Indexer Suzanne Ellison was browsing this week through the 1570 “Opera di M. Bartolomeo Scappi,” a huge six-part book documenting the recipes Scappi cooked for cardinals and popes. And she turned up these interesting plates featuring some early furniture forms straight from the Middle Ages and “The Anarchist’s Design Book.”
Check out the staked tables (above) with the massive square and tapered legs. I’ve been meaning to build some tables like this, but my fear is that the legs will look too weird. There’s only one way to find out, I suppose.
Also interesting: A trestle table shown from the side. I love this image because it destroys the notion that each trestle had four legs and there is a problem with the perspective of the drawing. One point here for the Middle Ages artists.
Check out the collapsible table for cooking in the countryside. This form survives today and was widely reproduced as a piece of campaign furniture.
Finally, miscellaneous furniture: a small bench for sitting (banchetta, or today it would be called la panchetta) or as a step stool. Small benches similar to the banchetta are still in use today. Or, a very interesting taller bench for scrutiny of accounts or writing (or for sitting a bit higher) with a drawer neatly tucked under the edge of the benchtop.
— Christopher Schwarz