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Wood-carving in the Modern Period

Ecclesiastical wood-carving

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The 'mousandra' of the Gr. Vourkas mansion
The 'mousandra' (cupboard) in the 'kalos ondas' (sitting room), 1748, Kozani, Gr. Vourkas mansion.

Dowry chest
Richly decorated wooden chest in which the daughter's dowry was kept, 1777, Kozani, Folklore Museum.

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The 'mousandra' of the Gr. Vourkas mansion


Dowry chest

Wood-carving had a brilliant history from the 17th to the 19th century. The most exquisite works, influenced by European baroque, were originally destined for churches: iconostases, pulpits and so on. Secular wood-carving, which flourished particularly in the 18th century, was directly influenced by its ecclesiastical counterpart.

The wood-carvers of Epirus, western Macedonia, Pelion, etc. were famous craftsmen. The mansions (`archontika') of Macedonia contain masterpieces of the wood-carver's art created by skilled craftsmen known as `tayiadoroi'.

The wealth of the occupants is demonstrated by the elegant decoration of the wooden elements of the houses, such as ceilings, doors (especially to the reception room, the 'kalos ondas'), 'farsomata' (wooden panels), etc.

The ceilings of the reception rooms in these houses were adorned with a circular or octagonal carved wooden centre-piece decorated with complicated geometric designs combined with motifs carved in the round and painted.

The wooden panels and the built-in cupboards also had rich decoration, both carved and painted, or a combination of the two, and even making use of inlaid material.

There was very little movable furniture in the houses of Macedonia, in contrast with those on the islands. The only wooden item that was decorated was the chest in which the daughter's dowry was kept.

See Also
Travelling - The Nerantzopoulos mansion in SIatista
The Manousis mansion in Siatista
Kozani's surviving mansions
Agios Nikolaos in Kozani


Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.