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the Duddon and Morecambe Bay lies Walney Island, 8 m. in length, and in the shallow strait between it and the mainland are several smaller islands. That part of Furness which forms a peninsula between the Leven estuary and Morecambe Bay, and the Duddon estuary, is rich in hematite iron ore, which has been worked from very early times. It was known and smelted by British and Romans, and by the monks of Furness Abbey and Conishead Priory, both in the district. It was owing to the existence of this ore that the town of Barrow grew up in the 19th century; at first as a port from which the ore was exported to South Wales, while later furnaces were established on the spot, and acquired additional importance on the introduction of the Bessemer process, which requires a non-phosphoric ore such as is found here. The hematite is also worked at Ulverston, Askam, Dalton and elsewhere, but the furnaces now depend in part upon ore imported from Spain. The supposed extension of the ore under the sands of the Duddon estuary led to the construction of a sea wall to facilitate the working. The district is served by the main line of the Furness railway, from Carnforth (junction with the London & North-Western railway), passing the pleasant watering-place of Grange, and approximately following the coast by Ulverston, Dalton and Barrow, with branches to Lake Side, Windermere, and to Coniston. Apart from its industrial importance and scenic attractions, Furness has an especial interest on account of its famous abbey. The ruins of this, beautifully situated in a wooded valley, are extensive, and mainly of fine transitional Norman and Early English date, acquiring additional picturesqueness from the warm colour of the red sandstone of which they are built. The abbey of Furness, otherwise Furdenesia or the furthernese (promontory), which was dedicated to St Mary, was founded in 1127 by a small body of monks belonging to the Benedictine order of Savigny. In 1124 they had settled at Tulketh, near Preston, but migrated in 1127 to Furness under the auspices of Stephen, count of Boulogne, afterwards king, at that time lord of the liberty of Furness. In 1148 the brotherhood joined the Cistercian order. Stephen granted to the monks the lordship of Furness, and his charter was confirmed by Henry I., Henry II. and subsequent kings. The abbot's power throughout the lordship was almost absolute; he had a market and fair at Dalton, was free from service to the county and wapentake, and held a sheriff's tourn. By a succession of gifts the abbey became one of the richest in England and was the largest Cistercian foundation in the kingdom. At
the Dissolution its revenues amounted to between £750 and
£8oo a year, exclusive of meadows, pastures, fisheries, mines, mills and salt works, and the wealth of the monks enabled them to practise a regal hospitality. . The abbot was one of the twenty Cistercian abbots summoned to the parliament of 1264, but was not cited after 1330, as he did not hold of the king in capite per baroniam. The abbey founded several offshoot houses, one of the most important being Rushen Abbey in the Isle of Man. In 1535 the royal commissioners visited the abbey and reported four of its inmates, including the abbot, for incontinence. In 1536 the abbot was charged with complicity in the Pilgrimage of Grace, and on the 7th of April 1537, under compulsion, surrendered the abbey to the king. A few monks were granted pensions, and the abbot was endowed with the profits of the rectory of Dalton, valued at £33, 6s. 8d. per annum. In 1540 the estates and revenues were annexed by act of parliament to the Duchy of Lancaster. About James I.'s reign the site and territories were alienated to the Prestons of Preston-Patrick, from whom they descended to the dukes of Devonshire.
Conishead Priory, near Ulverston, an Augustinian foundation of the reign of Henry II., has left no remains, but of the priory of Cartmel (1188) the fine church is still in use. It is a cruciform structure of transitional Norman and later dates, its central tower having the upper storey set diagonally upon the lower. The chancel contains some superb Jacobean carved oak screens, with stalls of earlier date.
