The 2018 Annual General Meeting of the Regional Furniture Society will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday 1 July in the Glasgow School of Arts Students Hostel Building, on the fifth floor. It is in Blythswood House on West Regent Street, Glasgow.
All RFS members are invited to attend, not just those attending the Glasgow Conference.
The Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31st December 2017 are available on the website here; any member requiring a paper version should send an A4 self-addressed envelope to the Secretary requesting a copy.
The new events listings and booking forms are now available on our Events pages and in the latest copy of the Newsletter.
Details of the 2018 Research in Progress event, a trip to Shandy Hall and the RFS Annual Conference, this year to be held in Glasgow, are included, as well as a visit to Leeds for the exhibition Thomas Chippendale: A Celebration of Craftsmanship and Design, 1718-2018, which will be accompanied by the exhibition’s co-curator Adam Bowett.
The 2018 RFS Research in Progress meeting will be held at the V&A Sackler Centre on the 24th February.
This year the event will focus on the sixteenth century, which saw great change in furniture types, usage, construction and decoration. Although a substantial body of material survives, the importation of furniture, the influx of immigrant craftsmen and the recycling of fragments complicates study of the field. The five papers presented will address a variety of furniture types and influences, based on close study of surviving pieces.
- Early marquetry technique in Europe – Yannick Chastang
- Imported cypress chests in the ‘long’ sixteenth century – Nick Humphrey
- The French furniture-making school in sixteenth-century Edinburgh – Michael Pearce
- Some problems in studying sixteenth-century furniture – Chris Pickvance
- Early Elizabethan chairs and chests at Sizergh Castle – Megan Wheeler
Further details about the presentations and speakers are available here on our new Research in Progress page .
The event will start at 10 am for 10.30am, and will finish at 4.45pm. It is open to all. The fee is £34 for RFS members, £39 for non-members and covers attendance and tea/coffee but not lunch, which can be purchased in the V&A café.
A number of 50% bursaries will be available (application details are available on the Research in Progress Booking form 2018). The deadline for applications is 5 February 2018.
The full schedule of events for Spring/Summer 2017 is now available in the current Newsletter and online here on our Events page. On the Events page you can also find and download the booking forms for both the Conference in Suffolk, in July, and all of the fascinating one-day events. Book now to avoid disappointment!
For further information and enquiries about RFS events and bookings please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The schedule for 2017 is now available on the Events page and the first RFS event of 2017 will be A Study Day in the Lake District held on Tuesday 21st March 2017. Booking for the Study Day is now open – please apply by 1st March.
View of Town End Farmhouse by Jeremy Bate
Until the discovery of the Lake District by the Romantic Movement in the late 18th century, this was a remote corner of England with a unique furniture history. Our day starts at the Armitt Museum, Ambleside, founded in 1912 to preserve and share the cultural heritage of the Lake District.
The Armitt’s collection includes the Great House Press from Troutbeck dated 1634, which local RFS member and Lakes furniture specialist Frank Wood rescued, restored, and described in the 2014 journal. Frank, our guide for the day, hopes to borrow further interesting pieces from outlying sites for our benefit. The Armitt Museum also holds important collections of Beatrix Potter’s early natural history watercolours and paintings by Kurt Schwitters,.
After lunch nearby we will travel the short distance to Troutbeck, one of the least disturbed villages in the area – largely of 16th and 17th c buildings – for a private visit to Town End farmhouse (NT) the home of the Browne family for over 400 years. Town End retains its original plain oak furniture preserved and ‘improved’ by the last George Browne in the late nineteenth century and is the only accessible farmhouse in the Lake District with a quantity of original vernacular furniture. We hope RFS members with specialist knowledge of Lake District furniture will be available to share their knowledge with us. We will end the day with tea at the Old Post Office in the village.
Maximum: 30 members Cost: £50 including lunch and tea (no reduction for NT members). Download the Booking Form here.
Members may choose to stay over and visit the highly regarded Jerwood Centre at Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage at Grasmere, Beatrix Potter’s cottage Hill Top at Sawry or Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House overlooking Windermere.
This visit is now fully booked.
New events and visits will be listed on the website in the New Year!
We had planned a visit to the historic Whitechapel Bell Foundry, whose history began in the reign of Elizabeth I, for next autumn. However, we have just heard that the company will shortly close the premises in east London that it has occupied since 1738. We have been offered this date in February instead.
Possibly England’s oldest limited company, the foundry’s bells have rung out around the world. They include Big Ben, the largest bell ever cast by the firm, as well as the 1752 Philadelphia Liberty Bell, the bells of the Armenian church in Chennai, south India, the Bell of Hope that commemorates victims of the 9/11 attack and innumerable bells in the village churches of England.
On our visit, guided by the managing director, we will discover the materials and techniques of casting bells in bronze and be surrounded by medieval examples undergoing restoration. We will also be able to handle the very popular handbells which the company export throughout the world.
Jeremy Bate, Membership Secretary
The programme and booking form for forthcoming RFS events are now available in the latest edition of the Newsletter and online on the Events page. The main Autumn event is a tour of the London Charterhouse. In addition, the Tools and Trades Society have invited RFS members to join them at a Technical Day at the Kelham Island Museum and Ken Hawley Collection Trust in Sheffield – further details here.