Who’s this tall, dark, handsome stranger…?

April 24, 2013

I’m starting a series of blogs about our furniture and the inspiration behind each piece.

First up, the grand master of our dressers, The Casterbridge. He’s a fine fellow (I think of ‘him’ as male because of his handsome, friendly face and well-toned torso, complete with buttons on his shirt and breeches.)

Dresser, painted

A stylish and practical dresser with lots of storage space.

So, his name…taken from a fictional village called Casterbridge in the Thomas Hardy novel The Mayor of Casterbridge.

Thomas Hardy

First published in May 1886, my copy is dated 1929.

Thomas Hardy, Wessex, Mayor of Casterbridge

Thomas Hardy’s map of Wessex with Casterbridge seen here in the South by Deadmans Bay.

It seemed to sum up what I was hoping to evoke with this piece of furniture – a classic tale written by one of our best-loved novelists, set in a quaint English village (based on the town of Dorchester in beautiful Dorset – a county that holds so many happy memories for me…I was married at an incredible National Trust spot called Old Harry Rocks, which you must visit if you haven’t already.)

The story has more twists and turns than a tin clockwork soldier, but is the tale ‘of a man of character’, Michael Henchard, who is physically strong and stands at over 6 feet tall with dark hair and dark eyes. Hence, the influences in our piece of furniture.

This impressive-looking dresser comes in 3′, 4’6″, 5’6″ and 6′, has butt and bead back planks, a 40mm pine worktop, open upper shelves, as well as solid lower cupboard doors, library shelving adjustable to suit and two dovetailed drawers. The example on the website is painted in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Graphite with Old White backboards. A tall, dark and handsome stranger, if ever there was one.