This talk by Julian Parker may be found on the RFS’s YouTube channel here.
This month sees the publication of Claudia Kinmonth’s keenly awaited Irish Country Furniture and Furnishings 1700-2000 (pp. 550 illus 448., Cork University Press). Following the Society’s Irish tour last year and as a thank you to the RFS for its support for the book Claudia has arranged a special 20% discount from the publisher for RFS members on the RRP €39.00 or £35.00 (plus p&p.), valid until the end of December. The book will also be available from good bookshops by about 20 November 2020, and online, usually free of postage, from Book Depository. To order a signed copy from the publisher, email: firstname.lastname@example.org and quote the code ‘RFS’. Signed copies must be ordered before 31 December 2020. Listen to Claudia’s recent interview on BBC Radio Ulster (at 26 mins 40 seconds into the programme). For more information please check Claudia’s website and her Twitter.
The Regional Furniture Society visited the Butter Museum in Cork during its visit to Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic in September 2019. The film below was made by the Butter Museum as part of a conservation project. The explanations of butter-making are by Dr Claudia Kinmonth, author of the book Irish Country Furniture. A revised edition of the book is being published by Cork University Press. Claudia received a grant towards the production of this book from the Society.
The index of all the pieces which have appeared in the Newsletters has been updated for the most recent issue No 73.
William Sergeant has pointed out to me that in my own piece about chairs in Lincolnshire wills and inventories the links in the Newsletter piece are tricky to navigate.
The links below should remedy the issue:
Regional Furniture Volume 34 will include an article about the chest in St Martin’s Church, Hindringham, Norfolk.
Johann von Katzenelnbogen in Maryland has an interesting blog which mentions this chest and also has a clever piece of detective work on mediaeval woodworking tools, starting with a stained glass window in the cathedral at Chartres.
Watch this space …
This article describes a plain Spanish chest which has had gothic carving added in recent decades. John Andrews’s book British Antique Furniture: price guide and reasons for values (ACC, 1989, p. 162) illustrates a larger chest which has been later carved in a very similar style of gothic carving.
There are various estimates of the original dates of such chests, from sixteenth to eighteenth century.
Regional Furniture Society members will be interested to learn that Tim and Betsan Bowen have just published The Welsh Stick Chair – a visual record (Pethe Press 2020). Welsh-speaking members and those learning Welsh will be delighted to discover that the volume is bilingual with the text in Welsh and English next to each other. The authors have used images of the chairs, stools and tables which they have photographed over many years as dealers in Welsh vernacular furniture. Their aim in producing this book is to extend the knowledge and appreciation of these important items of the Welsh folk art tradition. The book is available here. A review will appear in the Newsletter in due course.
The Events Secretary has received this message from Ian Deakin who was looking forward to attending the cancelled West Yorkshire study day:
“Myself and my family are NHS employees currently working with the Covid19 crisis. I find it a great release for me to learn more about my passion for early oak furniture when I have time and start to visit collections again. I have been looking for some time for Tobias Jellinek’s Early British Chairs and Seats 1500 -1700*. If you know of any member who is selling a copy or where it can be sourced at a ‘reasonable’ cost I would be very interested. There are copies available online (which don’t seem to sell) for very high prices at the moment.“
If you have a copy you are prepared to part with, please contact the Events Secretary who will forward your message to Ian.
Unfortunately Society events have had to be postponed or cancelled because of coronavirus risk. Here is the updated calendar which makes for sad reading.
In order to keep us up-to-date and, I hope, entertained, I have started both an RFS Twitter feed (which updates onto the front page of this website) and an Instagram feed for which I cannot locate a widget to achieve the same. At the moment I am posting pictures mostly from our magnificent back catalogue of articles, with links on the Twitter feed to the relevant article from which the picture has been chosen. I am supplementing this material with occasional contributions from William Sergeant’s and my Lincolnshire Chair blog.
Interesting and beautiful contributions are also invited from anyone who would like to contribute: please send photograph(s) (and brief caption explaining what, where and when) to email@example.com.
in succession to:
Ananda Rutherford, to whom our very grateful thanks for her nine years as Website Editor, and my personal thanks for handing over the website to me smoothly, with kindness, and in excellent order. I will try to maintain her high standards!
RFS members may like to get hold of a copy of the March 11th issue of Country Life: the magazine contains a fascinating article by former RFS journal editor David Jones which dovetails an article on the building history of the castle by Mary Miers in the same issue. Members may recall that David conducted a study day of the 18th and 19th century furniture at Blair Castle in Perthshire last year, and this article reveals his recent discoveries.
In the turbulent times of the Jacobite rebellion of the 1740s the Duke of Atholl commenced a transformation of the castle from an antiquated fortress to a sophisticated Highland palace. He employed an impressive role-call of London and Scottish furniture makers including Thomas Chippendale. His programme was continued by successive Dukes reflecting the changes of fashion yet with the unifying strand of using unusual native woods, mostly from the Atholl Estates.
The Plantagenet (a pun on the Latin name for broom : Planta Genista) bureau-bookcase by Perth maker George Sandeman ‘achieves unique whimsical effects’ in the use of broom-wood veneers laid in a striped pattern on an oak carcass. (photo: Country Life)
David suggests that the imaginative patronage of furniture makers by successive Dukes of Atholl over the course of 100 years and their use of native timbers over mahogany is unparalleled in any other house.