Learn about Hallstands
A 19th century innovation, the earliest hallstands usually consisted of a straight or shaped upright, sometimes with a drawer and with rounded wooden pegs or hooks on which to hang coats and hats. Some versions also contained umbrella stands, eith in the central section or to each side.
Hallstands became proportionately larger during the course of the century, sometimes being equipped with lift up seats and arms, and later models had brass hooks that tended to replace the wooden knobs. Early versions were usually wooden, although wonderful cast iron hallstands are to be found from the middle of the century, richly cast and ornamented.
The best known manufacturer of cast iron hallstands was Coalbrookdale Company of Shropshire England, founded in 1709. In the 1840s the company developed a range of cast iron furniture, which, once the moulds had been created, could be mass produced. Coalbookdale items are marked either with the full name of the company or an abbreviation such as 'C-B-DALE Co'
Cast iron hallstands will often also include the date lozenge, often cast into the base of the drip trays indicating the year in which the design was registered. more...
Learn about Bamboo Furniture
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, there was a revival of the taste for bamboo furniture featuring pseudo oriental styles. Bamboo furniture had been popular in Regency days, but the difference was that, while in Regency days the 'bamboo' legs and other members were generally simulated, that is, the wood was turned and notched, and then painted to look like bamboo, the later pieces were actually made of bamboo.
Bamboo frames often enclosed wickerwork covered wood panels. Numerous articles were produced, including hatstands, shelves, small tables, chests of drawers, (often surmounted by a mirror and a complex of small drawers), and overmantels liberally supplied with mirrors.
Bamboo furniture was mass-produced by several London firms. In a way, it was symbolic of the British Empire. Middle-class people felt comforted using furniture which they believed came from some oriental outpost coloured pink on the map. Some may even have been smug enough to imagine they were doing the natives a favour by patronizing their craft industries.
In recent years there has been a resurgence in the demand for bamboo furniture. more...
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