Portion Of Oak Great Hall Screen

See Fig. 261. Late'fiftWnth century. Mrs. D'Oyley.

would be as earn as their models, or, in many cases, that the}' would be as old as the houses in which they are found. This frieze is of about the middle of the seventeenth century. It is executed with considerable artistic skill.

Fig. 259 is earlier, from the late sixteenth century, and cruder in every way. Here the model is the tapestry cartoon, and the inspiration still Italian, but strongly permeated by Flemish influence, as one would expect at this period.

That painted cloths, in imitation of the lordly tapestry,—or mural paintings, were the usual attempts, in timber houses of the poorer class, to relieve the bareness of wood and plaster, there is little doubt, and that these substitutes were employed long after panellings came into general use in the more opulent secular houses, is equally certain. Wainscotting of oak must have been an expensive luxury at all times, although, in some of the older farmhouses in Kent, it is not exceptional to find the principal living-room clinker-boarded, in the primitive manner of the late fifteenth century. Whether these boardings have a claim to such antiquity is doubtful.

There is another point in connection with panellings which must not be forgotten,

— ELEVATION OP ONE HALF- OF-^FLEEM — — C/E£T1UN though THEc/k.R«N,5"-

Hwbert Cescip-sky H-10 21

SUGGESTED RECONSTRUCTION OF THE GREAT HALL SCREEN, FIG. 260.

— ELEVATION OP ONE HALF- OF-^FLEEM — — C/E£T1UN though THEc/k.R«N,5"-

Hwbert Cescip-sky H-10 21

SUGGESTED RECONSTRUCTION OF THE GREAT HALL SCREEN, FIG. 260.

as it had, no doubt, a great effect in retarding their evolution. The oak timber of the fifteenth century was rarely seasoned, as we understand the term at the present day. Oak was often used, as in roof timbers, in such large scantling, that to dry each baulk thoroughly would have taken many years, even if it had been possible at all. We can see, from an examination of the sag and warp in many of these large timbers, that the wood was by no means dry when it was used. It was often quartered, and carefully selected, but it was left to season in situ. Thin panels must have presented some difficulties in this respect ; it was impossible to have used " green " panel-stuff, as it would have warped and split after a few months. It is also probable that the makers of panellings were not on the same plane as the carpenters who were responsible for Church woodwork, and seasoned oak, in thin boards, may not have been at their service until late in the fifteenth century, especially if intended for secular use. Thin panels of oak are to be found in the bases of chancel screens, and these must have been carefully seasoned, or the figures of Saints, which were frequently painted on them, would have perished long since. In fact, for nearly a century before wall-panellings appear, the}' exist, potentially, in dry oak of panel-thickness and in a knowledge of framing with tenoned 2621 1 . . . 1 oak linenfold panelling from cog worthy farm, and mortised joints, coupled yarnscombe, near barnstaple.

with a real purpose to be Early sixteenth century.

Fig. 263. TRUE LINENFOLD.

  1. 263. TRUE LINENFOLD.
  2. 264. Fig. 265.
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