Know Everything About The History of English Furniture
Let us get
into the history of English furniture. The historical aspect of the
wood, the different types of woods in use for making furniture
and other things that you find today in the market. Some of the woods
date back to sixtieth and seventieth. No matter what has happened to
other woods with time, oak is still in great demands and use.
years ago, when the subject of English
furniture first began to be studied and to be written about, it
was divided conveniently into four distinct types. One writer called
his books on the subject The Age of Oak, The Age of Walnut, The Age
of Mahogany and The Age of Satinwood.
It is not
really quite as simple as that, for each of the so called Ages
overlaps the others and it is quite impossible to lay down strict
dates as to when any one timber was introduced or when it finally, if
ever, went out of favor. However, these clear cut divisions do make
it easier to deal with the subject, and it may be as well to keep to
them; bearing in mind that the dates given are no more than very
Oak is the
traditionally English wood and while it alone was almost solely used
for the making of furniture from the earliest times until about 1650,
it has actually continued along with other woods right down to the
present day. Old oak furniture is solidly made the wood is very hard,
and not only resists decay and woodworm but calls for time, patience
and strength to fashion it and many surviving pieces are of large
size and noticeably weighty.
At the time
when it was popular, the houses of those who could afford furniture
(other than plain and simple pieces) were large and the principal
room, the hall, was quite often vast in size. Tables and cupboards
were correspondingly big, and to find a small and attractive piece of
English oak furniture of sixteenth century date today is thus not at
all easy. The surviving specimens are eagerly sought and fetch high
prices. Whereas a seventeenth century chest may be bought for twenty
pounds or so (on the whole, the larger the cheaper) a small cupboard
of earlier date will cost several hundreds.
furniture was made also on the mainland of Europe, and in
appearance it is not unlike that made in England. Much was imported
at the date it was made, and a further quantity of it was sent to
London during the course of the nineteenth century.
As has been
said above, oak continued in use for making furniture long after the
wood had gone generally out of fashion. Pieces were made from it
throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; pieces one would
expect to find in walnut or mahogany, which are discovered to be of oak.
This was done
mostly in the smaller country towns, where local craftsmen used
timber that was available readily. While transport was both difficult
and expensive, imported woods like walnut
and mahogany would have been obtainable normally only near a
seaport or a large town.
attractive light brown wood with distinctive dark patterns, came into
use in the later years of the seventeenth century. Much of it was
grown in England, but the imported French variety was usually
preferred because it was better marked.
markings or figuring are to be found when a tree is cut across the
base where the roots start to spread, and at the point (the crotch)
where a branch springs from the main stem. The equally popular burr
wood (marked with innumerable tiny dark curls) is found near burrs or
lumps by clusters of knots.
quantity of the Oak
furniture products made in the mainland Europe and brought to
London during the course of the nineteenth century. Walnut was grown
in England but the marked one of the French variety was largely
preferred. Thus here we can know how the woods have come to evolve
from the different forest types to adorn our rooms today.