19th Century European Furniture Hardcover – 1985
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France dominated the European furniture scene as her extraordinary cultural influences were much encouraged, if not created, by the aspirations of the two Napoleons who wished to recreate that country's earlier grandeur. This is not to underestimate, however, other influences such as Turkish, Moorish, African, Far and Mid-Eastern, which filtered in through neighbouring European countries and were often incorporated into furniture designs throughout the Continent. It was inevitable that such a vast area, with its strong external and internal influences, and at the same time undergoing great political and industrial change, should be responsible for a confused mixture of styles with much of the furniture frankly bizarre or mass-produced. Yet the period also saw the manufacture of the crafted and well designed pieces which are sought after and appreciated in these times.
Top Customer Reviews
However, the book is crammed full of useful information in the text to accompany quality plates. Nice touches are the three pictures showing the stages of a french lock, unique to that country.The dissection of a fake piece of french furniture was also informative, as were the warnings about fake stamps by ebenistes and additional marks placed or branded on french furniture by english retailers.
Obviously given the prevailing taste for the last two centuries the largest section is on french furniture, but not exclusively so. With the exception of the french and the Biedermeier styles it almost seems that the rest of the woeld wanted weight and quantity to show their taste. There are illustrations of some gross and heavy pieces here, most of which would raise more laughs than money in an english saleroom, but the book ties all the styles together to stop it being an incoherent mess.
The illustrations and depth of analysis are the strngths of this book and it is one of the best on the subject.