Author Archives: Harriet Chavasse

Chippendale And The Rules Of Classical Proportion.

Known as ‘The golden era of design’, there is no disputing the quality and refinement of Georgian furniture. Pieces ‘stand well’: mouldings and brassware perfectly balance aprons and legs. Many furniture historians believe this is because cabinet makers adhered to a strict geometric proportioning system, based on the five classical orders, which are evident throughout …

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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 mosaic style inlay in holly, ebony, sycamore and boxwood. This intricate mosaic style inlay is …

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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 in around 1650. Commonly used in woodwork joinery, they can act as a useful tool …

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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 difference in density between earlywood and latewood cells, natural pigments and the number of growth …

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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 now and then a piece comes into our workshop which conceals a hidden surprise. …

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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 is the octagon shape, which were lined with lead, with partitions for bottles. Later sideboards …

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