16th century furniture in the Burrell Collection

 

The Burrell Furniture Collection

Selection of furniture in the Burrell Collections, now available online via the Glasgow Museums collections navigator

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.

Research in Progress: New thinking about sixteenth century furniture, 24 February 2018 at the V&A, London

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.