Author Archives: Harriet Chavasse

Tunbridge Ware: A History

New in this week is this fantastic Tunbridge ware inkstand, circa. 1870. Rectangular in form, the two glass inkwells flank a stamp box and pen recess. It is of rosewood construction, with the top and sides decorated with a fine … Continue reading

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Dovetail Joints: What they can tell us about our Antique Furniture

  Dovetail joints, named due to their resemblance to the bird’s tail, were first used as far back as ancient Egyptian times where they are found on the furniture entombed with mummies. They were first used in English cabinet making … Continue reading

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Georgian Plate Warmers

Nothing beats having your favourite dish served up on a lovely warm plate. This desire for a hot plate is nothing new to British diners, and there are artefacts from the 18th and 19th centuries that suggest we were once … Continue reading

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Woods and their scents

Every timber has its own unique scent; the crisp freshness of pine to the acidic tang of green oak. Some timbers have smells very like every day scents. Over the 25 years we have had our workshops at Thakeham Furniture, … Continue reading

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What is a Ho Ho Bird?

The Ho ho bird comes from the mythical Japanese version of the Phoenix. Although most commonly referred to as the Ho ho, the mysterious creature, with a long beak and curving neck, flowing tail, claws and crest takes on many … Continue reading

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Cracking The Tambour

A tambour is a sliding door consisting of a series of narrow mouldings or reeds of wood glued side by side to a stout canvas backing. Once dry, the tambour is the then ‘cracked’, whereby the glue between between each … Continue reading

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Flame, Burr and Birdseye: A Guide to Figures in Timber

  While ‘grain’ refers to the orientation of the fibres within timber, ‘figure’ describes the various distinctive patterns that result from this. More simply put, it is the surface pattern. Many things create and shape a wood’s figure, from the … Continue reading

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Things Found in Antique Furniture

Here at Thakeham Furniture we love how every item of antique furniture tells its own unique story; initials carved into the underside of a table, the faint outline of a pair of Victorian sewing scissors on a work table. Every … Continue reading

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Gentleman’s Drinks Cabinet

The term ‘cellaret’ came into use in c. 1750 to describe cases and receptacles to contain wine. Originally, they were placed under sideboards, which back then were in the form of side tables (lacking the cupboards below). The earliest form … Continue reading

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Secret compartments in antique furniture

Nowadays most of us keep our money in the safety of bank accounts and our valuables in safety deposit boxes, however these only came into existence at the turn of the nineteenth century. Up until this point, people had to … Continue reading

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