Honey Esq., Cork._

CHASED BRASS ESCUTCHEON OF LAC CABINET (ILLUSTRATED).

(Width, 10-1/2 in.)]



VI

FRENCH FURNITURE.

THE PERIOD OF

LOUIS XIV


[Illustration: _By kind permission, from the collection of Dr. Sigerson,
Dublin._

CASSETTE. FRENCH; SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

Containing many secret drawers.]



VI

FRENCH FURNITURE. THE PERIOD OF LOUIS XIV

    LOUIS XIV. (1643-1715), covering English periods of Civil War,
    Commonwealth, Charles II., James II., William and Mary, and
    Anne.

    1619-1683. Colbert, Minister of Finance and patron of the arts.

    1661-1687. Versailles built.

    1662. Gobelins Tapestry Works started by Colbert; Le Brun first
    director (1662-1690).

    1664. Royal Academy of Painting, Architecture, and Sculpture
    founded by Colbert, to which designs of furniture were admitted.


In order to arrive at a sense of proportion as to the value of English
furniture and its relation to contemporary art in Europe, it is
necessary to pass under hasty examination the movements that were
taking place in France in the creation of a new style in furniture under
the impulses of the epoch of the _Grande Monarque_. To estimate more
correctly the styles of the Early Jacobean and of the later English
furniture extending to the days of Chippendale and Sheraton, it must be
borne in mind that England was not always so insular in art as the days
of Queen Anne would seem to indicate. It is impossible for the
cabinetmakers and the craftsmen to have utterly ignored the splendours
of France. Louis XIV. had a long and eventful reign, which extended from
the days when Charles I. was marshalling his forces to engage in civil
war with the Parliament down to the closing years of Queen Anne. During
his minority it cannot be said that Louis XIV. influenced art in
furniture, but from 1661, contemporary with Charles II., when he assumed
the despotic power that he exercised for half a century, his love of
sumptuousness, and his personal supervision of the etiquette of a formal
Court, in which no detail was omitted to surround royalty with
magnificence, made him the patron of the fine arts, and gave his Court
the most splendid prestige in Europe.

As a headpiece to this chapter we give a very fine example of a
_cassette_, or strong box, of the time of Louis XIV. It is securely
bound with metal bands of exquisite design. The interior is fitted with
a number of secret drawers.

In the illustration (p. 159) it will be seen that the chair of the
period of Louis Treize differed in no great respects from the furniture
under the early Stuarts in this country. This design is by the
celebrated Crispin de Passe, and the date is when Charles I. raised his
standard at Nottingham, a year prior to the birth of Louis XIV.

[Illustration: CHAIR OF PERIOD OF LOUIS XIII.

DESIGNED BY CRISPIN DE PASSE, 1642.]

During the reign of Louis XIV., tables, armoires, and cabinets were
designed on architectural principles. Under the guiding influence of
Colbert, Minister of Finance, architects and cabinetmakers were selected
to design furniture for the Tuileries, the Louvre, and Fontainebleau. In
the early years of the reign furniture was made with severe lines, but
gradually it became the practice to fashion larger pieces. Immense
tables with sumptuous decoration, on gilded claw-feet, and having tops
inlaid with _pietra-dura_ intended to carry bronze groups and porphyry
vases, were made at the Gobelins factory, under the direction of the
celebrated Le Brun. This artist loved grandeur and gorgeousness in
decoration, and in accord with the personal ideas of Louis XIV., who
had an inordinate love for perfect symmetry, huge pieces of furniture
were built in magnificent manner to please the taste of the _Grande
Monarque_. Men of genius were employed in the manufacture of tapestries,
of furniture, and of metal mountings, and the interior decorations of
the palaces were designed in harmony with the furniture intended for use
therein.

The most illustrious among the cabinetmakers was André Charles Boule,
who was made, in 1673, by letters patent, _Premier ébéniste de la maison
royale_. The work of this artist in wood has attained a worldwide
celebrity, and his name even has been corrupted into "buhl" to denote a
particular class of work which he perfected. His most notable
productions are the finely chased ormolu, in which he was an
accomplished worker, and the inlay of tortoiseshell and brass, sometimes
varied with ebony or silver, which have remained the wonder of
succeeding generations.

Boule was born in 1642, and lived till 1732. The first Boule, termed
"_Le Père_," he was succeeded by no less than four sons and nephews of
the same name, in addition to his pupils who carried on his traditions
at the Boule _atelier_, and a crowd of later imitators, even up to the
present day, have followed his style in lavish decoration without being
possessed of his skill.

In Italy and in France marquetry of considerable delicacy and of fine
effect had been produced long before the epoch of Louis XIV., but it was
Boule who introduced a novelty into marquetry by his veneered work,
which rapidly grew into favour till it developed into cruder colouring
in inlays and unbridled licence in ornamentation, to which its
originator would never have given countenance.

The pieces of furniture usually associated with him are massive
structures of ebony with their surfaces covered with tortoiseshell, in
which are inlaid arabesques, scrolls, and foliage in thin brass or other
metal. Upon the surface of this metal inlay further ornamentation was
chased with the burin. This alternation of tortoiseshell and brass forms
a brilliant marquetry. Into the chased designs on the metal a black
enamel was introduced to heighten the effect, which was further
increased by portions of the wood beneath the semi-transparent
tortoiseshell being coloured black or brown or red; sometimes a
bluish-green was used. Later imitators, not content with the beautiful
effect of tortoiseshell, used horn in parts, which is more transparent,
and they did not fear the garish effect of blue or vermilion underneath.
Boule's creations, set in massive mounts and adornments of masks and
bas-reliefs, cast in gilt-bronze and chased, were pieces of furniture of
unsurpassed magnificence, and especially designed for the mirrored
splendours of the _salons_ of Versailles.

In boule-work all parts of the marquetry are held down by glue to the
bed, usually of oak, the metal being occasionally fastened down by small
brass pins, which are hammered flat and chased over so as to be
imperceptible.

In order to economise the material, Boule, when his marquetry became in
demand, employed a process which led to the use of the technical terms,
_boule_ and _counter-boule_. The brass and the tortoiseshell were cut
into thin sheets. A number of sheets of brass were clamped together with
the same number of sheets of tortoiseshell. The design was then cut out,
the result being that each sheet of tortoiseshell had a design cut out
of it, into which the same design from one of the sheets of brass would
exactly fit. Similarly each sheet of brass had a design cut out of it
into which a corresponding piece of tortoiseshell would fit. That in
which the ground is of tortoiseshell and the inlaid portion is brass, is
considered the better, and is called _boule_, or the _première partie_.
That in which the groundwork is brass and the design inlaid is of
tortoiseshell, is called _counter-boule_ or _contre-partie_. This latter
is used for side panels.

An examination of the specimens preserved in the Louvre, at the Jones
Bequest at the Victoria and Albert Museum, or in the Wallace Collection
will enable the student to see more readily how this practice works out
in the finished result. In the illustration (p. 163) of the two
pedestals the effect of the employment of _boule_ and _counter-boule_ is
shown.

[Illustration: (_a._) (_b._)

PEDESTALS SHOWING BOULE AND COUNTER-BOULE WORK.

(_Wallace Collection._)

(_a_) Boule or _première partie_.

(_b_) Counter-boule or _contre-partie_.]

Associated with Boule is Jean Bérain, who had a fondness for the Italian
style; his designs are more symmetrically correct, both in ornamental
detail and in architectural proportion. His conceptions are remarkable
for their fanciful elaboration, and their wealth of profuse scrollwork.
In the French national collections at the Louvre, at Versailles, and
elsewhere there are many beautiful examples of his chandeliers of
magnificent carved and gilded work. The freedom of the spiral arms and
complex coils he introduced into his candelabra have never been
equalled as harmonious portions of a grandly conceived scheme of
magnificent interior decoration, to which, in the days of Louis XIV., so
much artistic talent was devoted.

[Illustration: BOULE CABINET, OR ARMOIRE.

Valued at nearly £15,000.

_Jones Bequest._

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

With regard to the value of some of the specimens in the national
collections, it is difficult to form an estimate. The Boule cabinet,
probably designed by Bérain, executed by Boule for Louis XIV.
(illustrated p. 165) would, if put up for sale at Christie's, probably
fetch £15,000. This piece is held to be grander in style than any in the
galleries in France. At the Wallace Collection there are examples which
would bring fabulous sums if sold. A cabinet by Boule, in the Jones
Bequest, purchased by Mr. Jones for £3,000 in 1881, is now worth three
times that sum.

Upon the building, decorating, and furnishing of Versailles Louis XIV.
spent over five hundred million francs, in addition to which there was
the army of workmen liable to statute labour. Some twenty thousand men
and six thousand horses were employed in 1684 at the different parts of
the château and park. In May, 1685, there were no less than thirty-six
thousand employed.

The illustrious craftsmen who were employed upon the magnificent
artistic interior decorations have transmitted their names to posterity.
Bérain, Lepautre, Henri de Gissey, are the best known of the designers.
Among the painters are the names of Audran, Baptiste, Jouvenet, Mignard,
and the best known of the sculptors are Coustou and Van Clève. Of the
woodcarvers, metal-chasers, locksmiths, and gilders Pierre Taupin,
Ambroise Duval, Delobel, and Goy are names of specialists in their own
craft who transformed Versailles from a royal hunting-box into one of
the most splendid palaces in Europe.


RECENT SALE PRICES.[1]

                                                              £  s. d.
Commode, Louis XIV., of inlaid king-wood, with two drawers,
    mounted with handles and masks at the corners of chased
    ormolu, and surmounted by a fleur violette marble slab,
    52 in. wide. Christie, January 22, 1904                  31 10  0

Show-cabinet, of Louis XIV. design, inlaid king-wood, with
    glazed folding doors, ormolu mounts, chased and
    surmounted by vases, 73 in. high, 46 in. wide. Christie,
    April 12, 1904                                           30  9  0

Casket, Louis XIV., black Boule, inlaid with Cupids, vases
    of flowers and scrolls, and fitted with four
    tortoiseshell and gold picqué shell-shaped snuff boxes.
    Christie, April 19, 1904                                 73 10  0

Commode, Louis XIV., Boule, of sarcophagus form, containing
    two drawers, at either corners are detached cabriole
    legs, the various panels are inlaid with brass and
    tortoiseshell, the whole is mounted with ormolu,
    surmounted by a slab of veined marble, 49 in. wide.
    Christie, May 27, 1904                                   57 15  0

[1] By the kindness of the proprietors of the _Connoisseur_, these items
are reproduced from their useful monthly publication, _Auction Sale
Prices_.



VII

FRENCH FURNITURE. THE PERIOD OF LOUIS XV


[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Foley & Eassie._

COMMODE, BY CRESSENT.

(From a drawing by Walter Eassie.)

(_Wallace Collection._)]



VII

FRENCH FURNITURE. THE PERIOD OF LOUIS XV

    Louis XV.        1715-1774

    Petit Trianon built at Versailles.

    Meissonier, Director of Royal Factories (1723-1774).

    Watteau (1684-1721). Pater (1695-1736).

    Lancret (1690-1743). Boucher (1704-1770).

    1751. The leading ébénistes compelled to stamp their work with
    their names.


Louis XIV. died in the year following the death of Queen Anne, so that
it will be readily seen that English art was uninfluenced by France in
the days of William and Mary, and how insular it had become under Anne.
The English craftsman was not fired by new impulses from France during
such an outburst of decorative splendour. The reign of Louis XV. extends
from George I. down to the eleventh year of the reign of George III.,
which year saw the cargoes of tea flung into Boston harbour and the
beginning of the war with America.

In glancing at the Louis Quinze style it will be observed how readily it
departed from the studied magnificence of Louis XIV. In attempting
elegance of construction and the elimination of much that was massive
and cumbersome in the former style, it developed in its later days into
meaningless ornament and trivial construction. At first it possessed
considerable grace, but towards the end of the reign the designs ran
riot in rococo details, displaying incongruous decoration.

It was the age of the elegant boudoir, and the bedroom became a place
for more intimate guests than those received in the large
reception-room. In the days of Louis XIV. the bed was a massive
structure, but in the succeeding reign it became an elegant appendage to
a room. At Versailles the splendid galleries of magnificent proportion
were transformed by the Duke of Orleans, Regent of France (1715-1723)
during the king's minority, into smaller _salons_ covered in
wainscoting, painted white and ornamented with gilded statues. In like
manner the Louis Quinze decorations were ruthlessly destroyed by
Louis-Philippe.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Waring._

LOUIS XV. PARQUETERY COMMODE.

With chased and bronze-gilt mounts.

(_Formerly in the Hamilton Palace Collection._)]

[Illustration: LOUIS XV. COMMODE.

BY CAFFIERI.]

