The main reason purely and simply is because of age. There is very little domestic furniture that has survived from the Middle Ages, and that which has survived show a marked Gothic influence only because these pieces usually came out of churches. As such, they have been preserved from the ravages of time where most have not been exposed to the extremes of heat and smoke from open fires, and general hard family use.
The furniture like Gothic buildings were solidly made, elaborately carved, painted in primary colours and often gilded. Gothic carvers would decorate their furniture with flowers and foliage mainly with an occasional gargoyle or two. One of the most tell tale Gothic designs was the linen fold which is to be found on large oak chests of the period. Rare survivors of furniture have lost much of their bright colouration, although still impressive in their dark oak state.
Earlier joinery techniques relied on nailing and pegging or ‘plank construction’. A Dutch innovation of framed construction allowed lighter pieces of wood to be fitted within heavier frames which in turn created lighter pieces of furniture and also allowed for warpage and shrinkage. Other developments were the refectory tables with the ornately carved and turned ‘cup and cover’ table legs, so named because they resembled silver cups of the period.
16th century oak furniture is extremely rare but much well made later country furniture and also Victorian Gothic revival antique furniture is still available. When looking for an oak refectory antique dining table , Lancashire dealers can help you with your search.
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