Sidney’s son, Edward continued the family tradition, making fine furniture according to his fathers philosophy and became a figure head in his own right.
They were also associated with the designers and makers Gordon Russell and the Dutchman Peter Waals,or van der Waals.
Sidney Barnsley rebuilt a church, formerly in Hagia Sophia in 1891 in the free Byzantine style. He used Red brick and stone in various patterns eg chequer work, herringbone and basketweave and a plain tile roof. He installed a single unit aisled nave and chancel; an east end with polygonal apses, the outer ones as angled bay windows; imposing west front; a large planked and studded door with scalloped metal framing under round arch with inscription; a stone dressed diocletion window above the narthex under a pent roof; round headed lancet windows on other façades and in the apses of the east end.
Interior features include: Arts and Crafts movement lectern, pulpit and reading desk, in ebony and holly with mother of pearl inlay, priests’ chairs with domed canopies, byzantine capitals from Constantinople and Ephesus decorating the aisles and west wall.
Queen Anne style furniture is a style of furniture design that developed during and around the reign of Anne, Queen of Great Britain (1702-1714). Queen Anne furniture is somewhat smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than its predecessors, and examples in common use include curving shapes, the cabriole leg, cushioned seats, wing-back chairs, and practical secretary desk bookcase pieces. Other elements characterizing the style include pad feet and an emphasis on line and form rather than ornament. In Britain, the style of Queen Anne’s reign is frequently described as “late Baroque” rather than “Queen Anne,” while in the United States the term “Queen Anne” describes decorative styles from the mid-1720s to around 1760, although Queen Anne reigned earlier.
The cabriole leg has been described as the most recognizable element of Queen Anne furniture. Cabriole legs were influenced by the designs of the French cabinetmaker André-Charles Boulle and the Rococo style from the French court of Louis XV . But the intricate ornamentation of post-Restoration furniture was abandoned in favor more conservative designs, possibly under the influence of the simple and elegant lines of imported Chinese furniture.
In addition to simple curvilinear lines and cabriole leg, Queen Anne chairs are characterized by vasiform splats and frequently featured a horseshoe shape. Other important decorative elements included carved shell and scroll motifs, often found on the crest and knees. Wingback chairs, variations on other Queen Anne-style chairs, are fully upholstered with the exception of the exposed wood legs and have sides folded inward to keep heat contained within the chair. All four of the cabriole legs legs sit on padded feet. The shoulders of the back droop slightly to give a more feminine look to the style, in contrast to the squared shoulders of the masculine King George wingback chair.
Marquetry and parquetry as an overriding influence in the design of English furniture came with the return of Charles II after his exile in France.
The court of Louis XIV provided the inspiration for floral and seaweed marquetries, geometric parquetries and juxtaposed veneers in early antique marquetry furniture produced by French designers such as Gole and Boulle to create this revolution in English cabinet making. Boulle’s bombé commodes inlaid with fine marquetry and intricate inlays of brass and tortoiseshell called Boulle-work in the trade are upheld as some of the finest pieces of antique marquetry furniture.
In England it was the beginning of the 18th century in the reign of Queen Anne that saw an explosion in antique marquetry furniture, many being veneered and decorated with walnut and other naturally dyed woods.
From 1750 onwards, the rococo and neo classical styles demanded fine inlay-work and antique marquetry furniture was complementing the architectural qualities of the houses in which they sat at that time. Architect decorators like William Kent and Robert Adam remodelled houses with designs that permeated through from the fabric of their buildings to the hand crafted marquetries and veneers of their furniture. Kent’s work had an Italian baroque quality where Adam’s moved more towards the finer lines of neo-classicism and the excavations of Rome and Pompeii.
French rococo influences also were mirrored by furniture designers such as Thomas Chippendale, where Thomas Sheraton and George Hepplewhite followed the more restrained neo classical designs of Robert Adam. During the Victorian era, Thomas Jordan’s woodcarving machine enabled a huge resurgence in the manufacture of antique marquetry furniture to satisfy the growing middle class market who wanted their houses to emulate these past styles.
At Christian Davies Antiques we are able to provide a good selection of period and revival pieces of antique marquetry furniture that reflect many of these cultural influences and changes. Our antique marquetry furniture is ideally situated for antique furniture lovers in Preston, Lancashire and across Cumbria.
Any furniture specifically made to breakdown or fold for ease of travel can be described as campaign furniture. It was designed to be packed up and carried on the march. It has been used by traveling armies since at least the time of Julius Caesar but it is commonly associated with British Army Officers, many of whom had purchased their commissions. With the rise and expansion of the British Empire in the 18th and 19th centuries the demand by the military, administrators and colonists increased. British officers of high social position in the Georgian and Victorian periods (1714–1901) often carried high quality portable furniture.
