"Trunk-hasped, cart-heavy, painted an ignorant brown"

Download this image

More from this collection

Related by Where

Research Help!

Where: Unknown

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 01 January 1900

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
That's how poet Seamus Heaney described a settle bed, though this very ornate one was far from "ignorant brown" by the look of things. Any ideas about where this settle bed lived? And why the Celticised design?

Photographer: Thomas H. Mason

Collection: Mason Photographic Collection

Date: 1890 - 1910?

NLI Ref: M2/28

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 2668
thomasholmesmason thomasmayne thomashmasonsonslimited lanternslides nationallibraryofireland ic

Add Tags
  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 09/Jan/2020 09:23:52

    The centre panel is pretty famous, but I couldn't tell you what it is.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 09/Jan/2020 09:25:54

    I'm guessing from the adjacent pics that it's in Garfield Chambers in Belfast. archiseek182.rssing.com/browser.php?indx=13112842&ite...

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 09/Jan/2020 09:33:02

    The story behind the poem - www.rlf.org.uk/showcase/the-settle-bed/

  • profile

    Foxglove

    • 09/Jan/2020 10:05:06

    is the text "under the fairies" ??

  • profile

    Foxglove

    • 09/Jan/2020 10:06:34

    no,.... sleep of the fairies ??

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 09/Jan/2020 10:21:03

    At the top it says "Tosach Sláinte something". "Tosach sláinte codladh" is the beginning of a seanfhocail meaning that sleep is the beginning of health, but the last word doesn't look like codladh to me?

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 09/Jan/2020 10:37:12

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet Looks like "sgia". I don't know what that would be.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 09/Jan/2020 10:43:49

    Anyway, with the sleep of fairies stuff, that's presumably Oisin rather than Corann in the picture.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 09/Jan/2020 10:47:12

    Mind you, there's no shortage of options: www.terriwindling.com/blog/2015/07/into-the-woods-series-...

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 09/Jan/2020 18:45:43

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet "sgit" , skate, still makes no sense

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 09/Jan/2020 19:59:44

    How do settle beds work? Does the seat lift up and the front fold down and out, or do you lie inside like a coffin? Puzzled ...

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 09/Jan/2020 20:07:30

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] I think it might be sgít[h] - which apparently means rest in Early Modern Irish. (A séimhiú was originally shown as a dot over the letter rather than a h after it like in modern Irish, so that’s why it looks like "sgit".) Then it’s more or less the same thing as the seanfhocail - "A rest is the beginning of health."

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 09/Jan/2020 20:17:23

    Thinking it would have been easier to tip the entire thing over and sleep on the back! This explanation is helpful; evidently there was a "Timber Famine" in Ireland after 1600 for various fascinating reasons. And the very high back was to keep you away from damp cottage walls ... drmarionmcgarry.weebly.com/irish-heritage-and-identity-bl...

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 09/Jan/2020 20:27:14

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet Which google translates as "sleep in tiredness"

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 09/Jan/2020 20:29:03

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia Also puzzled about how it works, perhaps the bottom panel hinged upwards?

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 09/Jan/2020 20:37:09

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet Or "suan na sid(h)e" , "sleep in the morning" ? Should have paid more attention in school.

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 09/Jan/2020 20:41:06

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] Here's one opened up for use. Looks pretty uncomfortable. www.adverts.ie/other-furniture/antique-irish-settle-bed-c...

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 09/Jan/2020 21:42:42

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] It says "Tosach Sláinte Sgíth" at the top (A rest is the beginning of health). At the bottom is "Suan na Sídhe", which as https://www.flickr.com/photos/foxglove mentioned is "sleep of the Sidhe/fairies".

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 09/Jan/2020 22:17:34

    I wonder if that settle has even survived, as can't get any lead on it.

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 09/Jan/2020 22:24:21

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet Yes, that makes more sense, so much for google translate's effort at translation.

  • profile

    Foxglove

    • 09/Jan/2020 22:33:23

    hi Sharon, good on sgit'(h) / rest I used to hate reading text in " the old alphabet" in primary school... it always looked prettier but..

