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The History of Wood Households

Aug 17, 2007
There are many types of things, which are made from different types of woods. Some of these things were barometers, beds, buckets, bureaus a kind of writing desk, etc. These things were used in the ancient times and they were made of walnut, mahogany, etc.

The barometer was invented and came into use during the seventeenth century and until the introduction of the modern "Aneroid" type it consisted of a tube of mercury standing in a cup of the same metal. The pressure of the atmosphere on the surface of the mercury in the cup caused it to vary in height in the tube, and the level could be read off against a scale.

Alternatively, the rise and fall could be shown on a circular dial and indicated by a movable pointer. The earliest barometers were made by the eminent clockmakers of the day, were often enclosed in cases of walnut and are very rare and valuable. In the later eighteenth century many were made in mahogany cases and included a thermometer and a damp-detector (hygrometer). These are not hard to find, and their price varies today according to condition and whether or not they are in working order.

In the past, people spent more money on their beds than on any other article of furniture. The wood framework, which was usually of four-poster type, was only a part of the expense, the majority of the time, labor and money going on the elaborate hangings, which enclosed it and kept the occupant warm and draught-free. The oldest to survive in any numbers is the

Elizabethan carved four-poster, with its elaborate headboard and carved roof (tester), and of these the best known is the Great Bed of Ware. This was mentioned by Shakespeare in Twelfth Night, and has found a final home in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Mahogany beds were made in much the same form as oak ones had been, although taller and more graceful in appearance, and it was not until 1850 that the four-poster went out of fashion and the brass bedstead took its place.

Buckets made of mahogany bound with brass and with brass handles were made from about 1760. They were used to carry plates to and from kitchen and dining room, and have a long vertical opening from rim to base so that the plates could be removed easily. Rare examples were made with flat sides decorated with fretwork. Brassbound buckets without the vertical opening are described as Peat Buckets,

A bureau is a form of writing desk, and has a number of names: including escritoire, scriptor and secretaire. The earliest type, dating from about 1675, was a cabinet on an open stand, with a hinged front that let down to make a writing surface. Shortly after that date came a similar piece, but with the top sloping instead of upright.

Later again, drawers were used in place of the stand, and the pattern that is still made came into being. Many sloping-top bureaus were made in the form known as a bureau-bookcase; that is, with a bookcase above the bureau. Another variety is in the form of a straight-fronted chest, the front of the upper dummy drawer (or upper two drawers) hinged and falling to reveal a writing-space with pigeonholes and smaller drawers. This type is called generally a secretairie.
Bureaus and secretaries

With or without upper bookcases, were made in one form or another from about 1700 onwards and not only in walnut and mahogany but also lacquered. It is important to make sure that a bureau- or secretaire-bookcase remains as it was made, and has not been 'married' subsequently. Often, a straightforward bureau has had a bookcase, more or less fitting and matching, placed on it and the value falsely increased.

Now you know something about the different kinds of things that are made from the woods. These things are not only useful but they also are now preserved as antiques in museums and at homes, etc.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.kitchen-plans-n-designs.com/ , http://www.ezcollectablesguide.info/ , http://www.collectablesmadeez.info/
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