Bretagne joinery (& an English book stand)

Some of you will remember the great sketches that arrived in my inbox one day.

They were from Maurice Pommier, who now has sent some photos from his trip to Bretagne (Brittany to some of us…)

Bretagne interior


Maurice’s note:   “I forget to say you where exactly I take tese pictures: In the “écomusée des monts d’Arrée” Kerouat mills. The first mill was built in 1641 the last mill was in activity until 1965. It was a hamlet of millers farmers and bakers.”  Note the joined enclosed beds on the left. 

I dug out a website, here:

 Some of this joined work is quite late by what we expect. here is a carved date of 1783. Notice the beveled edges to the framing parts; though one edge looks to be molded. The panels are “tabled” – there is a raised rectangular (well, maybe square here) area set off by an integral molding. All of this is proud of the section that fits in the panel groove in the frame. The center strut that supports the top is chopped right through the front rail; maybe that’s later, although the use of these bracing members is not unusual. Typically they don’t usually show.



Some of the carving. Seems familiar. The door that is just seen on the right has a mitered mortise & tenon joint, it looks like. I showed this joint ages ago, then I called it a mitered bridle joint, which made it hard to search for just now.

carved joined work, Brittany


door frame, cupboard; Brittany


One more, a joined press. Thanks for sending these along Maurice, great stuff.

joined press, Brittany



Trent sent another auction link the other day, I have tried to copy the photo to here, but it didn’t want to happen. BUT it’s a great book stand, dated 1695. Different from the one I copied, but clearly the same general idea… follow the link. For only $3000 you missed it…

One thought on “Bretagne joinery (& an English book stand)

  1. My maternal grandparents were born and raised in Britanny. My grandmother’s port was Rostelec-en-Crozon, across the bay from Brest. The enclosed beds are banc lis. The turned ornaments on the door panels are called gallettes or galettes. Archaic furniture continued to be made in Britanny and merged seamlessly into Victorian revivals, some of which were ornamented by brass nailing. Another motif you see is the use of mini-balustrades, sometimes in the form of pinwheels. My grandmother disliked Queen Anne and Chippendale, hated the long legs. Obviously this joned stuff is quite graviportal.

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