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Title: Furniture of the Olden Time
Author: Morse, Frances Clary
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Furniture of the Olden Time" ***

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                        OF THE OLDEN TIME

                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY

                 NEW YORK · BOSTON · CHICAGO · DALLAS
                        ATLANTA · SAN FRANCISCO

                       MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED

                      LONDON · BOMBAY · CALCUTTA

                   THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD.



                            THE OLDEN TIME

                          FRANCES CLARY MORSE

                              NEW EDITION

  “_How much more agreeable it is to sit in the midst of old furniture
  like Minott’s clock, and secretary and looking-glass, which have come
  down from other generations, than amid that which was just brought
  from the cabinet-maker’s, smelling of varnish, like a coffin! To sit
  under the face of an old clock that has been ticking one hundred and
  fifty years—there is something mortal, not to say immortal, about it;
  a clock that begun to tick when Massachusetts was a province._” H. D.
  THOREAU, “Autumn.”

                               New York

                         THE MACMILLAN COMPANY


                         _All rights reserved_

                       COPYRIGHT, 1902 AND 1917,
                       BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

    Set up and electrotyped November, 1902. Reprinted April, 1903;
     July, 1905; February, 1908; September, 1910; September, 1913.

New edition, with a new chapter and new illustrations, December, 1917.

                             Norwood Press

              _J. S. Cushing Co._—_Berwick & Smith Co._

                       _Norwood, Mass., U.S.A._

                             To my Sister

                           ALICE MORSE EARLE



        INTRODUCTION                                         1

                               CHAPTER I


                              CHAPTER II

        BUREAUS AND WASHSTANDS                              41

                              CHAPTER III

        BEDSTEADS                                           64

                              CHAPTER IV

        CUPBOARDS AND SIDEBOARDS                            84

                               CHAPTER V

        DESKS                                              117

                              CHAPTER VI

        CHAIRS                                             154

                              CHAPTER VII

        SETTLES, SETTEES, AND SOFAS                        213

                             CHAPTER VIII

        TABLES                                             242

                              CHAPTER IX

        MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS                                280

                               CHAPTER X

        FIRES AND LIGHTS                                   315

                              CHAPTER XI

        CLOCKS                                             348

                              CHAPTER XII

        LOOKING-GLASSES                                    374

                             CHAPTER XIII

        DOORWAYS, MANTELS, AND STAIRS                      411

        GLOSSARY                                           451

        INDEX OF THE OWNERS OF FURNITURE                   459

        GENERAL INDEX                                      465

List of Illustrations

  Lacquered Desk with Cabinet Top                   _Frontispiece_

  ILLUS.                                                      PAGE

       Looking-glass, 1810-1825                                 10

    1. Oak Chest, about 1650                                    11

    2. Olive-wood Chest, 1630-1650                              13

    3. Panelled Chest with One Drawer, about 1660               14

    4. Oak Chest with Two Drawers, about 1675                   15

    5. Panelled Chest with Two Drawers, about 1675              16

    6. Carved Chest with One Drawer, about 1700                 17

    7. Panelled Chest upon Frame, 1670-1700                     18

    8. Panelled Chest upon Frame, 1670-1700                     18

    9. Panelled Chest of Drawers, about 1680                    19

   10. Panelled Chest of Drawers, about 1680                    20

   11. Handles                                                  21

   12. Six-legged High Chest of Drawers, 1705-1715              22

   13. Walnut Dressing-table, about 1700                        23

   14. Lacquered Dressing-table, about 1720                     24

   15. Cabriole-legged High Chest of Drawers with China
       Steps, about 1720                                        26

   16. Lacquered High-boy, 1730                                 27

   17. Inlaid Walnut High Chest of Drawers, 1733                28

   18. Inlaid Walnut High Chest of Drawers, about 1760          29

   19. “Low-boy” and “High-boy” of Walnut, about 1740           30

   20. Walnut Double Chest, about 1760                          32

   21. Double Chest, 1760-1770                                  33

   22. Block-front Dressing-table, about 1750                   34

   23. Dressing-table, about 1760                               35

   24. Chest of Drawers, 1740                                   36

   25. High Chest of Drawers, about 1765                        37

   26. Dressing-table and Looking-glass, about 1770             39

   27. Walnut Dressing-table, about 1770                        40

       Looking-glass, 1810-1825                                 41

   28. Block-front Bureau, about 1770                           42

   29. Block-front Bureau, about 1770                           43

   30. Block-front Bureau, about 1770                           45

   31. Kettle-shaped Bureau, about 1770                         44

   32. Serpentine-front Bureau, about 1770                      46

   33. Serpentine-front Bureau, about 1785                      47

   34. Swell-front Inlaid Bureau, about 1795                    48

   35. Handles                                                  49

   36. Dressing-glass, about 1760                               50

   37. Bureau and Dressing-glass, 1795                          51

   38. Bureau and Dressing-glass, about 1810                    52

   39. Bureau and Miniature Bureau, about 1810                  53

   40. Dressing-table and Glass, about 1810                     54

   41. Case of Drawers with Closet, 1810                        55

   42. Bureau, about 1815                                       56

   43. Bureau, 1815-1820                                        57

   44. Empire Bureau and Glass, 1810-1820                       58

   45. Basin Stand, 1770                                        59

   46. Corner Washstand, 1790                                   60

   47. Towel-rack and Washstand, 1790-1800                      61

   48. Washstand, 1815-1830                                     62

   49. Night Table, 1785                                        62

   50. Washstand, 1800-1810                                     63

       Looking-glass, about 1770                                64

   51. Wicker Cradle, 1620                                      65

   52. Oak Cradle, 1680                                         65

   53. Bedstead and Commode, 1750                               66

   54. Field Bedstead, 1760-1770                                67

   55. Claw-and-ball-foot Bedstead, 1774                        69

   56. Bedstead, 1780                                           70

   57. Bedstead, 1775-1780                                      71

   58. Bedstead, 1789                                           72

   59. Bedstead, 1795-1800                                      74

   60. Bedstead, 1800-1810                                      75

   61. Bedstead, 1800-1810                                      76

   62. Bedstead, 1800-1810                                      77

   63. Bedstead, 1800-1810                                      78

   64. Bedstead and Steps, 1790                                 79

   65. Low-post Bedstead, about 1825                            80

   66. Low-post Bedstead, 1820-1830                             81

   67. Low Bedstead, about 1830                                 82

       Looking-glass, 1770-1780                                 84

   68. Oak Press Cupboard, 1640                                 85

   69. Press Cupboard, about 1650                               87

   70. Carved Press Cupboard, 1680-1690                         88

   71. Corner “Beaufatt,” 1740-1750                             90

   72. Kas, 1700                                                92

   73. Chippendale Side-table, about 1755                       93

   74. Chippendale Side-table, 1765                             94

   75. Shearer Sideboard and Knife-box, 1792                    97

   76. Urn-shaped Knife-box, 1790                               99

   77. Urn-shaped Knife-box, 1790                               99

   78. Knife-box, 1790                                         100

   79. Hepplewhite Sideboard with Knife-boxes, 1790            102

   80. Hepplewhite Serpentine-front Sideboard, 1790            104

   81. Hepplewhite Sideboard, about 1795                       105

   82. Sheraton Side-table, 1795                               106

   83. Sheraton Side-table, 1795                               107

   84. Sheraton Sideboard with Knife-box, 1795                 108

   85. Sheraton Sideboard, about 1800                          109

   86. Sheraton Sideboard, about 1805                          110

   87. Cellarets, 1790                                         111

   88. Sideboard, 1810-1820                                    113

   89. Empire Sideboard, 1810-1820                             114

   90. Mixing-table, 1790                                      115

   91. Mixing-table, 1810-1820                                 116

       Looking-glass, about 1760                               117

   92. Desk-boxes, 1654                                        118

   93. Desk-box, 1650                                          118

   94. Desk, about 1680                                        119

   95. Desk, about 1680                                        120

   96. Desk, 1710-1720                                         121

   97. Cabriole-legged Desk, 1720-1730                         124

   98. Cabriole-legged Desk, 1760                              125

   99. Desk, 1760                                              126

  100. Desk, about 1770                                        127

  101. Block-front Desk, Cabinet Top, about 1770               128

  102. Block-front Desk, about 1770                            129

  103. Desk with Cabinet Top, about 1770                       130

  104. Block-front Desk, about 1770                            133

  105. Kettle-front Secretary, about 1765                      135

  106. Block-front Writing-table, 1760-1770                    136

  107. Serpentine-front Desk, Cabinet Top, 1770                137

  108. Serpentine or Bow-front Desk, about 1770                138

  109. Bill of Lading, 1716                                    139

  110. Bookcase and Desk, about 1765                           142

  111. Chippendale Bookcase, 1770                              143

  112. Hepplewhite Bookcase, 1789                              144

  113. Maple Desk, about 1795                                  146

  114. Desk with Cabinet Top, 1790                             147

  115. Sheraton Desk, 1795                                     149

  116. Tambour Secretary, about 1800                           150

  117. Sheraton Desk, 1800                                     151

  118. Sheraton Desk, about 1810                               152

  119. Desk, about 1820                                        153

       Looking-glass, 1720-1740                                154

  120. Turned Chair, Sixteenth Century                         155

  121. Turned High-chair, Sixteenth Century                    156

  122. Turned Chair, about 1600                                157

  123. Turned Chair, about 1600                                157

  124. Wainscot Chair, about 1600                              158

  125. Wainscot Chair, about 1600                              159

  126. Leather Chair, about 1660                               160

  127. Chair originally covered with Turkey Work, about 1680      160

  128. Flemish Chair, about 1690                               161

  129. Flemish Chair, about 1690                               161

  130. Cane Chair, 1680-1690                                   162

  131. Cane High-chair and Arm-chair, 1680-1690                163

  132. Cane Chair, 1680-1690                                   164

  133. Cane Chair, 1680-1690                                   166

  134. Cane Chair, 1680-1690                                   166

  135. Turned Stool, 1660                                      167

  136. Flemish Stool, 1680-1690                                167

  137. Cane Chair, 1690-1700                                   168

  138. Queen Anne Chair, 1710-1720                             168

  139. Banister-back Chair, 1710-1720                          169

  140. Banister-back Chair, 1710-1720                          169

  141. Banister-back Chair, 1710-1740                          170

  142. Roundabout Chair, about 1740                            170

  143. Slat-back Chairs, 1700-1750                             171

  144. Five-slat Chair, about 1750                             172

  145. Pennsylvania Slat-back Chair, 1740-1750                 173

  146. Windsor Chairs, 1750-1775                               174

  147. Comb-back Windsor Rocking-chair, 1750-1775              175

  148. High-back Windsor Arm-chair and Child’s Chair,
           1750-1775                                           176

  149. Windsor Writing-chair, 1750-1775                        177

  150. Windsor Rocking-chairs, 1820-1830                       178

  151. Dutch Chair, 1710-1720                                  179

  152. Dutch Chair, about 1740                                 180

  153. Dutch Chair, about 1740                                 180

  154. Dutch Chair, 1740-1750                                  181

  155. Dutch Chair, 1740-1750                                  181

  156. Dutch Chairs, 1750-1760                                 182

  157. Dutch Roundabout Chair, 1740                            183

  158. Easy-chair with Dutch Legs, 1750                        184

  159. Claw-and-ball-foot Easy-chair, 1750                     185

  160. Chippendale Chair                                       186

  161. Chippendale Chair                                       186

  162. Chippendale Chair                                       187

  163. Chippendale Chair                                       187

  164. Chippendale Chair                                       189

  165. Chippendale Chairs                                      188

  166. Chippendale Chair                                       190

  167. Roundabout Chair                                        190

  168. Extension-top Roundabout Chair, Dutch                   191

  169. Roundabout Chair                                        192

  170. Chippendale Chair                                       192

  171. Chippendale Chair                                       193

  172. Chippendale Chair                                       193

  173. Chippendale Chair                                       194

  174. Chippendale Chair                                       194

  175. Chippendale Chair in “Chinese Taste”                    195

  176. Chippendale Chair                                       196

  177. Chippendale Chair                                       196

  178. Hepplewhite Chairs                                      198

  179. Hepplewhite Chair                                       197

  180. Hepplewhite Chair, 1785                                 199

  181. Hepplewhite Chair, 1789                                 199

  182. Hepplewhite Chair, 1789                                 200

  183. French Chair, 1790                                      201

  184. Hepplewhite Chair, 1790                                 201

  185. Arm-chair, 1790                                         202

  186. Transition Chair, 1785                                  202

  187. Hepplewhite Chair                                       203

  188. Hepplewhite Chair                                       203

  189. Hepplewhite Chair                                       204

  190. Hepplewhite Chair                                       204

  191. Sheraton Chair                                          205

  192. Sheraton Chairs                                         206

  193. Sheraton Chair                                          207

  194. Sheraton Chair                                          207

  195. Sheraton Chair                                          208

  196. Sheraton Chair                                          208

  197. Sheraton Chair                                          209

  198. Painted Sheraton Chair, 1810-1815                       209

  199. Late Mahogany Chairs, 1830-1845                         210

  200. Maple Chairs, 1820-1830                                 212

       Looking-glass, 1770-1780                                213

  201. Pine Settle, Eighteenth Century                         214

  202. Oak Settle, 1708                                        215

  203. Settee covered with Turkey work, 1670-1680              216

  204. Flemish Couch, 1680-1690                                217

  205. Dutch Couch, 1720-1730                                  218

  206. Chippendale Couch, 1760-1770                            218

  207. Chippendale Settee, 1760                                219

  208. Sofa, 1740                                              220

  209. Chippendale Settee                                      221

  210. Double Chair, 1760                                      222

  211. Chippendale Double Chair and Chair in “Chinese Taste,”
           1760-1765                                           224

  212. Chippendale Double Chair, 1750-1750                     225

  213. Chippendale Settee, 1770                                226

  214. French Settee, 1790                                     227

  215. Hepplewhite Settee, 1790                                228

  216. Sheraton Settee, 1790-1795                              229

  217. Sheraton Sofa, 1790-1800                                230

  218. Sheraton Sofa, about 1800                               230

  219. Sheraton Settee, about 1805                             231

  220. Sheraton Settee, 1805-1810                              232

  221. Empire Settee, 1800-1810                                232

  222. Empire Settee, 1816                                     233

  223. Sheraton Settee, 1800-1805                              234

  224. Sofa in Adam Style, 1800-1810                           235

  225. Sofa, 1815-1820                                         236

  226. Sofa, about 1820                                        237

  227. Cornucopia Sofa, about 1820                             238

  228. Sofa and Miniature Sofa, about 1820                     239

  229. Sofa about 1820                                         239

  230. Sofa and Chair, about 1840                              240

  231. Rosewood Sofa, 1844-1848                                241

       Looking-glass, 1750-1780                                242

  232. Chair Table, Eighteenth Century                         243

  233. Oak Table, 1650-1675                                    244

  234. Slate-top Table, 1670-1680                              245

  235. “Butterfly Table,” about 1700                           245

  236. “Hundred-legged” Table, 1675-1700                       246

  237. “Hundred-legged” Table, 1680-1700                       247

  238. Gate-legged Table, 1680-1700                            248

  239. Spindle-legged Table, 1740-1750                         249

  240. “Hundred-legged” Table, 1680-1700                       250

  241. Dutch Table, 1720-1740                                  251

  242. Dutch Card-table, 1730-1740                             251

  243. Claw-and-ball-foot Table, about 1750                    252

  244. Dutch Stand, about 1740                                 253

  245. “Pie-crust” Table, 1750                                 253

  246. “Dish-top” Table, 1750                                  254

  247. Tea-tables, 1750-1760                                   254

  248. Table and Easy-chair, 1760-1770                         255

  249. Tripod Table, 1760-1770                                 256

  250. Chinese Fretwork Table, 1760-1770                       256

  251. Stands, 1760-1770                                       258

  252. Tea-table, about 1770                                   258

  253. Chippendale Card-table, about 1765                      259

  254. Chippendale Card-table, 1760                            260

  255. Chippendale Card-table, about 1765                      261

  256. Pembroke Table, 1760-1770                               262

  257. Pembroke Table, 1780-1790                               262

  258. Lacquer Tea-tables, 1700-1800                           263

  259. Hepplewhite Card-table with Tea-tray, 1785-1790         264

  260. Hepplewhite Card-tables, 1785-1795                      265

  261. Sheraton Card-table, 1800                               266

  262. Sheraton Card-table, 1800-1810                          266

  263. Sheraton “What-not,” 1800-1810                          267

  264. Sheraton Dining-table and Chair, about 1810             267

  265. Sheraton Work-table, about 1800                         268

  266. Sheraton Work-table, 1810-1815                          268

  267. Maple and Mahogany Work-tables, 1810-1820               269

  268. Work-table, 1810                                        270

  269. Work-table, 1810                                        270

  270. Hepplewhite Dining-table, 1790                          271

  271. Pillar-and-claw extension Dining-table, 1800            272

  272. Pillar-and-claw Centre-table, 1800                      273

  273. Extension Dining-table, 1810                            274

  274. Accordion Extension Dining-table, 1820                  274

  275. Card-table, 1805-1810                                   275

  276. Phyfe Card-table, 1810-1820                             275

  277. Phyfe Card-table, 1810-1820                             276

  278. Phyfe Sofa-table, 1810-1820                             277

  279. Pier-table, 1820-1830                                   278

  280. Work-table, 1810-1820                                   279

       Looking-glass, 1760-1770                                280

  281. Stephen Keene Spinet, about 1690                        282

  282. Thomas Hitchcock Spinet, about 1690                     284

  283. Broadwood Harpsichord, 1789                             285

  284. Clavichord, 1745                                        288

  285. Clementi Piano, 1805                                    290

  286. Astor Piano, 1790-1800                                  292

  287. Clementi Piano, about 1820                              293

  288. Combination Piano, Desk, and Toilet-table, about 1800      294

  289. Piano, about 1830                                       295

  290. Peter Erben Piano, 1826-1827                            296

  291. Piano-stool, 1820-1830                                  298

  292. Piano, 1826                                             299

  293. Piano-stools, 1825-1830                                 300

  294. Table Piano, about 1835                                 301

  295. Piano, 1830                                             302

  296. Music-stand, about 1835                                 303

  297. Music-stand, about 1835                                 303

  298. Dulcimer, 1820-1830                                     304

  299. Harmonica or Musical Glasses, about 1820                305

  300. Music-stand, 1800-1810                                  306

  301. Music-case, 1810-1820                                   307

  302. Harp-shaped Piano, about 1800                           308

  303. Cottage Piano, or Upright, 1800-1810                    309

  304. Chickering Upright Piano, 1830                          310

  305. Piano, about 1840                                       311

  306. Hawkey Square Piano, about 1845                         312

  307. Harp, 1780-1790                                         313

       Looking-glass, 1785-1795                                315

  308. Kitchen Fireplace, 1760                                 316

  309. Andirons, Eighteenth Century                            317

  310. Andirons, Eighteenth Century                            317

  311. “Hessian” Andirons, 1776                                318

  312. Fireplace, 1770-1775                                    319

  313. Steeple-topped Andirons and Fender, 1775-1790           320

  314. Andirons, Creepers and Fender, 1700-1800                321

  315. Brass Andirons, 1700-1800                               322

  316. Brass-headed Iron Dogs, 1700-1800                       322

  317. Mantel at Mount Vernon, 1760-1770                       324

  318. Mantel with Hob-grate, 1776                             325

  319. Franklin Stove, 1745-1760                               327

  320. Iron Fire-frame, 1775-1800                              328

  321. Betty Lamps, Seventeenth Century                        329

  322. Candle-stands, First Half of Eighteenth Century         330

  323. Mantel with Candle Shade, 1775-1800                     332

  324. Candlesticks, 1775-1800                                 333

  325. Crystal Chandelier, about 1760                          334

  326. Silver Lamp from Mount Vernon, 1770-1800                335

  327. Glass Chandelier for Candles, 1760                      336

  328. Embroidered Screen, 1780                                338

  329. Sconce of “Quill-work,” 1720                            340

  330. Tripod Screen, 1770                                     341

  331. Tripod Screen, 1765                                     341

  332. Candle-stand and Screen, 1750-1775                      342

  333. Chippendale Candle-stand, 1760-1770                     343

  334. Bronze Mantel Lamps, 1815-1840                          344

  335. Brass Gilt Candelabra, 1820-1840                        345

  336. Hall Lantern, 1775-1800                                 346

  337. Hall Lantern, 1775-1800                                 346

  338. Hall Lantern, 1760                                      347

       Looking-glass, First Quarter of Eighteenth Century      348

  339. Lantern or Bird-cage Clock, First Half of Seventeenth
           Century                                             349

  340. Lantern Clock, about 1680                               350

  341. Friesland Clock, Seventeenth Century                    350

  342. Bracket Clocks, 1780-1800                               352

  343. Walnut Case and Lacquered Case Clocks, about 1738       354

  344. Gawen Brown Clock, 1765                                 356

  345. Gawen Brown Clock, 1780                                 356

  346. Maple Clock, 1770                                       357

  347. Rittenhouse Clock, 1770                                 357

  348. Tall Clock, about 1770                                  359

  349. Miniature Clock and Tall Clock, about 1800              360

  350. Tall Clock, 1800-1810                                   361

  351. Wall Clocks, 1800-1825                                  362

  352. Willard Clock, 1784                                     363

  353. Willard Clocks, 1800-1815                               364

  354. Hassam Clock, 1800                                      366

  355. “Banjo” Clock, 1802-1820                                367

  356. Presentation Clock, 1805                                368

  357. Banjo Clock or Timepiece, 1802-1810                     368

  358. Willard Timepiece, 1802-1810                            369

  359. Lyre Clock, 1810-1820                                   369

  360. Lyre-shaped Clock, 1810-1820                            370

  361. Eli Terry Shelf Clocks, 1824                            371

  362. French Clock, about 1800                                372

       Looking-glass, First Quarter of the Eighteenth Century      374

  363. Looking-glass, 1690                                     375

  364. Looking-glass, 1690                                     376

  365. Looking-glass, about 1730                               378

  366. Pier Glass in “Chinese Taste,” 1760                     380

  367. Looking-glass, about 1760                               382

  368. Looking-glass, 1770-1780                                383

  369. Looking-glass, 1725-1750                                384

  370. Looking-glass, 1770-1780                                386

  371. Mantel Glass, 1725-1750                                 387

  372. Looking-glass, 1770                                     388

  373. Looking-glass, 1770                                     388

  374. Looking-glass, 1776                                     389

  375. Looking-glass, 1780                                     390

  376. Looking-glasses, 1750-1790                              392

  377. Looking-glass, 1790                                     393

  378. Looking-glass, 1780                                     393

  379. Enamelled Mirror Knobs, 1770-1790                       394

  380. Girandole, 1770-1780                                    395

  381. Looking-glass, Adam Style, 1780                         396

  382. Looking-glass, 1790                                     397

  383. Hepplewhite Looking-glass, 1790                         398

  384. Mantel Glass, 1783                                      399

  385. Looking-glass, 1790-1800                                400

  386. “Bilboa Glass,” 1770-1780                               402

  387. Mantel Glass, 1790                                      403

  388. Mantel Glass, 1800-1810                                 404

  389. Cheval Glass, 1830-1840                                 405

  390. Looking-glass, 1810-1825                                406

  391. Looking-glass, 1810-1815                                407

  392. Looking-glass, 1810-1825                                408

  393. Pier Glass, 1810-1825                                   409

  394. Looking-glass, 1810-1825                                410

       Looking-glass                                           411

  395. Doorway and Mantel, Cook-Oliver House                   413

  396. Doorway, Dalton House                                   414

  397. Mantel, Dalton House                                    416

  398. Mantel, Dalton House                                    417

  399. Hall and Stairs, Dalton House                           418

  400. Mantel, Penny-Hallett House                             419

  401. Doorway, Parker-Inches-Emery House                      420

  402. Mantel, Lee Mansion                                     421

  403. Landing and Stairs, Lee Mansion                         422

  404. Stairs, Harrison Gray Otis House                        424

  405. Mantel, Harrison Gray Otis House                        425

  406. Stairs, Robinson House                                  426

  407. Stairs, Allen House                                     427

  408. Balusters and Newel, Oak Hill                           428

  409. Stairs, Sargent-Murray-Gilman House                     429

  410. Mantel, Sargent-Murray-Gilman House                     430

  411. Mantel, Kimball House                                   431

  412. Mantel, Lindall-Barnard-Andrews House                   432

  413. Doorway, Larkin-Richter House                           433

  414. Doorway, “Octagon”                                      434

  415. Mantel, “Octagon”                                       435

  416. Mantel, Schuyler House                                  436

  417. Mantel and Doorways, Manor Hall                         438

  418. Mantel and Doorways, Manor Hall                         439

  419. Mantel, Manor Hall                                      440

  420. Doorway, Independence Hall                              441

  421. Stairs, Graeme Park                                     442

  422. Mantel and Doorways, Graeme Park                        443

  423. Doorway, Chase House                                    445

  424. Entrance and Stairs, Cliveden                           446

  425. Mantel, Cliveden                                        447

  426. Fretwork Balustrade, Garrett House                      448

  427. Stairs, Valentine Museum                                449

  428. Mantel, Myers House                                     450


                        OF THE OLDEN TIME

Furniture of the Olden Time


THE furniture of the American colonies was at first of English
manufacture, but before long cabinet-makers and joiners plied their
trade in New England, and much of the furniture now found there was
made by the colonists. In New Amsterdam, naturally, a different style
prevailed, and the furniture was Dutch. As time went on and the first
hardships were surmounted, money became more plentiful, until by the
last half of the seventeenth century much fine furniture was imported
from England and Holland, and from that time fashions in America were
but a few months behind those in England.

In the earliest colonial times the houses were but sparsely furnished,
although Dr. Holmes writes of leaving—

                                    “The Dutchman’s shore,
  With those that in the _Mayflower_ came, a hundred souls or more,
  Along with all the furniture to fill their new abodes,
  To judge by what is still on hand, at least a hundred loads.”

If one were to accept as authentic all the legends told of various
pieces,—chairs, tables, desks, spinets, and even pianos,—Dr. Holmes’s
estimate would be too moderate.

The first seats in general use were forms or benches, not more than one
or two chairs belonging to each household. The first tables were long
boards placed upon trestles. Chests were found in almost every house,
and bedsteads, of course, were a necessity. After the first chairs,
heavy and plain or turned, with strong braces or stretchers between the
legs, came the leather-covered chairs of Dutch origin, sometimes called
Cromwell chairs, followed by the Flemish cane chairs and couches. This
takes us to the end of the seventeenth century. During that period
tables with turned legs fastened to the top had replaced the earliest
“table borde” upon trestles, and the well-known “hundred legged” or
“forty legged” table had come into use.

Cupboards during the seventeenth century were made of oak ornamented in
designs similar to those upon oak chests. Sideboards with drawers were
not used in this country until much later, although there is one of an
early period in the South Kensington Museum, made of oak, with turned
legs, and with drawers beneath the top.

Desks were in use from the middle of the seventeenth century, made
first of oak and later of cherry and walnut. Looking-glasses were owned
by the wealthy, and clocks appear in inventories of the latter part of
the century. Virginals were mentioned during the seventeenth century,
and spinets were not uncommon in the century following.

With the beginning of the eighteenth century came the strong influence
of Dutch fashions, and chairs and tables were made with the Dutch
cabriole or bandy leg, sometimes with the shell upon the knee, and
later with the claw-and-ball foot. Dutch high chests with turned legs
had been in use before this, and the high chest with bandy legs like
the chairs and tables soon became a common piece of furniture. With
other Dutch fashions came that of lacquering furniture with Chinese
designs, and tables, scrutoirs or desks, looking-glass frames, stands,
and high chests were ornamented in this manner.

The wood chiefly used in furniture was oak, until about 1675, when
American black walnut came into use, and chests of drawers, tables, and
chairs were made of it; it was the wood oftenest employed in veneer at
that time.

Sheraton wrote in 1803: “There are three species of walnut tree, the
English walnut, and the white and black Virginia. Hickory is reckoned
to class with the white Virginia walnut. The black Virginia was much in
use for cabinet work about forty or fifty years since in England, but
is now quite laid by since the introduction of mahogany.”

Mahogany was discovered by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1595. The first
mention of its use in this country is in 1708. Mr. G. T. Robinson, in
the London _Art Journal_ of 1881, says that its first use in England
was in 1720, when some planks of it were brought to Dr. Gibbon by a
West India captain. The wood was pronounced too hard, and it was not
until Mrs. Gibbon wanted a candle-box that any use was made of the
planks, and then only because the obstinate doctor insisted upon it.
When the candle-box was finished, a bureau (_i.e._ desk) was made of
the wood, which was greatly admired, and as Mr. Robinson says, “Dr.
Gibbon’s obstinacy and Mrs. Gibbon’s candle-box revolutionized English
household furniture; for the system of construction and character of
design were both altered by its introduction.” It is probable that
furniture had been made in England of mahogany previous to 1720, but
that may be the date when it became fashionable.

The best mahogany came from Santiago, Mexican mahogany being soft, and
Honduras mahogany coarse-grained.

The earliest English illustrated book which included designs for
furniture was published by William Jones in 1739. Chippendale’s first
book of designs was issued in 1754. He was followed by Ince and
Mayhew, whose book was undated; Thomas Johnson—1758; Sir William
Chambers—1760; Society of Upholsterers—about 1760; Matthias
Lock—1765; Robert Manwaring—1766; Matthias Darly—1773; Robert and
J. Adam—1773; Thomas Shearer (in “The Cabinet-makers’ London Book of
Prices”)—1788; A. Hepplewhite & Co.—1789; Thomas Sheraton—1791-1793
and 1803.

Sir William Chambers in his early youth made a voyage to China, and it
is to his influence that we can attribute much of the rage for Chinese
furniture and decoration which was in force about 1760 to 1770.

Thomas Chippendale lived and had his shop in St. Martin’s Lane,
London. Beyond that we know but little of his life. His book, “The
Gentleman’s and Cabinet-Maker’s Director,” was published in 1754, at
a cost of £3.13.6 per copy. The second edition followed in 1759, and
the third in 1762. It contains one hundred and sixty copper plates,
the first twenty pages of which are taken up with designs for chairs,
and it is largely as a chair-maker that Chippendale’s name has become
famous. His furniture combines French, Gothic, Dutch, and Chinese
styles, but so great was his genius that the effect is thoroughly
harmonious, while he exercised the greatest care in the construction of
his furniture—especially chairs. He was beyond everything a carver,
and his designs show a wealth of delicate carving. He used no inlay
or painting, as others had done before him, and as others did after
him, and only occasionally did he employ gilding, lacquer, or brass

Robert and James Adam were architects, trained in the classics. Their
furniture was distinctly classical, and was designed for rooms in the
Greek or Roman style. Noted painters assisted them in decorating the
rooms and the furniture, and Pergolesi, Angelica Kaufmann, and Cipriani
did not scorn to paint designs upon satinwood furniture.

Matthias Lock and Thomas Johnson were notable as designers of frames
for pier glasses, ovals, girandoles, etc.

Thomas Shearer’s name was signed to the best designs of those published
in 1788 in “The Cabinet-Makers’ Book of Prices.” His drawings
comprise tables of various sorts, dressing-chests, writing-desks, and
sideboards, but there is not one chair among them. He was the first to
design the form of sideboard with which we are familiar.

As Chippendale’s name is used to designate the furniture of 1750-1780,
so the furniture of the succeeding period may be called Hepplewhite;
for although he was one of several cabinet-makers who worked together,
his is the best-known name, and his was probably the most original
genius. His chairs bear no resemblance to those of Chippendale, and
are lighter and more graceful; but because of the attention he paid
to those qualifications, strength of construction and durability were
neglected. His chair-backs have no support beside the posts which
extend up from the back legs, and upon these the shield or heart-shaped
back rests in such a manner that it could endure but little strain.

Hepplewhite’s sideboards were admirable in form and decoration, and it
is from them and his chairs that his name is familiar in this country.
His swell or serpentine front bureaus were copied in great numbers here.

His specialty was the inlaying or painting with which his furniture
was enriched. Satinwood had been introduced from India shortly before
this, and tables, chairs, sideboards, and bureaus were inlaid with this
wood upon mahogany, while small pieces were veneered entirely with it.
The same artists who assisted the Adam brothers painted medallions,
wreaths of flowers or arabesque work upon Hepplewhite’s satinwood
furniture. Not much of this painted furniture came to this country,
but the fashion was followed by our ancestresses, who were taught,
among other accomplishments, to paint flowers and figures upon light
wood furniture, tables and screens being the pieces usually chosen for

Thomas Sheraton published in 1791 and 1793, “The Cabinet-Maker and
Upholsterer’s Drawing Book”; in 1803, his “Cabinet Dictionary”; in
1804, “Designs for Household Furniture,” and “The Cabinet-Maker,
Upholsterer, and General Artist’s Encyclopedia,” which was left
unfinished in 1807.

“The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book” is largely taken
up with drawings and remarks upon perspective, which are hopelessly
unintelligible. His instructions for making the pieces designed are
most minute, and it is probably due to this circumstantial care that
Sheraton’s furniture, light as it looks, has lasted in good condition
for a hundred years or more.

Sheraton’s chairs differ from Hepplewhite’s, which they resemble in
many respects, in the construction of the backs, which are usually
square, with the back legs extending to the top rail, and the lower
rail joining the posts a few inches above the seat. The backs were
ornamented with carving, inlaying, painting, gilding, and brass. The
lyre was a favorite design, and it appears in his chair-backs and in
the supports for tables, often with the strings made of brass wire.

Sheraton’s sideboards are similar to those of Shearer and Hepplewhite,
but are constructed with more attention to the utilitarian side, with
sundry conveniences, and with the fluted legs which Sheraton generally
uses. His designs show sideboards also with ornamental brass rails at
the back, holding candelabra.

His desks and writing-tables are carefully and minutely described, so
that the manifold combinations and contrivances can be accurately made.

Sheraton’s later furniture was heavy and generally ugly, following the
Empire fashions, and his fame rests upon the designs in his first book.
He was the last of the great English cabinet-makers, although he had
many followers in England and in America.

After the early years of the nineteenth century, the fashionable
furniture was in the heavy, clumsy styles which were introduced with
the Empire, until the period of ugly black walnut furniture which is
familiar to us all.

While there have always been a few who collected antique furniture,
the general taste for collecting began with the interest kindled by
the Centennial Exposition in 1876. Not many years ago the collector of
old furniture and china was jeered at, and one who would, even twenty
years since, buy an old “high-boy” rather than a new black walnut
chiffonier, was looked upon as “queer.” All that is now changed. The
chiffonier is banished for the high-boy, when the belated collector can
secure one, and the influence of antique furniture may be seen in the
immense quantity of new furniture modelled after the antique designs,
but not made, alas, with the care and thought for durability which were
bestowed upon furniture by the old cabinet-makers.

Heaton says: “It appears to require about a century for the wheel of
fashion to make one complete revolution. What our great-grandfather
bought and valued (1750-1790); what our grandfathers despised and
neglected (1790-1820); what our fathers utterly forgot (1820-1850), we
value, restore, and copy!”

Since the publication of this book in 1902, many old houses in this
country have been restored by different societies interested in the
preservation of antiquities. These historic houses have been carefully
and suitably furnished, thus carrying out what should be our patriotic
duty, the gathering and preserving of everything connected with our
history and life. Thus much furniture has been rescued, not only from
unmerited oblivion, but from probable destruction.




THE chest was a most important piece of furniture in households of
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It served as table, seat, or
trunk, besides its accepted purpose to hold valuables of various kinds.

Chests are mentioned in the earliest colonial inventories. Ship chests,
board chests, joined chests, wainscot chests with drawers, and carved
chests are some of the entries; but the larger portion are inventoried
simply as chests.

All woodwork—chests, stools, or tables—which was framed together,
chiefly with mortise and tenon, was called joined, and joined chests
and wainscot chests were probably terms applied to panelled chests to
distinguish them from those of plain boards, which were common in every
household, and which were brought to this country on the ships with the
colonists, holding their scanty possessions.

The oldest carved chests were made without drawers beneath, and were
carved in low relief in designs which appear upon other pieces of oak
furniture of the same period.

[Illustration: Illus. 1.—Oak Chest, about 1650.]

Illustration 1 shows a chest now in Memorial Hall, at Deerfield, which
was taken from the house where the Indians made their famous attack
in 1704. The top of the chest is missing, and the feet, which were
continuations of the stiles, are worn away or sawed off. The design
and execution of the carving are unusually fine, combining several
different patterns, all of an early date. Chests were carved in the
arch design with three or four panels, but seldom as elaborately as
this, which was probably made before 1650.

Illustration 2 shows a remarkable chest now owned by Mrs. Caroline
Foote Marsh of Claremont-on-the-James, Virginia. Until recently it has
remained in the family of D’Olney Stuart, whose ancestor, of the same
name, was said to be of the royal Stuart blood, and who brought it with
him when he fled to Virginia after the beheading of Charles I.

The feet have been recently added, and should be large balls;
otherwise the chest is original in every respect. It is made entirely
of olive-wood, the body being constructed of eight-inch planks. The
decoration is produced with carving and burnt work. Upon the inside
of the lid are three panels, the centre one containing a portrait in
burnt work of James I. with his little dog by his side. The two side
panels portray the Judgment of Solomon, the figures being clad in
English costumes; in the left panel the two kneeling women claim the
child; in the right the child is held up for the executioner to carry
out Solomon’s command to cut it in two. The outside of the lid has the
Stuart coat of arms burnt upon it. Upon the front of the chest are four
knights, and between them are three panels, surrounded by a moulding,
which is now missing around the middle panel. These three panels are
carved and burnt with views of castles; and around the lock, above the
middle panel, are carved the British lions supporting the royal coat of
arms. The chest measures six feet in length and is twenty-four inches

Chests with drawers are mentioned as early as 1650, and the greater
number of chests found in New England have one or two drawers.

[Illustration: Illus. 2.—Olive-wood Chest, 1630-1650.]

Illustration 3 shows a chest with one drawer owned by the Connecticut
Historical Society, made about 1660. There is no carving upon this
chest, which is panelled and ornamented with turned spindles and drops.
The stiles are continued below the chest to form the feet.

[Illustration: Illus. 3.—Panelled Chest with One Drawer, about 1660.]

A chest with two drawers is shown in Illustration 4, made probably
in Connecticut, as about fifty of this style have been found there,
chiefly in Hartford County. The top, back, and bottom are of pine, the
other portions of the chest being of American oak. The design of the
carving is similar upon all these chests, and the turned drop ornament
upon the stiles, and the little egg-shaped pieces upon the drawers,
appear upon all. They have been found with one or two drawers or none,
but usually with two. This chest is in Memorial Hall, at Deerfield.

A chest with two drawers owned by Charles R. Waters, Esq., of Salem,
is shown in Illustration 5. The mouldings upon the front of the frame
are carved in a simple design. The wood in the centre of the panels is
stained a dark color, the spindles and mouldings being of oak like the
rest of the chest.

[Illustration: Illus. 4.—Oak Chest with Two Drawers, about 1675.]

A number of chests carved in a manner not seen elsewhere have been
found in and about Hadley, Massachusetts, and this has given them the
name of Hadley chests. The carving in all is similar, upon the front
only, the ends being panelled, and all have three panels above the
drawers, with initials carved in the middle panel. The other two
panels have a conventionalized tulip design, which is carved upon the
rest of the front, in low relief. The carving is usually stained while
the background is left the natural color of the wood.

Illustration 6 shows a Hadley chest with one drawer owned by Dwight M.
Prouty, Esq., of Boston.

[Illustration: Illus. 5.—Panelled Chest with Two Drawers, about 1675.]

Carved chests with three drawers are rarely found in any design,
although the plain board chests were made with that number.

Illustration 7 and Illustration 8 show chests mounted upon frames.
Illustration 8 stands thirty-two inches high and is thirty inches wide,
and is made of oak, with one drawer. It is in the collection of Charles
R. Waters, Esq., of Salem. Illustration 7 is slightly taller, with one
drawer. This chest is in the collection of the late Major Ben: Perley
Poore, at Indian Hill. Such chests upon frames are rarely found, and by
some they are supposed to have been made for use as desks; but it seems
more probable that they were simple chests for linen, taking the place
of the high chest of drawers which was gradually coming into fashion
during the latter half of the seventeenth century, and possibly being
its forerunner. Chests continued in manufacture and in use until after
1700, but they were probably not made later than 1720 in any numbers,
as several years previous to that date they were inventoried as “old,”
a word which was as condemnatory in those years as now, as far as the
fashions were concerned.

[Illustration: Illus. 6.—Carved Chest with One Drawer, about 1700.]

Chests of drawers appear in inventories about 1645. They were usually
made of oak and were similar in design to the chests of that period.

The oak chest of drawers in Illustration 9 is owned by E. R. Lemon,
Esq., of the Wayside Inn, Sudbury. It has four drawers, and the
decoration is simply panelling. The feet are the large balls which were
used upon chests finished with a deep moulding at the lower edge. The
drop handles are of an unusual design, the drop being of bell-flower
shape. This chest of drawers was found in Malden.

[Illustration: Illus. 7 and Illus. 8—Panelled Chests upon Frames,

Illustration 10 shows a very fine oak chest of four drawers, owned by
Dwight M. Prouty, Esq., of Boston. The spindles upon this chest are
unusually good, especially the large spindles upon the stiles. There is
a band of simple carving between the drawers. The ends are panelled and
the handles are wooden knobs.

[Illustration: Illus. 9.—Panelled Chest of Drawers, about 1680.]

From the time that high chests of drawers were introduced, during the
last part of the seventeenth century, the use of oak in furniture
gradually ceased, and its place was taken by walnut or cherry, and
later by mahogany. With the disuse of oak came a change in the style of
chests, which were no longer made in the massive panelled designs of
earlier years.

The moulding around the drawers is somewhat of a guide to the age of a
piece of furniture. The earliest moulding was large and single, upon
the frame around the drawers. The next moulding consisted of two
strips, forming a double moulding. These strips were in some cases
separated by a plain band about half an inch in width.

[Illustration: Illus. 10.—Panelled Chest of Drawers, about 1680.]

Later still, upon block front pieces a small single moulding bordered
the frame around the drawers, while upon Hepplewhite and Sheraton
furniture the moulding was upon the drawer itself. Early in the
eighteenth century, about 1720, high chests were made with no moulding
about the drawers, the edges of which lapped over the frame.

[Illustration: Illustration 11.]

Another guide to the age of a piece of furniture made with drawers is
found in the brass handles, which are shown in Illustration 11 in the
different styles in use from 1675. The handle and escutcheon lettered
A, called a “drop handle,” was used upon six-legged high chests, and
sometimes upon chests. The drop may be solid or hollowed out in the
back. The shape of the plate and escutcheon varies, being round,
diamond, or shield shaped, cut in curves or points upon the edges, and
generally stamped. It is fastened to the drawer front by a looped wire,
the ends of which pass through a hole in the wood and are bent in the
inside of the drawer.

A handle and escutcheon of the next style are lettered B. They are
found upon six-legged and early bandy-legged high chests. The plate of
the handle is of a type somewhat earlier than the escutcheon. Both are
stamped, and the bail of the handle is fastened with looped wires.

[Illustration: Illus. 12.—Six-legged High Chest of Drawers, 1705-1715.]

Letter C shows the earliest styles of handles with the bail fastened
into bolts which screw into the drawer. Letters D, E, and F give the
succeeding styles of brass handles, the design growing more elaborate
and increasing in size. These are found upon desks, chests of drawers,
commodes, and other pieces of furniture of the Chippendale period.

The earliest form of high chest of drawers had six turned legs, four
in front and two in the back, with stretchers between the legs, and
was of Dutch origin, as well as the high chest with bandy or cabriole
legs, which was some years later in date. Six-legged chests were made
during the last quarter of the seventeenth century, and were usually of
walnut, either solid or veneered upon pine or whitewood; other woods
were rarely employed.

[Illustration: Illus. 13.—Walnut Dressing-table, about 1700.]

The earliest six-legged chests were made with the single moulding upon
the frame about the drawers, and with two drawers at the top, which was
always flat, as the broken arch did not appear in furniture until about
1730. The lower part had but one long drawer, and the curves of the
lower edge were in a single arch.

The six-legged high chest of drawers in Illustration 12 belongs to F.
A. Robart, Esq., of Boston. It is veneered with the walnut burl and is
not of the earliest type of the six-legged chest, but was made about
1705-1715. The handles are the drop handles shown in letter A, and
the moulding upon the frame around the drawers is double. There is a
shallow drawer in the heavy cornice at the top, and the lower part
contains three drawers.

Dressing-tables were made to go with these chests of drawers, but with
four instead of six legs. Their tops were usually veneered, and they
were, like the high chests, finished with a small beading around the
curves of the lower edge.

The dressing-table in Illustration 13 also belongs to Mr. Robart, and
shows the style in which that piece of furniture was made.

The names “high-boy” and “low-boy” or “high-daddy” and “low-daddy”
are not mentioned in old records and were probably suggested by the
appearance of the chests mounted upon their high legs.

