If it be a truism that the greater one's knowledge the more self-apparent is one's ignorance, I can only say that the real profundity of mine on the subject of early oak woodwork was never so apparent to me until after our collaboration had commenced. Ernest Gribble's name figures on this book as co-author with my own, but I must acknowledge that he has supplied the bulk of the facts and the greater number of the photographs. In the early chapters I have merely written from his notes, which have exploded many of my pet theories. Some of these, however, have survived his criticism or persisted in spite of it.
I cannot close this preface without a grateful acknowledgment to many of the owners of the examples illustrated here, who have, with unfailing courtesy and patience, assisted me in every way, by affording facilities for photographing their possessions, and by giving me information as to their history and origin.
I have been indebted to so many for the necessary photographs which the book has required that particular mention is almost invidious in itself. I feel, however, that distinct praise is due to those gentlemen who have taken photographs in churches, as every photographer will appreciate the enormous difficulty attendant upon work of this character.
The Rev. Frederick Sumner has very kindly furnished the following: Figs. 99, 107, 108, 109, 112, 113, 117, 147, 148, 152, 169, 170, 171, 172, 174, 175. The Rev. F. R. P. Sumner : Figs. 3, 4, 5, 132, 133, 134, 135, 146, 154, 155, 156. Mr. C. J. Abbott : Figs.
33, 55. 66, 97, 98, 104, 105. 157, 158, 181, 182, 184, 263, 264, 265, 295, and Messrs. F. Frith : Figs. 93, 94, 95, 96, 106, 138. 139, 159, 176, 177.
I would like to point out here, that the collecting of the necessary photographs for this book has occupied a space of over twelve years. The names here given are of the owners of the pieces at the times when the photographs were taken. Many of the examples may have changed hands since; this has been the case, to my knowledge, with several, but as I have not - and could not without an enormous amount of trouble, have followed the history of each piece and noted its change of ownership, I have, therefore, noted the name of the owners at the time when the photographs were taken. This course was inevitable. To obviate a needless repetition of " In the possession of," or " The property of," I have merely put the name of the owner under each example illustrated.
I cannot resist here a strong word of praise of our national collection of furniture in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and at the same time to express my admiration of the way in which this has been reinforced and improved during recent years. So much painstaking knowledge and diligent research has been shown, so many new pieces of remarkable merit have been acquired, and in circumstances of the utmost difficulty (as the buying methods of the Board of Education place their curators at serious disadvantage when pitted against the dealer or the private collector), that I have been amazed to find out, on recent visits, how good and representative the collection of furniture at the Museum really is, at the present day. After travelling hundreds of miles, to inspect collections of early oak in remote country districts, only to find that one is confronted with the handiwork of this or that well-known " reproducer," it is refreshing, to say the least, to visit the Museum, where every courtesy and assistance is afforded to the student, and where every piece can be examined under ideal conditions.
In conclusion, if the reader experiences only a part of the pleasure and profitable knowledge from the perusal and study of this book which I have gained in its writing, I shall be more than satisfied.
" There is no way of making an aged art young again; it must be born anew and grow up from infancy as a new thing, working out its own salvation from effort to effort in all fear and trembling."
Samuel Butler, Erewhon.
1308 The Helvetian Republic began with the (legendary) re-volt of William Tell against Gess-ler, Governor for the Emperor Al bert I. The (anions joined the League in the following order:
1400 Robert, Count Palatine of Luxemburg
1400 Henry IV
1413 Henry V
1415 Battle of Agincourt
1410 Sigismund (King of Bohemia, 1419) (King of Hungary, 1392)
1424 James I 1437 James II
1422 Henry VI
1453 Wars of the es
House of York
1422 Charles VII
1428 Siege of Or-leans Joan of Vi
1308 Uri 1308 Switz
House of Austria
1438 Albert II
(King of Bohemia and Hungary in 1437)
1460 James III
1461 Edward IV
1401 Louis XI
1465 Amadeus IX
1440 Frederick IV
(He transformed Austria into an Arch-Duchy in 1452)
1465 War of the
1472 Philibert I
Line of Jagellon
1 183 Edward V 1483 Richard III
1483 Charles VIII
1482 Charles I
1471 Wladislaus 1490 son of Casimir I of Poland
1489 Charles II
1488 James IV
The " Golden Age" of English Woodwork
1495 Expedition to Italy
1353 Berne 1481 Fribourg
The "Sweating Sickness "
1496 Philip Lackland
House of Tudor
