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Marcolo- History of Beaded Cabs

Posted by 2LittleFishies (My Page) on
Tue, Sep 4, 12 at 20:43

I really think I'm doing flush inset (even though many around me say to do beaded) but I'm just curious as I don't know much about the history of styles/architecture. Would flush inset be earlier than beaded I suppose? Is one more European?

Really nothing to do with my house, but I've been interested to read about the "bead" and different styles of cabinetry (mission, shaker, traditional) and I don't see much going into it in my searches. I don't want a 200 page history lesson but it would be interesting to learn more about all of this.

Anyway, what's the history of the bead in a quick summary if and when you have a few minutes? Or, maybe if you find a good link to something that would be great too! : )


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Marcolo- History of Beaded Cabs

Furniture history is a hugely complex tale but I think the French first popularized beading, then cock beads became very desirable on English and American 18th century furniture. From thence it traveled to built-in cabinetry in the Victorian era, which was mostly not in the kitchen but rather the butler's pantry, china cupboard, etc. Cabinetry styles simplified rapidly after WWI, which, coincidentally, when kitchens started to get large expanses of built-in cabinetry.

RE: Marcolo- History of Beaded Cabs

"Cock beads"? I don't know what that means and honestly I'm afraid to Google it. Could you describe?

RE: Marcolo- History of Beaded Cabs

I've learned what I know about millwork from my 22 years experience working as a restoration carpenter in a historic village that was settled in the 1750's so the architecture spans the full range from late Georgian colonial to Victorian, but predominantly Federal.
What I've observed is that inset bead, with the bead from 1/2" to 5/8" wide, and of a much more flattened profile, without a flat-bottom quirk, is the earliest type, from 1750's to 1810's. The profile we now associate with beading came into prominence later, but completely disappears during early Victorian (they seem to have preferred a raised bead, which is proud of the surrounding surfaces). Then from the 1880's onward beading is used everywhere, but rarely around cabinet doors. Between 1885 and 1930, unbeaded inset was apparently the preference, I imagine for two reasons: earlier, it was regarded as out of fashion, and by the turn of the c. the "hygienic" craze was in full flower where a bead was seen as difficult to clean and a germ-harboring gutter.

RE: Marcolo- History of Beaded Cabs

I agree with Casey; beaded cabinetry and trim (base boards, window casings, etc) is very typical of colonial houses in America.

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