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Making chests and tables for the SCA. Period furniture. References.

 

NOTE: See also the files: chairs-msg, beds-msg, chests-msg, wood-msg, woodworking-msg, tools-msg, wood-bending-msg, wood-finishes-msg, caskets-boxes-bib, 6-board-chest-art, Gothic-Bench-art.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: Tim Bray/C. Keegan (4/25/94)

To: Mark Harris

RE>Oak Furniture Book

 

You asked for the adress of the Antique Collectors Club, publisher of the

Oak Furniture book.  The address was included in my original post:

 

d - Oak Funiture: The British Tradition (Victor Chinnery, 1979,

> >reprinted 1993, ISBN 1 85149 013 2  published by Antique Collector's Club

> >Ltd, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 1DS UK -  

 

That's a U.K. address.  I bought the book in England, so am not sure how

much it will cost to order from the States.  It's a very thick, heavy

book, printed on really good paper, with lots of b&w photos...  in other

words, it's expensive!  Most of the book actually deals more with 17th

century furniture and furniture-making (guilds, etc.) than our period,

but there is still much useful info.

 

Colin

 

 

From: David Mann (4/17/95)

To: Mark Harris

Re[2]: Tournaments Illuminated #113 -- review

 

     Hello Stefan,

     I'll send you a gif or tif picture as soon as I can. Of our 2

     scanners, one is broken and the other is out on loan. As for a book,

     Master Edward d'Orleans recommends "History of Italian Furniture",

     volumes 1 & 2 by William M. Odom. He says if you can find a copy at a

     reasonable price get it! There were 2 editions to the book, 1912 &

     1966. I agree with him, this is one of the best books around on

     Italian furniture. Oh, the price normally for a copy is around 700-800

     dollars for the 1912 edition. Fortunating, OSU has both editions in

     the library.

                                                Marke

======================================================================

 

 

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Celt Tents Info

From: mike.boelter at rodent.isdn.net (Mike Boelter)

Date: Sat, 03 Jun 1995 10:19:00 -0600

 

        to re hash what has been posted before this good gentle is

looking for info on Scottish tents 10th to 12th century with proper

furniture etc.

 

        The Chairs you are looking for were featured in a woodworking

magazine some years ago.  Name of Magazine was Fine Woodworking or

similar.  If no one remembers the article one  could always write to the

magazines of that sort asking if they have an article on same.

 

        Rope beds, or Vikin style fit together and peg together beds

are fairly easy to accomplish.  I cheat and use an inflatable Air

Mattress in mine. Source books were The Vikings by Time Life (coffee

table size book)  and Osbourne childrens books Time Traveler series on

The Viking Raiders.  Simple pictures and fairly good detail.

        For a rope frame do not drill holes in the sides or use eye

bolts unless you are really into lacing a couple hundred feet of rope at

every event.   I found some utility hooks called goat horns or if you

have access to telephone company supplies Hook, drop, wire is what you

are looking for.

        Actually I have dispensed with the ropes altogether, and on the

inside of the bed frame I have put 2x2s and then use plywood.  Unless

the authenticity police crawle under the bed who will know.  If you want

to feel really virtuous  you could modify the plywood sheeting so that

it could be used as an emergency backboard (handholds and such were cut

out of it to facilitate emerngency use) which is what I did when I make

a  Viking bed for a chireugeon.

        This should be of some help.  and hopefully you will be able to

make sense of my ramblings.

 

        I remain, Sir  Starhelm Warlocke KbSCA.

 

 

From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming )

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Source for Eliza. Furniture

Date: 24 Oct 1995 00:31:30 GMT

 

For pictures of "period" furniture you might try looking in the

library.  There is a book entitled _World Furniture_, edited by Noel

Riley, 1989 edition published by Chartwell Books, originally published

in 1980 by Octopus Books.  ISBN number is 1-55521-477-0. It is divided

by country and shows numerous examples of furniture throughout the

country's history.  There is some history of the development of

furniture in each country.  I would assume there are more books out

there in libraries which might be helpful if one wanted to build one's

own furniture.

 

Alys Katharine

 

 

From: "Jeffrey L. Singman" <jsingman at umich.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Source for Eliza. Furniture

Date: 24 Oct 1995 14:05:28 GMT

Organization: University of Michigan

 

Hi! One place to look would be the Trayn'd Bandes of London World Wide

Web site--there are a couple of references and connections to suppliers

there (look under 're-enactment contacts' and under 'sources and

resources' on the main page). The resources page also lists some good

books on Eliz. furniture. In addition, my wife and I have been working

to accumulate the names of other good furniture makers. Repro. furniture

tends to be a bit expensive in North America (it can be had much cheaper

in England); however, it is quite easy to make Eliz. furniture, at least

the simpler designs (drop by some time and we can show you two pieces I

made myself). Sometimes used-goods places will have pieces which could

pass for Elizabethan too, depending on how accurate you need it to be!

 

http://www.rmc.ca/~nusbache/bandes.html

 

Cheers, JLS

 

 

From: excmairi at aol.com (EXCMairi)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Patterns / Plans for furniture.

Date: 17 Oct 1996 08:31:44 -0400

 

Stackpole Books (the people who do Osprey series) are publishing a new

book, due out in January, titled "Constructing Medieval Furniture" by

Daniel Diehl, ISBN #0811727955.  We called them as soon as we found a

reference to it and they said it would be out in January, listed in their

December catalog.  Their phone # is 1-800-732-3669. Stackpole Books, 5067

Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA  17055.

 

Baroness Mairi.

 

 

From: Gretchen M Beck <grm+ at andrew.cmu.edu>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Patterns / Plans for furniture.

Date: Fri, 18 Oct 1996 13:03:31 -0400

Organization: Computer Operations, Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA

 

Excerpts from netnews.rec.org.sca: 17-Oct-96 Re: Patterns / Plans for

fu.. by EXCMairi at aol.com

> Stackpole Books (the people who do Osprey series) are publishing a new

> book, due out in January, titled "Constructing Medieval Furniture" by

> Daniel Diehl, ISBN #0811727955.  We called them as soon as we found a

> reference to it and they said it would be out in January, listed in their

> December catalog.  Their phone # is 1-800-732-3669. Stackpole Books, 5067

> Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA  17055.

 

I should point out that Daniel Diehl is also Lord Frederich von

Schwartzberg, currently of York, England, late of the Barony Marche of

the Debatable Lands.  I believe this may be the book that competed at

Ice Dragon.

 

toodles, margaret

 

 

From: bbrisbane at aol.com (BBrisbane)

To: bryn-gwlad at eden.com

Date: 28 Jan 1997 06:38:59 GMT

Subject: MEDIEVAL FURNITURE BOOK -- Revised, with WEB address.

 

I want everyone to know about a new book that has been published, and I

hope many will find of great use and wish to possess.

 

CONSTRUCTING MEDIEVAL FURNITURE; Plans and Instructions, with Historical

Notes by Dan Diehl, aka Captain/Abbot Frederick von Schwartzbourg.  

 

This wonderful book specifically discusses the constuction of medieval

furniture as found  in Castles, Abbeys, and Monasteries. Dan Diehl has 25

years of experience making cabinetry and working as a restoration Artist.

He has traveled to England three times over two years to research the

pieces for this book, specifically chosing pieces, where possible, that

are still within the environments they were originally created for.  He

photographed each piece and took very careful measurements of all

dimensions and details, which he then recreated into an understandable

translation of their construction.  This text is an original work without

precedence, and is realistically a secondary reference resource (a primary

reference work being Dan's personal examination of the pieces, but we'd

have to BE Dan).

 

The book begins with three chapters that tell you what you need to know in

order to complete the furniture projects.  The First chapter addresses

woodworking, the Second concerns metalworking, and the Third chapter

discusses finishes and surface treatments.  Each of the remaining chapters

is an examination of a single piece of furniture: A photo of the original,

a description of the construction and history of the piece, a chart which

outlines how many parts you need to create the particular project, along

with specific dimensions.  Each chapter concludes with detailed elevations

of the chapter's subject with all dimensions marked, and detail works

examined (such as dimensions of hardware pieces).  Where applicable any

carvings from the originals have been recreated in detailed line drawings

for addition to the furniture projects.  The furniture pieces progress

from simple to more difficult as you advance through the chapters.  

 

The book is 180 pages in 19 chapters, paperback, and costs $19.95 (U.S.

funds) and $4.00 shipping and handling charges, for a total of $23.95.  PA

residents add 6% PA sales tax. The publisher is Stackpole Books, ISBN

O-8117-2795-5.

 

Cheques or Money Orders ONLY.  I'm  sorry, but at this time I am not set

up to accept credit cards.  Make your cheque or money order payable to

Robert Rich.

 

You can also go to Dan Diehl's WEBSITE at :

(  http://users.aol.com/bbrisbane/  ) for further information.

 

So why am I selling these??  Dan is a very good friend of mine and I'm

doing this as a special favor to him because he is not here to market them

himself.  I get the books directly through the author, and so every book

sold through me is profit in Dan's pocket rather than in the retailer's.

Afterall, he did do all the research and leg-work.  Dan Diehl currently

resides in York, England where he writes, and has plans to publish a

second work on Medieval Furniture in the future.

 

Constructing Medieval Furniture, by Dan Diehl, can also be purchased

through my merchanting business, Brendan's Banners.  You can find me at

Estrella War, AEthelmearc Crown Tourney, Pennsic XXVI, and AEthelmearc

Coronation to name a few.

 

If you are interested in placing an order . . . . . .

