Dating ware Freesextalk trials

Again it is not easy to be certain that these boxes were definitely made or decorated in Tunbridge as the inspirations for the pictures were often drawn from pattern books available throughout the country.

However even if they were not decorated by the Tunbridge makers many of these boxes were supplied ‘in the white’ by them, for ladies to decorate at home. The parquetry and long triangular ‘vandyke’ patterns, which decorate the Tunbridge Ware boxes of this period, are of such distinctive quality that they cannot be mistaken for anything else.

Another type of Tunbridge Ware geometric design was created by the stickware method.

This was the gluing and binding together of triangular sticks of wood in contrasting colours, which were made into rods.

The mosaic technique was used to create geometric border patterns as well as more ambitious representations of flora, fauna, people and buildings.

Many of the patterns were copied from Berlin woolwork and motifs of Tunbridge Ware boxes of this period are often referred to as Berlin woolwork designs.

The mosaic technique is a very interesting example of the aptitude of the Tunbridge Ware workers to assimilate and adapt techniques and designs from other cultures.

Stone mosaics were uncovered in the much talked about excavations of the 18Detail: the complexity of the mosaic made from precious and difficult to work materials can be seen on magnified section on the right.

It is veneered in harewood with the banding in sycamore.

A truly delightful piece which has been allowed to age with grace.

The inlay, especially the dots which are executed in end grain, are slightly proud of the surface wood which has settled with age. Circa 1780-90 Another early type of Tunbridge Ware box was made in sycamore and painted in primary colours in a naive style depicting scenes with cottages, or flowers.

When set, the block was sliced to make veneers repeating the same pattern.

The pictorial veneers were then stuck to the surface of the box.

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