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— Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Turners of the Early Modern Period
Ornamental Turning in the Early Modern Period (14th – 18th C.)
From the Renaissance to the Age of Enlightenment, ornamental lathes were used by the elite of society. Each machine was individually made (in the early years, invented) with considerable time and expense. They were highly valued items that served nobility with both recreation and education.
The ornamental lathe was unique in that it enabled the turner to shape raw material according to a preset plan. The resulting objects were often highly complex, demonstrating the mastery and control of the maker. This fascinated the nobility, whose world view advocated a rational, natural order where reason was the primary basis for authority.
The following sections provide details of the various sovereign turners, as well as their highly accomplished court appointed turners, from each of the predominant regions:
- Bavaria (Southern Germany)
- Saxony (Eastern Germany)
- Hesse (Central Germany)
Sources for the above sections, and for additional details and photos:
- The Art Of Turning & Lathe and Machine Tool History, Ogden, 1987. Available on DVD
- Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association. EAIA website
- The Concise Grove Dictionary of Art. Oxford University Press, Inc., 2002.
- Ivory Art, Hartmann, P. W. View Google's English translation of this publication
- The Pedigree of Holtzapffel Lathes, Ogden, 1987. Available from the SOT
- The Society of Ornamental Turners Bulletins, 1948 to present. Available on DVD
- Sovereigns as Turners, by Klaus Maurice, Verlag Ineichen, Zurich, 1985.
- Turned Treasuries, by Klaus Maurice, Georg Laue and Christiane Zeiller, 2004.
- Wikipedia - Wikipedia.org