Monthly Archives: December 2014

New Year Resolutions

Issac Cruikshank, A Long String of Resolutions for a New Year, circa 1792. (Lewis Walpole Library) I’ve given up making New Year resolutions because I promptly forget about them and revert to old habits. Jack Plane

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Drawer and Drawer Aperture Decoration

Since man first made tools, utensils and weapons from wood, he has burnt, carved and scraped decoration into it. Even in their simplest form, the rails and stiles of early joiner-made coffers usually exhibit chamfered edges (fig. 1), though more … Continue reading

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James’ Christmas Homecoming

Following his exile in France, James Francis Edward Stuart (The Old Pretender – the son of James II, the deposed Catholic King of England and Ireland and James VIII of Scotland), landed at Petershead in Scotland on the 22nd of … Continue reading

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In Which a Christmas Pudding is Devoured

George Woodward, The Christmas Pudding, circa 1796. (Lewis Walpole Library) The young lad, scoffing his Christmas pudding at a tripod table, is sitting on a chair with a rather splendid (and festive looking) case. Below is a copy of The … Continue reading

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Of Superlative Mahogany Furniture and Oiled, Ripped Bodies

In the introductory paragraph of his description of a Chippendale period gentleman’s press, Oxfordshire antiques dealer, David Harvey began: I suppose the name Chippendale is to many synonymous with male strip tease shows […] Jack Plane

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Of Grain Direction and Tea

Seemingly it wasn’t only banding and mouldings that were cross-grained in the late seventeenth-century: I have been troubled this day about a difference between my wife and her maid Nell, who is a simple slut, and I am afeard we … Continue reading

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Ives, Diall’s & Co. Oil and Spirit Varnish Manufactory

Before the process of ‘French polishing’ was broadly adopted for finishing woodwork, a great deal of eighteenth-century furniture was simply, but skilfully polished with spirit varnish, laid on with a brush and then flattened. Colophony, copal, mastic, sandarac and shellac … Continue reading

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A Carve-Up at Bonhams

Following on from some of the horrendous carve-ups in Picture This XXXIX, Bonhams are auctioning an early George III mahogany (and later-carved) bird-cage action supper table (lot 226) at their Knightsbridge rooms on the 16th of December 2014. Early George … Continue reading

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