- ISBN 9780500238578
- 31.00 x 24.00 cm
- 544 Illustrations, 412 in colour
- First published 2008
‘Lavishly and often movingly illustrated … The tone of this book may be judicious and scholarly, but there’s no disguising Cotton’s excitement at his discoveries, a passion for his subject that far outweighs the discomforts he has endured … enthralling’ – Scottish Review of Books
‘Can be very highly commended … a major work bringing to a wide audience many of the distinctive forms of Scottish furniture in a publication of real quality’ – Scottish Vernacular Building
Part of the appeal of vernacular furniture is that to understand it we must look closely at social history, and engage with lifestyles that range from self-sufficient to sophisticated.
To write this book demanded more than scholarship. Bernard Cotton and his wife Gerry made it a priority to discover pieces in their contexts, to meet the people who used them, and to understand how they were made. The story of their quest is itself an adventure. Some of the objects represent the life and death of a community, the vital evidence of a vanished culture.
Vernacular furniture proves beyond question that limited resources, even poverty, need not exclude aesthetic qualities, nor need the functional exclude beauty and charm.
Furniture of the types examined in this book can be found today as far away as North America, Australia and New Zealand.
Dr Bernard (‘Bill’) Cotton is a furniture historian who for many years has specialized in recording the regional vernacular furniture traditions of Britain and other countries where the British settled. He is co-founder and former Chairman and President of the Regional Furniture Society, and Professor of Furniture. His many publications include Manx Traditional Furniture and the classic reference work, The English Regional Chair.