Author Archives: Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.

Picture This CXXXII

This chest-on-chest was made at a time when mahogany’s adoption was virtually universal and walnut’s quondam reign was all but over. Fig. 1. George II walnut chest-on-chest, circa 1750. The rather tardy use of walnut is not the only behindhand … Continue reading

Posted in Antiques, Furniture Timbers | Tagged , | 7 Comments

The Old Irish Tree List

In pre-Christian Irish society, brehons or judges laid down the law. This early body of law is now recognised as probably the oldest known European example of a sophisticated legal system. The Brehon law survived relatively intact right through the … Continue reading

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A Counterfeite Tortoise Shell Frame

Samuel Pepys’ diary entry for Wednesday 27 June 1666. Thence to Lovett’s, who has now done something towards the varnishing of single paper for the making of books, which will do, I think, very well. He did also carry me … Continue reading

Posted in Distractions, Staining, colouring and polishing | Tagged | Leave a comment

Picture This CXXXI

Stand down sleuths; there is absolutely nothing wrong with the top of this William and Mary walnut chest-on-stand! I merely offer it as an untouched thing of beauty (click to enlarge). Crossgrain-moulded, veneered and banded chest, circa 1695. (Mackinnon Fine … Continue reading

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What One Can and Cannot Do

You may read this as the forward to a book I have a mind to write. When woodworking: One can use kiln-dried timber for most purposes. One can often employ machinery and power tools. One can stick wood together with … Continue reading

Posted in Furniture Making, Materials, Staining, colouring and polishing, Techniques | 9 Comments

Tompion Miniature Table Clock Sold

Lot 103, a table clock, known as the ‘Q (queen) Clock’, made for Queen Mary II by English master clockmaker Thomas Tompion sold for £1,935,063 (AU$3,561,195.85/US$ 2,454,836.67) at Bonham’s The Clive Collection of Exceptional Clocks sale in London yesterday, Wednesday … Continue reading

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Picture This CXXIX – Redux

Last night I watched the first episode of The Miniaturist, a television drama set in late seventeenth-century Amsterdam. The period-accurate attention to detail was astonishing. At one point, the young Petronella approached and opened a coffre forte, virtually identical to … Continue reading

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A Pair of George II Irish Walnut Side Chairs – Part Four

This morning, Wellard alerted me to the arrival of an intruder: I lifted my eyes from the bench and saw a van trundling up the drive towards the house. I dusted myself down and set off across the yard to … Continue reading

Posted in Seating | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Sawpit Perils

If you were a sawyer in the late eighteenth-century, you might not have begun your day’s work as early as other craftsmen and labourers, for the sawpit could, on occasion, be a hazardous place at the break of day. Duellists, … Continue reading

Posted in 17th and 18th Century Culture | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Picture This CXXX

This walnut secretaire chest-on-chest caught my eye recently; described by its vendor as circa 1740 and with original brasses. Fig. 1. Mid eighteenth-century walnut secretaire chest-on-chest… Fig. 2. … and with secretaire drawer open. Fig. 3. Interior of secretaire drawer. … Continue reading

Posted in Antiques, Picture This | Tagged , | 23 Comments