Send Checks or Money orders to:

 

Korby Art Studios, c/o Bob Rich, 1211 Logan Avenue, Tyrone PA 16686,

(again, made payable to Robert Rich)

 

EUROPEAN ORDERS:  write to,

Oxbow Books

Park End Place

OX1 1HN

England

Oxbow at patrol.i-way.co.uk

+44-1865-241249 Phone

+44-1865-794449 Fax

 

Master Brendan Brisbane

 

 

From: Medievalbk at aol.com

To: Mark Harris

Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 20:39:31 -0500 (EST)

Subject: Re: NEW BOOK -- Medieval Fu

 

<< I was just replying to the original poster refuting

the claims that he made about being the only one who

had it for sale. >>

There were so many snips I couldn't tell who was what.

 

furniture books are mixed in with woodworking on the web page.  I've listed

both what I have and what I can get through Interloc.

 

http://www.interloc.com/~medieval

 

I only have the title fragments 'medieval wood' and 'medieval furn' on

search.  I do know that the best history of furniture books were printed in

France, and the next time I get to the LA collector's library I'm going to

start taking down titles.

 

Furniture listings are mostly Dover misc.  I need the bibliography from the

new book.

 

      1. Sotheby's: EUROPEAN WORKS OF ART, ARMS AND

         ARMOUR, FURNITURE AND TAPESTRIES, New, illus.,

         Auction catalog #6388; Everything in armour:

         helms, suits, gauntlets, equestrian, shields.

         Items from MET. ............$7.00  CAT No. 960

 

      2. International Exhibitions Foundation:

         PORTUGAL AND THE EAST THROUGH EMBROIDERY, New,

         remain., pub: I. E. F. 1981, 40pp., illus.,

         16th to 18th Century Coverlets from the Museu

         Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon. (Some

         furniture as well.) ........$2.50  CAT No. 994

 

      3. Watson, Sir Francis: HISTORY OF FURNITURE,

         Remainder, pub: Black Cat 1990, 320pp.,

         illus., Ancient and medieval are the first

         chapter. .................$15.95  CAT No. 1722

 

      4. Sotheby's: EUROPEAN WORKS OF ART, ARMS AND

         ARMOUR, FURNITURE AND TAPESTRIES, New, illus.,

         Auction catalog #5717; No armour, weapons,

         swords, 17th c. crossbow. .$7.00  CAT No. 1736

 

      5. Hart, Harold H.: CHAIRS THROUGH THE AGES, New,

         PB, pub: Dover 144pp., Over 500

         copyright-free illus. of chairs over a 3000

         year period. ..............$8.95  CAT No. 2157

 

      6. Salomonsky, Vera C.: MASTERPIECES OF

         FURNITURE IN PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEASURED

         DRAWINGS, New, PB, pub: Dover 212pp., 102

         authentic museum pieces, 16th through 19th

         century. Measurements detailed enough for

         reproduction. .............$8.95  CAT No. 2190

 

      7. Hurrell, John Weymouth: MEASURED DRAWINGS OF

         OLD ENGLISH OAK FURNITURE, New, PB, pub:

         Dover 110pp., 110 b/w plates, Best of 17th

         and 18th century English oak furniture,

         interior woodworking, and constructive

         detail. ...................$7.95  CAT No. 2191

 

      8. Ecke, Gustav: CHINESE DOMESTIC FURNITURE IN

         PHOTOGRAPHS AND MEASURED DRAWINGS, New, PB,

         pub: Dover 224pp., 161 illus., From early

         Shang to late Ming. ......$13.95  CAT No. 2272

 

      9. Katz, Sali: HISPANIC FURNITURE - AN AMERICAN

         COLLECTION FROM THE SOUTHWEST, New, pub. at

         $34.95, pub: Kampmann 1986, 224pp., 286

         pieces illus., More than 290 photographs and

         line drawings. Technical descriptions. .$18.00

                                           CAT No. 2318

 

     10. Sotheby's: EUROPEAN WORKS OF ART, ARMS AND

         ARMOUR, FURNITURE AND TAPESTRIES, New, illus.,

         Auction catalog #6266; Everything in armour:

         helms, suits, gauntlets, equestrian. ...$7.00

         CAT No. 2715

 

     11. Ramsey, L. G. G., ed.: ANTIQUE ENGLISH

         FURNITURE, Used, good, pub: E. P. Dutton New

         York, 1961, 192pp., 64 pages of photo +

         illus., From Tudor to early Victorian. .$7.00

         CAT No. 2893

 

 

From: odlin at reed.edu (Iain Odlin)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: "Constructing Medieval Furniture"

Date: 11 Feb 1997 09:12:23 GMT

 

  I purchased a copy of the new book (much touted by one seller here on

  the Rialto) "Constructing Medieval Furniture" by Daniel Diehl a few weeks

  ago in the hope that it would be the answer to my medieval furniture

  prayers.  To some degree, it was; the pieces depicted (and -- more im-

  portantly -- measured!) are mostly originals, and the "How to build it"

  instructions are sufficient to the purpose.

 

  But I am saddened by the apparent lack of scholarship that went into this

  book's creation.  I quote the fifth paragraph of the Introduction:  "Though

  there is an endless flood of books on various aspects of life in the

  Middle Ages, there has not, to my knowledge, been anything written on the

  most visible surviving remnants of domestic life of the period -- household

  furniture."  When I read this passage, my hopes -- and with them, my ex-

  pectations -- withered, for there on a bookshelf not four feet away from

  me sat Mercer's "Furniture 700 - 1700", Thornton's "The Italian Renaissance

  Interior" (which, despite its title, has much to offer on Medieval

  furnishings as well), Jenning's "Early Chests in Wood and Iron", photocopies

  from the magnificent "Oak Furniture" bu Victor Chinnery, and a few

  museum catalogs (most notably, the Cluny's), every one of them a testament

  to a lack of basic research for the book in my hands.

 

  Predictably enough, the book has no Bibliography and none of its few

  'historical notes' are referenced in any way.  The construction notes are

  complete enough to be useful, but the book as a whole is extremely short

  on detail of any kind (most of the historical information is presented as

  a quick sentence or two in the form: "This is an <X>, which was used thus

  and made of this.  The <X>'s [condition/usage] probably indicates <Y>.")

  and is very threadbare, making it an amazingly quick read.

 

  As a pattern book, "Constructing Medieval Furniture" does very well, but

  in all other ways, it -- unfortunately -- falls far short of the mark.

 

  -Iain Odlin, odlin at reed.edu

 

 

From: powers at colon.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: "Constructing Medieval Furniture"

Date: 11 Feb 1997 10:32:07 -0500

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

  "Constructing Medieval Furniture" by Daniel Diehl

 

I too purchased this book due to its mention on the Rialto.  I got what I

pretty much expected---not what was claimed.  This is a nice book on a very

general level written for a wide audience.  As such it will fairly painlessly

walk you through the construction of several pieces of furniture dated, (and

documented) to the medieval period.  (though not to the early medieval period:

as dated in their pictures 1 13th cent, 6 14th cent, 6 15th cent and 2 16th

cent and the wall hanging.).

 

As such I was pleased that the projects covered a range of items--including

a wall hanging, chairs, chests, a bed, a window frame, a door, a metal

candle stand, etc (16 projects). I would have liked to see more discussion

on medieval joinery techniques--but this is a bit much to ask for a general

issue work.

 

As a smith I was both pleased and dismayed by the metalwork in this book.

Pleased that many of the pieces included the metalwork that is found on so

many of the original pieces. Dismayed at how it was handled.  It seemed to me

that the metalworking part was being written by a woodworker---and so missed

some of the subtleties.  He does cover working the bars to hide their modern

looks; however one of the "hallmarks" of hand forged hardware is that is

changes it cross section in a continuous "plastic" manner.  Hardware made

from strap stock will look "clunky" and contrived compared to the originals.

Also people are expected to have access to a welding torch; but not a forge

even though a torch is an expensive piece of equipment and a forge can be made

for under US$5.....(why they want to do it a hard expensive way that results

in something that doesn't look right rather than an easy cheap period way.....)

 

The thing that bothered me the most was the broad claim that "The process of

aging and curing wood was unknown"  Where the *HECK* did he get this from?

Theophilus circa 1120 mentions that for making a wind chest you should "get

yourself two planks of well dried plane tree wood" sure looks like he knew

that when dimensional stability was required that you should use aged wood.

Heat curing may not have been used but aging was known.

 

So: Would I advise people to purchase it?  Yes, especially if you want to make

some furniture and are not well versed in the craft; but I would not advise you

to go sell your plasma to get it...like almost any source; parts

should be taken with a grain of salt.  

 

For another view on medieval furniture projects--(unfortunately done using

modern techniques):

 

Masterpieces, Richard Ball & Peter Campbell, subtitle: Making Furniture From

Paintings, 20 projects: ISBN 0-688-02488-2, Hearst Books, New York

copyright 1983

 

Thomas who reads things for wilelm the smith

 

 

From: powers at woodstock.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Making Portable SCA Furniture

Date: 12 Aug 1997 10:27:33 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

While I was hanging around on the bridge; grousing that I hadn't got

a chance to travel to the great Pennsic fair this year and hoping that

this nasty cough wasn't consumption---or the plague----I heard Aeron

comment:

 

>If it's the book I have (which I'm pretty sure it is) be wary of certain

>things the author says. He seems to be a metal smith who has to throw in

>some wood working techniques that he knows little about. I can't remember

>the details, but if anyone's wanting examples, I'll try to supply them

>later.

