The latest French work which treats of joinery is Rondelet’s “L’Art de Batir.” It is also the best foreign work on the subject that we have seen; but it is not at all adapted to the state of joinery in England. In practice, the French joiners are very much inferior to our own. Their work is rough, slovenly, and often clumsy, and at best is confined to external effect.
The neatness, soundness, and accuracy, which is common to every part of the works of an English joinery, is scarcely to be found in any part of the works of a French one. The little correspondence, in point of excellence, between their theory and practice, leads us to think that their theoretical knowledge is confined to architects, engineers, &c. instead of being diffused among workmen, as it is in this country.
In cabinet-work the French workmen are certainly superior, at least as far as regards external appearance; but when use, as well as ornament, is to be considered, our own countrymen must certainly carry away the palm.
— Encyclopaedia Britannica 7th Edition 1842 Joinery Article by Thomas Tredgold C.E.