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The Taunton Cabinet

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adidat

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saw this in the newly renovated Taunton museum on Saturday thought it was particularly spectacular, the pics are abit shoddy all taken on the sly with phone.




the information panel
Taunton Cabinet

This cabinet was made by John Steevens of Taunton for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The exhibition was held in the Crystal Palace, London, and displayed examples of the best British art and design.

Male figures, each one representing a different 'age of man' are carved into the legs. The figures are linked by garlands containing the flowers grown in Taunton in the 1850s. On the top of the cabinet is the figure of Peace, with her hand resting on a globe.


i think its walnut i didn't think to ask at the time but i thought it was a brilliant example of quality joinery.



the fantastically carved legs



a close-up of the clever jointing thats sadly opened up with the shrinking timber (i would expect our joints to look much worse after 160 years :mrgreen: )



some more carving

the flowers where in fact embroidery pressed between to sheets of glass

enjoy

adidat
 

RogerP

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A celebration of craftsmanship it may be but as an item of furniture I think it's ghastly! :(
 

AndyT

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If anyone wants a closer look, the museum did their own YouTube video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJOB2tYistk

I'd agree that the craftsmanship is impressive, but the Great Exhibition did seem to bring out the worst excesses of so many of the exhibitors.
 

woodbloke

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AndyT":3vu7d8a7 said:
If anyone wants a closer look, the museum did their own YouTube video here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJOB2tYistk

I'd agree that the craftsmanship is impressive, but the Great Exhibition did seem to bring out the worst excesses of so many of the exhibitors.
What needs to be born in mind that makers (and not just in furniture) were attempting to express by their flamboyance the impressiveness of the British Empire at that time and also to make an exhibition piece that was stunning by the standards of the day...that there was a revolt against this type of thing by the A&C movement a few years later is little wonder. For all it's hideousness though, I can't help but admire the skill of the maker - Rob
 

Sawyer

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Ah, the paradox of much Victorian furniture: aesthetically hideous, yet superb workmanship.
I think standards of carving rose particularly high in C19th., not just in exhibition pieces like this, but generally: just look around some ordinary churches.

Yes, I'd say walnut, from the look of it. Thanks for sharing this, Adidat.
 

AndyT

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A few more understated little pieces from the 1851 Great Exhibition:







- all at the V&A if anyone fancies copying them...
 

JakeS

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monkeybiter":2zsr8wxu said:
That chair would look nice at my desk :lol:
In all honesty, I think any sentence that starts "that chair would look nice" is probably doomed from the outset. ;-)


The other two look like a bizarre cross between gothic and Georgian buildings, only in wood (and presumably a bit smaller)...
 

Sawyer

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AndyT":1znw3top said:
A few more understated little pieces from the 1851 Great Exhibition:- all at the V&A if anyone fancies copying them...
Just to be on the safe side, it may be wiser to wait till a customer actually asks for one, rather than doing them as speculative pieces, I think. 8)

May be a long wait though.....
 
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