In October 2021 the RFS Council approved a project whereby the back numbers of the Newsletters (which contain much interesting material by way of research pieces, visit/event reports, book reviews, notices of publication, members’ correspondence and obituaries) should be reviewed, scanned and made available online. I am grateful to John Boram and Diana Halliwell for providing me with a complete collection of all Newsletters since 1985 (including the publications of the Regional Furniture Study Group which pre-dated the setting up of the Society).
The material will in future be published (as is the Society’s practice for the articles in the Journal), following a three year delay after print publication. The back archive between 1985 and Spring 2022 amounts to more than 900 research pieces and visit/event reports, about 100 book reviews and another 50-odd notices of publication and, alas, 43 obituaries. That amounts just under 1100 items, all of which have been indexed and scanned, of which around 920 are published today. The remaining 170-odd from the last 6 issues (Newsletters 71 to 76 inclusive) will be published in due course after the three year delay.
The research pieces and visit/event reports may be found here; the book reviews here; and the obituaries here.
I have prepared hyperlinked Excel spreadsheet indexes for all three categories which may be downloaded from links found on those pages. The Excel spreadsheets may be easier to navigate, particularly for the 900+ research pieces and visit/event reports. I have also prepared an Excel spreadsheet index for all the 320-odd articles which have been published in the Journal which may be found on a link on the Journal back issues page. All of these downloadable spreadsheets have links directly to the website. If you would like all 4 indexes in one spreadsheet, it is here. It is my intention to update these indexes every six months for the Newsletters and each year for the Journal.
My favourite item discovered during the scanning project? A pair of ophthalmic Windsor chairs, from West Suffolk Hospital, into the central sticks of which the patient’s head was wedged whilst the eye examination took place!
Julian Parker, Website Editor, 18 April 2022
P.S. Some of the originals have copy that is slightly smudged. Sometimes the paper is highly reflective. I hope all of the scans are legible but I am aware that some are less than perfect.
NAMES FOR THINGS
A Description of Household Stuff
Furniture and Interiors
Members will be pleased to hear that the posthumous publication of a glossary of terms, written by Victor Chinnery is still available for order.
The book was published in October 2016 and is an A4 hardback, 324 pages and containing 53 illustrations. The approach taken in the book is both original and creative. It places emphasis on the integrated relationship between furniture and the many artefacts found within the early British home.
In the book, Victor looks, not only at furniture, but also interior decoration, metalwork, pottery, wood types and the use of colour in interiors.
Glossary entries – giving a detailed description of the objects – are backed up by inventory references and other documentary evidence, which aim to explain how the objects would have been used, in a period setting.
It will be an invaluable work of reference for historians, museum curators, dealers and collectors alike.
The book is edited and contains a foreword by Jan Chinnery.
The book retails at £35, plus UK postage of £4 and is available at through all good booksellers (ISBN 9780957599284).
The Spring 2020 edition (No.72) of the RFS Newsletter is now available to members. In this issue Future Society Events including visits to Leeds and Lancaster, the Research in Progress meeting on medieval furniture and the annual conference in Lincoln are detailed. There are many interesting contributions to the Short Notes andQueries section, including an appeal for further information on spring locks in medieval chests, a note on new light on the Ordsall Hall, Salford, bed and a newly-identified chest of drawers by a mid-nineteenth century Weymouth cabinet maker. The most recent Letter from America highlights the range of symposia, exhibitions and conferences in the United States this year, while the update on British and Irish Furniture Makers Online (BIFMO) describes new material recently published and encourages feedback and further contributions. Reports from the Oak House, West Bromwich and the week-long study tour to Ireland show the diversity of furniture and buildings visited by RFS members. Full details are in the Newsletter.
Letter from America – Daniel Ackermann
Spring locks inmedieval chests– Chris Pickvance
New light on the Ordsall Hall bed
– Adam Bowett
Gillows research material – Susan Stuart
Evolution of the rocking chair – John Boram
Judges’ Lodgings Museum, Lancaster – Lynda Jackson
The London Upholders’ Company and its place in furniture history – John Houston
A Weymouth cabinet maker, 1869 – Piers Keating
The Great Grenadier’s chair – Linda Hall
A Welsh-American stick-back – Jeremy Bate
British and Irish Furniture Makers Online – Laurie Lindey
Ireland Study Tour
Lock on clamped oak chest in Kent, 1250-1350. Photograph Chris Pickvance
In this issue there are varied contributions to the short notes andqueries section, ranging from an appeal for help in the search for John Lombe’s Piedmont chest, thought to have been used to carry designs and models of silk-throwing equipment key to the foundation of the mill in Derby c. 1717, to the discovery of a chair that is the missing link in how Windsor chair making began in Grantham in 1800. A note on John Erhart Rose, a nineteenth-century cabinetmaker in Virginia, and a Letter from America bring news of current furniture research in the United States. Reports from the annual conference in Shropshire show the richness of furniture and buildings visited. Hans Piena from the Netherlands Open Air Museum at Arnhem gave the Christopher Gilbert Memorial Lecture, examining the history of the Dutch ladder-back chair. Full details are in the Newsletter.
left to right: thirteenth-century chair, excavated from a site near Rotterdam; a reproduction of what the original would have looked like. Collection of the Netherlands Open Air Museum, Arnhem
Another wonderful publication was released last year by one of the Society’s members and former Newsletter editor, Noël Riley. The Accomplished Lady – a history of genteel
pursuits c. 1660–1860 is a richly illustrated “study of the skills and pastimes of upper-class women and the works they produced during a 200-year period.”
Noël Riley has written and lectured extensively on the decorative arts and is a
consultant at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. Her previous books include Penwork: A Decorative Art, The Victorian Design Source Book, Gifts for Good Children – the History of Children’s China 1790–1890, and pocket guides to Tea Caddies and Visiting Card Cases. She has written for many art periodicals, both academic and popular, and for many years she contributed to Historic House, the journal of the Historic Houses Association.
The book is, of course, available in all good book shops!
The latest beautiful edition of the Regional Furniture Society Newsletter (Spring 2014) has been published and is being sent to existing members this week. As well as a full listing of this year’s forthcoming activities, it contains a number of fascinating illustrated articles looking at Emily Gimson’s Rocking Chair, A Deal Furniture Tradition in Kent and Sir Robert Walpole’s Electioneering Chair. There are also reports on recent RFS events and visits.
Two editions of the newsletter and a copy of the Journal are free to members each year. A list of past articles and contributors is available here.
Join the Regional Furniture Society here and receive your copy of the latest newsletter and Journal.
The latest editions of the RFS Newsletter and Journal have been published and are being sent to existing members this week. The newsletter has a full report on this summer’s conference and AGM in Edinburgh, as well as reports on recent RFS visits. The Journal this year contains six essays exploring inventories as source and evidence for furniture types, placement and use in specific homes and among different social classes.
There are two editions each year of the newsletter and an annual edition of the Journal – free to members. A list of past articles and contributors is available here. Join the Regional Furniture Society here and receive your copy of the latest newsletter and Journal.
The latest issue of the Regional Furniture Society Newsletter has been published and sent out to current members. It contains an extensive report on last Autumn’s trip to Romania as well as accounts of several recent visits, listings of future events and reviews.
There are two editions each year of the newsletter and it is free to members. A list of past articles and contributors is available here. Join the Regional Furniture Society here and receive your copy of the newsletter.