Saturday, 9 June 2012

Multilingual medieval furniture dictionary: update

With our visit to Kloster Wienhausen and Isenhagen, and the acquisition of several new (German) furniture books, it became necessary to update the multilingual medieval furniture dictionary dealing with storage furniture. We found even a new type of armoire: the 'Kufenschrank'. This is basically an armoire that stands on two (loose) wooden rails, instead of legs that form an integral part of the armoire. If the rails or 'kufen' became rotten under damp conditions, they could easily be replaced. An advantage of the 'kufen' over normal legs is that the xylem lies flat on the ground and is unable to transport water upwards to the rest of the furniture piece.

Type Dutch German English French Latin

Information on the "Kufenschrank"and other armoires was derived from the book by Thorsten Albrecht 'Schrank - Butze - bett vom Mittelalter bis ins 20. Jahrhundert am beispiel der Luneburger Heide' ISBN 30935590-02-4. 

One of the 14th century armoires with "kufen" in Kloster Isenhagen. The armoire is made of oak and has two doors with locks. Both the top and bottom plank are decorated with cut-out ornaments, some which are broken. The armoire has an approximate height of 150 cm and a width around 70 cm.

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