When Oak was New English Furniture and Daily Life 1530-1700

Front cover image

John Fiske

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The Belmont Press
Territory: USA & Canada
Size: 8.25 in x 10 in
Pages: 266
Illustrations: 750 b&w
New Title

RRP $39.95

  • Illustrated with more than 750 photographs of early English furniture - most from private collections not previously published - together with paintings and engravings of the period
  • Author has been an active antiques dealer for over 20 years and is an accomplished author
  • Highly readable, engaging content

Informed by John Fiske's extensive experience as a dealer in English oak furniture, When Oak Was New provides an in-depth guided tour of familiar and lesser-known forms for both the novice and experienced collector.

When Oak Was New invites readers to look at antique furniture in a new way. In telling the story of English furniture from 1530 to 1700, Fiske blends witty accounts of daily life in Tudor and Stuart England with extensive photographs and close descriptions of the furniture that made those lifestyles convenient and comfortable. He shows that we cannot fully understand the furniture that we know as antique without understanding how its owners used it when it was new, and how a piece of furniture, in turn, captures its historical moment.

Over 750 photographs vividly illustrate the boundless creativity of countless anonymous joiners and carvers whose work was central to the development of modern life.

Contents: Preface; Acknowledgements; Things Marvellouslie Altred; The Self at Work; Joiners and Turners; Carvers; Dining; Properly Seated; Storage; Small Tables; Sleeping; Coda; Bibliography; Index.

Galleries: (collections of photographs of each form) Desk Boxes, Gothic Panels, Three-Dimensional Carving, Figural Fragments, Artisan Baroque, Long Tables, Court Cupboards, Standing Livery Cupboards, Great Chairs or Wainscots, Joint Stools, Children's Chairs, Forms, Settles, Backstools, Country Armchairs, Boxes, Joined Coffers, Press Cupboards, Mule Chests, Children's Coffers, Sixteenth-Century Coffers, Boarded Coffers, Rapier Coffers, Joined Chests of Drawers, Small Gate-leg Tables, Side Tables, Country Dressing Tables, Cradles.

English-born, John Fiske is the author with Lisa Freeman of Living with Early Oak: Seventeenth-Century English Furniture Then and Now ISBN: 9780975456903 and an active dealer in seventeenth-century English furniture. Editor-in-Chief of the New England Antiques Journal since 2005, he is Professor Emeritus of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.