>Aeron Harper

 

ARGHHHH a thousand times ARGHHHH.  It was the *metalworking* that I as a

smith had problems with!  It read just like a woodworker's approach to

metal and not like a smith's at all!  The use of artificially distressed

constant sized straps is a dead give away.  The true joy in doing smithing

is that each piece can change its thickness and width in all directions of

the piece.  Using constant sized strapping doesn't look right.

 

The author may be a welder though, they tend to treat metal demensions as a

"given" to be removed or added to but not shifted around in a plastic

manner---just look at the iron candle stand in the picture with its long

smooth tapered shaft and look at his instructions to weld a bigger piece

on top of the smaller and fill in the fillet!

 

And BTW I have worked in a custom woodshop for several years supporting my

family so I do have a feeling for wood as well.

 

Good Aeron; Have you ever looked through  this book?

 

Masterpieces, Richard Ball & Peter Campbell, subtitle: Making Furniture From

Paintings, 20 projects: ISBN 0-688-02488-2, Hearst Books, New York

copyright 1983

 

about 1/2 of the projects are from our period;  the documentation is good.

the plans, cutting list, order of wook are too. The only problem with it

is the use of modern techniques----like a glue-up rather than the simpler

and more period method of steam bending.  With this caveat its a great

book, look it up if you get the chance.  (some of the projects are: a

simple bench, the miser's chest, a nice trestle table, a bed several

chairs, a stool, a book stand, ?)

 

 

From: powers at colon.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: steam bending (was Re: Making Portable SCA Furniture)

Date: 12 Aug 1997 19:00:21 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

>I had a couple of questions on steam bending...

>

>For smallish projects (such as in this book) how much room does a steam

>box (?) take up?  What is a good source for information on how to

>construct such a thing?

 

The steam box will probably be 4-6" square and 6' long---it can be made

from wood, plywood, pvc pipe, thinwall metal pipe.  since it is never

under pressure and doesn't exceed 212 degree F all it has to do is

hold the piece of wood and allow steam to circulate.  When not in use

you can stand it in a corner or up in the rafters.

 

The Woodwrights series covers steaming.  There was an extensive article in

Fine Woodworking magazine back in the '70s which is sure to be in

reprint in one of their compilations.  The US Department of Agriculture

Wood Handbook has a section on steambending.  Many traditional woodworking

books will cover it.  Look under "bending" and "steam bending" in the index.

(I prefer the Fine Woodworking article myself)

 

>When did it start being used (in England and Northern Europe)?

 

I don't know.  My sources are basically to look at a piece of furniture

and see if it was constructed using bent rather than hewn or sawn wood.

Not as hard as you may think in person by following the grain, in pictures

it is a guess based on construction and design details---you usually

design for the techniques you are familiar with.  Note Oak is one of the

better steam bending woods with beech close behind---both well represented

in nothern Europe/england.  One might also check when barrels were

constructed with heat bent staves.

 

>My understanding is that Henry the VIII's fleet was made using

>steam boxes, but I am told that the Viking ships were not, each

>plank being hewn to shape.  Any thoughts or knowledge out there

>about either of these alledged facts?

 

Not my area of research.

 

>Thanks for any information you can give me.

>Robert

 

>Real Men change diapers

Been there, done that, ruined several shirts....

 

wilelm the smith who works wood as an adjunct to smithing and as a means

of providing objects for a more period existance.

 

a couple of other books:

"Period Furniture Design" Charles H. Hayward, Sterling Publishing Co

isbn 0-8069-7664-0    "oak stool late 15th; oak chest, oak drawtable

early 16th, oak chest 1600, oak bed end first 1/2 16th; all are just

measured drawings with all the work left to the craftsman.

 

"Encyclopedia of Spanish Period Furniture Designs" Jose' Claret Rubira

Sterling Publishing co, isbn 0-8069-7902-X   67 pages covers 14th century

to late 16th early 17th century mainly chests and chairs. Very nice drawings

but no indication of scale.  Many highly ornate with blow-up drawings of

the ornamentation.  270 more pages covering from the 17th through the

19th centuries.

 

 

From: Tom Rettie <tom at nospamformeplease.his.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Making Portable SCA Furniture

Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 08:51:35 -0700

Organization: Heller Information Services, Inc.

 

Aeron Harper wrote:

> If it's the book I have (which I'm pretty sure it is) be wary of certain

> things the author says. He seems to be a metal smith who has to throw in

> some wood working techniques that he knows little about. I can't remember

> the details, but if anyone's wanting examples, I'll try to supply them

> later.

 

I assume that folks are referring to Dan Diehl's book on medieval

furniture.  I picked up this book with hope that someone had finally put

out a volume on period construction techniques, but unfortunately it

turned out to be very much lacking.  For what it is, sort of an idea

book for modern woodworkers based on existing artifacts, it's a fine

book.  But the research is thin, nothing is sourced other than the

artifacts themselves, and the techniques are mostly modern.

 

For example:

 

His explanation of how to peg mortise and tenon joints is thoroughly

modern.  He dismisses drawboring (a term he doesn't use) as unnecessary

and relating only to working in green wood (nonsense).  He doesn't say

anything about making pegs (store-bought dowels aren't medieval).

 

His statement that curing wood was "unknown" to medieval carpenters is

bunk.  Try making a barrel with green wood.  

 

He mentions in passing some period techniques, but then in the

construction notes advises sanding, using screws, and other modern

techniques.

 

His advice for joining up two boards is to go the lumber yard and get

them to do it for you.  Even if you're not up to the challenge of

edge-gluing, there are other period alternatives (such as using battens,

at least for chest/table tops) that will produce a much more authentic

appearance.

 

Please excuse me if I seem to be nitpicking.  For a general audience,

I'm sure that his level of instruction is adequate; I had just been

hoping for something more for the recreationist.  

 

Finnlaech mac Alasdair

 

 

From: Kel Rekuta <krekuta at tor.hookup.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: portable furniture

Date: Fri, 22 Aug 1997 20:56:52 -0700

Organization: Kilmallen Consulting

 

~Parador Moon~ wrote:

>    I am looking for sources/ideas for tables that would be used around

> the 1500's at fairs, tournies, etc.  I have references for tables

> people had in their homes.  I am more interested in what people used

> when they traveled, especially to fairs or tournaments.

>    Were they collapsable?  How?  Or did they just lug their normal

> tables around?

>

> Arabella

 

Trestle tables are quite portable unless the construction is very heavy.

The top can be a row of planks which are quite portable as well. They

stack up very nicely in a wagon or on the side walls. I think you will

find stylistic examples of trestle tables for that period in Eric

Mercer, Medieval Furniture 700-1700. Many libraries have it. Any table

with pegged tenon construction will work fine. You could even make it

out of "plywood" for simplicity of construction. But then why bother

making it period?

 

Ceallach

 

 

From: powers at woodstock.cis.ohio-state.edu (william thomas powers)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: portable furniture

Date: 22 Aug 1997 22:14:00 -0400

Organization: The Ohio State University, Department of Computer and Information Science

 

>   I am looking for sources/ideas for tables that would be used around

>the 1500's at fairs, tournies, etc.  I have references for tables

>people had in their homes.  I am more interested in what people used

>when they traveled, especially to fairs or tournaments.

>   Were they collapsable?  How?  Or did they just lug their normal

>tables around?

>Arabella

 

Well I can't address what was travelled with; but "Masterpieces"

Making Furniture from Paintings, Richard Ball and Peter Campbell,

isbn 0-688-02488-2; has a table that could be made to break down

easily (and my guess was that the original depicted in the painting

was built to come apart for travel/storage.)

 

The painting it is based on is "Christ in the house of Simon",

by Dirk Bouts 1415-1475---he lived in the low countries

So it may be applicable for your use.

 

wilelm the smith

 

 

From: Anne Price / Aine vearch Donnaauldus <sybella at gte.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: portable furniture

Date: 23 Aug 1997 05:41:32 GMT

Organization: MT Design

 

Kel Rekuta wrote:

> ~Parador Moon~ wrote:

> >

> >    I am looking for sources/ideas for tables that would be used around

> > the 1500's at fairs, tournies, etc.  I have references for tables

> > people had in their homes.  I am more interested in what people used

> > when they traveled, especially to fairs or tournaments.

> >    Were they collapsable?  How?  Or did they just lug their normal

> > tables around?

> >

> > Arabella

> >

>

> Trestle tables are quite portable unless the construction is very heavy.

> The top can be a row of planks which are quite portable as well. They

> stack up very nicely in a wagon or on the side walls. I think you will

> find stylistic examples of trestle tables for that period in Eric

> Mercer, Medieval Furniture 700-1700. Many libraries have it. Any table

> with pegged tenon construction will work fine. You could even make it

> out of "plywood" for simplicity of construction. But then why bother

> making it period?

>

> Ceallach

 

One of the books in the Buckskining series [tandy carries them] has a

whole section on portable furniture.  Anther has the instructions for

making trunks.  Also while they are aimed at a period of time past what

we play in, many of the clothing, and furniture tiems are quite good for SCA,

they even have patterns.

 

Ihave a portable food box that uses rawhide as part of the back to make

it lighter, I waterproofed the rawhide after nailing on, painting to my

liking.

 

aine

 

 

From: rsrchins <rsrchins at cts.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Viking rowing benches

Date: Wed, 27 Aug 1997 15:49:26 -0700

 

Someone asked about folding furniture a few months ago, and I suggested

that if you could carry your stuff in our furniture, it woudn't have to

be foldable. The example I mentioned was the Viking rowing bench. I got

several request for more info, so here it is.

