Lecture: Sunday, 20 September 2020, 19:00 Camille Mestdagh – Valuing old, making new and selling both: The Beurdeleys in Paris (1818-1895)

The Furniture History Society have again kindly invited RFS members to an online lecture.

The Furniture History Society invites you to the latest in our series of free online lectures:

Camille Mestdagh

Independent scholar in the history of furniture, decorative arts and the history of the art market

Valuing old, making new and selling both: The Beurdeleys in Paris (1818-1895)

Sunday, 20 September 2020, 19:00 (BST)

Console table, clock and vases designed by Alfred Beurdeley, c. 1865, Beurdeley private archives © Camille Mestdagh

Camille received her PhD in December 2019 (‘The Beurdeley dynasty: from boutique to workshop, a history of trade in antiques and of furniture production in 19th century Paris’). She published her first academic thesis on the Parisian furniture workshops as a book, L’ameublement d’art français 1850-1900 in 2010. Her research now revolves around the correlations between the establishment of the Parisian market for antiques, the cabinet and bronze makers production in the second half of the nineteenth century and the collectors’ choices. She worked for a London auction house and for the National Trust Collections department before returning to Paris, where she now works as an independent scholar and lecturer, notably for the Institute of Arts and Culture and the School of Culture Management and the Art Market.
For more details, including a short summary of this lecture and instructions (including a link) for how to join the meeting, please click here.

SAVE THE DATE

27 September 2020, 19.00 (BST): BIFMO lecture by Stacey Sloboda, ‘St Martin’s Lane: Art, Design, and the Cultural Geography of the Eighteenth-Century London Art World’

Regional Furniture Volume 34 – a taster

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 …

‘Gothic’ chests: caveat emptor!

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.

The Welsh Stick Chair – a new book

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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.

Tobias Jellinek: Early British Chairs and Seats: 1500 – 1700

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.

*ISBN-13: 978-1851495818

 

 

Keeping Members informed and entertained during the current crisis

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 regionalfurnituresociety@gmail.com.

Julian Parker

Website Editor

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!

Blair Castle – update – find a copy of Country Life!

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)

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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.

Jeremy Bate

 

£4 Million Restoration: Historic House Rescue

Tomorrow, Wednesday 16th January at 9pm, More 4 is broadcasting  the first of two programmes called the £4 Million Restoration, which may be of interest to members. It documents the restoration of a Landmark Trust farmhouse in the Black Mountains, dating from c 1400. A new dating technique has been used which is claimed to work on timber previously undateable by conventional methods.

Further information is available in this article in The Guardian: newspaper: Welsh farmstead is rare medieval hall house, experts confirm and the programme details can be found here: Historic House Rescue.

Volunteer Opportunity at V&A

We have had the following request from the Department of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion at the V&A. Please respond directly to the email or phone number given below rather than to the RFS.

Would any member be interested in volunteering to help maintain the library and research files in the Furniture and Woodwork section at the V&A?  We need help rationalising our research papers, and accessioning and auditing existing books.  If you live in the London area and would be interested in offering time on a regular basis, please contact Kate Hay, Department of Furniture, Textiles and Fashion, k.hay@vam.ac.uk or 0207 942 2292.

Autumn 2018 Newsletter

RFS NL 69 Berkely cover
The latest RFS Newsletter out now and available to members. There are several interesting notes in this Autumn edition:

  • Letter from America by Daniel Ackermann
  • A Forest chair in Colonial America by Bob Parrott
  • Darvel chairs: J. McKellar, a new maker by Crissie White
  • 16th-century panelling and a canopy from the Neptune Inn, Ipswich by Liz Hancock

The Newsletter  includes two additional notes by curators discussing objects in their collections:

  • The Guardian’s chair from Leah Mellors of the Ripon Museum Trust and
  • A Warwickshire Press Cupboard, by Rosalyn Sklar at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

There are also reports on recent events, featuring the February meeting at the V&A on New thinking about 16th-century furniture, with summaries of the papers by Chris Pickvance, Megan Wheeler, Michael Pearce, Nick Humphrey and Yannick Chastang. Notes on the Glasgow conference on Charles Rennie Mackintosh include a summary of this year’s Christopher Gilbert Memorial Lecture by David Jones on Scottish vernacular sources for Mackintosh’s furniture designs.