The Don Bosco Institute, Liège
A few months ago I was invited to pay a visit to my alma mater, the Don Bosco Institute in Liège, where I received my training as an ornamental woodcarver (between 1986 and 1989). Last year, the Don Bosco Institute had namely shut down the woodcarving department and I was asked if I had any interest in taking over some of the educational material. This way, I was able to safeguard some remnants of this prestigious department.
Among the remnants, I found a small batch of so called “recueils” (a book or bundle of material) with unique illustrations, compiled in 1991, by the printing department of this school. These unused recueils, hidden away in some closet since 1991, are the subject of the day.
|Le Mobilier au Pays de Liège|
Recueil, Le mobilier au Pays de Liège
'The furniture in the land of Liège'
This bundle or “recueil” talks about the Liège art of furniture design. A “receuil” is a thematic collection of illustrations, in this case, depictions of Liège furniture, and is printed on large single pages (40 x 29 cm) made of heavy quality paper.
The “recueil” was compiled by F. Drugmant, the woodcarving teacher of the Don Bosco Institute at that time. Professor Drugmant was not only a woodcarver, but also a connaisseur of Liège furniture, proven by this amazing recueil, which was used by all of the later teachers, who apparently never felt the need to update his work or publish their own work.
It is safe to say that this book of reference with detailed illustrations of Liège furniture was nothing less than a bible and important guide for those who took woodcarving classes. Unfortunately, the book of reference was only available for purchase in the woodcarving department and was never sold in bookstores.
|A book with pictures of Liège style furniture|
|Liège stylefurniture of the XVIIIth Century|
I myself have been in possession of this handbook since 1986, ever since I was a woodcarving student, following this unique course at the Don Bosco Institute. This “recueil” was published in 1984, with a second edition in 1991, to which a small number of pages was added. The dimensions of this book are 40cm x 29cm, meaning that the book is exceptionally large. It counts 134 single pages. These are all black and white illustrations of the highest quality and depict all types of Liège furniture, including close-ups.
I don’t have my “recueil” in front of me on a daily basis, but several times a year it serves as a source of inspiration; sometimes to closely observe the construction of a closet and even more often to refresh my knowledge of certain Liège style periods, hence my “bold” statement that this is quite an exceptional book of reference.
Should you be interested in this little piece of Belgian history, I still have a number of copies available for true enthusiasts.
Closeup photos of Liege Style sculpture and ornaments
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