The commode in the Wallace Collection (illustrated p. 171) is of the
time when Louis XV. was in his minority, and of the days of the Regency.
It is by Charles Cressent (1685-1768), who was cabinetmaker to Philippe
d'Orleans, Regent of France. This is an especially typical specimen of
the class to which it belongs as showing the transition style between
Louis XIV. and the succeeding reign.

To establish Louis the Fifteenth's _petits appartements_ the gallery
painted by Mignard was demolished, and later, in 1752, the Ambassadors'
Staircase was destroyed, the masterpiece of the architects Levau and
Dorbay, and the marvel of Louis the Fourteenth's Versailles.

It is necessary to bear these facts in mind in order to see how a new
French monarch set ruthlessly new fashions in furniture and created a
taste for his personal style in art. In the first part of the Louis
Quinze period the metal mountings by Caffieri and Cressent are of
exquisite style; they are always of excellent workmanship, but later
they betrayed the tendency of the time for fantastic curves, which had
affected the furniture to such an extent that no straight lines were
employed, and the sides of commodes and other pieces were swelled into
unwieldy proportions, and instead of symmetrical and harmonious results
the florid style, known as the "rococo," choked all that was beautiful
in design. Meissonier, Director of the Royal Factories (1723-1774), was
mainly responsible for this unnatural development. He revelled in
elaborate combinations of shellwork and impossible foliage.

In the Louis XV. commodes illustrated (pp. 173, 175) it will be seen how
far superior is the design and treatment of the one which was formerly
in the celebrated Hamilton Collection. Its chased and gilt mounts are
harmoniously arranged, and though the ornamentation is superbly rich, it
breaks no canons of art by overloaded detail or coarse profusion. Not so
much can be said for the other commode of the rococo style, even though
the mounts be by Caffieri and executed in masterly manner. There is a
wanton abandonment and an offensive tone in the florid treatment which
point clearly to the decline of taste in art.

The highest art of concealment was not a prominent feature in a Court
which adopted its style from the caprices of Madame du Pompadour or the
whims of Madame du Barry. But among the finest productions are the
splendid pieces of reticent cabinetmaking by the celebrated Jean
François Oeben, who came from Holland. His preference was for
geometrical patterns, varied only with the sparing use of flowers, in
producing his most delicate marquetry. In the pieces by Boule and
others, not in tortoiseshell but in wood inlay, the wood was so
displayed as to exhibit in the panels the grain radiating from the
centre. Oeben did not forget this principle, and placed his bouquets of
flowers, when, on occasion, he used them, in the centre of his panels,
and filled up the panel with geometric design.

[Illustration: LOUIS XV. _ESCRITOIRE À TOILETTE_.

Of tulip-wood and sycamore, inlaid with landscapes in coloured woods.

Formerly in the possession of Queen Marie Antoinette.

(_Jones Bequest: Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

The well-known maker, Charles Cressent (1685-1768), used rosewood,
violet, and amaranth woods in his marquetry, and at this time many new
foreign woods were employed by the cabinetmakers in France and Italy.
In addition to woods of a natural colour, it was the practice
artificially to colour light woods, and inlay work was attempted in
which trophies of war, musical instruments, or the shepherd's crook
hung with ribbon, were all worked out in marquetry. Pictures, in
coloured woods, in imitation of oil paintings on canvas, were foolishly
attempted, and altogether the art of inlay, ingenious and wonderful in
its construction, began to affect trivialities and surprising effects
most unsuited to the range of its technique.

In the toilet-table illustrated (p. 179), this misapplication of inlay
to reproduce pictures is seen on the three front panels and on the
middle panel above. The chief woods employed are tulip and sycamore,
inlaid with tinted lime, holly, and cherry-woods. The mountings of the
table are chased ormolu. The cylindrical front encloses drawers with
inlaid fronts. Beneath this is a sliding shelf, under which is a drawer
with three compartments, fitted with toilet requisites and having inlaid
lids. This specimen of Louis Quinze work is in the Jones Collection at
the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was formerly in the possession of
Queen Marie Antoinette. It is attributed to Oeben, though from
comparison with some of the chaster work known to have come from his
hand it would seem to be of too fanciful marquetry for his restrained
and sober style.

It is especially true of the furniture of this great French period that
it requires harmonious surroundings. The slightest false touch throws
everything out of balance at once. Of this fact the inventors were well
aware. If Dutch furniture requires the quiet, restful art of Cuyp or Van
der Neer, or Metzu or Jan Steen on the surrounding walls, the interiors
of Louis Quinze demand the works of contemporary French genre-painters.

[Illustration: LOUIS XV. SECRÉTAIRE.

By Riesener, in his earlier manner.

IN TRANSITIONAL STYLE, APPROACHING LOUIS SEIZE PERIOD.

(_Wallace Collection._)]

All things worked together to produce a harmonious _ensemble_ in this
brilliant period. The royal tapestry and Sèvres porcelain factories
turned out their most beautiful productions to decorate rooms,
furniture, and for the table. Tapestries from Beauvais, Gobelins, and
Aubusson, rich silks from the looms of Lyons, or from Lucca, Genoa, or
Venice were made for wall-hangings, for chair-backs, for seats, and for
sofas.

Fragonard, Natoire, and Boucher painted lunettes over chimney-fronts, or
panels of ceilings. Of great cabinetmakers, Riesener and David Roentgen,
princes among _ébénistes_, worked in wonderful manner in tulip-wood, in
holly, in rosewood, purple wood, and laburnum to produce marquetry, the
like of which has never been seen before nor since.

Associated with the period of Louis XV. is the love for the lacquered
panel. Huygens, a Dutchman, had achieved good results in imitations of
Oriental lacquer, which in France, under the hand of Martin, a
carriage-painter, born about 1706, rivalled the importations from Japan.
It is stated that the secret of the fine, transparent lac polish that he
used was obtained from the missionaries who resided in Japan before the
date of the massacres and foreign expulsion of all except the Dutch
traders. Vernis-Martin, as his varnish was termed, became in general
request. From 1744 for twenty years, Sieur Simon Etienne Martin was
granted a monopoly to manufacture this lacquered work in the Oriental
style. Although he declared that his secret would die with him, other
members of his family continued the style, which was taken up by many
imitators in the next reign. His varnish had a peculiar limpid
transparency, and he obtained the wavy network of gold groundwork so
successfully produced by Japanese and Chinese craftsmen. On this were
delicately painted, by Boucher and other artists, Arcadian subjects,
framed in rocaille style with gold thickly laid on, and so pure that in
the bronze gilding and in the woodwork it maintains its fine lustre to
the present day.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Foley & Eassie._

THE "BUREAU DU ROI."

THE MASTERPIECE OF RIESENER.

(From a drawing by Walter Eassie.)

(_Wallace Collection._)]

Towards the close of the reign of Louis XV. a new style set in, which
reverted to simpler tastes, to which the name "_À la reine_" was given,
in deference to the taste which is supposed to have emanated from Marie
Leczinska, the queen, but is said to have been due to Madame du
Pompadour.

At the Wallace Collection is a fine secrétaire, with the mounts and
ornaments of gilt bronze cast and chased, which is illustrated (p. 181).
The central panel of marquetry shows, in life size, a cock, with the
caduceus, a snake, a banner, and symbolical instruments. It is by Jean
François Riesener, and in his earliest manner, made in the later years
of Louis Quinze in the Transitional style approaching the Louis Seize
period.

Among the wonderful creations of Riesener, probably his masterpiece is
the celebrated "Bureau du Roi," begun in 1760 by Oeben, and completed in
1769 by Riesener--who married the widow of Oeben, by the way. Its
bronzes are by Duplesis, Winant, and Hervieux. The design and details
show the transition between the Louis Quinze and the Louis Seize styles.

The original, which is at the Louvre, is in marquetry of various
coloured woods and adorned by plaques of gilt bronze, cast and chased.
The copy from which our illustration is taken (p. 183) is in the Wallace
Collection, and is by Dasson, and follows the original in proportions,
design, and technique.


RECENT SALE PRICES.[1]

                                                             £  s.  d.
Table, Louis XV., oblong, the legs are cabriole, it
    contains one drawer and a writing-slide; around the
    sides are inlaid panels of old Japanese lacquer, each
    panel bordered by elaborate scrollwork of chased
    ormolu, signed with "B. V. R. B.," surmounted by a slab
    of white marble, 39 in. wide. Christie, December 18,
    1903                                                   1900  0  0

Writing-table, Louis XV., marquetry, with sliding top and
    drawer, fitted with movable writing slab, compartment
    for ink-vases, &c., signed "L. Doudin," Louis XV. form,
    with cabriole legs, the top decorated with scrolls
    forming panels, the centre one containing a Teniers
    figure subject, parquetry and inlays of flowers round
    the sides, corner mounts, &c., of ormolu, cast and
    chased, 30 in. wide. Christie, March 18, 1904           630  0  0

Cartonnière, Louis XV., of inlaid tulip-wood, containing a
    clock by Palanson, à Paris, mounted with Chinese
    figures, masks, foliage and scrolls of chased ormolu,
    48 in. high, 36 in. wide. Christie, April 22, 1904      409 10  0

Secrétaires, pair, Louis XV., small marquetry, with
    fall-down front, drawer above and door below, inlaid
    with branches of flowers, and mounted with chased
    ormolu, surmounted by white marble slabs, 46 in. high,
    22 in. wide. Christie, April 29, 1904                    46  4  0

Cabinet, Louis XV., parquetry, with folding doors enclosing
    drawers, mounted with ormolu, surmounted by a Brescia
    marble slab, 30 in. high, 44 in. wide. Christie, April
    29, 1904                                                 31 10  0

Bergères, pair of Louis XV., corner-shaped, the frames of
    carved and gilt wood, the seats and backs covered with
    old Beauvais tapestry. Christie, May 18, 1904           420  0  0

Settee, Louis XV., oblong, of carved and gilt-wood, covered
    with panels of old Beauvais tapestry, 3 ft. 8 in. wide.
    Christie, May 18, 1904                                  231  0  0

Canapé, Louis XV., of carved and gilt wood, the borders
    carved with acanthus scrolls, the seat and back covered
    with old Beauvais silk tapestry, decorated, 4 ft. 6 in.
    wide. Christie, May 18, 1904                            420  0  0

[1] By the kindness of the proprietors of the _Connoisseur_ these items
are given from their useful monthly publication, _Auction Sale Prices_.



VIII

FRENCH FURNITURE.
THE PERIOD OF LOUIS XVI



VIII

FRENCH FURNITURE.
THE PERIOD OF LOUIS XVI

    Louis XVI.      1774-1793.

    1730-1806. Riesener, _ébéniste_ to Marie Antoinette (born near
    Cologne).

    1789. Commencement of the French Revolution.


The so-called Louis Seize period embraces much that is good from the
later days of the previous reign. The same designers were employed with
the addition of a few younger men. Caffieri and Riesener were producing
excellent work, and above all was Gouthière, whose renown as a founder
and chaser of gilded bronze ornaments is unrivalled. Elegance and
simplicity are again the prevailing notes. Straight lines took the place
of the twisted contortions of the rococo style. Thin scrolls, garlands,
ribbons and knots, classical cameo-shaped panels, and Sèvres plaques
form the characteristic ornamentation.

The acanthus-leaf, distorted into unnatural proportions in the middle
Louis Quinze period, returned to its normal shape, the egg-and-tongue
moulding came into use, and the delicacy of the laurel-leaf was
employed in design in Louis Seize decorations.

In the jewel cabinet illustrated (p. 193), the new style is shown at its
best. The cabinet is inlaid in rosewood and sycamore, and bears the name
of "J. H. Riesener" stamped on it. The chased ormolu mounts are by
Gouthière. The geometrical inlay is a tradition which Oeben left to his
successors. The upper portion has a rising lid with internal trays. In
the lower part is a drawer and a shelf. This piece is at the Victoria
and Albert Museum in the Jones Bequest, and it is well worth detailed
examination as being a representative specimen of the most artistic work
produced at this period.

Pierre Gouthière had a complete mastery over his technique. The
estimation with which his work is regarded has made furniture which he
mounted bring extraordinary prices. In 1882, at the dispersal of the
celebrated Hamilton Palace Collection, three specimens with his
workmanship realised £30,000.

The Vernis-Martin panels were decorated by Watteau and Pater. The age of
artificialities with its _fêtes-galantes_ in the royal gardens of the
Luxembourg and in the pleasure parks of the Court, with the ill-starred
Marie Antoinette playing at shepherds and shepherdesses, had its
influence upon art. Watteau employed his brush to daintily paint the
attitudes of _Le Lorgneur_ upon a fan-mount, or to depict elegantly
dressed noblemen and ladies of the Court dancing elaborate minuets in
satin shoes, or feasting from exquisite Sèvres porcelain dishes in the
damp corner of some park or old château.

