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History of work benches


#1

Hi

After a recent lecture I was asked if I knew when the cut-out,
rounded recesses in jeweller’s benches first appeared. Been trying to
check.

Can find only straight-edge benches in representations up to early
17th century and the first cut-out I’ve seen is in Diderot’s
encyclopedia of the mid 18th century. Anyone know of earlier cut-out
examples?

Thanks

I’ve put a low-res representation of the Diderot example on my
’Jewellery History’ Facebook page if it is of interest.

Jack
Jack Ogden


#2

try looking it up in the worshipful company of goldsmith’s online
reference- but I know i’ve seen antique french jeweller’s and
watchmaker’s benches from the 15th c. if not earlier-I remember an
article a few years ago on the exact subject- maybe in metalsmith
magazine. google it…


#3

Hi Jack,

I’ve enjoyed several of your books.

I wish I could give you something definitive, but now that I dig
through my references, I can’t find anything solid (in print)
earlier than you’ve already found.

My one suggestion is to try the city museum in Basel. I was there
about 20 years ago, and they had what I (dimly) recall was tagged as
a 16-17th century jeweler’s workshop put back together as a display,
and it had the typical four place workbench with the crescent
cutouts. It was down in the basement, but that’s as much of a lead
as I can give you.

Hope that’s of some use.

Regards,
Brian Meek.