A what-not is a piece of furniture derived from the French étagère, exceedingly popular in England in the first three-quarters of the 19th century. It consists of slender uprights or pillars, supporting a series of shelves for holding china, trifles, or "what not", hence the allusive name. In its English form, it is a convenient piece of drawing room furniture, was valued for its aesthetic. Attribution This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "What-Not". Encyclopædia Britannica. 28. Cambridge University Press
Victorian decorative arts
Victorian decorative arts refers to the style of decorative arts during the Victorian era. Victorian design is viewed as having indulged in a grand excess of ornament; the Victorian era is known for its interpretation and eclectic revival of historic styles mixed with the introduction of middle east and Asian influences in furniture and interior decoration. The Arts and Crafts movement, the aesthetic movement, Anglo-Japanese style, Art Nouveau style have their beginnings in the late Victorian era and gothic period. Interior decoration and interior design of the Victorian era are noted for orderliness and ornamentation. A house from this period was idealistically divided in rooms, with public and private space separated; the parlour was the most important room in a home and was the showcase for the homeowners where guests were entertained. A bare room was considered to be in poor taste, so every surface was filled with objects that reflected the owner's interests and aspirations; the dining room was the second-most important room in the house.
The sideboard was most the focal point of the dining room and ornately decorated. The choice of paint color on the walls in Victorian homes was said to be based on the use of the room. Hallways that were in the entry hall and the stair halls were painted a somber gray so as not to compete with the surrounding rooms. Most people marbleized the woodwork. On walls it was common to score into wet plaster to make it resemble blocks of stone. Finishes that were either marbleized or grained were found on doors and woodwork. "Graining" was meant to imitate woods of higher quality. There were specific rules for interior color placement; the theory of “harmony by analogy” was to use the colors that lay next to each other on the color wheel. And the second was the “harmony by contrast”, to use the colors that were opposite of one another on the color wheel. There was a favored tripartite wall that included a dado or wainscoting at the bottom, a field in the middle and a frieze or cornice at the top; this was popular into the 20th century.
Frederick Walton who created linoleum in 1863 created the process for embossing semi-liquid linseed oil, backed with waterproofed paper or canvas. It was applied much like wallpaper; this process made it easy to go over the oil and make it resemble wood or different types of leather. On the ceilings that were 8–14 feet the color was tinted three shades lighter than the color, on the walls and had a high quality of ornamentation because decorated ceilings were favored. There was not one dominant style of furniture in the Victorian period. Designers rather used and modified many styles taken from various time periods in history like Gothic, Elizabethan, English Rococo and others; the Gothic and Rococo revival style were the most common styles to be seen in furniture during this time in history. Wallpaper and wallcoverings became accessible for increasing numbers of householders with their wide range of designs and varying costs; this was due to the introduction of mass production techniques and, in England, the repeal in 1836 of the Wallpaper tax introduced in 1712.
Wallpaper was made in elaborate floral patterns with primary colors in the backgrounds and overprinted with colours of cream and tan. This was followed by Gothic art inspired papers in earth tones with stylized leaf and floral patterns. William Morris was one of the most influential designers of wallpaper and fabrics during the latter half of the Victorian period. Morris was used Medieval and Gothic tapestries in his work. Embossed paper were used on friezes. Victorian fashion Victoriana Eastlake Movement French polish Neo-Victorian Pteridomania Staffordshire dog figurine Charles Eastlake, Victorian designer Augustus Pugin, Victorian designer Media related to Victorian era at Wikimedia Commons Victorian Furniture Victorian Room Virtual Tour Victorian Design including ceramics, glass, jewelry and textiles. Early Victorian Furniture History in England Interior decoration and design Floral Wallpaper Late Victorian Era Furniture History in England Victorian Bookmarks Mostly-Victorian.com - Arts and interior design articles from Victorian periodicals.
"Victorian Furniture Styles". Furniture. Victoria and Albert Museum. Archived from the original on 2010-11-19. Retrieved 2011-04-03; the history of wallcoverings and wallpaper Interior design: Victorian - National Trust
The decorative arts are arts or crafts whose object is the design and manufacture of objects that are both beautiful and functional. It includes interior design, but not architecture; the decorative arts are categorized in distinction to the "fine arts", namely painting, drawing and large-scale sculpture, which produce objects for their aesthetic quality and capacity to stimulate the intellect. The distinction between the decorative and fine arts arose from the post-Renaissance art of the West, where the distinction is for the most part meaningful; this distinction is much less meaningful when considering the art of other cultures and periods, where the most valued works, or all works, include those in decorative media. For example, Islamic art in many periods and places consists of the decorative arts using geometric and plant forms, as does the art of many traditional cultures; the distinction between decorative and fine arts is not useful for appreciating Chinese art, neither is it for understanding Early Medieval art in Europe.
