Hubert Robert – Fountain of Apollo gardens of Versailles – 1774
This painting depicts the rejuvenation of the park at Versailles, begun in 1774 with the cutting down of the trees for sale as firewood (not FORP).
Scieurs de long, (literally ‘the long sawyers’) is the French name for what we know in English, from the British tradition, as ‘Pit Sawing’, albeit with trestles instead of a saw pit. This entry will continue with a set of old French photographs and postcards that show a method of holding the log that utilizes a single trestle or scaffold (echafaudage de scieur de long) to hold the timber in a cantilevered position for sawing.
A quick check of French websites shows this style of sawing is still practiced at historical fairs and museums. I put together a collage of some images I found from the recent past.
An Illustration of sawyers in Brazil by French artist Jean Baptiste Debret
Voyage pittoresque et historique au Brésil (1816)
This last photo didn’t really fit anywhere else so I’m including it here. This is a circa 1900 stereoscope card showing sawyers in Seoul Korea.
to be continued…