[Illustration: Illus. 14.—Dressing-table, 1720.]

High chests, both six-legged and bandy-legged, with their
dressing-tables were sometimes decorated with the lacquering which was
so fashionable during the first part of the eighteenth century.

Illustration 14 shows a dressing-table or low-boy from the Bolles
collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is covered with
japanning, in Chinese designs. This dressing-table is the companion
to a lacquered high-boy, with a flat top, in the Bolles collection.
The handle is like letter C, in Illustration 11. That and the moulding
around the drawers place its date about 1720.

Coming originally from the Orient, japanned furniture became
fashionable, and consequently the process of lacquering or japanning
was practised by cabinet-makers in France and England about 1700, and
soon after in this country.

The earliest high chests with cabriole or bandy legs are flat-topped,
and have two short drawers, like the six-legged chests, at the top.
They are made of walnut, or of pine veneered with walnut. The curves
at the lower edge are similar to those upon six-legged chests and are
occasionally finished with a small bead-moulding.

[Illustration: Illus. 15.—Cabriole-legged High Chest of Drawers with
China Steps, about 1720.]

The bandy-legged high-boy in Illustration 15 is owned by Dwight Blaney,
Esq. It is veneered with walnut and has a line of whitewood inlaid
around each drawer. The moulding upon the frame surrounding the drawers
is the separated double moulding, and the handles are of the early
stamped type shown in Illustration 11, letter B. The arrangement of
drawers in both lower and upper parts is the same as in six-legged
chests. A reminder of the fifth and sixth legs is left in the turned
drops between the curves of the lower edge.

Steps to display china or earthenware were in use during the second
quarter of the eighteenth century.

They were generally movable pieces, made like the steps in Illustration
15, in two or three tiers, the lower tier smaller than the top of the
high chest, forming with the chest-top a set of graduated shelves upon
the front and sides.

The broken arch, which had been used in chimney pieces during the
seventeenth century, made its appearance upon furniture in the early
years of the eighteenth century, and the handsomest chests were made
with the broken arch top.

A lacquered or japanned high-boy in the Bolles collection, owned by the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, is shown in Illustration 16. It is of later
date than the lacquered dressing-table in Illustration 14, having the
broken arch. The lacquering is inferior in design to that upon the
dressing-table, and at the top is a scroll design following the outline
of the top drawers and the moulding of the broken arch.

[Illustration: Illus. 16.—Lacquered High-boy, 1730.]

A large and a small fan are lacquered upon the lower middle drawer, and
on the upper one is a funny little pagoda top, with a small fan, both
in lacquer. The handles are of an early type, and the moulding around
the drawers is a double separated one. Such japanned pieces are rare
and of great value.

A fine high chest is shown in Illustration 17, from the Warner house in
Portsmouth. It is of walnut and is inlaid around each drawer. The upper
middle drawer is inlaid in a design of pillars with the rising sun
between them, and below the sun are inlaid the initials J. S. and the
date 1733.

[Illustration: Illus. 17.—Inlaid Walnut High Chest of Drawers, 1733.]

The lower drawer has a star inlaid between the pillars, and a star is
inlaid upon each end of the case. The knobs at the top are inlaid with
the star, and the middle knob ends in a carved flame.

J. S. was John Sherburne, whose son married the daughter of Colonel
Warner. The legs of this chest were ruthlessly sawed off many years
ago, in order that it might stand in a low-ceilinged room, and it is
only in comparatively recent years that it has belonged to the branch
of the family now owning the Warner house. A double moulding runs upon
the frame around the drawers, and the original handles were probably
small, of the type in Illustration 11, letter C.

[Illustration: Illus. 18.—Inlaid Walnut High Chest of Drawers, about

A walnut high chest of a somewhat later type is shown in Illustration
18, belonging to Mrs. Rufus Woodward of Worcester. It is of walnut
veneered upon pine, and the shells upon the upper and lower middle
drawers are gilded, for they are, of course, carved from the pine
beneath the veneer. The frame has the separated double moulding around
the drawers. A row of light inlaying extends around each drawer, and
in the three long drawers of the upper part the inlaying simulates the
division into two drawers, which is carried out in the top drawers
of both the upper and lower parts. The large handles and the fluted
columns at the sides would indicate that this chest was made about

Illustration 19 shows a “high-boy” and “low-boy” of walnut, owned by
the writer. The drawers, it will be seen, lap over the frame. The
“high-boy” is original in every respect except the ring handles, which
are new, upon the drawers carved with the rising sun or fan design.

It was found in the attic of an old house, with the top separate from
the lower part and every drawer out upon the floor, filled with seeds,
rags, and—kittens, who, terrified by the invasion of the antique
hunter, scurried from their resting-places, to the number of nine or
ten, reminding one of Lowell’s lines in the “Biglow Papers”:—

  “But the old chest won’t sarve her gran’son’s wife,
  (For ’thout new furnitoor what good in life?)
  An’ so old claw foot, from the precinks dread
  O’ the spare chamber, slinks into the shed,
  Where, dim with dust, it fust and last subsides
  To holdin’ seeds an’ fifty other things besides.”

[Illustration: Illus. 19.—“Low-boy” and “High-boy” of Walnut, about

But carefully wrapped up and tucked away in one of the small drawers
were the torches for the upper and the acorn-shaped drops for the lower
part. These drops were used as long as the curves followed those of the
lower part of six-legged chests, but were omitted when more graceful
curves and lines were used, as the design of high chests gradually
differed from the early types.

[Illustration: Illus. 20.—Walnut Double Chest, about 1760.]

The “low-boy,” or dressing-table, was made to accompany every style of
high chest. The low-boy in Illustration 19 shows the dressing-table
which was probably used in the room with the bandy-legged high-boy,
flat-topped or with the broken arch cornice. It is lower than the under
part of the high-boy, which is, however, frequently supplied with a
board top and sold as a low-boy, but which can be easily detected from
its height and general appearance. The measurements of this high-boy
and low-boy are

    HIGH-BOY, lower part                    LOW-BOY

  3 feet high                         2 feet 4 inches high
  3 feet 1½ inches long            2 feet 6 inches long
  21 inches deep                      18 inches deep

The high-boy measures seven feet from the floor to the top of the

High chests and dressing-tables were made of maple, often very
beautifully marked, in the same style as the chests of walnut and
cherry. The high chest was sometimes made with the drawers extending
nearly to the floor, and mounted upon bracket, ogee, or claw-and-ball
feet. This was called a double chest, or chest-upon-chest.

The double chest in Illustration 20 is in the Warner house at
Portsmouth. It is of English walnut, and the lower part is constructed
with a recessed cupboard like the writing-table in Illustration 106.
The handles upon this chest are very massive, and upon the ends of both
the upper and lower parts are still larger handles with which to lift
the heavy chest.

[Illustration: Illus. 21.—Mahogany Double Chest, 1765.]

A double chest which was probably made in Newport, Rhode Island,
about 1760-1770, is shown in Illustration 21. The lower part is
blocked and is carved in the same beautiful shells as Illustration 31
and Illustration 106. This double chest was made for John Brown of
Providence, the leader of the party who captured the _Gaspee_ in 1772,
and one of the four famous Brown brothers, whose name is perpetuated
in Brown University. This chest is now owned by a descendant of John
Brown, John Brown Francis Herreshoff, Esq., of New York.

[Illustration: Illus. 22.—Block-front Dressing-table, about 1750.]

A low-boy of unusual design, in the Warner house, is shown in
Illustration 22. The front is blocked, with a double moulding upon
the frame around the drawers. The bill of lading in Illustration 109
specified a dressing-table, brought from England to this house in 1716,
but so early a date cannot be assigned to this piece, although it is
undoubtedly English, like the double chair in Illustration 212, which
has similar feet, for such lions’ feet are almost never found upon
furniture made in this country.

[Illustration: Illus. 23.—Dressing-table, about 1760.]

The shape of the cabriole leg is poor, the curves being too abrupt,
but the general effect of the low-boy is very rich. The handles are
the original ones, and they with the fluted columns and blocked front
determine the date of the dressing-table to be about 175O.

The low-boy in Illustration 23 is probably of slightly later date. It
has the separated double moulding upon the frame around the drawers,
and the curves of the lower part are like the early high chests, but
the carving upon the cabriole legs, and the fluted columns at the
corners, like those in Chippendale’s designs, indicate that it was made
after 1750. Upon the top are two pewter lamps, one with glass lenses
to intensify the light; a smoker’s tongs, and a pipe-case of mahogany,
with a little drawer in it to hold the tobacco. This dressing-table is
owned by Walter Hosmer, Esq.

[Illustration: Illus. 24.—Chest of Drawers, 1740.]

The little chest of drawers in Illustration 24 belongs to Daniel
Gilman, Esq., of Exeter, New Hampshire, and was inherited by him. It
is evidently adapted from the high-boy, in order to make a smaller and
lower piece, and it is about the size of a small bureau. The upper part
is separate from the lower part, and is set into a moulding, just as
the upper part of a high-boy sets into the lower. The handles and the
moulding around the drawers are of the same period as the ones upon the
chest in Illustration 20.

[Illustration: Illus. 25.—High Chest of Drawers, about 1765.]

The furniture made in and around Philadelphia was much more elaborately
carved and richly ornamented than that of cabinet-makers further
north, and the finest tables, high-boys, and low-boys that are found
were probably made there. They have large handles, like letter F, in
Illustration 11, and finely carved applied scrolls.

The richest and most elaborate style attained in such pieces of
furniture is shown in the high chest in Illustration 25, which is one
of the finest high chests known. The proportions are perfect, and
the carving is all well executed. This chest was at one time in the
Pendleton collection, and is now owned by Harry Harkness Flagler, Esq.,
of Millbrook, New York.

[Illustration: Illus. 26.—Dressing-table and Looking-glass, about

Such a chest as this was in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s mind when he wrote:
“After all, the moderns have invented nothing better in chamber
furniture than those chests which stand on four slender legs, and send
an absolute tower of mahogany to the ceiling, the whole terminating in
a fantastically carved summit.”

The dressing-table and looking-glass in Illustration 26 are also owned
by Mr. Flagler. The looking-glass is described upon page 385. The
dressing-table is a beautiful and dainty piece of furniture of the
same high standard as the chest last described. The carving upon the
cabriole legs is unusually elaborate and well done. It will be noticed
that the lower edge of these pieces is no longer finished in the simple
manner of the earlier high-boys and low-boys, but is cut in curves,
which vary with each piece of furniture.

In Illustration 365 upon page 378 is a low-boy of walnut, owned by
the writer, of unusually graceful proportions, the carved legs being
extremely slender. The shell upon this low-boy is carved in the frame
below the middle drawer instead of upon it, as is usual.

The dressing-table in Illustration 27 also belongs to the writer.
It is of walnut, like the majority of similar pieces, and is finely
carved but is not so graceful as Illustration 365. The handles are the
original ones and are very large and handsome.

High chests and the accompanying dressing-tables continued in use until
the later years of the eighteenth century.

[Illustration: Illus. 27.—Walnut Dressing-table, about 1770.]

Hepplewhite’s book, published in 1789, contains designs for chests of
drawers, extending nearly to the floor, with bracket feet, one having
fluted columns at the corners, and an urn with garlands above the flat
top. It is probable, however, that high chests of drawers were not made
in any number after 1790.




THE word “bureau” is now used to designate low chests of drawers.
Chippendale called such pieces “commode tables” or “commode bureau
tables.” As desks with slanting lids for a long period during the
eighteenth century were called “bureaus” or “bureau desks,” the
probability is that chests of drawers which resembled desks in the
construction of the lower part went by the name of “bureau tables”
because of the flat table-top. Hepplewhite called such pieces
“commodes” or “chests of drawers.” As the general name by which they
are now known is “bureau,” it has seemed simpler to call them so in
this chapter.

Bureaus were made of mahogany, birch, or cherry, and occasionally of
maple, while a few have been found of rosewood. Walnut was not used
in serpentine or swell front bureaus, although walnut chests of
drawers are not uncommon, which look like the top part of a high chest,
with bracket feet, and handles of an early design; and so far as the
writer’s observation goes, few bureaus with three or four drawers were
made of walnut.

[Illustration: Illus. 28.—Block-front Bureau, about 1770.]

The wood usually employed in the finest bureaus is mahogany, and the
earliest ones are small, with the serpentine, block, or straight front,
and with the top considerably larger than the body, projecting nearly
an inch and a half over the front and sides, the edge shaped like
the drawer fronts. The early handles are large and like letter E in
Illustration 11.

The block front is, like the serpentine or yoke front, carved from
one thick board. It is found more frequently in this country than in
England. The block-front bureau in Illustration 28 is owned by Dwight
M. Prouty, Esq., of Boston, and is a very good example, with the
original handles.

[Illustration: Illus. 29.—Block-front Bureau, about 1770.]

The small bureau in Illustration 29 is in the Warner house in
Portsmouth. It is of mahogany, with an unusual form of block front, the
blocking being rounded. The shape of the board top corresponds to the
curves upon the front of the drawers. The handles are large, and upon
each end is a massive handle to lift the bureau by.

Illustration 30 shows a block-front bureau owned by the writer.
Chippendale gives a design of a bureau similar to this, with three
drawers upon rather high legs, under the name of “commode table.”

[Illustration: Illus. 31.—Kettle-shaped Bureau, about 1770.]

The height of the legs brings the level of the bureau top about the
same as one with four drawers. One handle and one escutcheon were
remaining upon this bureau, and the others were cast from them. The
block front with its unusually fine shells would indicate that this
piece, which came from Colchester, Connecticut, was made by the same
Newport cabinet-maker as the writing-table in Illustration 106, and
the double chest in Illustration 21, which were made about 1765. The
looking-glass in the illustration is described upon page 410.

[Illustration: Illus. 30.—Block-front Bureau, about 1770.]

Illustration 31 shows a mahogany bureau of the style known as
“kettle” shape, owned by Charles R. Waters, Esq., of Salem. Desks and
secretaries were occasionally made with the lower part in this style,
and many modern pieces of Dutch marqueterie with kettle fronts are
sold as antiques. But little marqueterie furniture was brought to this
country in old times, and even among the descendants of Dutch families
in New York State it is almost impossible to find any genuine old
pieces of Dutch marqueterie.

[Illustration: Illus. 32.—Serpentine-front Bureau, about 1770.]

A bureau with serpentine front is shown in Illustration 32. It is
made in two sections, the upper part with four drawers being set into
the moulding around the base in the same manner as the top part of
a high-boy sets into the lower part. The bureau is owned by Charles
Sibley, Esq., of Worcester.

The bureaus described so far all have the small single moulding upon
the frame around the drawer. From the time when the designs of Shearer
and Hepplewhite became fashionable, bureaus were made with a fine bead
moulding upon the edge of the drawer itself or without any moulding.

The serpentine-front bureau in Illustration 33 belongs to Mrs.
Johnson-Hudson of Stratford, Connecticut. The corners are cut off so as
to form the effect of a narrow pillar, which is, like the drawers and
the bracket feet, inlaid with fine lines of holly. The bracket feet and
the handles would indicate that this bureau was made before 1789.

[Illustration: Illus. 33.—Serpentine-front Bureau, about 1785.]

A bureau of the finest Hepplewhite type is shown in Illustration
34, owned by Mrs. Charles H. Carroll of Worcester. The base has the
French foot which was so much used by Hepplewhite, which is entirely
different from Chippendale’s French foot. The curves of the lower edge,
which are outlined with a line of holly, are unusually graceful; the
knobs are brass.

[Illustration: Illus. 34.—Swell-front Inlaid Bureau, about 1795.]

Illustration 35 shows the styles of handles chiefly found upon
pieces of furniture with drawers, after 1770. A is a handle which
was used during the last years of the Chippendale period, and the
first years of the Hepplewhite. B and C are the oval pressed brass
handles found upon Hepplewhite furniture. They were made round as
well as oval, and were in various designs; the eagle with thirteen
stars, a serpent, a beehive, a spray of flowers, or heads of historic
personages—Washington and Jefferson being the favorites.

[Illustration: Illustration 35.]

D is the rosette and ring handle, of which E shows an elaborate
form. These handles were used upon Sheraton pieces and also upon the
heavy veneered mahogany furniture made during the first quarter of
the nineteenth century. F is the brass knob handle used from 1800 to
1820. G is the glass knob which, in clear and opalescent glass, came
into use about 1815 and which is found upon furniture made for twenty
years after that date, after which time wooden knobs were used, often
displacing the old brass handles.

Looking-glasses made to swing in a frame are mentioned in inventories
of 1750, and about that date may be given to the dressing-glass with
drawers, shown in Illustration 36. It was owned by Lucy Flucker, who
took it with her when, in opposition to her parents’ wishes, she
married in 1774 the patriot General Knox. It is now in the possession
of the Hon. James Phinney Baxter, Esq., of Portland, Maine. Such
dressing-glasses were intended to stand upon a dressing-table or bureau.

[Illustration: Illus. 36.—Dressing-glass, about 1760.]

A bureau and dressing-glass owned by the writer are shown in
Illustration 37. The bureau is of cherry, with the drawer fronts
veneered in mahogany edged with satinwood. A row of fine inlaying runs
around the edge of the top and beneath the drawers. This lower line of
inlaying appears upon inexpensive bureaus of this period, and seems
to have been considered indispensable to the finish of a bureau. The
dressing-glass is of mahogany and satinwood with fine inlaying around
the frame of the glass and the edge of the stand. The base of the
bureau is of a plain type, while that of the dressing-glass has the
same graceful curves that appear in Illustration 34.

[Illustration: Illus. 37.—Bureau and Dressing-glass, 1795.]

The bureaus in Illustration 34 and Illustration 37 are in the
Hepplewhite style. The bureau and dressing-glass in Illustration 38
are distinctly Sheraton, of the best style. They are owned by Dwight
Blaney, Esq., of Boston, and were probably made about 1810. The carving
upon the bureau legs and upon the corners and side supports to the
dressing-glass is finely executed. The handles to the drawers are brass

A bureau of the same date is shown in Illustration 39. It was owned
originally by William F. Lane, Esq., of Boston. Mr. Lane had several
children, for whom he had miniature pieces of furniture made, the
little sofa in Illustration 228 being one. The small bureau upon the
top of the large one was part of a bedroom set, which included a tiny
four-post bedstead.

[Illustration: Illus. 38.—Bureau and Dressing-glass, about 1810.]

This miniature furniture was of mahogany like the large pieces. The
handles upon the large bureau are not original. They should be rosette
and ring, or knobs similar to those upon the small bureau. The bureaus
are now owned by a daughter of Mr. Lane, Mrs. Thomas H. Gage of

[Illustration: Illus. 39.—Bureau and Miniature Bureau, about 1810.]

Bureaus of this style were frequently made of cherry with the drawer
fronts of curly or bird’s-eye maple, the fluted pillars at the corner
and the frame around the drawers being of cherry or mahogany.

There was added to the bureau about this time—perhaps evolved from the
dressing-glass with drawers—an upper tier of shallow drawers, usually
three. The dressing-table shown in Illustration 40 is owned by Charles
H. Morse, Esq., of Charlestown, New Hampshire. It stands upon high legs
turned and reeded, and a dressing-glass is attached above the three
little drawers. The handles should be rings or knobs.

The case of drawers with closet above, in Illustration 41, is owned
by Mrs. Thomas H. Gage, of Worcester. It is of mahogany, the doors of
the closet being of especially handsome wood. The carving at the top
of the fluted legs is fine, and the piece of furniture is massive and

[Illustration: Illus. 40—Dressing-table and Glass, 1810.]

[Illustration: Illus. 41.—Case of Drawers with Closet, 1810.]

The bureau in Illustration 42 is also owned by Mrs. Gage, and is a
very good specimen of the furniture in the heavy style fashionable
during the first quarter of the nineteenth century.

It was probably made to match a four-post bedstead with twisted posts
surmounted by pineapples. The drawer fronts are veneered, like those of
all the bureaus illustrated in this chapter except the first four, and
there is no moulding upon the edge of the drawers.

Illustration 43 shows the heaviest form of bureau, made about the same
time as the last one shown, with heavily carved pillars and bears’
feet. The drawer fronts are veneered and have no moulding upon the
edge. This bureau is owned by Mrs. S. B. Woodward of Worcester, and it
is a fine example of the furniture after the style of Empire pieces.

The bureau in Illustration 44 is owned by Charles H. Morse, Esq., of
Charlestown, and shows the latest type of Empire bureau, with ball
feet, and large round veneered pillars. The three Empire bureaus shown
have the last touch that could be added, a back piece above the tier of
small drawers.

[Illustration: Illus. 42.—Bureau, about 1815.]

The bureaus have the top drawer of the body projecting beyond the three
lower drawers, and supported by the pillars at the sides. This and the
shallow tier of small drawers, and the back piece are typical features
of the Empire bureau, which may have the rosette and ring handle or the
knob of brass or glass.

[Illustration: Illus. 43.—Bureau, 1815-1820.]

The toilet conveniences of our ancestors seem to our eyes most
inadequate, and it is impossible that a very free use of water was
customary, with the tiny bowls and pitchers which were used and the
small and inconvenient washstands. A “bason frame” appears in an
inventory of 1654. Chippendale designed “bason stands” which were
simply a tripod stand, into the top of which the basin fitted.

[Illustration: Illus. 44.—Empire Bureau and Glass, 1810-1820.]

They were also called wig stands because they were kept in the
dressing-room where the fine gentleman halted to remove his hat, and
powder his wig. The basin rested in the opening in the top, and in
the little drawers were kept the powder and other accessories of the
toilet. The depression in the shelf was for the ewer, probably bottle
shaped, to rest in, after the gentleman had poured the water into the
basin, to dip his fingers in after powdering his wig.

[Illustration: Illus. 45.—Basin Stand, 1770.]

The charming little basin or wig stand in Illustration 45 is in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art. The wood is mahogany and the feet are a
flattened type of claw and ball, giving the little stand, with its
basin and ewer, some stability, unless an unwary pointed toe should be
caught by the spreading legs. The acanthus leaf is carved on the knees,
and the chamfered corners above have an applied fret.

The drawings of Shearer, Hepplewhite and Sheraton show both square and
corner washstands of mahogany with slender legs.

The washstand in Illustration 46 is of mahogany, and differs from the
usual corner stand in having the enclosed cupboard. It was made from
a Hepplewhite design and is owned by Francis H. Bigelow, Esq., of

The corner washstand in Illustration 47 is owned by the writer. It
is of mahogany, and the drawers are finely inlaid, probably after a
Sheraton design.

[Illustration: Illus. 46.—Corner Washstand, 1790.]

The little towel-rack is of somewhat later date and is made of maple,
stained. The washbowl and pitcher are dark-blue Staffordshire ware,
with the well-known design of the “Tomb of Franklin” upon them.

While the corner washstand possessed the virtues of taking up but
little room, and being out of the way, the latter consideration must
have been keenly felt by those who, with head thrust into the corner,
were obliged to use it.

A square washstand of more convenient shape, but still constructed
for the small bowl and pitcher, is shown in Illustration 48. It is of
mahogany and is in the style that was used from 1815 to 1830. This
washstand is owned by Mrs. E. A. Morse of Worcester.

Both corner and square washstands have an opening in the top, into
which was set the washbowl, and two—sometimes three—small openings
for the little cups which were used to hold the soap.

Hepplewhite’s book, published in 1789, shows designs of “night tables”
like the one in Illustration 49, but they are not often found in this

[Illustration: Illus. 47.—Towel-rack and Washstand, 1790-1800.]

This table is of mahogany, with tambour doors, and a carved rim around
the top, pierced at each side to form a handle. The wood of the
interior of the drawer is oak, showing that the table was probably made
in England. It is owned by the writer.

[Illustration: Illus. 48.—Washstand, 1815-1830.]

There are several drawings in the books of Hepplewhite and Sheraton
of washstands and toilet-tables with complicated arrangements for
looking-glasses and toilet appurtenances, but such pieces of furniture
could not have been common even in England, and certainly were not in
this country.

[Illustration: Illus. 49.—Night Table, 1785.]

In Illustration 288 upon page 294 is shown a piano which can be
used as a toilet-table, with a looking-glass and trays for various
articles, but it must have been, even when new, regarded less from
the utilitarian side, and rather as a novel and ornamental piece of

[Illustration: Illus. 50.—Washstand, 1800-1810.]

A washstand of different design is shown in Illustration 50. The front
is of bird’s-eye maple and mahogany, and the top is of curly maple with
mahogany inlay around the edge. The sides are mahogany. The two drawers
are shams, and the top lifts on a hinge disclosing a compartment for a
pitcher and bowl. The tapering legs end in a spade foot, and a large
brass handle is upon each side. The other handles are brass knobs.
This stand was made after instructions given by Sheraton thus, “The
advantage of this kind of basin stand is, that they may stand in a
genteel room, without giving offense to the eye, their appearance being
somewhat like a cabinet.” The washstand is owned by the writer.




ONE of the most valuable pieces of furniture in the household of
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was the bedstead with its
belongings. Bedsteads and beds occupy a large space in inventories,
and their valuation was often far more than that of any other article
in the inventory, sometimes more than all the others. In spite of the
great value placed upon them, none have survived to show us exactly
what was meant by the “oak Marlbrough bedstead” or the “half-headed
bedstead” in early inventories. About the bedstead up to 1750 we
know only what these inventories tell us, but the inference is that
bedsteads similar to those in England at that time were also in use in
the colonies. The greater portion of the value of the bedstead lay in
its furnishings,—the hangings, feather bed, bolster, quilts, blankets,
and coverlid,—the bedstead proper, when inventoried separately, being
placed at so low a sum that one concludes it must have been extremely

[Illustration: Illus. 51.—Wicker Cradle, 1620.]

Several cradles made in the seventeenth century are still in existence.
Illustration 51 shows one which is in Pilgrim Hall, Plymouth, and which
is said to have sheltered Peregrine White, the first child born in this
country to the Pilgrims. It is of wicker and of Oriental manufacture,
having been brought from Holland upon the _Mayflower_, with the

[Illustration: Illus. 52.—Oak Cradle, 1680.]

The cradle in Illustration 52 is of more substantial build. It is of
oak, and was made for John Coffin, who was born in Newbury, January 8,
1680. Sergeant Stephen Jaques, “who built the meeting house with great
needles and little needles pointing downward,” fashioned this cradle,
whose worn rockers bear witness to the many generations of babies who
have slept within its sturdy frame. It is now in the rooms of the
Newburyport Historical Society.

Another wooden cradle is in Pilgrim Hall, made of oak and very similar,
with the turned spindles at the sides of its wooden hood, to a cradle
dated 1691, in the South Kensington Museum.

[Illustration: Illus. 53.—Bedstead and Commode, 1750.]

“Cupboard bedsteads” and “presse bedsteads” are mentioned in the
inventories. They were probably the same as the Dutch “slaw-bank,” and
when not in use they were fastened up against the wall in a closet made
to fit the bed, and the closet doors were closed or curtains were drawn
over the bedstead. There is a slaw-bank in the old Sumner house in
Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, built in 1797.

[Illustration: Illus. 54.—Field Bedstead, 1760-1770.]

Illustration 53 shows a curious bedstead made about 1750, when it was
used by Dr. Samuel Johnson, president of King’s College, New York.
It is now owned by his descendant, Mrs. Johnson-Hudson of Stratford,
Connecticut. The slanting back of the bedstead is like the back of
an early Chippendale chair, and the effect is similar to that of the
couches shown in Illustration 205 and Illustration 206; but this piece
was evidently intended for a bed, as it is considerably wider than the
couches, which were “day beds.” The wood of this bedstead is mahogany.
The commode which stands beside the bed is of a slightly later date.
It is also of mahogany, with massive brass handles.

Illustration 54 shows a bedstead of about 1760-1770. It is what was
called a field bed, the form of its top suggesting a tent. The frames
for the canopy top were made in different shapes, but the one in the
illustration was most common. The drapery is made of the netted fringe
so much used in those days for edging bedspreads, curtains, and covers.
This deep fringe was made especially for canopy tops for bedsteads.
Its manufacture has been revived by several Arts and Crafts Societies.
The slat-back chair is one of the rush-bottomed variety common during
the eighteenth century. This room, with its wooden rafters, is in the
Whipple house at Ipswich, built in 1650.

The claw-and-ball foot bedstead in Illustration 55 was a part of the
wedding outfit of Martha Tufts, who was married in 1774, in Concord. It
was then hung with the printed cotton draperies, hand spun and woven,
which still hang from the tester, albeit much darned and quite dropping
apart with age. The draperies are of a brownish color, possibly from
age, but at all events they are now dingy and unattractive, whatever
they may have been in 1774. The posts above the cabriole legs are
small and plain, and there is no headboard. The wood is mahogany. This
bedstead is now owned by the Concord Antiquarian Society. Although
Chippendale’s designs do not show a bedstead with claw-and-ball
feet, he probably did make such bedsteads, and this may be called
Chippendale, as it belongs to that period.

[Illustration: Illus. 55.—Claw-and-Ball Foot Bedstead, 1774.]

A bedstead with plain, simple posts, with the cover and hangings of old
netting, is shown in Illustration 56. There is a good comb-back Windsor
arm-chair and a mahogany cradle of the period in the room, which is a
bedroom in the Lee Mansion, Marblehead, Mass.

[Illustration: Illus. 56.—Bedstead, 1780.]

A splendid bedstead found in Charleston, S. C., and now owned by J.
J. Gilbert, Esq., of Baltimore, is shown in Illustration 57. All four
posts are carved and reeded, and are after the manner of Chippendale.
The tester and headboard show the Adam influence, placing the date of
the bedstead about 1770.

[Illustration: Illus. 57.—Bedstead, 1775-1785.]

Illustration 58 shows a bedstead made from one of Hepplewhite’s
designs, about 1789. The lower posts are slender and fluted, and end in
a square foot.

[Illustration: Illus. 58.—Bedstead, 1789.]

The cornice is japanned after the fashion which Hepplewhite made so
popular, and the style in which this bedstead is draped is extremely
attractive. It is at Indian Hill, the residence of the late Major Ben
Perley Poore.

The four-post bedsteads had sometimes canvas stretched across the frame
and laced with ropes, similar to the seat of the couch in Illustration
206, and in other cases they were corded entirely with ropes. Mrs.
Vanderbilt in her “Social History of Flatbush” thus describes the
process of cording a bed: “It required a man’s strength to turn the
machine that tightened the ropes, in cording these beds when they were
put together. Some one was stationed at each post to keep it upright,
while a man was exhausting his strength and perhaps his stock of
patience and good temper, in getting the ropes sufficiently tight to
suit the wife or mother. When the bedstead was duly corded and strung
to the tension required, then a straw bed, in a case of brown home-made
linen, was first placed over these cords, and upon this were piled
feather beds to the number of three or four, and more if this was the
spare-room bed.” The height of the top one of these feather beds from
the floor was so great that steps were required to mount into it, and
sets of mahogany steps are sometimes found now, which were made for
this purpose. A set is shown in Illustration 64.

Illustration 59 shows one of the finest bedsteads known in this
country. It is in the house of Charles R. Waters, Esq., of Salem. The
two lower posts are exquisitely carved with garlands of flowers, and
every detail is beautiful; the upper posts are plain. The size of the
posts is somewhat larger than during the previous years, and the style
of the lower part with the fluted leg would place the date of the
bedstead about 1795-1800, when the influence of Sheraton was strong.
The cornice is painted with flowers in colors, and the painted band
is framed in gilt; the ornaments at the corners, the basket with two
doves, and the ropes and tassels are all of gilt.

[Illustration: Illus. 59.—Bedstead, 1795-1800.]

About 1800, when the Empire styles commenced to influence the makers
of furniture, the posts of bedsteads became larger, and they were more
heavily carved, with acanthus leaves twining around the post, or a
heavy twist or fluting, with pineapples at the top.

[Illustration: Illus. 60—Bedstead, 1800-1810.]

Illustration 60 shows a bedstead at Indian Hill, with the heavy posts
and tester, the lower posts being fluted. The bedstead is draped on the
side and foot with curtains which could be let down at night in cold
weather, thus shutting out the bitter draughts. The coverlid for this
bed is made of linen, spun and woven by hand, and embroidered in shades
of blue with a quaint design. The easy-chair at the foot of the bed is
covered with old chintz, printed in figures that would afford a child
unlimited entertainment.

[Illustration: Illus. 61.—Bedstead, 1800-1810.]

A bedstead with massive twisted posts is shown in Illustration 61. The
lower posts only are carved, as was usual, the draperies at the head
of the bed concealing the plain upper posts. Twisted posts were quite
common during the early years of the nineteenth century, and more
bedposts are found that are carved in a twist than in any other design.
The coverlid is similar to the one in Illustration 63. This bedstead
stands in one of the panelled rooms of the Warner house in Portsmouth.

[Illustration: Illus. 62.—Bedstead, 1800-1810.]

Illustration 62 shows a fine example of the four-post bedstead made
from 1805 to 1810. It is unusual in having all four posts carved, and
for its splendid feet, which are carved in massive lions’ claws.

Each post is carved with festoons of drapery, and is surmounted with a
pineapple The headboard is elaborately carved with a basket of fruit.
This mahogany bedstead is owned by Mrs. E. A. Morse of Worcester.

Illustration 63 shows another bedstead with all four mahogany posts
carved in the acanthus leaf and pineapple design. Each post is finished
at the top with a pineapple, and the bases are set into brass sockets.
Upon the plain sections of the posts may be seen pressed brass
ornaments, of which there are six, two for each lower post and one for
each upper one. These ornaments cover the holes through which the
bed-screws are put in to hold the frame together.

[Illustration: Illus. 63.—Bedstead, 1800-1810.]

There is a headboard of simple design upon this bedstead. The coverlid
is an old, handspun and woven, cotton one, with a design of stars in
little cotton tufts. Such coverlids were made about 1815 to 1830. This
bedstead is owned by the writer.

[Illustration: Illus. 64.—Bedstead and Steps, 1790.]

Illustration 64 shows a bed owned by the Colonial Dames, in their
house, “Stenton,” in Philadelphia. It has the large, plain and heavy
posts found in the South. The hangings are the original ones. Beside
the bed is a set of steps used to assist in mounting to the top of the
feather beds used in those days. The cradle is of about the same date.

[Illustration: Illus. 65.—Low-post Bedstead, about 1825.]

Illustration 65 shows a low-post mahogany bedstead which is owned by
Dr. S. B. Woodward of Worcester, having been inherited by him. It was
made about 1825. The four posts are carved with the acanthus leaf, and
both head and foot board are elaborately carved. It can be seen that
the bed in this illustration is not so high from the floor as those of
earlier date. The low French bedstead became fashionable soon after
this time, and the high four-poster was relegated to the attic, from
which it has of late years been rescued, and set up, draped with all of
its old-time hangings.

[Illustration: Illus. 66.—Low-post Bedstead, 1820-1830.]

The latest style of low-post bedsteads is shown Illustration 66. It
was probably made about 1820-1830, when the light woods, maple and
birch, were, with cherry, largely used for such bedsteads. The wood
of this bed is curly birch, and all four posts are carved alike with
the pineapple and acanthus design, similar to the tall posts of the
previous period. Low-post bedsteads are often found with posts plainly
turned, of curly maple, beautifully marked.

[Illustration: Illus. 67.—Low Bedstead, about 1830.]

Illustration 67 shows a low French bedstead, found in Canada and owned
by George Corbett, Esq., of Worcester. The bedstead is made of finely
grained old walnut, the rounding top of the head and foot boards and
the face of the large drawer under the footboard being veneered. This
drawer may have been intended to use to keep blankets in. It has a
little foot so that it remains firm when pulled out. At each side of
the low bed is a carved shell, which slides out, showing a covered
rest, perhaps for kneeling upon to pray. Both the head and foot boards
are covered with canvas, which was probably, when the bedstead was
new, about 1830, covered with a rich brocade. All the lines of the
bedstead are most graceful, and the carving is unusually well done.
Plainer bedsteads in this style were made, veneered with mahogany, and
they are sometimes called sleigh beds, on account of their shape. These
bedsteads were fashionable from 1830 to 1850, when they were superseded
by the black walnut bedsteads familiar to everybody.




CUPBOARDS appear in English inventories as early as 1344. Persons of
rank in England had their cupboards surmounted by a set of shelves to
display the silver and gold plate. Each shelf was narrower than the one
beneath, like a set of steps, and the number of shelves indicated the
rank of the owner, five being the greatest number, to be used by the
king only.

The first cupboard consisted of an open framework, a “borde” upon which
to set cups, as the name implies. Later it was partially enclosed
below, and this enclosed cupboard was used to hold valuables, or
sometimes the food which was afterward distributed by the lady of the
house. This was known as an almery or press cupboard, the former name
corresponding to the French word _armoire_.

[Illustration: Illus. 68.—Oak Press Cupboard, 1640.]

The names “court cupboard” or “livery cupboard” were used to designate
a piece of furniture without an enclosed cupboard, low or short, as
the French word _court_ implies, and intended for a serving-table, as
the word “livery,” from the French _livrer_, to deliver, indicates. In
Europe such pieces were called _dressoirs_.

Cupboards abound in colonial inventories, under various names—“small
cupboard,” “great cupboard,” “press cupboard,” “wainscot cupboard,”
“court cupboard,” “livery cupboard,” “hanging cupboard,” “sideboard
cupboard.” The cupboard formed an important part of the furniture owned
by men of wealth and position in the colonies.

These cupboards were generally of oak, but those made in this country
have the backs and bottoms of the cupboards and drawers of pine. The
interior is similar in all, the lower cupboard usually having shelves,
which seldom appear in the upper cupboard. Sometimes the lower part of
the piece is divided into drawers for holding linen.

[Illustration: Illus. 69.—Press Cupboard, about 1650.]

Such a cupboard is shown in Illustration 68. This fine example is known
as the “Putnam cupboard.” It is now owned by the Essex Institute, of
Salem, to which it was presented by Miss Harriet Putnam Fowler of
Danvers, Massachusetts. It descended to her from John Putnam, who
brought it from England about 1640. Upon the back may be seen marks of
a fire which two hundred years ago destroyed the house in which the
cupboard stood. The wood is English oak, and the mouldings used in the
panelling are of cedar. The cupboard is in two parts, the upper section
with the enclosed cupboard resting upon the lower section with its
three drawers.

Another panelled cupboard is shown in Illustration 69, in which both
the upper and lower parts are made with a recessed cupboard, enclosed,
with a drawer below. The wood is oak, with the turned pieces painted
black. This cupboard is in the house of Charles R. Waters, Esq., of
Salem. Upon the top are displayed some good pieces of old glass.

Many press cupboards were carved in designs similar to those upon the
early chests. Illustration 70 shows a carved press cupboard owned by
Walter Hosmer, Esq., of Wethersfield.

[Illustration: Illus. 70.—Carved Press Cupboard, 1680-1690.]

The wood is American oak and the cupboard was probably made in
Connecticut, where there must have been unusually good cabinet-makers
during the last half of the seventeenth century, for many of the
best oak chests and cupboards existing in this country were made in
Connecticut. This cupboard is very large, measuring five feet in
height and four feet in width.

All cupboards were provided with cupboard cloths or cushions, the
latter probably made somewhat thicker than the simple cloth, by the use
of several layers of goods or of stuffing. These cloths or cushions
were placed on the top of the cupboard, to set the glass or silver
upon, and the early inventories have frequent mention of them. By 1690
the press cupboard had gone out of fashion, and but few were made after
1700, although they continued to be used by those who already owned

About 1710 the corner cupboard made its appearance, often under the
name “beaufet” or “beaufatt.” It was generally built into the corner,
and was finished to correspond with the panelling around the room.
The lower part was closed by panelled doors, and the upper part had
sometimes one glass door, sometimes two, opening in the middle; but
more often it was left without a door. The top of the beaufatt was
usually made in the form of an apse, and in the finest specimens the
apse was carved in a large shell. The shelves were not made to take up
the entire space in the cupboard, but extended around the back, and
were cut in curves and projections, evidently to fit pieces of glass or
china, for the display of which the beaufatt was built rather than to
serve as a simple closet. A fine beaufatt is shown in Illustration 71,
which is in the Deerfield Museum. From the construction of the pillars
at the side it is evident that it was not intended to use a door to the
upper part.

That there was some distinction between the corner cupboard and the
beaufatt would appear from the difference in their valuation in
inventories, but what was the difference in their construction we do
not know.

[Illustration: Illus. 71.—Corner “Beaufatt,” 1740-1750.]

Cupboards were made, during the latter part of the eighteenth century,
of mahogany and other woods, and such corner cupboards, made as a
piece of furniture and not built into the house, were common in the
Southern States, about 1800. The corner cupboard, or beaufatt, was both
convenient and ornamental, taking up but little room and filling what
was often an empty space. Our ancestors frequently utilized the large
chimney also, by making the sides into small closets or cupboards, and
occasionally a door with glass panes was set into the chimney above the
mantel, with shelves behind it to hold glass or china.

While the New England inventories speak of cupboards, the word _kas_,
or _kasse_, appears in Dutch inventories in New York. The kas was the
Dutch cupboard, and was different in style from the cupboard in use in
New England. It was of great size, and had large doors, behind which
were wide shelves to hold linen. The kas was usually made in two parts,
the upper one having two doors and a heavy cornice above. The lower
part held a long drawer, and rested upon large ball feet. A panelled
kas of somewhat different form is shown in Illustration 72, without
the ball feet, and made in three parts; the lower section with the
drawer, the middle cupboard section, enclosed with large doors, and a
second cupboard above that, the whole surmounted with a cornice. This
kas is made of kingwood, a hard wood with a grain not unlike that of
oak, but with darker markings. The bill of lading is still preserved,
dated 1701, when the kas, packed full of fine linen, was imported
from Holland by the father of Dr. Samuel Johnson, president of King’s
College from 1754 to 1763. It is now owned by Dr. Johnson’s descendant,
Mrs. Johnson-Hudson of Stratford, Connecticut.

[Illustration: Illus. 72.—Kas, 1700.]

Inventories during the latter years of the seventeenth century speak
of a “sideboard cupboard,” “sideboard table,” and “side-table,” but
the sideboard, in our acceptance of the word, dates to the latter half
of the eighteenth century. Chippendale designed no sideboards with
drawers and compartments, but he did design side-tables, or sideboard
tables, with marble or mahogany tops and carved frames. A Chippendale
side-table is shown in Illustration 73. The wood is mahogany, and the
frame is carved elaborately and beautifully in designs similar to those
of Chippendale and his contemporaries, which abound in flowers, birds,
and shells. The cabriole legs end in massive lion’s paws. This table is
what is called Irish Chippendale.

[Illustration: Illus. 73.—Chippendale Side-table, about 1755.]

In Ireland, working at the same period as Chippendale, drawing their
ideas from the same sources, and probably from Chippendale as well,
were cabinet-makers, much of whose work has come down, notably
side-tables. The shell plays a prominent part; on this table beside the
large shell are two small ones upon each leg. The carving of the Irish
school is not so fine as its English model, but is very rich. This
table is five feet long and the original top was of marble. It is owned
by Harry Harkness Flagler, Esq., of Millbrook, New York.

[Illustration: Illus. 74.—Chippendale Side-table, 1765.]

A Chippendale side-table is shown in Illustration 74, which was
evidently made in England, from Chippendale’s designs, if not by
Chippendale himself. It is very long and has had to sustain a great
weight in the heavy marble top, but it is in splendid condition,
perhaps because it is so heavy that it is seldom moved. It has passed
through many vicissitudes,—war, fire and earthquake,—in Charleston,
South Carolina, since it was brought there by the ancestor of its
present owner, George W. Holmes, Esq., of Charleston.

These long side-tables were designed not only by Chippendale, but by
the other cabinet-makers and designers of the day, Ince and Mayhew,
and Manwaring; but the tables of these less noted men usually are made
after the prevailing Chinese style, with applied fretwork and legs
which are pierced, thus depriving them of the strength necessary in
so large a piece. Chippendale made these also, but in this table the
cabinet-maker chose a design which looks and is strong. The carving is
in scrolls done in the solid wood, and is French in design. The bracket
at the top of the leg is made in a scroll, which extends entirely
around the table.

The earliest mention of a sideboard, the description of which implies
a form of construction similar to that of the later sideboard, is
in 1746, when an advertisement in a London newspaper speaks of “a
Large marble Sideboard Table with Lavatory and Bottle Cistern.”
Chippendale’s designs, published in 1753 and 1760, contain nothing
answering to this description, and both he and other cabinet-makers
of that period give drawings of side-tables only, without even a
drawer beneath. Such a sideboard as this advertisement of 1746
mentions, may have given the idea from which, forty years later, was
developed the sideboard of mahogany, often inlaid, with slender legs
and curved front, which is shown in the majority of antique shops as
“Chippendale,” while the heavy veneered sideboard, with claw feet and
compartments extending nearly to the floor, made after 1800, goes
under the name of “Colonial.” One name is as incorrect as the other.
Thomas Shearer, an English cabinet-maker, designed the first of the
slender-legged sideboards, and they appear in his drawings published
in 1788. Hepplewhite’s book, published in 1789, gave similar drawings,
as did Sheraton’s in 1791, and these three cabinet-makers designed the
sideboards which were so fashionable from 1789 to 1805. The majority
which are found in this country were probably made here, but one is
shown in Illustration 75, which has a most romantic history of travel
and adventure. It is in the half-circle shape which was Shearer’s
favorite design, and was probably of English make, although it was
brought from France to America.

