Skip to main content

British furniture making and the globalised trade

Published by on 3 November 2022
Online course illustration

Join us on Zoom every Wednesday throughout November when BIFMO - as part of the Furniture History Society - is offering an online course to examine how furniture designs, techniques and skills were disseminated between countries from the eighteenth to the twentieth century.

Some speakers will consider how methods and designs in Britain were influenced by immigration to this country, while others will look at the impact of British furniture makers who emigrated to other countries, such as the United States. These presentations will include a variety of fine examples of craftmanship.

UK Time 4.30pm (GMT)   US East Coast 11.30am (EST)

Wednesday 9th November - Furniture Making in London and Europe

  • Dr Tessa Murdoch, Furniture Making in London and Europe: Huguenot Furniture Makers
  • Sarah Medlam, Following a Thread: How Mr Potter's designs travelled
  • Dr Achim Stiegel, "Gorgeous Pieces of Inlaid Work with Figures": Notes  on Johann Gottlieb Fiedler, Berlin's Early Classicist Ébéniste 
  • Enrico Colle, British models for Italian furniture makers

Wednesday 16th November - Global Networks and Furniture making in the Eighteenth Century

  • Karina Corrigan, The Aesthetic and Cultural Hybridity of Cantonese Trade Furniture
  • John Cross, A Furniture Trade adapting to the benefits of Empire
  • Alexandra Kirtley, Patterns, Templates, and Publications: British and Irish Émigré Cabinetmakers in America
  • Tom Savage, English Influences in the Southern States of America

Wednesday 23rd November - Immigration and Emigration of Furniture makers in the Nineteenth Century

  • Serena Newmark, Johann Martin Levien: Master Cabinet maker of Prussia, New Zealand, and England
  • Clarissa Ward, Anecdotes on the Immigrant Furniture Making Community in the Tottenham Court Road area of London, 1850-1900
  • Catherine Ducette, Nineteenth-Century Specimen Furniture in Jamaica and the British Empire
  • Dr Megan Aldrich, The Crace Firm and French Influences
  • Dr David Tiedemann, The Relationship between Britain and the US at the Great Exhibitions of the nineteenth century

Wednesday 30th November - Making the Modern World: Global Connections into the Twentieth Century

  • Max Donnelly, 'Princely but peaceful splendor': Cottier & Co. in New York
  • Professor Clive Edwards, The furniture export trade between Australia and Britain in the nineteenth century
  • Dr Pat Kirkham, Immigrant furniture workers in the East End of London, including a case study of the Hille firm
  • Professor Bruce Peter, Denmark in Britain: The work and influence of the Danish furniture importers and wholesalers in London

Every weekly session will be approximately three hours with a fifteen-minute comfort break about halfway through each programme. DON'T WORRY if you are unable to attend the sessions live - the course will be recorded and every ticketholder will receive a link to the relevant recording.

You may buy individual sessions, but you will benefit from a discount if all weeks are booked together! FHS and ECD members benefit from a further discount on all tickets.

For further information about the presentation and the speakers, or to purchase tickets, click here to go to our Eventbrite page.

If you have any questions, please email Ann Davies at