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.
Happy New Year from the RFS!
A quick reminder that volume 31, the 2017 edition, of the Regional Furniture Journal is currently available to all members.
In keeping with our policy of providing free and open access to back issues, the 2015 Journal is now available online here, on our Journal web page.
The sharp eyed amongst you may have noticed that we have gradually been making past Journal articles available on the Journal back issues page of this site.
Volumes 1 -23 (1989 -2009) – that’s 20 years of regional furniture research articles – are now accessible to read and download for study and enjoyment. Included are all the special and themed issues of the Journal.
We hope to publish the 2010-2014 volumes shortly. The current issue (Volume 30 – 2016) of Regional Furniture is, of course, only available to RFS members, but the back issues will be published on this website after a three year delay.
The Antique Metalware Society, with a world-wide membership, is devoted to increasing the knowledge and promoting the appreciation of base-metal objects of all kinds and historical periods.
‘Touch Base: A Visual Celebration of 25 Years’ is a web-based exhibition in which over 100 objects have been assembled to show the diversity and appeal of the base metals and their uses. The range of exhibits includes candlesticks, cauldrons, nutcrackers, snuff boxes, fire grates and many unusual and rare objects. Copper, brass, bronze, iron and Britannia metal all feature and each object is accompanied by photographs and a detailed explanatory text.
Dr Christopher Green, Chairman of the Antique Metalware Society, sums up the exhibition ‘ this is the metalware people have lived with day to day, at home, at work and at leisure. It’s a wonderful record of the use to which base metals have been put: the practical, the ingenious and sometimes the strange and curious.’
Click here to visit the exhibition: http://www.Antiquemetalwaresociety.org.uk
More information is available from Dr Geoff Smaldon, Secretary: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
This week sees the publication of a blog post by the RFS chairman Chris Pickvance on an important medieval chest at Gressenhall on the Norfolk Museums Shine a Light project website. The Shine a Light Project “seeks to unlock the potential of the Norfolk Museums’ fabulous reserve collections, by making them accessible to all” and Chris’s post certainly does that – looking in close detail at the construction, condition and history of the chest.
The chest at the Norfolk Collections Centre, c.1400s from St Margaret’s Church, Norwich (NWHCM : L1974.29.3)
Another RFS member, Max Kite, has set up his own blog “aimed at raising the profile of James Reilly, a prolific chairmaker, inventor, innovator and entrepreneur in Manchester, England, between 1850-1889” which is worth a look: jamesreillychairs.wordpress.com.
If readers are aware of other online resources relating to regional furniture we would like to hear about them – email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions. Have a look at the Links page to see what’s out there already.
We were contacted recently by Harry Rogers, Secretary of The Association of Polelathe Turners and Greenwood Workers (or bodgers.org.uk) who brought to our attention his fascinating films on green woodworking and making traditional chairs on a pole lathe (www.youtube.com/user/mrwindsorchair).
Making a Chair – Research: Sussex Chair Part 1 and Riving Wood for Chairs – Sussex Chair Part 2 begin a nine-part series on the making of a Sussex chair, based on an example held at the Geffrye Museum.