In 1792 the ship _Sally_, consigned to Colonel Swan, sailed from
France, laden with rich furniture, tapestries, robes, everything
gathered together in Paris which might have belonged to a royal lady.

[Illustration: Illus. 75.—Shearer Sideboard and Knife-box, 1792.]

The _Sally_ came to Wiscasset, Maine, and the story told “down East”
is that there was a plot to rescue Marie Antoinette, and the _Sally_
was laden for that purpose; and that a house had been built in a Maine
seaport for the queen, whose execution put an end to the plot, and sent
the _Sally_ off to America with her rich cargo. I cannot help thinking
that if the story be true, Marie Antoinette was spared many weary days
of discontent and homesickness; for the temperament of the unfortunate
queen, luxury loving, gay, and heedless, does not fit into the life of
a little Maine seaport town one hundred years ago. When the _Sally_
arrived, her cargo of beautiful things was sold. Legends of Marie
Antoinette furniture crop up all around the towns in the neighborhood
of Wiscasset, but, singularly enough, I have been unable to trace a
single piece in Maine except this sideboard. Miss Elizabeth Bartol of
Boston, whose mother was a granddaughter of Colonel Swan, owns several
pieces. Colonel Swan’s son married the daughter of General Knox and
took the sideboard with him to General Knox’s home in Thomaston, Maine,
where it remained for many years.

The sideboard is made of oak (showing its English origin) veneered
with mahogany. The lines upon the front and the figures upon the legs
are inlaid in satinwood, and the knife-box is inlaid in the same wood.
The top of the sideboard is elaborately inlaid with satinwood and dark
mahogany, in wide bands, separated by lines of ebony and satinwood,
and crossed by fine satinwood lines radiating from the centre. The
handles and escutcheons are of silver, and the top of the knife-box is
covered by a silver tray with a reticulated railing. The coffee-urn is
of Sheffield plate, and the sideboard with its appurtenances appears
to-day as it did one hundred years ago in the house of General Knox. It
is now owned by the Hon. James Phinney Baxter of Portland, Maine.

[Illustration: Illus. 76.—Urn-shaped Knife-box, 1790.]

Knife-boxes were made of different shapes, to hold knives, forks,
and spoons, and a pair of knife-boxes was the usual accompaniment to
a handsome sideboard. The most skilled cabinet-makers were employed
in their manufacture, as each curved section had to be fitted most

Illustration 76 shows an urn-shaped knife-box of mahogany inlaid in
lines of holly. The interior of the box is fitted with circular trays
of different heights, and through the little openings in these trays
the knives and spoons were suspended.

[Illustration: Illus. 77.—Urn-shaped Knife-box, 1790.]

Illustration 77 shows an urn-shaped knife-box opened. The top rests
upon a wooden rod which extends through the middle of the box, and
instead of turning back with a hinge, the top slides up on this rod,
and when it is raised to a certain height it releases a spring which
holds the rod firmly in its place. This urn knife-box is in the
Pendleton collection in Providence, Rhode Island.

Urn-shaped boxes were designed by Adam, and are shown in his drawings,
to stand upon pedestals at each end of the side table, to be used,
one for ice-water, and one for hot water, for the butler to wash the
silver, not so plentiful then as now. Very soon the urn-shaped boxes
were utilized to hold the knives, forks and spoons. Adam, Shearer,
Hepplewhite and Sheraton show designs for knife-boxes, many of them
elaborately carved or inlaid, but they must have been very costly, and
within the means only of such noblemen, who, in Sheraton’s words, “are
unrestrained with the thoughts of expensiveness.”

The usual shape of knife-box found is shown in Illustration 78, owned
by Mrs. Clarence R. Hyde, of Brooklyn, N. Y. It is inlaid both outside
and inside and the handles and fittings are of silver. The books of
designs show boxes of this shape, with the lid put back, as in this
illustration, and used to support a large silver plate.

[Illustration: Illus. 78.—Knife-box, 1790.]

Mahogany was chiefly used in sideboards, with inlaying of satinwood,
holly, king, tulip, snake, zebra, yew, maple, and other woods.
Occasionally one finds a sideboard veneered with walnut. The curves
at the front vary considerably, the ends being convex, and the centre
straight; or the ends concave, forming with the centre a double curve.
A sideboard with rounded ends and only four legs was made in large
numbers around Philadelphia.

Illustration 79 shows a Hepplewhite sideboard owned by the writer. It
is of mahogany veneered upon pine, and it was probably the work of a
Connecticut cabinet-maker of about 1790. Six chairs, made to go with
the sideboard, are similarly inlaid, and the knife-boxes, which have
always stood upon this sideboard, have fine lines of inlaying. There
is one central long drawer, beneath which, slightly recessed, are
doors opening into a cupboard, and two bottle drawers, each fitted
with compartments to hold four bottles. There is a cupboard at each
curved end, with a drawer above. The coloring of the wood used in this
sideboard is very beautiful. Each drawer and door is veneered with a
bright red mahogany, with golden markings in the grain, and this is
framed in dark mahogany, outlined in two lines of satinwood with an
ebony line between. The oval pieces above the legs and the bell-flower
design upon the legs are of satinwood. The combination of the different
shades of mahogany with the light satinwood is most effective. The
handles are new. When this sideboard came into the possession of the
writer, the old handles had been removed and large and offensive ones
of pressed brass had been fastened upon every available spot, with that
love for the showy which seizes upon country people when they attempt
the process known as “doing over.” The lids of the knife-boxes open
back with hinges, and the interior is fitted with a slanting tray,
perforated with openings of different shapes to hold knives, with the
handles up, and spoons with the bowls up. A fine line of inlaying goes
round each of the openings.

[Illustration: Illus. 79.—Hepplewhite Sideboard and Knife-boxes, about

The handles and escutcheons of the knife-boxes are of silver. Upon the
top of the sideboard are several pieces of Sheffield plate. At each end
is a double coaster upon wheels, with a long handle. Another double
coaster, somewhat higher and with reticulated sides, stands beside
the coffee-urn, and two single coasters are in front. All of these
coasters have wooden bottoms, and were used to hold wine decanters, the
double coasters upon wheels having been designed, so the story goes, by
Washington, for convenience in circulating the wine around the table.

Illustration 80 shows a Hepplewhite sideboard with a serpentine front,
the doors to the side cupboards being concave, as well as the space
usually occupied by bottle drawers, while the small cupboard doors
in the middle are convex. A long rounding drawer extends across the
centre and projects beyond the cupboard below it, while a slide pulls
out, forming a shelf, between the long drawer and the small cupboard.
There are no bottle drawers in this sideboard. The doors are inlaid
with a fan at each corner, and fine lines of holly are inlaid around
the legs, doors, and drawer. The silver pieces upon the sideboard top
are family heirlooms. The large tea-caddies at each end are of pewter
finely engraved. This sideboard is owned by Francis H. Bigelow, Esq.,
of Cambridge.

A charming little sideboard owned by Mr. Bigelow is shown in
Illustration 81. The ordinary measurements of sideboards like the
last two shown are six feet in length, forty inches in height, and
twenty-eight inches in depth. These measures, with slight variations,
give the average size of Hepplewhite sideboards. Occasionally one finds
a small piece like Illustration 81, evidently made to fit some space.
This sideboard measures fifty-four inches in length, thirty-four in
height, and twenty-three in depth.

[Illustration: Illus. 80.—Hepplewhite Serpentine-front Sideboard,

It has no cupboard, the space below the slightly rounding drawer in the
centre being left open. There are fine lines and fans of inlaying in
satinwood, and in the centre of the middle drawer is an oval inlay with
an urn in colored woods. The handles are not original, and should be of
pressed brass, oval or round. The silver service upon the sideboard
is of French plate, made about 1845, and is of unusually graceful and
elegant design.

Hepplewhite’s sideboards seldom had fluted legs, which seem to have
been a specialty of Sheraton, though the latter used the square leg as
well. A feature in some of Sheraton’s designs for sideboards was the
brass railing at the back, often made in an elaborate design.

[Illustration: Illus. 81.—Hepplewhite Sideboard, about 1795.]

Illustration 82 shows a Sheraton sideboard, or side-table, with brass
rods extending across the back, and branches for candles at each end.
This railing was designed to support the plates which were stood at the
back of the sideboard, and also to keep the lids of knife and spoon
boxes from falling back against the wall. The branches for candles
were recommended for the light which the candles would throw upon the
silver. This side-table is very large, measuring six feet eight inches
in length, thirty inches in depth, and thirty-eight from the floor to
the top of the table. The wood is mahogany, inlaid with satinwood.
It is unusual to find such a piece in this country, and this is the
only example of an old Sheraton side-table or sideboard with the brass
railing which I have ever seen here. It is owned by John C. MacInnes,
Esq., of Worcester, and it was inherited by him from a Scotch ancestor.

[Illustration: Illus. 82.—Sheraton Side-table, 1795.]

Sheraton speaks of a “sideboard nine or ten feet long, as in some
noblemen’s houses,” but he admits that “There are other sideboards for
small dining-rooms, made without either drawers or pedestals.”

[Illustration: Illus. 83.—Sheraton Side-table, 1795.]

A charming little side-table, or sideboard, is shown in Illustration
83, belonging to Dwight M. Prouty, Esq., of Boston. It is of mahogany,
and is inlaid with three oval pieces of satinwood, giving the little
piece a very light effect. The legs also add to that appearance, the
reeded upper section tapering down to a turning and ending in a plain
round foot, which looks almost too small for such a piece. The outline
of the body is curved down to the legs, making an arch upon the front
and sides.

A sideboard of distinctly Sheraton design is shown in Illustration
84. It has the reeded legs which are the almost unmistakable mark of
Sheraton. The ends of this sideboard are straight, and only the front
is rounding in shape, unlike the sideboard in Illustration 75, which
forms a complete semicircle.

[Illustration: Illus. 84.—Sheraton Sideboard with Knife-box, 1795.]

The wood is of mahogany, inlaid with fine lines of holly. The little
shield-shaped escutcheons at the keyholes are of ivory. There are three
drawers above the cupboards and two bottle drawers. Upon the top, at
each end, is a wine-cooler of Sheffield plate, and in the centre is a
mahogany inlaid knife-box similar to the one in Illustration 78. This
sideboard is owned by Dwight Blaney, Esq., of Boston.

[Illustration: Illus. 85.—Sheraton Sideboard, about 1800.]

A Sheraton sideboard of later date is shown in Illustration 85. It
is of mahogany, and was probably made about 1800. The arched open
space in the middle was left for the cellaret, which was the usual
accompaniment of the sideboard in those days of hard drinking. The
top of this sideboard is surmounted by drawers, with a back above the
drawers. The legs and the columns above them are reeded, and the
little columns at the corners of the upper drawers are carved, the
inner ones with a sheaf of wheat, and the two outside corners with the
acanthus leaf. This sideboard was formerly owned by Rejoice Newton,
Esq., of Worcester, from whom it has descended to Waldo Lincoln, Esq.,
of Worcester.

[Illustration: Illus. 86.—Sheraton Sideboard, about 1805.]

Illustration 86 shows the latest type of a Sheraton sideboard, owned
by the Colonial Dames of Pennsylvania, and now in “Stenton,” the
house built in 1727 by James Logan, William Penn’s secretary. The
sideboard stands where it was placed, about 1805, by George Logan, the
great-great grandson of James. The wood is mahogany, and the large
square knife-boxes were evidently made to fit the sideboard. The legs,
with spade feet, are short, bringing the body of the sideboard close to
the floor. The handles are brass knobs.

[Illustration: Illus. 87.—Cellarets, 1790.]

Cellarets were made as a part of the dining-room furniture. They
were lined with zinc, to hold the ice in which the wine bottles were
packed to cool, and at the lower edge of the body of the cellaret was
a faucet, or some arrangement by which the water from the melted ice
could be drawn off. They were designed by Chippendale and all of his
contemporaries and by the later cabinet-makers,—Adam, Hepplewhite,
and Sheraton.

Illustration 87 shows two cellarets of different styles. The cellaret
of octagonal shape, brass bound, with straight legs, is of the style
most commonly found. It is in the Poore collection, at Indian Hill.
Cellarets of this shape figure in books of designs from 1760 to 1800.
The other is oval in form, and has the leg usually attributed to the
Adam brothers. This cellaret belongs to Francis H. Bigelow, Esq., of
Cambridge. Both cellarets are of mahogany.

We now come to sideboards of the type called “Colonial”; why, it would
be difficult to trace, since sideboards of this heavy design were not
made until over twenty-five years after the time that the United States
took the place of the American colonies.

The heavy Empire fashions gained such popularity in the early years
of the nineteenth century that furniture made after those fashions
entirely superseded the graceful slender-legged styles of Shearer,
Hepplewhite, and Sheraton, and sideboards were made as heavy and clumsy
as the others had been light and graceful. The cupboards were extended
nearly to the floor, from which the sideboard was lifted by balls
or by large carved bears’ feet. Round pillars, veneered, or carved
similar to bedposts of the period, with a twist, or the pineapple and
acanthus leaf, were used upon the front, and small drawers were added
to the top. At about this time glass handles came into fashion, and
many of these heavy sideboards have knobs of glass, either clear or
opalescent. The brass handles that were used were either the rosette
and ring or the knob shape.

[Illustration: Illus. 88.—Sideboard, 1810-1820.]

Illustration 88 shows a sideboard of this period, 1810-1820, made
of mahogany; the panels to the doors, the veneered pillars, and the
piece at the back of the top being of a lighter and more finely marked
mahogany than the rest, which is quite dark. There is a little panel
inlaid in colors upon the lower rail in the centre. The handles are the
rosette and ring, the smaller handles matching the large ones. This
sideboard belonged to the late Colonel DeWitt of Oxford, Massachusetts,
and it is now owned by W. S. G. Kennedy, Esq., of Worcester.

Another type of mahogany Empire sideboard, and one often seen, is shown
in Illustration 89. It is owned by L. J. Shapiro, Esq., of Norfolk,
Virginia. The body of the sideboard is raised from the floor by very
handsome bears’ feet, and the posts extending up to the drawers are
carved, and topped by typical Empire carvings of wing effect, which
separate the drawers. The centre section of doors is curved outward
slightly, and there is a band of carving across the lower edge, below
the doors.

[Illustration: Illus. 89.—Empire Sideboard, 1810-1820.]

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century the temperance question
did not enter the heads of the fine gentlemen of the day, and the
serving of wine was an important consideration. The cellaret or wine
cooler accompanied the sideboard, which in the drawings of Hepplewhite,
Shearer, and Sheraton had bottle drawers.

[Illustration: Illus. 90.—Sheraton Mixing-table, 1790.]

What Shearer called “a gentleman’s social table” was designed by
several, with conveniences for bottles, glasses, and biscuit, and for
facilitating the progress of the wine around the table. In this country
the mixing of punch or other beverages was furthered by a piece of
furniture called a mixing table.

[Illustration: Illus. 91.—Mixing-table, 1810-1820.]

Mrs. Charles Custis Harrison, of St. David’s, Pennsylvania, owns the
mixing table in Illustration 90, and a sideboard to match it. Both
pieces were inherited from Robert Morris, in whose famous mansion in
Philadelphia they stood. The wood of the table is mahogany and the
drawers and doors are of satinwood, finely inlaid. There is a well in
the top for a bowl, in which was brewed the punch of the Philadelphia
forefathers. The cover of the table is hinged, and the four shelves
which show in the illustration fold flat when the cover is down.

The table in Illustration 91 belongs to the Misses Garrett of
Williamsburg, Virginia, and is known as a “mint julep” table, having
been made for the concocting of that Southern beverage by a Baltimore
cabinet-maker. There are shelves behind the door for the accessories to
the julep, and for the mixing of it the top of the table is marble.




FROM 1644 to about 1670 desks appear in colonial inventories. During
those years the word “desk” meant a box, which was often made with
a sloping lid for convenience in writing, or to rest a book upon in
reading. This box was also used to hold writing-materials and papers
or books, and was sometimes called a Bible-box, from the fact that the
Bible was kept in it. Illustration 92 shows two of these desks from
the collection of Charles R. Waters, Esq., of Salem. The larger desk
is twenty inches in length and thirteen and one-half in height, and
formerly had a narrow shelf in the inside across the back. The front
is carved with the initials A. W. and the date 1654. The smaller desk
measures thirteen and one-half inches in length and eight in height.

[Illustration: Illus. 92.—Desk-boxes, 1654.]

The desk with flat top in Illustration 93 is also in the Waters
collection. It measures twenty-six inches in length by seventeen in
width. It is made of oak, like the smaller desk in the preceding

[Illustration: Illus. 93.—Desk-box, 1650.]

The next style of desk made its appearance in the inventories of about
1660, under a name with French derivation: “scrutoir,” “scriptor,”
“scrittore,” “scrutor,” “scriptoire,” down to the phonetically spelled
“screwtor.” About 1720 the word “bureau,” also from the French, came
into use in combination with the word “desk,” or “table.” It has
continued to be employed up to the present time, for the slant-top desk
is even now, in country towns, called a bureau-desk. As the word “desk”
seems to have been more or less in use through these early years,
while for the last hundred years it has been almost entirely employed,
alone or in combination with other words, I have designated as desks
all pieces of furniture made for use in writing.

[Illustration: Illus. 94.—Desk, about 1680.]

A cabinet and writing desk used by perhaps all of the Dutch Patroons,
of Albany, is shown in Illustration 94. It has stood in the same house,
Cherry Hill, Albany, since 1768, when the house was built by Philip
Van Rensselaer, the ancestor of the present owner, Mrs. Edward W.

[Illustration: Illus. 95.—Desk, about 1680.]

It was probably brought from Holland by Killian Van Rensselaer,
and in it were kept the accounts of the manor. The desk is open in
Illustration 95, showing the compartments for papers and books. The
wood of this splendid piece is oak, beautifully panelled and carved,
and the fine panel seen when the desk is closed forms, when lowered,
the shelf for writing. Similar pieces appear in paintings by old Dutch

[Illustration: Illus. 96.—Desk, 1710-1720.]

Illustration 96 shows a desk owned by Miss Gage, of Worcester, of
rather rude construction, and apparently not made by a skilled
cabinet-maker. It has two long drawers with two short drawers above
them. The space above these two short drawers is reached from an
opening or well with a slide, directly in front of the small drawers
of the interior, which may be seen in the illustration. The pillars
at each side of the middle compartment pull out as drawers. The
handles are new, and should be drop handles, or early stamped ones.
The characteristics which determine the date of this desk are the
single moulding around the drawers, the two short drawers, and the well
opening with a slide. The bracket feet would indicate a few years’
later date than that of similar pieces with ball feet.

During the first half of the eighteenth century slant-top desks
appeared with a bookcase or cabinet top. The lower or desk part was
made usually with a moulding around the top, into which the upper part
was set. The doors were of panelled wood or had looking-glasses set in
them, but occasionally they were of glass.

The frontispiece shows an extraordinary piece of furniture owned by
Samuel Verplanck, Esq., of Fishkill, New York. It has belonged in the
family of Mr. Verplanck since 1753, when it was bought by an ancestor,
Governor James de Lancey, at an auction sale of the effects of Sir
Danvers Osborne, who was governor of the Province of New York for the
space of five days, as he landed at Whitehall Slip, New York, from the
good ship _Arundel_ on Friday, and the following Wednesday he committed
suicide. Sir Danvers had brought his household goods with him upon the
_Arundel_, and among them was this secretary.

Lacquered furniture was fashionable during the first quarter of the
eighteenth century, and while the first lacquered pieces came through
Holland, by 1712 “Japan work” was so popular, even in the American
colonies, that an advertisement of Mr. Nehemiah Partridge appeared in a
Boston paper of that year, that he would do “all sorts of Japan work.”

The wood of this secretary is oak, and the entire piece is covered with
lacquer in brilliant red, blue, and gold. The upper part, or cabinet,
has doors which are lacquered on the inside, with looking-glasses on
the outside. A looking-glass is also set into the middle of the top.
These glasses are all the original ones and are of heavy plate with the
old bevel upon the edges. Above the compartments, and fitting into the
two arches of the top are semi-circular-shaped flap doors, which open
downward. Between these and the pigeonholes are two shallow drawers
extending across the cabinet. The middle compartment has two doors with
vases of flowers lacquered upon them, and there is a drawer above,
while the spaces each side of the doors are occupied by drawers. The
slides for candlesticks are gone, but the slits show where they were
originally. The lower or desk part is divided by a moulding which runs
around it above the three lower drawers, and the space between this
and the writing-table is taken by two short drawers, but it has no
well with a slide like the desk in Illustration 96. The arrangement
of the small drawers and compartments is the same as in the desk in
Illustration 96, and the lacquered pillars form the fronts of drawers
which pull out, each side of the middle compartment, which has upon its
door a jaunty little gentleman in European costume of the period. The
moulding upon the frame around the drawers and the two short upper
drawers would place the date of this piece early in the eighteenth

[Illustration: Illus. 97.—Cabriole-legged Desk, 1720-1730.]

The first thought upon seeing the feet of the desk, is that they were
originally brackets which were sawed off and the large ball feet added,
but it must have been made originally as it now stands, for both the
brackets and the balls under them are lacquered with the old “Japan
work” like the rest of the secretary.

A style of desk of a somewhat later date is occasionally found,
generally made of maple. Its form and proportions are similar to those
of a low-boy with the Dutch bandy-leg and foot, and a desk top, the
slanting lid of which lets down for use in writing. The top sets into
a moulding around the edge of the lower part, in the same manner as
the top part of a high-boy is set upon its base. Illustration 97 shows
a desk of this style in the building of the Pennsylvania Historical
Society, labelled as having belonged to William Penn, but which is of
a later date than that would imply, as it was made from 1720 to 1730,
while Penn left this country in 1701, never to return to it.

[Illustration: Illus. 98.—Cabriole-legged Desk, 1760.]

The mahogany desk shown in Illustration 98 belongs to Walter Hosmer,
Esq., and is a most graceful and charming little piece, intended
probably for a lady’s use. It measures twenty-four and a half inches
in length and forty-one and a half inches in height. There are three
square drawers in the lower part, and the upper part has two small
square drawers for pens, with a third between them. The two pen drawers
pull out and support the lid when lowered. The interior of the desk has
eighteen small drawers, shaped and placed so that their fronts form a
curve, and each little drawer at the top is carved with the rising sun,
or fan, like the middle drawer in the lower part. The entire design
of the interior is like that in a large block-front desk now owned by
George S. Palmer, Esq., of Norwich, which was made by Benjamin Dunham
in 1769, and it is possible that the two pieces were made by the same
Connecticut cabinet-maker.

[Illustration: Illus. 99.—Desk, 1760.]

Another desk belonging to Mr. Hosmer is shown in Illustration 99. The
bandy-legs end in a claw-and-ball of a flattened shape, and instead of
the drawer, plain or with a carved sunburst, usually seen between the
side drawers of the lower part, the wood of the frame is sawed in a
simple design. The upper part has three drawers, and the lid when down
rests upon two slides which pull out for the purpose. The interior is
quite simple, having four drawers with eight small compartments above.
This desk measures twenty-six inches in width and thirty-nine inches
and a half in height.

The desk in Illustration 100 is now owned by the American Antiquarian
Society of Worcester, and belonged formerly to Governor John Hancock.
It measures four feet six inches from the floor, and is of the sturdy,
honest build that one would expect in a desk used by the man whose
signature to the Declaration of Independence stands out so fearless and

[Illustration: Illus. 100.—Desk, about 1770.]

[Illustration: Illus. 101.—Block-front Desk. Cabinet Top, about 1770.]

The slanting lid has a moulding across the lower edge, probably to
support a large book, or ledger, and as it is at the right height for
a man to write standing, or sitting upon a very high stool, it may
have been used as an office desk. Below the slanting lid are two doors
behind which are shelves.

Two drawers extend across the lower part, and at each end of the desk
two small, long drawers pull out. The desk was made about 1770.

Illustration 101 shows a mahogany block-front desk with cabinet top,
owned by Charles R. Waters, Esq., of Salem, which was bought by Mr.
Waters’s grandfather, about 1770. It is a fine example of the best
style of secretary made during the eighteenth century. The doors are of
panelled wood. The lid of the desk is blocked like the front, and like
the lid of the desk in Illustration 109, requiring for the blocked lid
and drawer fronts wood from two to three inches thick, as each front is
carved from one thick plank.

Illustration 102 shows a block-front mahogany desk, owned by Francis H.
Bigelow, Esq., of Cambridge. It formerly belonged to Dr. John Snelling
Popkin, who was Professor of Greek at Harvard University from 1826 to
1833, and probably descended to him, as it was made about 1770. The
legs, with claw-and-ball feet, are blocked like the drawers, as was
usual in block-front pieces, another feature of which is the moulding
upon the frame around the drawers.

[Illustration: Illus. 102.—Block-front Desk, about 1770.]

In all the desks shown, the pillars at each side of the middle door
in the interior pull out as drawers. These were supposed to be secret
drawers. Often the little arched pieces above the pigeonholes are
drawer fronts. The middle compartment is sometimes a drawer, or if it
has a door, behind this door is a drawer which, when taken entirely
out, proves to have a secret drawer opening from its back. Occasionally
an opening to a secret compartment is found in the back of the desk.
All these were designed at a time when banks and deposit companies did
not abound, and the compartments were doubtless utilized to hold papers
and securities of value. There are traditions of wills being discovered
in these secret compartments, and novelists have found them of great
convenience in the construction of plots.

[Illustration: Illus. 103.—Desk with Cabinet Top, about 1770.]

The secretary in Illustration 103 is an extraordinarily fine piece.
It is of mahogany, and tradition says that it was brought from
Holland, but it is distinctly a Chippendale piece, from the fine
carving upon the feet and above the doors, and from the reeded
pilasters with exquisitely carved capitals. There are five of these
pilasters,—three in front and one upon each side, at the back. The
doors hold looking-glasses, the shape of which, straight at the bottom
and in curves at the top, is that of the early looking-glasses. The
two semicircular, concave spaces in the interior above the cabinet are
lacquered in black and gold.

The middle compartment in the desk, between the pigeonholes, has a
door, behind which is a large drawer. When this drawer is pulled
entirely out, at its back may be seen small drawers, and upon taking
out one of these and pressing a spring, secret compartments are

Dr. Holmes, in “The Professor at the Breakfast Table,” has written of
this secretary thus:—

“At the house of a friend where I once passed a night, was one of those
stately, upright cabinet desks and cases of drawers which were not rare
in prosperous families during the past century [_i.e._ the eighteenth].
It had held the clothes and the books and papers of generation after
generation. The hands that opened its drawers had grown withered,
shrivelled, and at last had been folded in death. The children that
played with the lower handles had got tall enough to open the desk,—to
reach the upper shelves behind the folding doors,—grown bent after
a while,—and followed those who had gone before, and left the old
cabinet to be ransacked by a new generation.

“A boy of twelve was looking at it a few years ago, and, being a
quick-witted fellow, saw that all the space was not accounted for by
the smaller drawers in the part beneath the lid of the desk. Prying
about with busy eyes and fingers, he at length came upon a spring, on
pressing which, a secret drawer flew from its hiding-place. It had
never been opened but by the maker. The mahogany shavings and dust were
lying in it, as when the artisan closed it, and when I saw it, it was
as fresh as if that day finished.

“Is there not one little drawer in your soul, my sweet reader, which
no hand but yours has ever opened, and which none that have known you
seemed to have suspected? What does it hold? A sin? I hope not.”

The “quick-witted boy, with busy eyes and fingers,” was the present
owner of the secretary, the Rev. William R. Huntington, D.D., of Grace
Church, New York, and since Dr. Holmes wrote of the secretary, new
generations have grown up to reach the handles of the drawers and to
ransack the old cabinet.

[Illustration: Illus. 104.—Block-front Desk, about 1770.]

The middle ornament upon the top was gone many years ago, but Dr.
Huntington remembers, as a boy with his brother, playing with the two
end figures which, it is not astonishing to relate, have not been seen
since those years. The figures were carved from wood, of men at work
at their trade of cabinet-making, and the boys who were given the
carved figures for toys played that the little workmen were the ones
who made the secretary. The great handles upon the sides are large and
heavy enough for the purpose for which they were intended, to lift the
massive piece of furniture.

The block-front mahogany desk in Illustration 81 shows the blocked
slanting lid. The brasses are original and are unusually large and
fine. This desk belongs to Dwight Blaney, Esq., of Boston.

A splendid mahogany secretary owned by Albert S. Rines, Esq., of
Portland, Maine, is shown in Illustration 105. The lower part is bombé
or kettle-shaped, but the drawers, which swell with the shape in
front, do not extend to the corners, like the kettle-shaped bureau in
Illustration 30, but leave a vacant space in the interior, not taken
up at the ends. Three beautiful, flat, reeded columns with Corinthian
capitals are upon the doors, which still hold the old bevelled
looking-glasses. The handles are original, but are not as large as one
usually finds upon such a secretary. There are larger handles upon the
sides, as was the custom. The cabinet in the upper part is very similar
to the one in Illustration 103, but there is no lacquering upon the
curved tops behind the doors. With the thoroughness of workmanship
and dislike of sham which characterized the cabinet-makers of the
eighteenth century, there are fine pieces of mahogany inside at the
back of the looking-glasses. The cabinet in the desk proper, which is
covered by the slanting lid when closed, is unusually good, with the
curved drawers, set also in a curve.

[Illustration: Illus. 105.—Kettle-front Secretary, about 1765.]

This secretary is generous in secret compartments, of which there are
six. The centre panel of the cabinet is the front of a drawer, locked
by a concealed spring, and at the back of this drawer are two secret
drawers; beneath it, by sliding a thin piece of mahogany, another
drawer is disclosed; a fourth is at the top, behind a small drawer, and
at each end of the curved drawers is a secret drawer. The secretary is
over eight feet in height.

[Illustration: Illus. 106.—Block-front Writing-table, 1760-1770.]

[Illustration: Illus. 107.—Serpentine-front Desk, Cabinet Top, 1770.]

Illustration 106 shows a beautiful little piece of furniture, modelled
after what Chippendale calls a writing-table or a bureau table, by the
latter term meaning a bureau desk with a flat top. The same unusually
fine shells are carved upon this as upon the double chest of drawers in
Illustration 21, and upon the low chest of drawers in Illustration 31.

In the inside of one of the drawers of this writing-table is written in
a quaint old hand a name which is illegible, and “Newport, R.I., 176-,”
the final figure of the date not being sufficiently plain to determine
it. Desks, secretaries, and chests of drawers have been found with
block fronts and these fine shells. All were originally owned in Rhode
Island or near there, and nearly all can be traced back to Newport,
probably to the same cabinet-maker. This writing-table was bought in
1901 from the heirs of Miss Rebecca Shaw of Wickford, Rhode Island.
Miss Shaw died in 1900 at over ninety years of age. The writing-table
is now owned by Harry Harkness Flagler, Esq., of Millbrook, New
York. It measures thirty-four inches in height and thirty-six and
three-quarters inches in length. A door with a shell carved upon it
opens into a recessed cupboard. A writing-table like this is in the
Pendleton collection, also found in Rhode Island.

[Illustration: Illus. 108.—Serpentine or Bow-front Desk, about 1770.]

Illustration 107 shows a desk with cabinet top and serpentine or ox-bow
front. It is made of English walnut of a fine golden hue which has
never been stained or darkened. The doors are of panelled wood, with
fluted columns at each side. It was owned in the Bannister family of
Newburyport until 1870, when it was given to the Newburyport Library.
It now stands in the old Prince mansion, occupied by the Library.

[Illustration: Illus. 109.—Bill of Lading, 1716.]

Illustration 108 shows a mahogany desk with serpentine front and
claw-and-ball feet, owned by Mrs. Alice Morse Earle, of Brooklyn. The
serpentine drawers of this piece and the one preceding are carved from
a solid block, not quite so thick as is necessary for the block-front
drawers. This desk was made at about the same time as the secretary in
the last illustration.

The bill of lading in Illustration 109 is preserved in the house known
as the “Warner House,” in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, built by Archibald
Macphaedris, a member of the King’s Council. It was commenced in 1712,
and occupied in 1716, but not finished until 1718. Mr. Macphaedris died
in 1729, and his widow, upon her second marriage, gave the house to her
daughter, married then to Colonel Jonathan Warner, and the house has
remained ever since in the possession of their descendants.

The rooms are panelled, and are filled with the furniture bought by
successive generations. Upon the walls hang Copley portraits of Colonel
Warner and his wife and her haughty mother, Mrs. Macphaedris (who was
a daughter of Lieutenant-Governor Wentworth), and of Colonel Warner’s
young daughter Mary, in her straight little stays, which are still
preserved, along with the garments, stiff with gold embroideries, which
Colonel Warner and his wife wore upon state occasions. A number of the
illustrations for this book were taken in the Warner house, which is
one of the best-preserved old houses in the country, and which, with
its furnishings and decorations, presents an unusually good picture of
the home of the wealthy colonist.

The quaint wording of this bill of lading, and the list of furniture
mentioned, make it interesting in this connection, but none of
the pieces of that date remain in the house, which was evidently
refurnished with great elegance, after 1760, when the old furniture was
probably discarded as “old-fashioned.”

Illustration 110 shows a bookcase built into the Warner house. It is
made of mahogany, and stands in every particular exactly as it was
originally made. The bill of lading of 1716, shown in Illustration
85, mentions a bookcase, but this bookcase is of later date, and was
probably bought by Colonel Warner for his daughter, as the books in the
case are all bound alike in a golden brown leather, with gilt tooling,
and each book has “Miss. Warner” stamped in gilt letters upon the
cover. The books are the standard works of that time,—Shakespeare,
Milton, Spenser, “The Spectator,” Fox’s “Book of Martyrs,” and all the
books which a wealthy man of those days would buy to furnish a library.
The dates of the editions vary from 1750 to 1765, so the latter date
may be given to this bookcase. It was once entirely filled with “Miss.
Warner’s” books, but early in the nineteenth century, during a great
fire in Portsmouth, the books were removed for safety, and all were not
brought back.

[Illustration: Illus. 110.—Bookcase and Desk, about 1765.]

[Illustration: Illus. 111.—Chippendale Bookcase, 1770.]

At the top of the bookcase is a row of Chinese fretwork, which,
together with the massive handles, would also place its date about
1765. The case is divided into three sections, the sides of the lower
part being devoted to drawers. The lower middle section has four
drawers, above which is a wide flap which lets down, disclosing a desk
with drawers and pigeonholes.

A bookcase owned by J.J. Gilbert, Esq., of Baltimore, is shown in
Illustration 111. It is made after Chippendale designs, and is richly
carved. The base and feet are very elaborate, and the cornice and
pediment, are wonderfully fine. The broken arch has delicate sprays
of carved wood, projecting beyond the edge, and laid over the open
fretwork, and the crowning ornament in the centre is a carved urn with
a large spray of flowers. The ornaments and mouldings separating the
sections of glass in the doors are as fine as the other rich carving
upon this bookcase.

A wonderful Hepplewhite bookcase is shown in Illustration 112. It is
owned by George W. Holmes, Esq., of Charleston, South Carolina, and
carries with it an impression of the wealth and luxury in Charleston,
before the Civil War and the other disasters that befell that city in
the latter half of the nineteenth century.

[Illustration: Illus. 112.—Hepplewhite Bookcase, 1789.]

This bookcase is nearly nine feet in length, and is made of unusually
fine mahogany. The lower part is designed in a series of curves which
prevents the plain look that a straight front would give in such
length. The doors form one curve and a part of the other two, which are
completed by the drawers at each side; a skilful management of a long
space. The curves at the top of the pediment follow the same lines, and
the bookcase was evidently designed by a master hand. It was probably
brought from England, together with a secretary to match it. Above the
doors and drawers, shelves pull out, on which to rest books. A fine
line of holly runs around each door and drawer, with a star inlaid at
the corners of the doors, while a very beautiful design is inlaid in
light and dark woods, in the space on the pediment, which is finished
with the broken arch, of the high, slender type, with carved rosettes.
The centre ornament, between the rosettes, is a basket of flowers
carved in wood.

[Illustration: Illus. 113.—Maple Desk, about 1795.]

After the publication of the designs of Shearer, Hepplewhite, and
Sheraton, the heavy desks were superseded by those of lighter design,
and the slant-top bureau desk was seldom made after 1790. Sheraton
says: “Bureau in France is a small chest of drawers. It has generally
been applied to common desks with drawers made under them. These pieces
of furniture are nearly obsolete in London.” Slant-top desks do not
appear in cabinet-makers’ books published after 1800, and it is safe to
assign a date previous to the nineteenth century to any such desk.

[Illustration: Illus. 114.—Hepplewhite Desk, Cabinet Top, 1790.]

Illustration 113 shows the latest type of a slant-top desk, made in
1790-1795. The frame is of maple, the drawers being of curly maple
edged with ebony. The lid is of curly maple framed in bird’s-eye maple
with ebony lines, and in the centre is a star made of mahogany and
ebony. The small drawers inside are of bird’s-eye maple, three of the
drawers having an ebony and mahogany star. The base is what Hepplewhite
calls a French base, and the desk, which measures only thirty-six
inches in length, is a good example of the artistic use of the
different varieties of maple with their golden hues. This desk belongs
to the writer.

Illustration 114 shows a Hepplewhite desk with cabinet top owned by the
writer, and made about 1790. The drawers are veneered with satinwood,
with a row of fine inlaying of holly and ebony around each drawer
front. The base is after Hepplewhite’s design, and has a row of ebony
and holly inlaying across it. The slightly slanting lid turns back and
rests upon two pulls to form a writing-table. The pigeonholes and small
drawers are behind the glass doors, which are made like two Gothic
arches, with three little pillars, and panels of satinwood between the
bases of the pillars. The pediment at the top of the cabinet is quite
characteristic of the period.

Illustration 115 shows a charming little Sheraton desk owned by W. S.
G. Kennedy, Esq., of Worcester. It is made of bird’s-eye maple with
trimming of mahogany veneer, and a row of ebony and holly inlaying
below the drawers. The upper part has one maple door in the centre,
with a tambour door of mahogany at each side, behind which are
pigeonholes and small drawers.

[Illustration: Illus. 115.—Sheraton Desk, 1795.]

The lid shuts back upon itself, and, when open, rests upon the two
pulls at each side of the upper drawer. The wood of this desk is
beautifully marked, and the whole effect is very light and well adapted
to a lady’s use.

[Illustration: Illus. 116.—Tambour Secretary, about 1800.]

The word “tambour” is thus defined by Sheraton: “Tambour tables among
cabinet-makers are of two sorts; one for a lady or gentleman to write
at, and another for the former to execute needlework by. The Writing
Tambour Tables are almost out of use at present, being both insecure
and liable to injury. They are called Tambour from the cylindrical
forms of their tops, which are glued up in narrow strips of mahogany
and laid upon canvas, which binds them together, and suffers them at
the same time to yield to the motion that their ends make in the
curved groove in which they run. Tambour tables are often introduced in
small pieces where no strength or security is desired.”

In his will, George Washington left to Dr. Craik “my beaureau (or as
cabinet-makers call it, tambour secretary).” Illustration 116 shows
what might be called a tambour secretary. It is made of mahogany
with lines of light wood inlaid. The lid of the lower part is folded
back upon itself.

[Illustration: Illus. 117.—Sheraton Desk, 1800.]

Above it are two tambour doors, behind which are drawers and
pigeonholes and a door in the centre with an oval inlay of satinwood.
Above these doors is a cabinet with glass doors. The pediment is like
the one in Illustration 114. This secretary was made about 1800, and
belongs to Francis H. Bigelow, Esq., of Cambridge.

Illustration 117 shows a small Sheraton writing table for a lady’s
use, also owned by Mr. Bigelow. It is of simple construction, having
one drawer, and when the desk is closed, the effect is that of a small
table with a flat top.

Illustration 118 shows a desk which was copied from one of Sheraton’s
designs, published in 1793, and described as “a lady’s cabinet
and writing table.” The legs in Sheraton’s drawing are slender and
straight, while these are twisted and carved, and the space, which
in the design is left open for books, in this desk is closed with a
tambour door.

[Illustration: Illus. 118.—Sheraton Desk, about 1810.]

The slide which shows above the compartment pulls out, with a mechanism
described by Sheraton, and when fully out, it drops to form the cover
for the compartments. The Empire brasses upon the top are original, but
the handles to the drawers are not. They should be brass knobs. This
beautiful little desk was made about 1810 for William T. Lane, Esq., of
Boston, and is owned by his daughter, Mrs. Thomas H. Gage of Worcester.

[Illustration: Illus. 119.—Desk, about 1820.]

Illustration 119 shows a bureau and desk, belonging to Mrs. J. H. Henry
of Winchendon. The lid of the desk turns back like the lid of a piano.
The carved pillars at the side are like the ones upon the bureau in
Illustration 37, and upon other pieces of furniture of the same date,
about 1820.




CHAIRS are seldom mentioned in the earliest colonial inventories, and
few were in use in either England or America at that time. Forms and
stools were used for seats in the sixteenth and early seventeenth
centuries, and inventories of that period, even those of wealthy men,
do not often contain more than one or two chairs. The chair was the
seat of honor given to the guest, others sitting upon forms and stools.
This custom was followed by the American colonists, and forms or
benches and joint or joined stools constituted the common seats during
the first part of the seventeenth century.

[Illustration: Illus. 120.—Turned Chair, Sixteenth Century.]

The chairs in use during that period were “thrown” or turned chairs;
wainscot chairs, sometimes described as “scrowled” or carved chairs;
and later, chairs covered with leather, or “Turkey work,” and other

The best-known turned chair in this country is the “President’s Chair”
at Harvard University. Dr. Holmes has written of it in “Parson Turell’s

        “—a chair of oak,—
  Funny old chair, with seat like wedge,
  Sharp behind and broad front edge,—
  One of the oddest of human things,
  Turned all over with knobs and rings,—
  But heavy, and wide, and deep, and grand,—
  Fit for the worthies of the land,—
  Chief Justice Sewall a cause to try in,
  Or Cotton Mather, to sit—and lie,—in.”

In the Bolles collection is a chair similar to the Harvard chair, and
one is shown in Illustration 120, owned by Henry F. Waters, Esq., of
Salem. A turned chair of the same period with a square seat is owned by
the Connecticut Historical Society.

[Illustration: Illus. 121.—Turned High-chair, Sixteenth Century.]

Provision was made for the youngest of the large family of children,
with which the colonist was usually blessed, in the high chair,
which is found in almost every type. A turned high chair is shown in
Illustration 121, brought by Richard Mather to America in 1635, and
used to hold the successive babies of that famous family,—Samuel,
Increase, Cotton, and the others. The rod is missing which was fastened
across the front to hold the child in, and only the holes show where
the pegs were placed to support the foot-rest. This quaint little chair
is owned by the American Antiquarian Society of Worcester.

A style of turned chair more commonly in use is shown in Illustration
122, said to have been brought on the _Mayflower_ by Governor Carver.
The chair in Illustration 123, originally owned by Elder Brewster, is
of a rarer type, the spindles being greater in number and more finely
turned. Both of these chairs are in Pilgrim Hall, in Plymouth. Turned
chairs are not infrequently found of the type of Illustration 122, but
rarely like the Brewster chair or the turned chair in Illustration 120.

The wainscot chair was made entirely of wood, usually oak, with a
panelled back, from which came the name “wainscot.” Its valuation in
inventories was two or three times that of the turned chair, which is
probably the reason why wainscot chairs are seldom found.

[Illustration: Illus. 122 and Illus. 123.—Turned Chairs, about 1600.]

The finest wainscot chair in this country is shown in Illustration 124.
It belongs to the Essex Institute of Salem, having been given to that
society in 1821 by a descendant of the original owner, Sarah Dennis
of Ipswich, who possessed two of these chairs; the other is now the
President’s chair at Bowdoin College.

[Illustration: Illus. 124.—Wainscot Chair, about 1600.]

A plainer form of the wainscot chair is shown in Illustration 125. It
was brought to Newbury in the ship _Hector_, in 1633, and is now in the
collection of the late Major Ben: Perley Poore, at Indian Hill.

By the middle of the seventeenth century chairs had become more common,
and inventories of that period had frequent mention of leather or
leather-backed chairs. Some of the earliest leather chairs have the
under part of the frame similar to that of the wainscot chair, with
plain legs and stretchers, while others have the legs and back posts
turned. Illustration 126 shows a leather chair made about 1660, in the
Waters collection. The seat and back have been covered with leather in
the same manner as they were originally, as enough remained of the old
cover to copy.

A chair of some later date, about 1680, is shown in Illustration
127, also from the Waters collection, the back and seat of which
were originally of Turkey work. The frame is similar to that in
Illustration 126, with the exception of the carved brace across the
front, which feature leads one to give the chair a later date than the
one in Illustration 126. The feet have been sawed off.

