From Kings to Craftsmen: Ornamental Turning and the Rose Engine Lathe

Several objects arrayed on a table. The surface of each object, which appears shiny or polished, features a different ornamental pattern. The two objects in the foreground show an inscription reading PLUMIER.

Complex turnings executed at the Plumier Foundation, showing a diversity of techniques. Courtesy the Plumier Foundation

Join us at the Leslie P. and George H. Hume American Furniture Study Center as David Lindow presents a brief history of the rose engine lathe. Already in the 16th century, the European nobility had and used the technology that, nearly 200 years later, would fuel the Industrial Revolution; however, they did not apply it to their industry practices due to their belief system. In time, engine turning would be employed on all sorts of items, the apex being Fabergé jewelry and objects as well as Breguet watches. The lecture will be followed by a demonstration of complex ornamental turning and a discussion of objects in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery that were decorated using this technique. Lindow is a manufacturer of clock movements and rose engines who serves as director of the Plumier Foundation, which is devoted to broadening the skills of craftspeople through the teaching of ornamental turning and the preservation of the machinery and techniques. Generously sponsored by the Martin A. Ryerson Lectureship Fund. 

Registration required.