[Illustration: LOUIS XVI. JEWEL CABINET.

Inlaid in rose and sycamore woods. Stamped "J. H. Riesener." Chased
Ormolu mountings by Gouthière.

(_Jones Bequest. Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

The artificial pretence at Arcadian simplicity adopted by the Queen, in
the intervals between her attendance at public _bals-masqué_, when she
almost wantonly outraged the susceptibilities of the French people by
her frivolities, found a more permanent form in interior decorations.
Riesener and David designed a great deal of furniture for her. Dainty
work-tables and writing-tables and other furniture of an elegant
description are preserved in the national collection in the Louvre and
at Fontainebleau, in the Victoria and Albert Museum in the Jones
Bequest, and in the Wallace Collection. Tables of this nature are most
eagerly sought after. A small table with plaques of porcelain in the
side panels, which is said to have belonged to Marie Antoinette, was
sold at Christie's for £6,000 (Hamilton Collection). There is a similar
writing-table in the Jones Collection, given by Marie Antoinette to Mrs.
Eden, afterwards Lady Auckland.

During the period under Louis Seize, when Fragonard and Natoire deftly
painted the panels of rooms and filled ceilings with flying cupids and
chains of roses, when Boucher was Director of the Academy, the interior
of rooms assumed a boudoir-like appearance. The walls were decorated in
a scheme of colour. Handsome fluted pillars with fine classic feeling
were the framework of panelling painted in delicate and subdued tones.
Oval mirrors, avoiding all massive construction, lightened the effect,
and mantelpieces of white marble, and furniture evidently designed for
use, completed the interiors of the homes of the _grands seigneurs_.
Sometimes the walls were painted, giving a lustrous appearance
resembling silk, and this style is the forerunner of the modern
abomination known as wall-paper.

Before leaving this period of French furniture, when so much marquetry
work was done of unsurpassed beauty and of unrivalled technique, a word
may be said as to the number of woods used. Oeben and Riesener and their
contemporaries used many foreign woods, of which the names are
unfamiliar. Mr. Pollen, in his "South Kensington Museum Handbook to
Furniture and Woodwork," has given the names of some of them, which are
interesting as showing the number of woods especially selected for this
artistic cabinetmaking. Tulip-wood is the variety known as _Liriodendron
tulipifera_. Rosewood was extensively used, and holly (_ilex
aquifolium_), maple (_acer campestre_), laburnum (_cytisus Alpinus_),
and purple wood (_copaifera pubiflora_). Snake-wood was frequently used,
and other kinds of light-brown wood in which the natural grain is waved
or curled, presenting a pleasant appearance, and obviating the use of
marquetry (_see_ "Woods used," p. 29).

In the great collections to which reference has been made, in well-known
pieces made by Riesener his name is found stamped on the panel itself,
or sometimes on the oak lining. The large bureau in the Wallace
Collection (Gallery xvi., No. 66) is both signed and dated "20th
February, 1769." This piece, it is said, was ordered by Stanislas
Leczinski, King of Poland, and was once one of the possessions of the
Crown of France.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Waring._

LOUIS XVI. RIESENER COMMODE.]

With regard to the cost of pieces of furniture by the great master
_ébénistes_, it is on record that a secrétaire which was exhibited at
Gore House in 1853, and made originally for Beaumarchais by Riesener,
cost 85,000 francs, a sum not much less than £4,000. Celebrated copies
have been made from these old models. The famous cabinet with mounts by
Gouthière, now in the possession of the King, was copied about
twenty-five years ago for the Marquis of Hertford, by permission of
Queen Victoria. The piece took years to complete, and it is interesting
to have the evidence of its copyists that the most difficult parts to
imitate were the metal mounts. This replica cost some £3,000, and is now
in the Wallace Collection. The copy of the famous bureau or escritoire
in the Louvre, known as the "Bureau de St. Cloud," was made by
permission of the Emperor Napoleon III., and cost £2,000. Another copy
of the same piece exhibited at the French International Exhibition was
sold for £3,500 to an English peeress. Many fine copies of Riesener's
work exist, and in the illustration (p. 197) a copy is given of a
handsome commode, which exhibits his best style under the influence of
his master, Oeben.


RECENT SALE PRICES.[1]

                                                             £ s.  d.
Cabinets, pair of Louis XVI., dwarf ebony, the panels inlaid
    with black and gold lacquer, decorated with birds and
    trees in the Chinese taste, mounted with foliage borders
    of chased ormolu, and surmounted by veined black marble
    slabs, 45 in. high, 35 in. wide. Christie, November 20,
    1903                                                    39 18  0

Suite of Louis XVI. furniture, with fluted borders and legs,
    painted white and pale green, the seats, backs, and arms
    covered with old Beauvais tapestry, with vases and
    festoons of flowers and conventional arabesques in
    poly-chrome, on white ground in pale green borders,
    consisting of an oblong settee, 72 in. wide, eight
    fauteuils. Christie, December 18, 1903                1470  0  0

Secrétaire, Louis XVI., upright marquetry, with fall-down   }
    front, drawer above, and folding doors below, inlaid    }
    with hunting trophies on trellis-pattern ground, mounted}
    with foliage, friezes, and corner mounts of chased      }
    ormolu, and surmounted by a Breccia marble slab, stamped}
    "J. Stumpff. 315 0 0 Me.," 56 in. high, 40 in. wide.    }
    Christie, February 12, 1904 Commode, _en suite_, with   }
    five drawers, 58 in. wide. Christie, February 12, 1904  }
                                                            } 714  0  0
Work-table, Louis XVI., oval, in two tiers, upon a tripod   }
    stand, with double candle branches above; the top tier  }
    is composed of a Sèvres plaque, painted with sprays of  }
    roses; around this is a gallery of chased ormolu; the   }
    second tier is of parquetry, this has also a balcony;   }
    the tripod base is of mahogany, with mounts of ormolu,  }
    cast and chased; the nozzles for the two candles above  }
    are similar in material and decoration, width of top    }
    tier, 13 in. Christie, March 18, 1904

Table, Louis XVI., marquetry, signed "N. Petit," top inlaid
    with musical trophy, &c., mounts, &c., of ormolu, cast
    and chased, 30 in. wide. Christie, March 18, 1904       99 15  0

Fauteuils, pair, Louis XVI. (stamped "J. Leglartier"),
    tapered oblong backs and curved arms, turned legs, white
    and gilt, covered with Beauvais tapestry, with subjects
    from "Fables de la Fontaine," and other designs.
    Flashman & Co., Dover, April 26, 1904                   75  0  0

Console-table, Louis XVI., carved and painted wood, with
    fluted legs and stretchers, and open frieze in front,
    surmounted by a slab of white marble, 5 ft. 4 in. wide.
    Christie, May 6, 1904                                   46  0  0

Commode, Louis XVI., containing three drawers, in front it
    is divided into three rectangular sunk panels of
    parquetry, each bordered with mahogany, with ormolu
    mounts, surmounted by a slab of fleur-de-pêche marble,
    57 in. wide. Christie, May 27, 1904                    357  0  0

Commode, Louis XVI., stamped with the name of "J. H.
    Reisener," with tambour panels in front and drawers at
    the top; it is chiefly composed of mahogany, the central
    panel inlaid in a coloured marquetry; on either side,
    and at the ends, are panels of tulip-wood parquetery,
    the whole is mounted with ormolu, surmounted by a slab
    of veined marble, 34 in. wide. Christie, May 27, 1904
                                                          3150  0  0

[1] By the kindness of the proprietors of the _Connoisseur_ these items
are given from their useful monthly publication, _Auction Sale Prices_.



IX

FRENCH FURNITURE. THE FIRST EMPIRE STYLE


[Illustration: PORTRAIT OF MADAME RÉCAMIER.

(After David.)

Showing Empire settee and footstool.

(_In the Louvre._)]



IX

FRENCH FURNITURE--THE FIRST EMPIRE STYLE

    1789. Commencement of French Revolution.

    1798. Napoleon's campaign in Egypt.

    1805. Napoleon prepares to invade England; Battle of Trafalgar;
    French naval power destroyed.

    1806. Napoleon issued Berlin Decree to destroy trade of England.

    1812. Napoleon invaded Russia, with disastrous retreat from
    Moscow.

    1814. Napoleon abdicated.

    1815. Wellington defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.


When Louis XVI. called together the States-General in 1789, which had
not met since 1614, the first stone was laid of the French Republic.
After the king was beheaded in 1793, the Reign of Terror followed,
during which the wildest licence prevailed. Under the Directory, for
four years from 1795, the country settled down until the rise of
Napoleon Bonaparte, who took the government in his own hands with the
title of Consul, and in 1804 called himself Emperor of the French.

During the Reign of Terror the ruthless fury of a nation under mob-law
did not spare the most beautiful objects of art which were associated
with a hated aristocracy. Furniture especially suffered, and it is a
matter for wonderment that so much escaped destruction. Most of the
furniture of the royal palaces was consigned to the spoliation of "the
Black Committee," who trafficked in works of great price, and sold to
foreign dealers the gems of French art for less than a quarter of their
real value. So wanton had become the destruction of magnificent
furniture that the Convention, with an eye on the possibilities of
raising money in the future, ordered the furniture to be safely stored
in the museums of Paris.

After so great a social upheaval, art in her turn was subjected to
revolutionary notions. Men cast about to find something new. Art, more
than ever, attempted to absorb the old classic spirit. The Revolution
was the deathblow to Rococo ornament. With the classic influences came
ideas from Egypt, and the excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii
provided a further source of design. A detail of a portion of a tripod
table found at Pompeii shows the nature of the beautiful furniture
discovered.

As early as 1763, Grimm wrote: "For some years past we are beginning to
inquire for antique ornaments and forms. The interior and exterior
decorations of houses, furniture, materials of dress, work of the
goldsmiths, all bear alike the stamp of the Greeks. The fashion passes
from architecture to millinery; our ladies have their hair dressed _à la
Grecque_." A French translation of Winckelmann appeared in 1765, and
Diderot lent his powerful aid in heralding the dawn of the revival of
the antique long before the curtain went up on the events of 1789.

Paris in Revolution days assumed the atmosphere of ancient Rome.
Children were given Greek and Roman names. Classical things got rather
mixed. People called themselves "Romans." Others had Athenian notions.
Madame Vigée-Lebrun gave _soupers à la Grecque_. Madame Lebrun was
Aspasia, and M. l'Abbé Barthélemy, in a Greek dress with a laurel wreath
on his head, recited a Greek poem.

[Illustration: DETAIL OF TRIPOD TABLE FOUND AT POMPEII.

(_At Naples Museum._)]

These, among a thousand other signs of the extraordinary spirit of
classicism which possessed France, show how deep rooted had become the
idea of a modern Republic that should emulate the fame of Athens and of
Rome. The First Consul favoured these ideas, and his portraits
represent him with a laurel wreath around his head posing as a Cæsar.

[Illustration: _By kind permission from the collection of Dr. Sigerson,
Dublin._

SERVANTE.

Marble top; supported on two ormolu legs elaborately chased with figures
of Isis. Panelled at back with glass mirror.

FRENCH; LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.]

In transition days before the style known as Empire had become fixed
there is exhibited in art a feeling which suggests the deliberate search
after new forms and new ideas. To this period belongs the _servante_,
which, by the kindness of Dr. Sigerson, of Dublin, is reproduced from
his collection. The claw-foot, the ram's head, the bay-leaf, and a
frequent use of caryatides and animal forms, is a common ornamentation
in furniture of the Empire period. In this specimen the two legs of
ormolu have these characteristics, and it is noticeable that the shape
of the leg and its details of ornament bear a striking resemblance to
the leg of the Pompeiian table illustrated (p. 205). But the deities of
Egypt have contributed a new feature in the seated figure of the goddess
Isis.

[Illustration: JEWEL CABINET OF THE EMPRESS MARIE LOUISE.

Made on the occasion of her marriage with the Emperor Napoleon
Bonaparte, in 1810.

(_At Fontainebleau._)]

Napoleon himself encouraged the classic spirit which killed all memories
of an _ancien régime_. He would have been pleased to see all the relics
of the former glories of France demolished. He had at one time a project
to rebuild Versailles as a classic temple.

At the height of his splendour he became the patron of the fine arts,
and attempted to leave his impression upon art as he did upon everything
else. New furniture was designed for the Imperial palaces. Riesener was
alive, but it does not appear that he took any part in the new
creations. David, the great French painter, an ardent Republican, was
won over to become a Court painter. At Malmaison and at Fontainebleau
there are many fine examples of the First Empire period which, however,
cannot be regarded as the most artistic in French furniture. Preserved
at Fontainebleau is the jewel cabinet, made by Thomire and Odiot, at the
Emperor's orders as a wedding gift, in 1810, to the Empress Marie
Louise, in emulation of the celebrated Riesener cabinet at the Trianon.
The wood used for this, and for most of the Empire cabinets, is rich
mahogany, which affords a splendid ground for the bronze gilt mounts
(_see_ p. 207).