 

Below is a rough drawing of a such a bench. Since it had to be drawn

with ASCII characters, it is not to scale, and the slope of the

end-pieces is more extreme than on the ones we make in Drafn. Pictures

of rowing benches can be found in Tre Tyckari's book The Vikings. One of

the examples in the book appears to be about 2' long, another appears to

be about 4'.

 

The end pieces are typically made from 1" X 11" boards. The tops are

typically 1" X 13" assemblies made by gluing/pegging contrastingly

colored 1" X 1" strips to both sides of a 1" X 11". If the sides are

less than 3/8" thick, you will need to reinforce them with stringers.

The thickness of the bottom should be proportional to the weight you

think your retainers can lift.

 

Make the legs long enough to keep your booty dry when waves wash over

the decks of your longship (or to slide your shield under it when

packing your Suburban.)

 

Quick 'n dirty rowing benches can be nailed (and glued) or screwed (and

glued), but the really nice ones are made with slots and tabs

(impossible to show here) and then pegged (and usually glued to boot).

 

Depending on how you hang the hinges, you may want to put a chain from

the lid to an end-piece to keep the weight of the lid from bending the

hinges back when left open. A hasp is a good idea if you are going to

keep valuables in your rowing bench.

 

If you get the Tryckari book, look at the little chair that was found in

Queen Asa's grave ship. They are more work, but they dress up a camp

site very nicely. I made a large version of one which doubles as an

armor box.

 

Tryggvi Halftrollsson (Caid, Calafia, Drafn)

 

 

 

 

      |<--AS LONG AS YOU WANT-->|

      __________/   /____________       ______

__===|         \   \           |===__     |

|     |         TOP             |     |  ABOUT 11"

|     |         VIEW            |     |    |

|__   |         /   /           |   __|    |

   ===|_________\   \___________|===    ______

 

 

      _________\   \___________         _____________ ______

      ---^-----/   /-------^---         -------------     |

      /  ^     \   \       ^  \<A>       ||       ||     |

     /       SIDE/FRONT        \         ||  END   || ABOUT 17"

    /           VIEW            \        ||  VIEW  ||     |

   /           /   /             \       ||        ||     |

  /            \   \              \      ||        ||     |

/=============/   /==============\\      |        |     |

//<-----Leg, part of end-piece     \\     |________|   _______

 

 

  Legend:

  <A> = ABOUT 7 DEGREE ANGLE FROM VERTICAL

   // = break in drawing

    ^ = HINGE

    ^

 

 

Subject: Check out Barley Hall in Particular - Medieval Furniture ca 1483

Date: Sat, 27 Dec 97 19:51:15 MST

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: "Windmasters' Hill Baronial List - The Keep" <windmasters at trinet.com>

 

http://www.missouri.edu/~mrswww/spaces/

 

This one is for all you furniture freaks out there.

Missouri University Medieval Reenactment Society - partially SCA.

 

Barley Hall is a cooperating project with Jorvik Viking Center.

 

 

Subject: Gothic Table and Glastonbury Chair Plans

Date: Thu, 19 Feb 1998 20:37:04 -0500

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

Organization: Windmaster's Hill, Atlantia, and the GDH

To: Merryrose <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

 

Subject: Gothic Table Plans in March 1988 Popular Woodworking

 

In Sept. 1997 these people printed plans for the Glastonbury Chair.

That magazine is still available for $4.50 by calling (513) 531-2690

extension 320, ask for issue #98. As I recall that same issue had a

companion article on an Arts and Crafts table that also looked very

medieval. I have seen similar in medieval blockprints. Two for one.

 

The March 1998 issue (#101) of Popular Woodworking features a plan for

a small Gothic table with a bookshelf underneath. 42"L x 20"W x 29

7/8"H,

or roughly the height of a regular dining table. With the shelf

underneath it wouldn't be really comfortable to sit with your legs

under, but if the horizontal bookshelf were turned vertically you would

have 9 1/2" in front of your shins and it might make a nice little

table for the list field, beside chairs, or for one to eat at. A

nice tent size. The magazine is $4 & tax at the newstand or call and

order.

 

They are also interested to learn if their readers are interested in

more medieval style projects. Popwood at earthlink.net, specify P9 in

the March 1998 issue to let them know this. The editor is Steve Shanesy.

 

Magnus Malleus, Windmasters Hill, Atlantia, and the GDH

 

 

From: getridofthis_levey at netcom.com (Don Levey)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Building Medieval Furniture ?

Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 18:31:27 GMT

Organization: WorldWide Access - Midwestern Internet Services - www.wwa.com

 

On 26 Mar 98 09:31:11 -0500, claude at nickel.laurentian.ca wrote:

>   I am a medieval enthousiast, as many of you are, and I wish to build

>medieval furniture to add to my slowly increasing collection of period

>items. I have ordered a book called "Constructing Medieval Furniture" but

>have yet to receive it. You know how snail mail works.

>

>   What I would like to know is if there are web sites out there that have

>plans for medieval furniture ?

>

>   Claude.

 

For a start, try:

http://www.deltawoodworking.com/delta/projects/Project53.html

for a small 15th century stool.

 

-Don

 

 

From: "Daniel Hill" <danhill at sprint.ca>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Building Medieval Furniture ?

Date: 30 Mar 1998 03:02:33 GMT

 

I have a site that speaks of furniture of the 14th century. However I have

not included plans as medieval furniture followed no such thing. Basically

what was needed was made to suit. There was no standardization as we have

today. The 14th century saw a change from lap joints to tongue and groove

joinery. The 12th century had turned furniture as this was in fashion then.

All I may say is find the exact period you wish, and make your furniture to

fit your size. This allows a hutch to be from one foot six inches long to

four feet long. Whatever you need. :-) Most web pages would not show the

diversity of items due to server space. Hitting the books in the local

University library is still the best way I am afraid.

With your leave to sign myself,

Daniel

MY HOME PAGE = http://www.bestware.net/wendysweb/home/dan/homepage.htm

14th CENTURY PAGE = http://www.bestware.net/wendysweb/research/14cent.htm

 

 

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 14:25:47 -0700 (PDT)

From: Sandy King <sandymail1 at yahoo.com>

To: SCA-ARTS at UKANS.EDU

Subject: Things you can do with oak lumber

 

Check out the plans for 12th Century furniture (!) at:

www.shopalberta.com/buildit/

 

Everything from simple tables/chairs/benches to very elaborate beds,

thrones, etc.  Great site!

 

Cassy of Wolf's Rock

 

 

From: Brian Ernsten <jackyl at inconnect.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Home Sweet Home...

Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 02:42:37 -0600

 

blakwode wrote:

> My husband is interested in making period wooden furniture for our

> pavilion. Could someone guide me to patterns and/or instructions for

> tables, beds, etc?

 

http://www.teleport.com/~tguptill/furniture.htm

This address will give you info for making many types of furniture,

tents, and other camping gear.

 

Moira - in the Barony of Lach Salaan

 

 

Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 12:00:21 -0400

From: Karen at stierbach.atlantia.sca.org (Larsdatter, Karen )

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Furniture construction websites

 

You might also want to check

http://moas.atlantia.sca.org/topics/wood.htm for some

woodworking, carpentry, and furniture construction websites ...

please send me an e-mail if there are some websites which ought

to be added to the page :)

 

Karen Larsdatter

 

 

Date: Sun, 11 Oct 1998 18:33:46 -0400

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: medieval furniture

 

Carol Thomas wrote:

> >I've thought about buying that book myself.  Does anyone have

   any coments on this book?  Is it worth the money?

 

I think Daniel Diehl's Medieval Furniture book is good in some

aspects, impractical in others. If you don't know much about how

furniture was made it is a good book and the only one available at

the present. Is it worth the money? Considering the lack of other

easily available information on the subject - a definite yes.

 

On the other hand some of the projects are so huge that they are

impractical to consider for normal SCA (or average house) use.

They are simply too large and too heavy to transport. Some are

nice, some are more difficult than others. Generally you have to

use a lot of forethought and common sense if you don't have a lot

of experience. Keep in mind that the SCA is a very mobile culture.

But almost all big things are made the same way - one piece at a

time. Concentrate on doing each one well and generally the whole

will reflect the care spent on the sum of the pieces.

 

It does have its good aspects. At least it concentrates on one period

as opposed to having to go through a great many books to find period

material in scant quantity.

 

There is another book called Medieval Furniture by Penelope Eames

that went out of print about 20 years ago. It concentrated on England,

France and the Netherlands.

 

Personally, I like going through art books and looking at paintings,

illuminations, and sculpture in various materials to learn about the

furnishings of previous times. You can read about the details in a

few books but see better examples in art, even on cathedrals or tombs.

The early plantagenets for example rest in effigy on beds for tombs.

Many beds are found on religious carvings usually above portals. So

are thrones, scribes chairs and desks.

 

Generally, you will find that during the middle ages most furniture

in early periods was made in Italy, and little else survived intact.

What did survive is mostly in churches, monasteries, or immobile.

Mobilier (or similar) is the word for furniture in some languages,

just because it could be carried from place to place.

 

Check out Italian Renaissance Interiors, it is not too far out of print.

It is pretty much definitive in English on that period.

 

Look at paintings from the Low Countries like Flanders or the

Netherlands. You won't find much medieval furniture predating the

Tudor era from England. I have a picture of an etching showing

two men shoveling chairs and stools with wooden shovels. It looks

like it was a design to arc over a door and shows mostly turned items.