FURNISS. HARRY (1854- ), British caricaturist and illustrator, was born at Wexford, Ireland, of English and Scottish
parents. He was educated in Dublin, and in his schooldays edited a Schoolboy's Punch in close imitation of the original. He came to London when he was nineteen, and began to draw for the illustrated papers, being for some years a regular contributor to the Illustrated London News. His first drawing in Punch appeared in 1880, and he joined its staff in 1884. He illustrated Lucy’s “Diary of Toby, M.P.,” in Punch, where his political caricatures became a popular feature. Among his other successes were a series of “Puzzle Heads,” and his annual “Royal Academy guy’d.” In Royal Academy Antics (1890) he published a volume of caricatures of the work of leading artists. He resigned from the staff of Punch in 1894, produced for a short time a weekly comic paper Lika Joko, and in 1898 began a humorous monthly, Fair Game; but these were short-lived. Among the numerous books he illustrated were James Payn's Talk of the Town, Lewis Carroll's Sylvie and Bruno, Gilbert à Beckett's Comic Blackstone, G. E. Farrow's Wallypug Book, and his own novel, Poverty Bay (1905). Our Joe, his great Fight (1903), was a collection of original cartoons. His volume of reminiscences, Confessions of a Caricaturist (1901), was followed by Harry Furniss at Home (1904). In 1905 he published How to draw in Pen and Ink, and produced the first number of Harry Furniss's Christmas Annual. FURNITURE (from “furnish,” Fr. fournir), a general term of obscure origin, used to describe the chattels and fittings required to adapt houses and other buildings for use. Wood, ivory, precious stones, bronze, silver and gold have been used from the most ancient times in the construction or for the decoration of furniture. The kinds of objects required for furniture have varied according to the changes of manners and customs, as well as with reference to the materials at the command of the workman, in different climates and countries. Of really ancient furniture there are very few surviving examples, partly by reason of the perishable materials of which it was usually constructed, and partly because, however great may have been the splendour of Egypt, however consummate the taste of Greece, however luxurious the life of Rome, the number of household appliances was very limited. The chair, the couch, the table, the bed, were virtually the entire furniture of early peoples, whatever the degree of their civilization, and so they remained until the close of what are known in Eruopean history as the middle ages. During the long empire-strewn centuries which intervened between the lapse of Egypt and the obliteration of Babylon, the extinction of Greece and the dismemberment of Rome and the great awakening of the Renaissance, household comfort developed but little. The Ptolemies were as well lodged as the Plantagenets, and peoples who spent their lives in the open air, going to bed in the early hours of darkness, and rising as soon as it was light, needed but little household furniture. Indoor life and the growth of sedentary habits exercised a powerful influence upon the development of furniture. From being splendid, or at least massive, and exceedingly sparse and costly, it gradually became light, plentiful and cheap. In the ancient civilizations, as in the periods when our own was slowly growing, household plenishings, save in the rudest and most elementary forms, were the privilege of the great—no person of mean degree could have obtained, or would have dared to use if he could, what is now the commonest object in every house, the chair (q.v.). Sparse examples of the furniture of Egypt, Nineveh, Greece and Rome are to be found in museums; but our chief sources of information are mural and sepulchral paintings and sculptures. The Egyptians used wooden furniture carved and gilded, covered with splendid textiles, and supported upon the legs of wild animals; they employed chests and coffers as receptacles for clothes, valuables and small objects generally. Wild animals and beasts of the chase were carved upon the furniture of Nineveh also; the lion, the bull and the ram were especially characteristic. The Assyrians were magnificent in their household appointments; their tables and couches were inlaid with ivory and precious metals Cedar and ebony were much used by these great Eastern peoples, and it is probable that they were familiar with rosewood, walnut and teak. Sol-Anon's bed was of cedar of Lebanon. Greek furniture was essentially Oriental in form; the more sumptuous varieties were of bronze, damascened with gold and silver. The Romans employed Greek artists and workmen and absorbed or adapted many of their mobiliary fashions, especially in chairs and couches. The Roman tables were of splendid marbles or rare woods. In the later ages of the empire, in Rome and afterwards in Constantinople, gold and silver were plentifully used in furniture; such indeed was the abundance of these precious