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Archive for April 2012

English Textiles, furniture and decorative arts

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Many types of imported and domestic fabrics and leathers adorn walls; hang at windows or doors; drape beds; and cover tables, cupboards, chairs, stools, and cushions. Types include wool and silk velvets; wool, silk, or blended damasks; satins; cut and uncut velvets from Genoa, Italy; plushes; gold or silver cloth; domestic and imported tapestries; and painted or resist-dyed cottons.

Domestic linens, woolens, and imported silks are most common early in the period; cottons are rare until imported from India beginning in the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean periods. 

Colors include blue, crimson, russet, purple, green, yellow, pink, and black. Gold or silver fringe, lace, and tassels increase the sense of richness and luxury.

Wealthy homes often have chairs, stools, settees, and footstools completely covered with fabric and richly embellished (<a Cushions provide additional comfort for chairs and stools. Large cushions may be used for sitting on the floor. Silk or wool damask or velvet cushions are trimmed with gold or silver lace, embroidery, braid, cord, and tassels. Table covers, which vary in length, usually are embroidered, trimmed, or otherwise embellished. In the mid-16th century, Turkey work or Norwich work, a textile that imitates Oriental rugs, becomes a common upholstery fabric. In the early 17th century, some bed hangings are made of crewel and are embroidered by the ladies of the house or by professional embroiderers. Typical patterns feature trees, flowers, and foliage rising from mounds combined with animals. Palampores, coverlets with similar painted and resist-dyed designs imported from India, occasionally are used for coverlets on beds or as hangings.Image

Furniture: The wainscot chair, an important chair type, has a paneled back, turned legs, and stretchers. The back decoration varies to include carved motifs such as the lozenge, Tudor rose, arcaded panel, acanthus, and strapwork. Usually made of oak with open arms, the chair is often placed against a paneled wainscot wall. The more visible front legs are more ornate than the back legs. Cushions are often added for comfort.

 
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Materials. Most furniture is of oak. A few Jacobean pieces are of walnut.

Seating. Seating includes chairs, settees, daybeds, stools, benches, and settles. Legs may be turned, chamfered, or fluted. They usually terminate in bun feet. Stretchers are plain and close to the floor.

 There were three main types of chairs are turned (turneyed or thrown, an old term for turning), X-form folding chairs, and wainscot chairs. The farthingale chair or back stool appears at the end of the 16th century.

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 Storage. Case pieces include chests for storage, cupboards for display in the hall or great chamber, and chests of drawers (introduced from the Continent late in the 16th century). Early chests of drawers are massive in scale, and doors conceal the drawers. The court cupboard consists of open shelves about 48” high. Richly carved, it displays plate in the hall or great chamber. Cupboards vary greatly in design.

 

Beds. The most common beds are wooden boxes covered and draped with fabric or draped four-posters. Some are massive with heavy turned posts and a tester with architectural moldings. The headboard usually is heavily carved with architectural and naturalistic motifs. Sometimes the two foot-posts are detached from the bed frame to allow draperies to enclose the bed. Because of the textiles, the bed is the most expensive piece of furniture in the home.

 

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Decorative Arts. Tableware is made of wood, silver, horn, or glass. From Italy and the Netherlands comes tin-glazed earthenware. Objects made of silver or gold include saltcellars, sconces, plates, ewers and basins, flagons, drinking vessels, spoons, spice boxes, and snuffers. Many are large and elaborately decorated or encrusted with jewels. Stylistically, silver follows the other arts in slowly adopting Renaissance motifs. Other accessories are portraits, paintings, and armor. As the English begin their domination of the seas, imports include Chinese porcelains, Venetian glass, and metal work from different countries.

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Written by callawayinteriordesign

April 30, 2012 at 7:52 pm

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English building materials and structure design

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Staircases assume greater prominence during the Elizabethan period. Joining earlier straight forms are square or rectangular wooden stairs with landings at each turn. A more architectural form, the open-well staircase makes its first appearance at Knole c. 1605. In all types of staircases, the newels, balusters, handrails, and strings are massive in scale and covered with carved or painted strapwork and other ornamentation.

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 Tudor houses are somewhat symmetrical with a few classical details. Common elements include battlements, towers, and gatehouses. Large, prominent windows characterize Elizabethan and Jacobean façades. They are rarely flat because numerous bays and pavilions create a rhythmic sequence marked by stringcourses and pilasters. Lower portions of Elizabethan and Jacobean exteriors are regular and symmetrical with classical and other motifs and details. Roofs and skylines are highly irregular and picturesque in Elizabethan architecture, but become more simplified in Jacobean architecture. Both periods feature corner towers with parapets or dome-shaped roofs. Jacobean houses often have frontispieces decorated with a full range of classical and Mannerist details. Exceptions are Jones’s buildings or those of his few followers, which are symmetrical; carefully proportioned; and delineated with classical columns, pilasters, pediments, swags, and balustrades.

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Windows on Tudor buildings vary from diamond-paned casements to larger rectangular examples. Stone mullions divide large rectangular windows into as many as 16 smaller lights in Elizabethan and Jacobean architecture. Windows, symmetrically arranged over one another, may be flanked by pilasters or engaged columns. Bay windows and oriel windows contribute to the irregularity of plan and façade.