Northern Renaissance Painting is a good example of a book to look in.

 

Life in Holland in the Year 1566 by Poorvliet shows the construction

of some furniture.

 

Also check out Sella Curalis, (or X framed chairs from Roman through

medieval times).

 

Before I disabled I was a furniture shop foreman and cabinetmaker for

quite a while. I've probably built about the same amount as Diehl.

Would still be doing it if it weren't for the fibromyalgia. Right

now I'm not quite up to chasing down all the references / sources

but there are a few to start.

 

Magnus

 

 

Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 02:08:26 -0700

From: "Brandy Dickson" <query at mindless.com>

To: <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Re: medieval furniture

 

A site called Ravenspeak has some drawings of Viking chests that are easily

transportable.... I don't know if they are their own patterns, or if they

are modified other ones, but check them out....

 

http://members.home.net/mikhail/index.html

 

Desamona

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 19:15:19 -0400 (EDT)

From: Tom Rettie <tom at his.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: medieval furniture

 

>I've thought about buying that book myself.  Does anyone have any coments on

>this book?  Is it worth the money?

 

The worth of this book depends a lot on what you want to do with it.  If

you're a modern woodworker and want to produce a replica using modern

methods, this book will give you some useful information (e.g., measured

drawings).  If you're interested in medieval woodworking techniques and

producing something closer to an "artifact," approach this book with much

caution.  The opening chapter is laced with misinformation (e.g., that

curing wood was "unknown" in the middle ages) and the techniques for

joining are mostly modern (e.g., he does not drawbore his pegged joints).

For general techniques, Roy Underhill's "Woodwright" series is probably the

most accessible and commonly available.  His speciality is later than SCA

period, but he does have references to earlier periods and many of the hand

tool techniques changed little.

 

Fin

 

 

Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 19:12:01 -0500

From: Tom Rettie <tom at his.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Portable Medieval Furniture

 

The most respectable Timothy Albrecht Van Vlear wrote:

>I'm looking for sources and info on Medieval Furniture that doesn't

>require a moving van and a team of movers to get it from one event to

>another.

>

>Does anyone have any inforamtion on period pieces that can be knocked

>down for travel?  I am tired of looking at slip covered directors

>chairs! :)

 

You'll find several projects in Roy Underhill's Woodwright series that can

be adapted for SCA use.  Though his timeframe is post-period, several of

his projects are either "close enough" or can be modified for use at events.

 

The Woodwright's Shop: his instructions for a shaving horse can be easily

modified for splay-leg benches.

 

The Woodwright's Workbook: a 6 board chest with interior till.  Dimensions

can be adjusted for a more practical feast chest.  Also information on

hand-powered lathes.

 

The Woodwright's Eclectic Workshop: folding X-chairs.

 

The Woodwright's Apprentice: A very usable sawbuck trestle table, knocks

down flat.  Also a panel chest with through-tenons in the Irish/Spanish

fashion.

 

Fin

 

 

Subject: Re: medieval furniture

Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 11:39:50 -0500

From: Tom Rettie <tom at his.com>

To: stefan at texas.net

 

What follows is a list of books that I have found helpful in researching

period furniture and woodworking.  Many of these books are out of print,

but an inquiry at your local library can often retrieve a copy through

inter-library loan.  Many are also available through used booksellers.  I

found my copy of Eric Mercer's book through Amazon.com, though it took a

few weeks.  I'm still seeking a copy of Penelope Eames book.  Fortunately,

I'm in the DC area and can visit the Library of Congress; no check-outs,

but I can photocopy.

 

For general instruction in the use of hand tools, Roy Underhill's

Woodwright series of books is a good place to start, along with his PBS TV

series. It's a bit hokey in places, but the basic skills are all there.

 

Findlaech mac Alasdair

Late of the Barony of Ponte Alto in the Kingdom of Atlantia.

==============================================

 

About Wood:

 

Rykwert, Joseph; Leach, Neil; and Tavernor, Robert, translators; Leon

Battista Alberti On the Art of Building in Ten Books. The MIT Press,

Cambridge, MA, 1996. Includes a rare period discussion on different types

of wood and their uses, including methods of seasoning and preserving. In

Print.

 

About Period Tools:

 

Arwidsson, Greta, The Mastermyr Find: A Viking Age Tool Chest from Gotland.

Kungl. Vitterhets Historie Och Antikvitets Akademien, Almquist & Wiksell Intl.,

Stockholm, Sweden, 1983.  Discusses Viking age woodworking and

metal-working tools, woodworking techniques, and material culture. Out of

Print.

 

Goodman, W.L., The History of Woodworking Tools.  David McKay & Company,

Inc., New York, 1964.  A general overview of various woodworking tools,

including the Middle Ages. Out of Print.

 

Mercer, Henry C., Ancient Carpenters' Tools. Bucks County Historical Society,

Doylestown, PA, 1960.  A general overview of carpenters tools, focusing on 18th

and 19th century American tools, but with occasional references to medieval

and earlier periods. Out of Print.

 

About Woodworking and Technology:

 

Friel, Ian, The Good Ship: Ships, Shipbuilding, and Technology in England,

1200-1520. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, 1995.

Discusses tools, materials, and techniques used in medieval ship

construction. I Print.

 

Underhill, Roy, The Woodwright's Work Book. The University of North

Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 1986. Includes an annotated version of The

Debate of the Carpenter's Tools, a 15th century manuscript that includes

references to a variety of woodworking tools.  In Print.

 

Bealer, Alex W.  Old Ways of Working Wood.  Castle Books, Edison, NJ, 1980.

A general overview of using hand tools.  Historical notes are largely

undocumented and should not be regarded as authoritative. In Print.

 

Taylor, V.J., Period Furniture Projects. David and Charles, 1994.  Includes

only two late period projects: a panel chest and a cupboard, but others

(such as the rope bed) can be adapted.  Includes notes about period

joinery, glue, and finishes.  In Print.

 

About Period Furniture:

 

Mercer, Eric.  Furniture, 700-1700 (A social history of the decorative

arts).  Meridith Press, New York, NY, 1969.  Profusely illustated with

surviving artifacts and period illustrations.  Mercer's commentary can be

opinionated and sometimes is not well substantiated.  Out of Print.

 

Gloag, John.  A Social History of Furniture Design from BC 1300 to AD 1960.

Bonanza Books, New York, 1966.  Well illustrated with artifacts and period

illustrations throughout the medieval and rennaisance periods.  Interesting

commentary on construction, but unsubstantiated.  Out of Print.

 

Tracey, Charles.  English Medieval Furniture and Woodwork. Victoria and

Albert Museum, London, 1988.  Catalog entries for V&A medieval wood

artifacts.  Mostly covers carved panels, decorative pieces, does include

some furniture including chests, tables, and benches.  In Print.

 

Hayward, Helena.  World Furniture.  The Hamlyn Publishing Group, London,

1965.  Well illustrated and commented on the development of furniture

throughout the middle ages and after.  Includes regional differences.

 

Eames, Penelope.  Furniture in England, France, and the Netherlands from

the 12th to the 15th Century.  1977.  An often cited reference, hard to

find.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Tom Rettie                                         tom at his.com

Heather Bryden                                 bryden at hers.com

--------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 02:45:06 -0400

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: "INTERNET:stefan at texas.net" <stefan at texas.net>

Cc: LIST SCA arts <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Furniture book list

 

English Church woodwork & furniture 1250-1500 F E Howard & F H Crossley

Ancient Church chests and Chairs in the home counties around greater London

    Fred Roe

Old English furniture: the oak period 1550-1630 J T Garside

English renaissance woodwork 1660-1730 T J Beveridge

English furniture & decoration 1680-1800 G Montague Ellwood

Old english furniture for the small collector(medieval-victorian) J P Blake

& A E Reveirs-Hopkins

Decoration & furniture in England during the early renaissance 1500-1660

   M Jourdain

Furniture in England from 1660-1760 F Lengyon

 

Mel

 

 

From: Esther Heller <munged_name at kodak.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Making green-wood furniture - resources?

Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 11:15:12 -0500

Organization: Eastman Kodak Company

 

hallh at evangel.edu wrote:

> From what I have read, much early medieval furniture was made of "green"

> wood. I would like to try this, but I know it requires different techniques

> because of the way the wood shrinks as it dries. Anyone know of a resource

> to guide me in the technical aspects?

 

There are a couple of possibilities.  John Alexander "Make a chair from

a tree" goes into an interlocking joint for which the tooling

(spoon bits) is certainly period, but I am dubious about the style.

Michael Dunbar "Make a windsor chair with Michael Dunbar" (only 100-150

years OOP!) has an extensive discussion in his book about a wet and

dry interlocking joint that he has since repudiated, so don't take

that as gospel.  For what is probably very close to period technique

check out Roy Underhill on PBS and with I think 5 books in print.

Roy is using the same axes and drawknives that you can see in the

Viking age Mastermyr find....  And sticks with wooden planes whose

major OOP feature seems to be cap irons in some cases.

 

I am really curious the sources for the conclusion that a lot of

furniture was made green.  Dielh in his medieval furniture book

makes the statement, but doesn't back it up, and as a woodworker

I don't particularly buy it as a universal statement, especially

since Ceninni and I think even Theophilus talk about using seasoned

wood. (books at home and I am at work)

 

Where I think it does come up is certain techniques are easier with

green wood, but the parts _when used_ can be dry.  Turning with

split not sawn green wood is a lot easier than with seasoned,

especially with a pole lathe, the the parts made are spindles that

dry quickly.  Smaller things like the spindles for windsor chairs

are done with a drawknife and spokeshave but then dried before

you use them.  Splitting wood by hand tends to produce either

small cross section (spindles) or wedges of the original cross

section of a tree (equivalent of quartersawn), and both of those

happen to shrink comparatively little while drying.