[Illustration: Illus. 125.—Wainscot Chair, about 1600.]

Other coverings beside Turkey work were used,—velvet, camlett,
plush, or cloth, as well as an occasional cover “wrought by hir owne
hand.” Until the latter part of the seventeenth century a somewhat
architectural style prevailed in chairs, settles, and tables. This was
succeeded by the graceful lines and carving of the cane furniture which
came into fashion during the last quarter of that century. It is called
Jacobean furniture, although that name would not seem to be strictly
accurate, for the Jacobean period was ended before cane furniture was
introduced into England, about 1678. The cane chairs form a complete
contrast to the heavy wainscot or turned chairs in use previously, the
light effect coming not only from the cane seat and back, but also from
the frame, which was usually carved in a graceful design.

[Illustration: Illus. 126.—Leather Chair, about 1660.]

[Illustration: Illus. 127.—Chair originally covered with Turkey work,
about 1680.]

[Illustration: Illus. 129.—Flemish Chair, about 1690.]

[Illustration: Illus. 128.—Flemish Chair, about 1690.]

Illustration 128 shows a chair which belonged to Sir William Pepperell,
made possibly for his father, for Sir William was not born until 1697.
The front legs, carved with the scroll foot turning forward, are in the
pure Flemish style. The brace in front, carved to correspond with the
top of the back, appears in cane chairs with a carved frame.

The seat was originally of cane. This chair is now in the Alexander
Ladd house in Portsmouth.

[Illustration: Illus. 130.—Cane Chair, 1680-1690.]

A chair of similar effect, but with turned legs, and carved in
a different design, with the crown as the central figure of the
underbrace and top, is shown in Illustration 129. It belongs to
Miss Mary Coates of Philadelphia, to whom it has descended from
Josiah Langdale, in whose inventory this chair, with its mates, was
mentioned. Josiah Langdale took ship with his family and belongings,
from England for America, in 1723.

Before sailing he became very ill and prayed that he might die and
be buried in the old graveyard, but his wish was not granted, and he
was carried on board, taking his coffin with him. Three days out (but
not far from land) he died, and was buried in his coffin, at sea.
The coffin was not sufficiently weighted, however, and it drifted
back to land, where it was opened, and its occupant identified, and
Josiah Langdale was buried from the old Quaker meeting-house, as he
had prayed. His widow came safely to America with her furniture, among
which was this chair.

Both Flemish and Spanish characteristics appear in the chair in
Illustration 130. The front legs are in the Flemish style, the scroll
foot turning back as it often does. The twisted stretchers and back
posts show the influence of Spanish or Portuguese fashions. This chair
is in the Poore collection at Indian Hill, Newburyport.

[Illustration: Illus. 131.—Cane High-chair and Arm-chair, 1680-1690.]

Illustration 131 shows two beautiful chairs owned by Dwight Blaney,
Esq., of Boston. The Portuguese twist has an unusually graceful effect
in the tall legs of the little high chair.

[Illustration: Illus. 132.—Cane Chair, 1680-1690.]

It will be noticed that, instead of being twisted, the upper part of
the front legs is turned in balls to provide a stronger hold for the
pegs which support the foot-rest. There are four holes for these pegs,
at different heights, in order that the rest might be lowered as the
infantile legs lengthened. The crown appears in the top of the high
chair, while the arm-chair has a child’s figure carved in the centre of
the top. The arms of both chairs are carved with the acanthus leaf.

An example of the finest carving attained in cane furniture is shown
in Illustration 132. This exquisite chair is owned by Harry Harkness
Flagler, Esq., of Millbrook. The design of the top is repeated in the
front brace, but much enlarged. The frame of the seat and the arms are
carved like those in Illustration 131. The legs end in a curious form
of the Spanish foot.

The popularity of the cane chair, as well as its strength, is attested
by the number which have survived the centuries, in fair condition for
chairs so light in appearance.

The cane chair in Illustration 133 is owned by Dwight M. Prouty, Esq.,
of Boston. The top of the under brace is carved in a crescent-shaped
design, which is used again in the top rail. The front leg is a Flemish
scroll with a ball beneath it. The cane back is unusual in design, the
carved wood on each side making a diamond-shaped effect.

The chair in Illustration 134 belongs to the writer. The cane extends
up into the curve made in the top rail of the back, which is, like the
underbrace and the sides of the back, more elaborately carved than the
chairs in Illustrations 128 and 129.

[Illustration: Illus. 133 and Illus. 134.—Cane Chairs, 1680-1690.]

Stools were not common, but are occasionally found, following the
styles in chairs. With the wainscot chairs were joined or joint stools.

The stool in Illustration 135 was used with the turned chair, like the
one in Illustration 126.

[Illustration: Illus. 135.—Turned Stool, 1660.]

Illustration 136 shows a very rare piece, a Flemish stool, with a
carved underbrace, probably like the ones upon the cane-back chairs
used with it. These two fine stools are in the collection of Dwight M.
Prouty, Esq., of Boston.

A chair once owned by General Henry Dearborn of Revolutionary fame is
shown in Illustration 137. The back and seat were originally cane, and
it has a perfect Spanish foot.

[Illustration: Illus. 136.—Flemish Stool, 1680.]

The chair in Illustration 138 is of the style called Queen Anne. It
has Spanish feet but the back shows the first use of the Dutch splat,
afterward developed and elaborated by Chippendale and others. This
chair and the one in Illustration 137 belong to the writer.

A chair which retained some characteristics of the cane chair was the
banister-back chair, which appears in inventories of the first half of
the eighteenth century.

Two banister-back chairs owned by the writer are shown in Illustration
139 and Illustration 140. It will be seen that the tops and one carved
underbrace are similar to those upon cane chairs, while the legs of one
chair end in a clumsy Spanish foot. The banisters which form the back
are turned on one side and flat on the other.

[Illustration: Illus. 137.—Cane Chair, 1690-1700.]

[Illustration: Illus. 138.—Queen Anne Chair, 1710-1720.]

These chairs have the flat side in front, but either side was used in
banister chairs, plainer types of which are found, sometimes with the
slats not turned, but straight and flat. The chair in Illustration
140 was used for the deacon’s chair in the old meeting-house in
Westborough, Massachusetts, built in 1724, and it stood in “the
deacon’s pue,” in front of the pulpit, for the deacon to sit upon, as
was the custom.

[Illustration: Illus. 139 and Illus. 140.—Banister-back Chairs,

[Illustration: Illus. 141.—Banister-back Chair, 1710-1740.]

Thedeacon must have longed for the two hours’ sermon to end, if he had
to sit upon this chair with its high, narrow seat. There are several
kinds of wood in these chairs, and when found they were painted black.

[Illustration: Illus. 142.—Roundabout Chair, about 1740.]

An unusually fine banister chair, from the Poore collection at Indian
Hill, Newburyport, is shown in Illustration 141, with carved top and
underbrace and Spanish feet. The seat is rush, as it usually is in
banister chairs.

“Roundabout” chairs are met with in inventories from 1738 under various
names,—“three-cornered chair,” “half round chair,” “round about
chair,”—but they are now known as roundabout or corner chairs. They
were made in different styles, like other chairs, from the turned
or the Dutch bandy-leg, down to the carved Chippendale leg with
claw-and-ball foot.

Illustration 142 shows a roundabout chair with turned legs, the front
leg ending in a Dutch foot. This is in the Whipple house at Ipswich.

[Illustration: Illus. 143.—Slat-back Chairs, 1700-1750.]

The most common chair during the first half of the eighteenth century
was the “slat back,” with a rush seat. The number of slats varied;
three, four, and five slats being used. The slats were also made in
different designs, those made in Pennsylvania being curved.

[Illustration: Illus. 144.—Five-slat Chair, about 1750.]

Two slat-back chairs are shown in Illustration 143 from the Whipple
house in Ipswich. The large chair was found in the country, stuffed
and covered with many layers of wadding and various materials. When
they were removed, this frame was disclosed, but the tops of the posts
had been sawed off. The back posts should terminate in a turned knob,
like the Carver chair in Illustration 122, which this chair strongly
resembles, the slats taking the place of the turned spindles of the
Carver chair. The small chair is probably of later date, and was
evidently intended for a child’s use. Chairs with three-slat backs are
in Illustrations 54 and 201.

[Illustration: Illus. 145.—Pennsylvania Slat-back Chair, 1740-1750.]

Illustration 144 shows a five-slat or five-back chair owned by the
writer. It was made about 1750, and the rockers were probably added
twenty-five or thirty years later. They project as far in front as
in the back, which is evidence of their age. Later rockers were made
longer, probably for safety, the short rocker at the back proving
dangerous to the equilibrium of a too vigorous occupant of the rocking
chair. This chair has never been restored and is a very good example of
the slat-back chair. It is painted black with lines of yellow.

Illustration 145 shows an arm-chair with a five-slat back which is now
the property of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The slats are
the typical Pennsylvania ones, made to fit the back, with a deeper
curve than some, and, as may be seen by comparing them with others
illustrated, with a more decided curve to both the upper and lower
edges of the slats. The stretcher across the front is turned and is
unusually heavy.

[Illustration: Illus. 146.—Windsor Chairs, 1750-1775.]

The type of chair succeeding the slat-back in popularity was the
Windsor, which was made for years in large numbers both in England and

Windsor chairs made their first appearance in this country about
1730, in Philadelphia, and “Philadelphia made” Windsor chairs soon
became very popular. Advertisements of them abound in newspapers up to
1800, and they may be found with the slat-back chairs in almost any
country house, frequently upon the piazza, whence many a one has been
bought by the keen-eyed collector driving along the road. The original
Philadelphia fashion was to paint the chairs green, but after they were
made all over the country they were probably painted to suit the taste
of the buyer.

[Illustration: Illus. 147.—Comb-back Windsor Rocking-chair, 1750-1775.]

There is a story that the name Windsor was derived from the English
town, where one of the royal Georges found in a shepherd’s cottage a
chair of this style, which he bought and had others made from,—thereby
setting the fashion.

Windsor chairs are found in several styles, two of which are shown in
Illustration 146, owned by the writer. Side-chairs like the arm-chair
were made with the dividing strip which connects the arms left out,
and the rounding top rail continuing down to the seat. The other chair
in the illustration is known as a “fan back” from its shape with the
flaring top.

Illustration 147 shows a “comb-back” Windsor rocking-chair, owned by
Mrs. Clarence R. Hyde, of Brooklyn, N. Y. The middle spindles are
extended to form the little head-rest, from which the name is derived.

[Illustration: Illus. 148.—High-back Windsor Arm-chair, and Child’s
Chair, 1750-1775.]

A fine, high-backed arm-chair, and a child’s chair are shown in
Illustration 148, owned by Miss Mary Coates of Philadelphia. These
chairs may have been some of the original Philadelphia-made Windsor
chairs, as they were bought in that town by Benjamin Horner, who was
born in 1737.

Windsor writing-chairs are occasionally found, and one is shown in
Illustration 149, possessing more than common interest, for it is said
to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson, and upon its table may have been
written the Declaration of Independence. It now belongs to the American
Philosophical Society of Philadelphia. The seat is double, the top one
revolving. The legs have been shortened.

[Illustration: Illus. 149.—Windsor Writing-chair, 1750-1775.]

Illustration 150 shows two late Windsor rocking-chairs, the one of
curly maple being several years later than the other, as the rockers,
short in front and long behind, bear evidence. These chairs are owned
by the writer.

The Dutch chair with bandy or cabriole legs and a splat in the back
made its appearance with the early years of the eighteenth century,
and was the forerunner of the Chippendale chair. The first Dutch chairs
have a back similar in form to the Queen Anne chair in Illustration
108, slightly higher and narrower than later backs. They are sometimes
called Queen Anne chairs, and sometimes parrot-back, from the shape of
the opening each side of the solid splat. The stretchers or underbraces
of earlier chairs are retained in the first Dutch chairs, one of which
is shown in Illustration 151, owned by Mrs. Charles H. Prentice, of

[Illustration: Illus. 150.—Windsor Rocking-chairs, 1820-1830.]

The first mention found of claw-and-ball feet is in 1737, when “six
Crowfoot chairs” appear in an inventory. In one of 1750, “chairs with
Eagle’s foot and shell on the Knee” are entered.

[Illustration: Illus. 151.—Dutch Chair (back stretcher missing),

A chair is shown in Illustration 152, still retaining the stretchers,
but with the claw-and-ball foot and a shell at the top of the back.
This chair was made about 1720-1730. It belongs to Walter Hosmer, Esq.

Illustration 153 shows a chair also belonging to Mr. Hosmer. It is made
without stretchers, and the splat is pierced at the top.

A chair which retains the form of the Dutch chair, with “Eagle’s foot
and shell on the Knee,” is shown in Illustration 154, but the splat is
cut in an elaborate design, with the centre opening heart-shaped, which
was the shape of the earliest piercing made in the plain splat. This
chair and the one in Illustration 155 are in the Poore collection at
Indian Hill, Newburyport. They show the development from the Dutch to
the Chippendale style. The legs in Illustration 155 are carved upon
the knee with an elaborate form of shell and a scroll. The splat is not
pierced, but has a curious design of ropes with tassels carved at the
top. These chairs were made about 1740-1750. The backs of the last four
chairs are made with the characteristic Dutch top, curving down into
the side-posts with rounded ends, with the effect of back and sides
being in one piece.

[Illustration: Illus. 152 and Illus. 153.—Dutch Chairs, about 1740.]

A style of chair common during the first half of the eighteenth
century is shown in Illustration 156; one chair having turned legs
while the other ends in a Spanish foot. The tops are in the bow shape,
and the splats are pierced, showing the influence of Chippendale
fashions. The splat is alike in both, but the country cabinet-maker who
probably made these chairs may have thought the splat would look as
well one way as the other, and so put one in upside down. They are in
the Deerfield Museum, and were made about 1750.

[Illustration: Illus. 154 and Illus 155.—Dutch Chairs, 1740-1750.]

A roundabout chair in the Dutch style is shown in Illustration 157. The
bandy legs end in a foot with a slight carving in grooves, and the seat
is rounding upon the corners like that in the ordinary Dutch chair.
This very graceful chair is owned by Francis H. Bigelow, Esq., of

[Illustration: Illus. 156.—Dutch Chairs, 1750-1760.]

Easy-chairs formed a part of the bedroom furniture inventoried during
the eighteenth century, and they were made in various styles, with
Dutch, Chippendale, and Hepplewhite legs. Hepplewhite gives a design
in 1787 for what he calls “an easy-chair,” and also a “saddle-check
chair,” while upon the same page, with intentional suggestion, is a
design for a “gouty-stool.”

[Illustration: Illus. 157.—Dutch Roundabout Chair, 1740.]

Illustration 158 shows an easy-chair with the Dutch bandy leg and foot,
owned by the writer. Such chairs were inventoried very high, from one
pound to ten, and when one considers the amount of material required
to stuff and cover the chair, the reason for the high valuation is
understood. In the days when the fireplace gave what heat there was in
the room, these great chairs must have been most comfortable, with the
high back and sides to keep out draughts.

An easy-chair with claw-and-ball feet is shown in Illustration 159.
It is owned by Francis H. Bigelow, Esq., of Cambridge. A beautiful
easy-chair with carved cabriole legs, owned by Harry Harkness Flagler,
Esq., is shown in Illustration 248.

We now come to the most important period in the consideration of
chairs,—the last half of the eighteenth century. During this period
many books of designs were published, which probably came to this
country within a year or two of their publication, and which afforded
American cabinet-makers an opportunity for copying the best English

Chippendale’s designs were published in 1753, Hepplewhite’s in 1789,
Sheraton’s in 1791. Besides these three chief chair-makers, there were
Ince and Mayhew, 1765; Robert Manwaring, 1765; R. and J. Adam, 1773;
and others of less note.

[Illustration: Illus. 158.—Easy-Chair with Dutch Legs, 1750.]

Chippendale drew most of his ideas from the French, notably in the way
of ornamentation, but the form of his chairs was developed chiefly
from the Dutch style, with the bandy leg and splat in the back. His
straight-legged chairs were suggested by the Chinese furniture, which
was fashionable about the middle of the eighteenth century. These
various styles Chippendale adapted, and employed with such success that
his was the strongest influence of the century upon furniture, and for
a period of over thirty years it was supreme.

[Illustration: Illus. 159.—Claw-and-ball-foot Easy-chair, 1750.]

[Illustration: Illus. 160.—Chippendale Chair.]

The claw-and-ball foot does not appear upon any of Chippendale’s
designs in “The Gentleman’s and Cabinet-Maker’s Director.”

[Illustration: Illus. 161.—Chippendale Chair.]

His preference was plainly for the French scroll foot, shown upon the
sofa in Illustration 209 and the candle-stand in Illustration 333.
Doubtless, however, he made furniture with the claw-and-ball foot,
which was the foot used by the majority of his imitators and followers.

An early Chippendale chair is shown in Illustration 160, from the Poore
collection at Indian Hill, with stretchers, which are unusual in a
Chippendale chair. The cabriole legs are carved upon the knee and end
in a claw-and-ball foot.

[Illustration: Illus. 162.—Chippendale Chair.]

The top of the back has the bow form, which is a distinguishing
characteristic of Chippendale. This chair-seat and the one following
are very large and broad.

[Illustration: Illus. 163.—Chippendale Chair.]

The lines in the back of the chair in Illustration 161 form a series
of curves, extremely graceful in effect, and the carving upon the back
and legs is very fine. This chair is one of a set of six owned by Harry
Harkness Flagler, Esq.

Illustration 162 shows a chair owned by Miss Mary Coates of
Philadelphia. The design of the back, with some variations, is often
seen. The top forms a complete bow with the ends turning up, and a
shell is carved in the centre.

[Illustration: Illus. 165.—Chippendale Chairs.]

A variation of this back is shown in Illustration 163. The top has a
fan instead of a shell, and the ends of the bow top are grooved.

[Illustration: Illus. 164.—Chippendale Chair.]

This chair is one of a set formerly owned by Miss Rebecca Shaw of
Wickford, Rhode Island, who died in 1900, over ninety years of age.
They are now in the possession of Mrs. Alice Morse Earle of Brooklyn,
New York.

A fine arm-chair owned by Miss Mary Coates is shown in Illustration 164.

Two very beautiful and unusual Chippendale arm-chairs are shown in
Illustration 165. They are owned by Harry Harkness Flagler, Esq., and
the larger chair, which was formerly in the Pendleton collection, is
undoubtedly an original Chippendale. Its proportions are perfect,
and the elaborate carving is finely done. The other chair presents
some Dutch characteristics, in the shape of the seat and back, but
the details of the carving indicate it to be after the school of

[Illustration: Illus. 167.—Roundabout Chair.]

Illustration 166 shows a graceful chair with carving upon the back and
knees. It belonged formerly to Governor Strong of Massachusetts, and is
now owned by W. S. G. Kennedy, Esq., of Worcester.

[Illustration: Illus. 166.—Chippendale Chair.]

The roundabout chair in Illustration 167 was originally owned by
the Rev. Daniel Bliss, the Congregational minister in Concord,
Massachusetts, from 1739 to 1766. He was succeeded by William Emerson,
who married his daughter, and who was the grandfather of Ralph Waldo
Emerson. William Emerson died in 1777, and Dr. Ezra Ripley succeeded
to the pastorate and the widow, and took possession of the manse and
of this chair, which must have served the successive ministers at the
desk, while many hundreds of sound sermons were written. It now belongs
to the Concord Antiquarian Society.

[Illustration: Illus. 168.—Extension-top Roundabout Chair.]

An unusually fine example of a Dutch corner chair with an extension
top, is shown in Illustration 168, owned by the Metropolitan Museum of

The finest type of roundabout chair is shown in Illustration 169.
It is of mahogany and has but one cabriole leg, the others being
uncompromisingly straight, but the cabriole leg, and the top rail and
arms are carved finely with the acanthus design, worn almost smooth on
the arms. It belongs to Dwight M. Prouty, Esq.

[Illustration: Illus. 169.—Roundabout Chair.]

Illustration 170 shows a chair owned by Albert S. Rines, Esq., of
Portland, Maine.

[Illustration: Illus. 170.—Chippendale Chair.]

It is extraordinarily good in design and carving, fine in every detail.
The gadrooned edge upon this and the roundabout chair is found only
upon the best pieces.

Illustration 171 shows one of six chairs owned by the writer.

The design of the chair-back in Illustration 172 is one that was quite
common. The chair belongs to the writer.

The chair in Illustration 173 is owned by Mrs. E. A. Morse of
Worcester; the one in Illustration 174 is in the Waters collection, in
Salem, and is one of a set of six. The legs and the rail around the
seat of the last chair are carved in a rosette design in low relief.

[Illustration: Illus. 171 and Illus. 172.—Chippendale Chairs.]

About the middle of the eighteenth century it was fashionable to
decorate houses and gardens in “Chinese taste,” and furniture was
designed for “Chinese temples” by various cabinet-makers. That the
American colonies followed English fashions closely is shown by the
advertisement in 1758 of Theophilus Hardenbrook, surveyor, who with
unfettered fancy modestly announced that he “designs all sorts of
Buildings, Pavilions, Summer Rooms, Seats for Gardens”; also “all sorts
of rooms after the taste of the Arabian, Chinese, Persian, Gothic,
Muscovite, Paladian, Roman, Vitruvian, and Egyptian.”

[Illustration: Illus. 173 and Illus. 174.—Chippendale Chairs.]

Illustration 175 shows a Chippendale chair in “Chinese taste” owned by
Harry Harkness Flagler, Esq., of Millbrook. The legs and stretchers
are straight, like those of Chinese chairs, and the outline of the back
is Chinese, but the delicate carving is English. A sofa and a chair in
“Chinese taste” are shown in Illustration 211.

[Illustration: Illus. 175.—Chippendale Chair in “Chinese Taste.”]

Illustration 176 and Illustration 177 show two Chippendale chairs
with backs of entirely different design from the splat-back chairs
previously illustrated. Their form was probably suggested by that
of the slat-back chair. Illustration 176 is one of a set of six,
originally owned by Joseph Brown, one of the four famous brothers of
Providence, whose dignified names, John, Joseph, Nicholas, and Moses,
have been familiarly rhymed as “John and Josey, Nick and Mosey.” The
six chairs are now owned by their kinswoman, Mrs. David Thomas Moore of
Westbury, Long Island. Each slat is delicately carved, and the chairs
represent the finest of this type of Chippendale chairs. Illustration
177 shows a chair owned by Charles R. Waters, Esq., of Salem, with
carved slats in the back. Chairs with this back but with plain slats
are not unusual.

[Illustration: Illus. 176.—Chippendale Chair.]

Hepplewhite’s designs were published in 1789, and his light and
attractive furniture soon became fashionable, superseding that of
Chippendale, which was pronounced “obsolete.” Hepplewhite’s aim was to
produce a light effect, and to this he often sacrificed considerations
of strength and durability.

[Illustration: Illus. 177.—Chippendale Chair.]

[Illustration: Illus. 179.—Hepplewhite Chair.]

While Chippendale used no inlaying, Hepplewhite’s furniture is
ornamented with both carving and inlay, as well as painting. His
chairs may be distinguished by the shape and construction of the
back, which was usually of oval, shield, or heart shape. The carving
in Hepplewhite’s chairs is of quite a different character from that
of Chippendale. The three feathers of the Prince of Wales often form
a part of the back, for Hepplewhite was of the Prince’s party when
feeling ran strong during the illness of George III.

Carved drapery, wheat, and the bell-flower, sometimes called husks, are
other characteristics of Hepplewhite’s chairs, two of which are shown
in Illustration 178, belonging to Dwight Blaney, Esq., of Boston. The
Prince’s feathers appear in the middle of one chair-back and upon the
top rail of the other.

Illustration 179 shows an arm-chair from a set of Hepplewhite
dining-chairs owned by Francis H. Bigelow, Esq., of Cambridge. The back
is carved with a design of drapery and ears of wheat.

[Illustration: Illus. 178.—Hepplewhite Chairs.]

A chair is shown in Illustration 180, which has features of several
styles. The legs are French and the width of the seat; the splat joins
the seat in the manner of Chippendale; the anthemion design of the
splat is in the Adam style and the carving on the top rail, but the
rail is Hepplewhite’s.

[Illustration: Illus. 180.—Hepplewhite Chair, 1785.]

It is probably an early Hepplewhite chair, made before his own style
was fully formulated, and the combination has resulted in a beautiful
chair. It belongs to J. J. Gilbert, Esq., of Baltimore.

[Illustration: Illus. 181.—Hepplewhite Chair, 1789.]

The chair in Illustration 181 is also in Mr. Gilbert’s collection.
Although the shield back is generally accredited to Hepplewhite, Adam
made it before him and it was used by the other chair-makers of his
time. This chair shows very strongly the Adam influence in the carved
and reeded legs and the fine carving, which is called guilloche, upon
the arms and around the back and the frame of the seat.

[Illustration: Illus. 182.—Hepplewhite Chair, 1789.]

The entire chair is beautifully carved.

The arm-chair shown in Illustration 182 has stood since 1835 in front
of the pulpit in the Unitarian church in Leicester, Massachusetts, but
of its history nothing is known for the years before that date, when
it was probably given to the new church, then just starting with its
young pastor, Rev. Samuel May. This chair, like the one in Illustration
181, which it resembles, has characteristics of different styles. It
is probable that both Hepplewhite and Sheraton had practised their
trade some years, and had made much furniture before their books were
published in 1789 and 1791, and had adopted and adapted many ideas
from the cabinet-makers and designers of the day, as well as from each

The chair in Illustration 183 was used by Washington in the house
occupied as the Presidential mansion in Philadelphia. It is now owned
by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. This chair has the same
guilloche carving as the chair in Illustration 181, extending entirely
around the back. The legs are short and the chair low and wide, and
this with the stuffed back indicates that the chair is French.

[Illustration: Illus. 183.—French Chair, 1790.]

[Illustration: Illus. 184.—Hepplewhite Chair, 1790.]

The chair in Illustration 184 is also in the rooms of the Historical
Society, and is one of the set owned by Washington. The urn and
festoons in the back show a marked Adam influence, but the three
feathers above the urn are Hepplewhite’s.

[Illustration: Illus. 185.—Arm Chair, 1785.]

A very fine arm chair is shown in Illustration 185, owned by Dwight M.
Prouty, Esq. The mahogany frame is heavier than in later chairs of the
same style, and the arms end in a bird’s head and bill.

[Illustration: Illus. 186.—Transition Chair, 1785.]

During the transition period between Chippendale and Hepplewhite,
features of the work of both appeared in chairs.

The chair in Illustration 186 has the Chippendale splat, with the three
feathers in it, and the top rail has the Hepplewhite curve. It belongs
to Mrs. Clarence R. Hyde, of Brooklyn, N. Y.

Illustration 187 shows one of a set of six very beautiful Hepplewhite
chairs bought originally by the grandfather of their present owner,
Charles R. Waters, Esq., of Salem. This chair is carved upon the legs
with the bell-flower, and the three middle rails of the back are
exquisitely carved. Chairs of this design, with the ornament of inlay
instead of carving, are also found.

[Illustration: Illus. 187 and 188.—Hepplewhite Chairs.]

The chair in Illustration 188 belongs to W. S. G. Kennedy, Esq., of
Worcester. The rails are not carved or inlaid, but the fan-shaped
ornament at the lower point of the shield back is of holly and ebony,
inlaid. This design of Hepplewhite chair is more frequently found than
any other.

[Illustration: Illus. 189.—Hepplewhite Chair.]

A specialty of Hepplewhite’s was what he terms “a very elegant
fashion.” The chair-backs were finished with painted or japanned work.
This was not the lacquering which had been fashionable during the first
half of the eighteenth century, with Chinese figures, but it was a
process of coating the chairs with a sort of lacquer varnish, and then
painting them in gold or colors upon a black ground.

[Illustration: Illus. 190.—Hepplewhite Chair.]

Haircloth was used for the seats of chairs; the edges were finished
with brass-headed nails, arranged sometimes to simulate festoons, as in
Illustration 191.

A Hepplewhite chair with a back of quite a different design from the
examples described previously, is shown in Illustration 189. The back
is heart-shaped, and the ornamentation is of inlaying in light and dark
wood. This chair is one of four in the Poore collection at Indian Hill.
They formed a part of the set bought by Washington for Mount Vernon,
and were in use there at the time of his death.

A chair owned by Miss Mary Coates of Philadelphia is shown in
Illustration 190. The characteristic bell-flower is carved in the
middle of the back of this chair.

[Illustration: Illus. 191.—Sheraton Chair.]

Hepplewhite in turn was superseded by Sheraton, whose book of designs
was published in 1791, only two years later than Hepplewhite’s;
but that short time sufficed for Sheraton to say that “this book
[Hepplewhite’s] has already caught the decline”; while he asserted of
Chippendale’s designs, that “they are now wholly antiquated and laid
aside, though possessed of great merit, according to the times in which
they were executed.”

Sheraton’s chairs retained many of Hepplewhite’s characteristics, but
the great difference between them lay in the construction of the back,
which it was Sheraton’s aim to strengthen. His chairs, except in rare
cases, do not have the heart or shield shaped back, which distinctly
marks Hepplewhite chairs, but the back is rectangular in shape, the
top rail being curved, straight, or with a raised piece in the centre,
corresponding to the piece in the middle of the back. A rail extends
across the back a few inches above the seat, and the splat or spindles
end in this rail, and never extend to the seat.

[Illustration: Illus. 192.—Sheraton Chairs.]

Sheraton’s designs show chairs with carved, twisted, reeded, or plain
legs. The best Sheraton chairs found in this country usually have
straight legs, slightly smaller than those upon the straight-legged
Chippendale chairs. The tapering, reeded leg, which is characteristic
of Sheraton, is not found so often upon his chairs as upon other pieces
of furniture.

[Illustration: Illus. 193.—Sheraton Chair.]

[Illustration: Illus. 194.—Sheraton Chair.]

The chair in Illustration 191 is owned by the Misses Nichols of
Salem, and it was brought with its mates to furnish the house built
by McIntire in 1783. The chairs were imported, and as the back is
precisely like one of Sheraton’s designs in his book, they may have
been made by him, before the book was published in 1791.

[Illustration: Illus. 195.—Sheraton Chair.]

The impression given by this chair is of strength combined with
lightness, the effect which Sheraton strove to attain, while at the
same time he made the chairs strong not only in effect but in reality,
an end which Hepplewhite did not accomplish. The legs of the chair are
plainly turned, but in the original design they are reeded.

[Illustration: Illus. 196.—Sheraton Chair.]

Illustration 192 shows two Sheraton chairs owned by Francis H. Bigelow,
Esq. It will be seen that the carving in the back is similar in design
to that of Hepplewhite chairs, and the carving and shape of the upper
part of the chair-back with the curved top rail is often seen upon
Hepplewhite’s “bar-back” chairs.

[Illustration: Illus. 197.—Sheraton Chair.]

Mr. Bigelow also owns the upholstered arm-chair in Illustration 193,
sometimes called a Martha Washington easy-chair, from a similar chair
at Mount Vernon. This chair and one in Illustration 194, which belongs
to Mr. Bigelow, are after the Sheraton style, although these designs do
not appear in Sheraton’s books.

[Illustration: Illus. 198.—Painted Sheraton Chair, 1810-1815.]

The arm-chair in Illustration 194 is said to have belonged to Jerome
Bonaparte, but as Lucien and Joseph Bonaparte both had residences in
this country, it would more probably have been owned by one of them
rather than by Jerome, whose career in America was short and meteoric.
The wood of this chair is cherry, said to have grown upon the island
of Corsica, and the style of the back, while upon the Sheraton order,
differs from any of Sheraton’s designs.

The chair in Illustration 195 belongs to Walter Bowne Lawrence, Esq.,
of Flushing, Long Island. It is one of the finest types of a Sheraton
chair. The front legs end in what Hepplewhite called a “spade foot,”
which was frequently employed by him and occasionally by Sheraton.

Illustration 196 shows a Sheraton chair owned by Mrs. E. A. Morse of
Worcester. The top bar is carved with graceful festoons of drapery, and
the back is in a design which is often seen.

[Illustration: Illus. 199.—Late Mahogany Chairs, 1830-1845.]

A chair after Sheraton’s later designs is shown in Illustration 197.
It is one which was popular in the first decade of the nineteenth
century. This chair is part of a set inherited by Waldo Lincoln, Esq.,
of Worcester.

The chair shown in Illustration 198 is owned by Mrs. J. C. Cutter of
Worcester. It has a rush seat, and the back is painted in the manner
called japanning, with gilt flowers upon a black ground. These chairs,
which were called “Fancy chairs,” were very popular during the first
part of the nineteenth century, together with settees decorated in the
same fashion.

Illustration 199 shows two mahogany chairs owned by Waldo Lincoln,
Esq., of the styles which were fashionable from 1840 to 1850, examples
of which may be found in almost every household, along with heavy sofas
and tables of mahogany, solid or veneered.

In the first half of the nineteenth century and in the last quarter of
the eighteenth, furniture was fashionable made of the light-colored
woods; maple, curly and bird’s-eye, and in the more expensive pieces,
satinwood, which was used chiefly as a veneer on account of its
cost. The two varieties of maple, being a native wood and plentiful,
were always used lavishly, and rarely as a veneer. The thick maple
drawers in old bureaus have been sawed into many thicknesses to use
in violins, for which their seasoned wood is especially valuable. The
parlor in John Hancock’s house, in Boston, was “furnished in bird’s-eye
maple covered with damask brocade.” As Governor Hancock was a man of
inherited wealth and probably of fashion as well, his parlor would be
furnished according to the mode of the day.

[Illustration: Illus. 200.—Maple Chairs, 1820-1830.]

The three maple chairs in Illustration 200 belong to the writer. They
were probably made about 1820 to 1830. The wood in all is beautifully
marked curly maple, and in the upper rail of two is set a strip of
bird’s-eye maple. The design of the carved piece across the back is one
that was used at this time in both maple and mahogany chairs.




THE first form of the long seat, afterward developed into the sofa, was
the settle, which is found in the earliest inventories in this country,
and still earlier in England. The settle oftenest seen in America is of
simple construction, usually of pine, and painted; probably the work
of a country cabinet-maker, or even a carpenter. It was made to stand
by the great fireplace, to keep the draughts out and the heat in, with
its tall back, and the front of the seat coming down to the floor; and
sadly was it needed in those days when the ink froze in the standish,
as the minister sat by the fire to write his sermon. Illustration 201
shows a settle in the Deerfield Museum, in the kitchen. In front of the
settle stands a flax-wheel, which kept the housewife busy on winter
evenings, spinning by the firelight. Beside the settle is a rudely
made light-stand, with a tin lamp, and a brass candlestick with the
extinguisher on its top, and snuffers and tray beside it. Upon one side
of the settle is fastened a candlestick with an extension frame. Behind
the flax-wheel is a banister-back chair, the plain type of the chairs
in Illustration 139, and at the right of the picture is a slat-back,
flag-bottomed chair such as may be seen in Illustration 143.

[Illustration: Illus. 201.—Pine Settle, Eighteenth Century.]

Illustration 202 shows a settle of oak, which has upon the back the
carved date 1708. The front of the seat has four panels, while the
back has five lower panels, with a row of small panels above. The
top rail is carved in five groups, the middle design of each group
being a crown, and between each small panel is a turned ornament. The
arms are like the arms of the wainscot chairs in Illustration 124
and Illustration 125. The top of the seat does not lift up, as was
often the case, disclosing a box below, but is fastened to the frame,
and probably there were provided for this settle the articles often
mentioned in inventories, “chusshings,” “quysyns,” or cushions, which
the hard seat made so necessary. This settle belongs to Dwight Blaney,
Esq., of Boston.

[Illustration: Illus. 202.—Oak Settle, 1708.]

The word “settee” is the diminutive of “settle,” and the long seat
which corresponded to the chairs with the frame of turned wood was
called a settee or small settle, being of so much lighter build than
the settle.

[Illustration: Illus. 203.—Settee covered with Turkey work, 1670-1680.]

Illustration 203 shows a settee owned by the Essex Institute of Salem,
and said to have been brought to this country by a Huguenot family
about 1686. It is upholstered, like the chairs of the same style, in
Turkey work, the colors in which are still bright. Turkey work was very
fashionable at that time, rugs being imported from Turkey in shapes to
fit the seat and back of chairs or settees.

Another form of the long seat was one which was intended to serve as
a couch, or “day-bed.” It was really what its French name implies,
_chaise longue_, or long chair, the back being an enlarged chair-back,
and the body of the couch equalling three chair-seats. Illustration
204 shows a couch owned by the Concord Antiquarian Society, which
formerly belonged to the descendants of the Rev. Peter Bulkeley.
It had originally a cane seat, and evidently formed part of a set
of furniture, for a chair of the same style is with it, which also
belonged to the Bulkeley family. Both couch and chair are Flemish in
design, with the scroll foot turning backward. The braces between the
legs are carved in the same design as the top of the back.

[Illustration: Illus. 204.—Flemish Couch, 1680-1690.]

Illustration 205 shows a walnut couch made in the Dutch style about
1720-1730, with bandy legs and Dutch feet. The splat in the back is
Dutch, but instead of the side-posts curving into the top rail like the
Dutch chairs, in which the top and the side-posts apparently form one
piece, these posts run up, with a finish at the top like the Flemish
chairs, and like the posts in the back of the couch in Illustration 204.

[Illustration: Illus. 205.—Dutch Couch, 1720-1730.]

[Illustration: Illus. 206.—Chippendale Couch, 1760-1770.]

It is interesting to compare this couch, which is owned by the Misses
Hosmer of Concord, Massachusetts, with the following one, Illustration
206, which belongs to Mr. Walter Hosmer of Wethersfield, Connecticut,
and was made about 1770. This couch, of mahogany, has a back like one
of the familiar Chippendale chairs, somewhat higher than the back of
the couch in Illustration 205, which is longer than this Chippendale

[Illustration: Illus. 207.—Chippendale Settee, 1760.]

The bandy legs with claw-and-ball feet are unusually well proportioned,
and the effect of the piece of furniture is extremely elegant. The
canvas seat is drawn tight by ropes laced over wooden knobs.

A double chair owned by Dwight M. Prouty, Esq., of Boston, is shown
in Illustration 207. The splats are cut in an early design, with the
heart-shaped opening in the lower part. The settee is not so wide as
some, and the back is not equal to two chair backs, lacking the side
rails which are usually carried down in the middle between the splats.

[Illustration: Illus. 208.—Sofa, 1740.]

The front legs have the acanthus carving upon the knees, and end in a
Dutch foot. This settee is what was called a “Darby and Joan” seat,
just wide enough for two.

A sofa is shown in Illustration 208 from “Stenton,” the fine old house
in Philadelphia, now occupied by the Colonial Dames. The back and arms
are upholstered, and the shape of the arms, and the curved outline of
the back are like early Chippendale pieces. A distinction was made
between the “sopha” and the settee, the sofa being a long seat with the
back and arms entirely upholstered, like the sofa in Illustration 208.

[Illustration: Illus. 209.—Chippendale Settee, 1765-1770.]

Illustration 209 shows a Chippendale settee with beautifully carved
cabriole legs, owned by Harry Harkness Flagler, Esq. The three front
legs are carved with the scroll foot turned to the front. This foot
was called the French foot by the cabinet-makers of that period, about

[Illustration: Illus. 210.—Double Chair, 1760.]

Illustration 210 shows a double chair, also owned by Mr. Flagler.
It has characteristics of various nationalities and styles, mainly
Chippendale. The back consists of two chair backs, wider than arm-chair
backs, which is almost always true of the double chair. The corners of
the seat, and the ends of the top rails are rounding after the Dutch
style, but the splats are Chippendale. The three front legs end in
a small claw-and-ball, and the knees are carved. The most noticeable
feature of this graceful piece is the rococo design at the top of the
back and upon the front of the seat.

Illustration 211 shows a Chippendale double chair and one of four
arm-chairs, formerly owned by Governor John Wentworth, whose household
goods were confiscated and sold at auction by the Federal government,
in 1776. Since that time these pieces have been in the Alexander Ladd
house at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where they now stand. They are
a perfect exemplification of Chippendale’s furniture in the Chinese
style, and are probably the finest examples of that style in this
country. They are of mahogany, with cane seats. The design of the backs
is more elaborate than any of the Chinese designs for furniture of
either Chippendale, Manwaring, Ince, or Mayhew; an unusual thing, for a
majority of the designs in the old cabinet-makers’ books are far more
elaborate than the furniture which has come down to us. Chippendale
says that these “Chinese chairs are very suitable for a lady’s boudoir,
and will likewise suit a Chinese temple.” One wonders if Governor
Wentworth had a Chinese temple for these beautiful pieces of furniture.
He had, we know, splendid gardens, which were famous in those days, and
possibly a Chinese temple may have been one of the adornments, with
these chairs for its furniture.

[Illustration: Illus. 211.—Chippendale Double Chair and Chair, in
“Chinese Taste,” 1760-1765.]

Illustration 212 shows a double chair, which is well known from
representations of it in various books. It is one of the finest
examples existing of the Chippendale period, and was undoubtedly, like
the double chair in Illustration 211, made in England. The carving
upon the three front legs is unusually good. The feet are carved with
lions’ claws, and the knees with grotesque faces, while the arms end in
dragons’ heads.

[Illustration: Illus. 212.—Chippendale Double Chair, 1750-1760.]

The corners of the back are finished with a scroll, turning to the
back. The wood of this double chair is walnut, and it is covered in
gray horsehair. This chair formerly belonged to John Hancock, and was
presented to the American Antiquarian Society in 1838, with other
pieces bought from the Hancock house, by John Chandler, of Petersham,

The little settee in Illustration 213 is owned by Albert S. Rines,
Esq., of Portland, Maine. It was evidently made from the same design as
a long settee in the Pendleton collection in Providence, which has the
same Chippendale carvings on the back at the centre and ends, and the
same effect of the leg being continued up into the frame of the seat.
This settee has the middle leg unevenly placed.

[Illustration: Illus. 213.—Chippendale Settee, 1770.]

The settee in Illustration 214 is entirely unlike any shown. It is
French, of the time of Louis the Sixteenth, and with the six chairs
like it, was part of the cargo upon the ship _Sally_, which sailed from
France in 1792, and landed at Wiscasset, Maine, with a load of fine
furniture and rich belongings intended to furnish a home of refuge
for Marie Antoinette, who did not live to sail upon the _Sally_. The
sideboard in Illustration 75 has the same history and it can be traced
directly to the _Sally_. The settee and chairs came from Bath, Maine,
where there are also other chairs from the _Sally_, which are, however,
like the sideboard, English in style.

[Illustration: Illus. 214.—French Settee, 1790.]

The settee is of solid rosewood, with the short legs of the Louis XVI
period, and a very deep seat. The wood of the back is elaborately
carved in a design distinctly French, of roses, with a bow of ribbon
in the centre. The settee and chairs are now owned by Mrs. William J.
Hogg, of Worcester.

A double chair owned by Francis H. Bigelow, Esq., is shown in
Illustration 215. The back is made of two Hepplewhite chair-backs,
which combine the outline of the shield back and the middle of the
interlaced heart back shown in the chair in Illustration 189.

[Illustration: Illus. 215.—Hepplewhite Settee, 1790.]

The three front legs are inlaid with fine lines and the bell flower,
and the backs are very finely inlaid, with lines in the urn-shaped
piece in the centre, and a fan above, while a fine line of holly runs
around the edge of each piece. The stretchers between the legs are a
very unusual feature in such settees.

Illustration 216 shows a Sheraton settee, now in Girard College,
Philadelphia. It was a part of the furniture belonging to Stephen
Girard, the founder of that college. It has eight legs, the four in
front being the typical reeded Sheraton legs. The back has five posts
dividing it into four chair-backs. The seat is upholstered.

[Illustration: Illus. 216.—Sheraton Settee, 1790-1795.]

The Sheraton sofa in Illustration 217 was probably made in England
about 1790-1800. It is owned by Francis H. Bigelow, Esq., of Cambridge.
The frame is of mahogany, and the rail at the top of the back is
exquisitely carved with festoons and flowers. The front of the seat
is slightly rounding at the ends, and the arm, which is carved upon
the upper side, extends beyond the upholstered frame, and rests upon
a pillar which continues up from the corner leg. This style of arm is
quite characteristic of Sheraton. The legs of the sofa are plainly
turned, not reeded, as is usual upon Sheraton sofas.

[Illustration: Illus. 217.—Sheraton Sofa, 1790-1800.]

The sofa in Illustration 218 is a typical Sheraton piece, of a style
which must have been very fashionable about 1800, for such sofas are
often found in this country.

[Illustration: Illus. 218.—Sheraton Sofa, about 1800.]

The frame is of mahogany, with pieces of satinwood inlaid at the top
of the end legs. The arms are like the arms of the sofa in Illustration
217, and they, the pillars supporting them, and the four front legs are
all reeded. This sofa is owned by W. S. G. Kennedy, Esq., of Worcester.

[Illustration: Illus. 219.—Sheraton Settee, about 1805.]

