ANN: British Furniture Making and the Globalised Trade (online, 2-30 Nov 2022)

BIFMO (British and Irish Furniture Makers Online), as part of the Furniture History Society, is offering an online course on Zoom to examine how methods and ideas about furniture making have been transmitted between countries from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.

Some speakers will consider how methods and designs in Britain were influenced by immigration to this country, while others will look at the impact of British furniture makers who emigrated to other countries such as the United States. These presentations will include a wide variety of fine examples of craftsmanship, from silver furniture in the seventeenth century to Ralph Turnbull in nineteenth century Jamaica and through to Arne Jacobsen in the twentieth century.

Each week the session will start at 4.30pm (GMT) and conclude at 7.30pm (GMT). Every session will be approximately 3 hours

Course programme:

WEEK 1 – Wednesday, 2nd November

The Impact of Immigration on the Furniture Trade in the 17th Century
– Grinling Gibbons – David Luard
– Furniture made for the court and the city – Adriana Turpin
– Upholsterers, mercers and lace men at the late Stuart Court: patronage, networks and international influences. – Olivia Fryman
– ‘Such Massey pieces of plate’: silver furniture in England 1660-1702 – Matthew Winterbottom, Olivia Fryman

WEEK 2 – Wednesday, 9th November

Furniture Making in London and Europe
– Huguenots Furniture Makers in the long eighteenth century  – Dr Tessa Murdoch
– Following a Thread. How Mr Potter’s designs travelled – Sarah Medlam
–  ‘Gorgeous Pieces of Inlaid Work with Figures’: Notes on Johann Gottlieb Fiedler, Berlin’s Early Classicist Ebeniste – Dr Achim Stiegel
– British models for Italian furniture makers – Enrico Colle

WEEK 3 – Wednesday, 16th November

Global Networks and Furniture Making in the 18th Century
– The Aesthetic and Cultural Hybridity of Cantonese Trade Furniture – Karina Corrigan
– A Furniture Trade adapting to the benefits of Empire – John Cross
– Patterns, Templates, and Publications: British and Irish Émigré Cabinetmakers in America – Alexandra Kirtley
– English Influences in the Southern States of America – Tom Savage

WEEK 4 – Wednesday, 23rd November

Immigration and Emigration of Furniture Makers in the Nineteenth Century
– Johann Martin Levien: Master Cabinetmaker of Prussia, New Zealand, and England – Serena Newmark
– Anecdotes on the Immigrant Furniture Making Community in the Tottenham Court Road area, London, 1850-1900 – Clarissa Ward
– Nineteenth-Century Specimen Furniture in Jamaica and the British Empire – Catherine Ducette
– The Crace Firm and French Influences – Dr Megan Aldrich
– The Relationship between Britain and the US at the Great Exhibitions of the 19th century – Dr David Tiedemann

WEEK 5 – Wednesday, 30th November

Making the Modern World: Global Connections into the 20th Century
– ‘Princely but peaceful splendor’: Cottier & Co. in New York – Max Donnelly
– The furniture export trade between Australia and Britain in the nineteenth century – Professor Clive Edwards
– Immigrant furniture workers in the East End of London including a case study of the Hille firm – Dr Pat Kirkham 
– Denmark in Britain: The work and influence of the Danish furniture importers and wholesalers in London – Professor Bruce Peter

For full details about the presentations and the speakers go to:

It is possible to book individual weeks but you will benefit from a discount if you book all 5 sessions together. FHS and ECD members benefit from a further discount on all tickets.

Deadline: 2 November 2022

For registration:

If you have any questions, please email Ann Davies