The portrait of Madame Récamier, by David, which is in the Louvre, given
as headpiece to this chapter, shows the severe style of furniture in use
at the zenith of the Empire period. The couch follows classic models,
and the tall candelabrum is a suggestion from Herculaneum models.

The influence that this classic revival had upon furniture in this
country is told in a subsequent chapter. In regard to costume, the gowns
of the First Empire period have become quite fashionable in recent
years.

Although this style of furniture degenerated into commonplace designs
with affectedly hard outlines, it had a considerable vogue. In addition
to the influence it had upon the brothers Adam and upon Sheraton, it
left its trace on English furniture up till the first quarter of the
nineteenth century. The chair illustrated (p. 210) is about the year
1800 in date. There is presumptive evidence that this chair was made in
Bombay after European design. It is of rosewood, carved in relief with
honeysuckle and floral design. The scrolled ends of the top rail show at
once its French derivation.

In the national collections in this country there are very few specimens
of Empire furniture. The Duke of Wellington has some fine examples at
Apsley House, treasured relics of its historic associations with the
victor of Waterloo. The demand in France, for furniture of the First
Empire style has in all probability denuded the open market of many fine
specimens. Owing to the fact that this country was at war with France
when the style was at its height, the number of Empire pieces imported
was very limited, nor does First Empire furniture seem to have greatly
captivated the taste of English collectors, as among the records of
sales of furniture by public auction very little has come under the
hammer.

[Illustration: _By kind permission of the Rev. H. V. Le Bas._

ARMCHAIR, ROSEWOOD.

Carved in relief with honeysuckle pattern Formerly in possession of the
Duke of Newcastle.

ENGLISH; LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.]



X

CHIPPENDALE

AND

HIS STYLE


[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

TABLE MADE BY CHIPPENDALE.

(Height, 29-3/8 in.; width, 32-3/8 in.; depth, 21-5/8 in.)]



X

CHIPPENDALE AND HIS STYLE

    George I.      1714-1727.
    George II.      1727-1760.
    George III.      1760-1820.

    Horace Walpole built Strawberry Hill (1750)

    Sir William Chambers (1726-1796) built Pagoda at Kew about 1760.

    Chippendale's _Director_ published (1754).


Thomas Chippendale, the master cabinetmaker of St. Martin's Lane, has
left a name which, like that of Boule, has become a trade term to mark
a certain style in furniture. With the dawn of the age of mahogany,
Chippendale produced designs that were especially adapted to the new
wood; he relied solely upon the delicate carving for ornament, and
rejected all inlay.

Discovered by Sir Walter Raleigh, who brought specimens home with him,
mahogany did not come into general use till about 1720. The material
then used by Chippendale and his school was the splendid mahogany from
the great untouched forests, producing at that time timber the like of
which, in dimension and in quality, is now unprocurable. The cheaper
"Honduras stuff" was then unknown, and English crews landed and cut
timber from the Spanish possessions in spite of the protests of the
owners. Many a stiff fight occurred, and many lives were lost in
shipping this stolen mahogany to England to supply the demand for
furniture. These nefarious proceedings more than once threatened to
bring about war between England and Spain.

The furniture of France, during the four great periods treated in the
previous chapters, was designed for the use of the nobility. One wonders
what furniture was in common use by the peasantry in France. In England,
too, much of the furniture left for the examination of posterity was
made for the use of the wealthy classes. In Jacobean days, settles and
chairs, especially the Yorkshire and Derbyshire types, were in more
common use, and the homely pieces of Queen Anne suggest less luxurious
surroundings, but it was left for Chippendale to impress his taste upon
all classes. In the title-page of his great work, the _Director_,
published in 1754, he says that his designs are "calculated to improve
and refine the present taste, and suited to the fancy and circumstances
of persons in all degrees of life."

[Illustration: OLIVER GOLDSMITH'S CHAIR.

Wood, painted green, with circular seat, carved arms, and high back.
Bequeathed by Oliver Goldsmith in 1774 to his friend, Dr. Hawes.

(_Bethnal Green Museum._)]

His book of designs, as may naturally be supposed, was not greatly
bought by the working classes, but fifteen copies of the _Director_ went
to Yorkshire, and many other copies were subscribed for in other parts
of the country, so that local cabinetmakers began at once to fashion
their furniture after his styles.

The common form of chair at the time was similar to the specimen
illustrated (p. 215), which formerly belonged to Oliver Goldsmith, and
was bequeathed by him to his friend, Dr. Hawes. This is of soft wood,
probably beech, painted green, with circular seat, curved arms, and high
back. Chippendale revolutionised this inartistic style, and for the
first time in the history of the manufacture of furniture in England,
continental makers turned their eyes to this country in admiration of
the style in vogue here, and in search of new designs.

It might appear, on a hasty glance at some of Chippendale's work, that
originality was not his strong point. His claw-and-ball feet were not
his own, and he borrowed them and the wide, spacious seats of his chairs
from the Dutch, or from earlier English furniture under Dutch influence.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

CHIPPENDALE SETTEE; WALNUT. ABOUT 1740.

(_From the collection of Sir W. E. Welby-Gregory, Bart._)]

Sir William Chambers, the architect of Somerset House, whose fondness
for Chinese ornament produced quite a craze, and who built the Pagoda in
Kew Gardens, gave Chippendale another source of inspiration. In his
later days he came under the influence of the Gothic revival and
was tempted to misuse Gothic ornament.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

CHIPPENDALE SETTEE, OAK. ABOUT 1740.

(_By courtesy of V. J. Robinson, Esq., C.I.E._)]

His second style shows the Louis XIV. French decoration in subjection.
In his ribbon-back chairs he employed the Louis XVI. ornamentation.

But Chippendale was the most masterly adapter that England has ever
produced. His adaptions became original under his hand, and his
creations are sturdy and robust, tempered by French subtleties, and
having, here and there, as in the fretwork in the chair-legs and angles,
a suggestion of the East. He is the prince of chair-makers. His chairs
are never unsymmetrical. He knew the exact proportion of ornament that
the structure would gracefully bear. The splats in the chairs he made
himself are of such accurate dimensions in relation to the open spaces
on each side that this touch alone betrays the hand of the master, which
is absent in the imitations of his followers.

The illustration given of the Chippendale table in Chinese style (p.
213), is a beautiful and perfect piece of a type rarely met with. It was
made by Chippendale for the great-grandmother of the present owner. A
similar table was in the possession of the Princess Josephine. In
chairs, the back was sometimes of fret-cut work, as was also the design
of the legs, with fretwork in the angles, which betray his fondness for
the Chinese models. The Gothic style influenced Chippendale only to a
slight degree. Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill set the fashion in
England, which fortunately was short-lived.

Collectors divide Chippendale's work into three periods. To the first
they assign the more solid chairs or settees with cabriole legs and
Louis XIV. ornament, harmoniously blended with Queen Anne style. These
chairs and settees are often found with claw-and-ball feet, and are
frequently of walnut. Two fine examples of settees, the one of oak, the
other of walnut, are illustrated.

[Illustration: RIBBON PATTERN. CHIPPENDALE CHAIR-BACK.

(_From the "Director."_)]

The second period embraces the fine creations which have the celebrated
Louis XVI. ribbon ornamentation in the backs. From one of the designs in
Chippendale's book, here illustrated, the elegance of the style is
shown. It is exuberant enough, but the author complains in his volume
that "In executing many of these drawings, my pencil has but faintly
carved out those images my fancy suggested; but in this failure I
console myself by reflecting that the greatest masters of every art have
laboured under the same difficulties." The ribbon-backed chair
illustrated (p. 223) is one of the two given to an ancestor of the
present owner by the fourth Duke of Marlborough in 1790. They were
formerly at Blenheim, and there is an added interest in them owing to
the fact that the seats were worked by Sarah, the great Duchess of
Marlborough.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

RIBBON-BACKED CHIPPENDALE CHAIR, FORMERLY AT BLENHEIM, THE SEAT WORKED
BY SARAH, DUCHESS OF MARLBOROUGH.]

The latest style of Chippendale's work is the Gothic. There are many
pieces in existence which he probably had to produce to satisfy the
taste of his fashionable clients, but the style is atrocious, and the
less said about them the better. The illustration (p. 225) of a
chair-back from his design-book shows how offensive it could be.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

CHIPPENDALE CORNER CHAIR, ABOUT 1780.

(_Reproduced by kindness of the Hon. Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane, G.C.B.,
I.S.O._)]

The fine corner-chair, here illustrated, exhibits the strength and
solidity he could impart to his work. His chairs were meant to sit upon,
and are of excellent carpentry. The square, straight legs are a feature
of much of his work. The examples belonging to the India Office and the
Governors of the Charterhouse illustrated (pp. 226, 227) show the type
that he made his own and with which his name has been associated.

[Illustration: GOTHIC CHIPPENDALE CHAIR-BACK.

(_From the "Director."_)]

Although his chairs are sought after as especially beautiful in design
(his father was a maker of chairs before him) he made many other objects
of furniture. The mirrors he designed are exquisite examples of fine
woodcarving. The one illustrated (p. 229) shows the mastery he had over
graceful outline. Bureau bookcases with drop-down fronts have been
successfully produced since his day after his models. The one
illustrated (p. 231) shows a secret drawer, which is reached by removing
the left-hand panel. Card-tables, settees, knife-boxes, tea-caddies,
sideboards, and overmantles were made by him, which show by their
diversity of technique that there was more than one pair of hands at
work in carrying out his designs.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

MAHOGANY CHIPPENDALE CHAIR. ABOUT 1740.

(_Property of the India Office._)]

The collecting of Chippendale furniture has become so fashionable of
late years that genuine old pieces are difficult to procure. It is true
that two old chairs were discovered in a workhouse last year, but when
specimens come into the market they usually bring large prices. Two
elbow state-chairs, with openwork backs, were sold a little while ago
for seven hundred and eighty guineas, and a set of six small chairs
brought ninety-three guineas about the same time. But even this is not
the top price reached, for two chairs at Christie's realised eleven
hundred pounds!

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

MAHOGANY CHIPPENDALE CHAIR. 1770.

(_By permission of the Master of the Charterhouse._)]

Chippendale, the shopkeeper, of St Martin's Lane, who took orders for
furniture, which he or his sons, or workmen under their direct
supervision, executed, was one person, and Chippendale, who had
quarrelled with the Society of Upholsterers, and published a book of
designs on his own account, which quickly ran through three editions,
was another person. In the one case he was a furniture maker whose
pieces bring enormous prices. In the other he was the pioneer of popular
taste and high-priest to the cabinetmakers scattered up and down
England, who quickly realised the possibilities of his style, and
rapidly produced good work on his lines.

These pieces are by unknown men, and no doubt much of their work has
been accredited to Chippendale himself. The illustration (p. 232) shows
a mahogany chair well constructed, of a time contemporary with
Chippendale and made by some smaller maker. This type of chair has been
copied over and over again till it has become a recognised pattern. It
finds its counterpart in china in the old willow-pattern, which
originated at Coalport and has been adopted as a stock design.

[Illustration: _By permission of the proprietors of the "Connoisseur."_

CHIPPENDALE MIRROR.]

Furniture is not like silver, where the mark of the maker was almost as
obligatory as the hall mark. Artists, both great and small, have signed
their pictures, and in the glorious days of the great French _ébénistes_
and metal-chasers, signed work is frequently found. But in England, at a
time when furniture of excellent design, of original conception, and
of thoroughly good workmanship was produced in great quantities, the
only surviving names are those of designers or cabinetmakers who have
published books.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Harold G. Lancaster & Co._

CHIPPENDALE BUREAU BOOKCASE.

With drop-down front, showing secret drawer.]

So great was the influence of the style of Chippendale that it permeated
all classes of society. An interesting engraving by Stothard (p. 235)
shows the interior of a room, and is dated 1782, the year that Rodney
gained a splendid victory over the French fleet in the West Indies, and
the year that saw the independence of the United States recognised.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Harold G. Lancaster & Co._

MAHOGANY CHAIR.

IN THE CHIPPENDALE STYLE. LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.]

[Illustration: COTTAGE CHAIRS, BEECHWOOD. LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, IN
STYLE OF CHIPPENDALE.]

