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Antique Furniture Academy - Linen Press

Antique Furniture Academy - Linen Press

So today I thought we could talk about linen presses and what inspired the common design traits used in their construction...

The linen press is an evolution borne out of the growing demand for domestic storage during the second half of the seventeenth Century where previously a provincially produced oak coffer chest or walnut 'cassoni/cassone' (often constructed in situ) would have sufficed. However the top-down nature of coffer chests means access was not ideal for items stored at the bottom, requiring everything to be unpacked and then repacked. The hinged tops were seen as impractical and so twin front doors on upright cupboards became increasingly popular.

During the seventeenth Century, inspired by earlier renaissance precedents, these presses began to be made in dedicated workshops and were constructed to be split into parts for transportation to their final destinations. This was an important development in the history of furniture manufacture as designs and working practices became more standardised and they moved away from their provincial roots.

During the eighteenth Century Thomas Sheraton and George Hepplewhite adopted the Neo-classical designs of the Parisian greek revival such as fitting sliding trays (presses) enclosed by the cupboard doors in the upper section and a standard chest of drawers below.


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