Quaint furniture

Notwithstanding the fact that the task which they set themselves seemed, and still seems, to be a hopeless one, the Society have gone bravely on ; have perpetrated many absurdities— as we all do at one time or another—and have accomplished an incalculable amount of good. And it is for us to see now in what respect they have exercised an influence upon British furniture. Most of these artists, though from the first they assumed an affectation which would have been mirth-inspiring had it not been painful ; and though, in many cases, their views regarding art are of the narrowest; were, and are, men of high attainments ; their views, therefore, are entitled to respect. In considering what should be done to .bring about the reformation of furniture, they took, in the first place, one important stand. They determined to emphasise the fact that the cabinet maker, in common with everybody else, should il cut his coat according to his cloth/' and, at the same time, they endeavoured to impress this lesson upon the minds of the public. They argued, and, of course, correctly, that the majority of people cannot afford to spend very much money on their furniture ; and endeavoured to teach them that they should be content with comparative simplicity, since elaborate forms, if well made, with carving, inlay, painting, and metal enrichments, if good, are more or less costly. It was their aim to persuade the purchaser, who is able only to spend a few hundreds on the furnishing of his home, not to ape the schemes of those who may be in the position to spend thousands. And, in order to demonstrate their meaning more fully, they set about the production of types of furniture which should serve as models of what ought to be. These were placed on view at the periodical exhibitions held at the New Gallery under the auspices of the Society ; the exhibitions themselves soon became almost as popular as the annual displays of the " R.A." ; they were visited extensively by the " upper ten," who were struck by the novelty they found there; so, before long, everything a la li Arts and

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