  • profile

    Foxglove

    • 09/Jan/2020 22:35:06

    ok .. still .. it's a horrific piece of furniture!!! I'd never sleep easy I this

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 10/Jan/2020 07:40:25

    It'd be grand once it had a mattress in it. It's basically just a folding wall bed.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 10/Jan/2020 08:53:03

    The youth is very much in the style of Robinson, Rackham or Beardsley, and I'm sure I've see one like it before, but I can't find it online.

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 10/Jan/2020 10:34:53

    I wonder who lived at 15 Garfield Chambers, which seems it's likely location. That might provide a lead. This Probably not Beardsley, too tame

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 10/Jan/2020 11:22:01

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] Lennon Wylie have put a number of Belfast Street Directories online, but nothing jumped out at me as likely at 15 Garfield Chambers. (It's sometimes under R for Royal Avenue.) I would also note that the dates for Mason photos are not always that accurate - one turned out to be from the 1930s if I remember correctly.

  • profile

    derangedlemur

    • 10/Jan/2020 14:51:44

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet In terms of style, this one looks like '20s. It's quite similar to Rackham's Irish Fairy Tales illustrations.

  • profile

    domenico milella

    • 10/Jan/2020 15:46:35

    Beautiful.

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 10/Jan/2020 18:06:33

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet Thanks for the link. Like you, nothing jumped out. However, I did notice that the 1901 gives two addresses for Garfield Chambers: 44 Royal Avenue and 15 Garfield Street. It's on a corner. So, the "15 Garfield Chambers" location may actually be the building's street address, rather than apartment number 15 as I thought.

  • profile

    donalbeg

    • 11/Jan/2020 12:54:26

    The proverb in full is "Tosach sláinte scíth, deireadh sláinte osna". A sigh was seemingly a sign of nearing the end. When the written standard was introduced midway in the last century the letter 'c' replaced many of the 'g's like 'sgoil'. It became 'scoil' and 'sgíth' became 'scíth'.

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 11/Jan/2020 14:20:19

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet seems to be a settle by artist Mina Robinson, "Apartment 26. Garfield Chambers, Robinson, M., Irish decorative art society" Look into it further later

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 11/Jan/2020 19:16:55

    This is an example of the Celtic Revival arts and crafts movement in Ireland, which flourished between 1880 and 1920. The decorations on the settle are called poker-work en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrography and were by Margaret Houston of the Irish Decorative Art Association., see The Arts and Craft Movement in Ireland, Paul Larmour, which includes a photo of the "Oisin" panel, pg 138. This group was cofounded by Mina Robinson www.newulsterbiography.co.uk/indeThis x.php/home/viewPerson/1472 and was based in Robinson's Garfield Chambers apartment, 15 Garfield Street up to 1909. This tallys with Mason's "Garfield" description for the other photo in the series. From 1902 the group also began decorating Irish harps archive.org/details/artscraftsmoveme00krei/page/n64 as shown in catalogue.nli.ie/Search/Results?lookfor=Mason+collection+... The group group moved to new premises in 1910. See Dictionary of Irish Biography, vol 8. Likely date range 1902-1909.

  • profile

    BeachcomberAustralia

    • 11/Jan/2020 20:35:56

    "Settle, Down" ; )

  • profile

    pjmhawe

    • 13/Jan/2020 01:37:15

    The fine craft work of Margaret E. G.. Houston, died c1923

  • profile

    Dr. Ilia

    • 13/Jan/2020 10:00:10

    Wonderful Shot!

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 13/Jan/2020 14:20:35

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] Can't get any hits on Margaret Houston, any bio links?

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 13/Jan/2020 14:26:00

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]] There's a picture of a different settle by Margaret Houston.

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 13/Jan/2020 15:56:12

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet Thanks for that link, I couldn't get any hits on her. She also belonged to Mina Robinson's group. I'd love to know where our settle ended up, as can't find it in the Folk Museum. Some of Robinson's work was purchased by Lady Londonderry, her sponsor, for her own private art collection.

  • profile

    suckindeesel

    • 14/Jan/2020 18:01:31

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet You were correct, it's the work of Margaret Houston. Not in an Ulster museum, probably in a private collection. However, Robinson's 1895 settle is in the Folk Museum.