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Thursday, 25 September 2008

Scottish Vernacular Furniture

Scottish Vernacular Furniture. The most complete and authoritative study available of regional furniture design and use in Scotland. Part of the appeal of vernacular furniture is that in order to understand it one must look closely at social history and lifestyles that are at some levels primitive and at others surprisingly sophisticated. If not always high art, vernacular furniture proves beyond question that limited resources need not exclude aesthetic quality, nor need the functional imperative exclude beauty and charm. To appreciate some Scottish vernacular furniture we have to enter with sympathy into the world of crofters in a bleak landscape up to two hundred years ago, a world that has ceased to exist. Other Scottish pieces come from a setting of prosperous Lowland comfort. In writing this book, Bernard Cotton investigated museums and libraries; but whenever possible he and his wife Gerry made it a priority to see 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, and the objects he photographed often represent the life and death of a community, the vital relics of a vanished culture. Over the years Scots set up home in widely scattered places throughout the world, and furniture of the various types examined in this book can be found today in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Scottish Vernacular Furniture.

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