The 18th century was a productive time for design in Ireland and Britain. The onset of the industrial revolution had unleashed a flurry of building, and new money sought new expression. The Booker family were craftsmen from Dublin who created looking-glass frames with Rococo flourishes. We hold one of their early mirrors, from 1760.
National Museums NI also houses impressive works of more contemporary furniture. The early 1900s are best represented by a chest of art deco drawers by James Hicks of Dublin. One of the most popular pieces in the museum is the Venice Chair, by David West, crafted in sycamore. We also hold the Genghis Chair, by Mary Little, a world-famous furniture maker from Belfast.
National Museums NI furniture collection, may be small, but it holds these and many other impressive pieces such as:
• Important examples of Irish cabinet making from the 18th and 19th centuries.
• A large range of domestic furniture and wooden objects based at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum.
• 20th century and contemporary designer-made furniture.
• Contemporary artworks made from wood.
William Moore was an Irish cabinet-maker who had apprenticed in London at Mayhew & Ince, furniture makers to 18th century aristocracy. National Museums NI holds one of his side tables, with its exquisite inlays, crafted in the neo-classical style. It is just one of the many important examples of 18th and 19th century Irish cabinet making included in the collection.