Cornhill Magazine,  9 (1864), 337–49.

The Fashion of Furniture

[Charles L Eastlake]




Ethnography, Aesthetics, Instinct, Manufactories, Progress

    Avers that the 'faculty of decorating articles of common use—especially those of textile fabric—fitly, by keeping the nature of their material in view, and putting the right sort of ornament in the right place, is one which seems the natural inheritance of most nations in their early and primitive state, and even long afterwards'. In the main, 'it is an instinctive ability, and, in its exercise, is the more valuable because it is instinctive'. (340) The 'New Zealander', for instance, can 'often carve a canoe-head, or whittle a battle-club, in a better style of ornament than any pupil in our schools of design' (339–40). Bemoans the 'unequal progress' of the 'various branches' of 'art manufacture', noting that 'Minton's plates and Hardman's locks and gas-fittings are not, indeed, yet within the reach of the million; still, those who can afford to pay for such ware may have it'. At the same time, the manufacture of 'upholstery seems in a state of stagnation'. (343)


Eastlake 1868

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