Irish Furniture


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The Knight of Glin and James Peill

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This lavishly illustrated and comprehensive volume is the first devoted entirely to the subject of Irish furniture and woodwork. It provides a detailed survey—encompassing everything from medieval choir stalls to magnificent drawing-room suites for the great houses—from earliest times to the end of the eighteenth century.
The first part of the book presents a chronological history, illustrated with superb examples of Irish furniture and interior carving. In a lively text, the Knight of Glin and James Peill consider a broad range of topics, including a discussion of the influence of Irish craftsmen in the colonies of America. The second part of the book is a fascinating pictorial catalogue of different types of surviving furniture, including chairs, stools, baroque sideboards, elegant tea and games tables, bookcases, and mirrors. The book also features an index of Irish furniture-makers and craftsmen of the eighteenth century, compiled from Dublin newspaper advertisements and other contemporary sources.

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Desmond FitzGerald, Knight of Glin, is president of the Irish Georgian Society, a governor of the National Gallery of Ireland, and Doctor in Letters Honoria Causa of Trinity College Dublin. He is coauthor with Anne Crookshank of Ireland’s Painters, 1600-1940, published by Yale University Press. He lives in Glin Castle, County Limerick. James Peill is a director of Christie’s, where he is a specialist in the Furniture Department. He lives in New York City.

"A work of serious scholarship and extraordinary execution containing more than 500 illustrations, the vast majority in color. [The authors] detail the chronology of Irish furniture craft and of interior carving. . . . There is a lot here to be savored by both the collector and the serious craftsperson. A tour de force."—Library Journal

"...a well researched and beautifully illustrated book charting the history of Irish furniture up to 1800...a must for anyone with a serious interest in Irish furniture." --- Image Interiors

"The first volume to focus exclusively on Irish furniture and woodwork, this is a seminal study of Ireland's important contribution to the history of furniture.  A thoroughly researched and well-organised survey of everything from medieval choir stalls to commissioned pieces for the great houses." --- Antiques Magazine

"This is a long awaited delight." --- Jeremy Musson, Country Life

‘Visually stunning overview of grand Irish furnishings over five centuries’---Polly Devlin, The Week

"The historian as well as the furniture enthusiast will find the book an informative and pleasurable read."—Antiques & The Arts Weekly

"the book presents a rich narrative, vividly brought to life and beautifully illustrated." - David Blayney Brown, World of Interiors

"This volume . . . is an authoritative guide for the decorative arts in Ireland from mid-17th through late-19th century, providing a chronological history of furniture design. . . . Extensive research offers a glimpse at paintings, books, sculpture, silver, mirrors, jewelry, clocks, tile patterns, and wallpaper from the period. [The] color photographs authenticate and preserve the unique Irish tradition of furniture making. Highly recommended."—Choice

"The book is the first definitive study of the subject from the earliest times to the union of Ireland and England in 1800."—Art & Antiques

'The strength of this book is the scope of its coverage and the amount of space given to context, for Ireland's arts cannot be understood without reference to the nation's turbulent past, nor without discussion of the great Irish families and their houses.' - Adam Bowett, Apollo Magazine

"This volume is a monument to prodigious scholarship.  The magisterial sweep of this encyclopedic work is as much a social history as a study of Irish furniture.  For an American readership, it has a compelling relevance."  —James Ayres, Winterthur Portfolio
ISBN: 9780300117158
Publication Date: March 28, 2007
Publishing Partner: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
352 pages, 10 x 12
100 b/w 400 col

Ireland’s Painters, 1600-1940

Anne Crookshank and The Knight of Glin

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