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Access to original wooden items - was Lid designs for medieval boxes

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  • Julian Wilson
    Jerry, you are now going to be even more jealous. A number of the historic Sites I have visited - the Ancient Almshouses and Hospital of St. Cross at
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28, 2013
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      Jerry, you are now going to be even more jealous. A number of the historic Sites I have visited - the "Ancient Almshouses and Hospital of St. Cross" at Winchester, the "Weald & Downland Museum",  Singleton, West Sussex, the ancient "Barley Hall" in York, the Chateaux of Langeais and of Soscinio in Brittany; Amesbury Manor in Wiltshire; Winchester Cathedral; Salisbury Cathedral; - to name a very few all visited recently -  - allow interested visitors to handle the exhibits [with appropriate care]. 
      So I have had the pleasure and research-profit of being able to open chests, turn chairs and benches upside down, crawl underneath large tables,  and look under and into Cope and Vestment chests in Cathedrals, and in ancient Churches such as that at Bosham, West Sussex, -  to view the construction methods, make measurments and take Notes;  and take as many digital photographs as I wish.

      Jerry, I am a historian by inclination, and that interest has become a part of my working life, by design.
      As a Manager anbd Senior manager ,I have specialised in the restoration,/renovation of historic houses [the oldest I have overseen as "Project-Manager on-Site" was the Old Rectory at Northfleet, Kent, a "Grade 1-listed" timber-framed building in which the beams were felled in 1487].
      I have project-managed many other restoration/renovations - including the historic, Georgian-Era "Mast House" [built circa 1780] in Chatham's Historic Dockyard; L'Ancienette Farm, St. Ouen, Jersey, [built 1503]; Fort Regent, Jersey,[constructed 1806-1814]
      As a hands-on Master Carpenter, I have always enjoyed recreating the woodwork of any period. For the last 15 years [after my wife told me she didn't want me working away from home in the UK and Europe running big restoration Projects, I have run the Joinery Shop for a local firm of Building Contractors specialising in the renovation of significant structures from Jersey's late-18th/early-19th C. housing stock, and so have been called-upon to replicate original woodwork from those Eras.
      A typical job-example was being presented with a 42"wide x 96" high, late-18th C front door, on which the bottom panel,  style-lower-ends, and bottom rail had rotted away, and been requested to cut out the rot, and repair the door for re-installation "as good as new". That kind of job in the workshop is a huge privilege to work on - to know one is being trusted to restore a 200plus Yr-old door for a further lease-of-life.

      Oh, my Lady is Curator of the Treasury at St. Thomas' Catholic  Church, St Helier [Jersey's largest church, nicknamed "our Catholic Cathedral"], and co-restorer along with myself - of many of the exhibits therein, following a 30yr period of neglect under two Marxist-Socialist parish priests [unlamented Predecessors of the current Incumbent, Msgr Nicholas France SJ, Catholic Dean of Jersey] . We have been asked to clean centuries-old heavily-couch-embroidered vestments wrought on Cloth of Gold/silk damask base fabrics; -  restore-to-use* gold, silver-gilt, silver, & pewter Altar Plate and Brass items so heavily grimed/oxidised as to be almost black [* these items had been stored-away in attics, cellars, under-roof-eaves, and in damp cupboards, - un-cared-for by the Marxist priests, who disapproved of the Church's pomp and pageantry, completely losing sight of the fact that the Artifacts were also valuable antiques; -  repair/re-glue/conserve ancient woodwork in Reliquaries; - and provide gothic-themed woodwork stands for various exhibition items.
      The most challenging job for the Church Treasury was to be handed the Church of St Thomas' 450yr.-old,very-neglected and woodworm-infested "Reliquary Coffer of St. Honoratus" - and to be asked to restore it for display in the Treasury. The whole restoration job took me 58 manhours, spread over a year due to worm-killing and rot-proofing treatments; and generated a great deal of adrenalin stress due to the knowledge that I couldn't afford to make any mistakes during any of the hands/tools-on processes.

      There, that gives you a little more of my personal background.

      From: Jerry Harder <geraldgoodwine@...>
      To: Julian Wilson <lhjw66576@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, 28 August 2013, 9:42
      Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Lid designs for medieval boxes

      I am, as anyone interested in such things here in the United States would be, totally jealous.I am thankful that you can appreciate the historical aspects of the things around you. I am also thankful that you take the time to answer questions from folks like me.  Our  research is so often limited to books and the internet.  We may never ever get to see the real thing.  We might see an awesome picture of something but have to rely on what some photographer thinks is interesting.  As a machinist professionally I know every type of tool leaves some type of mark as evidence of how it was made. I could almost die to to get close enough to see them.  On the rare occasion I might get to see a real piece it is 4 ft behind glass that glares so much you can hardly see what your looking at. Appreciate you can actually see some of these things for real.


      On 8/27/2013 7:49 AM, Julian Wilson wrote:
      Originally from Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England, where our Family Company owned a traditional Boatyard* amongst other maritime interests. [* Our Boatyard's Manager gave me my first kit of woodworking tools  - mostly second or third hand - after my Father said I could have a try at building my first little lugs'l-rigged sailing scow - and gifted me with the timbers from the Yard Stocks to do so -  because I'd passed the entry exam to the best of the local High Schools], but I've lived in "old" Jersey, C.I., U.K. for nearly 50 years.
      Apart from timbering work in Mines, inlay work, and marquetry, there is almost no Carpentry & Joinery sub-speciality I haven't needed to work in, at some point during a long working life.
      I never took note of all of those chest-detail provenances, because I never thought I'd need the info. But I DO recall that the last time I noticed the riband-upstand in a period chest was during a recent visit to the wonderful Chateau de Langeais, earlier this year.
      www.chateau-de-langeais.com >
      The Institut de France has done a wonderful job in continuing to improve on the exhibitions at this wonderfully restored Chateau which was willed to their Care by the rich Philanthropist and medieval enthusiast who funded the original restoration almost a century ago. Nearly all of the rooms are now fully furnished with late-medieval antiques.

      From: Jerry Harder <geraldgoodwine@...>
      Cc: Julian Wilson <lhjw66576@...>
      Sent: Tuesday, 27 August 2013, 7:25
      Subject: Re: [MedievalSawdust] Lid designs for medieval boxes

      Congrats.  That's some massive experience.  Where are you from?
      And thanks for the info.  it is not a feature I wanted to give up for obvious reasons, even if not common.  If you happen to recall where the information came from, I would love to know.

      On 8/26/2013 4:29 AM, Julian Wilson wrote:
      Hi, Jerry,
      over the last 10 years, I've seen pictures of a lot of SCA-period chests and coffers; and looked at quite a few "in-the-wood" at various historic Properties open to the Public in the UK and in France and Germany.
      In all that time I've only noticed one late-medieval chest with such an integral lip. But I have seen several on exhibition where the original Maker created the same "stepped" effect by pinning and glueing a thin wooden ribband-upstand around the inside of the chest-body mouth.
       The little I have thought about this joinery detail, I came to the opinion that the little integral upstand lips may have been considered too fragile for general use, given the general wall thicknesses of the chests I've viewed.
      [coming up to my 68th year as a Woodworker, but with only 15 years experience of creating medievally-themed furniture]

      From: Jerry Harder <geraldgoodwine@...>
      To: medievalsawdust@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Monday, 26 August 2013, 9:55
      Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Lid designs for medieval boxes

      This is where I wish I could send a picture. I have tried to make an
      illustration below ....
      So the question is: Is there any evidence of the
      type of construction I have used.

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