Jeff Burks turned up a great print dated 1651-1725 (artist unknown), that is owned by Herzog August Bibliothek in the German city of Wolfenbüttel.
Lots of interesting things to see here:
1. A “slab” bench. I don’t write about these styles of benches much because I haven’t seen any in person yet – only in paintings and drawings. The benches show up fairly regularly in the images in Mendel’s and Landauer’s house books. They appear somewhat built-in at times, and sometimes have a suggestion of an undercarriage.
2. The shoulder vise/pierced crochet. This is my favorite part of the drawings (besides the guy’s hat). The shoulder vise is a lot like the vise shown (poorly) in Joseph Moxon’s “The Art of Joinery,” which he calls the “bench screw.”
c. The Bench-Screw (on its hither ſide) to Screw Boards in whiſlt the Edges of them are Plaining or Shooting; and then the other edge of the Board is ſet upon a Pin or Pins (if the Board be ſo long as to reach the other Leg) put into the Holes marked aaaaa down the Legs of the Bench…
The bench screw in the Wolfenbüttel illustration appears to be made with a through-tenon that is pegged.
3. The sawbench/axe bench. These proto-Windsor-chair things show up in early illustrations a lot. I like this one because of its slightly curved legs.
What Jeff and I can’t quite get our arms around is the text below the illustration: Wil ich mein Sach mach schlecht und grecht bin ich alzeit ein armer Knecht. A Google translation of the text doesn’t turn up anything meaningful.
If anyone out there can offer a better translation, we’d be grateful.
— Christopher Schwarz