Note.—Burv and lYest Suffolk Archaeological Institute and Suffolk Institute Archasology, Vol. I, p. 108.
Examples of woodworkers' tools from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries are illustrated in Figs. 12 to 19. Those of the earlier date are from the Barend Expedition, the remains of which were discovered in Xova Zembla in 1593. They are, probably, all of Dutch origin, but the relations between England and the Low Countries were so •close during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, that there is every reason to suppose that carpenters' and joiners' tools were identical in the two countries. The Xova Zembla implements may be considerably earlier than the date when they were found, as tools were preserved for many years, handed down from father to son, as we have seen. They are, unquestionably sixteenth century, and may date from the earlier
1 A rip-saw with large teeth. * An auger cr a brace for boring holes.
3 An adze. » An auger with a guide for accurate boring.
J A felling axe. 10 \ compass or divider.
5 A pole-axe ; a mattock ; a pick-axe, an axe with two heads. 11 A hand-saw.
decades. The collection of eighteenth-century planes is interesting, and nearly all are carved and dated, an indication of the esteem in which they were held by their owners. They differ very little from those in use at the present da}*, and as the evolution of tools is very gradual,—especially after they reach an efficient stage,—there is no reason to suppose that the planes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries differed materially from these examples of the eighteenth.
Perfection and accuracy of finish is, however, lacking in these tools as compared with those of the present day, and methods must have been even more primitive, and yet it is with these implements and methods that the carpenters, joiners and carvers made those marvels of timber construction, such as chancel and rood-screens and hammer-beam roofs, which, in design, decoration and execution (to say nothing of the enormous time involved) are the envy of the cultured worker in wood at the present day. The primitive joiner used glue or other adhesive sparingly, and only when wide panels were imperatively demanded, such as the painted lower panels in decorated chancel screens. As a general rule, if his panels were too wide for his timber he altered his design. He secured his joints with mortise and tenon, pinned with wooden pegs, and so durable and perfect was his construction that his work has withstood the ravages-of the centuries, remaining to-day, mellowed with the passage of time, with colours subdued, but still as beautiful as when it left his hands. It has succumbed only to purposed destruction, such as at the hands of the iconoclasts of the Reformation and the Commonwealth.
When we examine such examples as the canopied stalls, the tabernacle work, the traceried and vaulted chancel and rood-screens, the sedilia and the elaborate timber roofs, alike in constructional as well as decorative qualities, whether in stately edifices such as Beverley Minster, or in small churches such as Ludham, Ran worth, Southwold, Bramfield, Ufford and many other of the East Anglian ecclesiastical buildings,--a choice is, in itself, invidious,— we can dimly apprehend the love for his work and his art which the woodworker of that time must have had, in the golden age of English woodwork in the fifteenth century. To originate and to construct, in as perishable a material as wood, examples of supreme beauty which shall defy the centuries, implies an honesty of method, and a love both of his craft, and of the Church which fostered his art, and directed his efforts, coupled with a care and patience which ignores the passage of time and devotes all efforts to the ultimate goal, the production of woodwork which shall be " fytt and fyne."
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