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The Chairmaker:  Notes and Acknowledgements

Note
The chairmakers are restricted solely to the northern regions and in Germany generally only in the coastal cities, having been transplanted to Berlin only be happenstance. A born Berliner, living prior to this time, learned the profession of chairmaker by chance in Danzig, establishing himself in Berlin under the reign of the preceding king, Friedrich Wilhelm. Soon others followed, and at this time there are thirteen local cabinetmakers in Berlin. In 1745 they were awarded in Berlin the privilege of a regular guild. Besides chairs of all types, they also make console tables to be set under a mirror, and gueridons, both braided with cane on their tops. If their apprentices receive a wage, they apprentice for only four years; however, with it, according to circumstances, five and more years. For the masterpiece their rising (graduating) master makes a settee (Canope), an arm chair (Fauteil), and a side chair (Tafelstuhl), all of red beech wood.

Notes on the Text 
Because of some very basic differences and changes over 240 years, some tools are completely foreign to modern woodworkers and are described only in eighteenth-century German dictionaries. Some tools don’t have an equivalent in traditional British tool use so their German name is usually accompanied with an explanatory note or footnote. The German term is given in parenthesis where it does not translate literally to English. Brackets are used when clarifying concepts inferred by the text. The method for using some of the tools described still eludes me. Clarification concerning tools and other terms was taken first from other chapters to which Sprengel makes reference and then from eighteenth-century German dictionaries. Contemporary references were also used but cautiously, because some tools and techniques have changed or been lost between then and now. The original text was not indented. Paragraphs are my own for easier visual reference.
 
Acknowledgements
My sincere thanks to Hildegard Leckliter without whose help this work would never have been translated. Her faithful and patient aid made the work enjoyable. My thanks also to Monika Malone for her generous help with the clarification of some obscure German words.

 

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