Kitchen furniture or cottage furniture was made on the same lines by
makers all over the country. The wood used was not mahogany; it was most
frequently beech. Chairs of this make are not museum examples, but they
are not devoid of a strong artistic feeling, and are especially English
in character. More often than not the soft wood of this class of chair
is found to be badly worm-eaten. Two chairs of this type, of beech,
are illustrated (p. 233), and it is interesting to note that, as in the
instance of the Yorkshire and Derbyshire chairs of Jacobean days made by
local makers, it is not common to find many of exactly the same design.
The craftsman gave a personal character to his handiwork, which makes
such pieces of original and artistic interest, and cabinetmaking and
joinery was not then so machine-made as it is now.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF ROOM, ABOUT 1782.

(_From engraving after Stothard._)]

It may be here remarked that the earlier pieces of the eighteenth
century were polished much in the same manner as was old oak previously
described. Highly polished surfaces and veneers, and that abomination
"French polish," which is a cheap and nasty method of disguising poor
wood, bring furniture within the early nineteenth-century days, when a
wave of Philistine banalities swept over Europe.


RECENT SALE PRICES.[1]

                                                             £  s. d.
Side table, Chippendale, with gadrooned border, the front
    boldly carved with a grotesque mask, festoons of
    flowers and foliage, on carved legs with claw feet, 64
    in. long. Christie, February 14, 1902                  126  0  0

Tea-caddy, Chippendale mahogany, square, with four
    divisions, the borders carved with rosettes and
    interlaced riband ornament, the sides inlaid with four
    old Worcester oblong plaques painted with exotic birds,
    insects, fruit, flowers, and festoons in colours on
    white ground, 10 in. square. Christie, February 6, 1903 52 10  0

Fire-screen, Chippendale mahogany, containing a panel of old
    English petit-point needlework, worked with a basket of
    flowers in coloured silks, on pillar and tripod carved
    with foliage and ball-and-claw feet. Christie, December
    4, 1903                                                 17 17  0

Armchairs, pair large Chippendale mahogany, with interlaced
    backs carved with foliage, the arms terminating in
    carved and gilt eagles' heads. Christie, January 22,
    1904                                                    88  4  0

Cabinet, Chippendale mahogany, with glazed folding doors
    enclosing shelves, and with cupboards and eight small
    drawers below, the borders fluted, 8 ft. high, 8 ft.
    wide. Christie, January 22, 1904                        67  4  0

Chairs, set of six Chippendale mahogany, with open
    interlaced backs, with scroll tops, carved with foliage
    and shell ornament, on carved cabriole legs and
    ball-and-claw feet. Christie, January 22, 1904         102 18  0

Table, Chippendale, oblong, cabriole legs, carved with
    shells, &c., on claw feet, surmounted by a veined white
    marble slab, 53 in. wide. Christie, March 4, 1904       73  0  0

Settee, Chippendale mahogany, with double back with scroll
    top, carved with arabesque foliage, the arms terminating
    in masks, on legs carved with lions' masks and claw
    feet, 54 in. wide. Christie, April 12, 1904            278  5  0

Mirror, Chippendale, carved with gilt, 88 in. high, 50 in.
    wide. Christie, May 18, 1904                            94 10  0

[1] By the kindness of the proprietors of the _Connoisseur_ these items
are given from their useful monthly publication _Auction Sale Prices_.



XI

SHERATON, ADAM,

AND HEPPELWHITE

STYLES


[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Harold G. Lancaster & Co._

HEPPELWHITE SETTEE, MAHOGANY.]



XI

SHERATON, ADAM, AND HEPPELWHITE STYLES

    Robert Adam     1728-1792.
    Thomas Sheraton 1751-1806.

    1752. Loch and Copeland's designs published.

    1765. Manwaring's designs published.

    1770. Ince and Mayhew's designs published.

    1788. Heppelwhite's designs published.


In the popular conception of the furniture of the three Georges the
honours are divided between Chippendale and Sheraton. Up till recently
all that was not Chippendale was Sheraton, and all that was not
Sheraton must be Chippendale. The one is represented by the
straight-legged mahogany chairs or cabriole legs with claw-and-ball feet
and the backs elaborately carved; the other with finely tapered legs,
built on elegant lines, and of satinwood, having marquetry decoration or
painted panels.

This is the rough generalisation that obtained in the earlier days of
the craze for collecting eighteenth-century furniture. Heppelwhite and
Adam (more often than not alluded to as Adams), are now added to the
list, and auction catalogues attempt to differentiate accordingly. But
these four names do not represent a quarter of the well-known makers who
were producing good furniture in the days between the South Sea Bubble
in 1720 and the battle of Waterloo in 1815.

In this chapter it will be impossible to give more than a passing
allusion to the less-known makers of the eighteenth century, but to
those who wish to pursue the matter in more detailed manner the
Bibliography annexed (p. 19) gives ample material for a closer study of
the period.

The four brothers Adam, sons of a well-known Scottish architect, were
exponents of the classic style. Robert Adam was the architect of the
fine houses in the Adelphi, and he designed the screen and gateway at
the entrance to the Admiralty in 1758. James is credited with the
designing of interior decorations and furniture. Carriages,
sedan-chairs, and even plate were amongst the artistic objects to which
these brothers gave their stamp. The classical capitals, mouldings and
niches, the shell flutings and the light garlands in the Adam style,
are welcome sights in many otherwise dreary streets in London. Robert,
the eldest brother, lived from 1728 to 1792, and during that time
exercised a great influence on English art.

[Illustration: SHERATON ARMCHAIR; MAHOGANY, ABOUT 1780.

ADAM ARMCHAIR; MAHOGANY, ABOUT 1790.

ARMCHAIR OF WALNUT, SHIELD-BACK CARVED WITH THREE OSTRICH FEATHERS.
IN HEPPELWHITE STYLE. LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

CHAIR OF WALNUT, SHIELD-BACK; IN THE STYLE OF HEPPELWHITE.
LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

(_Victoria and Albert Museum._)]

In 1790, a set of designs of English furniture were published by A.
Heppelwhite. In these chairs with pierced backs, bookcases with
fancifully framed glass doors, and mahogany bureaux, the influence of
Chippendale is evident, but the robustness of the master and the
individuality of his style become transformed into a lighter and more
elegant fashion, to which French _finesse_ and the Adam spirit have
contributed their influence.

In the illustration (p. 243) various types of chairs of the period are
given. A chair termed the "ladder-back" was in use in France at the same
time. In Chardin's celebrated picture of "_Le jeu de l'oye_," showing
the interior of a parlour of the middle eighteenth century, a chair of
this type is shown.

The Heppelwhite settee illustrated as the headpiece to this chapter
shows the delicate fluting in the woodwork, and the elaborated turned
legs which were beginning to be fashionable at the close of the
eighteenth century. The two chairs by Heppelwhite & Co., illustrated (p.
243), are typical examples of the elegance of the style which has an
individuality of its own--a fact that collectors are beginning to
recognise.

The shield-back chair with wheat-ear and openwork decoration, and legs
in which the lathe has been freely used, are characteristic types. The
elegance of the legs in Heppelwhite chairs is especially noticeable. The
designers departed from Chippendale with results exquisitely
symmetrical, and of most graceful ornamentation.

Hogarth, in his biting satires on the absurdities of Kent, the
architect, painter, sculptor, and ornamental gardener, whose claims to
be any one of the four rest on slender foundations, did not prevent
fashionable ladies consulting him for designs for furniture, picture
frames, chairs, tables, for cradles, for silver plate, and even for the
construction of a barge. It is recorded by Walpole that two great ladies
who implored him to design birthday gowns for them were decked out in
incongruous devices: "the one he dressed in a petticoat decorated in
columns of the five orders, and the other like a bronze, in a
copper-coloured satin, with ornaments of gold."

Heppelwhite learned the lesson of Hogarth, that "the line of beauty is a
curve," and straight lines were studiously avoided in his designs. Of
the varieties of chairs that he made, many have the Prince of Wales's
feathers either carved upon them in the centre of the open-work back or
japanned upon the splat, a method of decoration largely employed in
France, which has not always stood the test of time, for when examples
are found they often want restoration. Of satin-wood, with paintings
upon the panels, Heppelwhite produced some good examples, and when he
attempted greater elaboration his style in pieces of involved design and
intricacy of detail became less original, and came into contact with
Sheraton. His painted furniture commands high prices, and the name of
Heppelwhite will stand as high as Chippendale or Sheraton for graceful
interpretations of the spirit which invested the late eighteenth
century.

Before dealing with Sheraton in detail, the names of some lesser known
makers contemporary with him may be mentioned. Matthias Lock, together
with a cabinetmaker named Copeland, published in 1752 designs of
furniture which derived their inspiration from the brothers Adam, which
classic feeling later, in conjunction with the Egyptian and Pompeian
spirit, dominated the style of the First Empire. Josiah Wedgewood, with
his Etruscan vases, and Flaxman, his designer, filled with the new
classic spirit, are examples in the world of pottery of the influences
which were transmitted through the French Revolution to all forms of art
when men cast about in every direction to find new ideas for design.

Ince and Mayhew, two other furniture designers, published a book in
1770, and Johnson outdid Chippendale's florid styles in a series of
designs he brought out, which, with their twisted abortions, look almost
like a parody of Thomas Chippendale's worst features. There is a
"Chairmaker's Guide," by Manwaring and others in 1766, which contains
designs mainly adapted from all that was being produced at the time. It
is not easy to tell the difference between chairs made by Manwaring and
those made by Chippendale, as he certainly stands next to the great
master in producing types which have outlived ephemeral tastes, and
taken their stand as fine artistic creations.

Among other names are those of Shearer, Darly, and Gillow, all of whom
were notable designers and makers of furniture in the period immediately
preceding the nineteenth century.

Thomas Sheraton, contemporary with William Blake the dreamer, shares
with him the unfortunate posthumous honour of reaching sensational
prices in auction rooms. There is much in common between the two men.
Sheraton was born in 1751 at Stockton-on-Tees, and came to London to
starve. Baptist preacher, cabinetmaker, author, teacher of drawing, he
passed his life in poverty, and died in distressed circumstances. He
was, before he brought out his book of designs, the author of several
religious works. Often without capital to pursue his cabinetmaking he
fell back on his aptitude for drawing, and gave lessons in design. He
paid young Black, who afterwards became Lord Provost of Edinburgh, half
a guinea a week as workman in his cabinetmaker's shop in Soho. In a
pathetic picture of those days the Lord Provost, in his _Memoirs_, tells
how Sheraton and his wife and child had only two cups and saucers and
the child had a mug, and when the writer took tea with them the wife's
cup and saucer were given up to the guest, and she drank her tea from a
common mug. This reads like Blake's struggles when he had not money
enough to procure copper-plates on which to engrave his wonderful
visions.

That the styles of Chippendale and Sheraton represent two distinct
schools is borne out by what Sheraton himself thought of his great
predecessor. Speaking in his own book of Chippendale's previous work he
says: "As for the designs themselves they are wholly antiquated, and
laid aside, though possessed of great merit according to the times in
which they were executed." From this it would appear that the
Chippendale style, at the time of Sheraton's "Cabinetmaker's and
Upholsterer's Drawing Book," published in 1793, had gone out of fashion.

The woods mostly employed by Sheraton were satinwood, tulip-wood,
rosewood, and apple-wood, and occasionally mahogany. In place of carved
scrollwork he used marquetry, and on the cabinets and larger pieces
panels were painted by Cipriani and Angelica Kauffman. There is a fine
example of the latter's work in the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Sheraton borrowed largely from the French style under Louis XVI., when
the lines had become severer; he came, too, under the influence of the
Adam designs. He commonly used turned legs, and often turned backs, in
his chairs. His later examples had a hollowed or spoon back to fit the
body of the sitter. When he used mahogany he realised the beauty of
effect the dark wood would give to inlay of lighter coloured woods, or
even of brass. The splats and balusters, and even the legs of some of
his chairs, are inlaid with delicate marquetry work.

Ornament for its own sake was scrupulously eschewed by Sheraton. The
essential supports and uprights and stretcher-rails and other component
parts of a piece of furniture were only decorated as portions of a
preconceived whole. The legs were tapered, the plain surfaces were
inlaid with marquetry, but nothing meaningless was added. In France
Sheraton's style was termed "_Louis Seize à l'Anglaise_."

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Hampton &. Sons._

OLD ENGLISH SECRÉTAIRE.

Rosewood and satinwood. Drop-down front.]

It was the firm of Heppelwhite that first introduced the painted
furniture into England, and under Sheraton it developed into an
emulation of the fine work done by Watteau and Greuze in the days of
Marie Antoinette.

Among the varied pieces that Sheraton produced are a number of ingenious
inventions in furniture, such as the library-steps he made for George
III. to rise perpendicularly from the top of a table frame, and when
folded up to be concealed within it. His bureau-bookcases and
writing-cabinets have sliding flaps and secret drawers and devices
intended to make them serve a number of purposes.

