Irish Country Furniture & Furnishings 1700-1950, Recycling Our Past
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Irish Country Furniture & Furnishings 1700-1950, Recycling Our Past

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Speaker : Claudia Kinmonth MRIA

Date & Time : 6.30pm,  Saturday 26th January 2019

Venue : The West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen, Co. Cork

Admission : €10 – all proceeds to ‘Save Our Skibbereen’


This richly illustrated talk explores how rural people lived before running water and electricity changed their homes. Chairs with renewable legs, built-in dressers, and dual-purpose settle beds, were contrived for small spaces using the minimum of materials. Based on her fieldwork in the late 1980’s, the speaker will spotlight local furniture: the Ballydehob Chair and the Carbery Settle. Our resourceful ancestors utilised driftwood, timber from shipwrecks, plaited straw, turf, wicker and even cow horn to make functional yet stylish items. When individual objects served many functions, householders managed with fewer, better things.

The speaker will bring a range of objects to handle and examine afterwards. People are encouraged to bring along items (or photographs of things) for identification and discussion, but not valuation, after the talk.

Introduction and question session kindly hosted by Peter Murray, former Director of Cork’s Crawford Art Gallery.


A limited number of copies of the author’s book IRISH COUNTRY FURNITURE 1700-1950 ( Yale University Press, 1993 ), now rare and out of print, will be available via ‘silent auction’, followed by signing/inscribing after the talk.

If you cannot attend and wish to bid on a copy of Claudia’s book, please enter your Name, Email Address & Bid Amount in the form below.


The highest bid will be the winner of a hardback copy of the book. The next three highest bids will each receive paperback copies of the book.

IRISH COUNTRY FURNITURE 1700-1950 won awards and has been described as a seminal work by the Royal Irish Academy.

Reserve Price is €160.00

Winning bids will be declared on the night of the talk at 8pm and all participants via email will be notified by email if their bid is successful.

‘Save Our Skibbereen’ is raising funds to apply for a Judicial Review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant permission to RTP Company to build a Thermoplastic Compounds Facility in Skibbereen, Co. Cork.



Listen here to Claudia talking on Irish Countryfile on RTE Radio One in 2018.