 

I am really serious about wanting to see the documentation.  There

are post period pieces that have known construction problems

like cross grain attached to lengthwise grain that will have

problems in a modern North American house because the cross grain

changes with humidity and the lengthwise doesn't.  There are many

people into 18th century antiques who see this as a problem with

the house where the humidity fluctuates more due to central heating,

not as a problem with the furniture.  Exactly the same contruction

is in the earlier chests I have seen...Mastermyr being exhibit A.

 

If you are interested in making documentable early furniture,

email me.  I am trying to figure out if I can teach what I

know about handtool woodworking technique through a web page

and would love to have somebody try it!  Note that the automatic

reply is munged for Usenet.

 

Esther Heller eoh at kodak dot com

 

 

[Submitted by: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>]

Subject: Re: Chairs

Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 21:26:11 -0500

From: Peter Adams <redduke at earthlink.net>

To: atlantia at atlantia.sca.org

 

JBRMM266 at aol.com wrote:

> Has anyone any information on what is commonly known as the Glastonbury chair?

> I have seen inllustrations, but all attempts to reverse-engineer it from those

> has been  .... well, less than a success.

>

> ~Donal

 

You will find the construction notes for a version of the Glastonbury

chair starting p151 in Daniel Diehls book _Constructing Medieval

Furniture_ currently available from the SCA stock clerk for about $20.

It is a good start, though despite his claims I still have some

questions about construction techniques used, especially the nails into

endgrain.

 

        If you want some SCA furniture based on period design without doing

laurel level research, this is your best commercially available

resource.

 

        For more advanced students, I reccommend the following texts (among

many others, and in no particular order of merit)

 

_Master Pieces, Making Furniture from Paintings_  There are several nice

medieval pieces in this book, though they are interpreted by modern

cabinet makers.  The patterns are generally larger in scope and tougher

than Diehl.

 

_Sella Curulis_ (chair of state) Ole Wanscher (no trans. attributed); As

far as I know the definitive discussion on the x  and s chair through

history.

 

_Furniture in England, France and the Netherlands from the 12th to the

15th Century_ Penolpe Eames  Furniture History Society London 1977; a

survey of most surviving medieval furniture, many museum pieces

deliberately left aside from doubtful provenance. Includes many death

inventories, offers commentary on social significance of furniture types

 

_History of English Furniture Vol 1 the Age of Oak, 1500-1660_ Percy

MacQuoid  Dover  Publications Inc NY 1972; A reprint of a 1904 work,

much of which has been updated in other sources, but some good photos

 

_Oak Furniture, the British Tradition_ Victor Chinnery 1979, Antique

Collectors Club Ltd, Woodbridge Suffolk, IP 12 1DS; a massive tome on

the subject profusely and exelently illustrated.

 

_English Medieval Furniture and Woodwork_  Charles Tracy, Victoria and

Albert Museum 1988; Highlights the best of The V and A collection.

 

For Medieval woodwork I reccomend the following,

 

_Woodwrights' (fill in the blank)_ Roy Underhill. Traditional hand

woodworking, primarily dealing with Colonial projects, but many of the

technologies are appropriate for medieval use.  Underhill is concise and

precise about what and why the tool is doing what it does.

 

_Mechanic Excercises_ Joseph Moxon Astragal Press (on loan sorry no

isbn)  Reprint of the 1703 "how to" book, touted as the first ever of

the genre in the english language.  Smithing, masonry, turning, joinery

and house carpentry.  A must have for any student of medieval

technology.

 

_Woodworking Techniques befor AD 1500_ Sean McGrail et Al. BAR

International Series 129, 1982;  The state of academic knowledge of all

types of woodworking from the prehistoric to the Medieval, another must

have for its citations on turning, materials, and techniques.

 

_History of Woodworking Tools_ W L Goodman, David McKay Company Inc.

1964;  This work dates relatively accurately the time periods for the

use of specific hand tools, and is an excellent source for documentation

of technique.  It helps to place information from other sources in

context as well as being a good general history of the developement of

tool use in western society from Egyptian times to the present.

 

Badouin

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 19:35:35 -0500

From: Tom Rettie <tom at his.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Furniture: To paint or not to paint?

 

>Could any of the wise and well read gentles on this list tell me if

>wooden furniture was commonly painted during the sixteenth century in

>any part of Western Europe?  I do not mean ornamentaly but over-all.

>

>Any citations would also be deeply apreciated.

 

Good my Lord Ruaidhri,

 

Mostly I am familiar with English furniture, and by the end of the 16th

century there appears to have been a move away from painted furniture.

It's very hard to make absolute statements, because there are exceedingly

few examples of surviving original finishes.  There are numerous citations

of painted furniture in inventories and wills, with red and green

apparently very popular.

 

For many household pieces, fabric was the dominant form of decoration;

beds, tables, sideboards, etc. were draped in fabric or covered with

"turkeywork" rugs.  When Bess of Hardwick rebuilt Hardwick Hall at the end

of the century, the cost of the textiles (wall hangings, rugs, etc.)

exceeded the cost of the house itself.

 

There is a theory, unsubstantiated as far as I know, that earlier medieval

furniture was repainted annually (the basis for "spring cleaning") due to

the sooty conditions of pre-chimney architecture.  If true, it is likely

that it was painted "all over."  I have not found any period references to

this practice.

 

There is an excellent discussion of 16th and 17th century furniture

decoration in Victor Chinnery's "Oak Furniture, The British Tradition."

This book can be found in many libraries and I know Barnes and Noble stocks

it.

 

Findlaech mac Alasdair

Atlantia

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 21:32:09 +0000

From: "William T. Fleming" <gorp at erols.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Furniture: To paint or not to paint?

 

> Look at the art history and at paintings by artists of your chosen time

> and place.  Many of them included furniture in their indoor scenes.

>

> Hertha

 

Ah yes, I have found some funishings in art work which seems to be

painted. But alas, I am not sure whether it is red or black paint or the

color of a natural wood as the artist chose to depict it.

 

--Ruaidhri

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Jul 1999 22:24:37 -0400 (EDT)

From: Grace Morris <gmorris at cs14.pds.charlotte.nc.us>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Furniture: To paint or not to paint?

 

You might check The Italian Renaissance Interior by Peter Thornton.  If

they did it in Italy, this phenomenal book will certainly tell you.

 

Jessamyn di Piemonte

Atlantia

 

 

Date: Thu, 15 Jul 1999 00:18:14 +0200

From: Anna Jartin <anna.jartin at goteborg.utfors.se>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: SV: Furniture: To paint or not to paint?

 

-----Ursprungligt meddelande-----

Fr=E5n: William T. Fleming <gorp at erols.com>

 

>Could any of the wise and well read gentles on this list tell me if

>wooden furniture was commonly painted during the sixteenth century in

>any part of Western Europe?  I do not mean ornamentaly but over-all.

>

>Any citations would also be deeply apreciated.

>

>-- Lord Ruaidhri an Cu

> (Atlantia)

 

I seem to recall something about wooden furniture in Sweden being painted  during the sixteenth century - often rather brightly. If you like, I'll make an effort to find the source although I'm not quite certain where I've read it.

 

Lady Uta

(Nordmark)

 

 

Date: Fri, 16 Jul 1999 10:14:38 -0700

From: Tim Bray/Catherine Keegan <keegan at ix.netcom.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Furniture: To paint or not to paint?

 

I'm not that wise, nor well-read on the 16th (post-medieval so not as

interesting to me).  Certainly up to the 16th c. I have found no evidence

for the use of paint as anything other than ornamentation. There are

plenty of mid- to late-15th c. paintings depicting furniture, all of which

appears to be wood-colored (unpainted) except for things like cassone which

are decoratively painted.

 

For the 16th century, you might try "The Italian Renaissance Interior" by

Peter Thornton.  It has a section on furniture.  None of the extant 16th c.

pieces I have seen in museums - and there are a lot of them - show any

traces of overall painting.

 

I cannot think of any good reason why furniture would be so painted.  Paint

was, as far as I can ascertain, a purely decorative medium; so why would it

be applied overall, other than ornamentation?

 

Colin

 

 

Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 19:31:57 -0500

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Camp Kitchen Furniture

 

The current Miscellany has an article on doing a period trestle table and

an article on conjecturally period furniture that I think includes our

Pennsic shelves. But I don't think those are in the webbed version, which

is a few editions behind.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Subject: Re: [Northern] furniture patterns

Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 11:04:49 -0800 (PST)

Sender: northern-digest-owner at antir.sca.org

To: northern at antir.sca.org

 

Greetings from Elizabeth Braidwood,

 

On Thu, 4 Nov 1999, Leanne wrote:

> I have a friend who lives in Germany.  He would like to build some medevil

> looking furniture.  Do anyone know of a web site that has patterns for

> medevil furniture?

> Please let me know at my email address - leanne at hasanadesigns.com

> thanks so much

> Mistress Shirin

 

I thought other folks might be interested, so am replying in public.

