North Wales Furniture

The History of Deganwy Group were treated to a most informative talk on Thursday 17th March by Peter Collins, a member of Betws yn Rhos and Llanelian History Society. Mr Collins has always been interested in furniture, in particular Welsh furniture, and he was able to show many examples of dressers from the 17th Century onwards in the first part of his talk.

Beginning with a fine example of a Covered Cupboard which was originally in Gwydir Castle, made for John Wynn of Gwydir in the16th century, he explained the development of the cwpwrdd tridarn or three part cupboard (associated with Snowdonia) and of various models of North Wales dressers through the centuries. He showed how, over time, this item developed in various ways sometimes adding drawers or shelves to suit the particular householder.

By the 19th Century exotic woods such as mahogany were being inlaid into oak dressers and various design motifs added, indicating the style of the workshop in which it was made

In the second part of his talk Mr. Collins showed us small wooden items that he had brought with him, which had all been made in Wales: a 19th Century box for candles and a larger 18th Century Coffer Bach as well as a Welsh Love Spoon. Additionally he showed us a picture of a 19th Century Love Spoon which had an inscription about a lady from Deganwy!

The final part of his talk described items of furniture made for clothes and food storage in particular a chest for storing grain which originally came from the southern Snowdonia and is now on show in Plas Mawr, Conwy.

The Members felt they had had a most entertaining and educational evening and a vote of thanks was given by the Secretary, Vicky McDonald.

Wendy Lonsdale

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