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News from The Furniture Maker’s Company: Supporting industry workers

Testimonials from recent workers in the furniture industry who have received financial aid from this charity.

Our charity has been supporting UK furnishing industry workers since 1903, and we are proudly supporting those who have been affected by the current crisis.

Below are a just a few of the people we have already helped.


Sam’s story

Sam was recently made redundant from his job at a bespoke furniture and joinery company when it sadly went insolvent. He had been working in the furnishing industry for a few years, starting as an intern, and his career was progressing quickly.

Unable to find new work and with money drying up, Sam reached out to The Furniture Makers’ Company for support.We were able to award him a two-month hardship grant to cover essential bills.

Sam said: “It’s a stressful time, and one that I’d never thought I’d find myself in. Your support will go a long way in allowing me some breathing space while I reassess my options.”


Richard’s story

Richard is a self-employed furniture designer. His business was impacted by COVID-19 after several of his international clients halted all business transactions, leaving him with a shortage of work and income.

He reached out to The Furniture Makers’ Company and was pleased to hear that we could provide some support through a £500 hardship grant for sole traders.

“I was amazed by how quick and easy the process was,” he said. “I enquired on the Friday and by the Monday I had been awarded the grant!”


Nicholas’ story

Nicholas, a self-employed designer-maker, has been unable to complete projects or secure new commissions due to COVID-19.

He and his partner had manageable debt from moving home, but the shortage of work has exhausted their reserves and put a financial strain on the relationship.

Nicholas contacted The Furniture Makers’ Company after searching for support online and was pleased to hear that we could provide a £500 grant for self-employed workers.

The grant will help cover the couple’s household bills and allow Nicholas to buy materials for new designs, putting him in a good position to jumpstart his business once the lockdown is lifted.


For more information, please see:


Cancelled: The 44th Furniture History Society Annual Symposium

George IV 1820-2020: Fresh Perspectives on the King's Furniture The Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, London W1 3UN, Saturday, 28 March 2020 10am - 5pm

In the bicentenary year of George IV’s accession, the Furniture History Society symposium will present new lines of research on the king’s long career as a patron and collector of furniture and furnishings.  It aims to re-examine the driving forces behind his activities in this field, relationship with makers, activities as a collector, as well as his contemporary impact and longer-term legacy.


10.00-10.25: Registration and coffee/tea

10.25-10.30: Welcome by Christopher Rowell, Chairman of the FHS, Senior Curator of Furniture, National Trust

10.30-10.35: Introduction to the day, Sir Jonathan Marsden (Chair)       

10.35–11.05: David Oakey - 'Painting it and Putting Handsome Furniture Where Necessary' – George Prince of Wales’s Early Furnishing of Carlton House

11.05–11.35: Rufus Bird, Surveyor of The Queen’s Works of Art - Tatham & Co. at Carlton House
11.35-12.05: Cristina Alfonsín Barreiro, Collections Manager at Waddesdon Manor -The Vulliamys: From Clockmakers to Merchants of Luxury                 

12.05–12.35: Dr Diana Davis - 'Quite éblouissant’: George IV and the Anglo-Gallic Interior

12.35–13.00: Q&A

13.00-14.00: LUNCH (Provided for those FHS Members who have booked it (on Eventbrite) in the Meeting Room at the Wallace Collection.  Otherwise, there are various cafes/restaurants nearby or the Wallace Collection Restaurant.)

2.00–2.30: Kathryn Jones, Senior Curator at The Royal Collection - Of the Utmost Beauty and Newest Fashion’, George IV and Modern Manufacturing
2.30–3.00: Dr Alexandra Loske, Art Historian, Curator & Editor - The Interior Decoration and Colouring of Brighton Pavilion

3.00–3.30: Dr Helen Jacobsen Senior Curator and Curator of 18th century French Decorative Arts, The Wallace Collection - Shared Tastes: George IV and the 3rd Marquess of Hertford 
3.30–4.00: Michael Hall, Curator at Exbury House - George IV's legacy and the English Rothschilds                             

4.00–4.15: Q&A

4.15: Summing Up

4.15–5.00: Tea/Coffee

There will also be an opportunity for attendees to see the ‘The 3rd Marquess of Hertford as a collector’ – a trail around the Wallace Collection galleries highlighting objects that the 3rd Marquess of Hertford collected, helping to illuminate his taste and drawing parallels with that of George IV.

