Re: [MedievalSawdust] Books on Medieval Furniture
>Has anyone read English Medieval Furniture and Woodwork, by CharlesYes, I have it.
It consists of a catalogue of the V&A collection. A lot of it is
architectural woodwork from various churches. ("The strength of the
collection undoubtedly lies in the fragments of ecclesiastical
woodwork.") Very little domestic furniture ("Understandably, complete
specimens of medieval domestic furniture are few."), though there is a good
selection of chests, including clamped-front, boarded, and panelled
types. Probably the coolest thing in the book is a 14th c. desk/book
cupboard. There are also a couple of livery cupboards, one framed chair,
a side- table or buffet, a trestle table and matching bench, a few benches
and stools, and some bed-posts; all from the 16th c. The entire domestic
furniture section consists of 32 pages.
Most entries are illustrated with one good B&W photograph; a few have
additional photos of details, and there are also photos of objects not in
the collection to illustrate the author's interpretations as to dating or
provenance. Text descriptions are usually brief, except for a few special
objects. One good thing is that the dimensions are given for each object.,
though it would have been nice to have more details (lumber sections, for
example - as in the wonderful Johnston book on 13th c. chests).
A really great resource if you are interested in Gothic carving; nearly all
the objects illustrated are carved, many quite magnificent.
The ten-page Introduction discusses the collection and its context; not
much in there of interest to the re-creator. There is some helpful
information in the object descriptions, but not a lot.
I have difficulty recommending this book. On the one hand, it is
attractive for the hundreds of clear B&W photos and its devotion to the
late medieval period. On the other, it is very expensive and 85% of it is
If you already have Chinnery and Windish-Graetz, this book is probably
unnecessary, unless you are specifically interested in carving. If you are
building a library of resources for medieval woodwork, this book certainly
belongs there. If you are looking for information to help you build
authentic reproductions, this book will help some but will also frustrate
you. It doesn't suck, but it's not as good as one could hope for (given
Hope that helps. If you want more information, feel free to ask.
Furniture and Accessories
For the Medievalist!
- Not sure about that one but I reciently picked up 'English Furniture, From
the Middle ages to Modern Times, by Margaret Macdonald'
it's interesting, very general with a few very interesting pictures, most of
which I've seen in other books. She assumes that since only very fancy
furniture servived that poor people didn't have any furniture they just sat
and slept on the floor.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bill McNutt" <mcnutt@...>
Sent: Thursday, October 07, 2004 9:51 AM
Subject: [MedievalSawdust] Books on Medieval Furniture
> Has anyone read English Medieval Furniture and Woodwork, by Charles
> I'm considering picking it up, but I can't find it for less than the
> cost of six board feet of spalted maple.
> And if it sucks, I rather get the maple.
> Yahoo! Groups Links