The 13Th-17Th Centuries

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Cretan cabinetmaking for the prosperous section of the population during this period must have been rich in utilitarian objects and forms. The main types of seat, such as chairs and armchairs, remain set in the Comnene Byzantine tradition. In all other types of furniture the influence of the Venetian and European Renaissance is evident, as is the case with a few examples we have discovered scattered in isolated villages, whose rural owners were unable to date the items in question.

17th-20th centuries

With the Turkish occupation of Crete, which lasted from 1645 to 1898, the cultural organization of the population was officially abolished and any private economic initiative was strictly supervised. Crete fell into a deep economic depression cutting across all social classes. Luxury cabinetmaking for the rich and the nobility rapidly declined and disappeared. In the countryside, however, it seems that some carpenters kept the tradition alive in certain types of furniture such as chairs, armchairs and chests. The impoverished villagers were forced to become jacks-of-all-trades and make their own basic furniture, greatly simplified and rarely containing traditional elements.

In the 20th century, with the liberation of Crete and the economic development of the island, the few remaining furniture-makers were inundated with commissions, at least preserving the tradition of typical Cretan furniture.

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