Monthly Archives: December 2009

A Shirt Tale

Eighteenth-century unbleached linen shirt. No single garment has bridged so many generations, social classes and continents so comprehensively as the ubiquitous linen shirt; boy to man, convict to settler and pauper to prince, all wore the same shirt. Retaining its … Continue reading


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Assing Around

Sitting here in the stupor that is the aftermath of Christmas; ruminating on the equation of Pliny’s two bruscum tables, the enormity of it all gradually dawned on me. A swift clatter on the trusty abacus tells me that’s 2,500,000 … Continue reading

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No Need to Rush your Work…

… or, a potted history of abrading wood The subject of Dutch rushes as a means of smoothing wood and finishes in Mulberry – Soiled, not Stained prompted me to expand on the matter of smoothing wood. These days we … Continue reading

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‘Mulberry’ Addendum

It seems even as long ago as AD 78 when Pliny published Naturalis Historia; bruscum was in extraordinarily high demand for furniture as noted by Evelyn: “Acer (campestre) foliis lobatis obtusis emarginatis Lin. Sp. PI. 1497. Acer Campestre et minus. … Continue reading

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Mulberry – Soiled, not Stained.

A George I mulberry bureau in the manner of Coxed and Woster. (Christie’s) Is this beautiful early Georgian piece of furniture really made of mulberry? In Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush, the subject of my post, an eighteenth-century … Continue reading

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Revisiting Old Furniture Patterns

… or… an Event of Unhealthy Patterns When I retired in 2002, my son inherited my hand tools and I sold off all the machinery, timber and veneers etc. The only things I retained were my furniture patterns. I have … Continue reading

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