A Most Curious Natural Art: The History of Shellwork

Shellwork pieces first appeared in the 17th century on boxes and caskets of the late Stuart period with decoration of rolled paper, and by the 18th century shellwork had become a popular craft often carried out by women.   Shellwork represented the growing fascination with discoveries of the natural world which fueled the Age of Enlightenment.  … Continue reading A Most Curious Natural Art: The History of Shellwork

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: John Stalker & George Parker’s Japanning

We have discussed japanning, the European imitation of lacquer, in previous blog posts here, here, here, and here, but we aren't quite done yet.  The names John Stalker and George Parker are synonymous with the rise of japanned wares in England due to their seminal publication in 1688 entitled Treatise on Japanning and Varnishing.   This treatise … Continue reading Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: John Stalker & George Parker’s Japanning

Spotting the Shells: Georgian Furniture with a Shell Motif

At first glance, the following selection of furniture may appear to have little in common, besides the shared country of origin and eighteenth century creation date. However, upon closer inspection, you will see each piece incorporates a carved shell.  Today we will look at why the shell appears so frequently on eighteenth century English antiques … Continue reading Spotting the Shells: Georgian Furniture with a Shell Motif

Getting Down to Brass Tacks: The Exceptional Inlaid Furniture of John Channon

Like William Gomm, John Channon was not known in the cannon of furniture history until the second half of the twentieth century.  Noted furniture historians, including R. W. Symonds, identified the incredible quality of  a group of, specifically brass-inlaid, furniture, but identifying a cabinetmaker eluded them at the time.  John Hayward, the Deputy Keeper of … Continue reading Getting Down to Brass Tacks: The Exceptional Inlaid Furniture of John Channon

Art from the Emerald Isle: Irish Furniture in the Eighteenth Century

Percy Macquoid, author of the seminal four volume History of English Furniture between 1904 and 1908, wrote the following about Irish furniture in the Georgian era: 'the furniture, decorations, and silver plate of Irish workmanship of this time show great refinement of taste and perception of proportion.'  Much has been written about Irish furniture since Macquoid's … Continue reading Art from the Emerald Isle: Irish Furniture in the Eighteenth Century