Heemskerck Dovetail

heemskerck_dovetail_0667_dxo_smallIrrelevant analogy of the week.

In this detail of Marten van Heemskerck’s Momus Criticising the Works of the Gods in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, there is a butterfly dovetail joining two panels. It seems that C. F. A. Voysey liked to put dovetails in the panels at the backs of chair in order to showauthntic construction, but was criticised by professional carpenters because such dovetails tended to split the wood when they expanded. For this reason cabinetmakers prefer to place panels is rebates that allow for  movement.

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