Style In Furniture

In the two upper panels of Fig. 4, Plate II., we have the incised cinque-foil instead of the quatre-foil—not a very serious divergence. All the details of Fig. 5, Plate III., come under our classification again; we must therefore proceed to fresh ground.

Returning for a moment to the question of construction as apart from enrichment, there are signs in the building-up or putting-together of this old carcase work which may be accepted as fairly safe guides where the question of approximate date has to be decided; and it may be laid down as a general rule that the more primitive—I do not mean u plain " —the construction the earlier the piece. This may appear to be a self-evident proposition; nevertheless, it calls for note. Facts which we may sometimes imagine to be generally recognised are very often missed altogether.

It will be seen, then, by reference to Fig. 3, Plate III., in the last chapter, that the ends are perfectly plain—that is to say, merely stout boards planed, " sanded," and waxed; but the ends of Fig. 5, Plate III., are composed of framed-up panelling—simple enough, it is true, but nevertheless marking a most important and significant advance; while in Fig. 4, Plate II., we have quite a finished piece of joinery. This may not always be regarded as a certain indication of date, for the first type of end was sometimes adopted in later years to save expense in construction ; but, in conjunction with other signs, it often aids us very materially in arriving at a decision.

We must note, still further, that the more skilful the cabinet maker became in the exercise of his own particular branch of craft — the branch that was occupied with the making and putting-together of parts as distinct from the work of the carver and marquetry cutter, whose duty it was merely to enrich that which was already made—the less was he disposed to cover, or have covered, the surfaces of his productions with carving or other ornamentation. He pre-

panelled room, formerly in old bow palace, now in the

VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, SOUTH KENSINGTON Reference in Text. See pages 42, 44, 49, 52, 55, 64, 66

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