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Upholsterers and Interior Furnishing in England 1530-1840

Publish Date
1997
£65.00
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This richly illustrated history of the upholstery trade in Britain over three hundred years surveys the changing styles that affected this art form, the craftsmen who made the furniture and the kings and courtiers who purchased it. In all the great houses and palaces of Britain and at the important events that shaped British history - the weddings, funerals, coronations and visitations of the monarchy and aristocracy - upholstery played a leading role. Dr Beard, an eminent authority on the lives and working methods of craftsmen in the decorative arts, brings his wide knowledge of the historical background of furniture making and usage to bear on this significant branch of furniture history. He moves chronologically, setting the activities of upholsterers and their patrons against the wider panoply of English history, and describes, for example, the early upholstery done on the instructions of the important agency controlling work for the crown, the Great Wardrobe; the archaic traditions of the London craft guilds that grounded the upholsterer's work prior to the restoration of Charles II in 1660; the extensive refurbishing of royal palaces after 1660; the sudden rise in popularity of needleworked upholstery in the beginning of the eighteenth century; the change from rococo style to neoclassicism in the 1760s; the introduction of Egyptian motifs in the early nineteenth century; and the subsequent change to the ornamental excesses of Gothic, Louis quatorze, or one of the fashionable revivals. A special feature of this book is the inclusion, in an appendix, of forty-four important original documents which reinforce Dr Beard's well-researched arguments. This documentation, described as 'oneof the great contributions to furniture history of the post-war period' demonstrates the preoccupation with the quest for status and comfort through the decoration of houses. A lively and authoritative chronicle of the production of fine furnishings in England

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