British and Irish Furniture Makers Online

Readers will be interested to hear about this fascinating new project –  British and Irish Furniture Makers Online (BIFMO). The project is a collaboration between the Furniture History Society and the Institute of Historical Research with the goal of developing and making accessible the history of furniture as a material, cultural, social and economic subject of study.

From the press release:

Conversation piece, a cabinet maker’s office. Oil Painting, England, c. 1770 (© Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Image No. 2006BF4151-01).

The Institute of Historical Research and the Furniture History Society are delighted to announce that British and Irish Furniture Makers Online  is now freely available to view online at https://bifmo.data.history.ac.uk.

The initial phase of the project has seen the construction of the BIFMO database comprising information on English furniture makers drawn from the definitive 1986 guide to the trade, the Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660 – 1840, as well as from the London Joiners’ Company apprenticeship and freedom records, 1640-1720.

The database will contain detailed biographies of British and Irish furniture makers from the sixteenth century to the present day, providing a rich resource for historians of social, economic, political, art, furniture and material culture, as well as to collectors, connoisseurs and the art market. In addition to extending the chronological dates of the database’s biographical data, our aim is to broaden the contents of BIFMO to visual materials, as well as the reproduction of a wide range of primary sources.

The second phase of the project is undertaking new research to explore key historical questions surrounding the furniture making industry, including a case study on the role of British and Irish women in the nineteenth century: where they lived, their occupational roles, how they sold their wares, and their clientele. In addition, ongoing development to the BIFMO website will introduce new ways of engaging with the data as we enhance the information in the Dictionary with new scholarship published since 1986.

BIFMO is an ongoing project, with separate but integrated research, resource-creation, public engagement and training strands. If you would like more information about the project, or the database, or getting involved, please do get in touch: http://bifmo.data.history.ac.uk/contact

Clive Edwards to give the 2017 Christopher Gilbert Lecture, 3:00 p.m. Saturday 21 October at the Geffrye Museum, Shoreditch

Clive Edwards, Emeritus Professor of Design History, Loughborough University, will deliver this year’s Christopher Gilbert Lecture: The upholsterer and the retailing of domestic furnishings 1600–1800. Clive will welcome questions and discussion after his lecture while tea is served. Cost: £10 for members and guests.

To make a day of it an informal visit is planned to the Charles Dickens Museum,  Bloomsbury, the family home of Charles and Catherine Dickens in London, where the author wrote Oliver Twist, The Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby, and where he first achieved international fame as one of the world’s greatest storytellers. The house, in a late Georgian terrace, with faithfully re-created interiors, including many items of his furniture is where his three eldest children were born and where he entertained many famous guests. Lunch may be taken nearby, or members may prefer to lunch at the Geffrye Museum, which is only a short bus ride away.

The Christopher Gilbert Lecture booking form

Journal back issues (II)

Given the longstanding storage problems of back issues of the journal, and bearing in mind that all journals up to the year 2009 have now been digitized (with 2010 to 2014 to be added shortly), it was decided at the last Council meeting that the bulk of all back issues up to the year 2009 should be destroyed. A working stock of the more recent editions will be retained for sale. If any member would like old copies of the Journal up to 2009, please contact Jenny Cowking at publications.rfs@gmail.com before the end of October.

Regional Furniture Society Events for Spring & Summer 2017 – the full list!

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: events.rfs@gmail.com.

 

Event: Wool, War and Wonders: The Story of Stow

wool war Wonder flyer

Members may be interested in this event at St Edward’s Hall, Stow on the Wold on Saturday 20th August. The organisers, Stow Civic Society, would be very pleased to hear from anyone who has regional furniture with a close connection to Stow on the Wold and would perhaps be willing to loan it for the display.

Contact Simon Clarke via email: simon.stowcivicsociety@gmail.com or through the website: www.stowcivicsociety.co.uk/wool-war-and-wonders/

Conference: The British Antiques Trade in the 20th Century – A Cultural Geography, Temple Newsam House, Leeds , April 14th & 15th, 2016

This two-day conference is an opportunity to hear about the AHRC funded 32 month research project, the Antique Dealer Project, and is focused on the history of the British Antique Trade in the 20th century. The project is a collaboration between the University of Leeds and the University of Southampton.

The conference programme includes a selection of academic papers from the project team, together with talks from well-known figures from the world of antiques, and high-profile antique dealers. There is also an ‘In Conversation’ session, with a selection of the oral history interviewees involved in the research project, as well as some facilitated discussion group sessions based around issues in the history of the antique trade.

Alongside these academic papers, talks and discussion groups, there are also expert-led guided tours around our venue, Temple Newsam House, together with specialist sessions on antique dealer archives and museum object sessions as part of behind-the-scenes tours.

For booking information use this link: booking

For a full conference programme use this link: programme

 

Save the Judges’ Lodgings Museum in Lancaster

The Judges’ Lodgings museum, along with several other Lancashire museums, has been scheduled to be shut down in Spring 2016. The government budget cuts for local councils has forced Lancashire County Council to take drastic measures including closing down local facilities and putting thousands of people out of work.

Of particular concern to RFS members is the antique Gillows furniture, which is held at The Judges’ Lodgings and is the world’s largest Gillows and Gillows and Waring collection.

From the petition:
“The Gillow furniture collection is a jewel in the nation’s crown. If the Judges Lodgings Museum closes, this would mean the dispersal of the finest permanent collection of Gillow furniture in the world, housed yards away from where it was manufactured hundreds of years ago. If you care about our British history and heritage you must unite to stop the closure of this important museum.”

Please take the time to sign the online petition here:
https://www.change.org/p/lancashire-county-council-save-the-judges-lodgings-museum-in-lancaster