[Illustration: _By permission of Messrs. Harold G. Lancaster & Co._

SHIELD-BACK CHAIR. MAHOGANY.

LATE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.]

On the front of his chairs is frequently found the inverted bell
flower, and another of his favourite forms of decoration is the acanthus
ornament, which he puts to graceful use.

The influence of his work, and of that of Heppelwhite & Co., was
lasting, and much of the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth
century cabinetmaking owes its origin to their designs. The old English
secrétaire illustrated (p. 250), of rose and satinwood, with drawer
above and fall-down front, having cupboard beneath with doors finely
inlaid with plaques of old lac, is of the date when Heppelwhite was
successfully introducing this class of French work into England. It is
especially interesting to note that the drawer-handles are mounted with
old Battersea enamel.

The difficulty of definitely pronouncing as to the maker of many of the
pieces of furniture of the late eighteenth century is recognised by
experts. The chair illustrated (p. 251) cannot be assigned to any
particular designer, though its genuine old feeling is indisputable. In
the fine collection of old furniture of this period at the Victoria and
Albert Museum will be found many examples of chairs with no other title
assigned to them than "late eighteenth century." This fact speaks for
itself. A great and growing school had followed the precepts of
Chippendale and Heppelwhite and Sheraton. This glorious period of little
more than half a century might have been developed into a new
Renaissance in furniture. Unfortunately, the early days of the
nineteenth century and the dreary Early Victorian period, both before
and after the great Exhibition of 1851, display the most tasteless
ineptitude in nearly every branch of art. From the days of Elizabeth
down to the last of the Georges, English craftsmen, under various
influences, have produced domestic furniture of great beauty. It is
impossible to feel any interest in the Windsor chair, the saddle-bag
couch, or the red mahogany cheffonière. The specimens of misapplied work
shown at the Bethnal Green Museum, relics of the English exhibits at the
first Exhibition, are unworthy of great traditions.

The awakened interest shown by all classes in old furniture will do much
to carry the designers back to the best periods in order to study the
inheritance the masters have left, and it is to be hoped that the
message of the old craftsmen dead and gone will not fall on deaf ears.


RECENT SALE PRICES.[1]

                                                             £  s. d.
Chairs, wheel back, set of seven (including armchair), Adam,
    carved, mahogany. Good condition. Brady & Sons, Perth,
    September 1, 1902                                       27  2  6

Mirror, Adam, in gilt frame, Corinthian pillar sides,
    ornamental glass panel at top, surmounted by a carved
    wood eagle figure. Gudgeon & Sons, Winchester, November
    11, 1903                                                 7 10  0

Mantelpiece, Adam, carved wood, with Corinthian column
    supports, carved and figures and festoons. France &
    Sons, December 16, 1903                                 20  0  0

Mirrors, pair, oval, Adam, carved and gilt wood frame.
    Christie, March 18, 1904                                46  4  0

Cabinet or enclosed buffet, Adam, on Empire lines, veneered
    on oak with grained Spanish mahogany, in the frieze is a
    long drawer, and below a cupboard, the whole on square
    feet, doors inlaid, handles, &c., of ormolu, 3 ft. 9 in.
    wide. Flashman & Co., Dover, April 26, 1904             15  0  0

Side-tables, pair hare-wood, by Adam, with rounded corners,
    on square-shaped tapering legs, the sides and borders
    inlaid with marquetry, in coloured woods, 53 in. wide.
    Christie, June 2, 1904                                 105  0  0

Bookcase, 4 ft. 8 in., mahogany, Heppelwhite, inlaid
    tulip-wood with box and ebony lines, fitted shelves and
    drawers, enclosed by doors. Phillips, Son and Neale,
    November 17, 1903                                       44  0  0

Settee, Heppelwhite, square-shaped, 6 ft., and three elbow
    chairs. Gudgeon & Sons, Winchester, March 9, 1904       38  0  0

Console-table, Heppelwhite satinwood, the top shaped as a
    broken ellipse, and of hare-wood with inlays of husks
    and flowers round a fan-pattern centre with borderings
    in ebony and other woods on a filling of satinwood; the
    edge is bound with ormolu, reeded and cross banded,
    below is the frieze of satin-wood inlaid with
    honeysuckle, pateræ, and other ornament in holly, &c.,
    and supported on a pair of carved square tapered legs
    painted and gilt, and with pendants of husks and
    acanthus capitals, 4 ft. 3 in. wide. Flashman & Co.,
    Dover, April 26, 1904                                   40  0  0

Suite of Heppelwhite mahogany furniture, with open shield
    backs, with vase-shaped centres carved, the back, arms
    and legs widely fluted, consisting of a settee, 74 in.
    wide, and ten armchairs. Christie, June 2, 1904        325 10  0

Knife-box, oblong, Sheraton mahogany, with revolving front,
    inlaid with Prince-of-Wales's feathers and borders in
    satinwood, 19-1/2 in. wide. Christie, November 21, 1902  7 17  6

Sideboard, Sheraton, mahogany, satinwood inlaid, fitted with
    brass rails. Dowell, Edinburgh, November 14, 1903       30  9  0

Wardrobe, Sheraton mahogany, banded with satinwood, with
    folding doors above and below, and five drawers in the
    centre, 7 ft. high, 8 ft. wide. Christie, January 22,
    1904                                                    60 18  0

Chairs, set of eighteen Sheraton, with oval backs with rail
    centres, fluted and slightly carved with foliage and
    beading, the seats covered with flowered crimson damask;
    and a pair of settees, _en suite_, 6 ft. wide. Christie,
    February 26, 1904                                      126  0  0

Armchairs, pair, Sheraton, with shield-shaped backs, painted
    with Prince of Wales feathers, and pearl ornament on
    black ground. Christie, March 28, 1904                  28  7  0

Cabinet, Sheraton satinwood, with glazed folding doors
    enclosing shelves, drawer in the centre forming
    secretary, and folding-doors below, painted with baskets
    of flowers, &c., 7 ft. 9 in. high, 41 in. wide.
    Christie, March 28, 1904                               189  0  0

Secrétaire, Sheraton small satinwood, with revolving tambour
    front, drawer and folding doors below, inlaid with
    arabesque foliage, 23 in. wide. Christie, April 29, 1904
                                                            47  5  0

[1] By the kindness of the proprietors of the _Connoisseur_ these items
are given from their useful monthly publication, _Auction Sale Prices_.



XII

HINTS TO COLLECTORS


[Illustration: DESIGN FOR SPURIOUS MARQUETRY WORK.]



XII

HINTS TO COLLECTORS


The demand for old furniture has become so great that there is an
increasing difficulty in supplying it. In order to satisfy the collector
many artifices have been practised which in varying degree are difficult
to detect, according to the skill and ingenuity of the present-day
manufacturer of "antique" furniture.

Replicas of old pieces are frequently made, and the workmanship is so
excellent, and the copy of the old craftsman's style so perfect, that it
only requires a century or two of wear to give to the specimen the
necessary tone which genuine old furniture has naturally acquired.

In particular, French ornate furniture from the days of Boule to the
Empire period has received the flattering attention of the fabricator by
being imitated in all its details. These high-class French pieces are
fine examples of cabinetmaking, and it is not easy for anybody who has
not a special expert knowledge to pronounce definitely upon their
authenticity. Doubts have even been expressed regarding certain pieces
in the great national collections; in fact the art of the forger in
regard to old French furniture, of which specimens change hands at
anything from £1,000 to £10,000, has reached a very high level of
excellence, having almost been elevated to one of the fine arts. If a
clever workman possessed of great artistic feeling turns his attention
to forging works of art, it is obvious that his triumph is complete over
amateurs possessed of less artistic taste and knowledge than himself.

Many secret processes are employed to impart an appearance of age to the
wood and to the metal mountings. The cruder methods are to eat off the
sharper edges of the metal mountings by means of acid, and to discolour
the newer surfaces by the aid of tobacco juice, both of which are not
difficult to detect. The steady manufacture of these finer pieces goes
on in France, and it has been found that the foggy atmosphere of London
is especially useful in producing the effect of age upon the finer work,
consequently many forged pieces are shipped to London to be stored in
order to ripen until considered fit for the American market, where so
many forgeries have been planted. The reward is great, and even
considering the amount of trouble bestowed upon such pieces and the
excellence of the artistic work where the highest skilled labour is
employed, the profit is enormous. The parvenu buys his Louis XIV. or
Louis XV. suite, and pays an immense sum for pieces which are stated to
have come from some French nobleman's château, whose name must not be
divulged, and so the interesting deal is brought to a successful
termination.

[Illustration: "MADE-UP" BUFFET.

The middle portion, consisting of the two drawers and three panelled
cupboards above, is genuine old carved oak. The stand, with the finely
turned legs and rails, and the whole of the upper portion, is modern.]

As an object-lesson as to the truth of the above remarks, the Wallace
Collection contains a modern French copy in facsimile, by Dasson, of the
celebrated "Bureau du Roi" of the Louis XV. period, the original being
in the Louvre. The original is fully described in the chapter on Louis
XV. style, and it is not too much to assert that ninety-nine per cent.
of the visitors to the Collection could not say that this copy was not
an old French specimen of over a century and a quarter ago, and the
remaining one, unless he happened to be an expert, would not question
its genuineness.

Old oak has always been a favourite with the public, and from the modern
Flemish monstrosities, carved in evil manner and displaying proportions
in the worst possible taste, to the equally vulgar home production in
buffet or sideboard, and stocked by many dealers in so-called "antique"
furniture, the number of grotesque styles foisted upon the public within
the last fifteen years has been remarkable. One wonders what has become
of the high-backed oak chairs, nearly black with repeated applications
of permanganate of potash, having flaming red-leather seats. They seem
to have mysteriously disappeared from up-to-date "antique" stores of
late. The public has taken to inquiring into art matters a little more
closely. Nowadays the latest thing is "fumed" oak, which is modern oak
discoloured by means of ammonia, which darkens the surface of the wood
to a depth of a sixteenth of an inch. It is not infrequent to find an
attempt made to represent this as old oak after an elaborate treatment
with linseed oil, turpentine, and beeswax, though an examination of the
interior edges of the wood will discover its modernity at once.

Of course, such tricks as these are not practised by any firm of
standing, who cannot afford to damage their reputation by any
misrepresentation. As a general rule a dealer will readily point out the
details of workmanship and offer technical information of much value to
a beginner, if he discovers that his customer is a collector desirous of
acquiring only fine specimens. It is more often than not the folly of
the public, and not the dishonesty of the dealer, which results in trade
frauds being committed in the attempt to execute some impossible and
imperative order, which the moneyed collector has given. The difference
between the genuine and the replica is most clearly made by
old-fashioned firms of high standing. It is only when the collector
enters into the arena and endeavours to set forth in quest of bargains,
where he pits his skill against that of the dealer in the hope of
outwitting the latter, that he is obviously on dangerous ground. In the
one case he pays a higher price and obtains the benefit of the
experience of a firm with expert knowledge, in the other he relies on
his own judgment in picking up a bargain from some one whom he believes
to be possessed of less knowledge than himself. If he is successful he
is not slow to brag about his cleverness; but if he is worsted in the
encounter, and pays, let us say, five pounds for an object which he
fondly believed was worth fifty, if genuine, and which he subsequently
discovers is worth less than he gave, there is nothing too bad to say
concerning his antagonist.

It is chiefly by the character of carved work that old pieces can be
recognised. There are three classes of pitfalls to avoid.

1. Fraudulent pieces throughout, of modern wood and of modern carving.

2. "Made-up" pieces which often consist of genuine old pieces of carved
wood pieced together ingeniously from fragments of carvings, with modern
additions.

3. "Restored" pieces which are mainly old and should have received, if
admitted to a collection, only the necessary repairs to make them
serviceable.

With regard to the first class, fraudulent throughout, it is the hope of
the writer that enough has already been written in this volume to point
the way to the reader and to assist him to follow his natural
inclinations in developing the necessary critical taste to readily
detect pieces wholly false in character and feeling.

"Made-up" pieces present a greater difficulty. Considerable skill has
been exercised in combining certain parts of old furniture into a whole
which is, however, mostly inharmonious. In pieces of this nature there
is an absence of feeling in style and carving. It is difficult to define
the exact meaning of the word "feeling" as applied to art objects, it is
a subtle expression of skill and poetry which communicates itself to the
lover of art. It is so subtle and elusive that experts will tell one
that such and such a piece requires to be "lived with" to test its
authenticity. Mr. Frederick Roe, whose volume on "Ancient Coffers and
Cupboards" displays a profound knowledge of his subject, writes, "it
occasionally happens that pieces are so artfully made up that only
living with them will enable the collector to detect the truth. In
dealing with pieces of this suspicious kind one often has to fall back
on a sort of instinct. With critical collectors of every sort this
innate sense plays a very important part."

