Bruce Talbert
(1838 – 1881)

Bruce J TalbertBruce James Talbert  was a Scottish architect and interior designer. His Reformed Gothic designs won a silver medal at the 1867 Paris Exhibition. In addition to furniture, Talbert designed metalwork, tiles, stained glass, textiles, and wallpaper.

  • it is to the use of glue that we are indebted for the false construction modern work indulges in; the glue leads to veneering, and veneering to polish

  • the arch is noble construction; but still he does not despise the mortar, and it is in this light that glue should be used

  • the indiscriminate employment of veneer, glue, sand-paper, polish, and the cutting of straight-grained wood into wanton curves, is opposed to the common sense as well as the spirit of all Gothic Work

  • ...where the furniture is massive, or of course-grained wood, as oak, geometric inlays are a preferable mode of decoration, the flowing lines being left to the gouge and parting-tool of the carver

  • when metal work is used, it should never be, as often done in common work, viz as a piece of decoration, but performing some purpose...

  • the greatest difficulty to deal with is the drawing room....a massive feeling for the dining room and hall seem right, but for the ladies room, lightness and grace ought to be aimed is better to use close-grained woods, such as satin, walnut or amboynas etc, as they admit of a delicacy which oak or teak hardly agrees with. In such apartments as the morning room or business room, mahogany, Hungarian ash, or ebonised wood may be used

  • economy of material is characteristic of all good art, and furniture curved in its construction, or having lines which require a piece of wood, much too strong and heavy for the purpose, to be sawn or turned till an expression of weak elegance is obviously absurd, in as much as it is always at variance with the natural strength of the fibre of the wood.

  • ...the principles of economy combined with strength at once demands the adoption of a mode of framing more horizontal and vertical than at present in general use; it is directly opposed to wanton curvature in chair legs or supports, excessive hollows in turning or moulding or the round, unmeaning scrolls that so vulgarly decorate the backs of modern cabinet work

  • painting should only be resorted to in such positions as are out of reach or in more or less sheltered panels and sinkings