ABSTRACT

Furniture history is simply one aspect of history and, within that broad spectrum, forms part of the growing subject of design history. There is a variety of approaches to furniture history which, in chronological terms, extends from the earliest pieces made to the present day: it therefore includes ancient willow chairs as well as mass-produced plastic seating for football stadiums. It covers the furniture made for all sectors of society from the humble beds and tables of Russian serfs to the elaborate marquetry cabinets imported by their Empress Catherine. The geographical spread of the subject is world-wide although most published works in English concentrate on Europe and the USA. They also focus mainly on the period from the Renaissance onwards, in the tradition of European art historical studies.