Royal Furniture
  Ancient furniture
  The Middle Ages
  The Renaissance
  Jacobean Furniture
  Eastern Furniture
  Rooms & Decoration
    Styles and Periods
    Norman and Gothic
    Tudor Gothic Period
    Elizabethan Period
    Early Jacobean Period
    Panelling, from T. to eJ.
    Doors, from T. to eJ.
    Ceilings, from T. to eJ.
      Examples of Ceilings
    Fireplaces, from T. to eJ.
    Staircases, from T. to eJ.
    Design from 1620 to 1800
    Late Jacobean period
    Inigo Jones period
    Wren period
    Early Georgian period
    Late Georgian period
    Doors, from lJ. to G.
    Fireplaces, from lJ. to G.
    Panelling, from lJ. to G.
    Ceilings, from lJ. to G.
    Staircases, from lJ. to G.
  French furniture
  Laura Ashley Furniture
  Outdoor Furniture

from Tudor Ceilings to Jacobean Ceilings

In houses of the Gothic period it was customary for the floor boards of the upper rooms to be visible from below between the beams supporting them, the whole "ceiling" being thus of wood. The beams were usually either moulded or chamfered along their length, and in some cases the faces were carved with Gothic tracery and leaf work. The mouldings or chamfers were stopped at both ends of the beams, or at the intersection of cross beams. In some cases they were mitred, the joints being covered with carved bosses in the form of rosettes, leaf ago, or other Gothic motifs.

In a few of the more elaborate wooden Tudor ceilings the joists were hidden behind thin wooden boards. A, Examples of Ceilings, illustrates a ceiling of this description, and has a series of small chamfered ribs arranged to form square panels. These help to secure the boarding and prevent it from warping.

Plaster was also used in combination with wood, but it was not until the 16th century that complete Tudor plaster ceilings attained general use. Early forms were comparatively simple, and consisted of geometrical designs formed by series of moulded ribs. These latter were often of wood, and were covered with gesso work, as in the case of the Tudor ceiling of Wolsey's Privy Chamber at Hampton Court. As the century advanced, the ceiling, in common with the remainder of the interior work, was elaborated. The designs became exceedingly intricate, and the ribs were often heavier in construction. A favourite feature was the use of heavy drooping pendants, such as those at B and C, Examples of Ceilings. These were usually formed by a downward curvature of the ribs at their intersection, and were interspaced at regular intervals over the ceiling. The spaces between the ribs were filled in with various floral, strap work, or heraldic devices.

In many cases comparatively wide and deep ribs were used in the place of plain moulded ribs. The edges were moulded, and the face modelled with conventional floral designs often involving grotesques. At the intersection of these wide ribs small pendants were usually added. Both flat and semi-elliptical Jacobean ceilings were in vogue. In some instances the central portion was flat and the sides coved over. A close examination of the Jacobean plaster ceilings of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods reveals countless minor inaccuracies. These were due to the whole of the work being done in situ and the wet plaster being applied and modelled by hand.

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