metals that even cooking utensils and common domestic vessels were made of them. The architectural features so prominent in much of the medieval furniture begin in these Byzantifie and late Roman thrones and other seats. These features became paramount as Pointed architecture became general in Europe, and scarcely less so during the Renaissance. Most of the medieval furniture, chests, seats, trays, &c., of Italian make were richly gilt and painted. In northern Europe carved oak was more generally used. State seats in feudal halls were benches with ends carved in tracery, backs panelled or hung with cloths (called cloths of estate), and canopies projecting above. Bedsteads were square frames, the testers of panelled wood, resting on carved posts. Chests of oak carved with panels of tracery, or of Italian cypress (when they could be imported), ere used to hold and to carry clothes, tapestries, &c., to distant castles and manor houses; for house furniture, owing to its scarcity and cost, had to be moved from place to place. Copes and other ecclesiastical vestments were kept in chests with ornamental lock plates and iron hinges. The splendour of most feudal houses depended on pictorial tapestries which could be packed and carried from place to place. Wardrobes were rooms fitted for the reception of dresses, as well as for spices and other valuable stores. Excellent carving in relief was executed on caskets, which were of wood or of ivory, with painting and gilding, and decorated with delicate hinge and lock metal-work. The general subjects of sculpture were taken from legends of the saints or from metrical romances. Renaissance art made a great change in architecture, and this change was exemplified in furniture. Cabinets (q.v.) and panelling took the outlines of palaces and temples. In Florence, Rome, Venice, Milan and other capitals of Italy, sumptuous cabinets, tables, chairs, chests, &c., were made to the orders of the native princes. Vasari (Lives of Painters) speaks of scientific diagrams and mathematical problems illustrated in costly materials, by the best artists of the day, on furniture made for the Medici family. The great extent of the rule of Charles V. helped to give a uniform training to artists from various countries resorting to Italy, so that cabinets, &c., which were made in vast numbers in Spain, Flanders and Germany, can hardly be distinguished from those executed in Italy. Francis I. and Henry VIII. encouraged the revived arts in their respective dominions. Pietra dura, or inlay of hard pebbles, agate, lapis lazuli, and other stones, ivory carved and inlaid, carved and gilt wood, marquetry or veneering with thin woods, tortoiseshell, brass, &c., were used in making sumptuous furniture during the first period of the Renaissance. Subjects of carving or relief were generally drawn from the theological and cardinal virtues, from classical mythology, from the seasons, months, &c. Carved altarpieces and woodwork in churches partook of the change in style. The great period of furniture in almost every country was, however, unquestionably the 18th century. That century saw many extravagances in this, as in other forms of art, but on the whole it saw the richest floraison of taste, and the widest sense of invention. This is the more remarkable since the furniture of the 17th century has often been criticized as heavy and coarse. The criticism is only partly justified. Throughout the first threequarters of the period between the accession of James I. and that of Queen Anne, massiveness and solidity were the distinguishing characteristics of all work. Towards the reign of James II., however, there came in one of the most pleasing and elegant styles ever known in England. Nearly a generation before then Boulle was developing in France the splendid and palatial method of inlay which, although he did not invent it,
is inseparably associated with his name. We owe it perhaps to the fact that France, as the neighbour of Italy, was touched more immediately by the Renaissance than England that the reign of heaviness came earlier to an end in that country than on the other side of the Channel. But there is a heaviness which is pleasing as well as one which is forbidding, and much of the furniture made in England any time after the middle of the 17th century was highly attractive. If English furniture of the Stuart period be not sought after to the same extent as that of a hundred years later, it is yet highly prized and exceedingly decorative. Angularity it often still possessed, but generally speaking its elegance of form and richness of upholstering lent it an attraction which not long before had been entirely lacking. Alike in France and in England, the most attractive achievements of the cabinetmaker belong to the 18th century-English Queen Anne and early Georgian work is universally charming; the regency and the reigns of Louis XV. and XVI. formed a period of the greatest artistic splendour. The inspiration of much of the work of the great