The most common item of campaign furniture is the chest of drawers, often referred to as a military chest or campaign chest. A standard campaign chest will be made of either mahogany or teak and break down into two sections with removable legs. The brass corners and strap work offer some protection and typify the distinctive ‘campaign look’.
Some items of campaign furniture are instantly recognisable as made to dismantle or fold. Brass caps to the tops of legs, hinges in unusual places, protruding bolts or X-frame legs all give clues to the functionality of the piece. However, some makers of campaign furniture were careful to ensure that their work was up to date and fashionable, thus making it more commercial. In such cases, as much of it looked like domestic furniture, it is harder to see how it dismantles. Ross and Co. of Dublin were innovators of campaign furniture design and much of their work is obviously Victorian in period. It only becomes apparent that their balloon back chairs dismantle when they are turned upside down and two locking bolts can be seen.
A patina on the surface, built up over many years and even with old marks and damage, is part of the character and value of a piece of furniture and should be preserved. If the surface is badly damaged and needs restoration, consult a specialist dealer for advice.
Waxing with a good quality polish based on beeswax (not spray polishes), brings out the colour and grain of the wood and provides protection. Put a small amount of polish on a soft cloth and rub the piece until the wax on the cloth shines.This will burnish the surface and evaporate any solvent. Then polish with a clean duster. If possible, apply the wax at night to allow it to nourish the wood and polish the following day. If the wood has become very dry, the wax will soak in rapidly and should be applied regularly until a good patina has developed. Normally, wax polish need not be used more than once every few months as too much wax will cause dullness and absorb dust. However, frequent dusting is important using a clean, dry, soft duster. This will encourage a hard skin to form which enhances the patina.
Brass mounts and handles should not be polished with metal cleaners which can harm the wood around them and remove any water gilding. A light burnishing while dusting should be enough to keep them bright. The gold finish on ormolu (gilded bronze) is very delicate and should not be polished. It should be handled as little as possible, as the acid in fingerprints can damage gilding, but it can be dusted gently with a soft brush.
George Washington Henry Jack (1855 – 1931) was an American-born architect and Arts and Crafts Furniture designer. He was the chief Arts & Crafts Furniture designer for William Morris. However, although many of Jack’s exquisitely carved chairs and antique cabinets were produced for the Morris company, he had a successful enterprise of his own, and his designs stand firmly on their own merits.
George Jack and English Arts and Crafts Furniture
George Jack was born on Long Island, New York, of Scottish parents. Upon his father’s death in 1860, he was brought back to Glasgow. Here, he was apprenticed to Horatio Bromhead before moving to London, where he eventually joined the office of Philip Webb in 1880.
Webb is considered the Father of Arts and Crafts Architecture. He was also a gifted furniture designer, collaborating with Morris and Burne-Jones from 1858 onwards. Buyers in Cumbria pay large sums for his Victorian dining chairs and antique cabinets, but George Jack is no less esteemed. His skills in woodcraft so impressed Webb that he introduced him to William Morris, and from1885 onwards George Jack was employed by Morris & Co as a furniture designer.
Arts & Crafts Furniture – or Art Nouveau?
George Jack’s elaborately carved Victorian dining chairs and settees were the perfect match for Morris’ colourful textile designs, leading some to suggest influence from the European Art Nouveau movement. Morris, Jack and Webb undoubtedly saw the potential of what was perceived as a passing fad by other English Arts and Crafts Furniture designers – though their style was resolutely their own.
In 1896, the Central School of Arts and Crafts was founded, aided by sponsorship from William Morris and John Ruskin (another important figure in Arts & Crafts Furniture, who lived in Cumbria.) Morris died the same year, and George Jack became a founding lecturer at the school. He later took over Philip Webb’s architectural practice, publishing his seminal work, “Woodcarving, Design and Workmanship” in 1903.
Arts & Crafts Furniture enthusiasts in Cumbria wanting something a little more decorative than normal should consider the carved antique cabinets and chairs of George Jack, who continued working up to and after WWI.
A bachelors chest is a small, shallow and relatively low chest, English in origin, containing three to four drawers, usually graduated; in the first models, which date from the late 17th century, the top was hinged, and could fold out to become a writing surface, supported by runners or knobbed slides (lopers); later varieties, in the 18th century, had a brushing slide just underneath the top – a pull-out surface for writing or laying out of clothing; usually made of walnut, oak or elm; bun feet were most common on the early chests, but were replaced by the more fashionable bracket feet as the century progressed
Although the term came to mean any small chest of drawers, originally the bachelor’s chest was a multi-purpose piece of furniture, perfect for a single gentleman occupying a small bachelor’s pad or flat.
