Today’s post is a little bit eccentric! I’ve been out and about in the last few weeks and I’m posting up a couple of wood carvings I have seen recently, very different from each other, both beautiful and meaningful in their own way. The first is from the carved room at Petworth House, a National Trust owned property in West Sussex. I went there to view an exhibition of paintings by JMW Turner and we were lucky enough to be allowed into the rest of the house as well. It’s magnificent and well worth a visit (as is the coffee shop!)
The Carved Room at Petworth features extraordinary wood carving by Grinling Gibbons. This is a detail from it but you can get an idea of the grandeur of the room in this wonderful photograph by Malcolm Bull on Flickr. The original carved room at Petworth was built in about 1690 at a cost of £150. The wood used was lime. I love the intricate detail and all the floral and musical motifs.
A different carving comes from the Royal Horticultural Society gardens at Wisley, which I visited last week. The RHS was established in 1804 with the name The Horticultural Society of London. Founder members were Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood and the aim of the society was “to collect plant information and encourage the improvement of horticultural practice.” These days the society is famous for its flower shows which started in the late 1820s with floral fetes on the Chiswick estate of the Duke of Devonshire. They were part of the social season and very fashionable. This picture comes from the glorious pinetum at Wisley and is the RHS symbol carved on the end of a tree trunk and captured here in black and white in a rather stunning picture by my talented dh!