Two specimens of "made-up" furniture are reproduced, which will bear
close study in order to appreciate the difficulty of collecting old oak.

The illustration of the buffet (p. 261) has many points of interest. The
general appearance of the piece is not inharmonious. It has been
carefully thought out and no less carefully put into effect. The middle
portion, consisting of the three drawers and the three cupboards above,
up to and including the shelf partition at the top, is the only old
part. The handles, locks, and escutcheons of the two drawers are old,
but the hinges above are modern copies of old designs, and the handles
of the cupboards are modern replicas.

[Illustration: CABINET OF OLD OAK.

MADE UP FROM SEVERAL PIECES OF GENUINE OLD CARVED OAK.]

The massive stand with artistically turned rails in Jacobean style,
is soft wood artfully fumed and generously beeswaxed. The whole of the
top portion has been added and is soft wood very well carved. The
carving of the panels is also well executed, and is evidently a copy of
some old design.

The older portion is a fine piece of early Jacobean work, and it is not
difficult to distinguish between the feeling of this and the expression
conveyed by the modern woodwork. The patina of the wood after two
centuries of exposure and polishing has that peculiarly pleasing
appearance which accompanies genuine old woodwork. The edges of the
carving have lost their sharp angles, and the mellowness of the middle
panels are in strong contrast to the harsher tone of those of the upper
portion.

Such a piece as this would not deceive an expert, nor, perhaps, is it
intended to, or greater care would have been bestowed upon it, but it is
sufficiently harmonious in composition not to offend in a glaring
manner, and might easily deceive a tyro.

The next piece illustrated (p. 267) is interesting from another point of
view. It is a more elaborate attempt to produce a piece of old furniture
in which the details themselves have all the mellowness of fine old oak.
In fact, with the exception of one portion, some eight inches by three,
to which allusion will be made later, the whole of it is genuine old
oak.

The three panels at the top are finely carved and are Jacobean work. The
two outside panels at the bottom, though of a later period, are good
work. The middle panel at the bottom is evidently a portion of a larger
piece of carving, because the pattern abruptly breaks off, and it was
most certainly not designed by the old carver to lie on its side in this
fashion.

The two heads at the top corners have been cut from some old specimen,
and artfully laid on. The carving on both sides, running below each head
from top to bottom, is of two distinct designs joined in each case in a
line level with the upper line of the lower panels. The two uprights on
each side of the middle lower panel are exquisite pieces of carved work,
but certainly never intended to be upright. They are evidently portions
of a long, flowing ornament, as their cut-off appearance too plainly
shows.

The top panels have done duty elsewhere, as part of the ornamental
carving at the top and bottom of each lozenge is lost. The long line of
scrolled carving above them is distinctly of interest. On the left hand,
from the head to the middle of the panel, a piece of newer carving has
been inserted, some eight inches long. The wood, at one time darkened to
correspond with the adjacent carving, has become lighter, which is
always the case when wood is stained to match other portions. The
carving in this new portion follows in every detail the lines of the
older design, and is a very pretty piece of "faking."

The cross-piece running from left to right, dividing the lower panels
from the upper, is in three parts. An examination of the design shows
that the last three circles on the right, and the last four on the left,
are of smaller size than the others. The design evidently belonged to
some other piece of furniture, and has been removed to do service in
this "made-up" production.

In all probability the two uprights enclosing the top middle panel, and
the two uprights on the outside at the bottom were once portions of a
carved bedstead, as they are all of the same size and design. It is a
notorious trick to slice an old carved bedpost into four pieces,
skilfully fitting the pieces into "made-up" furniture.

There is a prevalent idea that worm-holes are actually produced in
furniture, in order to give a new piece a more realistic appearance.
There are traditions of duck-shot having been used, and there is little
doubt that holes were drilled by makers who knew their public. But it is
improbable that such artifices would be of much use for deceptive
purposes nowadays. As a matter of fact, worm-holes are avoided by any
one who gives a moment's thought to the matter. To get rid of worm in
furniture is no easy task, and they eventually ruin any pieces they
tenant.

The illustration (p. 274) shows a piece of Spanish chestnut badly
honeycombed by furniture worms. In chairs, especially, their havoc is
almost irreparable, and in the softer woods the legs become too rotten
to be repaired or even strengthened. Metal plates are often screwed on
the sides to prevent the chairs falling to pieces, but they become
useless to sit upon without fear of disaster.

The insect is really the boring wood-beetle, which is armed with
formidable forceps, to enable it to burrow through the wood. The worm,
the larva of this beetle, is also provided with boring apparatus, and
this insect, whether as beetle or as worm, is a deadly enemy to all
furniture. The "death-watch" is also accused of being a depredator of
books and of furniture of soft wood.

To remove worms from furniture is a costly undertaking, requiring the
greatest skill. Large pieces of furniture have actually to be taken to
pieces and the whole of the damaged parts removed with a chisel. In
cases where the legs, or slender supports, have been attacked, the
difficulty is one requiring the specialist's most delicate attention.
Various applications are recommended, but cannot be stated to be
reliable. Injecting paraffin is said to be the best remedy, and putting
the pieces in a chamber where all the openings have been sealed, and
lighting pans of sulphur underneath the furniture, allowing the
specimens to remain in this fumigating bath for some days is another
method resorted to.

With regard to Chippendale furniture, a word of caution is necessary. It
is as impossible for Chippendale and his workmen to have produced all
the furniture attributed to them as it is for the small factory at
Lowestoft to have made all the china with which it is credited. As has
been shown in the chapter on Thomas Chippendale, his styles were most
extensively copied by his contemporaries all over the country and by
many makers after him, and modern makers produce a great quantity of
"Chippendale" every year. Only a careful examination of museum pieces
will train the eye of the collector. The fine sense of proportion, at
once noticeable in the genuine Chippendale chair, is absent in the
modern copy, and, above all, the carving in the latter is thin and poor.
In the old days the wastage of wood was not a thing which the master had
in his mind. In modern copies the curl of the arm, or the swell at the
top of the back, shows a regard for economy. There is a thin, flat look
about the result, which ought not to be mistaken. Scrolls and
ribbon-work are often added to later pieces made in the style of
Chippendale, which have enough wood in their surfaces to bear carving
away.

An ingenious device is adopted in cases of inlaid pieces of a small
nature, such as imitation Sheraton clock-cases and knife-boxes and the
frames of mirrors. Old engravings are procured of scrollwork, usually
from the end of some book. The illustration (p. 259) shows the class of
engravings selected. These engravings are coated with a very thin layer
of vellum, which is boiled down to a liquid, and carefully spread over
them. After this treatment they are ready to be glued on to the panels
to be "faked," and, when coated over with transparent varnish, they
present the appearance of an ivory and ebony inlay.

[Illustration: DESIGN FOR SPURIOUS MARQUETRY WORK.]

The frauds practised in satinwood and painted pieces are many and are
exceedingly difficult to detect. Much of Sheraton's furniture was
veneered with finely selected specimens of West India satinwood. These
carefully chosen panels were painted by Cipriani and others. The modern
"faker" has not the material to select from, as the satinwood imported
is not so beautiful nor so richly varied in grain as in the old days. He
removes a side panel from an old piece, and substitutes another where
its obnoxious presence is not so noticeable. To this old panel he
affixes a modern coloured print after one of Sheraton's artists, which,
when carefully varnished over and skilfully treated so as to represent
the cracks in the supposed old painting, is ready for insertion in the
"made-up" sideboard, to catch the fancy of the unwary collector.

FINIS.

[Illustration: PIECE OF SPANISH CHESTNUT SHOWING RAVAGES OF WORMS.]



INDEX


A

Adam, the brothers, and their style, 209, 241-256

Adam armchair (illustrated), 243

Admiralty, screen and gateway, designed by Robert Adam, 242

Anne, Queen, furniture of, prices realised at auction, 153
  ---- insularity of furniture in reign of, 136
  ---- well-constructed furniture of period of, 145

Apsley House, collection of furniture at, 209

Armoire, _see_ GLOSSARY, 23

Ascham, quotation from, 68

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, chair at, 115


B

Baroque, _see_ GLOSSARY, 23

Barrow, Sam, name of maker, on Queen Anne clock, 148

Battersea enamel, its use on furniture, 252

Bérain, Jean, 162

Blenheim, chair from, 222

Bodleian Library, Oxford, illustration of chair at, 82

_Bombé_, _see_ GLOSSARY, 23

Bookcase by Chippendale, 225, 231

Boucher, 182, 195

Boule, André Charles, and his marquetry, 160-162
  ---- cabinet (illustrated), 165
  ---- _see_ GLOSSARY, 23
  ---- and counter-boule (illustrated), showing difference between, 163

Bridal chest (German), 43

Bromley-by-Bow, "Old Palace," oak panelling from, 65

Brown and Bool, Messrs., specimens from collection of, 141, 150

Buhl work, 160

Bureau, _see_ GLOSSARY, 24

Burr-walnut panels, 139

Butter-cupboard, 104


C

Cabinet, ebony, formerly property of Oliver Cromwell, 99

Cabriole, _see_ GLOSSARY, 24

Cabriole-leg, introduction of into England, 127

Caffieri, 177, 191

Cambridge, King's College Chapel, woodwork of, 63

Cane seats and backs of chairs, adoption of, 117
  ---- work in chairs, later development of, 122

Carolean, _see_ GLOSSARY, 25

Carving supplanted by cane-work panels, 117

Caryatides, _see_ GLOSSARY, 24

_Cassette_, (strong box) of period of Louis XIV., 158

_Cassone_, _see_ GLOSSARY, 24
  ---- (marriage coffer), the Italian, 42

Catherine of Braganza, fashions introduced by, 114

Cecil, Lord Burleigh, quotation from, 66

Chair, Charles I., 93, 95
  ---- Chippendale, 223, 224, 226, 227, 232, 233
  ---- "Cromwellian," 96
  ---- high-backed, Portuguese, 114
  ---- Italian (1620), 94
  ---- Jacobean, made from timber of Drake's _Golden Hind_, 83
  ---- James I., 87, 89
  ---- James II., 123
  ---- Louis XIII. period, 159
  ---- ribbon-back, 222, 223
  ---- Oliver Goldsmith's, 215
  ---- with arms of first Earl of Strafford, 93

Chairs, test as to age of, 100
  ---- types of Jacobean (illustrated), 97, 100, 105, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124
  ---- types of Queen Anne period (illustrated), 143
  ---- upholstered, adopted in late Elizabethan days, 75

Chambers, Sir William, 216

Chardin, picture by, showing ladder-back chair, 245

Charles I. furniture, prices realised at auction, 106
  ---- II. furniture, prices realised at auction, 129
  ---- II., repartee of, 114

Charterhouse, specimen at, illustration of, 227

Chatsworth, work of Grinling Gibbons at, 121

Chests of drawers, Jacobean, 117

China collecting, influence of, on furniture, 127

Chinese and Japanese cabinets, 148

"Chinese" Chippendale, 213, 221

Chippendale, Thomas, and his style, 213-238;
    his _Director_, 215
  ---- bureau-bookcase, 225, 231
  ---- furniture, tricks concerning, 272;
    prices of, 227, 236

Cipriani, 249

Classic models paramount, 205

Claw-and-ball feet adopted by Chippendale, 216
  ---- feet (prior to Chippendale), 146
  ---- foot, introduction of, 127

Clock, "Grandfather," introduction of, 127

Clocks, "Grandfather," 147

Colbert, the guiding spirit of art under Louis XIV., 159

Collectors, hints to, 259-274

Commode, _see_ GLOSSARY, 24

Commodes (illustrated), Cressent, 171;
  Louis XIV., 173;
  Caffieri, 175;
  Riesener, 197

_Contre partie_, _see_ GLOSSARY, 24

Copeland, designs of, 247

Copies of old furniture, 259, 263
  ---- of fine French pieces, 185, 197

Cottage furniture (Chippendale style), 232

Counter-boule, _see_ GLOSSARY, 24
  -----boule, 161

Court cupboard, 70

Cowley, quotation from, 85

Cradle, with initials and date, 96

Cressent, Charles, 177, 178

Crispin de Passe, chair designed by, 159

Cromwellian chair, 96

Cromwell's ebony cabinet, 96

Cushions for chairs when adopted, 75


D

Darly, 248

Dated pieces--
  1593, Elizabethan bedstead, 66
  1603, Mirror, carved oak frame, 71
  1603, Court cupboard, 73
  1616, Oak table, 85
  1623, Chair, 97
  1641, Cradle, 96
  1642, Chair, 159
  1653, Cabinet, _frontispiece_
  1760-69, "Bureau du roi," 185
  1769, Bureau, 196
  1810, Jewel cabinet, 207