In that period in Europe, fine arts such as manuscript illumination and monumental sculpture existed, but the most prestigious works tended to be in goldsmith work, in cast metals such as bronze, or in other techniques such as ivory carving. Large-scale wall-paintings were much less regarded, crudely executed, mentioned in contemporary sources, they were seen as an inferior substitute for mosaic, which for the period must be considered a fine art, though in recent centuries mosaics have tended to be considered decorative. The term "ars sacra" is sometimes used for medieval Christian art executed in metal, ivory and other more valuable materials but not for rarer secular works from that period. Modern understanding of the art of many cultures tends to be distorted by the modern privileging of fine art media over others, as well as the different survival rates of works in different media. Works in metal, above all in precious metals, are liable to be "recycled" as soon as they fall from fashion, were used by owners as repositories of wealth, to be melted down when extra money was needed.
Illuminated manuscripts have a much higher survival rate in the hands of the church, as there was little value in the materials and they were easy to store. The promotion of the fine arts over the decorative in European thought can be traced to the Renaissance, when Italian theorists such as Vasari promoted artistic values, exemplified by the artists of the High Renaissance, that placed little value on the cost of materials or the amount of skilled work required to produce a work, but instead valued artistic imagination and the individual touch of the hand of a supremely gifted master such as Michelangelo, Raphael or Leonardo da Vinci, reviving to some extent the approach of antiquity. Most European art during the Middle Ages had been produced under a different set of values, where both expensive materials and virtuoso displays in difficult techniques had been valued. In China both approaches had co-existed for many centuries: ink and wash painting of landscapes, was to a large extent produced by and for the scholar-bureaucrats or "literati", was intended as an expression of the artist's imagination above all, while other major fields of art, including the important Chinese ceramics produced in industrial conditions, were produced according to a different set of artistic values.
The lower status given to works of decorative art in contrast to fine art narrowed with the rise of the Arts and Crafts movement. This aesthetic movement of the second half of the 19th century was born in England and inspired by William Morris and John Ruskin; the movement represented the beginning of a greater appreciation of the decorative arts throughout Europe. The appeal of the Arts and Crafts movement to a new generation led the English architect and designer Arthur H. Mackmurdo to organize the Century Guild for craftsmen in 1882, championing the idea that there was no meaningful difference between the fine and decorative arts. Many converts, both from professional artists' ranks and from among the intellectual class as a whole, helped spread the ideas of the movement; the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement led to the decorative arts being given a greater appreciation and status in society and this was soon reflected by changes in the law. Until the enactment of the Copyright Act 1911 only works of fine art had been protected from unauthorised copying.
The 1911 Act extended the definition of an "artistic work" to include works of "artistic craftsmanship". In the context of mass production and consumerism some individuals will attempt to create or maintain their lifestyle or to construct their identity when forced to accept mass produced identical objects in their life. According to Campbell in his piece “The Craft Consumer”, this is done by selecting goods with specific intentions in mind to alter them. Instead of accepting a foreign object for what it is, the foreign object is incorporated and changed to fit one's lifestyle and choices, or customized. One way to achieve a customized look and feel to common objects is to change their external appearance by applying decorative techniques, as in decoupage, art cars, truck art in South Asia and IKEA hacking. American craft Art for art's sake Applied arts Design museum Faux painting Fine arts History of decorative arts Industrial design Ornament References Sources Dormer, The Culture of Craft, 1997, Manchester University Press, ISBN 0719046181, 9780719046186, google books Home Economics Archive: Tradition, History Cornell University Victoria and Albert Museum Argentine Decorativ
A shelf is a flat horizontal plane, used in a home, store, or elsewhere to hold items that are being displayed, stored, or offered for sale. It is raised off the ground and anchored/supported on its shorter length sides by brackets, it can be held up by columns or pillars. A shelf is known as a counter, mantel, or rack. Tables designed to be placed against a wall mounted, are known as console tables, are similar to individual shelves. A shelf can be attached to a wall or other vertical surface, be suspended from a ceiling, be a part of a free-standing frame unit, or it can be part of a piece of furniture such as a cabinet, entertainment center, some headboards, so on. Two to six shelves make up a unit, each shelf being attached perpendicularly to the vertical or diagonal supports and positioned parallel one above the other. Free-standing shelves can be accessible from both longer length sides. A shelf with hidden internal brackets is termed a floating shelf. A shelf or case designed to hold books is a bookshelf.
The length of the shelf is based upon the space limitations of its siting and the amount of weight which it will be expected to hold. The vertical distance between the shelves is based upon the space limitations of the unit's siting and the height of the objects; the unit can be some form of mobile shelving. The most heavy duty shelving is pallet racking. In a store, the front edge of the shelf under the object held might be used to display the name, product number and other information about the object. Shelves are made of strong materials such as wood, bamboo or steel, though shelves to hold lighter-weight objects can be made of glass or plastic. DIY shelves can be made from an old door, colored pencils or books. Pipe shelving can be used in a home, store or restaurant, it consists of wood boards resting on black or galvanized steel gas pipe. Copper pipe can be used but it is not recommended for heavy duty shelves. Pipe shelving can be modified to be used as retail clothing displays and wall shelves.
