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Topics: 18th Century

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5: On Cupboards and In Drawers: When is Cupboard Not a Cupboard?

An explanation of the development of cupboards and chests of drawers in terms of their use, social significance, and their construction and decoration from mediaeval times to the 18th Century.


6: From Joinery to Cabinet-Making 

The development of joinery as a method for constructing furniture from medieval times to the end of the 17th century and its comparison with that of cabinet-making.


7: From Veneering to Marquetry 

The history, techniques and uses of veneering, inlay, parquetry and marquetry in decorating furniture between the period 1675 – 1730.


8: The Age of Walnut 1660-1740

An analysis of the style and construction of fashionable walnut furniture in the post restoration period.


10: Vernacular Furniture 1600-1800

A look into the lives of ordinary people through their ordinary, everyday furniture.


11: Early 18th Century Walnut Furniture

The reigns of Queen Anne and George I herald the Golden Age of English Cabinet Making,  with walnut furniture that was sophisticated in range, style and decoration.


12: From Rome to Kent – The Baroque Style in English Furniture

This lecture combines looking at furniture with looking at the interiors for which it was designed as it follows the Baroque style from Rome to England.


13: The Age of Mahogany – ‘The Golden Age of English Furniture’

Mahogany became the timber of choice for cabinetmaking in the 18th century and designers and cabinet makers exploited its characteristics in producing furniture which set a new quality standard in terms of both design and craftsmanship.


14: The Age of Elegance: Georgian Furniture

The development of elegance through style in relation to the design and construction of furniture during the 18th Century.


15: The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale

It was Chippendale’s creative design talent together with his traditionally skilled craftsmanship which enabled him, through his cabinet making business, to design and produce some of the finest and most innovative examples of 18th Century English furniture.


16: China Comes to Town

A study of Chinoiserie furniture and furnishings of in particular the 18th century with a view to assessing whether it was to be taken seriously or regarded as a caricature.


17: ‘All That Glitters…’

The lecture will draw on English and continental examples of furniture dazzlingly enriched with gilding and gilded ornaments and will consider the symbolic use of gilt ornamentation as an expression of power.


18: The Genius of Robert Adam

An appraisal of Adam’s influence on the development of neo-classical furniture, focussing on items in interiors designed by him.


19: Uniting Elegance with Utility: George (and Alice) Hepplewhite

Hepplewhite’s fame derives from his book of designs, published and ‘improved’ after his death by his wife Alice, which gives us a wonderful stylistic summary of how the late 18th century cabinet making trade managed to “unite elegance with utility and blend the useful with the agreeable”. 


20: Thomas Sheraton’s Designs for Cabinet-Makers

Sheraton’s fame stems from the considerable publications he produced through which we can gain a good understanding of furniture styles of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

21: Neo-Classical Furniture: Adam, Hepplewhite and Sheraton

This lecture charters the spread of neo-classical design and decoration on furniture from that of the most fashionable and wealthy to that of the upwardly mobile middle and professional classes of the late 18th century.


22: Thomas Chippendale the Younger and George Bullock

After Chippendale’s death in 1779, his eldest son, also named Thomas, carried on his cabinet-making business until 1804.  Chippendale the Younger & George Bullock were brilliant and highly influential designers and skilled craftsmen, as this lecture will show.


25: The Gillows Story and its Furniture 

The history of this most famous of furniture firms and an examination of pieces which exemplify the styles and techniques associated with it.


27: Are You Sitting Comfortably?

The lecture traces the development of the chair in terms of its construction and style from ancient times through to the 19th century and will hopefully surprise attendees with just how much there is to reveal about such a common item of furniture.


28: English and French Furniture of the 18th Century (specially prepared for Paris DFAS)

An examination of baroque, rococo and neo-classical furniture from both sides of the Channel.


29: The Golden Age of English and Dutch Furniture (Specially prepared for The Hague DFAS)

The art of Dutch furniture making and decoration climaxed in the late 17th century and, not least because of the close political and commercial connections between the two countries at the time, greatly influenced that made in England.


30: The Golden Age of European Cabinet-Making (Specially prepared for Brussels DFAS)

English cabinet making reached a near-unrivalled degree of excellence by the mid 18th Century largely thanks to the influence of new styles and methods of construction and decoration from the Netherlands, France and Belgium.


31: The Golden Age of English and European Furniture

This golden age encompasses the work of great designers and cabinetmakers like Kent, Vile, Cobb, and, of course, Chippendale and sees the elevation of furniture to Art in both England & Europe.

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