Associated events:

On Friday 27 March 5.30 PM – 6.30 PM there will be a chance to see the exhibition George IV: Art & Spectacle at the Queen’s Galleries led by Kathryn Jones, Senior Curator at The Royal Collection. Limited tickets will be made available to attendees of the Furniture History Society’s Annual Symposium, on a first come, first served basis.  If you are attending the Symposium, and would like to attend this additional event, please email

George IV is arguably the most magnificent of British many of these works by the finest artists of the day. Bringing together Dutch and Flemish masterpieces, magnificent portraits by Sir Thomas Lawrence and Sir Joshua Reynolds, delicate French porcelain, intricate goldsmiths' work and elegant books and drawings, this exhibition will present George IV's life through the art that enriched his world.

Tickets to the Symposium will be available at from 1 February 2020 from 9am.

For more information, please see:


Cancelled: 15th International symposium on wood and furniture conservation by Stichting Ebenist


Provisional programme, 24-25 April 2020, Rode Hoed, Amsterdam

Riesener’s memoires: a craftsman’s perspective on furniture
A comparison of Riesener’s techniques and methods, based on his archive and other sources, comparing them to furniture created for the French court.
Alexander Collins, Riesener Project Leverhulme fellow at the Wallace Collection, London, UK

The Riesener Project: an exploration of his royal furniture
A presentation of the collaborative Riesener Project of the Wallace Collection, Waddesdon Manor and the Royal Collection Trust, and its study of over 30 pieces of Riesener furniture.
Jürgen Huber, senior furniture conservator at the Wallace Collection, London, UK

The chiffoniers by Bernard van Risamburgh II
A traditional conservation of a newly discovered and signed chiffonier.
Alton Bowman, conservator, Texas, USA

Floral wood marquetry cabinets attributed to André-Charles Boulle:
a technical comparison
A technical comparison focused on construction techniques, design, execution and choice of materials.
Paul van Duin, head of furniture conservation, and Jan Dorscheid, junior conservator of furniture, the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Conservation projects from the Château de Villarceaux
The treatment of several Louis-style pieces of furniture from Château de Villarceaux, a castle that was owned by the same family from its construction up until 1976.
Thomas Jordan, conservator of furniture, Ateliers Jordan Lascroux, Magny en Vexin, France

The ornamental designs of Johann Michael Hoppenhaupt the Elder within the context of the French and European Rococo
A presentation and contextualization of this design series clarifying the intended use of these etchings.
Martin Glinzer, Graduate Student in Art History at the Technische Universität, Berlin, Germany

Louis Tessier’s engravings and Jean-Henri Riesener’s marquetry: the artist and the craftsman
Tessier’s engravings within the context of changing workshop practices, marquetry techniques and productivity.
Yannick Chastang, conservator at Yannick Chastang Conservation, Faversham, Kent, UK

Louis ‘in Chinese style’
Matthijs Horrix and Dutch Furniture ‘in Chinese style’.
Geert-Jan Janse, art historian and PhD candidate into images of China in the Dutch Republic

An Empire orchestrion by D.N. Winkel, Amsterdam. Technical art-historical research and conservation
A conservation and research project of a Dutch Empire, or Louis Napoleon cabinet from ca. 1805-1810.
Tirza Mol, junior conservator of furniture, and Paul van Duin, head of furniture conservation, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Louis in the New World: great rooms of the American gilded age
Louis XIV- and Louis XV-inspired interiors in Marble House and The Breakers, two National Historic Landmark mansions.
Katherine Garret-Cox, collections manager, and Carola Schueller, objects conservator at the Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, USA