 

He might try the website archive of Sacred Spaces (newsletter of the

Known World Architectural Guild)

   http://www.teleport.com/~tguptill/tkwag.htm

The Charles Oakley "Spiffing Up Your Campsite" site

   http://www.dnaco.net/~arundel/oakley.html

Replica Viking Table based on Sala Hytta Find

   http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atrium/3696/Viking/viktable.html

   (he also has a stool and a chest)

or there are an assortment of 12th C furniture patterns for sale at

   http://buildit.shopalberta.com/main2.htm

 

And now for a minor plug... all these links came from my bookmark list

of SCA links at

   http://www.kwantlen.bc.ca/~donna/booksca.htm

 

E.B.

 

 

To: MedievalEncampments at onelist.com

Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 10:41:49 -0800

From: John LaTorre <jlatorre at midtown.net>

Subject: [MedievalEncampments] Stool plans

 

I had a collapsible stool at Estrella War that seemed to attract a bit of

attention, and Lady Mira asked me to write up its construction. I've done this,

and the write-up is located on my website at:

 

http://midtown.net/dragonwing/col0003.htm

 

(Yes, it's a commercial site for my tent business, but the commercial content is

easy enough to avoid it if offends you. The URL takes you straight to the stool

plans.)

--

John LaTorre (Johann von Drachenfels)

from the Shire of Betony Wood, Principality of Cynagua, Kingdom of the West

(Sacramento, CA)

 

 

To: MedievalEncampments at onelist.com

Date: Fri, 3 Mar 2000 19:11:20 GMT

From: tom at his.com

Subject: Re: [MedievalEncampments] Stool plans

 

> I had a collapsible stool at Estrella War that seemed to attract a bit of

> attention, and Lady Mira asked me to write up its construction.

 

A nice simple design.  For those with access to a lathe, another variation on a

period stool:

http://www.his.com/tom/sca/turnedstools.html

 

It can double as a basin stand or low table, and turned upside down it can

carry loose items.

 

Tom R.

"Fin"

 

 

To: MedievalEncampments at onelist.com

Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2000 10:28:12 -0500

From: Tom Rettie <tom at his.com>

Subject: Re: [MedievalEncampments] Chair Plans

 

>From: Tanya Guptill <tguptill at teleport.com>

>You've got some great camp furniture on your site!   It's nice to see a

>mix of the simpler plans for beginners, going up to the more elaborate

>ideas.

 

Thanks.  They sort of follow my growth as a woodworker; the simple plank

bench was the first piece of furniture I made for the SCA (I needed a saw

bench).  I moved on to simple boxes before I tackled more elaborate chests

and tables. Now I'm working on a turned chair.

 

It's sort of my crusade that cool, spiff period furniture shouldn't be the

enemy of simple, cheap period furniture.  Even if someday you're going to

get around to making that elaborate carved x-chair, there's no reason that

you can't take a couple of hours and a 2x8 and make a perfectly period

bench.  You can make a simple wooden box in an afternoon or two, and it

sure beats a plastic tub for "medievalishness."  It's my impression from

inventories that even very well-to-do houses had quite a bit of simple

furniture along with the show pieces (and most folks weren't that

well-to-do anyway).

 

>I was excited to see the 'x-chair' you have pictured--it is an exact

>duplicate of an extant chair

>my friend HL Conor O'Droi photographed when he was in Ireland.

>I've ordered the Roy

>Underhill book, "The Woodwright's Eclectic Workshop", to see what

>other interesting things it has in it.

 

I strongly recommend Roy's books for anyone interested in getting started

in period furniture.  While his concentration is 18th and 19th century

woodwork, he does occasionally drift back to medieval topics, and most of

his general techniques are directly applicable to period furniture. My

six-board "Mary Rose" chest was based largely on his directions.  Caveat:

he rarely provides measured drawings and generally takes a "follow your

intuition" approach to projects; that is, he'll go over the major skills

and tasks you need to perform, but he expects you to do some of the work

too.  He wants you to appreciate the process of making the thing as much as

much as the pleasure of owning it when it's done.

 

In "Eclectic Workshop," the projects include (among others):

"Folding Folk Chairs" (the x-chair)

A table chair (also period)

A tavern table

Dulcimer

Flute

 

In "Woodwright's Workbook" he includes:

A discussion of 16th century tools (Debate of the Carpenter's Tools)

Workbenches and Lathes

Tool chests

Chairs

A six board chest

 

"Woodwright's Apprentice" includes:

Sea Chest

Trestle Table

Moravian Chair

Framed Chest

 

and lots more of course.

 

Have fun with your projects.

 

Tom R.

"Fin"

 

 

Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 19:37:38 -0400

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at Bellsouth.net>

To: "- MedievalEncampments at eGroups.com" <MedievalEncampments at eGroups.com>,

        - SCA-ARTS <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Penelope Eame's Medieval Furniture book.

 

For quite some time I looked for the following book under author and title,

then I searched not under the author, or the title, but the Furniture

History Society and found the book after about two years of goofing around.

 

Since the spine says Furniture History that's how they list it for sale.

 

Not at all like the following:

Eames, Penelope: Furniture in England, France and the Netherlands from

the from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century, London, Furniture History

Society, 1977.

 

In the event you may have been looking for it it's Volume XIII of

Furniture History.

Maybe you'll find it a lot easier than I did.

 

Magnus

 

 

To: SPCA <spca-wascaerfrig at egroups.com>

From: margali <margali at 99main.com>

Date: Wed, 17 Jan 2001 10:34:50 -0500

Subject: [Fwd: [spca-wascaerfrig] a nice website]

 

somehow both copies of the post went to period camping. Don't ask me how, i wasn't issued a clue!

 

margali wrote:

> here's some neat sca-period camping goodies. they have a nice camp stool

> patterned after a 16th century one.

>  http://midtown.net/dragonwing/

 

 

From: "lea" <lea at tfz.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: French Medieval Furniture

Date: Sat, 31 Mar 2001 09:13:08 +0200

Organization: Wanadoo, l'internet avec France Telecom

 

French medieval Art.

www.arteso.com

 

On this website you will find faithful copies of medieval furniture, made to

order by the Master Craftsman, Francis JELONEK.

 

Thrones, Cathedres, Chests, Dantestques, Chairs, Lecterns, Mirrors, Crosses,

Secondhands...

 

 

To: spca-wascaerfrig at yahoogroups.com

From: Richard Keith <Keith.78 at osu.edu>

Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2001 09:44:08 -0400

Subject: [spca-wascaerfrig] Stefin, Furniture book

 

"Furniture in England, France and the Netherlands forom the 12th to the

15th Century" by Penelope Eames

 

Fin NK2529E2   the Furniture History Society London 1977

 

Great book,  Nice pictures and explains technics.  Compares various types

of furniture within classes.  how they seem to develop.

 

Frederich

 

 

To: - Atlantia <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>,

   - Barony of Windmasters Hill 11/00 <keep at windmastershill.org>

From: rmhowe <mmagnusm at bellsouth.net>

Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 17:17:23 -0400

Subject: [MedEnc] Albion Works.

 

http://www.mcn.org/m/tbray/Albion%20Works.htm

 

Happened back on this today.

For you furniture lovers.

 

Magnus, not affiliated.

 

 

To: spca-wascaerfrig at yahoogroups.com

From: Richard Keith <Keith.78 at osu.edu>

Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2001 09:19:48 -0400

Subject: [spca-wascaerfrig] Whos comeing and other stuff.

 

Stephen,  I have the title and other information of the Book in German on

furniture that I had recommended earlier.

 

AuthorWindisch-Graetz, Franz

TitleM=F6bel Europas : von der Romanik bis zur Sp=E4tgotik : mit einem=20

R=FCckblick auf Antike und Sp=E4tantike / Franz Windisch-Graetz

Publish infoM=FCnchen : Klinkhardt & Biermann, c1982

 

ISBN 3781402126

LCCN 83-129800

 

I wish someone would translate it.  It would be worth a lot to me.

 

Frederich

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 08:01:47 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Pixel, Queen of Cats" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu

Subject: Re: medieval tables

 

On Wed, 20 Jun 2001, Jenne Heise wrote:

> Hi! Our local sciences minister has suggested that instead of buying

> modern portable tables for demos that we build some period ones. Does

> anyone have patterns for _period_ folding tables? Also, he suggested

> mahogany, but the OED suggests that mahogany wasn't much used in Europe

> before 1740. What kinds of woods would period portable tables have been

> made out of?

>  --

> Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise           jenne at mail.browser.net

 

Oak. With trestles.

 

My love and I have two trestle tables which are made from oak

hollow-core doors, thus making them both portable and affordable. The

trestles are made out of 2x2 dimensional pine lumber and hinges, and if we

get really motivated they'll get stained to at least coordinate with the

tables.

 

The hinges are probably not period, but you can't see them unless you're

under the table, and people who are under the table are very likely to not

care about the manufacture of the trestles. ;-)

 

The nifty thing about trestle tables is that you can use any large flat

thing as your tabletop. Our doors are 36" wide, which is probably too wide

for period, but we have people sitting around them rather than along one

side of them. A heavier door would slide less on the trestles--being

hollow-core, they are very light and don't have enough weight to hold

themselves down very well.

 

To keep the trestles all at the same height we have pieces of wood which

might be 2x2 with notches cut out to fit the lower crossbars of the

trestles, then we take them away after we've placed the trestles.

 

Seems to work pretty well as long as you have a truck to transport a

full-sized door.

 

Margaret FitzWilliam

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 08:48:44 -0500

From: "Amy L. Hornburg Heilveil" <aheilvei at uiuc.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu

Subject: Re: medieval tables

 

At 08:35 AM 6/20/2001 -0400, you wrote:

>Hi! Our local sciences minister has suggested that instead of buying

>modern portable tables for demos that we build some period ones. Does

>anyone have patterns for _period_ folding tables? Also, he suggested

>mahogany, but the OED suggests that mahogany wasn't much used in Europe

>before 1740. What kinds of woods would period portable tables have been

>made out of?

