History of Wall Panelling in Interior Design Periods


Early Stuart Interiors c.1603 - 1660

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Of the design along the frieze at the top of the oak panelling, each section differs slightly and each section covers the space above two panels. The carving has unfortunately suffered rather from an overdose of dark stain and in some places the design is none too clear. Another panelled room in the same house is a `made-up' room with at least three different types of oak panelling, all varying so slightly as to be unnoticeable at first. One wall has pilasters every four panels and the frieze looks as if it might have had writing carved on it once, which has been obliterated by centuries of paint.

It was most unfortunate that so many old houses were treated, in the last century, to a process of `staining and graining' because when this was done the paint used had to be applied so thickly that any delicate carving was inevitably ruined, and it is practically impossible to remove without damaging the surface underneath.

Another case of `staining and graining' was carried out at Loxley Hall in Staffordshire, and that which was once a very fine example of decorated Jacobean interiors style oak  panelling is now so hideous in colouring as to make

one forget the intricate design and skilled precision of the Guild craftsmen who must have worked for many years there over 300 years ago.

This house has suffered very much from the hands of `renovators'. Cupboards of 18th century design now cover the original 'arcaded' recesses, and though there is much of the fine 18th century style of Stuart interiors designed decoration, the hall itself which should have remained a fine example of Jacobean interiors design craft retains only its intricate oak panelling and a made-up fireplace-all painted and grained in a parti­cularly vile gamboge with shields picked out in brilliant colours, rather like a collection of postage stamps arranged round the frieze. From what one can see now (by opening the cupboard doors with their arcaded backs and carved pilasters and ornament) the hall must at one time have been very fine indeed though probably to the `modern' taste that accepted the simpler styles at the end of the century it would have appeared over-decorated and démodé.

 

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