Pipe shelving supports rest on the floor with floor flanges and attaches to the wall with flanges that are directed backwards. Many different designs exist and some companies make these shelves for commercial and residential applications and others make these shelves as diy projects. Pipe shelving is attached to a wall but some companies have designed free standing units. Pipe shelving has been used in reclamation projects such as shipping container architecture and was used by Marriott hotels in a bar project; when hanging shelves on a wall, home designers try to ensure that the shelf should be no wider than 1.4 x bracket's width and no wider than 1.2 x bracket's height. Spacing brackets for a long shelf should be no more than 4 x shelf-breadth between each bracket - this holds true for normal materials used at home. Length and size of screws holding the shelf to the wall differ depending on the material of the wall. A good rule of thumb for concrete walls is that the screw should go into the wall at least at least as far as 1/10th the width of the shelf.
But there are shelf systems where a brace is hung on the wall onto which brackets are attached without screws. The word shelf is from the Old English scylfe. Wire shelving
Furniture refers to movable objects intended to support various human activities such as seating and sleeping. Furniture is used to hold objects at a convenient height for work, or to store things. Furniture is considered a form of decorative art. In addition to furniture's functional role, it can serve a religious purpose, it can be made from many materials, including metal and wood. Furniture can be made using a variety of woodworking joints which reflect the local culture. People have been using natural objects, such as tree stumps and moss, as furniture since the beginning of human civilisation. Archaeological research shows that from around 30,000 years ago, people began constructing and carving their own furniture, using wood and animal bones. Early furniture from this period is known from artwork such as a Venus figurine found in Russia, depicting the goddess on a throne; the first surviving extant furniture is in the homes of Skara Brae in Scotland, includes cupboards and beds all constructed from stone.
Complex construction techniques such as joinery began in the early dynastic period of ancient Egypt. This era saw constructed wooden pieces, including stools and tables, sometimes decorated with valuable metals or ivory; the evolution of furniture design continued in ancient Greece and ancient Rome, with thrones being commonplace as well as the klinai, multipurpose couches used for relaxing and sleeping. The furniture of the Middle Ages was heavy and ornamented. Furniture design expanded during the Italian Renaissance of the fifteenth century; the seventeenth century, in both Southern and Northern Europe, was characterized by opulent gilded Baroque designs. The nineteenth century is defined by revival styles; the first three-quarters of the twentieth century are seen as the march towards Modernism. One unique outgrowth of post-modern furniture design is a return to natural textures; the English word furniture is derived from the French word fourniture, the noun form of fournir, which means to supply or provide.
Thus fourniture in French means provisions. The English usage, referring to household objects, is specific to that language; the practice of using natural objects as rudimentary pieces of furniture dates to the beginning of human civilisation. Early humans are to have used tree stumps as seats, rocks as rudimentary tables, mossy areas for sleeping. During the late palaeolithic or early neolithic period, from around 30,000 years ago, people began constructing and carving their own furniture, using wood and animal bones; the earliest evidence for the existence of constructed furniture is a Venus figurine found at the Gagarino site in Russia, which depicts the goddess in a sitting position, on a throne. A similar statue of a Mother Goddess was found in Catal Huyuk in Turkey, dating to between 6000 and 5500 BCE; the inclusion of such a seat in the figurines implies that these were common artefacts of that age. A range of unique stone furniture has been excavated in Skara Brae, a Neolithic village in Orkney, Scotland.
The site dates from 3100–2500 BCE and due to a shortage of wood in Orkney, the people of Skara Brae were forced to build with stone, a available material that could be worked and turned into items for use within the household. Each house shows a high degree of sophistication and was equipped with an extensive assortment of stone furniture, ranging from cupboards and beds to shelves, stone seats, limpet tanks; the stone dresser was regarded as the most important as it symbolically faces the entrance in each house and is therefore the first item seen when entering displaying symbolic objects, including decorative artwork such as several Neolithic Carved Stone Balls found at the site. Ancient furniture has been excavated from the 8th-century BCE Phrygian tumulus, the Midas Mound, in Gordion, Turkey. Pieces found here inlaid serving stands. There are surviving works from the 9th-8th-century BCE Assyrian palace of Nimrud; the earliest surviving carpet, the Pazyryk Carpet was discovered in a frozen tomb in Siberia and has been dated between the 6th and 3rd century BCE.
Civilisation in ancient Egypt began with the clearance and irrigation of land along the banks of the River Nile, which began in about 6000 BCE. By that time, society in the Nile Valley was engaged in organized agriculture and the construction of large buildings. At this period, Egyptians in the southwestern corner of Egypt were herding cattle and constructing large buildings. Mortar was in use by around 4000 BCE The inhabitants of the Nile Valley and delta were self-sufficient and were raising barley and emmer and stored it in pits lined with reed mats, they raised cattle and pigs and they wove linens and baskets. Evidence of furniture from the predynastic period is scarce, but samples from First Dynasty tombs indicate an advanced use of furnishings in the houses of the age. During the dynastic period, which began in around 3200 BCE, Egyptian art developed and this included furniture design. Egyptian furniture was constructed using wood, but other materials were sometimes used, such as leather, pieces were adorned with gold, silver and ebony, for decoration.
Wood found in Egypt was not suitable for furniture construction