 

I'll list some of the places where I drool on the web occasionally.  First

is the yahoogroup medieval encampment - go to their files and you'll find

several written instructions for many pieces of furniture.

 

http://www.his.com/~tom/sca/campstuff.html - no plans but some pics and

resources

 

http://www.teleport.com/~tguptill/furniture.htm - links to numerous plans

of lots of furniture, including tresle tables.

 

Despina

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 09:28:50 -0700

From: John LaTorre <jlatorre at midtown.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu

Subject: Re: medieval tables

 

Jenne Heise wrote:

> Hi! Our local sciences minister has suggested that instead of buying

> modern portable tables for demos that we build some period ones. Does

> anyone have patterns for _period_ folding tables? Also, he suggested

> mahogany, but the OED suggests that mahogany wasn't much used in Europe

> before 1740. What kinds of woods would period portable tables have been

> made out of?

 

Look at the folding trestle tables on Cariadoc's page:

http://www.best.com/%7Eddfr/Medieval/miscellany_pdf/Other_Articles_II_Furniture.pdf

 

It's just after the bed description.

 

You wouldn't want mahogany anyway, if you were going to

carry it around. You might as well make it of sheet

steel....

 

For another approach to a portable tourney table, see:

http://midtown.net/dragonwing/col0105.htm

--

John LaTorre (Johann von Drachenfels)

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 09:12:14 -0700

From: Tim Bray <tbray at mcn.org>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu

Subject: Re: medieval tables

 

>What kinds of woods would period portable tables have been

>made out of?

 

Oak for sure.  Other woods used for furniture would include Beech, Ash, and

Fir (in Northern Europe), or Walnut (in the South). Documenting their use

for tables might be a project, but it's a reasonable assumption.

 

For a solid-wood table top, you want a dimensionally stable wood - one that

won't cup much when the humidity changes.  Quartersawn oak is the most

authentic (and most expensive) solution, but beech is quite stable and

would probably work well.  It might be hard to find in US lumberyards,

though.  Fir cups a lot, so you might need some extra joinery tricks to

keep it flat, unless you can find and afford vertical grain fir.  (It comes

from old-growth trees, which are becoming rather scarce.)

 

You could use plywood with a hardwood veneer - lots cheaper and more stable

than solid wood, though obviously not strictly authentic. But- On the

other hand, the table top will almost never be exposed while in use.  The

table is covered with a cloth in virtually every period depiction -

frustrating if you're trying to figure out trestle construction.  So you

could use almost anything - plywood, for instance - and just cover it up

with a cloth.

 

Trestle construction is a whole 'nother matter...

 

Colin

 

Albion Works

Furniture, Clothing, and Accesories

For the Medievalist!

www.albionworks.net

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 14:23:24 -0700

From: Tim Bray <tbray at mcn.org>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu

Subject: Re: medieval tables

 

>What about the Gothic bench style?  That could be expanded to table size,

>but I don't know if it's period.

 

Doubtful...  The boarded stool or bench was frequently used as a prie-dieu

and often as an occasional table, judging from paintings, but I can't

remember seeing depictions of a "full-size" table made in that way.

 

The type with the single stretcher, like a modern "trestle table," shows up

in the 16th century for benches and tables, especially in German art.

 

Colin

 

 

Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 18:57:20 -0400

From: Carol Thomas <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu

Subject: Re: medieval tables

 

I merchant on tables that we designed from a period illustration in

Fabulous Feasts.  They do not fold - but they slot together pretty easily,

and travel flat.  We used plywood for ease, but obviously they can be made

of regular wood as they did in the 15th c.

 

Each is 6 pieces: rectangular top (cut 1/3 of a standard piece of plywood,

router edges, & stain)  The top just sits on the base but stays put.

2 end pieces, curved down to feet on the bottom (also plywood, routered &

stained.  Some I painted as shown in F. Feasts.)

3 slats made from 1x4 stock, with slots in them.  The ends have openings

that the slats slot onto.  (Say that 3 times fast...)

 

The first version wobbled a bit, so the later ones have the 3rd slat

running at an angle from one end to another.  This holds quite firmly.  The

design is quite strong, as I have stood on them, dropped boxes of books on

them, etc. for years now.

 

 

Date: Sat, 23 Jun 2001 12:35:19 -0400

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ku.edu, - Atlantia <atlantia at atlantia.sca.org>

Subject: Re: medieval tables

 

The best I can suggest is Mercer's Furniture 700-1400 and his

Oak Furniture which are the most comprehensive of remaining

early furniture illustrations that are left in the illuminated

and real worlds.

 

The right edition of Boccaccio's Decameron has quite a lot of

interior furniture in the illustrated edition I have. Of course

it is also full of lovers and the occaisional peeping tom.

 

Boccacio, Giovanni: Boccaccio's Decameron, 15th-Century Manuscript,

Pognon, Edmond (Texts by)Chief Curator, Bibliotheque Nationale,

Paris,        translated by J. Peter Tallon, Productions Liber SA, and

Editions Minerva SA, Fribourg - Geneve, 1978. The hundred miniatures

in this book were painted between 1430 and 1440 to illustrate the

French translation of this book completed in 1414. 124 pages,

almost each of which has one or more than one full color

illumination. There are chests, chairs, beds, benches, bathing

tubs, buckets on a yoke, Thrones, feast scenes, caskets for burial,

tombs, curious boats with garderobe seats down both sides of each,

warships, many tables on trestles, three legged turned stools,

lots of hats, pouches, costumes, shoes, a wooden litter to be

carried by two (different than any I've seen elsewhere), garden

trellises, feastgear, swords and sheathes and knives, a halberd,

a very long torch, a very long cart carrying a denounced knight,

hunting dogs and spears, candlesticks, horse barding, a bakery,

pewterware, a turning spit and drip pan before the fireplace in

use, cloaks, buckers and swords, vats, long benches for the eating

tables, a round lantern, etc.

 

There is also Italian Rennaisance Interiors of about 15 years ago.

I found the V&A's Medieval Furniture and Carvings to be rather

disapointing and not worth the money.

 

There are Daniel Diehl's two books, the second is better and

more practical than the first one on Medieval Furniture.

 

Penelope Eames' Book is better found under the Furniture History

Society volume XIII, you may look for it for years elsewise:

Eames, Penelope: Furniture in England, France and the Netherlands

from the Twelfth to the Fifteenth Century, London, Furniture

History Society, Volume XIII, 1977, 304 pages and at least sixty

plates, with many additional drawings in text.  Printed in

England by W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., Hudson Rd. Leeds LS9 7DL.

A bit dry on types and styles. Has some pictures of mostly

clerical fittings, and some line drawings of a variety of

furniture.

 

I find the drawings and engravings of Albrecht Durer, via Dover,

to have some interesting details.

 

A pity we're not in the same general area, as I have built up

folders full, many books on woodworking, at least a shelf full

applicable to Medieval. I made over a thousand pieces in my

former career.

 

Mahogany is incredibly heavy. I've helped heft huge planks of

the stuff large bedposts were cut and carved from that took

4-5 men. It is also a new world tree primarily. There is of

course Philippine mahogany. Red Mahogany finish is very pretty,

like velvet if done well, but is not something I've ever thought

of as period. Generally, most items in the Medieval period,

in England at least, were of oak. I'm sure there were many other

woods used by the lower classes - when they could get them.

 

Three legged trestles take up very little room and the boards

were simply laid across them under a cloth generally. You have

two legs, often decorated - perhaps with a stretcher between them

of the front side and a simple single leg in the back. Slightly

splaying them out at the bottoms front and back would add to

stability.

 

A good illustration of a three legged trestle front is found

in the Medieval Soldier - 15th Century Campaign Life Recreated

in Colour Photographs by Gerry Embleton and John Howe, Windrow

and Greene Ltd., 19A Floral St., London WC2E 9DS, England, 1994,

ISBN 18590365. Often sold about $65, I looked around a bit and

got one for $40 plus shipping. 144 extremely well illustrated

pages by a reenactment group centered in Switzerland.

There are shoes and boots, pouches and purses, a lantern,

candlesticks, a limited amount of furniture, feastgear, knives,

a writing set, pavillions and tents, swords and scabbards, a mace,

leather bottles, a pewter flask, a quiver, an arrow bag, an

arrow basket, an armbrace, a number of chests, a number of buckets,

camp cooking fires, archers and soldiers in full authentic kit,

and gambesons.

 

Magnus Malleus, OL, GDH, Atlantia / R.M. Howe, Raleigh, NC.

*Please do not repost my emails to the Rialto, any newsgroup

or the SCA-Universitas List. To do so I regard as a violation

of copyright permissions. You may forward them to your local

subscriber based re-enactor lists, in or out of the SCA however.

 

 

From: Heather Rose Jones <heather.jones at earthlink.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Rocking Chairs

Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2004 02:03:54 GMT

 

Elizabeth wrote:

> Are they period for 1500's?  When did they.....become?

> Thanks

 

The brief historical sketch given at

<http://www.designboom.com/eng/education/rocking/origin.html>;

looks like it has useful information (and doesn't have the

sorts of exaggerated claims that would make me skeptical).

The short answer, based in the information there, is that

rocking chairs appear to have originated in the 18th century.

 

Tangwystyl

 

<the end>



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