Enfilade

Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Funiture, Pegs and ’Tails

Posted in resources by Editor on December 8, 2014

For anyone who’s ever dreamed of being able to look over the shoulder of someone who understands eighteenth-century furniture at the level of materials, design, construction, and afterlife, I’m glad to recommend Pegs and ‘Tails, the blog of Jack Plane, a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, formerly from the UK who now lives in Australia.

His reproduction pieces are fascinating, and he’s especially helpful for things at auction (the good and the bad). His blog includes a fine bibliography, and there’s a book is in the works. CH

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The first chest of drawers is typical of small four-drawer William and Mary chests made around 1695. The carcase is made of pine and veneered with walnut, and the drawer fronts are additionally crossbanded with yew. Jack Plane.

The first chest of drawers is typical of small four-drawer William and Mary chests made around 1695. The carcase is made of pine and veneered with walnut, and the drawer fronts are additionally crossbanded with yew. Jack Plane.

. . . I now believe a monograph on late seventeenth- and eighteenth-century chests of drawers would be a better introduction to those with an interest in case pieces and all manner of furniture from this period. The book’s contents may vary as I work my way through it, but the projected chapters are as follows:
• The Development of the Chest of Drawers
• A William and Mary Walnut Veneered Chest, circa 1695
• A Queen Anne Walnut Veneered Chest, circa 1705
• A George I Virginia Walnut Chest, circa 1720
• A George II Mahogany Chest, circa 1740
• A George III Mahogany Chest, circa 1765
• Reproduction finishing

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The blog began 14 September 2009 with this inspired posting:

It’s on a somewhat gloomy note that I begin this blog…

Q. Traditionally speaking, what are the principal differences between carpenters, joyners and cabinetmakers?

A. Nails, pegs and dovetails!

Sadly, carpenters predominantly employ air-powered ‘phittunks’ these days, joyners have largely disappeared from the vernacular and cabinetmakers assemble built-in bathroom, bedroom and kitchen units from man-made board.

Looking up ‘cabinetmakers’ in the ‘phone directory and Google reveals numerous entries for kitchen fitters and very few makers of fine furniture. It seems makers of fine furniture are now known as ‘woodworkers’—a very unhappy reflection and a far cry from the eighteenth-century heyday when cabinetmakers ranked second only to upholsterers in the furniture trades hierarchy.

This is my blog concerning pegs and dovetails.

Jack Plane.

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