Illustration 219 shows a Sheraton settee which came from the Flint
mansion in Leicester, Massachusetts, and is now owned by the writer.
It has a rush seat, and the frame was originally painted black, with
gilt flowers. It is very long, settees of this style usually equalling
three chairs, while this equals four. It measures seventy-six inches in
length, and from front to back the seat measures seventeen inches. It
makes an admirable hall settee, and seems to be substantial, although
extremely light in effect.

Another settee is shown in Illustration 220, with a cane seat, and
painted in the “japanning” of the period in black with gold figures. It
is owned by Mrs. Clarence R. Hyde, of Brooklyn, N. Y.

[Illustration: Illus. 220.—Sheraton Settee, about 1805.]

An Empire settee of graceful shape, owned by Barton Myers, Esq., of
Norfolk, Virginia, is shown in Illustration 221. The lines of the many
curves are all unusually good.

[Illustration: Illus. 221.—Empire Settee, about 1805.]

The wood of the settee is mahogany, and the seat is rush. The ornaments
upon the front and the rosettes at the tip of each curve are brass.

In 1816 there was launched in Salem the yacht called _Cleopatra’s
Barge_, built and owned by Capt. George Crowninshield, who had been a
partner with his brothers in the East India trade and had lived from a
boy upon his father’s ships. Finally retiring from business, he built
this splendid yacht with the intention of spending years in travel, but
he died after the first long voyage to the Mediterranean. The yacht was
the wonder of the day and was visited by thousands, not alone in Salem
but in every foreign port.

[Illustration: Illus. 222.—Empire Settee, 1816.]

She was furnished with great magnificence, in the Empire style, the
woods used in the saloon being mahogany and bird’s-eye maple, and the
two settees in the saloon were each eleven feet in length. One is shown
in Illustration 222, now owned by Frederic B. Crowninshield, Esq., of
Marblehead. The backs are lyre-shaped, and when new the seats were
covered with crimson velvet and edged with wide gold lace. The hook
upon the back leg was probably to hold the settee to the wall in bad

Illustration 223 shows the influence of the fashion for heavier and
more elaborate frames, which came in with the nineteenth century.
The arms are made after the Sheraton type shown in Illustration 217
and Illustration 218, but where a simple pillar was employed before,
this settee has a carved pineapple forming the support to the arm,
which ends in a scroll. Instead of four front legs either plain or
fluted, there are two of larger size carved with the same leaves which
sheathe the pineapple. The covering is horsehair, which was probably
the original cover. This settee now belongs to the Concord Antiquarian
Society, and was owned by Dr. Ezra Ripley, who was minister of the old
Congregational Church of Concord from 1777 to 1840, and who lived in
the Old Manse, afterward occupied by Hawthorne. The settee remained in
the manse until comparatively recent years.

[Illustration: Illus. 223.—Sheraton Settee, 1800-1805.]

The sofa in Illustration 224 belongs to the Misses Hosmer of Concord,
and stands in their old house, filled with the furniture of generations
past, and interesting with memories of the Concord philosophers. The
lines of this sofa are extremely elegant and graceful, and its effect
quite classic. The legs are what is known as the Adam leg, which was
designed by the Adam brothers, and which Sheraton used frequently. The
style of the sofa is that of the Adam brothers, and it was probably
made from their designs about 1800-1810. The writer has seen a window
seat which belonged to Charles Carroll of Carrollton, after exactly
this design, without the back.

[Illustration: Illus. 225.—Sofa in Adam Style, 1800-1810.]

The back of the sofa in Illustration 225 follows the same graceful
curves as the one in Illustration 224. This sofa was found by the
writer in the shed of a farmhouse, on top of a woodpile, which made it
evident what its fate would be eventually, a fate which has robbed us
of many a fine piece of old furniture. After climbing upon a chair,
then a table, the sight of these carved feet protruding from the
woodpile was almost enough to make the antique hunter lose her insecure
footing; but with the duplicity learned in years of collecting, all
emotion was concealed until the sofa had been secured.

[Illustration: Illus. 224.—Sofa, 1815-1820.]

The writer knows of four sofas, all found near Worcester, measuring the
same, seven feet in length, and with the same carving of oak leaves
upon the legs and ends, but this is the only one of the four which has
the carved oak leaves across the front of the seat, and the rows of
incised carving upon the back rail. The sofa was covered with black
haircloth, woven in an elaborate design, and around the edge of the
covering ran the brass beading which may be seen in the illustration.
This beading is three-eighths of an inch wide, and is of pressed brass,
filled with lead, so that it is pliable and may be bent to go around a
curve. Such beading or trimming was used in the place of brass-headed
tacks or nails, and is found upon chairs and sofas of about this date,

[Illustration: Illus. 226.—Sofa, about 1820.]

Illustration 226 shows one of a pair of sofas without backs. The frame
is of mahogany with legs and arms carved rather coarsely. The covering
is of stiff old brocade, probably the original cover when these sofas
were made, about 1820, for the Warner house in Portsmouth, where they
still stand. The panelling of the old room, built in 1716, shows behind
the sofa, and on the floor is the Brussels carpet upon which is a stain
from wine spilt by Lafayette, when he visited the house in 1824.

[Illustration: Illus. 227.—Cornucopia Sofa, about 1820.]

The sofa in Illustration 227, known as a cornucopia sofa, from the
design of the carving, shows the most ornate type of this style. The
frame is of mahogany, and the ends of the arms are carved in large
horns of plenty, the same design being repeated in the carving of the
top rail of the back and in the legs, which end in a lion’s claw. The
round hard pillows, called “squabs,” at each end, were always provided
for sofas of this shape, to fit into the hollow made by the curves
of the cornucopia. This sofa is owned by Dr. Charles Schoeffer of

Illustration 228 shows a sofa and miniature sofa made about 1820 for
William T. Lane, Esq., of Boston, and now owned by his daughter, Mrs.
Thomas H. Gage of Worcester. Mr. Lane had two little daughters, and
for them he had two little sofas made, that they might sit one each
side of the large sofa.

[Illustration: Illus. 228.—Sofa and Miniature Sofa, about 1820.]

This fashion of making miniature pieces of furniture like the larger
ones was much in vogue during the first quarter of the nineteenth

[Illustration: Illus. 229.—Sofa, about 1820.]

A sofa of similar lines is shown in Illustration 229. The back and legs
are different, and reeding takes the place of the twist in Illustration

The sofa and chair in Illustration 230 are part of a set of furniture
bought by the father and mother of the late Major Ben: Perley
Poore, for their house at Indian Hill, about 1840. These pieces are
interesting not only for the design of the mahogany frames, carved
with swans’ necks and heads, but for the covering, which is of colored
haircloth, woven in a large figure in red and blue upon a gray ground.
The seat of the sofa is worn and has a rug spread upon it, but the back
and pillows and the chair-seat are perfect.

[Illustration: Illus. 230.—Sofa and Chair, about 1840.]

From 1844 to 1848 a cabinet-maker named John H. Belter had a shop in
New York, where he manufactured furniture, chiefly from rosewood.
The backs of the chairs and sofas were deeply curved, and in order
to obtain the strength necessary, thin pieces of rosewood were
pressed into the desired curve, and the several thicknesses glued
together, and pressed again. The strong back made in this way was then
elaborately carved, in an open-work pattern of vines and leaves.

[Illustration: Illus. 231.—Rosewood Sofa, 1844-1848.]

The sofas of these sets were usually in the shape shown in Illustration
231, which belongs to Mrs. M. Newman of New York. Many of the wealthy
families of New York had this Belter furniture, which was always
covered with a rich silk brocade. It is eagerly sought for now and
brings large prices.




THE earliest form of table in use in this country was inventoried in
1642 as a “table bord,” and the name occurs in English inventories one
hundred years earlier. The name “board” was given quite literally from
the table top, which was a board made separately from the supporting
trestles, and which, after a meal, was taken off the trestles, and both
board and trestles were put away, thus leaving the room free. These
tables were long and narrow, and had in earliest times a long bench
or form at one side only, the other side of the board being left free
for serving. In the Bolles collection is a veritable “borde” rescued
from the attic of a deserted house, where it had stood for scores of
years. The board is about twelve feet long and two feet one inch wide,
and bears the mark of many a knife. It rests upon three rude trestles,
presenting a wonderfully interesting example of the “table borde”
of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and one which is
extremely rare.

[Illustration: Illus. 232.—Chair Table, Eighteenth Century.]

It will be easily seen how the expression “the festive board”
originated. Presently it became the custom to leave the board upon
its trestles, instead of removing both, and in time the piece was
called a table, which name covered both board and trestles. Some of
the different forms of the table mentioned in inventories are framed
and joined tables, chair tables, long tables, drawing-tables, square,
oval, and round tables. The framed and joined tables refer to the
frame beneath the board. The other tables derive their names from the
shape or construction of the tops. A drawing-table was one made with
extension pieces at each end, supported when out by wooden braces, and
folding back under or over the table top when not in use.

A chair table is shown in Illustration 232. The table top is put back
in the illustration, so that the piece can be pushed against the wall
and used as a chair. Chair tables always had the drawer beneath the
seat. They are inventoried as early as 1644. This chair table belongs
to Dwight Blaney, Esq., of Boston.

[Illustration: Illus. 233.—Oak Table, 1650-1675.]

The framed or joined table had turned legs, with stretchers between,
and a drawer under the table top. Illustration 233 shows an oak table
formerly owned in the Coffin family, and now in the building of the
Newburyport Historical Society. The table is a good example of the
framed or joined table early in the seventeenth century. The legs and
stretchers are of the same style as those upon wainscot chairs, which
belong to the same period as the table.

[Illustration: Illus. 234.—Slate-top Table, 1670-1680.]

Illustration 234 shows a table with slate top, owned by the American
Antiquarian Society of Worcester. The slate top originally filled the
eight-sided space in the centre of the table, but only the middle
section is now left.

[Illustration: Illus. 235.—“Butterfly Table,” about 1700.]

Beside the piece of slate is a paper written by the late John Preston
of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, in 1847, when he gave the table to the
Antiquarian Society, detailing the history of the table from the time
it was given to his ancestor, the Rev. Nehemiah Walter, who graduated
from Harvard University in 1682. The table was used by generation
after generation of ministers and lawyers, whose ink-stains cover
the marquetry border around the top, and whose feet have worn the
stretchers. Slate-top tables are very rare, and there are but few known
to exist. The turned legs and stretchers and the drawer in the table
are features which appear in tables of the same date with wooden tops.
There is one drop handle left upon the drawer, the frame around which
has the early single moulding.

[Illustration: Illus. 236.—“Hundred-legged Table,” 1675-1700.]

Illustration 235 shows a curious little table, several of which have
been found in Connecticut, and which were probably made there.

[Illustration: Illus. 237.—“Hundred-legged Table,” 1680-1700.]

It has the turned legs, with plain stretchers, of the tables in
Illustration 233. The oval top has drop leaves which are held up by
wing-shaped braces, from which comes the modern name for this table, of
“butterfly table.”

[Illustration: Illus. 238.—Gate-legged Table, 1680-1700.]

The table in Illustration 236 is an unusually fine example of what is
now called a “hundred-legged” or “forty-legged” table, evidently from
the bewildering number of legs beneath it, which are wofully in the
way of the legs of the persons seated around it. This table is made of
oak, with twisted legs, and measures four feet by five and a half. The
supporting legs, when not in use, swing around under the middle leaf.
The table is owned by Dwight Blaney, Esq.

Illustration 237 shows a superb walnut dining-table, now in the rooms
of the Albany Historical Society. It measures six and a half feet by
six feet. It belonged to Sir William Johnson and when confiscated in
1776 from that Royalist, it was bought by Hon. John Taylor, whose
descendants loan it to the Society. These tables are also called
“gate-legged,” from the leg which swings under the leaf, like a gate.

Illustration 238 shows a very small, and very rare gate-legged table
with trestle feet upon the middle section, enabling it to stand firmly
with the leaves dropped. It belongs to Dwight M. Prouty, Esq.

[Illustration: Illus. 239.—Spindle-legged Table, 1710-1720.]

Illustration 239 shows a spindle-legged, gate-legged table, a type
exceedingly rare like all spindle-legged furniture. The slender legs
have Dutch feet. This dainty table has descended to Mrs. Edward W.
Rankin of Albany, from Katherine Livingstone, who brought it with
her when she came to Albany in 1764, as the bride of Stephen Van
Rensselaer, the Patroon. It must then have been an inherited piece.

Illustration 240 shows a forty-legged table, such as is not uncommonly
found. It measures four feet in length. The large Sheffield plate tray
on feet was made in the early part of the nineteenth century, when
trays of various sizes upon feet were fashionable. The tea-set upon the
tray is one made about 1835, and is extremely graceful in shape. The
table and silver are owned by the writer.

The little Dutch table in Illustration 241 has the next style of leg
used upon tables, which were made in all sizes, and were presumably
very popular, for such tables are often found. One leg slides around on
each side to support the leaves. This table was made about 1740, and
belongs to Francis H. Bigelow, Esq.

[Illustration: Illus. 240.—“Hundred-legged Table,” 1680-1700.]

The same Dutch leg is seen in Illustration 242 upon a dainty little
mahogany card-table, with slides at each end to hold the candlesticks.
This table belongs to Miss Tilton of Newburyport.

[Illustration: Illus. 241.—Dutch Table, 1720-1740.]

Illustration 243 shows a mahogany table with claw-and-ball feet owned
by the writer. The top measures four feet four inches across, and
its date is about 1750. The double coaster upon wheels, filled with
violets, was made to hold decanters of wine, and one can imagine these
wheels rattling down the mahogany table as the evening grew late and
the decanters empty.

[Illustration: Illus. 242.—Dutch Card-table, 1730-1740.]

As early as 1676 stands are spoken of in inventories, and during the
eighteenth century they were a common article of furniture. The tops
were square, oval, or round, and the base consisted of a pillar with
three spreading feet. Illustration 244 shows the early foot used for
these stands, about 1740. This table is owned by Miss Mary Coates of
Philadelphia, and the silver pieces upon it are heirlooms in her family.

These stands came to be known as “Dutch Tea-Tables,” and the bases
were often elaborately carved. The tops of the handsomest tables were
carved out of a thick piece of wood, so as to leave a rim, to keep the
china from sliding off. This carved rim was in different forms, the
finest being what is now called “pie-crust,” with an ogee scallop. The
plain rim is now known as the “dish-top.” Illustration 245 shows a
pie-crust table owned by Dwight Blaney, Esq.

[Illustration: Illus. 243.—Claw-and-ball-foot Table, about 1750.]

[Illustration: Illus. 244.—Dutch Stand, about 1740.]

Illustration 246 shows a dish-top table belonging to Francis H.
Bigelow, Esq. Both tables have claw-and-ball feet, and they are made,
like all of the Dutch tea-tables, with the top revolving upon the

[Illustration: Illus. 245.—“Pie-crust Table,” 1750.]

When not in use the top could be “tipped,” and the table put back
against the wall; and when the top was to be used, it fastened down
with a snap.

[Illustration: Illus. 246.—“Dish-top Table,” 1750.]

Illustration 247 shows two of the finest type of tea-tables. They are
owned by Harry Harkness Flagler, Esq. One has the pie-crust edge, and
the other a scalloped edge. The pillars of both are reeded, and the
legs are carved. A great difference can be noted between these two
bases, in the sweep of the spreading legs, and in the claw-and-ball
feet, which are especially fine upon the pie-crust table.

The proportion of this table are unusually good, the central pillar
being slender, and the finely carved legs having a spread which gives a
very graceful and light effect.

Illustration 248 shows another fine table and chair owned by Mr.
Flagler. The chair is described upon page 183. The table has an oval
top, carved, not in a regular scallop, but in rococo scrolls. It has a
heavier pillar than the pie-crust table in the last illustration, and
the legs have a smaller spread.

[Illustration: Illus. 247.—Tea-tables. 1750-1760.]

[Illustration: Illus. 248.—Table and Easy Chair, 1760-1770.]

A tripod table with a remarkable top is shown in Illustration 249. It
belongs to J.J. Gilbert, Esq., of Baltimore. The rim is carved and
pierced like the mahogany trays of the time.

[Illustration: Illus. 249.—Tripod Table, 1760-1770.]

Illustration 250 shows a Chinese fretwork table owned by Harry
Harkness Flagler, Esq. Such tables were designed by Ince and Mayhew
and Chippendale, and were called show tables, the pierced gallery
serving to keep small curios on the table from falling off. Both of
these tables were used as tea-tables, the raised rims protecting the
tea-cups, more precious then than now.

Stands were made in different sizes, one being intended for a
“light-stand” to hold the candlestick, and the smallest for a
tea-kettle stand, to accompany the tea-table. Illustration 251 shows
three sizes of stands, all smaller than those illustrated previously,
and giving somewhat the effect of the three bears of the nursery tale.
The middle stand, which has a dish-top, has a base which is exquisitely
carved. The tiny kettle-stand is only eighteen and one-half inches
high. These three stands also belong to Mr. Flagler.

[Illustration: Illus. 250.—Chinese Fretwork Table, 1760-1770.]

Illustration 252 shows a small tea-table belonging to Mrs. C. M. Dyer
of Worcester. A star is inlaid upon the top, the edge of which has a
row of fine inlaying. The base has three fanlike carvings where the
legs join the pillar.

The exquisite Chippendale card-table shown in Illustration 253 is not
only beautiful in itself, but it frames what is a monument to the
industry of the frail young girls who embroidered the top, and to the
good housekeeping of its owners for one hundred and twenty odd years.
The colors in this embroidery are as brilliant as when new, and never
a moth has been suffered to even sniff at its stitches, which are the
smallest I have ever seen. The work is done upon very fine linen, and
each thread is covered with a stitch of embroidery, done with the
slenderest possible strands of crewel, in designs of playing-cards, and
of round and fish-shaped counters, in mother-of-pearl shades, copied
from the original pearl counters, which still lie in the little oval
pools hollowed out for them in the mahogany frame.

[Illustration: Illus. 251—Stands, 1760-1770.]

[Illustration: Illus. 252.—Tea-table, about 1770.]

The fashionable game at that date was quadrille, which was played with
these round and fish-shaped counters.

Dr. William Samuel Johnson, the first president of Columbia University,
had four daughters, all of whom died in early youth, from consumption.
This embroidery was wrought by them, one taking the task as the other
gave it up with her life. The same young girls embroidered the screen
in Illustration 328. Small wonder they died young! Far better the
golf and tennis which would occupy the daughters of a modern college
president, if he were so fortunate as to have four.

[Illustration: Illus. 253.—Chippendale Card-table, about 1765.]

The frame of this table is very beautiful, though it is cast in
the shade by the extraordinary needlework. It is after the finest
Chippendale design, and of the best workmanship. The wood is mahogany,
and the table is owned by Mrs. Johnson-Hudson of Stratford, Connecticut.

[Illustration: Illus. 254.—Chippendale Card-table, about 1765.]

A Chippendale card-table, owned by the writer, is shown in Illustration
254. The mahogany top is shaped in deep curves, with square corners
and is an inch thick to allow the depth of the pools for counters.
The lower edge of the table is gadrooned, and the two front legs are
finely carved. The two back legs, which are stationary, are carved on
the front side only, while the fifth leg, which swings under the leaf
to hold it up, is plain, with simply the claw-and-ball foot.

[Illustration: Illus. 255.—Chippendale Card-table, about 1765.]

Illustration 255 shows another Chippendale table with a baize-covered
top. It has the pools for counters, and the corners of the top are
shaped in square pieces to stand the candlesticks upon.

[Illustration: Illus. 256.—Pembroke Table, 1760-1770.]

The knees of the cabriole legs are finely carved, and the edge of the
front is finished with gadrooning. It will be noticed that there is
a leg at each corner with the table open; in closing, two legs turn
in accordion fashion, and a leg is still at each corner of the closed
table, with the top half the size. This card-table is owned by Harry
Harkness Flagler, Esq., of Millbrook, N. Y.

[Illustration: Illus. 257.—Pembroke Table, 1780-1790.]

[Illustration: Illus. 258.—Lacquer Tea-tables, Eighteenth Century.]

A style of table popular during the eighteenth century was called a
Pembroke table, according to Sheraton, from the name of the lady who
first ordered one, and who probably gave the idea to the workman.
Illustration 256 shows a Pembroke table in the Chippendale style, with
rather unusual stretchers between the legs. The characteristic which
gives a table the name of Pembroke consists in the drop leaves, which
are held up, when the table is open, by brackets which turn under the
top. The shape of the top varies, being square, round, oval, or with
leaves shaped like the table in the illustration. They are always
small, and were designed for breakfast tables. This table belongs to
the Concord Antiquarian Society.

A beautiful Pembroke table owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art is
shown in Illustration 257. It is made of mahogany entirely veneered
with curly sycamore, with a band of tulip wood around the top and
leaves, which are exquisitely inlaid in a circular design, and upon the
legs are lines of holly with an oval inlay at the top.

Illustration 258 shows a set or “nest” of Chinese tea tables owned by
Dwight M. Prouty, Esq. They and the tea caddy case are lacquered in
black with Chinese scenes in gold. These sets of tables were brought by
ships in the Chinese trade, and were fashionable among the tea drinkers
of early times.

From about 1786 the designs of Shearer, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton
entirely superseded the fashions of the fifty years preceding, and the
slender tapering leg took the place of the cabriole leg. Illustration
259 shows a Hepplewhite card-table, of about 1789, with inlaid legs,
one of which swings around to support half of the top, which is
circular when open.

[Illustration: Illus. 259.—Hepplewhite Card-table with Tea-tray,

Upon this table is a mahogany tea tray with handles at each side and
a raised rim with a scalloped edge to keep the cups and saucers from
slipping off. Oval trays of this style are not uncommon, of mahogany
with inlaying, but this tray is shaped to fit the table top. This table
and tray are owned by the Concord Antiquarian Society. The china upon
the tray is Lowestoft, so called.

Illustration 260 shows two typical Hepplewhite card-tables owned by the
writer. They are of mahogany, the square, tapering legs being inlaid
with a fine line of holly. The front of one table has an oval inlay of
lighter mahogany, and small oval pieces above each leg.

[Illustration: Illus. 260.—Hepplewhite Card-tables, 1785-1795.]

The edge of this table is inlaid with lines of holly. The front of the
other table is veneered with curly maple, and has a panel in the centre
inlaid with an urn in colored woods.

[Illustration: Illus. 261.—Sheraton Card-table, 1800.]

There is a row of fine inlaying in holly and ebony upon the edge of the
top. This table was rescued by the writer from an ignominious existence
in a kitchen, where it was covered with oilcloth and used for kitchen
purposes. The leaf of each of these tables is supported by one of the
legs, which swings around.

[Illustration: Illus. 262.—Sheraton Card-table, 1800-1810.]

[Illustration: Illus. 263.—Sheraton “What-not,” 1800-1810.]

Illustration 261 shows a Sheraton card-table of the best style, with
reeded legs and the front veneered in satinwood. It is owned by Irving
Bigelow, Esq., of Worcester.

The Sheraton card-table in Illustration 262 is of a few years later
date than the one in Illustration 261, with slightly heavier legs,
reeded and carved. The curves of the front of the table are extremely
graceful. It belongs to Dwight Blaney, Esq.

Illustration 263 shows a Sheraton stand, called a “what-not,” made of
mahogany, with reeded legs. The posts above the legs are veneered in
bird’s-eye maple, and the two drawers are veneered in satinwood. The
handles are of bone or ivory. The effect of this little stand is most
airy and light. It belongs to Mr. Blaney.

Illustration 264 shows a mahogany dining-table and one of eight chairs
which came from the John Hancock house in Boston.

[Illustration: Illus. 264.—Sheraton Dining-table and Chair, about

They are now owned by Clinton M. Dyer, Esq., of Worcester. They were
made probably about 1810. The legs of the table end in the Adam foot.

[Illustration: Illus. 265.—Sheraton Work-table, about 1800.]

The table which has both leaves dropped shows the position of the
legs when the table is not in use; each leg swings around to support
the leaves when in use. The table with slightly rounded corners can
be taken apart, and the extra table put between the two sections,
the leaves being fastened together by a curious brass spring. Each
leaf measures five and one-half feet in length. The drop leaves are
twenty-six inches wide, and the table, when all the top is spread out,
measures five and a half by twelve feet.

The chair is made after the style of the late Sheraton chairs, with
carved drapery upon the back.

[Illustration: Illus. 266.—Sheraton Work-table 1810-1815.]

Illustration 265 shows a circular work-table of very graceful design.
The wood is mahogany, and the little feet are of bronze. There are
three drawers, the two upper ones opening with a spring and revolving
upon a pivot. In these little drawers may still be seen the beads
remaining from the time, about 1800, when it was fashionable for young
ladies to make bead bags. The table top has an opening in the centre,
which originally had a wooden cover, and the space below the top was
utilized to hold the work. At the back of the top are two short turned
posts supporting a little shelf, to hold a candlestick, or to have
fastened upon its edge the silver bird which was used by needlewomen of
those days to hold one end of the work. This little table is owned by
the Misses Hosmer of Concord.

[Illustration: Illus. 267.—Maple and Mahogany Work-tables, 1810-1820.]

Illustration 266 shows a Sheraton work-table, owned by Mrs. Samuel B.
Woodward of Worcester. The carving at the top of the reeded legs is
very fine, and the little table is quite dainty enough to serve the
purpose for which it was bought,—a wedding gift to a bride.

[Illustration: Illus. 268.—Work-table, 1810.]

The brass fixtures for the casters are unusually good, but the handles
are not original. The top drawer contains a sort of writing desk,
besides compartments for sewing materials, and at the side of the table
a slide pulls out, which had originally a silk bag attached, to hang
below the table.

[Illustration: Illus. 269.—Work-table, 1810.]

Illustration 267 shows two work-tables of mahogany and bird’s-eye maple
belonging to Francis H. Bigelow, Esq. Similar tables were common about

Illustrations 268 and 269 show two work-tables owned by Dwight M.
Prouty, Esq. The legs and frame of the upper table are of mahogany, the
box being made of pine and covered with pleated silk. The lower table
is more elegant in shape, with a slide, the front of which simulates a
drawer, and to this is attached the work bag or box, in this table made
of wood, silk-covered, but sometimes made of silk alone.

Illustration 270 shows a Hepplewhite dining table, the drop leaf
serving to increase the length of the table, when raised and held up by
the extra leg, which swings under it. Up to 1800 the dining-table had
been made in various styles, in all of which the table legs were more
or less in the way of those around the table. In the “hundred-legged”
table there seemed to be a table leg for each person. Then came
the cabriole leg, also in the way, and finally the Hepplewhite
dining-table, which was made in sections, with rounded ends, and four
legs on each end.

[Illustration: Illus. 270.—Hepplewhite Dining-table, 1790.]

About 1800 the pillar-and-claw table was invented, which made it
possible for several persons to sit around a dining-table without a
part of the guests encircling the table legs with their own. These
tables were made in pairs or in threes, one after another being added
as more room was required.

[Illustration: Illus. 271.—Pillar-and-claw Dining-table, 1800.]

Illustration 271 shows a pillar-and-claw extension dining-table, of
mahogany, owned by L. J. Shapiro, Esq. of Norfolk, Virginia. The
telescope extension (the same method in use at present) was invented by
Richard Gillow, of London, about 1800. The end tables pull apart upon a
slide, and extra leaves may be inserted between the ends, held in place
by wooden pins.

The pillar and claw design was most popular and was used for
centre tables, bases of piano stools, and even for piano legs (see
Illustration 292). A pillar-and-claw mahogany centre table with drop
leaves is shown in Illustration 272. The feet are lion’s claws, and
from this date the lion’s or bear’s claw foot was used for furniture
with carved feet, instead of the bird’s claw-and-ball which had been so
largely used during the previous century.

[Illustration: Illus. 272.—Pillar-and-claw Dining-table, about 1800.]

A splendid dining-table of mahogany is shown in Illustration 273. It is
in three sections, each with a base. The legs have a bold spread, and
are simply carved in grooves, ending in lion’s claws. This fine table
is owned by Barton Myers, Esq., of Norfolk, Virginia.

Illustration 274 shows a mahogany dining-table now in the Worcester
Art Museum, inherited from the late Stephen Salisbury, Esq.

[Illustration: Illus. 273.—Extension Dining-table, 1810.]

[Illustration: Illus. 274.—Accordion Extension Table, 1820.]

The method of extension is after that of an accordion, and necessitates
an astonishing number of legs when not extended, ten in all.

[Illustration: Illus. 275.—Card-table, 1805-1810.]

When the leaves are all in use the table is fourteen feet long, and
stands very firmly, the leaves being held together by a brass clamp,
seen in the illustration.

[Illustration: Illus. 276.—Phyfe Card-table, 1810-1820.]

A very fine card table owned by Mrs. Clarence R. Hyde of Brooklyn is
shown in Illustration 275. It is made of mahogany, with a band of
satinwood around the box top. When open, the whole top revolves upon a
pivot. The legs are slender and well carved, with lion’s feet.

One of the finest of American cabinet-makers was Duncan Phyfe, whose
address in the New York directory of 1802 is 35 Partition Street (now
Fulton Street). He pursued his business until 1850, employing one
hundred workmen. Much of his furniture still exists, notably chairs
with lyre backs.

A Phyfe card-table owned by Miss H. P. F. Burnside of Worcester is
shown in Illustration 276. The strings of the lyre are of brass, like
the lion’s feet in which the legs end.

[Illustration: Illus. 277.—Phyfe Card-table, 1810-1820.]

A specialty of Phyfe’s was a card-table, one of which is shown in
Illustration 277. In the illustration the table apparently lacks a
fourth leg, as it stands against the wall. But when the top is open,
by an interesting mechanism the three legs spread and a brace comes
out to support the other half of the top, so that it forms a perfectly
proportioned table.

Mr. Hagen of New York has an old bill, dated 1816, for two of these
tables at sixty dollars apiece. The table in the illustration is owned
by Dwight Blaney, Esq.

[Illustration: Illus. 278.—Phyfe Sofa Table, 1810.]

A Phyfe sofa table is shown in Illustration 278, from the Metropolitan
Museum of Art. It is very narrow, and was designed, as the name
implies, to stand beside a sofa, to hold books, papers, or other

[Illustration: Illus. 279.—Pier-table, 1820-1830.]

[Illustration: Illus. 280.—Work-table, 1810-1820.]

The legs end in small lion’s feet and are carved, like the posts, with
the typical Phyfe leaf. This leaf, so much used by Phyfe, is seen, like
the lyre, upon Adam pieces, and apparently the Scotchman, Duncan Phyfe,
took the Scotchman, Robert Adam, for his model. The fashion of heavy
furniture elaborately carved was more popular in the South than in the
North, and the most ornate pieces are found in the South, of later
date than the rich carving done in Philadelphia, upon pie-crust tables
and high-boys. Heavy posts carved with the acanthus and pineapple and
other Empire features found favor.

It is probable that during the first quarter of the nineteenth century
the wealthy Southern planters refurnished their homes in the prevailing
Empire style. The pier-table in Illustration 279 is one of a pair found
in Virginia, which were made about 1830. The chief motif in the design
seems to be dolphins’ heads, which form the feet, and the base of the
front supports to the top.

Illustration 280 shows a small work-table of curious shape, with the
octagon-shaped interior divided into little boxes for sewing-materials.
The middle compartment extends down into the eight-sided pillar. The
work-boxes are covered by the top of the table, which lifts upon
hinges. This table belongs to Mrs. E. A. Morse of Worcester.




SPINETS, virginals, and harpsichords were brought to the American
colonies in English ships as early as 1645, when “An old pair of
virginalls” appears in an inventory; and another, in 1654. In 1667 a
pair of virginals is valued at two pounds. In his diary of 1699 Judge
Samuel Sewall alludes to his wife’s virginals. In 1712 the Boston _News
Letter_ contained an advertisement that “the spinet would be taught,”
and in 1716 the public were requested to “Note, that any Persons may
have all Instruments of Music mended, or Virginals or Spinets strung
& tun’d, at a Reasonable Rate, and likewise may be taught to play on
any of the Instruments above mentioned.” From the wording of this
advertisement it is evident that these instruments were no novelty.

I have not been able to learn of an existing virginal which was in use
in this country, but occasionally a spinet is found. The expression a
“pair” or “set” of virginals was used in the same manner as a “pair” or
“set” of steps or stairs, and in England an oblong spinet was called
a virginal, in distinction from the spinet of triangular shape, which
superseded the rectangular, oblong form in which the earliest spinets
were made. Both virginal and spinet had but one string to a key, and
the tone of both was produced by a sort of plectrum which picked the
string. This plectrum usually consisted of a crow quill, set in an
upright piece of wood, called a “jack,” which was fastened to the
back of the key. The depressing of the key by the finger caused the
quill to rise, and as it passed the string, the vibration produced the
musical tone, which is described by Dr. Burney as “A scratch with a
sound at the end of it.” The name of the spinet is by some supposed
to be derived from these quills,—from _spina_, a thorn. According to
other authorities the name came from a maker of the instrument, named
Spinetti. The virginal was so called because young maids were wont to
play upon it, among them that perennial young girl, Queen Elizabeth.
The most famous makers of spinets in England were Charles Haward or
Haywood, Thomas and John Hitchcock, and Stephen Keene. In Pepys’s diary
are the following entries:—

 “April 4, 1668. Called upon one Haward that makes virginalls, and
 there did like of a little espinette and will have him finish it for
 me; for I had a mind to a small harpsichon, but this takes up less

 “July 15, 1668. At noon is brought home the espinette I bought the
 other day of Haward; cost me 5£.”

Illustration 281 shows a spinet in the Deerfield Museum, which formerly
belonged to Miss Sukey Barker of Hingham, who must have been a much
envied damsel. It is marked Stephanus Keene, which places the date
of its make about 1690. The body of the spinet stands twenty-four
inches from the floor. Its extreme length is fifty-six inches, and the
keyboard of four and one-half octaves measures twenty-nine inches.
There are but six keys left, but they are enough to show that the
naturals were black and the sharps white. There is a row of fine
inlaying above the keyboard, and the maker’s name is surrounded with
painted flowers.

[Illustration: Illus. 281.—Stephen Keene Spinet, about 1690.]

The spinet, as may be seen, was a tiny instrument, in shape similar to
our modern grand piano. The body of the spinet was entirely separate
from the stand, which was made with stretchers between the legs, of
which there were three and sometimes four, so placed that one leg
came under the narrow back end of the spinet, one under the right end
of the front, and one or sometimes two at the left of the front. The
instrument rested upon this table or trestle.

The name upon the majority of spinets found in this country is that
of Thomas Hitchcock. His spinets are numbered and occasionally dated.
There is a Thomas Hitchcock spinet owned by the Concord Antiquarian
Society, numbered 1455, and one owned in Worcester, numbered 1519.

Illustration 282 shows a spinet which was owned by Elizabeth Hunt
Wendell of Boston. It was probably an old instrument when she took
it with her from Boston to Portland in 1766 upon her marriage to the
Rev. Thomas Smith, known as Parson Smith of Portland. It is now owned
by her great-great-grandaughter in Gorham, Maine. The board above
the keys has two lines of inlaying around it, and is marked “Thomas
Hitchcock Londoni fecit, 1390.” The front of the white keys is cut with
curved lines, and the black keys have a line of white ivory down the
centre. The parrot-back chair in the illustration is described upon
page 168. Authorities seem to vary upon dates when the Hitchcocks made
spinets. Mr. A. J. Hipkins of London, the well-known authority upon
pianos, harpsichords, and spinets, writes me that he dates the Thomas
Hitchcock spinets from 1664 to 1703, and those of John Hitchcock, the
son of Thomas, from 1676 to about 1715. Mr. Hipkins says that the
highest number he has met with upon Thomas Hitchcock’s spinets is 1547,
so it is safe to date this spinet in Illustration 282, which numbers
1390, to about 1690.

[Illustration: Illus. 282.—Thomas Hitchcock Spinet, about 1690.]

By the latter half of the eighteenth century proficiency upon various
musical instruments was not uncommon. John Adams in 1771 speaks of a
young man of twenty-six, as “a great proficient in music, plays upon
the flute, fife, harpsichord, spinet, etc.; a very fine Connecticut
young gentleman.”

[Illustration: Illus. 283.—Broadwood Harpsichord, 1789.]

In 1768 in the _Boston Chronicle_ appears the advertisement of John
Harris, recently from England, “that he makes and sells all sorts of
Harpsichords and Spinets,” and in 1769 the _Boston Gazette_ says, “A
few days since was shipped for Newport a very curious Spinet, being
the first one ever made in America, the performance of the ingenious
Mr. John Harris.” In 1770 the same paper praises an excellent “spinet”
made by a Bostonian, “which for goodness of workmanship and harmony of
sound is esteemed by the best judges to be superior to any that has
been imported from Europe.” This would seem to indicate that a tone
of superiority in musical matters was assumed by Boston at an early
date. The statement with regard to the first spinet made in America is
incorrect, for over twenty years earlier, in 1742, Hasselinck had made
spinets in Philadelphia.

In the Essex Institute of Salem is a spinet made by Samuel Blythe of
Salem, the bill for which, dated 1786, amounts to eighteen pounds.

The harpsichord, so named from its shape, was the most important of
the group of contemporary instruments, the virginal, spinet, and
harpsichord, the tone of which was produced with the quill and jack.
The harpsichord had two strings to each key, and the instrument
occupied the relative position that the grand piano does to-day, being
much larger and having more tone than the spinet. Like the spinet,
its manufacture ceased with the eighteenth century. Illustration 283
shows a harpsichord formerly owned by Charles Carroll, who was so
eager to identify himself as a patriot, that he signed his name to
the Declaration of Independence as Charles Carroll of Carrollton. This
harpsichord was discovered twenty-five years ago in the loft of an old
college building in Annapolis, where it had lain for fifty years. The
Carroll coat of arms, painted upon porcelain and framed in gold, is
fastened above the keyboard. The inscription upon this instrument is
“Burkat Shudi et Johannes Broadwood, patent No. 955 Londini, Fecerant
1789, Great Poulteney Street, Golden Square.”

There are two banks of keys, with a range of five octaves, and three
stops, which were intended to change the tone, two of them being marked
harp and lute. The case is quite plain, of mahogany, with a few lines
of inlaying above the keyboard and a line around the body and top. It
is owned by William Knabe & Co. of Baltimore, and is one of fourteen
Broadwood harpsichords known to exist.

That the harpsichord was not an uncommon instrument in this country
during the latter half of the eighteenth century is shown by the number
of advertisements of the harpsichord and its teachers.

Illustration 284 shows a clavichord or clavier, made about 1745. It is
owned by Mr. John Orth of Boston. The clavichord, like its successor,
the square piano, was of oblong shape. The musical tone was produced in
a different manner from that of either the spinet or piano. Each key
had at the back an upright “tangent” or wedge-shaped piece of brass,
which, as the front of the key was depressed, rose and set the string
of twisted brass wire in vibration, by pressing upon it, instead of
picking it like the quill of the spinet and harpsichord. This pressure
divided the string into two different lengths, the shorter length
being prevented from vibrating by a band of cloth interlaced with the
strings. The same interlaced cloth stopped the vibration of the longer
division of the string, as soon as the pressure was taken from the
key, thus allowing the tangent to fall. In the earlier clavichords one
string had to serve to produce the tone for two or three different keys.

[Illustration: Illus. 284.—Clavichord, 1745.]

These instruments were called “gebunden,” or fretted. Later instruments
are “bund frei” or free, having a string for each key. The clavichord
player could feel the elasticity of the wire string, and could produce
a sort of vibration of tone by employing the same method as that used
in playing the violin, a pressure and vibration of the fleshy end
of the finger while the note was held. The tone of the clavichord
was very delicate, and it afforded far more power of expression than
the spinet or harpsichord, which, however, were more brilliant, and
entirely superseded the weaker clavichord in England. In Germany
the clavichord has always been a favorite instrument even into the
nineteenth century. It is probable that but few clavichords came to
this country.

The _piano e forte_—soft and loud—was invented about 1720. The
strings of the piano are struck by hammers instead of being picked
by quills, and the force of the hammer strokes made a stronger frame
necessary than that of the spinet or harpsichord, in order to hold the
heavier strings.

Brissot de Warville wrote in 1788 that in Boston “one sometimes hears
the forte piano, though the art is in its infancy.” He then soulfully
bursts forth, “God grant that the Bostonian women may never, like those
of France, acquire the malady of perfection in this art. It is never
attained but at the expense of the domestic virtues.” According to this
the domestic virtues must be a scarce quality in Boston at the present

In 1792 Messrs. Dodd & Claus, musical instrument manufacturers, 66
Queen Street, New York, announced that “the forte piano is become so
fashionable in Europe that few polite families are without it.” As this
country kept pace with Europe in the fashions, we can assume that the
forte piano formed at the close of the eighteenth century a part of the
furniture of the polite families of the United States.

The date of a piano can be approximately determined by its legs. The
earliest pianos had four slender legs similar to the legs of the spinet
or harpsichord. The next instruments had six legs, increased in size
and fluted or carved. Then the number was reduced to four, and the legs
were still larger, and more elaborately carved, until 1840 the ugly
legs found commonly upon the square piano were the only styles employed.

[Illustration: Illus. 285.—Clementi Piano, 1805.]

Illustration 285 is a fine example of an early pianoforte. Like the
spinet and clavichord, the body of the instrument is separate from
the lower frame, which is fastened together at the corners with
large screws like a bedstead. This may have been for convenience in
transportation, and it is possible that while the top containing the
works was imported, the supporting frame may have been made in this
country. There are four slender inlaid legs, and one pedal, and under
the body of the piano runs a most convenient shelf for music. The case
is of mahogany, with rows of fine inlaying in colors, having two rows
of different width around the top of the lid. The board above the keys
is of satinwood, and it has, beside the delicate frets at each side,
charmingly painted garlands of sweet peas, a flower very popular in
England at that time, about 1805. The name plate has the inscription
“Muzio Clementi & Co., Cheapside, London,” and the number of the piano
is 3653. It measures sixty-seven inches in length, and has a compass
of five and one-half octaves. There is a line of inlaying around the
inside of this piano, which is finished carefully in every detail. The
music-rack is of simple form like the rack in Illustration 286. The
music may also rest, as in the illustration, upon the edge of the lid,
when put back. This piano is owned by the writer, who bought it in
Falmouth, Massachusetts. It was said to be the first piano brought into
Falmouth, or upon the “Cape,” and in looking at this dainty instrument,
which had never left the room in which it found its home, a hundred
years ago, one can imagine the wonder and envy of the little seaport
village when a whaling captain, after a successful voyage, gave the
piano to his daughter. Nothing could sound more quaint than a Gluck or
Mozart minuet played upon its tinkling keys.

The founder of the Astor family about 1790 to 1800 made one branch of
his business the importing of pianos, which were labelled with his
name and which are quite commonly met with. Illustration 286 shows an
Astor piano owned by Mrs. Sanford Tappan of Newburyport. The style of
this piano is similar to that of the “Clementi” in Illustration 285,
but it lacks the delicate ornamentation of the Clementi piano. In the
_Columbian Centinel_ of 1806 is an advertisement with a woodcut of an
instrument very like this.

[Illustration: Illus. 286.—Astor Piano, 1790-1800.]

There is an Astor piano in Salem, described as having four legs in the
front, indicating that it was made as late as 1815. It had two pedals,
one being used to prolong the tones. The other pedal served to produce
a novel and taking effect, by lifting a section of the top of the piano
lid, which was then allowed to fall suddenly, the slamming serving
to imitate the firing of cannon. The young lady who owned the piano
created a great sensation by playing battle pieces with this startling

[Illustration: Illus. 287.—Clementi Piano, about 1820.]

Illustration 287 shows the change in the legs, this piano having six
legs, which are considerably larger. The piano was made by Clementi,
and is numbered 10522. It is of light mahogany, and has a row of dark
mahogany veneer around its frame. The feet and tops of the six legs
are of brass, like the handles to the three drawers, and a brass
moulding goes around the frame. The piano stool, also of mahogany, is
of a somewhat later date. This piano and stool are owned by W. S. G.
Kennedy, Esq., of Worcester. This style of piano was in use from 1820
to 1830.

[Illustration: Illus. 288.—Combination Piano, Desk, and Toilet-table,
about 1800.]

Illustration 288 shows one of the curious combinations which the
cabinet-makers of about 1800 seemed to be so fond of designing. Their
books have complicated drawings of tables and desks with mechanical
devices for transforming the simple-looking piece of furniture into
one full of compartments, drawers, and boxes, with contrivances which
allow surprising combinations to spring out. Sheraton, who was a shrewd
observer, said, “A fancifulness seems most peculiar to the taste of
females”; and this piece of furniture was made, apparently, to appeal
to that “fancifulness.”

[Illustration: Illus. 289—Piano, about 1830.]

Between the works of the piano and the cover is a tray divided
into compartments to hold toilet and writing utensils, ink-bottle,
sand-sifter, stationery, pins, and sewing-implements, and over the
keyboard rests a long tray for similar articles. These trays can be
removed when the piano is to be used. There is a front panel which lets
down, forming a writing-table, and a mirror is set in the face of the
rest that supports the lid when raised.

