Illustrated History of Furniture: From the Earliest to the Present Time

Illustrated History of Furniture: From the Earliest to the Present Time

by Frederick Litchfield

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Illustrated History of Furniture: From the Earliest to the Present Time by Frederick Litchfield

In the following pages the Author has placed before the reader an account
of the changes in the design of Decorative Furniture and Woodwork, from
the earliest period of which we have any reliable or certain record until
the present time.

A careful selection of illustrations has been made from examples of
established authenticity, the majority of which are to be seen, either in
the Museums to which reference is made, or by permission of the owners;
and the representations of the different "interiors" will convey an idea
of the character and disposition of the furniture of the periods to which
they refer. These illustrations are arranged, so far as is possible, in
chronological order, and the descriptions which accompany them are
explanatory of the historical and social changes which have influenced the
manners and customs, and directly or indirectly affected the Furniture of
different nations. An endeavour is made to produce a "panorama" which may
prove acceptable to many, who, without wishing to study the subject
deeply, may desire to gain some information with reference to it
generally, or with regard to some part of it, in which they may feel a
particular interest.

It will be obvious that within the limits of a single volume of moderate
dimensions it is impossible to give more than an outline sketch of many
periods of design and taste which deserve far more consideration than is
here bestowed upon them; the reader is, therefore, asked to accept the
first chapter, which refers to "Ancient Furniture" and covers a period of
several centuries, as introductory to that which follows, rather than as a
serious attempt to examine the history of the furniture during that space
of time. The fourth chapter, which deals with a period of some hundred and
fifty years, from the time of King James the First until that of
Chippendale and his contemporaries, and the last three chapters, are more
fully descriptive than some others, partly because trustworthy information
as to these times is more accessible, and partly because it is probable
that English readers will feel greater interest in the furniture of which
they are the subject. The French _meubles de luxe_, from the latter half
of the seventeenth century until the Revolution, are also treated more
fully than the furniture of other periods and countries, on account of the
interest which has been manifested in this description of the cabinet
maker's and metal mounter's work during the past ten or fifteen years.
There is evidence of this appreciation in the enormous prices realised at
notable auction sales, when such furniture has been offered for
competition to wealthy connoisseurs.

In order to gain a more correct idea of the design of Furniture of
different periods, it has been necessary to notice the alterations in
architectural styles which influenced, and were accompanied by,
corresponding changes in the fashion of interior woodwork. Such comments
are made with some diffidence, as it is felt that this branch of the
subject would have received more fitting treatment by an architect, who
was also an antiquarian, than by an antiquarian with only a limited
knowledge of architecture.

Some works on "Furniture" have taken the word in its French
interpretation, to include everything that is "movable" in a house; other
writers have combined with historical notes, critical remarks and
suggestions as to the selection of Furniture. The author has not presumed
to offer any such advice, and has confined his attention to a description
of that which, in its more restricted sense, is understood as "Decorative
Furniture and Woodwork." For his own information, and in the pursuit of
his business, he has been led to investigate the causes and the
approximate dates of the several changes in taste which have taken place,
and has recorded them in as simple and readable a story as the
difficulties of the subject permit.

Numerous acts of kindness and co-operation, received while preparing the
work for the press, have rendered the task very pleasant; and while the
author has endeavoured to acknowledge, in a great many instances, the
courtesies received, when noticing the particular occasion on which such
assistance was rendered, he would desire generally to record his thanks to
the owners of historic mansions, the officials of our Museums, the Clerks
of City Companies, Librarians, and others, to whom he is indebted. The
views of many able writers who have trodden the same field of enquiry have
been adopted where they have been confirmed by the writer's experience or
research, and in these cases he hopes he has not omitted to express his
acknowledgments for the use he has made of them.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940157793005
Publisher: Readings LLC
Publication date: 01/04/2016
Series: Favorite Classics , #106
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 602 KB

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