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Furniture (I) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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INLAY: Decorating surfaces with wood and other materials of contrasting colors or pattern, let into a solid base. Broad inlay is called banding, narrow inlay, stringing. See BouLI,E and MARQUETRY.,/P>

INTARSIA: Inlaying by incising or cutting away the groundwork and inserting other substances. It was a favorite Italian ornament of the Renaissance period and is older than marquetry (q.v.). Strictly speaking, the term intarsia should apply to inlay representing landscapes, still life or other scenes. It was also a popular inlay in Germany in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Early oak and walnut Irish furniture of the 17th century is almost non-existent. Furniture of the 18th century was mostly of San Domingo mahogany and although some of it precedes Chippendale, it displays some of the features found in Chippendale's designs. It is probable that examples imported from England were copied by native Irish craftsmen. Irish furniture of the latter half of the 18th century shows little to distinguish it from contemporary English work.

ITALIAN FURNITURE: During the 13th and 14th centuries, the furniture of the home consisted mainly of chests, tables, benches, stools and low bench-beds. The style was Gothic. Late in the 14th century and early in the 15th, there sprang into existence a new era and craftsmen were not slow to catch the new spirit. Dropping the Gothic, they launched into the classic of the Renaissance, drawing their inspiration from Greek models. The furniture was at first elaborately carved, then exquisitely painted or gilded. The closer the Greek detail and motive was adhered to, the more exquisite the work. Siena and Florence were centers of activities in furnituremaking during the whole of the Renaissance period. This lasted almost two hundred years and eventually declined with the exaggerations of the Baroque and the Rococo, into the ugliness of our present industrial age. Walnut was used for the best work, but pine, chestnut, elm, cypress and other woods were employed.