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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 1, Issue 4, December 1959

Early Furniture

Early Furniture

Speaking of early furniture, Mrs Moncrieff said that nothing was known of the types of furniture in use in the 13th century, and little of that of the two following centuries. One of the basic items of furniture in those times was the chest. Many of these were used for storing all sorts of possessions, from money to personal possessions of the lord of the manor. Boards on trestles served as tables, with rough benches to sit on.

Coming to later periods, Mrs Moncrieff said that one of the things the antique expert had to know was how to recognise fakes. The clues of these were provided by minor details. Collectors were helpless in the hands of expert fakers if the latter really knew their business.

At the conclusion of her address, Mrs Moncrieff exhibited an example of the 17th century Spanish leather work which she had acquired in Scotland: a ladder back chair made by the 18th century furniture maker George Hepplewhite; a chair made by Thomas Sheraton (1751–1806); and an 18th century miniature desk and bureau of the type which cabinet makers then showed clients in seeking orders for full size articles.

A vote of thanks to Mrs Moncrieff was moved by Mr G. Gould, who congratulated her on her expert knowledge of antiques.