[Illustration: Illus. 290.—Peter Erben Piano, 1826-1827.]

Thus the lady for whom all this was designed, after using it as a
dressing-table, could play the piano and look at her own pretty
face in the mirror while she played and sang. This combination of
piano, dressing-table, and writing-desk is owned by the Rev. James H.
Darlington, D.D., of Brooklyn, New York.

In 1829 the manufacture of pianofortes had increased so that during
that year twenty-five hundred pianos were made in the United States,
chiefly in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston.

The piano in Illustration 289 belongs to Mrs. Ada Grisier of Auburn,
Indiana, and is an unusually fine specimen of the six-legged piano
fashionable about 1830. The case is of mahogany and is inlaid with
lines of brass, while around the body run two rows, of different width,
of brass moulding. The legs are large, and elaborately carved, and are
set in brass standards. On each corner of the frame is a design in
gilt. There is one wooden pedal, and the range of the piano is five and
one-half octaves. The name of the maker has been obliterated.

The piano in Illustration 290 is owned by Mrs. Louis M. Priest of
Salem, New York. The body is of rosewood inlaid with brass, the lid
being of mahogany, like the elaborately carved trestle-shaped supports.
It has two drawers for holding music, and one pedal, the standard for
which is a carved lyre with a mirror behind its strings. The keyboard
has a range of six octaves. The name upon the front is Peter Erben,
103 Pump St., New York. Peter Erben was a music-teacher whose address
from 1826 to 1827 was 103 Pump Street, which determines the date of
this piano. The writer knows of four pianos with the carved mahogany
trestle-supports, all with the name of Peter Erben as maker, though
it is probable that, like modern pianos, the works were bought, and
whoever wished might have his name upon the name-plate, since Peter
Erben is in the New York directories for thirty years as “Musick
teacher” or “Professor of musick” only.

[Illustration: Illus. 291.—Piano-stool, 1820-1830.]

The piano-stool in Illustration 291 was made to use with the piano in
Illustration 290. The wide spread to the three feet gives the effect
of a table base, but there is no doubt that this was made originally
to use for a piano-stool. The little weather-beaten house, in which
the piano and stool had always stood, possesses a ghost story of a
young girl who was starved to death by her miser brother, and who was
said to haunt the house. This piano and stool give the impression of
the reverse of a miser, and the poor ghost must have been before their
day. The stool is now owned by the writer, but is neither practical nor
comfortable, the feet being much in the way.

Illustration 292 shows a piano of most elaborate design, made about
1826. There is no maker’s name upon the piano. The frame is of mahogany
and has a brass moulding around the body, and brass rosette handles to
the drawers. Around each square carved panel upon the front legs is a
brass beading, and the lions’ claws on the front legs and the sockets
upon the back legs are of brass.

[Illustration: Illus. 292.—Piano, 1826.]

The front legs are elaborately carved like table bases, and the three
pedals have a support that is a cross between a lyre and a wreath. The
keyboard has six octaves, and the music-rack is very simple.

Illustration 293 shows two piano-stools made between 1825 and 1830. The
stool with four fluted legs was sold with a piano made by Wood, Small,
& Co., of London, which has six legs fluted in the same manner. The
other stool has a base like the claw-and-pillar table, and the sides of
the seat are carved dolphins, whose tails turn up and support a carved
rail to form a low back for the seat. This stool belongs to the writer.

[Illustration: Illus. 293.—Piano-stools, 1825-1830.]

The “table piano” in Illustration 294 is marked as being made by John
Charters, Xenia, Ohio, which alone would attract attention, aside
from the curious construction of the base, which places the date of
the piano about 1835. The pedals are quite concealed as one stands by
this piano, and the whole design is clumsy and poor. The music-rack
seems to have remained unchanged for many years, and from the earliest
piano shown, made in 1800, until the large square piano of 1840, the
music-rack is the same, simply constructed of four pieces of wood which
are put together with pivots, so that by pushing one end of the top
piece they all slide and fold down together, in order that the piano
may be closed.

[Illustration: Illus. 294.—Table Piano, about 1835.]

Illustration 295 shows a Chickering piano made in 1833, of a design
entirely different from the other pianos shown, and of great elegance
and richness. The mahogany case is inlaid with the heavy bands of plain
brass, and the legs are pillars with Ionic capitals. The music-rack is
of the same simple form as the one upon the preceding piano, and the
one pedal is fastened into a lyre-shaped support.

[Illustration: Illus. 295.—Chickering Piano, 1833.]

Illustration 296 shows a music-stand made about 1835, owned by Mrs.
John D. Wing, of Millbrook, New York. The rest for the music is of the
favorite lyre shape, which seems especially adapted to this purpose.
The stand is of mahogany and is very pretty and graceful.

Illustration 297 shows a music-stand owned by Dwight Blaney, Esq., of
Boston. It is of mahogany, and its date is about 1835. The upper part
with the music-rest can be lowered or raised, and is held in place
by pins thrust through the small holes in the supports. The stand is
somewhat heavy in effect, but very firm and secure.

[Illustration: Illus. 296.—Music-stand, about 1835.]

[Illustration: Illus. 297.—Music-stand, about 1835.]

Illustration 298 shows a dulcimer which is in the Deerfield Museum.
It has an extremely plain case, and must have been, when new, an
inexpensive instrument. The dulcimer of early times was a small,
triangular-shaped instrument, to be laid upon a table. Above the
sounding-board were stretched wire strings, which were struck with
small hammers held in the hand, and doubtless the piano was first
suggested by the dulcimer and its hammers.

[Illustration: Illus. 298.—Dulcimer, 1820-1830.]

The heads of the hammers were covered with hard and soft leather to
give a loud or soft tone. The instrument in the illustration was
probably made from 1820 to 1830, during which time the dulcimer was
quite popular, especially in the country, where the piano was too
costly a luxury.

[Illustration: Illus. 299.—Harmonica, or Musical Glasses, about 1820.]

Music-books were published for the dulcimer, and it retained some
popularity in country villages until ousted by the melodeon.

Illustration 299 shows a set of musical glasses called a harmonica.
The fine ladies in “The Vicar of Wakefield” would talk of nothing but
“pictures, taste, Shakespeare, and the musical glasses.” This was in
1761, and the musical glasses were fashionable before that, for Gluck
in 1746 played “a concerto on twenty-six drinking glasses, tuned with
spring water.” Franklin invented an instrument for the musical glasses,
which he called the Armonica, for which famous composers wrote music,
and in which the glasses were arranged upon a rod which turned with a
crank, while below was a trough of water which moistened the glasses as
they dipped into it.

[Illustration: Illus. 300.—Music-stand, 1805.]

There is a Franklin Armonica in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the
Brown collection. In Watson’s “Annals” is a description of a visit to
Franklin in Paris. It says: “He conducted me across the room to an
instrument of his own invention which he called the ‘Armonica.’ The
music was produced by a peculiar combination of hemispherical glasses.
He played upon it and performed some Scotch pastorales with great
effect. The exhibition was truly striking.”

The box in Illustration 299 holds twenty-four glasses, which, when
used, are filled with water, and are tuned by the amount in each
glass. The finger is dipped in the water and rubbed on the edge of
the glass, producing a sound of penetrating tone. The stand and box
in this illustration are of mahogany, and make an ornamental piece of

A stand for music is shown in Illustration 300, owned by J. J. Gilbert,
Esq., of Baltimore. It is elegant in design and possesses also the very
desirable merit in a rest for music, of standing firmly upon its four
lion’s claw feet, with the heavy turned and reeded post to support the
top and the lyre-shaped music rack.

[Illustration: Illus. 301.—Music-stand, 1800-1820.]

The mahogany case for music books in Illustration 301 is owned by
Dwight M. Prouty, Esq. It has a drawer for sheet music and a shelf
below, beside the five compartments for books, with the lyre-shaped
divisions of solid wood, and the ends open, with lyre strings of wood.

[Illustration: Illus. 302.—Harp-shaped Piano, about 1800.]

Illustration 302 shows a harp-shaped piano, made by André Stein,
d’Augsburg. It is owned by B. J. Lang, Esq., of Boston, and was made
about 1800. Pianos of this style are occasionally found in this
country. The shape of the top shows how the strings run, the effect
being similar to a grand piano stood upon its end. The silk draperies
are the original ones, and are faded from red to a soft dead leaf
color, which is most artistic and harmonious. The six pedals are
supposed to produce different effects to correspond with the following
names: fagotti, piano, forte, pianissimo, triangle, cinelle.

The upright piano, known then as a cottage piano, was invented in 1800.
Illustration 303 shows a small upright piano said to have belonged to
Lady Morgan, the “wild Irish girl.” The case is an exquisite example
of the work of an English cabinet-maker, from 1800 to 1810, and may
have been that of Sheraton himself. The lower panels are of satinwood,
with the frame and the oval piece in the centre of mahogany, outlined
with ebony and white holly.

[Illustration: Illus. 303.—Cottage Piano, or Upright, about 1800-1810.]

[Illustration: Illus. 304.—Chickering Upright Piano, 1830.]

The upper middle panel is filled with a sunburst made of pleated silk.
The side-panels are of satinwood, framed in bird’s-eye maple, outlined
with mahogany, and the ovals in the centres are of mahogany, with
fine lines of ebony and white holly. Altogether, it is as dainty an
instrument as any lady could wish for her boudoir.

Illustration 304 shows a Chickering upright piano made in 1830. The
frame is of mahogany, and the front of the upper part is filled with
a sunburst made of pleated silk, from which this style of piano was
sometimes called a sunburst piano.

A very beautiful and ornamental piano is shown in Illustration 305,
owned by James H. Darlington, D.D., of Brooklyn, New York. The body of
the piano is made of rosewood. The strings are arranged like those in
a grand piano, but the sounding-board extends only the distance of the
piano body; above that the strings are exposed like those of a harp.
The wooden frame upon which the wires are strung is supported by a
post of wood elaborately carved and gilded. The keyboard has a range
of seven octaves. Upon the inside of the cover is the inscription “New
York Piano Company—Kohn patent.”

[Illustration: Illus. 305.—Piano, about 1840.]

The story is that a piano-maker in New York vowed he would make the
most beautiful piano in the world. One like this was the result, and
it was bought by A. T. Stewart, at that time, about 1840, the merchant
prince of New York. Six others were made like the original piano, and
they are scattered over the country, one being in the Brown collection
of musical instruments in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

[Illustration: Illus. 306.—Hawkey Square Piano, about 1845.]

Illustration 306 shows the form in which the square piano was finally
made, and which, with few variations, continued fashionable until the
introduction of the present style of upright pianos, since when there
have been practically no square pianos manufactured. This piano was
made by Henry Hawkey of New York, about 1845, and it is noteworthy
because the keys are made of mother-of-pearl, and the scrolls above
the keyboard are inlaid in mother-of-pearl. The case is covered with
rosewood veneering, and the legs are large and clumsy. The music-rack
and pedal support are similar in style to those now in use.

[Illustration: Illus. 307.—Harp, 1780-1790.]

Proficiency upon the piano and spinet would appear to have comprised
the chief accomplishments in instrumental music of the young ladies of
the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as far as we can judge
by mention of such accomplishments. But it seems reasonable to suppose
that where a few English ladies employed their fair hands upon the
harp, there were not lacking a similar number of Americans who also
appreciated the opportunity which that classic instrument affords of
displaying the grace and beauty of a rounded arm and wrist. Even in
our own day, the list of those who play the harp is restricted, and it
must have been the same in early days, hence the lack of allusions to
the harp. When Lady Morgan, the “wild Irish girl,” was creating such a
sensation in London with her harp-playing, it is certain that she had
imitators in this country.

Christopher Columbus Baldwin, in his diary of 1832, speaks of Madam
Papanti, who at that time lived in Worcester with her husband, the
famous dancing-teacher. She gave music lessons, possibly upon the harp,
for Mr. Baldwin tells of her playing that instrument upon Sundays
at Dr. Bancroft’s church, while her husband played the French horn,
“which, with two flutes, a base viol, and violin, make very good

Illustration 307 shows a very beautiful harp made previous to 1800,
belonging to Mrs. Reed Lawton of Worcester. In construction it is not
very different from the modern harp, although considerably smaller.
It is exquisitely carved, and instead of being gilded is painted in
colors, and finished with a varnish like the vernis martin, the general
effect being a golden brown. The harp which Marie Antoinette played
upon is still preserved, and is very like this one.




WHEN wood was plentiful and easily gathered, the fireplace was built of
generous proportions. At the back, lying in the ashes, was the backlog,
sometimes so huge that a chain was attached to it, and it was dragged
in by a horse. The forestick rested upon the andirons, and small sticks
filled the space between backlog and forestick. In the wall beside the
fireplace was built the brick oven, in which the baking was done. Upon
baking day a wood fire was made inside this oven, and when the oven
was thoroughly heated, the coals were removed, and the bread placed
upon the oven bottom to bake leisurely. The tin kitchen was set before
the fire, and pies and bread upon its shelves were cooked by the heat
reflected and radiated from the tin hood.

Illustration 308 shows a great kitchen fireplace in the Lee mansion
in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with the tin kitchens in front of the
fire, and the kettles and pots hanging over it, and the various kitchen
utensils around it.

Fire-dogs or andirons are mentioned in the earliest inventories.

The name “fire-dogs” came from the heads of animals with which the
irons were ornamented. “Andirons” is a word corrupted from “hand
irons,” although some inventories speak of end-irons. Kitchen andirons
were of iron similar to the ones in Illustration 316, but for the other
fireplaces they were made of steel, copper, or brass, and in England
even of silver.

[Illustration: Illus. 308.—Kitchen Fireplace in Lee Mansion, 1760.]

[Illustration: Illus. 309.—Andirons, Eighteenth Century.]

Illustration 309 shows a pair of andirons, with shovel and tongs, owned
by Francis H. Bigelow, Esq. The andirons are “rights and lefts,” and
have the brass knobs to prevent the forestick from falling forward.
Illustration 310 shows another pair belonging to Mr. Bigelow, with
claw-and-ball feet and the twisted flame top. These are given as good
examples of the best styles of andirons in use in well-to-do households
in America during the seventeenth century.

[Illustration: Illus. 310.—Andirons, Eighteenth Century.]

[Illustration: Illus. 311.—“Hessian” Andirons, 1776.]

Illustration 311 shows a pair of “Hessians” made of iron. Andirons
of this style were very popular immediately after the Revolutionary
War, the figures of the hated allies of the British thus receiving the
treatment with flame and ashes that Americans considered the originals
to merit, to say nothing of worse indignities cast upon them by the
circle of tobacco-smoking patriots.

Andirons were made of different heights, and sometimes two or more
sets were used in one fireplace, to hold larger and smaller sticks.
Creepers are mentioned in early inventories. They were low irons
placed between the andirons, to hold short sticks.

As wood grew less plentiful, and as the forests near by were cleared
away, it was not so easy to obtain the huge backlog and the great pile
of sticks to fill the generous fireplace, and by the middle of the
eighteenth century its size had diminished. Many of the larger ones
were partially filled in. The fireplace in the Ipswich Whipple house,
when the house was bought by the society which now owns it, had been
bricked in twice—once to make the space less, and the second time
to fill it in entirely and put a fire-frame in its place. Chimneys
which did not smoke were the exception until Count Rumford made his
researches in heat and light, and by his discoveries and improvements
in construction enabled our ancestors to have chimneys which did not
smoke, and which did not carry up the greater portion of the heat from
the fire.

[Illustration: Illus. 312.—Fireplace, 1770-1775.]

Illustration 312 shows a fireplace in Salem of about 1775, with
ball-topped andirons. The sets for the fireplace comprised the
andirons, shovel, and tongs. The poker never accompanied the older
sets, which were made before the use of coal as fuel had become common
in this country, but a pair of bellows generally formed a part of the
equipment of the fireplace.

[Illustration: Illus. 313.—Steeple-topped Andirons and Fender,

Illustration 313 shows a fireplace in the residence of Harry Harkness
Flagler, Esq., with a brass fender and a pair of “steeple-topped”
andirons. Fenders were used in England earlier than in this country, to
keep the sticks or coals of fire from rolling or flying out upon the
floor in front of the fireplace, and to prevent children from getting
into the fire. Their size was adapted to the reduced dimensions of the
fireplaces, and they were used more with coal fires than with wood.

The design of andirons most commonly found is shown in Illustration
314. The little andirons between the larger ones are “creepers,” and
are used to hold short pieces of wood. They are of the same design as
the larger pair, although they were bought several years, and hundreds
of miles, apart.

The fender in Illustration 314 is of wire, painted black, with the top
rail and balls of brass. The andirons and fender belong to the writer.

[Illustration: Illus. 314.—Andirons, Creepers, and Fender, 1700-1800.]

Judge Sewall ordered in 1719 for his daughter Judith, about to be
married, “a bell-metal skillet, a warming pan, four pairs of brass
headed iron dogs, a brass hearth for a chamber with dogs, tongs, shovel
and fender of the newest fashion (the fire to lie on the iron), a brass
mortar, four pairs of brass candlesticks, four brass snuffers with
stands, six small brass chafing dishes, two brass basting ladles, a
pair of bellows with brass nose, a small hair broom, a dozen pewter
porringers, a dozen small glass salt cellars, and a dozen good ivory
hafted knives and forks.”

[Illustration: Illus. 315.—Brass Andirons, 1700-1800.]

The appurtenances for the fireplace in this list comprise the fender,
shovel, tongs, broom, bellows, and the “dogs.”

Illustration 315 shows a pair of brass andirons and Illustration 316,
a set of “brass-headed iron dogs,” such as Sewall ordered. Both pairs
belong to Dwight M. Prouty, Esq, of Boston.

By 1650 the use of coal had become common in England from the scarcity
and expense of wood as a fuel, and from that time fireplaces in that
country were constructed for coal fires. The books of designs of the
eighteenth century show many and elaborate drawings of grates for coal.
In this country, however, the lack of wood has never been felt, and
the fireplace to burn wood has held its own, with its andirons, not so
generous as in the early days, but still of goodly size.

[Illustration: Illus. 316.—Brass-headed Iron Dogs, 1700-1800.]

Firebacks were made of iron for fireplaces, sometimes cast with the
coat-of-arms of the owner or the date of construction. In Pennsylvania
were famous iron workers, and there is a collection of iron firebacks
in the museum at Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. At Mount Vernon is a
fireback with the Fairfax coat-of-arms which Washington took from
Belvoir, the estate of Lord Fairfax, adjoining Mount Vernon.

Illustration 317 shows a chimney piece in the west parlor at Mount
Vernon. Washington’s coat-of-arms is carved at the top, and his crest
and initials are cast in the fireback. In the panel over the mantel is
a painting which was sent to Lawrence Washington in 1743, by Admiral
Vernon, in acknowledgment of the courtesy shown by Lawrence Washington
to his old commander, in naming the estate Mount Vernon. The painting
represents Admiral Vernon’s fleet at Cartagena.

About 1750 the hob-grate was invented. Illustration 318 shows a mantel
and fireplace with a hob-grate in the house of Charles R. Waters, Esq.,
of Salem. The fireplace was filled in with brick or stone at each side,
and the grate set between.

[Illustration: Illus. 317.—Mantel at Mount Vernon, 1760-1770.]

The bars, of course, are of iron for holding coal, and the sides
of the grate are of brass. These were at first called “cat-stones”
to distinguish them from “fire-dogs,” but later they were named

[Illustration: Illus. 318.—Mantel with Hob-grate, 1776.]

Below the grate is a small brass fender to prevent the ashes from
scattering, and around the fireplace is a fender of iron wire with
brass rails and feet. The hob-grate was more in use in the South than
in the North.

In 1745, after many experiments, and goaded to it by the smoking
chimneys and wasted heat of the fireplace, Franklin invented the stove
in use ever since, called the Franklin stove or grate. Illustration
319 shows a Franklin stove in the Warner house at Portsmouth. The
fireplace, faced with tiles, was originally built to burn wood, but
when the new-fashioned Franklin stove became popular, one was bought
and set into the fireplace, the front of the stove projecting into the
room. The stove is made of iron, with the three rosettes, the open-work
rail at the top, the large knobs in front and the small knobs at the
back, of brass, which every good housekeeper kept as brightly polished
as the brass andirons and the handles of the shovel and tongs. At each
side of the fireplace are the original brass rests for the shovel and

Later in the century the fireplace was filled in with a board or
bricks, and what was called a fire-frame was used. It was similar
to the upper part of a Franklin stove; the back and sides of iron,
somewhat larger than those of the Franklin stove, resting directly
upon the stone hearth, giving the effect of an iron fireplace in
front of the old one. Oftentimes in an old house may be found a large
fireplace filled in, with the iron fire-frame in front of it, that in
its turn superseded by a stove placed with its pipe passing through the
fire-frame. Illustration 320 shows a fire-frame in the Wayside Inn at
Sudbury, Massachusetts.

[Illustration: Illus. 319.—Franklin Stove, 1745-1760.]

Candles and whale oil, with pine-wood knots, provided the light for
the Pilgrim fathers, aside from that thrown out by the great wood
fire. Candlesticks formed a necessary part of the furnishings of a
house. They were made of brass, iron, tin, pewter, and silver, but
candlesticks of brass were the ones in most general use.

[Illustration: Illus. 320.—Iron Fire-frame, 1775-1800.]

[Illustration: Illus. 321.—Betty Lamps, Seventeenth Century.]

The earliest form of lamp in use in the colonies was what is known as
a “betty lamp,” and it must have been a most untidy little utensil,
giving but a meagre light. Illustration 321 shows several betty lamps
owned by the writer. The smallest is of iron, two and a half inches in
diameter, with a nose projecting one inch and a quarter beyond the
receptacle for grease or fat.

A chain and hook are attached to the handle, by which the lamp was
hung upon a chair-back or a nail. The wick, made of a twisted cotton
rag, was placed with its end protruding from the nose of the lamp,
and provided a dull, poor flame. Another lamp has the chain and the
receptacle for grease made of brass, while the handle, the hook by
which it was to hang, and the pin for cleaning the lamp, attached to
the chain, are of steel. The bottom of the brass receptacle is of
copper. There is a cover to the front part of this lamp, so that the
interior can be cleaned, and the piece of steel forming the handle runs
through the interior of the lamp, the end providing a nose for the wick
just inside of the brass one, thus allowing the drippings from the wick
to drain back into the receptacle.

[Illustration: Illus. 322.—Candle-stands, first half of Eighteenth

The lamp with a standard has an iron rod, upon which the lamp can
slide up and down, with a ring at the top of the rod to lift it by.
The fourth betty lamp is hung upon an old wooden ratchet intended for
that purpose. The ratchet is made of two strips of wood, one cut with
saw-teeth edge, which can be raised and lowered to place the lamp at
the desired height. Betty lamps were in use during the seventeenth
century, and much later than that in the South.

As early as 1696, inventories mention a “Candle-stand for two brass
candlesticks.” Illustration 322 shows two of these candle-stands in
the collection of the late Major Ben Perley Poore at Indian Hill.
The larger stand is made of iron, and was fashioned by the local
blacksmith, near Indian Hill. It was taken by the grandfather of Major
Poore to Harvard University when he went there a student in 1776. The
tongs hanging upon this stand are a smoker’s tongs, for lifting a
coal from the fire to light the pipe, the curved end on one side of
the handle being used to press the tobacco into the pipe, or to clean
it out. The three feet of the other stand are of iron, and the pole,
candlesticks, and two pairs of snuffers are of brass. These stands
probably were made during the first half of the eighteenth century.
The room, a corner of which shows in the illustration is fitted
with panels from the “Province House,” the home at one time of Agnes
Surriage. The pillars showing behind the candle-stands were taken from
the old Brattle Street Church in Boston when it was pulled down. One
end of a Sheraton sofa may be seen in the picture, and several of the
illustrations for this book were taken in this fine room.

[Illustration: Illus. 323.—Mantel with Candle Shades, 1775-1800.]

Illustration 323 shows a mantel in the house of Mrs. Johnson-Hudson at
Stratford, Connecticut. The looking-glass frame is made entirely of
glass. Upon the shelf are two candlesticks, and over them are large
glass shades, called hurricane glasses, used to protect the flame from
draughts. These shades are now reproduced, and it is almost impossible
to tell the old from the new. The clock upon the shelf is a very old
English one, but the reflections upon the glass cover make it difficult
to see the clock. The effect of this mantel, with the glass shades, all
reflected in the looking-glass, is most brilliant. The candlesticks are
of Sheffield plate, about one hundred years old.

[Illustration: Illus. 324.—Candlesticks, 1775-1800.]

Illustration 324 shows two candlesticks owned by the writer. The one
shaped like a mug with a handle is of Sheffield plate, and was made
for use in a sick-room or any place where it was necessary to burn a
light during the entire night. There should be a glass chimney to fit
into the candlestick and protect the flame from draughts. The open-work
band around the candlestick allowed the passage of air, thus insuring
a clear flame. The long-handled extinguisher upon the rest provided
for it was to put out the light of a candle which was protected by a
chimney or by glass shades such as are in Illustration 323.

[Illustration: Illus. 325.—Crystal Chandelier, about 1760.]

The other candlestick is of brass, with extinguisher and snuffers which
were made to fit the candlestick, the ordinary handleless extinguisher
serving to put out the flame of any candle unprotected by a chimney or

In 1784 a Frenchman named Argand invented the lamp still called by his
name. The first Argand lamp brought to this country was given by Thomas
Jefferson to Charles Thomson. These lamps gave what was then considered
to be a brilliant and even dazzling light, but their price placed them
beyond the reach of ordinary folk, who continued to use tallow candles.
Wax candles were burned by the wealthy, in candlesticks and sconces,
and occasionally in chandeliers.

[Illustration: Illus. 326.—Silver Lamp from Mount Vernon, 1770-1800.]

Illustration 325 shows a rich chandelier for candles, in the Warner
house, at Portsmouth. It was probably brought to this country about
1765, the same date that other handsome furnishings were bought for
this house. The metal work of this chandelier is of brass. Chandeliers
with glass drops are spoken of in the sixteenth century, coming from

Illustration 326 shows one of the pair of beautiful lamps which are
fastened to the wall above the mantel of the banquet hall at Mount
Vernon, and which were in use there during the life of Washington. They
are made of silver, with the reservoir for oil of a graceful urn shape.

Eliza Susan Morton Quincy gives a description of the house of Ebenezer
Storer in Boston, and in it she says: “The ceilings were traversed
through the length of the rooms, by a large beam cased and finished
like the walls; and from the centre of each depended a glass globe,
which reflected as a convex mirror, all the objects in the room.” These
globes also reflected the light from candles in the room.

[Illustration: Illus. 327.—Glass Chandelier for Candles, 1760.]

From the rafters or ceiling in plainer homes hung sometimes a candle
beam, a rude chandelier, made of two pieces of metal crossed or a
circle of metal, with sockets for candles fixed upon them.

The chandelier in Illustration 327 is for candles, and is without doubt
the finest one of its period in this country. It is in the Pringle
house in Charleston, South Carolina, and it was probably placed in
the house when it was built in 1760, at which time it was furnished
with great elegance. It is amazing that so frail a thing as this glass
chandelier with all of its shades should have survived the Civil War,
and still more, the earthquake which laid low a large part of the city,
but not one shade has been shaken down. There are twenty-four branches
to the chandelier, twelve in each row, and a large glass shade for
each candle, to protect the flame from the draughts. The long chains
hang from a bell of glass, from which fall glass drops, and from a
large bowl spring the branches with their tall shades, and between them
are glass chains with drops. The glass chains are very light and the
chandelier is not loaded with heavy drops. It is impossible to imagine
anything more light and graceful in effect.

[Illustration: Illus. 328.—Embroidered Screen, 1780.]

“Skreans” are mentioned in very early inventories, and indeed they
must have been a necessity, to protect the face from the intense heat
of the large open fire. They afforded then, as now, an opportunity
for the display of feminine handiwork. The dainty little fire-screen
in Illustration 328 was made about 1780, and is owned by Mrs.
Johnson-Hudson of Stratford, Connecticut. The frame and stand are of
mahogany, and the spreading legs are unusually slender and graceful.
The embroidered screen was wrought by the daughters of Dr. William
Samuel Johnson, the first president of Columbia University. The same
young girls embroidered the top of the card-table in Illustration 199,
and the work is done with the same patient industry and skill. The
vase which is copied in the embroidery is of Delft, and is still owned
in the family.

A very curious and interesting piece of work is shown in Illustration
329. It forms the back of a sconce owned by Francis H. Bigelow,
Esq., and in his book “Historic Silver of the Colonies,” Mr. Bigelow
describes the candle bracket, made in 1720 by Knight Leverett, which
fits into the socket upon the frame. Benjamin Burt, the silversmith,
in his will left to a niece “a sconce of quill work wrought by her
aunt.” In 1755 a Mrs. Hiller advertised to teach “Wax work, Transparent
and Filligree, Quill work and Feather work.” “Quill work” is made of
paper of various colors, gilt upon one side, rolled tightly, like paper
tapers. Some were pulled out into points, others made into leaf and
petal-shaped pieces, and when finished they were coated with some waxy
substance, and sprinkled with tiny bits of glass, all in gay colors,
and when the candles were lighted the quill work glistened and sparkled.

The quill work in this sconce is made into an elaborate design of a
vase with flowers, and it is set into a very deep frame, and covered
tightly with glass, which accounts for its perfect preservation. The
top ornament to the frame is cut in the manner of looking glass frames
of the period.

[Illustration: Illus. 329.—Sconce of Quill Work, 1720.]

The tripod screen in Illustration 330 is owned by Dwight M. Prouty,
Esq. The little shelf for the candlestick drops on a hinge when not
in use. The tripod feet have a light springing curve, and end in a
flattened claw-and-ball. The original embroidery is still in the frame.

[Illustration: Illus. 330.—Tripod Screen, 1770.]

[Illustration: Illus. 331.—Tripod Screen, 1765.]

Another tripod screen is shown in Illustration 331. It is owned by
Cornelius Stevenson, Esq., of Philadelphia. The embroidery and the
frame upon it were made in the nineteenth century but the stand is
much earlier and is finely carved in the Chippendale style, with the
French foot. Three serpents encircle the pole, from which they are
completely detached. The wood is mahogany.

[Illustration: Illus. 332.—Candle-stand and Screen, 1750-1775.]

Screens were sometimes made of a piece of wood perforated, in order
that the heat might not be entirely shut off. Illustration 332 shows
one of these screens in the collection of the late Major Ben: Perley

[Illustration: Illus. 333.—Chippendale Candle-stand, 1760-1770.]

Both the screen and the candle-stand in the illustration are made of
mahogany. The candlestick upon the stand is a curious one, of brass,
with a socket for the candle set upon an adjustable arm, which also
slides upon a slender rod, which is fastened into the heavily weighted
standard. Both screen and candle-stand were made in the latter half of
the eighteenth century. Candle-stands were designed by all the great
cabinet-makers, and in those days of candlelight they were a useful
piece of furniture.

A candle-stand in the finest Chippendale style is shown in Illustration
333. It is one of a pair owned by Harry Harkness Flagler, Esq. The
intention was presumably that a candle-stand with candelabrum should
be placed at each side of the mantel. A pair of candle-stands similar
to this are in the banquet hall at Mount Vernon, and are among the
few pieces of furniture there which are authenticated as having been
in use during Washington’s occupancy of the house. The candle-stand
in the illustration is forty-two inches high, and its proportions are
beautiful. The legs and the ball at the base of the fluted pillar are
very finely carved. The legs end in the French foot, the scroll turning
forward, which was such a favorite with Chippendale. The top is carved
out so that there is a raised rim, like that upon the “dish-top” table
in Illustration 246.

The first recorded instance in this country of lighting by artificial
gas is in 1806, when David Melville of Newport, Rhode Island, succeeded
in manufacturing gas, and illuminated his house and grounds with it. In
1822 Boston was lighted by gas, but it did not come into general use
for lighting until 1840-1850.

[Illustration: Illus. 334.—Bronze Mantel Lamps, 1815-1840.]

During the second quarter of the nineteenth century it was fashionable
to use candelabra and lamps which were hung with cut-glass prisms.
Sets of candelabra for the mantel were very popular, consisting of a
three-branched candelabrum for the middle and a single light for each
side. The base was usually of marble, and the gilt standard was cast in
different shapes,—of a shepherd and shepherdess, a group of maidens,
or a lady clad in the costume of the day. From an ornament at the base
of the candle, shaped like an inverted crown, hung sparkling prisms,
catching the light as they quivered with every step across the room. A
handsome set of these is shown in Illustration 318 upon the mantel.

[Illustration: Illus. 335.—Brass Gilt Candelabra, 1820-1849.]

Illustration 334 shows a set of mantel lamps of bronze, mounted upon
marble bases and hung with cut-glass prisms. The reservoir for the oil
is beneath the long prisms. This set is owned by Francis H. Bigelow,

Illustration 335 shows a fine pair of brass gilt candelabra also owned
by Mr. Bigelow. They have marble bases, and the five twisted arms are
cast in an elaborate design.

[Illustration: Illus. 336.—Hall Lantern, 1775-1800.]

[Illustration: Illus. 337.—Hall Lantern, 1760.]

Illustration 336 shows a hall lantern which was formerly in use in the
John Hancock house. It is now owned by Harry Harkness Flagler, Esq.
Such lanterns were hung in the entry or hall, and were made to burn
either a lamp or candle. “Square glass, bell glass, barrel or globe
lanthorns for entries or staircases” were advertised as early as 1724
and formed a necessary furnishing for the hall of a handsome house.

[Illustration: Illus. 338.—Hall Lantern, 1760.]

Illustration 337 shows a hall lantern owned by Dwight M. Prouty,
Esq. It is of a globe shape, and very large and handsome, with deep
cutting on the glass. The bell-shaped piece of glass above is missing.
This bell was to prevent the smoke of the candle from blackening the
ceiling. The metal piece below the globe contains the socket and can be
removed to change the candle.

Illustration 338 shows one of two lanterns hung in the hall of the
house built for the Pendelton Collection, in Providence. It is
unusually large, and the glass is red with cuttings of white. Instead
of chains the lantern is held by scrolls of metal like the frame of
the glass. Such a lantern as this may have been in the mind of Peter
Faneuil of Boston when in 1738 he sent to Europe for “a very handsome
Lanthorne to hang in an Entry way.”




UNTIL about 1600, clocks were made chiefly for public buildings or
for the very wealthy, who only could afford to own them; but with
the seventeenth century began the manufacture of clocks for ordinary
use; these clocks were of brass, and were known as chamber clocks.
The earliest form in which they were made was what is now called the
“birdcage” or “lantern” clock. Inventories in this country from 1638
to 1700 speak of clocks with valuations varying from £2 to £20, and
occasionally a “brass clock” is specified. This must refer, as some of
the others may also have done, to the lantern clock.

[Illustration: Illus. 339.—Lantern or Bird-cage Clock, First Half of
Seventeenth Century.]

The lantern clock in Illustration 339 is owned by William Meggatt,
Esq., of Wethersfield. The illustration shows the form of the clock,
from which it naturally derived the names “lantern” and “birdcage.” The
clock is set upon a bracket, and the weights hang upon cords or chains
passing through openings in the shelf; the pendulum also swings through
a slit in the shelf.

The dial projects beyond the frame of the clock, and is six inches
in diameter, and there is but one hand. The dome at the top is
partially concealed by the frets above the body of the clock. Different
clock-makers had frets of their own, and the design of the fret is
often a guide for determining the date of such clocks. The one upon the
clock in Illustration 339 is what was called the “heraldic fret” from
the small escutcheon in the centre, and it was used upon clocks made
from 1600 to 1640. The fret with crossed dolphins was in use from 1650,
and is the pattern of fret most frequently found upon these clocks.
The long pendulum must have been a later substitution, for it was not
commonly used until 1680, clocks up to the time of its invention having
the short or “bob” pendulum. There is no maker’s name upon this clock.

Illustration 340 shows a “lantern” clock in the house of Charles
R. Waters, Esq., which has a fret of a later period, and the long
pendulum. The dial is slightly larger than the one in Illustration 339,
and upon it is engraved the name of the maker, Jno. Snatt, Ashford.
This name is not in Britten’s list of clock-makers, so it is probable
that Jno. Snatt was a country clock-maker. The clock was made about
1680. The brackets are modern.

[Illustration: Illus. 340.—Lantern Clock, about 1680.]

[Illustration: Illus. 341.—Friesland Clock, Seventeenth Century.]

A clock which was made during the seventeenth century is shown in
Illustration 341. It is known as a Friesland clock, from the fact that
clocks of this style are common in the north of Holland, having been
in use there over two centuries. The pendulum of this clock swings
above the shelf. The frame rests upon four wooden feet, and its sides
and back are of glass. The face and ornaments are made of lead, the
ornaments being gilded, except the parrots at each side, which are
painted in vivid parrot greens. The mermaids upon the bracket are
painted in colors, and the face also is painted, the whole making a
gay bit of decoration. The Friesland clocks generally have mermaids
and parrots as part of the decoration of clock and bracket. There is a
small brass dial in the centre of the face, which can be set for the
alarm. Friesland clocks were in use in the seventeenth century in this
country, probably having been brought here by Dutch settlers. This
clock is owned by the writer.

Bracket clocks were made during the last years of the seventeenth
century with wooden cases, and they were very popular during the
eighteenth century. They generally have a brass handle at the top by
which they can be carried. A bracket clock with brass face and sides
may be seen upon the mantel in Illustration 388. It has the plate of
the maker over the dial, with the name Daniel Ray, Sudbury, probably an
English clock-maker. This clock was made about 1760.

[Illustration: Illus. 342.—Bracket Clocks, 1780-1800.]

Illustration 342 shows two bracket clocks in the collection of the
late Major Ben: Perley Poore. The larger one has the top made in the
arch form instead of the bell top like the clock in Illustration 388,
and this would place its date about 1780. The name upon this clock,
George Beatty, Georgetown, was that of the owner. The smaller clock
has an inlaid case, and was evidently made after Sheraton’s designs of
1790-1800. Both clock-cases are of mahogany.

The earliest mention of tall clocks in inventories is in the latter
part of the seventeenth century, where they are always spoken of as
“clock and case.” The use of the long pendulum was probably the cause
of the development of the tall clock from the “lantern clock,” which
had often a wooden hood over it; and when the long pendulum came into
use in 1680, the lower part of the tall clock-case was made to enclose
the pendulum, and sides and a glass front were added to the hood. The
first cases were of oak or walnut, and the dials were square, but
early in the eighteenth century the arched top was added to the dial,
suggested perhaps by the shape of the dome.

The ornaments which fill in the spandrels, or corners of the face, are
somewhat of a guide to the date of a brass-faced clock. The earliest
spandrels had cherubs’ heads with wings, and this design was used from
1671 until 1700, when more ornaments were added to the cherub’s head.
Later came a still more elaborate design of two cherubs supporting
a crown, until about 1750, when the scrolls were made without the
cherubs, but with a shield or head in the centre of the spandrel.

Illustration 343 shows two tall clocks which were owned originally by
Thomas Hancock, from whom John Hancock inherited them. Thomas Hancock
was a wealthy resident of Boston in 1738 when he wrote thus to London,
ordering a clock of “the newest fashion with a good black Walnut Tree
Case Veneered work, with Dark, lively branches; on the Top instead of
Balls let there be three handsome Carv’d figures. Gilt with burnish’d
Gold. I’d have the Case without the figures to be 10 feet Long, the
price 15 not to exceed 20 Guineas, & as it’s for my own use, I beg your
particular Care in buying of it at the Cheapest Rate. I’m advised to
apply to one Mr. Marmaduke Storr at the foot of Lond^n Bridge.”

[Illustration: Illus. 343.—Walnut Case and Lacquered Case Clocks,
about 1738.]

Which of these two clocks was sent to fill this order we cannot
tell. The clock with “Walnut Tree Case Veneered work, with Dark,
lively branches” has the name plate of “Bowly, London,” probably
Devereux Bowley, who lived from 1696 to 1773 and who was master of the
Clock-Makers’ Company in 1759. The gilt ornaments are missing from
the top, so we do not know whether they were the ones so carefully
specified in the letter. Both clocks may date to 1738. The clock with
the lacquered case has the name “Marm^d Storr, foot of London Bridge,”
the same to whom Thomas Hancock had “been advised to apply.” This clock
has the “Balls” at the top to which he objected. Possibly the zealous
friend may have sent both clocks. The one with a walnut case is now
owned by the American Antiquarian Society, to which it was presented,
with other pieces bought from the Hancock house in 1838, by John
Chandler of Petersham. The clock with lacquered case was also bought
from the Hancock house, and is now in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts,
to which it is loaned by Miss Lucy Gray Swett.

A clock-maker well known in and around Boston in the last half of the
eighteenth century was Gawen Brown, who had a shop on State Street, and
who made the clock upon the Old South Church, in Boston. A letter is
still preserved which he wrote asking permission to make a clock for
the Society, and he “Promises and Engages that the same shall be put Up
and continued there forever.”

[Illustration: Illus. 344.—Gawen Brown Clock, 1765.]

This handsome offer was made in 1768 but not until 1774 did the town
act, when they voted to “purchase the Clock of Gawen Brown.”

[Illustration: Illus. 345.—Tall Clock, 1780.]

A Gawen Brown clock is shown in Illustration 344, made for his
father-in-law, the Rev. Mather Byles. The case is pine painted and the
shape of the top and the general appearance would indicate that it was
an early effort made before 1768. It is still running in the rooms of
the Bostonian Society, in the Old State House in Boston.

The clock in Illustration 345 was made by Gawen Brown, and is in a very
handsome mahogany case. It is also owned by the Bostonian Society.

Illustration 346 shows a clock owned by the writer, and is given as an
example of the use of curly maple, of which the entire case is made. It
is unusually tall, over eight feet in height.

The clock in Illustration 347 was made by David Rittenhouse, in
Philadelphia, and is owned by Charles D. Clark, Esq., of Philadelphia.
David Rittenhouse was a maker of clocks and mathematical instruments,
and an astronomer. He held various positions of importance, and was
State Treasurer of Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary war, and
President of The American Philosophical Society. This clock has a very
handsome case of mahogany with fine inlaying, and possesses seven
dials. The large dial has three hands, two for the hours and minutes,
and the third to point the day of the month. This is set on the first
day of each month. At the two upper corners are two small dials, one of
which is set to designate which of the twelve tunes shall be played,
and the other has on it “strike” and “silent,” also for the tunes.
Above, the moon shows its phases and the sun rises and sets every day.
Upon the round dial below, the planets revolve around the sun.

[Illustration: Illus. 346.—Maple Clock, 1770.]

[Illustration: Illus. 347.—Rittenhouse Clock, 1770.]

Illustration 348 shows a tall clock in a mahogany case made about 1770.
The maker’s name is Richard Simestere, Birmingham, but I can find no
record of him in Britten or elsewhere. The shape of the clock-case,
particularly the top, is modelled after a Chippendale design.

[Illustration: Illus. 348.—Tall Clock, about 1700.]

The columns at the corners of the case, sometimes fluted and sometimes
plain, are characteristic of Chippendale, and appear on the majority of
tall clocks made after 1760. This clock is owned by Francis H. Bigelow,
Esq., of Cambridge.

After the War of the Revolution enamelled or painted dials took the
place of brass dials in this country, to a great extent, the chief
reason being, of course, their smaller cost. The works were made by
clock-makers who sold them to pedlers, and they took them, four or five
at a time, into the country towns to sell; the local cabinet-maker made
the case, while the local clock-maker put his own name upon the dial.
During the latter years of the eighteenth century, there was a fashion
for using moving figures above the dial, a ship heaving upon the waves
being the favorite. Many clocks have a painted moon, which rises
and sets each month. Miniature tall clocks were made at this time,
corresponding in proportions to the tall clocks.

[Illustration: Illus. 349.—Miniature Clock and Tall Clock, about 1800.]

Illustration 349 shows a tall clock and a miniature one, both made
about 1800, with painted faces. The tall clock has the name upon its
face of Philip Holway, Falmouth. The case is mahogany, and the twisted
pillars have brass bases and caps. The brass ornaments upon the top
are rather unusual, a ball with three sprays of flowers. The clock was
bought in Falmouth by the writer. The small clock has the name of Asa
Kenney upon the face. Its case is inlaid with satinwood and ebony. This
little clock belonged to the late Sumner Pratt of Worcester, and is now
owned by his daughter, Miss E. A. Pratt.

Illustration 350 shows a clock owned by Mrs. E. A. Morse of Worcester.
The case is beautifully inlaid with satinwood, holly, ebony, and two
varieties of mahogany.

[Illustration: Illus. 350.—Tall Clock, 1800-1810.]

It has the painted moon above the dial, and plays seven tunes—one tune
being played each hour during the day. The tunes are

  Hob or Knob,
  Heathen Mythology,
  Bank of Flowers,
  Paddy Whack,
  New Jersey,
  Marquis of Granby,

Amherst is the psalm tune which this pious clock plays upon Sundays, to
atone for the rollicking jigs which are tinkled out upon week-days. All
of the tall clocks illustrated in this chapter have brass works, but
many were made with wooden works, and in buying a clock one should make
sure that the works are of brass.