English school was derived from France, although the gropings after the Chinese taste and the earlier Gothic manner were mainly indigenous. The French styles of the century, which began with excessive flamboyance, closed before the Revolution with a chaste perfection of detail which is perhaps more delightful than anything that has ever been done in furniture. In the achievements of Riesener, David Röntgen, Gouthière, Oeben and Rousseau de la Rottière we have the highwater mark of craftsmanship. The marquetry of the period, although not always beautiful in itself, was executed with extraordinary smoothness and finish; the mounts of gilded bronze, which were the leading characteristic of most of the work of the century, were finished with a minute delicacy of touch which was until then unknown, and has never been rivalled since. If the periods of Francis I. and Henry II., of Louis XIV. and the regency produced much that was sumptuousand even elegant, that of Louis XVI., while men's minds were as yet undisturbed by violent political convulsions, stands out as, on the whole, the one consummate era in the annals of furniture. Times of great achievement are almost invariably followed directly by those in which no tall thistles grow and in which every little shrub is magnified to the dimensions of a forest tree; and the so-called “empire style” which had begun even while the last monarch of the ancien régime still reigned, lacked alike the graceful conception and the superb execution of the preceding style. Heavy and usually uninspired, it was nurtured in tragedy and perished amid disaster. Yet it is a profoundly interesting style, both by reason of the classical roots from which it sprang and the attempt, which it finally reflected, to establish new ideas in every department of life. Founded upon the wreck of a lingering feudalism it reached back to Rome and Greece, and even to Egypt. If it is rarely charming, it is often impressive by its severity. Mahogany, satinwood and other rich timbers were characteristic of the style of the end of the 18th century; rosewood was most commonly employed for the choicer work of the beginning of the 19th. Bronze mounts were in high favour, although their artistic character varied materially. Previously to the middle of the 18th century the only cabinetmaker who gained sufficient personal distinction to have had his name preserved was André Charles Boulle; beginning with that period France and England produced many men whose renown is hardly less than that of artists in other media. With Chippendale there arose a marvellously brilliant school of English cabinetmakers, in which the most outstanding names are those of Sheraton, Heppelwhite, Shearer and the Adams. But if the school was splendid it was lamentably short-lived, and the 19th century produced no single name in the least worthy to be placed beside these giants. Whether, in an age of machinery, much room is left for fine individual execution may be doubted, and the manufacture of furniture now, to a great extent, takes place in large factories both in England and on the continent. Owing to the necessary subdivision of labour in these establishments, each piece of furniture passes through numerous distinct workshops. The master and a few artificers formerly
Fig. 1–Venetian Folding Chair of Fig. 2.—Oak Arm-chair. English, carved and gilt walnut, leather back 17th century. and seat; about 1530.
Fig. 5.—Painted and carved High- Fig. 6.–Carved Walnut Chairs. English, early 18th century. Fig. 7.—Walnut Chair; about 171o. Back Chair with cane back and The arm-chair is inlaid. seat, about 1660. The chairs in Figs. 1, 2, 6, are in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The rest were lent to the Bethnal Green Exhibition, 1892, and are the property of Lord Zouche (3 and 7), and Earl Brownlow (4).
- – Fig. 9-Carved, Mahogany Arm- Fig. Io-Carved and Inlaid Mahog- Fig. 11-Mahogany Chair in the chair, in the style of Chippendale, any Chair, in the style of Hepple- style of Sheraton; about 178o. with ribbon pattern. white; late 18th century.
Fig. 13.—Arm-chair of carved and gilt Fig. 14.-Mahogany Arm-chair. Empire Fig. 15–Painted and gilt Beech Chair, wood with stuffed back, seat, and arms. style, early 19th century, said to have English, about 18oo. French, Louis XV, style. belonged to the Bonaparte family.
The chairs in Figs. 8, 9, 10, 13, 15, are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Figs, 8 and 9 being lent by Lt.-Col. G. B. Croft Lyons, Fig.13 by J. H. FitzHenry, Esq. The rest were lent to the Bethnal Green Exhibition, 1893, Fig. 12 is the property of Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane, G.C.B.
Fig. 1.—Front of Oak Coffer with wrought iron bands. French, 2nd half of 13th century.
Fig. 3.—Italian (Florentine) Coffer of Wood with gilt arabesque stucco ornament, about 1480.
Fig. 4.—Italian “Cassone” or Marriage Coffer, 15th century. Carved and gilt wood with painted front and ends.
The above are in the Victoria and Albert Museum.