Friday, 19 November 2010

Orkney Islands - 14

The furniture in the village houses was made largely from stone. And this for two related reasons.

First, Orkney, then as now, was almost without trees - certainly trees large enough to provide timber in bulk.

Second, the nature of the local flagstone, its ready availability, its easy workability, makes it ideal contraction material for most purposes.

In each house, the dresser faces the door, and dominates your view as you enter. This may have been a simple storage unit. But it could have provided a place of display, something like today's mantlepiece or sideboard, where a family's - or an individual's - prized belongings could be arrayed.

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