The They are Chris Schwarz and Jeff Burks. The It they keep going is coming up with interesting and historical woodworking related images. If you read Mr. Schwarz’s Lost Art Press Blog, you have seen many of their finds.
Now I have found my own. I didn’t find it as much as stumble across it. At the Cloisters. It is the Annunciation Triptych or the Mérode Altarpiece.
This triptych (three paneled painting) is from the workshop of Robert Campin (1427 to 1432) in what is now Belgium. It is a superb work of art but the panel that is of interest to us here is the right panel.
This image portrays Joseph, betrothed to the Virgin Mary, working in his shop. There are many interesting details in this painting. Starting at the top:
Moving down, we see:
Joseph is using a brace and spoon bit to drill holes in a board. In the back is another spoon bit with holder. A small hammer, fishtail chisel, nail pulling pliers, a small bowl, forged nails and a knife I don’t recognize. His workbench seems to be made from two boards pith up. Legs are wedged through tenons.
The device on the bench is a mousetrap that seems to be imbued with all sorts of religious meanings that I will allow you to discover on your own. The Devil is involved.
And then looking at the floor:
There is a saw sitting on a small plank stool with wedged legs. There is a small ax/hatchet stored in a log. The floor seems to be nailed down. Interesting based on what nails must have cost back then. I can’t tell if he has odd shoes or his foot is resting on a device or fixture of some sort. Any theories entertained.
One more reason to visit The Cloisters.