Last week I posted some photos of a wainscot chair I made. In that note, I mentioned that I had no idea what the crease molding on the framing parts was called. Jennie Alexander wrote to me later & we talked a bit about the conundrum of this work – what do we call the moldings, the turning patterns, the carving designs; versus what did they call them. In most cases, we have no idea what terms the joiners & turners of the seventeenth century used to describe their work.
So a look at moldings. First, the moldings themselves on surviving woodwork, then the tools mentioned in documents like Moxon & Holme, and probate inventories as well. Lastly there are early 20th-century books that have measured drawings of English furniture and woodwork. These are often useful, but have problems of their own. So to start, here are some photos of existing moldings run on oak furniture & woodwork.
The first one at the top of the post is a door frame from a cupboard dated 1691, from the Lakes District in England. Two moldings here, the “crease” molding as it’s called in the period, run on the midst of the framing parts. Then the molding that I was tempted to call an “edge” molding, although it’s not technically on the edge of the stock, but at the arris. Anyway, that molding appears to be an ogee, to my eye anyway. The crease molding seems to be more than a bead, and less than an ogee, flanking perhaps a flat section between the two moldings. Notice the tearout on both these moldings on the horizontal rail.
The next two photos are both joined chests from Dedham, MA about 1650-1680. The moldings are cut on all the framing parts of the front of the chests. This is perhaps the same molding on both examples, but survives better on the one with the ruler in the shot. The one above was strippped more aggressively, but still retains the layout lines struck with an awl. So not too much wood was removed in the refinishing. Note again, lots of tearout here…
Just a few more. Here is a joined stool from Essex County, MA; mid-to-late seventeenth century.
Here is another “crease” molding – this one from a joined chest from Braintree, MA c. 1660-1690.
All of the above are oak, all integral to the furniture, not applied moldings. That’s another whole batch of pictures. Maybe they will be part X.
Next time I will dig out some nomenclature; using Moxon, Randle Holme, and some probate inventories. More to come…