David, 195, 208, 209

Derbyshire chairs, 103

Diderot, 205

_Director_, designs of chair-backs from, 222, 225

Drake, Sir Francis, chair made from timber of _Golden Hind_, 82

Drawers, chests of, Jacobean, 117

Dressers, Normandy, 103
  ---- "Welsh," 100

Dublin Museum, illustration of oak chest at, 44

Dutch art, introduction of, by William of Orange, 124
  ---- house, interior of (illustrated), 111
  ---- lacquer work, 151
  ---- marquetry, 128, 146
  ---- marquetry chair, illustrated, 143
  ---- marquetry, prices realised at auction, 132


E

Eassie, Walter, illustrations from drawings by, 171, 183

Egyptian design, influence of, 247

Eighteenth century, early, well-constructed furniture of, 145
  ---- interior of room (illustrated), 235

Elizabethan mansions, some noteworthy, 67

Elizabethan woodwork, fine example of, 65

Empire style furniture, 202-210
  ---- its influence on English makers, 209

England, Renaissance in, 37, 59-78


F

Farmhouse furniture, 100

Figure in wood, how obtained, 76, 118

Fire of London, destruction of furniture by, 120

First Empire style, 203-210

Flemish wood-carving, its influence on English craftsmen, 49

Fontainebleau, illustration of jewel cabinet at, 207

Foreign workmen employed in England, 37

Fragonard, 182, 195

France, Renaissance in, 43

Francis I., patron of the new art, 47

Frauds perpetrated on collectors, 259-274

French polish, _see_ GLOSSARY, 24, 236

French Revolution, vandalism during, 204


G

Gate-leg table, _see_ GLOSSARY, 24
  ---- table, 95

Gibbons, Grinling, work of, 121

Gillow, 248

_Golden Hind_, chair made from timbers of, 82

Goldsmith, Oliver, chair of, 215, 216

Gothic, _see_ GLOSSARY, 25
  ---- revival, its influence on Chippendale, 221

Gouthière, Pierre, 191, 192, 197

Grandfather clock, 147
  ---- clock, introduction of, 127

Great Hall at Hampton Court, 63

Grimm, quotation from, 205

Grotesque design prevalent in Elizabethan furniture, 69


H

Hall, Hampton Court, the Great, 63
  ---- Middle Temple, carved screen at, 65

Hampton Court, the Great Hall at, 63
  ---- Court, work of Grinling Gibbons at, 121

Hampton & Sons, Messrs., pieces from collection of, 59, 95, 99, 115,
    120, 121, 135, 143, 147, 148, 250

Harrington, Sir John, quotation from, 75

Henry VII.'s chapel, Westminster Abbey, 63
  ---- VIII., patron of the new art, 37

Heppelwhite, the style of, 241-256
  ---- chairs (illustrated), 243

Herculaneum and Pompeii, influence of excavations at, 204, 209

Hints to Collectors, 259-274

Hogarth, William, 246

Holbein in England, 37

Honey, W. G., Esq., specimen from collection of, 151

Huygens, Dutch lacquer of, 182


I

Ince & Mayhew's designs, 247

India office, specimen at, illustration of, 226

Ingenious contrivances of Sheraton's furniture, 251

Inlay, _see_ GLOSSARY, 25
  ---- in Elizabethan pieces, 69

Italian art dominates Elizabethan fashion, 68

Italy, Renaissance in, 41


J

Jacobean, _see_ GLOSSARY, 25
  ---- furniture, its fine simplicity, 104

Jacobean furniture, prices realised at auction, 106, 129

James I., chair at Knole House, 86
  ---- II. furniture, prices realised at auction, 130

Japanese and Chinese cabinets, 148

Japanese lac imitated, 182

Jones Bequest, illustrations of specimens in, 165, 179, 193
  ---- Inigo, his influence, 93


K

Kauffman, Angelica, 249

Kent, eighteenth-century designer, 246

Kew Gardens, pagoda at, 216

King's College Chapel, Cambridge, woodwork of, 63

Kitchen furniture (Chippendale style), 232

Knole House, James I. furniture at, 86


L

Lac, _see_ GLOSSARY, 26
  ---- Japanese and Chinese imitated, 182

Lacquer, _see_ GLOSSARY, 26

Lancaster & Co., Messrs. Harold G., specimens from collection of, 122, 123,
    137, 231, 232, 241, 251

Leather work, cut design, Portuguese chair-back, 128

Le Bas, Rev. H. V., illustration of specimen in possession of, 210

Lebrun, Madame, 205

Leczinski, Stanislas, King of Poland, 196

Linen pattern, _see_ GLOSSARY, 26

Lock, Matthias, designs of, 247

Louis XIII., chair of period of, 159
  ---- XIV., period of, 157-167
  ---- XV., period of, 171-187
  ---- XVI., period of, 191-200

Louvre, copy of picture in, 203
  ---- illustration of portrait in, 209


M

Macaulay, Lord, quotation from, 96, 136

"Made-up" pieces, 265

Madrid National Museum, illustration of specimen at, 52

Mahogany period, 34
  ---- how procured by British captains, 214
  ---- Sir Walter Raleigh's discovery of, 214

Mansions built in Elizabethan days, 67

Manwaring, designs of, 247

Marie Antoinette, furniture belonging to, 179, 180, 195

Marie Louise, jewel cabinet of, 208

Marquetry, _see_ GLOSSARY, 26
  ---- Dutch, 128
  ---- Dutch, 146
  ---- elaborate, 180, 182
  ---- in Elizabethan pieces, 69
  ---- work, spurious, 273

Martin, Sieur Simon Etienne (_Vernis-Martin_), 182

Martin's varnish (_Vernis-Martin_), _see_ GLOSSARY, 28

Meissonier, inspirer of rococo style, 177

Middle Temple Hall, carved oak screen at, 65

Mirrors, arrangement in Hampton Court galleries, 123
  ---- at Nell Gwynne's house, 123
  ---- Chippendale, 229
  ---- made by French and Italian workmen, 124
  ---- Queen Anne, 136
  ---- various forms of, 124

Mortise, _see_ GLOSSARY, 26

Mother-of-pearl inlay, seventeenth century, 116

Munich National Museum, illustration of specimen at, 39


N

Naples Museum, illustration of table at, 205

Napoleon, his influence on art, 208

Natoire, 182, 195

Needlework decorated cabinet, Charles II. period, 112

Netherlands, Renaissance in, 49

Netscher, Caspar, illustration after picture by, 111

Normandy dressers, 103

Notable examples of sixteenth, century English woodwork, 65


O

Oak, collectors of, hints to, 103, 118
  ---- furniture, the collector's polish for, 118
  ---- period, 34
  ---- polish, _see_ GLOSSARY, 26

Oeben, Jean François, 178

Old oak, polish for, 118


P

Parquetry, _see_ GLOSSARY, 26

Passe Crispin de, chair designed by, 159

Pater, 192

Penshurst Place, Indo-Portuguese furniture at, 115

Petworth House, work of Grinling Gibbons at, 121

_Polish_, French, 24;
  ---- oil, 26

Pollen, J., Hungerford, quotation from, 196

Pompeii, influence of excavations at, 204, 208, 247

Ponsonby-Fane, Right Hon. Sir Spencer, specimens in collection of, 101, 224

Portuguese furniture, late seventeenth century, in England, 114


Q

Queen Anne cabinet (illustrated), 141
  ---- chairs (illustrated), 143
  ---- furniture, prices realised at auction, 153
  ---- mirror frame (illustrated), 137
  ---- settle (illustrated), 149, 155


R

Raleigh, Sir Walter, mahogany first brought home by, 214

Récamier, portrait of, by David, 209

Reeded, _see_ GLOSSARY, 27

Renaissance, _see_ GLOSSARY, 27
  ---- in England, 37, 59-78
  ---- in France, 43
  ---- in Italy, 41
  ---- in the Netherlands, 49
  ---- in Spain, 48
  ---- on the Continent, 33-55
  ---- origin of, 38, 41

Restored, _see_ GLOSSARY, 27
  ---- cupboard showing over-elaboration, 73

"Restored" pieces, 265

Revolution in France, vandalism during, 204

Ribbon-back chair (illustrated), 222
  ---- ornamentation adapted from France, 64;
    (illustrated) 60
  ---- pattern, early use of, by French woodcarvers, 92

Riesener, Jean François, 185, 191, 192, 195, 197, 208

Robinson, V. J., Esq., C.I.E., furniture belonging to, 219

Rococo, _see_ GLOSSARY, 27

Roe, Mr. Frederick, quotation from, 266

Roentgen, David, 182


S

Sackville, Lord, early Jacobean furniture in collection of, 86

St. Paul's Cathedral, work of Grinling Gibbons at, 121

Secret drawers, 114
  ---- drawers, pieces with, 113, 157, 231
  ---- drawers, Sheraton's love of, 251
  ---- processes to impart age to spurious pieces, 260

Settee, _see_ GLOSSARY, 27
  ---- upholstered, early Jacobean, at Knole, 90

Settle, _see_ GLOSSARY, 28, 60
  ---- Queen Anne style, 145, 149

Sèvres porcelain as decoration to furniture, 191
  ---- porcelain in harmony with furniture, 181

Shattock, Esq., T. Foster, specimens from collection of, 45

Shearer, 248

Sheraton, Thomas, and his style, 209, 241-256
  ---- chair (illustrated), 243
  ---- mechanical contrivances of his furniture, 251
  ---- poverty of, 248;
    his opinion of Chippendale, 248

Sigerson, Dr., Dublin, specimens from collection of, 157, 206

Sixteenth-century woodwork, fine example of, 65

Spain, Renaissance in, 48

Spanish furniture (illustrated), cabinet, 51;
  chest, 52

Spitalfields' velvet for furniture, 147
  ---- weaving founded by aliens, 122

Splat, _see_ GLOSSARY, 28

Stothard, copy of engraving by, 231, 235

Strafford, first Earl of, chair with arms of, 94

Strapwork, _see_ GLOSSARY, 28
  ---- borrowed from Flemish designers, 64;
    illustrated, 61, 68
  ---- Elizabethan, 69

Stretche, Esq., T. E. Price, specimens from collection of, 75, 78, 97, 139, 140

Stretcher, _see_ GLOSSARY, 28
  ---- in chairs, evolution of the, 122
  ---- wear given to, by feet of sitters, 100

Sutton, Thomas, founder of Charterhouse Hospital, 86

Symonds, John Addington, "The Renaissance in Italy," quoted, 41


T

Table, gate-leg, _see_ GLOSSARY, 24

Tapestry factory established at Mortlake, 92
  ---- in harmony with furniture, 181

Tenon, _see_ GLOSSARY, 28

Terror, Reign of, vandalism during, 204

Timber split to give figure in surface, 76, 118

Transition between Gothic and Renaissance, 44, 47, 63

Turned work, _see_ GLOSSARY, 28


U

Upholstered chairs adopted in late Elizabethan days, 75
  ---- seat (William and Mary), 122


V

Vandyck at the Court of Charles I., 92

Varnish, oil, composition of, not now known, 119
  ---- spirit, a modern invention, 118
  ---- _Vernis-Martin_, _see_ GLOSSARY, 28

Veneer, _see_ GLOSSARY, 28

Veneered work, its adoption, 139

Veneers, woods used as, _see_ GLOSSARY, 29

_Vernis-Martin_ (Martin's varnish), _see_ GLOSSARY, 28, 182

Versailles, sums spent upon building, 166;
  vandalism at, 172, 177


W

Wallace Collection, illustrations of specimens, at, 163, 171, 181, 183

Walnut period, 34

Walnut veneer, Queen Anne period, 139

Walpole, Horace, 221

Waring, Messrs., specimens from collection of, 81, 117, 119, 143, 149, 197

Watteau, 192

Wedgwood, Josiah, 247

Wellington, Duke of, collection in possession of, 209

Welsh dresser, 100

Westminster Abbey, Henry VII.'s chapel, 63

William and Mary furniture, prices realised at auction, 130

Winckelmann, 205

Woods preferred by Grinling Gibbons, 121
  ---- used for delicate carving by foreign schools, 116
  ---- used in furniture, _see_ GLOSSARY, 29
  ---- with fancy names, 29;
    botanical names of, 196

Woodwork, sixteenth century, fine examples of, 65

Worms, ravages of furniture, 234, 271, 274

Wren, Sir Christopher, 120


Y

Yorkshire chairs, 103


    THE GRESHAM PRESS,
    UNWIN BROTHERS, LIMITED,
    WOKING AND LONDON.





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