Illustration 351 shows two sizes of a kind of clock occasionally found,
which winds by pulling the chain attached to the weights. These clocks
were made in Europe; the smaller one, which is owned by the writer,
having the label of a Swiss clock-maker. The larger clock belongs to
Irving Bigelow, Esq., of Worcester. Both date to the first quarter of
the nineteenth century.

[Illustration: Illus. 351.—Wall Clocks, 1800-1825.]

The most famous name among American clock-makers is Willard. There were
three Willard brothers,—Benjamin, Simon, and Aaron,—clock-makers
in Grafton, Massachusetts, in 1765. Benjamin and Simon established a
business in Roxbury, and in December, 1771, Benjamin advertised in the
_Boston Evening Post_ his “removal from Lexington to Roxbury. He will
sell house clocks neatly made, cheaper than imported.” February 22,
1773, he advertised that he “at his shop in Roxbury Street, pursues the
different branches of clock and watch work, and has for sale musical
clocks, playing different tunes, a new tune each day, and on Sunday a
Psalm tune. These tunes perform every hour.... All the branches of the
business likewise carried on in Grafton.” The third brother, Aaron,
may have remained in Grafton, for he went from there later to Roxbury,
as fifer of a company of minute-men, in the first days of the War of
the Revolution. Simon Willard remained in the same shop in Roxbury for
over seventy years, dying in 1848 at the great age of ninety-six years.
Aaron Willard built a shop in Boston and made a specialty of tall
striking clocks.

[Illustration: Illus. 352.—Willard Clock, 1784.]

Illustration 352 shows a clock owned by Dr. G. Faulkner of Jamaica
Plain. Inside the clock is written in a quaint hand, “The first short
time-piece made in America, 1784.” Dr. Faulkner’s father was married at
about that date, and the clock was made for him. It has always stood
upon a bracket upon the wall, and has been running constantly for one
hundred and seventeen years. Upon the scroll under the dial is the
inscription “Aaron Willard, Roxbury.” The case is of mahogany, and
stands twenty-six inches high. Upon the lower part are very beautiful
scroll feet, turning back. The upper part stands upon ogee feet, and
can be lifted off. The glass door is painted so that it forms a frame
for the dial.

Mr. Howard, the founder of the Howard Watch Company, has told me that
the Willards invented this style of clock as well as the style known as
the banjo clock. Mr. Howard was born in 1813 and when he was sixteen he
started to learn his trade in Boston, in the shop of Aaron Willard, Jr.
I have not been able to find that clocks of this style were made in
England at all, and they seem to be purely American, but in Britten’s
“Old Clocks and Watches and their Makers” is an illustration of an
astronomical clock made by Henry Jenkins, 1760 to 1780, with a case
very similar in shape to these clocks, and with a top like the centre
one of the three in Illustration 353. Aaron Willard may have obtained
his idea from such a clock. The clock in Illustration 352 is the
earliest one that I have heard of.

Illustration 353 shows three clocks made some years later, probably
about 1800 to 1815. The clock with the ogee feet is a Willard clock,
and belongs to W. S. G. Kennedy, Esq. The clock with the door of
bird’s-eye maple and the inlaid fan-shaped top is owned by Mrs. E. A.
Morse. The third clock is owned by the writer.

[Illustration: Illus. 353.—Willard Clocks, 1800-1815.]

[Illustration: Illus. 354.—Hassam Clock, 1800.]

Another New England clock-maker of long and picturesque life was
Stephen Hassam, sometimes called Hasham. He was born in 1761, and is
said to have lived to be over one hundred years old. He was a witness,
when a boy, of the battle of Bunker Hill from the steeple of a church
in Boston, and he lived until after the beginning of the Civil War.
He moved from Boston to Grafton and then to Worcester, where he
learned the clock-maker’s trade, perhaps with the Willards who lived
in those towns at about that time. He established himself finally in
Charlestown, New Hampshire, where he lived and made clocks, which
are highly valued for their excellent qualities, as well as for the
associations with the name of the centenarian clock-maker.

A clock similar in size, and also in design, to the last four
illustrated is shown in Illustration 354. It was made by Stephen Hassam
and bears his name. It is owned by Charles H. Morse, Esq., and has
always stood since it was made, about 1800, upon a mahogany bracket in
the corner. The case is of very finely grained mahogany.

Simon Willard patented in 1802 an improved time-piece, which Mr. Howard
says is the clock now known as the “banjo” clock. Illustration 355
shows a clock bought by the writer in a country town from an old man
who called it a time-piece, which is the name given it in the country,
“banjo” being suggested to the modern mind by the shape of the upper
part. The sides of the clock are of mahogany. The glass door to the
face is convex and is framed in brass, and the ornaments at the sides
of the clock are also of brass.

[Illustration: Illus. 355—“Banjo” Clock, 1802-1820.]

The long glass in the middle of the case is framed like the door of
painted glass in wood gilt. The turned ornament on the top of the clock
and the bracket below it are of wood gilt. Plainer clock-cases of this
shape were of mahogany without the bracket below.

[Illustration: Illus. 356.—Presentation Clock.]

Aaron Willard, Jr., entered his father’s employ in his shop in Boston
in 1823, and continued the business for forty years. When one considers
that members of this family manufactured clocks for over one hundred
years, it does not seem singular that so many clocks are found with the
name of Willard upon them.

Occasionally one finds a banjo clock with striking attachment, but they
are not common.

[Illustration: Illus. 357.—Willard Timepiece.]

Illustration 356 shows a clock called a presentation or marriage clock.
It is owned by Dwight M. Prouty, Esq., of Boston, and it was made for
an ancestor of Mr. Prouty, when he was married, as a wedding gift. The
decorations are in light colors, pink and blue with gold, very delicate
and suitable for a bride. Upon the square glass door, painted above
the centre is “S. Willard” and below it “Patent.” The bracket is gilt.

Illustration 357 shows another Willard time-piece, with a mahogany case
and gilt mouldings and bracket. Upon the door is painted the battle
between the _Constitution_ and _Guerrière_. The name A. Willard is
painted upon the long glass. This clock belongs to Francis H. Bigelow,

[Illustration: Illus. 358.—Willard Timepiece, 1802-1810.]

The clock in Illustration 358 has the name Willard upon the face. The
case is mahogany, and the mouldings which frame the glass and the
bracket beneath the clock are japanned in colors. It belongs to Charles
A. Moffett, Esq., of Worcester.

[Illustration: Illus. 359.—Lyre Clock, 1810-1820.]

The clock in Illustration 359 is of an entirely different style, and
the case, the lower part of which is lyre shaped, is very beautifully
carved with scrolls, which are finished in gilt. There is no maker’s
name upon this clock, which belongs to Frank C. Turner, Esq., of

The clock in Illustration 360 is in the lyre shape usually seen, which
was made as a variation from the banjo. Such clocks are found of wood
finished in gilt, or like this clock, in the natural wood, which is
mahogany in most cases. The carving is generally in the same design,
but some have the lyre strings, made of wood or brass.

[Illustration: Illus. 360.—Lyre-shaped Clock, 1810-1820.]

Eli Terry was the first of another famous family of American
clock-makers. He started in business in 1793, in Plymouth, near
Waterbury, Connecticut, a town well known ever since for its clocks
and watches. His first clock was made a year earlier, a wooden clock
in a long case with a brass dial, silver washed. He manufactured the
works for tall clocks, selling them to pedlers, who took them into the
country to dispose of. In 1810 Seth Thomas with Silas Hoadly bought
the Terry factory, and continued the manufacture of clocks for long
cases. Eli Terry in 1814 invented a wooden shelf-clock, called “The
Pillar Scroll Top Case, with pillars 21 inches long resting on a square
base, dial 11 inches square, table below dial 7 inches by 11.” This
clock sold for fifteen dollars, and was made in enormous quantities.
Illustration 361 shows two clocks, one an Eli Terry “Pillar Scroll
Top” clock, with carved pillars similar to the ones upon pieces of
furniture of that period. The other clock was made by Terry at about
the same time. Inside each of these clocks is pasted a paper upon
which is printed the following: “Patent Clocks, invented by Eli Terry,
Plymouth, Connecticut.”

[Illustration: Illus. 361.—Eli Terry Shelf Clocks, 1824.]

“Warranted if well used. N.B. The public may be assured that this
kind of Clock will run as long without repairs and be as durable and
accurate for keeping time as any kind of Clock whatever.” These clocks
are owned by D. Thomas Moore, Esq., of Westbury, Long Island.

[Illustration: Illus. 362.—French Clock, about 1800.]

From the time when such mantel clocks were manufactured in great
numbers, the fact that they were cheap and good time-keepers put the
tall clock out of the market, and its manufacture practically died out
soon after, so that but few tall clocks were made later than 1815-1820.

Illustration 362 shows a French clock with onyx pillars, and elaborate
Empire brasses. The large ornaments at the side of the dial are of
wood gilt. The middle of the dial is occupied by a beautifully wrought
design in brass, of an anvil and grindstone, each with a little Cupid.
Upon the quarter-hour one Cupid sharpens his arrow at the grindstone,
running the grindstone with his foot upon a treadle, and at every hour
the other Cupid strikes the anvil with his hammer the necessary number
of strokes. A brass figure of a youth with a bow stands below the dial,
in front of the mirror in the back of the clock. The base is of black
marble. I have seen several clocks similar with the onyx pillars, but
none with such beautiful, hand-wrought brass in the face and upon the




A STRONG distinction was made in America during the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries between mirrors and looking-glasses; the name
“mirror” was applied to a particular kind of glass, either convex or
concave, and one old authority states that “a mirror is a circular
convex glass in a gilt frame.”

Looking-glasses appear in inventories in this country as early as 1650,
and in 1658 William Bartlett of Hartford left no less than ten, the
dearest valued at one pound.

In 1670 the Duke of Buckingham brought Venetian workmen to England,
and established glass works in Lambeth; but up to that date the
looking-glasses occasionally mentioned in inventories must have
been made in Venice. Some of the records are “a great looking
glass,”—“looking glass with brasses,”—“great looking glass of
ebony,”—“an olive wood diamond cut looking glass,”—and “a looking
glass with a walnut tree frame.” The glass usually had the edge
finished with a slight bevelling about an inch wide, made by hand, of
course, which followed the outline of the inside of the frame.

[Illustration: Illus. 363.—Looking-glass, 1690.]

Hungerford Pollen, in “Furniture and Woodwork,” says: “The
looking-glasses made in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries ...
had the plates finished by an edge gently bevelled, of an inch in
width, following the form of the frame, whether square or shaped in
curves. It is of great difficulty in execution, the plate being held by
the workman over his head, and the edges cut by grinding.... The angle
of the” (modern) “bevel is generally too acute, whereby the prismatic
light produced by this portion of the mirror is in too violent and
showy contrast to the remainder.”

One can always distinguish an old bevel, by rubbing the finger upon it.
The bevel is so slight that it can hardly be felt, where the modern
bevel is sharp and distinct.

[Illustration: Illus. 364.—Looking-glass, 1690.]

Looking-glasses of large size were made in two sections, the lower
piece with the edge bevelled and lapped over the plain upper piece.
This was to avoid the tax upon glass beyond a certain size.

The fashion for japanning or lacquering which obtained vogue at
the close of the seventeenth century was followed in looking-glass
frames. A London newspaper of 1689 thus advertised: “Several sorts of
Screwtores, Tables, Stands and Looking-glasses of Japan and other work.”

Illustration 363 shows a looking-glass in a japanned frame, owned by
Dwight M. Prouty, Esq., of Boston. The wood of the frame is walnut, and
it is covered with lacquer in gold and colors. The shape of the frame
around the glass is followed by the bevel, and the lower piece of glass
laps over the upper.

Illustration 364 shows the top section of a looking-glass with a
lacquered frame. In this case the frame was made in sections, the lower
section being lost. The curves in the frame are followed in the glass
by the old shallow bevelling over an inch in width, and a star is cut
in the middle of the glass. The frame is elaborately japanned with gold
and bright colors, and is twenty-six inches in height, showing that
the looking-glass, when whole, was of generous size. The design of the
sawed edge is of a very early style. The glass is owned by the American
Antiquarian Society, of Worcester.

The looking-glass at the head of this chapter is owned by E. R. Lemon,
Esq., of the Wayside Inn. It is of walnut veneer, and the old bevelled
glass is in two sections, the upper one cut in a design, and with the
lower edge lapped over the other piece of glass. Another glass of the
same period, the first quarter of the eighteenth century, owned by Mr.
Lemon, heads Chapter XI. This frame has a top ornament of a piece of
walnut sawed in curves which suggest those upon later frames.

Such a looking-glass as this was probably what Judge Sewall meant when
he sent for “A True Looking Glass of Black Walnut Frame of the Newest
Fashion (if the Fashion be good) as good as can be bought for five or
six pounds.” This was for wedding furniture for the judge’s daughter
Judith, married in 1720.

[Illustration: Illus. 365.—Looking-glass, about 1730.]

A looking-glass of the same date, with a carved wood frame, silvered,
heads Chapter VI. It was originally owned by an ancestor of the late
Major Ben: Perley Poore, and was probably made in Europe. It has
always, within the memory of the family, been silvered, and it is safe
to say that it was so originally. The carving is rather crudely done,
the ornament at the top containing a bird which is sitting upon a
cherub’s head. This glass is now at Indian Hill, Newburyport.

In nothing is the charm of association more potent than in an old
looking-glass, when one considers the faces and scenes that have been
reflected in it. Illustration 365 shows a looking-glass which hung
in the Schuyler mansion at Stillwater, New York, in which Washington
stopped over night; and although the quicksilver is somewhat worn off
the back of the glass, the thought that it must have mirrored the face
of Washington preserves it from being restored. The shape is extremely
graceful, and the outline of the inside of the frame is followed by
little scrolls cut in the glass. The frame is carved in wood, and gilt,
and was probably made in Italy about 1730. It is now owned by the
writer. The low-boy in the illustration is described upon page 39.

Rococo and Chinese designs were rampantly fashionable in frames
for looking-glasses from 1750 to 1780. They present an astonishing
combination of Chinese pagodas, shells, flowers, branches, animals,
and birds, with occasionally a figure of a man or woman considerably
smaller than the flowers and birds upon the same frame.

Some of the famous designers of frames were Matthias Lock, who
published “A Book New of Pier Frames, Oval Girandoles, Tables,
etc.,” in 1765; Edwards and Darley; and Thomas Johnson; besides the
better-known cabinet-makers Ince and Mayhew and Chippendale. Lock and
Johnson devoted much space to frames for girandoles, pier glasses,
ovals, and chimney-pieces, all elaborately carved with scrolls and
shells with dripping water, birds, and animals of every sort from a
monkey to a cow, the latter unromantic and heavy creature figuring upon
a dripping scroll in one of Johnson’s frames.

[Illustration: Illus. 366.—Pier Glass in “Chinese Taste,” 1760.]

Illustration 366 shows a looking-glass of the size which was called
a “pier” glass, which must have been made about 1760. It is carved
in walnut, and the natural wood has never been stained or gilt. It
presents many of the characteristic designs fashionable at that time,
of scrolls and dripping water, while no less than seven pagoda roofs
form a part of the frame. The figure, probably a Chinese lady with a
parasol, is missing from the pagoda at the top. Below the frame is
carved a little monkey sitting in the lower scroll. The frame is rather
unusual in having side branches for candles. This looking-glass and the
one in the following illustration are owned by Mrs. Charles Barrell of
Barrell’s Grove, York Corner, Maine, and are in the old Barrell house,
which stands with its original furniture, as it stood one hundred
and fifty years ago. These looking-glasses were bought by a Barrell
ancestor at an auction in London, about 1795. The articles sold at this
auction were the furnishings of one of the households of the Prince
of Wales, which was, temporarily at least, given up by him upon his
marriage, and these glasses have reflected many a gay scene in which
the “First gentleman in Europe” figured, while Beau Brummel may have
used them to arrange the wonderful toilettes which won him his name.
What a change to the little Maine village!

Another looking-glass of carved wood, with the same history, is shown
in Illustration 367. This frame is gilded, and possesses none of the
Chinese designs of the other frame, but is purely rococo. It has the
old glass with bevelled edges. Both of these looking-glasses must have
been made at least twenty-five years before the time when they were
sold at auction by the royal bridegroom.

[Illustration: Illus. 367.—Looking-glass, about 1760.]

At the head of Chapter V is shown a looking-glass with a frame of white
with gilt ornaments. It formerly belonged to Governor Wentworth, and
is now in the Poore collection at Indian Hill. It is similar in design
and decoration to the looking-glasses seen in French palaces, and was
probably made in France about 1760.

[Illustration: Illus. 368.—Looking-glass, 1770-1780.]

A charming oval looking-glass which might be of the present latest
fashion forms the heading to Chapter III. It has the flowing ribbon
bow-knot which Chippendale employed, and which has been fashionable
ever since. This looking-glass was made about 1770, and was inherited
by Miss H. P. F. Burnside of Worcester from her great-grandmother.

Illustration 368 shows a fine looking-glass with a frame of carved
wood. There is a small oval medallion below the frame with emblems of
Freemasonry in gilt upon a black ground. A large medallion is above
the glass, with Cupids painted upon a black ground, and the frame is
surmounted by an eagle. This looking-glass is owned by Mrs. Charles R.
Waters of Salem.

[Illustration: Illus. 369.—Looking-glass, 1725-1750.]

Another of the same period, with a carved wood frame, is shown at the
beginning of Chapter IV. This frame has a classical design of garlands
of laurel with an urn at the top. The small oval medallion at the base
of both of these frames seems to be a feature of such looking-glasses,
together with the garlands of carved wood. This looking-glass is owned
by the writer. Upon its back is an oak board which must have been
prized highly, for it has been carefully repaired with two patches of
wood set into it.

Illustration 369 shows a looking-glass made in the first half of the
eighteenth century, of walnut. The gilt mouldings are carved in wood,
as are the gilt leaves and flowers at the side. The waving line of
the inside of the frame is followed in the bevelling of the glass.
Glasses of this period were usually made in two pieces, to lessen the
expense, the edge of one piece of glass being simply lapped over the
other. This looking-glass is unusually large, seven and one-half feet
high and three feet wide. It is now owned by the Philadelphia Library
Association, and was used in 1778 at the famous Mischianza fête, where
probably the lovely Peggy Shippen and the beautiful Jewess, Rebecca
Frank, and perhaps the ill-fated André, used the glass to put the
finishing touches to their toilettes, or to repair the damages wrought
during the gay dances of that historic ball.

A looking-glass showing the development from the one in Illustration
369 may be seen in Illustration 26 upon page 39. The frame is more
elaborate than the older one in its curves and in the pediment with the
broken arch, and its date is about 1770. The original glass is gone, so
we cannot tell if it was bevelled, but it probably was. This very fine
frame came from the Chase mansion in Annapolis, and is now owned by
Harry Harkness Flagler, Esq., of Millbrook, New York.

[Illustration: Illus. 370.—Looking-glass, 1770-1780.]

Another looking-glass owned by Mr. Flagler is shown in Illustration
370. The frame is of walnut veneer, and the shape of the glass without
any curves at the top, and the garlands at the side more finely
modelled and strung upon a wire, determine it to have been made some
years later than the frame in Illustration 369.

A looking-glass with a mahogany and gilt frame, owned by the writer, is
shown in the heading to Chapter IX. This looking-glass dates between
the last two described; the curved form of the upper edge of the glass
in Illustration 26 leaving a slight reminder in the cut-off, upper
corners of this glass, which vanishes in the square corners of the one
in Illustration 370. The garlands at each side are carved from wood,
without wire. These looking-glasses are now reproduced in large numbers
and are sometimes called Washington glasses, from the fact that one
hangs upon the wall in a room at Mount Vernon.

A very unusual looking-glass is shown in Illustration 371, a long
mantel looking-glass of very early date, probably not later than 1750.

[Illustration: Illus. 371.—Mantel Glass, 1725-1750.]

[Illustration: Illus. 372.—Looking-glass, 1770.]

The glass is made in three sections, the two end sections being lapped
over the middle one. The glasses are not bevelled. Short garlands
carved in wood are upon the sides, and the moulding around the glass
is made in curves, while the upper and lower edges of the frame are
perfectly straight.

[Illustration: Illus. 373.—Looking-glass, 1770.]

A glimpse may be caught above the frame of the two pieces of metal
fastened to the back, which are found upon such frames, with a hole
for a screw to fasten the heavy frame to the wall. This looking-glass
belongs to Dwight M. Prouty, Esq.

The looking-glasses in Illustrations 372 and 373 also belong to Mr.

Glasses of this style are not uncommon. They are never large, and as
they are always about the same size, they must have been made for a
certain purpose, or to follow a certain fashion.

The decorations vary, but are always applied in gilt upon the high top
above the frame, and upon the piece below, while the sides are straight
and plain.

[Illustration: Illus. 374.—Looking-glass, 1776.]

Illustration 374 shows a beautiful looking-glass in the Chase mansion
in Annapolis. It is carved in wood and gilt, and four pieces of glass
are set in the frame, which is surmounted by the eagle holding a shield
with stars and stripes.

[Illustration: Illus. 375.—Looking-glass, 1780.]

Illustration 375 shows a very large looking-glass, from the Ogle house
in Annapolis. It is finished in white and gold and has the original
bevelled glass.

The looking-glass which heads Chapter XIII is in the Metropolitan
Museum of Art and is of the same period as the glass in Illustration

A looking-glass is shown in the heading to Chapter VIII in which the
decoration is produced by both carving and sawing, as well as by gilt
ornaments. The sawing of ornamental outlines appears upon the earliest
frames, such as Illustration 364, and is found upon frames made during
the eighteenth century until its close.

During the last quarter of the eighteenth century frames which are
apparently a cheaper form of the mahogany and gilt looking-glasses
described, were most popular, and are commonly found. These frames are
veneered with mahogany or walnut, and are sawed in outlines similar to
those of the richer frames of walnut or mahogany and gilt. The inside
of the frame next the glass has a narrow hand-carved gilt moulding, and
there is sometimes a gilt bird flying through the opening sawed in the
upper part of the frame, while in other frames the opening is partially
filled by three feathers, a conventional shell, or a flower in gilt.
Occasionally a line of inlaying follows the gilt moulding next the
glass. In smaller looking-glasses a gilded plaster eagle was glued upon
the frame above the glass. Such frames may be found, or rather might
have been found, in almost any old house.

Illustration 376 shows two of these looking-glasses. The larger glass
is owned by the writer, the smaller by W. S. G. Kennedy, Esq., of

A looking-glass with some variations from those previously shown forms
the heading to Chapter X. The lower part of the frame has the sawed
outlines which appear upon so many, while the upper part has a broken
arch cornice of a high and slender design, showing the influence of the
lighter Hepplewhite styles. A colored shell is inlaid in the top of
this frame, and there are two rows of fine inlaying around the glass.
The frame is surmounted by an urn or vase with flowers and stalks
of wheat, upon wires, like the slender garlands at the sides. This
looking-glass belongs to H. H. Kohn, Esq., of Albany.

[Illustration: Illus. 376.—Looking-glasses, 1750-1790.]

Illustration 377 shows another looking-glass of the same style, with
the wheat and flowers upon wires springing from an urn at the top, and
leaves of plaster strung upon wires at the sides.

Illustration 378 shows a looking-glass carved and sawed in fantastic
outlines, with ribbons at the sides. These two looking-glasses are in
the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

[Illustration: Illus. 377.—Looking-glass, 1790.]

[Illustration: Illus. 378.—Looking-glass, 1780.]

Wooden frames with sawed outlines continued fashionable until the close
of the century.

It was customary for these mahogany-framed glasses to rest upon two
mirror knobs, which fitted into the lower curves of the frame and were
screwed into the wall.

[Illustration: Illus. 379.—Enamelled Mirror Knobs, 1770-1790.]

These knobs were sometimes made of brass, but the most fashionable
mirror knobs were those with a medallion, round or oval, of Battersea
enamel upon copper, framed in brass. The design of the medallions
varied, heads of historical personages being very popular, while
flowers, landscapes, fancy heads, the eagle and thirteen stars, and
the ever-favorite design of the monument and weeping willow appear in
the bright tints of the enamel. Dwight Blaney, Esq., of Boston, has a
collection of over one hundred knobs. Washington, Lafayette, Franklin,
Lord Nelson are some of the heads found upon mirror knobs. Four pairs
of enamelled knobs, owned by the writer, appear in Illustration 379.
The head of Lord Nelson figures upon one pair.

[Illustration: Illus. 380.—Girandole, 1770-1780.]

“A circular convex glass in a gilt frame” is shown in Illustration
380. Such glasses were advertised as “mirrors,” in distinction from
the looking-glasses which were in ordinary use, and they were sold in
pairs, for sconces, the convex or occasionally concave glass precluding
the possibility of its use for a literal looking-glass, as any person
will agree who has caught in one a glimpse of a distorted reflection of
face or figure.

These mirrors were fashionable during the last quarter of the
eighteenth century, and were made in various sizes, from twelve inches
in diameter to three feet. The eagle formed the most popular ornament
for the top, but many were made with a winged horse, or a sort of
dragon, instead of the eagle. These mirrors were called girandoles,
like others with branches for candles. The girandole in Illustration
380 is owned by the Albany Historical Society.

[Illustration: Illus. 381.—Looking-glass, 1780.]

The looking-glass in Illustration 381 belongs to the writer, and is
in the same style as the glass at the head of Chapter IV, which is
described upon page 384.

[Illustration: Illus. 382.—Looking-glass, 1790.]

The garlands upon this frame are carved in fruit, grapes and plums
with leaves, instead of the laurel which is generally the design, and
the medallion above the frame has a classic head in profile, and is
surmounted by a ribbon bow-knot of three loops. The glass is of quite a
large size.

Illustration 382 shows a looking-glass owned by Mrs. William Preston
of Richmond, Virginia. The upper section of the glass is divided from
the lower by a gilt moulding, and is delicately painted, in black and
gold upon a white ground, with three panels, the middle one having a
classical design. The pyramid-shaped pieces at the top are of painted
glass and from them go chains, held by an eagle above.

[Illustration: Illus. 383.—Hepplewhite Looking-glass, 1790.]

Illustration 383 shows a large and handsome looking-glass made in the
fashion of Hepplewhite’s designs, the fan-shaped ornament below the
glass being quite characteristic of Hepplewhite’s frames. The eagle
at the top holds in his beak chains which extend to the urns upon the
upper corners of the frame.

This looking-glass was made about 1790, and is owned by Mrs. Thomas H.
Gage of Worcester.

A looking-glass made to fit the panel over the mantel is shown in
Illustration 384. This mantel with the looking-glass is in the Nichols
house, in Salem, in a room built in 1783 for a young bride. The upper
part of the frame has the lattice and ornaments in gilt upon a white
ground, and the overhanging cornice has a row of gilt balls beneath it.
The pillars framing the three sections of glass are fluted and bound
with garlands.

Another large looking-glass of a similar design, but of a few years’
later date, is shown in Illustration 385. It is owned by Dwight Blaney,
Esq., and was probably made to fit some space, as it is of unusual
shape and very large.

[Illustration: Illus. 384.—Mantel Glass, 1783.]

The three panels at the top are painted upon glass, the middle panel
having one of the mortuary subjects which were so popular with our
ancestors, of a monument with a willow carefully trained to weep over
the urn, and a despondent female disconsolately gazing upon the ground.
The glass may have been ordered by the grief-stricken lady who is
depicted in the panel, as evidence that while the looking-glass was a
tribute to the vanities of life, the doleful scene in the panel above
the glass should serve as a reminder that such vanities are fleeting.

[Illustration: Illus. 385.—Looking-glass, 1790-1800.]

The cornice and the capitals of the pillars are very elaborate, and
around the top runs a fluted band wound with garlands similar to the
pillars in Illustration 384.

Illustration 386 shows a looking-glass in a frame the main portion of
which is of salmon-colored marble, which is glued or cemented to the
wood in small thin pieces. Upon the edges of this marble is a narrow
gilt moulding, and the ornaments at the top and bottom are of gilt,
the fine scrolls at the top being made of wire. Such looking-glasses
have been found in New England, chiefly in Massachusetts, and the
majority that have been traced have Marblehead as their starting-point
in this country. In Marblehead they are known as “Bilboa glasses,”
and the story of the old wives of Marblehead is that these glasses
were all brought home by sailors who had been to Bilboa, “In the bay
of Biscay, oh,” and that the looking-glasses were either given as
presents to wives or sweethearts, or more prosaically exchanged for a
cargo of Marblehead dried fish. The frames, however, would appear to
be of Italian origin, if one wishes to be accurate, and discard the
picturesque Marblehead legend.

The looking-glass in Illustration 386 is now in the Boston Art Museum.
The “Bilboa glasses” are nearly all similar to this in design, with
marble pillars at the side and gilt ornaments at the top and bottom.
The glass is the original one with the shallow, wide bevel, and the
frame, exclusive of the ornaments at the top and bottom, measures
twenty-five inches in height and eighteen in width.

[Illustration: Illus. 386.—“Bilboa Glass,” 1770-1780.]

Another “Bilboa glass” is shown in the heading to Chapter VII. This
glass is owned by Mrs. M. G. Potter of Worcester, and the story in
the family is that this looking-glass was made by Captain John Potter
of North Brookfield, a well-known clock-maker and metal-worker, as a
present to his bride, about 1790. The glass has always been fastened
to the black panel behind it, within the memory of the family. The
probability is that the black panel was made by Captain Potter, the
frame of marble with its fine gilt ornamentation having been brought
originally with other Bilboa looking-glasses to Marblehead, from Italy
or Spain, whichever place they may have been brought from.

[Illustration: Illus. 387.—Mantel Glass, 1790.]

The top of this glass is distinctly different from the one in
Illustration 386, and is on the order of Chippendale or other designers
of his day. Several “Bilboa” frames have been found with this little
fence at the top. Other Bilboa frames have an oval or round painted
panel in the centre of the light, open gilt ornament at the top. Two
Bilboa glasses are in the collection of Francis H. Bigelow, Esq., with
the marble in the frame dark with white veins, instead of the usual
salmon color, but made in the same design with the columns at the sides.

[Illustration: Illus. 388.—Mantel Glass, 1800-1810.]

During the eighteenth century, particularly the latter years, it
was fashionable to have a looking-glass on the mantel, extending
nearly the length of the shelf, and divided into three sections, the
larger section in the middle. The line where the glass was joined was
covered by a narrow gilt moulding. Such a looking-glass is shown in
Illustration 387. It has the overhanging cornice which was a feature
of these glasses, and which was used as early as 1783. A panel of
black basalt with a classical design is set into the cornice above the
glass, and two small panels above the side columns. Francis H. Bigelow,
Esq., owns this looking-glass. It probably was made about 1790, when
Wedgwood and Flaxman designs were popular. Another mantel glass of
simpler style is shown in Illustration 334.

[Illustration: Illus. 389.—Cheval Glass, 1830-1840.]

It has the projecting cornice but not the balls beneath. The design of
the frame is in the usual classical style, with pillars at the sides.
Another similar looking-glass is shown in Illustration 335. Both of
these glasses belong to Francis H. Bigelow, Esq., of Cambridge, and
they were made from 1800 to 1810.

Illustration 388 shows a very handsome mantel glass owned by Harry
Harkness Flagler, Esq., of Millbrook, made about 1810.

[Illustration: Illus. 390.—Looking-glass, 1810-1825.]

Cheval glasses were not common in early times, to judge from the small
number of old specimens found. Illustration 389 shows one with a frame
and stand of mahogany, owned by Mrs. N. F. Rogers of Worcester, and
made about 1830 to 1840.

Looking-glasses were made from 1810 to 1825, following the heavy
designs which were fashionable at that period, and these glasses are
commonly found. By this time the shallow bevel upon the glass had
disappeared, and the glass in these heavy gilt frames is always plain.
The overhanging cornice, often with acorns or balls beneath, is a
feature of these glasses, one of which is shown in Illustration 390,
with a classical design below the cornice, and with the upper section
filled with a gilded panel. It is owned by Francis H. Bigelow, Esq.,
of Cambridge.

[Illustration: Illus. 391.—Looking-glass, 1810-1815.]

[Illustration: Illus. 392.—Looking-glass, 1810-1828.]

A glass of the same period is shown in Illustration 391, with the glass
in two sections, separated by a gilt moulding. The sides of the frame
are made in a double column, ending at the division in the glass. The
frame continues from there in a bracket effect, with a heavy cornice
above, and is more classical in design than one with twisted columns.
This looking-glass is owned by the writer.

The glass in Illustration 392 is owned by Dwight M. Prouty, Esq. The
frame is gilt, and the heavy drapery is carved in wood and gilded.

The richest and largest form of the looking-glass with a projecting
cornice is shown in Illustration 393. It is nearly the height of the
room as it rests upon a low shelf. The plain surface of the columns at
the side is broken by ornaments, and there are no capitals, but the
same round moulding with ornaments extends across the frame between the
heavy overhanging cornice and the top section, which is very large,
with scrolls and a basket of flowers in high relief, in gilt. This fine
looking-glass belongs to George W. Holmes, Esq., of Charleston, South

[Illustration: Illus. 393.—Looking-glass, 1810-1820.]

[Illustration: Illus. 394—Looking-glass, 1810-1825.]

The glass with a heavy frame in Illustration 394 belongs to the writer.
Looking-glasses were made in this style of mahogany also, with pillars
twisted, fluted, or carved with the acanthus leaf.

The glass was sometimes divided in two sections, separated by a narrow
moulding, and the upper section was often filled by a gilded panel,
as in Illustration 390. The frame at the head of Chapter II shows
a looking-glass owned by Mr. Bigelow. The panel above the glass is
gilded, and its design, of a cornucopia, was extremely popular at
this period. The upper section was frequently filled with a picture
painted upon glass. A looking-glass with such a picture is shown in
Illustration 31, and another, owned by Mrs. H. H. Bigelow of Worcester,
heads Chapter I.




NOWHERE in this country can the interiors of the old houses and
their woodwork be studied as in Salem. The splendid mansions around
Philadelphia and in Maryland and Virginia are detached and not always
accessible, but in Salem one may walk through the old streets with a
certainty that almost any of the houses passed will prove to contain
features of interest to the student. The town was the home of wealthy
ship-owners and East India merchants, who built there the houses which
we study, for their homes. They did not spare expense—the Derby house
cost $80,000; and they were fortunate in having for a fellow citizen
a wood-carver, and designer, Samuel McIntire, whose work will bear
comparison with that of men whose names have been better known. Within
the last few years, however, McIntire’s name and work have attracted
more attention, and his mantels and doors in Salem have been shown to
the reading public in the book “The Woodcarver of Salem,” by Frank
Cousins and Phil M. Riley.

McIntire built the eighty thousand dollar Derby house, which within a
short time of its completion was torn down, owing to the death of Mr.
Derby, none of the heirs wishing to keep so costly a mansion. Just at
that time, in 1804, Captain Cook was building the house now known as
the Cook-Oliver house. McIntire, who was the architect also of this
house, persuaded Captain Cook to use much of the fine woodwork which he
had made for Mr. Derby, and it was embodied in the Cook house, which
was, when finished, given to the daughter of Captain Cook, who married
General Oliver, the composer of the hymn, “Federal Street,” named for
the street upon which this house stands.

Illustration 395 shows a doorway in the hall of the Cook-Oliver house,
which was taken from the Derby mansion. The wood is pine, as in most
of the Salem houses, painted white, and the ornamentation is all
hand-carved. The design is thoroughly classical, with its graceful
drapery across the top, and the urns, also ornamented with drapery.
Through the doorway may be seen the mantel, which was taken from the
Derby mansion, with the fine hob-grate, and a little of the old Zuber
paper, which extends around the room, with scenes of the Paris of

[Illustration: Illus. 395.—Doorway and Mantel, Cook-Oliver House,
Salem, 1804.]

The doorway in Illustration 396 is in a very different style from that
of McIntire, with its delicate and graceful ornamentation.

[Illustration: Illus. 396.—Doorway in Dalton House, Newburyport, 1720.]

This doorway is in the house built in 1720 by Michael Dalton, in
Newburyport, Massachusetts, and now occupied by the Dalton Club. It
was Michael Dalton who built this house, but its golden years were
during the ownership of his son, Tristram Dalton, who married the
daughter of “King” Hooper, and who might well be called by the same
name as his father-in-law. In evidence of his wealth and lavish manner
of life is the story of his splendid coach, lined with white satin,
drawn by six white horses, and attended by four outriders, all in white
and mounted upon white steeds. In this dazzling equipage the various
brides of the family left the house, and the same royal splendor
probably attended the arrival at the house of famous guests, of whom
there were many. All this display does not agree with the common notion
of sober New England, but smacks rather of the aristocratic Virginians
who built mansions on the James River. The doorways and mantels in
the Dalton house tell of great wealth, for those early years of 1720.
They are made of pine, painted white, and all of the woodwork is hand
carved. The doorway in Illustration 396 is in the same room with the
mantel in Illustration 397 and is designed in the same classical style,
with fluted columns and Ionic capitals. The cornice is the same, and
the egg and dart moulding upon it extends with the cornice entirely
around the room. The immediate frame of the door has the same carved
moulding as the lower part of the cornice, and the window frames.
The door itself is very fine with eight panels. The knob is new. The
original knob was of iron.

Illustration 397 shows the mantel in the room with the doorway, and at
one side is a glimpse of the cornice and frame of the window with its
deep seat. The fluted square pilasters of the doorway, in the mantel
are changed to round detached columns, and there is a plain panel with
simple mouldings over the narrow shelf.

[Illustration: Illus. 397.—Mantel in Dalton House, 1720.]

Illustration 398 shows another mantel in the Dalton house, of a plainer
form, without columns, but with a heavy moulding, a variation of the
egg and dart, around the fireplace and the plain centre panel.

[Illustration: Illus. 398.—Mantel in Dalton House, 1720.]

The narrow shelf is curiously set between the panel and the moulding.
There is a panelled door upon each side of the chimney, opening into a
cupboard, and below each cupboard may be seen a tinder box, in early
days a useful adjunct to a fireplace.

[Illustration: Illus. 399—Hall and Stairs in Dalton House, 1720.]

The stairs in the Dalton house are shown in Illustration 399. The newel
is carved with a detached twist around the centre post, and each of the
three balusters upon every stair has a different twist, in the fashion
of the seaport staircases of the eighteenth century.

[Illustration: Illus. 400.—Side of Room, with Mantel; Penny-Hallet
House, 1774.]

[Illustration: Illus. 401.—Parker-Inches-Emery House, Boston, 1818.]

Two of the Dalton chairs stand at the foot of the stairs, and above
them hangs the portrait of Tristram Dalton, a fine gentleman in a white
satin waistcoat. Over the stairs hangs a “hall lanthorne” like the one
in Illustration 333.

Illustration 400 shows the side of a room in the Penny-Hallett house at
685 Centre St., Jamaica Plain. It dates to 1774, and is all elaborately
carved by hand, with scrolls, birds, garlands of flowers and fruit, and
a head over each arch at the side of the mantel. All of this woodwork
has been removed, and embodied in a Boston house.

The house known by the names of past occupants as the
Parker-Inches-Emery house is now occupied by the Women’s City Club of
Boston, which is fortunate in being able to preserve this house from
changes for business purposes.

[Illustration: Illus. 402.—Mantel in Lee Mansion, Marblehead, 1768.]

[Illustration: Illus. 403.—Landing and Stairs in Lee Mansion,
Marblehead, 1768.]

The woodwork is probably the finest in Boston, and is attributed, with
the building, to Bulfinch. The doorway in Illustration 401 is from the
back parlor of the house. The door is mahogany, and the carved woodwork
of the frame is in a severely classical design. The anthemion figures
upon the pilasters and in the capital, and the design of the frieze is
beautiful in its severity. The house was built in 1818.

In his “Complete Body of Architecture” Isaac Ware says of the
chimney-piece: “No common room, plain or elegant, could be constituted
without it. No article in a well-finished room is so essential. The eye
is immediately cast upon it on entering, and the place of sitting down
is naturally near it. By this means it becomes the most eminent thing
in the finishing of an apartment.”

The mantelpiece in Illustration 402 is in the banquet hall of the house
built in 1768, upon generous plans, by Col. Jeremiah Lee in Marblehead.
The depth of the chimney is in the rear, and the mantel is almost flush
with the panelled walls. It is painted white like the other woodwork,
and is richly ornamented with hand carving, in rococo designs, with
garlands of fruit and flowers in high relief, after the fashion of the
time, and has a plain panel over the narrow shelf, which rests upon
carved brackets.

Illustration 403 shows the beautiful landing at the head of the
stairway in the Lee mansion, with the large window and Corinthian
pilasters, and the wonderful old paper, all in tones of gray. The turn
of the stairs is seen, and the finely twisted balusters.

[Illustration: Illus. 404.—Stairs in Harrison Gray Otis House, Boston,

Illustration 404 shows the rear of the stairway, with the front door,
in the house built in 1795 by Harrison Gray Otis, in Boston. It is
now the property and headquarters of the Society for the Preservation
of New England Antiquities, having reached that safe haven after the
descent from an elegant and fashionable residence to a lodging house.
It has now been restored with great care to much of its original
appearance. The illustration shows the fine boxing of the stairs and
the ornamentation of the stair-ends. The balusters are twisted and end
in a turn without a newel post.

[Illustration: Illus. 405.—Mantel in Harrison Gray Otis House, Boston,

Illustration 405 shows a mantel in the Otis house of painted wood, with
the space above the shelf taken by two sets of doors, one sham, of
wood, and the other of iron, which opens into a safe. It is difficult
to imagine why this transparent device was placed in such a conspicuous

[Illustration: Illus. 406.—Stairs in Robinson House, Saunderstown.]

Illustration 406 shows a very good stairway in the Robinson house in
Saunderstown, R. I. It has two turns, and the panelling on the side
wall has a mahogany rail which turns with the one above the twisted

[Illustration: Illus. 407.—Stairs in Allen House, Salem, 1770.]

[Illustration: Illus. 408.—Balusters and Newel of Stairs at “Oak
Hill,” Peabody.]

The return of the stairs is panelled beneath, and at each corner of the
turn of the balusters is a large post like the newel, which extends
below the stairs and is finished in a twisted flame-like ornament.

The beautiful stairway with panelled ends and boxing in Illustration
407 is in the Allen house in Salem. The balusters are particularly good.

A section of the fine stairway at “Oak Hill,” Peabody, Massachusetts,
in Illustration 408, gives the detail of the twisted balusters
and newel so often seen in the old seaport towns. Each one of the
balusters, of which there are three upon a stair, has a different
twist, and the newel is a twist within a twist, the outer spiral being
detached from the inner one. The balusters are painted white, and the
rail and newel are of mahogany.

[Illustration: Illus. 409.—Stairs in Sargent-Murray-Gilman House,
Gloucester, 1768.]

Illustration 409 shows the staircase in the Sargent-Murray-Gilman house
in Gloucester, and Illustration 410 shows a mantel in the same house,
which was built in 1768, by Winthrop Sargent, for his daughter when
she married Rev. John Murray, who was the founder of the Universalist
church in America. Later, the house was occupied by the father of Rev.
Samuel Gilman, the author of “Fair Harvard.”

[Illustration: Illus. 410.—Mantel in Sargent-Murray-Gilman House,

[Illustration: Illus. 411.—Mantel in Kimball House, Salem, 1800.]

The mantel is of wood, hand carved, with a broken pediment supported
by plain columns with Corinthian capitals, while those below the shelf
have Ionic capitals. The stairway is very fine, with panelled boxing
and ends, and twisted balusters and newel. There is a good window upon
the landing, with fluted pilasters at each side.

A McIntire mantel is shown in Illustration 411, from the Kimball house
in Salem. The carving is done by hand and is very elaborate, with urns
in the corner insets, and a spray in the ones over the fluted pilaster
which completes the return of the mantel. A curious row of little
bell-shaped drops is beneath the shelf, the edge of which has a row of
small globes set into it, like beads upon a string.

[Illustration: Illus. 412.—Mantel in Lindall-Barnard-Andrews House,
Salem, 1800.]

Another McIntire mantel is shown in Illustration 412, the parlor
mantel in the Lindall-Barnard-Andrews house in Salem. The carving is
done by hand, and the sheaves of wheat, the basket of fruit, and the
flower-filled draperies are delicate and charming.

[Illustration: Illus. 413.—Doorway in Larkin-Richter House,
Portsmouth, about 1800.]

It was put in the house in 1800, but the paper dates to 1747, the time
when the house was built, and it was imported for this room from France.

[Illustration: Illus. 414.—Doorway in the “Octagon,” Washington.]

A very charming doorway is shown in Illustration 413, from the
Larkin-Richter house in Portsmouth. It has urns and festoons of flowers
and wonderfully fine carvings upon the cornice. Illustration 414 shows
a doorway leading into the hall in the “Octagon” in Washington, D.
C. The house derives its name from its shape, built to conform to a
triangular lot. Col. John Tayloe built it in 1800, and for twenty-five
years the entertainments given in the Octagon were famous. It is now
occupied by the American Institute of Architects. The entrance to the
house is in a circular tower of three stories in height, thus utilizing
the shape of the triangle. This gives a large, circular vestibule from
which a wide, arched doorway leads into the hall with the stairs, which
are very simple, with plain small balusters, and a mahogany rail. The
doorway is very fine, with fluted columns and carved capitals and on
the inside of the arch a row of carving, making a beautiful entrance to
the house.

