At the Research in Progress meeting at the V&A on 24 February 2018, curators Rachel King and Laura Bauld gave a short presentation on the important collection of 16th century furniture in the Burrell Collection, Glasgow Museums, which has around 400 pieces dating to the period before 1685.
The Burrell Collection has a very full and fine selection of early, mostly English, oak furniture. It is both religious and domestic in origin, ranging from choirstalls, to chairs, tables, beds, hutches and court cupboards. These vary in style, from simple to elaborate, and though some are inlaid, few are painted or gilded, with one spectacular exception being the ceremonial bedhead with erotic carved decoration made to celebrate the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII to Anne of Cleves in January 1539/40. The collection also takes in architectural embellishment in wood, such as screens, panelling – including a complete room from Harrington Hall, Lincolnshire – doors, fire surrounds and screens, and an elaborate ceiling from Bridgwater in Somerset.
While the Burrell Collection is currently closed for refurbishment until 2020, much of the collection is accessible online in the new Glasgow Museums database. Full instructions for using the database are available here.