I received a book in the mail the other day from Robin Fawcett, a pole-lathe turner I have crossed paths with at http://www.bodgers.org.uk/bb/phpBB2/ a forum for pole lathe turners and green woodworkers. The book is an early-20th century book on English furniture. Title is Little Books about Old Furniture: Tudor to Stuart. First published in 1911, this edition is from 1919. Like most of the furniture books I have seen from that time, it’s somewhat quirky now. But it has some pictures I have never seen before, including this one, fig 98:
I really like the approximate symmetry of it; and layout done with a “pair of compasses”, the gouges, and by eye. A very involved pattern, first chance I get I’m going to carve something like it.
The little bit the book has to say about his illustration is that it is “strapwork from a room in the house formerly known as The Old Palace, Bromley-by-Bow. Which means London. Surviving work from London from this period is rare, so getting to see even an old picture of it is nice. Wikipedia then filled in some blanks for me:
“Bromley Old Palace A palace was built facing the line of St Leonard’s Street, in 1606 for James I, by John Thorpe. This was principally used as a hunting lodge; but was a grand residence of 24 rooms, including a State room, built along the lines of Hardwick Hall and Montacute House. Some of the stonework was quarried from the remains of the (now disused) priory. It remained in Royal use, and was refurbished in the reigns of Charles II and James II and stables were added. During the 18th century, the frontage of the building was renewed, and the palace was converted into two merchant houses. It went through a variety of uses, including a boarding school, and a colour works. The house was demolished at the end of the 19th century by the London School Board for construction of a new board school. Many of the original fittings remained in place and were said to be in fine condition. The house was sold piecemeal for £250 — with the State room, panelling and an oak doorway going to the Victoria and Albert Museum.”
So it might be that this panel does still exist at the V&A, but is just rarely seen or illustrated. I don’t think I’ve seen it published other than this book.
The carving style reminds me of some great work I saw with Victor Chinnery in Totnes, Devon. Here’s one of the panels from the church there:
I adapted this and other panels from that church into a box I made for our house…
Robin’s site is here: http://treewright.blogspot.com/
thanks for the book Robin.