collects something nowadays : Old furniture, silver, china or
glass, perhaps all of them ; and such collections are not only
interesting in themselves, but often add much beauty to the
homes of their owners.
In many cases, however, they are not seen to the best advantage,
because they are only too often arranged in a milieu which is
totally unsuited for them, and thus not only is the general
effect less good than it should be, but the beauty of the
individual pieces is obscured.
Seventeenth century pewter on a Sheraton sideboard, Chippendale
chairs with covers of printed linen copied from the design of
Jacobean needlework hangings ; William and Mary stools covered
with Louis Seize striped brocade are combinations which are not
seldom seen among the belongings of collectors who should know
Fine pieces are, of course, fine anywhere, but when placed in
their right environment new beauties show themselves, while
others, though individually less beautiful, may be invaluable
when filling their proper purpose in a well thought out scheme.
While it is hardly possible, indeed it is scarcely desirable,
that the rooms inhabited by twentieth century folk should be
replicas in every detail of those of bygone days, it is
certainly useful to know exactly what was then used, in order
that the modifications rendered necessary by our different ways
of living may be of a sympathetic character. But information on
many points is hard to find, and can only be obtained by
consulting endless books dealing with different features, and
original authorities, which, in many cases, are difficult of
access, and it is hoped that in *' Old English Furniture and its
Surroundings," artists, collectors, decorators, and others who
have occasion to plan harmonious interiors in the styles of
bygone days will find a convenient book of reference.
The period covered—from the Restoration of the Monarchy to the
Regency—has been divided into four sections :
I The Restoration.
II The End of the Seventeenth Century and the Early Eighteenth.
III Early Georgian.
IV Late Georgian.
Each of these sections contains chapters dealing with Permanent
Decoration, Furniture, Upholstery (including Wall and Floor
Coverings), Table Appointments and Decorative Adjuncts.
Obviously it would be impossible to treat all these subjects
exhaustively in one volume ; but as far as possible all
essentials have been included.
The illustrations in a book of this kind are quite as important
as the text, and great care has been taken in selecting them.
Almost all may be considered as representing typical specimens
of the style in vogue at their respective periods. Transition
and unique pieces are extremely interesting and often very
beautiful, but are less well suited for the present purpose than
patterns which met with more general acceptance.
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