Style In Furniture

not ; neither need we lcok to her for models that will serve as object-lessons to show us how that task is to be accomplished, unless we are content to return to primeval ways of living, and to sacrifice many of the actual necessaries and nearly all the luxuries of modern life. Those who are prepared to do this are, of course, absolutely at liberty to do so, if they can find a place sufficiently far removed from civilisation to permit of it ; and no one will say them u nay/' Let them, by all means, if such be their inclination, look to Nature for instruction in the art of furniture designing, and return actually to first principles ; but they must not expect every one else to share their tastes and opinions.

It was through losing sight altogether of this aspect of affairs, either through absence of mind, or by reason of a fixed determination to ignore it, that the "New Artists'' committed one of their most fatal mistakes, and one which led to the production of monstrosities in the way of furniture at the sight of which we are almost inclined to gasp with astonishment not unmixed with dismay. It would really seem as if some of them argued in the following strain: " The gnarled stump of a tree, with a board placed across the top, acts very satisfactorily as a table ; a log makes a serviceable and safe, if somewhat uncomfortable, seat; we can hang our hats and coats very well upon the lopped and broken boughs and twigs of a young sapling: let us, therefore, reproduce the tree-trunk, with its gnarled and ugly roots ; the log, with its knots and rough bark ; and the sapling, with its multitudinous young shoots, as accurately as we can, and place them in our entrance-hall and dining-room at home—furniture fresh from the very Fountain-Head of all Art and Beauty—surely we cannot go wrong if we do this."

It may possibly be urged by some reader that, in the foregoing paragraph, I have permitted my imagination, warped by some deep-rooted and unreasonable prejudice

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