The story of English furniture really begins in the sixteenth century, when the crudities of medieval domestic tables and stools gave way to more sophisticated, jointed designs. This Tudor furniture is the earliest to survive in any quantity and it is where John Bly’s classic history of English furniture sets out on its journey of illumination.
Over the years, changing fashions, influences from around the world, different materials and developing manufacturing techniques have all had an impact on English furniture, causing it to change over the decades, sometimes quite suddenly. Each of these changes is fully explained, along with studies of completely new types of furniture as they appear in the story. Oak gives way to walnut, and then mahogany, and over the course of the Eighteenth century furniture becomes finer and more formal and the great names – Chippendale, Sheraton and Hepplewhite – emerge and shine a light that takes the story to the next stage.
This brand-new, full-color edition of a classic text traces the story up to the twentieth century, with a new coverage of Art Deco furniture by Eric Knowles. It concludes with a masterclass in detecting alterations and fakery that can significantly affect the worth of a piece of furniture. An invaluable tool for the collector, and a delight for the museum visitor, this book is the only one you will need to gain a thorough grounding in the fascinating subject of English furniture.