Online Course | Furnishing the British Country House

Posted in online learning by Editor on May 20, 2022

From The Furniture History Society:

Furnishing the British Country House, 1700–1900
Online Course, BIFMO-FHS, 14–16 June 2022

Restored Drawing Room at Brodsworth Hall, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, 1860s (Photo: Historic England Archive).

British and Irish Furniture Makers Online (BIFMO) is delighted to partner with the Furniture History Society (FHS) to offer an online course that looks at the evolution of the British country house from 1700 to 1900.

For two hours on three consecutive days, curators and historians will consider the furniture and designs commissioned for the interiors of specific country houses. They will touch upon the relationships between the architects and the craftsmen as well as the networks of furniture makers and the impact of the changing clientele. Over the course of these two centuries, the industrial revolution and social reform recast British society, creating new groups of wealthy property owners. By the nineteenth century the British stately home was no longer exclusively the domain of the aristocracy but a haven for the successful businessman and his family. The course speakers will consider the fashions and styles used to furnish these properties set against the backdrop of the changing role of the British country house.

The three sessions on 14th, 15th and 16th June, will be held on Zoom between noon and 14.00 GMT (7.00–9.00 EDT). All three days will be introduced by Dr Megan Aldrich who will provide an historic and stylistic context for the case studies of houses presented by the curators. These sessions will be recorded and links to the recordings will be sent to ticketholders shortly after the event.

Each day BIFMO will also offer the opportunity to participate in an additional online session in the form of a seminar where a much smaller group will be able to discuss the points raised by the presentations. These seminars will follow the course each day and will be guided by experts, who will also give further short presentations on a theme. Ticketholders for the seminars will be able to turn on their microphones and videos to fully participate in the discussion. Tickets for these seminars are available on the course Eventbrite page but must be bought in addition to the main session. Places are extremely limited and are allocated on a first come first served basis. These seminars will not be recorded.

To purchase tickets for this course and additional seminars on Eventbrite, please click here.

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Day 1: Tuesday, 14 June — Early 18th-Century Country Houses

12.00  Introduction — Megan Aldrich
12.45  James Pascall in London and Temple Newsam — Tessa Murdoch
13.15  The Early Furnishing at Holkham Hall — Katherine Hardwick
13.45  Panel Discussion and Q&A

14.20  The Country Seat: Researching the Country House: History, Architecture, and Furniture — Jeremy Musson with Adriana Turpin

Day 2: Wednesday, 15 June — Historicism and Revival in the British Country House

12.00  Introduction — Megan Aldrich
12.45  Increasingly Aspirational: 18th-Century Nostell, Robert Adam and the Winn Family — Kerry Bristol
13.15  A Mid-Victorian Vision of a Comfortable Country House: The Furnishings of Brodsworth Hall by Lapworths of Bond Street — Eleanor Matthews
13.45  Panel Discussion and Q&A

14.20  Looking at Furniture in the Context of the Country House — Peter Holmes with Adriana Turpin

Day 3: Thursday, 16 June — Tradition and Innovation: Different Approaches to Late 19th-Century Interior Design

12.00  Introduction — Megan Aldrich
12.45  Furnishing the Arts and Crafts Interior: Morris & Co at Standen — Caroline Ikin
13.15  Mackintosh and the Design of Hill House — Joseph Sharples
13.45  Panel Discussion and Q&A

14.20  Researching the Furniture Trade — Clarissa Ward with Adriana Turpin

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Megan Aldrich will introduce all three days of the course, setting out an outline for the two-hour session while providing an historical context. Dr Aldrich is a part-time tutor in the Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford, and Hon. Editorial Secretary of the Furniture History Society. She researches aspects of antiquarian design and historicism across the areas of architecture, interiors, decorative art and design, and garden history, and has published widely in these areas. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and formerly Academic Director, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London

Information about the other speakers is available here»


New Book | The Soho Manufactory, Mint, and Foundry

Posted in books by Editor on May 20, 2022

From Historic England and Liverpool UP:

George Demidowicz, The Soho Manufactory, Mint, and Foundry, West Midlands: Where Boulton, Watt, and Murdoch Made History (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2022), 296 pages, ISBN: 978-1800349285 £40.

This volume provides a comprehensive analysis of the ground-breaking historic industrial complex created to the west of Birmingham in the eighteenth century and associated with Matthew Boulton, James Watt, and William Murdoch. The Soho Manufactory (1761–1863) and Soho Mint (1788–1850s) were both situated in the historic parish of Handsworth, now in the city of Birmingham, and the Soho Foundry (1795–1895) lay in the historic township of Smethwick, now within Sandwell Metropolitan Borough. Together they played a key role in the Industrial Revolution, achieving many world ‘firsts’: the first working Watt steam engine, the first steam-engine powered mint, and the first purpose-built steam engine manufactory (the Soho Foundry), to name but a few. Existing literature focuses largely on the biography of the people, primarily Boulton and Watt, or the products they manufactured. The place—the Soho complex—has attracted very little attention. This volume is the first to concentrate on the buildings themselves, analysing not only their physical origins, development, and eventual decline but also the water and steam power systems adopted. An interdisciplinary approach has been employed combining archival research in the magnificent Soho collection at the Library of Birmingham with the results of archaeological excavations. The volume is profusely illustrated with archival material, most published for the first time, and contains a large number of reconstruction plans and drawings by the author.

George Demidowicz, FSA, is an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of History, University of Birmingham.


List of Illustrations
List of Abbreviations

1  Introduction
2  A Short History of the Soho Manufactory and Mint
3  The Soho Mill
4  The Manufactory Engine Works
5  The Soho Mint
6  The Soho Manufactory and Mint Site After
7  The Soho Foundry
9  The Significance of the Three Sohos

Appendix 1  The Archaeological Excavations, 1994–1996
Appendix 2  The Soho Businesses
Appendix 3  Biographies


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