[Illustration: Illus. 415.—Mantel in the “Octagon,” Washington.]

The mantel in Illustration 415 is in the “Octagon” house, and is made
of a cement composition, cast in a mould, and painted white. The
cement is fine and the effect is much as if it were wood or stone.
The designs are graceful and well modelled. This style of mantel with
figures at the sides was used more in the South, and one would hardly
find in a Northern home a mantel the motif of which was a frankly
portrayed praise of wine, with the centre panel quite Bacchanalian in
its joviality.

[Illustration: Illus. 416.—Mantel in Schuyler House, Albany.]

The mantel in Illustration 416 is in the Schuyler mansion in Albany,
New York, which has been wisely and thoroughly restored to its
original beauty, and stands a monument not only of the Albany life
of the eighteenth century, but to the early efficiency of woman, for
it was built in 1760 by the wife of Gen. Philip Schuyler, during the
absence of her husband in England. This mantel is in the room called
the Hamilton room, because it was here that the daughter of the house,
Elizabeth Schuyler, was married to Alexander Hamilton. The wood of
the mantel is, like that in the other rooms, pine, painted white, and
the room is handsomely panelled, with a heavy cornice. The shelf is
narrow with a panel above it which is surmounted by a cornice, with a
broken pediment. The mantel is very dignified and does credit to the
excellent taste of the colonial dame who chose it and superintended its

Illustration 417 shows a mantel in Philipse Manor in Yonkers, New York.
The original house was built in the seventeenth century, but in 1745 it
was greatly enlarged by Judge Philipse, the second lord of the Manor,
and it was probably at about that time that the fine woodwork in the
house was installed. Judge Philipse was the father of Mary Philipse, to
whom in 1757 Washington paid court—unsuccessfully. She married Roger
Morris in 1758, and in 1779 fled with him to England, attainted as
Royalists, together with her brother, the third and last lord of the
Manor, which then passed from the Philipse family.

[Illustration: Illus. 417.—Mantel and Doorways in Manor Hall,

It was purchased in 1868 by the village of Yonkers, and remained in
the possession of the city until 1908, when the title to the Manor was
taken by the State of New York, and the American Scenic and Historic
Preservation Society was appointed custodian, thus insuring the
preservation of this historic house.

[Illustration: Illus. 418.—Mantel and Doorways in Manor Hall, Yonkers.]

The mantel in Illustration 417 is in the East parlor, where Mary
Philipse was married, and is, like all of the woodwork, painted white
and very finely hand carved, with flowers in high relief. The iron
fire back which was originally in the fireplace is still there, but the
tiles are new.

[Illustration: Illus. 419.—Mantel in Manor Hall, Yonkers.]

The pilasters have composite capitals, and are used as a part of the
decoration of the side of the room with the mantel. The ceiling in
this room, a glimpse of which may be seen in the illustration, is
elaborately decorated with rococo scrolls, framing medallions, in two
of which are portrait heads. The entire house bears evidence of the
wealth of the lords of the Manor.

[Illustration: Illus. 420.—Doorway and Stairs, Independence Hall.]

Illustration 418 shows the mantel in the chamber over the East parlor,
also beautifully carved with flowers and fruit and scrolls, after the
fashion of the period. The three feathers above were an indication
of loyalty to the crown, as they were placed there years before the
division of parties for the King and the Prince of Wales, when the use
of the three feathers meant allegiance to the latter. Over the doors
is a carved scroll with the broken pediment, and a small scroll in the

Illustration 419 shows another mantel in Manor Hall of a less ornate
type, very dignified and fine with its simple pilasters and the smaller
ones at the sides of the panel. The cornice over the doors is one
that was used often in fine houses. These doorways and mantels are
restored, but the greater part was intact or simply out of repair.
Illustration 420 shows the beautiful panelled arch to the doorway, and
the stairs in Independence Hall in Philadelphia, with a glimpse of the
frame of the window upon the landing.

[Illustration: Illus. 421.—Stairs at “Graeme Park,” Horsham.]

The balusters are plain and substantial, with a mahogany rail, and the
rise of the stairs is very gradual. The thickness of the wall allows
wide panels in the inside of the arch, and the doorway and the pillars
at the side are of imposing height.

[Illustration: Illus. 422.—Mantel and Doorways, Graeme Park.]

Illustration 421 shows the stairway at “Graeme Park,” the house built
in 1722 by Sir William Keith, Governor of Penn’s Colony, at Horsham,
Pennsylvania. The place is named from Dr. Graeme, who married the
step-daughter of Gov. Keith, and occupied the house after 1727. Gov.
Keith lived here in great style, with a large household, as his
inventory implies, with “60 bedsteads, 144 chairs, 32 tables and 15
looking-glasses.” The discrepancy between the number of bedsteads
and looking-glasses is accounted for by the price of glass, and the
probability that many of the sixty occupants of the bedsteads were
servants or slaves, whose toilet was not important, and who did not
live in the mansion, but in the outbuildings around it. The house
was built in accordance with the manner of life of the Governor,
and contained large rooms, handsomely panelled and finished in oak,
unpainted. The stairs in Illustration 421 are all of oak, stairs,
balusters, and rail, and are of an entirely different style from the
twisted balusters and newels of the northern seaport towns, but of a
solidity and simplicity that is attractive.

Illustration 422 shows the side wall of a chamber at Graeme Park, also
of oak. The fireplace is surrounded by tiles, and the chimney-piece is
panelled above, but there is no shelf. The doorways at each side of the
mantel are charming, with the arch above and the semicircular window.
The old hinges and latches are still upon the doors.

The doorway in Illustration 423 is from the Chase house in Annapolis,
Maryland, and is in a room with several doors and windows, all with
their deeply carved frames, painted white, with solid mahogany doors,
and hinges and latches of silver. The heavy wooden inside shutters have
large rosettes carved upon them, and the effect of all this carving is
extremely rich. The Chase house was built in 1769, by Samuel Chase,
afterwards a Signer of the Declaration of Independence, and Associate
Justice of the Supreme Court.

[Illustration: Illus. 423.—Doorway in Chase House, Annapolis.]

It was sold soon after its completion, but in 1847 came back into the
possession of Chase descendants, and finally, in 1888, it was left by
will to found the Chase Home for Aged Women, together with furniture
and china, much of which still remains there. A looking-glass from this
house is shown in Illustration 374. The door latch of solid silver is
of the shape of handles shown in Illustration 11, letter F.

[Illustration: Illus. 424.—Entrance and Stairs, “Cliveden.”]

Illustration 424 shows the noble entrance from the outer hall to the
inner hall with the stairs, at “Cliveden,” in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

[Illustration: Illus. 425.—Mantel in Cliveden, Germantown.]

The house was built in 1761 by Chief Justice Benjamin Chew, and is now
owned by Mrs. Samuel Chew. Cliveden was famous for its entertainments,
and during the Revolutionary War was the scene of the Battle of
Germantown, when the house was seized by the British.

[Illustration: Illus. 426.—Fretwork Balustrade, Garrett House,

The marks of bullets may still be seen in the wall at the right of the
illustration. One of the daughters of Chief Justice Chew was the lovely
Peggy Chew, who was one of the belles of the Mischianza fête, where
Major André was her knight.

[Illustration: Illus. 427.—Stairs, Valentine Museum, Richmond.]

Cliveden had many famous guests—Washington, Lafayette, John Adams,
and others, who came to Philadelphia while it was the seat of the
administration. The door at the right of the stair in Illustration 240
opens into a parlor, the mantel in which is shown in Illustration 425.
It is plain, but attractive for its simplicity.

The balustrade in Illustration 426 is in the house of the Misses
Garrett in Williamsburg, Virginia, and is in a Chinese fretwork design.
There is one with the same fretwork in the Paca house in Annapolis,
and probably of the same date, about 1765. The winding staircase in
Illustration 427 is in the house now occupied by the Valentine Museum,
in Richmond, Virginia. It was built about 1812, and was given to the
city for a museum, by the Valentine family. It is a very good example
of the stairway known as a “winder.” Illustration 428 shows a beautiful
mantel in the residence of Barton Myers, Esq., in Norfolk, Virginia.

[Illustration: Illus. 428.—Mantel in Myers House, Norfolk.]

The mantel is in the Adam style, with festoons of flowers and scrolls
beneath the shelf, in applied ornaments, and long lines of the
bell-flower, looped in graceful lines upon the panel. The chandelier is
brass, of about 1850-1860.



 =Acanthus.= The conventionalized leaf of the acanthus plant.

 =Anthemion.= A Greek form of ornament made from the conventionalized
 flower of the honeysuckle.

 =Apron.= The ornamental wooden piece extending between the legs of a
 table, below the body frame.

 =Applied ornament.= One which is carved or sawed separately and
 fastened upon the surface.

 =Armoire.= The French term for cupboard.


 =Bail.= The part of a handle, in ring or hoop shape, which is taken
 hold of.

 =Bandy= or =Cabriole leg=. One which is made in a double curve.

 =Banister back.= A chair back made of vertical pieces of wood
 extending between an upper and lower rail.

 =Baroque.= A term applied to a style of extravagant over-ornamentation.

 =Bead= or =Beading=. A small convex moulding, sometimes divided and
 cut like beads.

 =Beaufat= or =Bowfatt=. A corner cupboard, extending to the floor.

 =Bergère.= A French chair with a very wide seat.

 =Bible box.= A box, usually of oak, for holding the Bible.

 =Block front.= A term applied to the front of a desk or chest of
 drawers, to indicate the blocked shape in which the drawer fronts are
 carved or sawed.

 =Bombé.= Kettle-shaped.

 =Bonnet top.= A top made with a broken arch or pediment.

 =Bracket.= The piece of wood of bracket shape, used in the angle made
 by the top and the leg.

 =Bracket foot.= A foot in bracket form.

 =Broken arch= or =Pediment=. One in which the cornice is not complete,
 but lacks the central section.

 =Buffet.= A sideboard, or piece of furniture used as a sideboard.

 =Buhl.= A form of inlaying engraved brass upon a thin layer of
 tortoise shell, over a colored background. Named from its inventor,
 Buhl, or Boulle.

 =Bureau.= In early time, and even now in England, a desk with a
 slanting lid. Now used chiefly to indicate a chest of drawers.

 =Bureau-table.= A small chest of drawers made like a desk, but with a
 flat top.

 =Butterfly table.= A small table with turned legs and stretchers and
 drop leaves, which are held up by swinging brackets with the outer
 edge curved like a butterfly wing.


 =Cabinet.= The interior of a desk, fitted with drawers and

 =Cabriole leg.= Bandy leg, curved or bent.

 =Capital.= The upper part of a column or pillar.

 =Carcase.= The main body of a piece of furniture.

 =Cellaret.= A low, metal-lined piece of furniture, sometimes with the
 interior divided into sections, used as a wine cooler.

 =Chaise longue.= The French term for a day bed or couch.

 =Chamfer.= A corner cut off, so as to form a flat surface with two

 =Claw-and-ball foot.= The termination of a leg with a ball held in a
 claw, usually that of a bird.

 =Comb back.= A Windsor chair back, with an extension top, shaped like
 a comb.

 =Commode.= A chest of drawers.

 =Console table.= One to be placed below a looking-glass, sometimes
 with a glass between the back legs.

 =Court= or =Press cupboard=. A very early cupboard with doors and
 drawers below and a smaller cupboard above, the top being supported by
 heavy turned columns at the corners.


 =Day bed= or =Chaise longue=. A long narrow seat used as a couch or
 settee, usually with four legs upon each side, and a chair back at the

 =Dentils.= An architectural ornament made of a series of small
 detached cubes.

 =Desk.= A piece of furniture with conveniences for writing.

 =Desk box.= A box similar to a Bible box, made to hold books or papers.

 =Diaper.= A small pattern or design, repeated indefinitely on a

 =Dish top.= A table top with a plain raised rim.

 =Dovetail.= Fastening together with mortise and tenon.

 =Dowel.= A wooden pin used to fasten sections together.

 =Dresser.= A set of shelves for dishes.

 =Dutch foot.= A foot which spreads from the leg in a circular


 =Egg and dart.= A form of ornament made of egg-shaped pieces with
 dart-shaped pieces between.

 =Empire style.= A style which became popular during the First Empire,
 largely formed upon Egyptian styles, found by Napoleon during his
 Egyptian campaign. Later the term was applied to the heavy furniture
 with coarse carving, of the first quarter of the nineteenth century.

 =Escritoire.= A secretary.

 =Escutcheon.= The metal plate of a key-hole.


 =Fan back.= The back of a Windsor chair with the spindles flaring like
 an open fan.

 =Fender.= A guard of pierced metal, or wire, to place before an open

 =Field bedstead.= One with half high posts which uphold a frame
 covered with netting or cloth.

 =Finial.= The ornament which is used at the top of a pointed effect as
 a finish.

 =Flemish foot= or =leg=. An early scroll form with one scroll turning
 in and the other turning out; found upon Jacobean furniture.

 =Fluting.= A series of concave grooves.

 =French foot.= In Chippendale’s time, a scroll foot terminating a
 cabriole leg; in Hepplewhite’s time, a delicate form of a bracket foot.

 =Fretwork.= A form of ornament in furniture, sawed or carved in an
 open design.


 =Gadroon= or =Godroon=. A form of ornament consisting of a series of
 convex flutings, chiefly used in a twisted form as a finish to the

 =Gallery.= The raised and pierced rim upon a table top, usually in
 Chinese fretwork.

 =Gate-legged=, =hundred-legged=, or =forty-legged table=. An early
 table with drop leaves and stretchers between the legs, of which there
 are six stationary upon the middle section, and one or two which swing
 out to hold up the drop leaves.

 =Girandole.= A mirror with fixtures for candles.

 =Guéridon.= A stand to hold a candelabra,—a candle-stand.

 =Guilloche.= An ornamental pattern formed by interlacing curves.


 =High-boy.= A tall-boy or chest of drawers upon high legs.

 =Hood.= The bonnet top of a high-boy.

 =Husk.= The form of ornament made from the bell-flower, much used by


 =Jacobean.= A term applied to furniture of the last quarter of the
 seventeenth century, although properly it should apply to the period
 of James I.

 =Japanning= or =Lacquering=. In the eighteenth century a process
 copied from the Chinese and Japanese lacquer; in Hepplewhite’s time a
 method of painting and gilding with a thin varnish.


 =Kas= or =Kos=. A Dutch high case with drawers and doors, made to hold
 linen, and extending to the floor, from which it was sometimes held up
 by large balls.

 =Kettle front= or =bombé=. A form of chest of drawers or secretary, in
 which the lower drawers, toward the base, swell out in a curve.

 =Knee.= The term applied to the upper curve, next the body, of a bandy

 =Knee-hole desk.= A desk with a table top, and an open space below
 with drawers at each side.


 =Lacquer.= A Chinese and Japanese process of coating with many layers
 of varnish.

 =Ladder back.= A chair back of the Chippendale period, with horizontal
 carved or sawed pieces across the back.

 =Low-boy.= A dressing-table, made to go with a high-boy.


 =Marquetry.= Inlay in different woods.

 =Mortise.= The form cut in a piece of wood to receive the tenon, to
 form a joint.

 =Mounts.= The metal handles, escutcheons, or ornaments fastened upon a
 piece of furniture.


 =Ogee.= A cyma, or double curve, as of a moulding.

 =Ormolu.= Mountings of gilded bronze or brass, used as ornaments.


 =Pie-crust table.= A table with a raised edge made in a series of

 =Pier-glass.= A large looking-glass.

 =Pigeon-hole.= A small open compartment in the cabinet of a desk or

 =Patina.= The surface of wood or metal acquired by age or long use.

 =Pediment.= The part above the body of a bookcase or chest of drawers,
 with an outline low at the sides and high in the middle, similar to
 the Greek pediment.

 =Pembroke table.= A small table with drop leaves, to use as a
 breakfast table.


 =Rail.= The horizontal pieces across a frame or panel.

 =Reeding.= Parallel convex groovings.

 =Ribband= or =Ribbon-back=. A chair back of the Chippendale period,
 with the back formed of carved ribbon forms.

 =Rococo.= A name derived from two words, rock and shell—applied to a
 style of ornamentation chiefly composed of scrolls and shells, used in
 irregular forms, often carried to extremes.

 =Roundabout= or =Corner chair=. An arm-chair, the back of which
 extends around two sides, leaving two sides and a corner in front.


 =Scroll-top.= A top made of two curves broken at the center, a bonnet

 =Secretary.= A desk with a top enclosed by doors, with shelves and
 compartments behind them.

 =Serpentine= or =Yoke front=. A term applied to drawer fronts sawed or
 carved in a double curve.

 =Settee.= A long seat with wooden arms and back, the latter sometimes

 =Settle.= A seat, usually for two, made with high wooden arms and
 back, to stand in front of a fire. Often the back turned over upon
 pivots to form a table top.

 =Slat-back.= A chair back very commonly found, with plain horizontal
 pieces of wood across the back in varying numbers.

 =Spade foot.= A foot used by Hepplewhite and Sheraton, the tapering
 leg increasing suddenly about two inches from the end, and tapering
 again forming a foot the sides of which are somewhat spade-shaped.

 =Spandrels.= The triangular pieces formed by the outlines of the
 circular face of a clock and the square corners.

 =Spanish foot.= An angular, grooved foot with a scroll base turning

 =Spindle.= A slender, round, turned piece of wood.

 =Splat.= The upright wide piece of wood in the middle of a chair-back.

 =Squab.= A hard cushion.

 =Stiles.= The vertical pieces of a panel, into which the upper and
 lower rails are set, with mortise and tenon.

 =Strainers= or =Stretchers=. The pieces of wood extending between the
 legs of chairs or tables to strengthen them, and in early times to
 rest the feet upon, to keep them from the cold floor.

 =Swell front.= A front curved in a slightly circular form.


 =Tambour.= A term applied to a door or cover made from small strips
 of wood glued to a piece of cloth which is fastened so that it is

 =Tenon.= The form of a cut which fits into a mortise so as to make a
 firm joint.

 =Torchère.= A candle stand.


 =Veneer.= A very thin piece of wood glued upon another heavier piece.

 =Vernis Martin.= A French varnish with a golden hue, named for its


 =Wainscot chair.= An early chair, usually of oak, with the seat and
 back formed of solid panels.



  Albany Historical Society, Girandole, 395;
    forty-legged table, 247.

  Alexander Ladd House, Portsmouth. Chair, 161;
    double chair, 224.

  Allen House. Stairs, 427.

  American Antiquarian Society, Worcester. Desk, 127;
    double chair, 225;
    high chair, 156;
    looking-glass, 376;
    slate-top table, 245;
    tall clock, 354.

  American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia. Chair, 177.


  Barrell, Mrs. Charles C., York Corners. Looking-glass, 380, 382.

  Baxter, James Phinney, Portland. Sideboard, 97;
    dressing-glass, 50.

  Bigelow, Francis H., Cambridge. Andirons, 319;
    candelabra, 345;
    cellaret, 111;
    chairs, 183, 185, 197, 206, 207;
    clock, 359;
    desk, 129, 151;
    lamps, 344;
    looking-glass, 41, 403, 406;
    secretary, 150;
    sconce, 340;
    settee, 228;
    sideboard, 104,105;
    sofa, 230;
    table, 251, 253, 269;
    time-piece, 368;
    washstand, 60.

  Bigelow, Mrs. H. H., Worcester. Looking-glass, 10.

  Bigelow, Irving, Worcester. Clock, 362;
    table, 266.

  Blaney, Dwight, Boston. Andirons, 318;
    bureau, 52;
    chair, 163, 198;
    desk, 133;
    high chest, 26;
    looking-glass, 400;
    music-stand, 303;
    settle, 215;
    sideboard, 108;
    table, 243, 244, 245, 246, 253, 262, 276;
    what-not, 267.

  Boston Art Museum. Clock, 354;
    looking-glass, 402.

  Bostonian Society. Clocks, 356.

  Burnside, Miss H. P. F., Worcester. Looking-glass, 64;
    table, 275.


  Carroll, Mrs. Elbert H., Worcester. Bureau, 48.

  Chase Mansion, Annapolis. Doorway, 445;
    looking-glass, 389.

  Chickering & Co. Piano, 302, 310.

  Clark, Charles D., Philadelphia. Clock, 357.

  “Cliveden,” Germantown. Entrance and stairs, 446;
    mantel, 447.

  Coates, Miss Mary, Philadelphia. Chair, 161, 176, 187, 189, 204;
    table, 253.

  Colonial Dames of Pennsylvania. Bedstead, 79;
    sideboard, 110;
    sofa, 220.

  Concord Antiquarian Society. Bedstead, 69;
    chair, 190;
    couch, 217;
    looking-glass, 242;
    settee, 234;
    table, 262, 264.

  Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford. Chest, 14.

  Cook-Oliver House, Salem. Mantel and doorway, 413.

  Corbett, George H., Worcester. Bedstead, 82.

  Crowninshield, Frederic B., Marblehead. Settee, 233.

  Cutter, Mrs. J. C., Worcester. Chair, 209.


  Dalton House, Newburyport. Doorway, 414;
    mantel, 416, 417;
    stairs, 418.

  Darlington, Dr. James H., Brooklyn. Piano, 294, 327.

  Deerfield Museum. “Beaufatt,” 90;
    chair, 182;
    chest, 11, 15;
    dulcimer, 304;
    settle, 214;
    spinet, 282.

  Dyer, Clinton M., Worcester. Table, 258;
    table and chair, 267.


  Earle, Mrs. Alice Morse, Brooklyn. Chair, 187;
    desk, 138.

  Essex Institute, Salem. Chair, 158;
    cupboard, 88;
    settee, 216.


  Faulkner, Dr. G., Roxbury. Clock, 363.

  Flagler, Harry Harkness, Millbrook. Andirons, 320;
    candle-stand, 343;
    chair, 164, 186, 188, 195;
    clock, 359;
    double-chair, 222;
    dressing-table, 39;
    fender, 320;
    high chest, 37;
    lantern, 346;
    looking-glass, 39, 386, 404;
    side table, 93;
    settee, 221;
    table, 254, 255, 256, 258, 261;
    writing table, 136.


  Gage, Mrs. Thomas H., Worcester. Bureau, 53, 56;
    case of drawers, 55;
    desk, 152;
    looking-glass, 398;
    sofa, 239.

  Gage, Miss Mabel C., Worcester. Desk, 120.

  Garrett, The Misses, Williamsburg. Mixing table, 116;
    stairs, 448.

  Gay, Calvin, Worcester. Clock, 372.

  Gilbert, J. J., Baltimore. Bedstead 71;
    bookcase, 143;
    chair, 199;
    table, 256;
    music-stand, 306.

  Gilman, Daniel, Exeter. Chest of drawers, 36.

  Girard College. Settee, 229.

  Graeme Park, Horsford. Mantel, 443;
    stairs, 442.

  Grisier, Mrs. Ada, Auburn. Piano, 295.


  Harrison, Mrs. Charles Custis, St. David’s. Mixing-table, 115.

  Henry, Mrs. J. H., Winchendon. Desk, 153.

  Herreshoff, J. B. F., New York. Double-chest, 33.

  Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Chair, 173, 201;
    desk, 112.

  Hogg, Mrs. W. J., Worcester. Settee, 227.

  Holmes, George W., Charleston. Bookcase, 144;
    looking-glass, 409;
    side-table, 94.

  Hosmer, The Misses, Concord. Couch, 218;
    sofa, 235;
    table, 268.

  Hosmer, Walter, Wethersfield. Chair, 180;
    couch, 218;
    cupboard, 88;
    desk, 125, 126;
    dressing-table, 35.

  Huntington, Dr. William R., New York. Desk with cabinet top, 130.

  Hyde, Mrs. Clarence R., Brooklyn. Comb-back rocker, 175;
    chair, 202;
    knife-box, 100;
    settee, 232;
    table, 275.


  Independence Hall. Doorway and stairs, 441.

  Ipswich Historical Society. Bedstead, 67;
    chair, 170, 171.


  Johnson-Hudson, Mrs. Stratford. Bedstead, 66;
    bureau, 47;
    candle-shades, 332;
    kas, 91;
    looking-glass, 332;
    screen, 338;
    table, 259.


  Kennedy, W. S. G., Worcester. Chair, 190, 203;
    clock, 364;
    desk, 149;
    looking-glass, 392;
    piano, 293;
    sideboard, 113;
    sofa, 230.

  Kimball House, Salem. Mantel, 431.

  Knabe, William & Co., Baltimore. Harpsichord, 285.

  Kohn, H. H., Albany. Looking-glass, 315.


  Ladd House, Portsmouth. Chair, 161;
    settee, 224.

  Lang, B. J., Boston. Piano, 308.

  Larkin-Richter House, Portsmouth. Doorway, 433.

  Lawrence, Walter Bowne, Flushing. Chair, 208.

  Lawton, Mrs. Vaughan Reed, Worcester. Harp, 313.

  Lee Mansion, Marblehead. Bedstead, 70;
    fireplace, 316;
    mantel, 422;
    stairs, 425.

  Lemon, E. R., Sudbury. Chest of drawers, 19;
    fire-frame, 328;
    looking-glass, 349, 374.

  Lincoln, Waldo, Worcester. Chair, 209, 210;
    sideboard, 109.

  Lindall-Barnard-Andrews House, Salem. Mantel, 432.


  MacInnes, J. C., Worcester. Side-table, 106.

  Manor Hall, Yonkers. Mantel, 438, 439, 440.

  Marsh, Mrs. Caroline Foote, Claremont-on-the-James. Chest, 13.

  Meggatt, William, Wethersfield. Lantern clock, 349.

  Metropolitan Museum of Art. Basin-stand, 59;
    chair, 191;
    dressing-table, 24;
    high-boy, 27;
    looking-glass, 393, 411;
    table, 262, 277.

  Moffett, Charles A., Worcester. Clock, 369.

  Moore, D. Thomas, Westbury. Clock, 371;
    chair, 196.

  Morse, Charles H., Charlestown. Bureau, 58;
    clock, 366;
    dressing-table, 54.

  Morse, Mrs. E. A., Worcester. Bedstead, 77;
    chair, 194, 208;
    clock, 361, 364;
    table, 279;
    washstand, 62.

  Morse, Miss Frances C., Worcester. Andirons, 324;
    bedstead, 78, 81;
    bureau, 45, 51;
    candlesticks, 333;
    chairs, 166-168, 169, 172, 174, 178, 184, 193, 200, 212;
    clock, 350, 357, 360, 362, 364;
    coasters, 102, 252;
    desk, 146;
    high chest, 30;
    lamps, 329;
    looking-glass, 84, 280, 378, 392, 396, 407, 410;
    low-boy, 30, 40,378;
    mirror-knobs, 394;
    night-table, 62;
    piano, 290;
    piano-stool, 298, 300;
    secretary desk, 147;
    settee, 321;
    sideboard, 102;
    sofa, 236;
    table, 250, 252, 260, 265;
    washstand, 61, 63.

  Mount Vernon. Lamp, 335;
    mantel, 324.

  Myers, Barton, Norfolk. Mantel, 450;
    settee, 232;
    table, 274.


  Newburyport Historical Association. Cradle, 65;
    desk with cabinet top, 137;
    table, 244.

  Newman, Mrs. M., New York. Sofa, 241.

  Nichols, The Misses, Salem. Chair, 205;
    looking-glass, 399.


  “Oak Hill.” Peabody. Stairs, 428.

  “Octagon,” Washington. Doorway, 434;
    mantel, 435.

  Ogle House, Annapolis. Looking-glass, 300.

  Orth, John, Boston. Clavichord, 288.

  Otis, Harrison Gray, House, Boston. Mantel, 425;
    stairs, 424.


  Parker-Inches-Emery House, Boston. Doorway, 420.

  Pendleton Collection, Providence. Hall lantern, 348;
    knife urn, 99.

  Pennsylvania Historical Society. Chair, 173, 183, 184;
    desk, 124.

  Penny-Hallett House, Boston. Mantel, 419.

  Philadelphia Library Association. Looking-glass, 384.

  Pilgrim Society, Plymouth. Chairs, 157;
    cradle, 65.

  Poore, Ben: Perley, Byfield. Bedstead, 72, 75;
    candle-stand, 330, 342;
    cellaret, 111;
    chair, 159, 160, 162, 172, 181, 186, 204;
    chest on frame, 18;
    clock, 352;
    looking-glass, 117, 154;
    screen, 342;
    sofa, 240.

  Potter, Mrs. M. G., Worcester. Looking-glass, 213.

  Pratt, Miss Emma A., Worcester. Miniature tall clock, 360.

  Prentice, Mrs. Charles H., Worcester. Dutch chair, 179.

  Preston, Mrs. William, Richmond. Looking-glass, 397.

  Priest, Mrs. Louis M., Salem. Piano, 296.

  Pringle House, Charleston. Chandelier, 336.

  Prouty, Dwight M., Boston. Andirons, 322;
    chair, 166, 192, 202;
    chest, 17;
    chest of drawers, 20;
    clock, 368;
    bureau, 42;
    hall lantern, 347;
    looking-glass, 375, 384, 388, 408;
    music-stand, 307;
    screen, 341;
    settee, 219;
    side-table, 107;
    stool, 167;
    table, 248, 263, 270.


  Rankin, Mrs. F. W., Albany. Desk, 119, 120;
    table, 249.

  Rines, Albert S., Portland. Chair, 192;
    secretary, 135;
    settee, 226.

  Robart, F. A., Boston. Dressing-table 23;
    high-chest, 22.

  Robinson House, Saunderstown. Stairs, 426.

  Rogers, Mrs. N. F., Worcester. Cheval glass, 405.


  Sargent-Murray-Gilman House Gloucester. Mantel, 429;
    stairs, 430.

  Schoeffer, Dr. Charles, Philadelphia. Sofa, 212.

  Schuyler House, Albany. Mantel, 436.

  Shapiro, L. J., Norfolk. Sideboard, 114;
    table, 272.

  Sibley, Charles, Worcester. Bureau, 46.

  Smith, John, Worcester. Table, 273.

  Stevenson, Cornelius, Philadelphia. Screen, 341.


  Tappan, Mrs. Sanford, Newburyport. Piano, 292.

  Tilton, Miss M. E., Newburyport. Table, 251.

  Turner, Frank C., Norwich. Clock, 369.


  Unitarian Church, Leicester. Chair, 200.


  Valentine Museum, Richmond. Stairs, 449.

  Verplanck, Samuel, Fishkill. Desk with cabinet top, frontispiece.


  Warner House, Portsmouth. Bedstead, 76;
    bill of lading, 139;
    bookcase, 142;
    bureau, 43;
    chandelier, 334;
    double chest, 32;
    dressing-table, 34;
    high chest, 28;
    sofa, 337;
    stove, 327.

  Waters, Charles R., Salem. Bedstead, 74;
    bureau, 44;
    candelabra, 325;
    chair, 155, 160, 194, 196, 203;
    chest, 16;
    chest upon frame, 18;
    cupboard, 87;
    desk box, 118;
    desk with cabinet top, 128;
    hob grate, 325;
    looking-glass, 383;
    lantern clock, 350.

  Wing, Mrs. John D., Millbrook.
    Music stand, 303.

  Woodward, Mrs. Rufus, Worcester.
    High chest, 29.

  Woodward, Mrs. Samuel B., Worcester.
    Bedstead, 80;
    bureau, 57;
    table, 268.

  Worcester Art Museum. Table, 274.



  Adam, Robert and J., 4, 5, 99, 184.

  Adam leg, 235, 241.

  Adams, John, quoted, 284.

  Allen house, 427.

  Andirons, 317.

  Argand lamp, 334.

  Astor piano, 292.


  Baldwin, Christopher Columbus, quoted, 314.

  Banister-back chair, 168.

  “Banjo” clock, 366.

  Basin-stand, 58.

  Beaufet or beaufatt, 89, 90.

  Bedstead, claw-and-ball foot, 69;
    cording of, 73;
    coverlid for, 78;
    early, 65;
    field, 67;
    French, 82;
    Hepplewhite, 73;
    low post, 80;
    ornaments for concealing bed screws, 77;
    press, 66;
    sleigh, 83;
    steps for, 73, 79.

  Bell-flower, 197.

  Belter, John, 290.

  Betty lamp, 328.

  Bevelling, 375.

  Bible box, 118.

  “Biglow Papers,” quoted, 31.

  “Bilboa” looking-glass, 401.

  Bill of lading, 189.

  Bird-cage clock, 349.

  Bliss, Rev. Daniel, 190.

  Block, front, 42, 128, 129.

  Blythe, Samuel, 286.

  Bolles collection, 25, 26, 155, 242.

  Bonaparte chair, 209.

  Books on furniture, 4.

  Bowley, Devereux, 355.

  Bracket clock, 352.

  Brass beading, 237.

  Brewster chair, 157.

  Broadwood harpsichord, 287.

  Brown, Gawen, 355.

  Brown, John, Joseph, Nicholas, Moses, 34, 195.

  Bulkeley, Rev. Peter, 217.

  Bureau, 41, 113, 146.

  Burney, Dr., quoted, 281.

  Burnt work on chest, 12.

  Butterfly table, 245.


  Candelabra, 373, 375.

  Candle beam, 337.

  Candle extinguisher, 334.

  Candle shades, 332.

  Candle-stand, mahogany, 343;
    iron, 331.

  Candlestick, 327, 333.

  Carroll, Charles, 235.

  Carver chair, 157.

  Cellaret, 111.

  Chair, bandy-leg, 177;
    banister, 168;
    cane, 159;
    Carver and Brewster, 157;
    comb-back, 175;
    Dutch, 178;
    easy, 182;
    fan-back, 175;
    Flemish, 160;
    leather, 158;
    Queen Anne, 167;
    rocking, 173;
    roundabout, 170;
    slat-back, 171;
    turned, 156;
    Turkey work, 160;
    wainscot, 157;
    Windsor, 175;
    writing, 177.

  Chair table, 243.

  Chaise longue, 217.

  Chambers, Sir William, 4.

  Chandelier, 334, 336.

  Chandler, John, 225, 355.

  Charters, John, 300.

  Chase, Samuel, 444.

  Chase house, 444.

  Chest, 10.

  Chest of drawers, 19.

  Chest on frame, 18.

  Cheval glass, 405.

  Chew, Benjamin, 447.

  Chickering & Co., 301, 310.

  China steps, 25.

  Chinese taste, 193, 223, 379.

  Chippendale, Thomas, 4, 184.

  Clavichord, 287.

  Claw-and-ball foot, 178.

  Clementi, 291.

  Cleopatra’s Barge, 233.

  Cliveden, 446.

  Clocks, 348.

  Coasters, 103, 251.

  Comb-back, 175.

  Commode, 41, 66;
    table, 41.

  Cook-Oliver house, 412.

  Cording a bed, 73.

  Corner chair, 170.

  Cornucopia sofa, 238.

  Couch, 217.

  Cradle, 65.

  Creepers, 321.

  Cupboard, almery, 84;
    corner, 90;
    court, 86;
    livery, 86;
    press, 84.

  Cupboard cloths or cushions, 89.


  Dalton, Tristram, 415.

  Darby and Joan seat, 220.

  Darly, Matthias, 4.

  Day bed, 217.

  Dearborn, General Henry, 167.

  Derby house, 411.

  Desk, 107, 108.

  Desk-box, 108.

  Dish-top table, 252.

  Dodd & Claus, 289.

  Double chair, 222, 225.

  Double chest, 32.

  Drawing-table, 243.

  Dressing-glass, 50.

  Dulcimer, 304.

  Dutch marquetrie, 46.

  Dutch tea-table, 251.


  Easy-chair, 182, 183.

  Edwards and Darley, 379.

  Emerson, Rev. William, 190.

  Empire bureau, 56, 57, 58;
    sideboard, 114;
    dining-table, 272.

  Erben, Peter, 297.

  Extension-top chair, 191.


  Fan-back, 175.

  Fancy chair, 210.

  Faneuil, Peter, 347.

  Fender, 320.

  Fireback, 323.

  Fire-frame, 326.

  Fireplace, 316, 319.

  Flemish chairs, 160.

  Flucker, Lucy, 49.

  Foot, claw-and-ball, 178;
    Dutch, 171;
    Flemish, 163;
    French, 48, 222;
    spade, 210;
    Spanish, 163.

  Forms, 139.

  Forty-legged table, 248.

  Franklin, Benjamin, 306, 326.

  Franklin stove, 326.

  French foot, Hepplewhite, 48;
    scroll, 186, 222.

  Frets, 288.

  Friesland clock, 341.

  Fringe, netted, 68.


  Gas, 344.

  Gate-leg, 248.

  Gibbon, Dr., 3.

  Gilman, Rev. Samuel, 431.

  Girandole, 395.

  Girard, Stephen, 229.

  Graeme Park, 442.

  Guilloche, 200.


  Hadley chest, 16.

  Haircloth covering, 204, 241.

  Hall lantern, 346, 347.

  Hamilton, Alexander, 437.

  Hancock, John, 126, 225, 267, 211, 346, 353.

  Hancock, Thomas, 353.

  Handles, 21, 49.

  Harmonica, 305.

  Harp, 313.

  Harp-shaped piano, 311.

  Harpsichord, 286.

  Harris, John, 286.

  Hassam, Stephen, 365.

  Haward, Charles, 281.

  Hawkey, Henry, 312.

  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, quoted, 38.

  Heaton, J. Aldam, quoted, 9.

  Hepplewhite, 4, 6, 196.

  Hessians, 318.

  High-boy, 24, 31.

  Hipkins, A. J., 283.

  Hitchcock, John, 284;
    Thomas, 281, 283.

  Hob-grate, 323.

  Holmes, O. W., quoted, 1, 132, 155.

  Howard, Edward, 364.

  Hundred-legged table, 2, 248.

  Huntington, Dr. William R., 133.


  Ince and Mayhew, 4, 184, 379.

  Independence Hall, 441.

  Irish Chippendale, 93.


  Jacobean furniture, 159.

  Japanning, 24, 123, 204.

  Japan work, 24, 123, 376.

  Jefferson, Thomas, 177, 334.

  Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 91;
    Dr. William Samuel, 258, 338.

  Johnson, Thomas, 4, 5, 379.

  Joint or joined furniture, 10.

  Jones, William, 4.


  Kas or kasse, 91.

  Keene, Stephen, 281, 282.

  Keith, Sir William, 443.

  Kettle-shape, 44, 135.

  Kettle-stand, 257.

  Kimball house, 431.

  Knife-boxes, 99, 100.

  Knobs for looking-glasses, 394.

  Knox, General, 50, 98.


  Lacquered furniture, 24, 123.

  Lafayette, 238.

  Lamp, betty, 328;
    mantel, 345;
    silver, 335.

  Langdale, Josiah, 162.

  Lantern, 346.

  Lantern clock, 348.

  Larkin-Richter house, 433.

  Lee, Col. Jeremiah, 423.

  Lee mansion, 317, 423.

  Light-stand, 257.

  Lindall-Barnard-Andrews house, 432.

  Lock, Matthias, 4, 5, 379.

  Logan, James, 110.

  Looking-glasses, 374.

  Low-boy, 24, 31.

  Lowell, James Russell, quoted, 21.


  Macphaedris, Archibald, 140.

  Mahogany, 3, 4.

  Manor hall, 437.

  Mantel lamps, 345.

  Manwaring, Robert, 4, 184.

  Marie Antoinette, 97, 227.

  Marquetrie, 46.

  McIntire, 207, 411.

  Mather, Richard, 156.

  Mayhew, Ince and, 4, 184.

  Melville, David, 344.

  Miniature bureau, 53;
    sofa, 239.

  Mirror knobs, 394.

  Mischianza fête, 385, 448.

  Mixing table, 115, 116.

  Morgan, Lady, 308, 314.

  Morris, Robert, 116.

  Mouldings, 19, 47.

  Mount Vernon, chair, 205;
    fireplace, 324;
    lamp, 335.

  Murray, Rev. John, 431.

  Musical clock, 361, 363.

  Musical glasses, 305.

  Music-stand, 303, 306, 307.

  Myers, Barton, house, 450.


  Newport chest, 33;
    bureau, 45;
    writing table, 136.

  Night table, 62.


  Oak, 3, 19.

  Oak Hill, 428.

  Octagon house, 434.

  Oliver, Gen. 412.

  Osborne, Sir Danvers, 122.

  Otis, Harrison Gray, house, 424.


  Parker-Inches-Emery house, 420.

  “Parson Turell’s Legacy,” quoted, 155.

  Pembroke table, 262.

  Pendleton collection, 100, 347.

  Penn, William, 125.

  Penny-Hallet house, 419.

  Pepperell, Sir William, 160.

  Pepys, Samuel, quoted, 281.

  Philipse, Mary, 437.

  Philipse Manor house, 437.

  Phyfe, Duncan, 275.

  Piano, 289.

  Piano-stool, 298, 300.

  Pie-crust table, 252.

  Pillar-and-claw table, 272.

  Pipe-case, 36.

  Pollen, Hungerford, quoted, 375.

  Popkin, Dr. John Smelling, 129.

  Portuguese twist, 168.

  Preston, John, 245.

  Prince of Wales feathers, 197.

  Pringle house, 337.

  Province House, 332.

  Putnam cupboard, 86.


  Quadrille, 258.

  Queen Anne chair, 167.

  Quill work, 339.

  Quincy, Eliza Susan Morton, quoted, 335.


  Ripley, Dr. Ezra, 190, 234.

  Rittenhouse, David, 358.

  Robinson, G. T., quoted, 3.

  Robinson house, 426.

  Rockers, 173, 177.

  Roundabout chair, 170.

  Rumford, Count, 320.


  Sally, ship, 96, 226.

  Sargent-Murray-Gilman house, 429.

  Satinwood, 6.

  Schuyler, Gen. Philip, 437.

  Schuyler house, 437.

  Sconce, 377.

  Screen, 338, 341.

  Scrutoir, 118.

  Secret drawers, 132, 136.

  Settee, 216, 221.

  Settle, 214.

  Sewall, Judge Samuel, 280, 321, 377.

  Shaw, Miss Rebecca, 137, 189.

  Shearer, Thomas, 5, 96, 264.

  Sheraton, Thomas, 4, 184, 205.

  Sheraton quoted, 3, 7, 106, 146, 150, 295.

  Sherburne, John, 28.

  Sideboard, 91;
    Shearer, 96;
    Hepplewhite, 101;
    Sheraton, 105;
    measurements of, 106;
    woods used in, 99.

  Side table, Chippendale, 93, 94.

  Slat-back chair, 171.

  Slate-top table, 245.

  Slaw-bank, 66.

  Smoker’s tongs, 331.

  Spade foot, 210.

  Spandrels, 353.

  Spanish foot, 165.

  Spindle-leg, 249.

  Spinet, 281.

  Splat, 179, 184.

  Squabs, 238.

  Stand, candle, 343;
    Dutch, 251;
    kettle, 257;
    light, 257.

  Stein, André, 398.

  Stenton, 110, 221.

  Steps for beds, 73, 79.

  Storr, Marmaduke, 355.

  Strong, Governor Caleb, 190.

  Swan, Colonel, 96.


  Table, butterfly, 246;
    card, 257, 264;
    chair, 243;
    dish-top, 252;
    drawing, 243;
    Dutch tea, 251;
    framed, 248;
    forty, gate or hundred-legged, 243;
    joined, 243;
    Pembroke, 262;
    pie-crust, 252;
    pillar-and-claw, 272;
    slate-top, 245;
    spindle-legged, 249;
    work, 268.

  Table borde, 242.

  Table piano, 301.

  Tall clocks, 354.

  Tambour, 150.

  Taylor, Col. John, 434.

  Tea-tray, mahogany, 264;
    Sheffield, 249.

  Terry, Eli, 370.

  Thomas, Seth, 370.

  Turkey work, 159, 216.


  Unitarian church, Leicester, 200.

  Upright piano, 309.


  Valentine Museum, 449.

  Vanderbilt, Mrs., quoted, 72.

  Van Rensselaer, Killian, 120.

  Van Rensselaer, Philip, 120.

  Virginal, 280.


  Wainscot chair, 157.

  Walnut, 3.

  Ware, Isaac, quoted, 423.

  Warner, Colonel Jonathan, 140.

  Warville, Brissot de, quoted, 289.

  Washington, George, 103, 151, 201, 205, 323, 378.

  Washstand, 57.

  Watson’s Annals, quoted, 306.

  Wendell, Elizabeth Hunt, 283.

  Wentworth, Governor John, 223.

  What-not, 267.

  Whipple house, 171, 319.

  Wig stand, 58.

  Willard, Aaron, Benjamin, Simon, 362.

  Windsor, chair, 174.

  Wood, Small & Co., 300.

  Work-table, 270.

  Writing-chair, 177.

  Writing-table, 136.

Printed in the United States of America.

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