Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Multilingual medieval furniture dictionary

It is very useful to have the names of medieval furniture items for research (for instance on internet) in several languages. The list below is a first attempt to create a multilingual furniture dictionary for the Middle Ages. As furniture terms were not used very strictly, it is impossible to attach one name to one furniture type. Many names are used for several types. The list includes names used in medieval times as well those used today for these furniture types. The list below is incomplete - I do not have the names of the items in all languages - so any help is highly appreciated (add a comment, I will add to the dictionary).  I have started with medieval seating types (800-1500 AD) and included as well a simple drawing of each type.  

There is one type of chair, which is commonly found in miniatures, and of which some examples exist in musea, where I could not find a specific name. It looks like a half-round chair with a backrest (see drawing).

Medieval seating furniture

Type Dutch German French Latin English
Single person
. gedrechselte Armstuhl, Rundpfostenstuhl . . turned post seat, turned chair
krukje Dreibeinstuhl, Hocker tabouret . 3-legged stool, tabouret
. Cathedra .cathèdre Cathedra cathedra, boarded chair
sitten, benckesken, scabellen Schemel, Brettschemel escabeau, scabelle, placet . stool
driestael, schemel, stroestoel, stoel mit een matte (gedrechselte) Dreibeinstuhl taboulet triangulaire . turned chair
schemel (gedrechselte) Driebeinstuhl . . turned chair with a backrest
eenbeenkruk, hutstoel . . . .
troon Thron trône Solium throne
hoge stoel Armlehnsessel chaire à haut dossier . high armchair, close chair
tonstoel, cuypstoel, boedene . . . .
. Hochsitz . . .
sgabello Brettschemel . Sgabello boarded chair
caqueteuse, caquetoire . caqueteuse, caquetoire . caqueteuse
stoel met 4 poten, Spaanse stoel Armlehnsessel, Lehnsessel chaise, chaise á bras, chaeze . chayere, chair, (upholstered), joynid stole, backstool, armchair
St. Augustinus stoel . . . St. Augustine's chair
schemel Dreibeinstuhl . . .
plankstoel . . . boarded chair
. . . . .
boomstoel Baumsitz . . tree chair
Multiple person seat
sittenkist Kastenstuhl, Kastensitz, Truhenbank archebanc, banc à coffre . box chair
strycsitten, stricsitten, stricksitten, keerlys, bank met omklapleuning Sidelbank, Bank mit Klapplehne banc à tournis, banc à tiédir, banc à perche, banc à marchepied . .
banck, banc, bencke Bank banc, fourme, bancelle Formule form, bench
vaste bank, nagelveste bank . archebanc . (wall) settle, fixed bench
sitten met een hemelte, schermsitten Langsettel langsedile, banc à perche Scamnum bench, long seat, settle
koorstoel Chorgestül, Session, Priesterbank stalles, fourmes . choir stall
Folding chairs
prekestoel (kleiner) Scherenstuhl tabouret pliant, chaeze ployant . scissor chair
vouwstoel Scherenstuhl chaeze ployant . turned x-chair
vouwstoel Faltstuhl, Klappsella faudesteuil, siège, faulxdesteuil, faus d'esteuil,
chayère de fust
Sella curulis, Faldistorium folding chair, x-chair, faltstool
vouwstoel Scherenstuhl . Sedia Savoranola Savoranola chair
vouwstoel Scherenstuhl siège a Dantesca Sedia Dantesca Dante chair
klapstoel Klappstuhl chaise à ciseaux, Siège à tenailles Sedia a tenaglia high backed folding chair
. Faltlehnstuhl . Sedia pieghevole Glastonbury chair, Petrarca chair
vouwstoel met hoge rug . siège à haut dossier . .
Seating related furniture
voetscemmel, voetenbank Fussbankchen, Stufe . .marchepied footbench, footrest
voetstoel . . . footstool

Note: The cathedra, throne, 'Hochsitz', sella curulis and siège à haut dossier are often used as seats of authority for e.g. kings or bishops. The sedia Dantesca, sella curulis and the backstool have leather, straw or cloth seatings.

I have used the following resources to make this list:
  • Eames, P.  1977. Furniture in England, France and the Netherlands from the twelfth to the fifteenth century.  Furniture history, Volume XII. 
  • Thuis in de Middeleeuwen – het Nederlands burgerinterieur 1400-1535. 1980. Uitgeverij Waanders, Zwolle, the Netherlands.
  • Windisch-Graetz, F. 1982. Mobel Europas I – von Romanik bis zum Spatgotik. Klinkhardt & Biermann, Munchen, Germany. 
  • Boccador, J. 1988. Le mobilier francais du moyen age a la renaissance. Edition dÁrt Monelle Hayot, St-Just-en-Chaussee, France.
  • Chinnery, V. 1979. Oak furniture, the British tradition. Antique collectors club, Woodbridge, UK.
  • Blanc, M. 1999. Le mobilier francais – moyen age renaissance. Editeur massin, Paris, France.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing the such beautiful images of different type of furniture's. This post in amazing and very helpful for me. I bookmark your blog for my future assistance. Keep blogging

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