 

Door surrounds may be arched or rectangular and surmounted by a pediment or other decorative element. Doors are located in the gatehouse of Tudor houses, centrally in Elizabethan houses, and in the frontispiece of Jacobean houses.

Roofs. Flat, gabled, parapet, and hipped roofs are common, and several may be combined. In addition to chimneys, parapets, and Flemish gables, Elizabethan and Jacobean houses often have towers and types with curvilinear roofs on the corners of exterior walls and interior courtyards. Roof towers sometimes become banqueting rooms where sweet wines and desserts are served after dinner.

 Color. Throughout the period, interiors feature highly saturated, even garish, colors in textiles and finishes. White walls are common especially if they have hangings. Occasionally, walls may be blue or green. Paneling generally is painted stone color or brown to resemble wood. Graining and marbling highlights some walls and/or architectural details. Ceilings are white or blue. As a contrast, Inigo Jones’s interiors or those following his influence tend to be white or light colored.

Floors. Stone, brick, marble, and wood are common flooring materials. Hard plaster and tiles are used occasionally. The most common wood flooring is oak, either in random-width planks or parquet.

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The chimneypiece is a focal point in all three periods. Earlier ones have Tudor arches surrounded by paneling. By the 16th century, chimneypieces often have large rectangular openings with more elaborate mantels and overmantels of stone, marble, or wood. Columns or pilasters, strapwork, and cabochons often are taken from pattern books.
 

 Windows may be casements, rectangles, bays, or oriels. Glass is expensive, so horn or blinds of cloth or canvas substitute for it in lesser houses. Small diamond lattice panes of glass leaded together are another alternative. Some glass is painted or stained. Great houses use curtains in winter as protection from the cold. Door panels generally match wainscoting. In larger houses, pilasters or columns supporting an entablature often flank doors. For extra emphasis, doors become a part of an interior porch that is elaborately carved and decorated with columns and strapwork. Curtains or portieres may also be used at doors.

 
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Written by callawayinteriordesign

April 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm

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Floorplans

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Tudor and Elizabethan plans consist of rooms organized around one or more quadrangular courtyards. Spaces are organized for comfort and function instead of defense as earlier, and arrangements vary greatly. Asymmetry in plan layout is common.

During the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, courtyards are replaced by more compact H-shaped, E-shaped, U-shaped, or rectangular plans. Symmetry still is only minimally important, so plan outlines are irregular with projecting bays and corner towers. Most spaces are rectangular but not necessarily symmetrical. Symmetry in door and window placement increases in the period.

 

Written by callawayinteriordesign

April 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm

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English Architecture

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A gradual increase in order, regularity, and emphasis on proportions characterizes the Renaissance in England. Architecture shows more application of Renaissance details to buildings over the period, but designs borrow from numerous sources. Architecture does not fully embrace classical design principles until later, with the exception of buildings completed by Inigo Jones. English buildings more closely resemble French than Italian buildings because of similar climatic attributes that necessitate large windows, steeply pitched roofs, and tall chimneys. The most common building types are mansions, manor houses, and townhouses.

 

Houses are less fortified and formal than earlier but continue to center on courtyards. Façades are irregular and often move in and out, roofs vary in composition and height, and windows are random sizes. Elements from military architecture, such as towers and battlements, decorate façades. Distinctive towered gatehouses form entrances. Half-timbered construction continues in both urban and rural locations.

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Written by callawayinteriordesign

April 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm

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English Motifs

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Motifs include Tudor roses, heraldic symbols, strapwork, roundels, portrait busts, arabesques, grotesques, obelisks, caryatids, cabochons, acanthus, and vines. Interior paneling designs include linenfold, composite, and arcaded. Many are copied or adapted from pattern books. Architectural features vary in design during the period and gradually begin to include classical features such as columns, pilasters, and arcades.

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Written by callawayinteriordesign

April 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm

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English Renaissance: Tudor, Elizabethan, and Jacobean 1485–1660

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 English architecture, interiors, and furniture gradually change from Gothic to Renaissance style. In England, however, design is more eclectic than in other countries and reveals more influence from France and Flanders than Italy. Wars, plagues, and internal strife dominate the 15th century.  A period of growth in trade and commerce as well as of peace and prosperity ensues. The war brings an end to feudalism, and a wealthy merchant class arises. The nobility and wealthy merchants replace their feudal castles with large, gracious manor houses set in great parks. Throughout the period, Italian ideas and influences intermingle with those from France and Flanders, which creates a unique English expression. 

 

Tudor (1495–1558). Late Gothic and a few Renaissance characteristics freely mix in the period. Some symmetry and order are evident.

■ Elizabethan (1558–1603). Regularity, symmetry, and combinations of classical and Mannerist elements characterize design. Decoration tends to be lavish, particularly in interiors and on furniture. Foreign influences dominate.

■ Jacobean (1603–1642). Named after King James, Jacobean (Latin word for James) follows Elizabethan patterns, but with less individuality and more stylistic unity than the previous period. Interiors remain lavishly decorated, but furniture design is simpler.

Written by callawayinteriordesign

April 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm

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Furniture French

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Written by callawayinteriordesign

April 30, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized