Bench. Friday , March 09th , 2018 - 06:23:19 AM
Settle, long wooden bench with backrest and arms, designed to seat several people. Originating in Europe in the 10th century, it was apparently derived from the chest, a resemblance often retained, with additional elements based on the monastic choir stall. It could be used for a variety of purposes: as a seat, a bed, a chest, and, in examples with a hinged backrest that can be turned down to rest on the arms, a table. Other additions to the basic shape were a footrest and sconces at the side or back to accommodate candles. The height of the backrest varied considerably and sometimes extended down to the floor. Both back and sides were usually paneled or ornamented (or both) with traditional carved patterns.
Benches retained their popularity as fitted seats in window alcoves, but in the 16th century they lost favour as freestanding pieces of furniture when chairs became more widely used. Upholstered versions were also made. Some of the most spectacular benches were made in the Spanish colonies in South America in the 17th century, notably in Cuzco, Peru, where benches bore enormous carved crestings and balustraded backs that were painted and gilded.
Using slats that are the same size aids in replacement and labor costs. Bench seating, for example, can be more economical by using as few as two different slats in one bench. Slat replacement can be made easier by the way it is attached to the bench structure and tradeoffs may need to be considered between ease of replacement and frequency of replacement. For example, a rod through a contour bench requires more time to be replaced than using bolts directly to the bench structure. However, the rod attachment is stronger and so it does not have to be replaced as often as using bolts.
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