Bruce James Talbert was born in Dundee in1838, and was a prolific and influential furniture designer. Widely seen as one of the pioneers of the Aesthetic movement, he was a leader of the Reformed Gothic and Gothic Revival styles. His antique cabinets, chairs, tables and chests incorporated decorative carvings, chamfered edges and pierced and inlaid motifs, often with an ecclesiastical theme. Today, his elaborate Victorian dining chairs and wardrobes epitomise the “Art for art’s sake” ethos of the Victorian Aesthetes, and are widely sought at auction.
Talbert was initially employed as a woodcarver. This did not prove successful, and he left to work for the Dundee architect Charles Edward, designing the heraldic decorations for the newly built Kinnaird Hall. Shortly after this, he moved to Glasgow, then to Manchester where he worked as a cabinet maker. He then worked for Skidmore’s of Coventry; here he drew up designs for George Gilbert Scott’s Hereford Cathedral rood screen and Albert Memorial. In 1866 he moved to London, working on designs for the Paris Exhibition for Holland & Sons. This won him more commissions for ecclesiastical metalwork, as well as furniture for Gillows, and he wrote a book on Gothic design. However, his health suffered and he returned to Dundee.
Around 1870 he returned to London, working for Gillows, Cox & Co and the Coalbrookdale Iron Company as well as exhibiting at the Royal Academy. In 1873 he opened a shop in Gower Street with stained glass artist George Cook, later taking a house and studio in Euston Square with his wife. He published another book in 1876, but by now he was burdened with a prodigious number of commissions from Collinson & Lock , Marsh Jones & Cribb, Vaughan & Sons, Caleb Trapnell, Templetons Carpets and many others.
Talbert’s accolade was winning the Grand Prix at the 1878 Paris Exhibition, for his Jackson & Graham Juno Cabinet. Sadly, he was overcome by chronic overwork and alcoholism, dying at the age of just 43. However, his beautifully elaborate antique tables, chairs and sideboards can be found at auctions across Britain and Europe.
The word commode comes from the French word for “convenient” or “suitable”, which in turn comes from the Latin adjective commodus, with similar meanings.
Originally, in French furniture, a commode introduced about 1700 meant a low cabinet, or chest of drawers at the height of the dado rail (à hauteur d’appui). A commode, made by an ébéniste (cabinet-maker) and applied with gilt-bronze mounts, was a piece of veneered case furniture much wider than it was high, raised on high or low legs and with (commode à vantaux) or without enclosing drawers. Some commodes would be provided with a marble slab top selected to match the marble of the chimney piece. A commode occupied a prominent position in the room for which it was intended: it stood against the pier between the windows, in which case it would often be surmounted by a mirror glass, or a pair of identical commodes would flank the chimney piece or occupy the center of each end wall. Bombé commodes, with surfaces shaped in three dimensions were a feature of the rococo style called “Louis Quinze”. Rectilinear neoclassical, or “Louis Seize” commodes might have such deep drawers or doors that the feet were en toupie— in the tapering turned shape of a child’s spinning top. Both rococo and neoclassical commodes might have cabinets flanking the main section, in which case such a piece was a commode à encoignures; pairs of encoignures or corner-cabinets might also be designed to complement a commode and stand in the flanking corners of a room
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A Davenport, (sometimes originally known as a Devonport desk) is a small desk with an inclined lifting desktop attached with hinges to the back of the body. Lifting the desktop accesses a large compartment with storage space for paper and other writing implements, and smaller spaces in the forms of small drawers and pigeonholes. The Davenport has drawers on one of its sides, which are sometimes concealed by a panel. This stack of side drawers holds up the back of the desk and most of its weight. The front of the desk stands on thick legs or pillars which are often highly carved, somewhat exaggerated, thick cabriole legs, but these are not essential. 19th century Davenport desks had a variety of different leg designs.
The desk shape is distinctive; its top part resembles an antique school desk while the bottom is like one half of the supports of a pedestal desk turned sideways. The addition of the two legs in front completes the odd effect.
This desk owes its name to a Captain Davenport who was the first to commission the design, from Gillow’s of Lancaster, near the end of the 18th century. In a sense then it could also be considered a Campaign desk though there are no records indicating if Captain Davenport was in the British Army or the Royal Navy.
This desk form was popular during the 19th century. There have been numerous reproductions during the 20th century, and amateur cabinetmakers sometimes consider a Davenport to be an interesting project.