In Arts & Mysteries

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If you buy into the sentiment in my previous blog, the next logical question is “But where do I start?” “Must I start by flint knapping a stone plane blade?” “Adam, you’ve gone too far.”

I don’t think its a fact that every thing is sequential, i.e. each new item is not necessarily inspired by previous items of similar function. But there are clearly individual genetical lines, not unlike families.

The place to start is with an art history text book. I have been skipping over these for years as nothing more than academic mumbo jumbo, totally irrelevant and divorced from the construction of furniture. Even well trained docents sometimes mistake dovetails for mortise and tenon joints. But these folks can offer us the family trees we need to improve our skills and understanding.

I’m not going to embarrass myself by attempting to summarize the world’s finest furniture styles’ lineage. What I can say is that some styles relied heavily upon the previous style. This was the essential point behind the Philadelphia Art Museum’s


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