Terms of the Trade: Finial

Derived from the Latin word finis, meaning end, a finial is the name given to an ornamental decoration that sits atop a building, monument, or item of furniture. In western culture its classical use in architecture can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans, although finials were also a common feature in East Asia adorning Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.

Terms of the Trade: Andirons

Andirons, or firedogs as they are also known, are a practical tool for stacking logs in an open hearth. Usually sold in pairs and designed with two front legs and one to the rear, logs could be placed securely across the connecting horizontal bar, allowing air to circulate below the fire. The air circulation allowed for a more efficient burn and reduced the amount of smoke generated.

BADA Week: Exceptional Chinese Export Chairs sold to Art Institute of Chicago

BADA Week: Exceptional Chinese Export Chairs sold to Art Institute of Chicago

To celebrate BADA Week (13th – 17th November), Thomas Coulborn and Sons is delighted to announce the sale of an exceptional pair of 18th century Chinese Export Carved Padouk Side Chairs to The Art Institute of Chicago.

Made circa 1730 in padouk carved in low relief imitating English gesso work, they feature carved shell and foliate decoration and distinctive grotesque masks to the pad feet.

Terms of the Trade: Coffer

The term coffer dates to medieval times and is used to describe a lockable wooden chest constructed for the purpose of storing valuable items such as gold or silver. First used in the 13th century, the term is a derivation of the Latin word ‘cophinus’, meaning a large basket or storage hamper. In Middle English the word is written as ‘coffre’ or ‘cofre’ and is absorbed from the French language following the Norman Conquest.

The Makers Series: Edward Seago

Among the most gifted British landscape painters of the 20th century, Edward Seago (1910-1974) captured the British coastline and countryside with a sense of joy that earned him worldwide admiration.

Born in Norwich, Seago’s father was area manager for a Norfolk coal merchant, while his mother was employed as a governess at nearby Raveningham Hall. Young Edward was diagnosed with a heart condition at age eight and as a consequence found himself regularly housebound.

Terms of the Trade: Padouk

Padouk is the name given to the wood of the tropical Pterocarpus tree, native to Central and West Africa, and Southeast Asia. Trees can grow up to 50 metres in height, forming a long straight trunk that makes the timber an ideal candidate for logging.

The English term Padouk derives from the Burmese name for the tree, which is ‘Padauk’. Its wood is a rich red in colour, not unlike mahogany. The warm texture, coupled with the astonishing durability of the wood make Padouk perfect for use in the production of cabinets and fine furniture.