The Beekman suite
The New York cabinetmaking trade in a period of transition and French influences, as well as an interesting upholstery history.
Nancy Britton, conservator of upholstery, and Marijn Manuels, conservator of furniture, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

Simulating tapestries on a suite of gilt Louis XV-style chairs
A conservation project focusing on the reproduction of chair tapestries in a suite of late nineteenth-century gilt Louis XV-style chairs.
F. Carey Howlett, president and chief conservator at F. Carey Howlett & Associates, Montross, Virgina, USA

Marot, Marot, Marot … as a designer of beds
Marot’s designs for state beds and his version of the Louis XIV style in the Netherlands and England.
Aagje Gosliga, PhD candidate at Leiden University Centre for Arts and Society, the Netherlands, and independent art-historical researcher at Gosliga Kunsthistorisch Onderzoek

What is the right upholstery for your Louis?
A walk through the different types of Louis upholstery in changing times, styles and uses.
Pierre Alexandre Bourdel, founder of Pierre Atelier, New York, USA

Buitenhof 28 revisited: a forgotten transitional Louis XV- Louis XVI-interior on the Hofvijver
A study of the original Louis XV- and Louis XVI-interiors and -furniture of a now demolished house in The Hague.
Yuri van der Linden, collections cataloguer and curator of ancient applied arts, Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Rijswijk, the Netherlands

The return of the ‘green room’ to the Prins Hendrikkade 142
The re-installment project of a Louis XVI-style interior from the collection of the Amsterdam Museum to its original location.
David Derksen, building archaeologist at the Monuments and Archaeology Department of the City of Amsterdam, and furniture conservation student at HMC Amsterdam, and Jaap Boonstra, conservator of furniture, Amsterdam Museum, the Netherlands

Conservation of a gilded and marquetry Pieter de Loose table (1689)
Conservation and study of a seventeenth-century Pieter de Loose gilded table with a marquetry table top, the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.
Corinne Suraci, junior conservator of furniture, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Netherlands

What future for the Louis?
The rapid geographical expansion of European countries from Louis XIV onwards created an influx of exotic materials used in French marquetry. Concerns in regard to the availability and use of these materials. Where do we go from here?
Patrick Edwards, conservator at Antique Refinishers, and founder of American School of French Marquetry, and Patrice Lejeune, marquetry artist, San Diego, USA

Louis in contemporary design
The canonization and reinterpretation of Louis styles in contemporary furniture design.
Lucas Mantel, student of conservation and restoration, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

This programme is subject to change. On Friday night there will be an (optional) informal dinner to meet and catch up with colleagues from the field.

Registration and payment
The fee for the two-day symposium is € 230. This includes coffee, tea and lunches.
For students there is a reduced fee of € 180. Please be prepared to show your student card at the door.
A supplement of € 70 is due for the optional dinner on Friday evening.
Please note that registration and payment in advance are mandatory if you wish to attend. Payment is processed during online registration by our payment provider (Mollie). Creditcards, iDeal and various other types of payment are accepted.

The closing date for registration is April 10th, 2020

We hope to see you at the symposium.
Location: Rode Hoed, Keizersgracht 102, 1015 CV Amsterdam

For more information, please see:


Upcoming courses at Wooburn Craft School: reduced course prices for Icon members

About the school: Wooburn Craft School is located just 35 minutes outside of London near two major motorways (M4 and M40) and it is very close to two train stations (Bourne End and Beaconsfield).  If you want to enjoy the English country side a number of  local B&B’s  can be recommended.

Past courses include marquetry, traditional finishes, and wood carving are just to name a few. For upcoming courses, please keep and eye on this page, visit the Wooburn Craft School website or call Ernest Riall (07753322609)