Irish Country Furniture and Furnishings 1700 2000

This is a is a substantially different book from Irish Country Furniture, 1700-1950, published by Yale UP in 1993 and reprinted several times. The new book now incorporates the findings of a lot of recent research.

Irish Country Furniture and Furnishings 1700 2000

This major illustrated study investigates farmhouse and cabin furniture from all over the island of Ireland. It discusses the origins and evolution of useful objects, what materials were used and why, and how furniture made for small spaces, often with renewable elements, was innate and expected. Encompassing three centuries, it illuminates a way of life that has almost vanished. It contributes as much to our knowledge of Ireland's cultural history as to its history of furniture. Lavishly illustrated with a mass of the author's own photographs, mostly in colour and many previously unpublished, it draws on several decades of fieldwork, underpinned by academic research. It looks at influences such as traditional architecture, shortage of timber, why and how furniture was painted, and the characteristics of designs made by a range of furniture makers. The incorporation of natural materials such as bog oak, turf, driftwood, straw, recycled tyres or packing cases is viewed in terms of use, and durability. Chapters individually examine stools, chairs and then settles in all their ingenious and multi-purpose forms. How dressers were authentically arranged, with displays varying minutely according to time and place, reveal how some had indoor coops to encourage hens to lay through winter. Some people ate communally or slept in outshot beds, in the coldest north-west, this is illustrated through art as well as surviving objects. Hanging cradles and falling tables are discussed. A chapter is devoted to the hearth and the shrine, another focuses on small furnishings, such as horn spoons, wooden drinking vessels, basketry, tin-ware, aluminium, coarse earthenware and spongeware pottery.

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