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The Book Of English Furniture

The Book Of English Furniture


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Description for THE BOOK OF ENGLISH FURNITURE by Edward T Joy:

This book provides a concise and well-illustrated survey of English furniture from early Tudor times to the present day.

The story falls conveniently into periods. First, the 'age of the oak', in the later phase of which attempts were made to merge Renaissance motives into the traditional pattern (still medieval in concept) of sturdy and utilitarian furniture; the walnut period (from 1660), when foreign techniques were readily absorbed by English craftsmen and translated into a true national style; then, from about 1725, the beginning of the great classical period of English furniture, with the coming of mahogany, the king of furniture woods, and the entry of architects and great craftsmen in the field of furniture design; the Victorian age, when rising standards of living brought increased comfort but a general debasement in taste; and, finally, the twentieth century, which has seen both a revival of hand craft and the advent of the 'Modern Movement', the fresh approach to design through machinery and new materials.

The author writes of the creators of furniture, as well as the furniture itself---the leaders of the mahogany age, Kent, Chippendale, Adam, Hepplewhite and Sheraton; William Morris, Philip Webb and Ernest Grimson, who did much to restore furniture to a high level in Victorian times; and the designers of this century, such as Ambrose Heal, Gordon Russell and Edward Barnsley. Attention is also paid, against the background of social conditions, to the new techniques which have affected the structure and decoration of furniture.

Naturally, in a brief survey the illustrations are extremely important; and great care has gone to the choice of the 136 photographs of pieces, many of which are appearing in a book for the first time.

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