1498 Louis XII
(called the " Father of his People ")
1497 Philibert II
Allied Cantons 1491 Grisons
1493 Maximilian I
1485 Henry VII
1506 The " Sweating Sickness " again breaks out
1504 Charles III
1513 James V
1509 Henry VIII
1515 Francis I
1517 Reformation of Luther
1516 Louis, killed at Mohatz
1515 Hampton Court commenced
1529 The English " Sweating Sickness " attacks Northern Germany. 1100 people die in Hamburg in 22 days
1517 " Sweating Sickness " again in 1528, known then as the "Great Mor-tality"
1502 St. Gall
1503 Bienne 152(3 Geneva 1526 Neufchatel
1519 Charles V, Emperor of Austria and King of Spain
1529 Fall of Wolsey
The House of Austria divides into the Spanish and German Branches
1536 Suppression of Monasteries began
On the German side
1526 Ferdinand, Emperor in 1556
1543 Henry VIII commences to debase the coinage
1556 Ferdinand I, who by marriage with the heiress of Bohemia and Hungary united those Kingdoms to the House of Austria
1547 Edward VI
1547 Henry II
1551 Last visita-tion of the " Sweating Sickness "
1559 Francis II Civil war by the Guise faction
1553 Emanuel Philibert (Iron Hand)
On the French side
1553 Mary I
1560 Charles IX
1567 James VI
(Succeeded to the throne of England in 1603as James I Scotland and Eng land united as Great Britain in 1607)
1588 Armada destroyed
1600 East India Company's Charter
1572 Massacre of St. Bartholomew
1574 Henry III
1575 The League
1589 Henry IV of Navarre (called " the Great ")
1580 Charles Emanuel I (the Great)
On the Italian side
Lugano Locarno Bellinzona
1564 Maximilian II 1576 Rodolph II
NAPLES AND SICILY
POPES OF ROME
House of Anjou
1406 John II
(1395 Russia invaded by Tamerlane the Tartar)
1414 Jane or Janella II
1412 Ferdinand I
1409 Alexander V
1416 Alfonso V
1425 Blanche and John II,
King of Arragon
1424 John II Paleologus
1425 Vasily or Basil III
1417 Martin V
1431 Eugenius IV
1435 Alfonso, King of Arragon and Sicily
1454 Henry IV
1448 Constantine Paleologus, the last of the Greek Emperors
1447 Nicholas V
1458 Ferdinand the Bastard in Naples
1438 Alfonso V
1458 John II
1462 IvanBasil-owitz or JohnIII
1458 Pius II
John, King of Arragon and Sicily
1474 Isabella m. 1479 Ferdinand
Kingdom of Spain
1479 Francis Phoebus of Foix
Empire of the Turks
(In 1474 he delivered Russia from the Tartars)
1464 Paul II
1471 Sixtus IV
1484 Innocent VIII
1494 Alfonso II
1481 John II
1483 Cathar and John of Albret, who was stripped of Upper Navarre by Ferdinand of Castille
1495 Ferdinand II
1495 Emanuel (the Fortunate)
1492 Discovery of America
1453 Mahomet II captures Constantinople
1492 Alexander VI
1496 Frederick III expelled by the French
1481 Bajazet II
1504 Ferdinand, King of Arra-gon and Sicily, seized the crown of Naples, and Sicily and Naples remained subject to the Kingdom of Spain till 1707
1521 John III
1504 Jane and Philip of Aus-tria succeed Isa-bella in Castille Ferdinand reigns in Arra-gon until his death in 1516
1516 Henry II of Albret
1512 Selim I
1505 Vasily or Basil IV
(Maximilian grants him title of Emperor)
1503 Pius III 1503 Julius II 1513 Leo X
1522 Adrian VI
31 Alexander created Duke by the Em-peror Charles V
1555 Joan of Albret and Anthony of Bourbon
1520 Solyman I The Magnificent
VI 1534 Paul III 1550 Julius III
1516 Charles V Emperor of Germany in 1519
Mexico Pizarro in Peru
1533 Ivan Basil-owitz or John IV
(Conquered Kazan and assumed title of Czar in 1545)
1555 Marcellus II
69 Cosmo I
1572 Henry III In 1589 he succeeded to the throne of France under the title of Henry- IV (afterwards called " the Great ") and from thence Lower Navarre joins the French Monarchy
1566 Selim II defeated at Le-panto
1555 Paul IV 1559 Pius IV 1566 Pius V
1578 Henry the Cardinal
1556 Philip II conquered Portugal but lost
1574 Amurath III
1584 Fedor I
ST Ferdinand I
1580 Philip II of Spain took possession of Portugal and it remained subject to the Spanish Crown until 1640
1581 William of Orange
1585 Sixtus V 1590 Urban VII
1584 Maurice B.
1598 Philip III
1595 Mahomet III
L598 Basil Codu-now
(The dates given are not those of the accession of Kings)
William I, 1066, to Stephen, 1154. Norman or Romanesque. The circular-headed arch.
Henry II, 1154 to 1189. Transitional, Norman to Pointed or Lancet.
Richard I, 1189, to Henry III, 1272. Early English, Lanceolated. Geometrical tracery begins to appear.
Edward I, 1272 to 1307. Transition from early pointed to geometrical pointed. Tracery entirely geometrical. No free forms in decoration of windows.
Edward II, 1307 to 1327. Geometrical pointed. (Early English.)
Free forms appear in tracery and especially in decoration of mouldings.
Edward III, 1327 to 1377. Flowing or Curvilinear. (Decorated.) Culminating in the Flamboyant.
Richard II, 1377 to 1399. Transition from Free Decorated to Rectilinear or Perpendicular.
Henry IV, 1399, to Henry VIII, 1546. Perpendicular or Rectilinear. Introduction of the Linen-fold panel.
1546 onwards. Introduction of the Italian Classical, superimposed on the Gothic, afterwards developing into the Tudor styles.