Category Furniture of the eighteenth century



HIS list comprises Boston craftsmen engaged in furniture mak – mg during the eighteenth century (1701-1800)* It ine! tides men still wotting in the Jacobean style of the seventeenth century as well ns those working in the William and Mary style fashionable in the first quarter of the century, in the Queen Anne and Chippendale styles popular for about seventy years, and in the fash­ion of the American Federal period of the last fiftren years of the century when Boston finally recovered from the depression and de­population of the war and postwar years.

Joiners, turners, japanncts. cabinetmakers, chairmakcrs, Windsor chair makers, upholsterers, and even a few specialists who made picture frames arc included...



Brown, Harry Philip, Panshin, A. J., and Forsaith, С. C. Textbook of Wood Technology. 2 vols, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1949 and 1964. (Cjrl dc Zeetiw collaborated with Brown and Panshin in the prepara­tion ot the second edition of voL I, 1964. and is listed as one of the authors.)

Vol. i contains straight technology, excellent glossary of identifica­tion factors, good ill list rations, and is the more useful of the two vol­umes. Deals exclusively with timber woods of tile United States,

Carpenter, Charles H-, and Leney. Lawrence, 38г Photomicrographs of 91 Papermaking F/fcerj, Rev, ed. Syracuse, New York: State University of New York, College of Forestry. 195г.

Good illustrations of longitudinal vessels of major pulp woods, most of which are easily identified under the microscope.



Sumach, Rhus copnUiua

Diameter SC-io Light; soft; coarse-grained; light brown streaked with green and often tinged with red. It ranged from northern New England to southern Florida, In fYeflfi American Sylva by F. Andrew Miehaux (Philadelphia; J, Dobson, 184a), in, 2OJ1 "Among the native trees, in the Northern States, the Black Birch, the Yellow Birch, the Canoe Birch, the Red-dowering Curled Maple, the Bird’s-eye Maple, the Wild Cherny Tree and the Sumac, are chiefly employed in cabinet­making.”

Sycamore, pknw occiJmtalit L„ also tilled Buttonwood and American Иале-Тгсс

Diameter up to lot Moderately heavy; hard; moderately strong in bending and endwise compression; moderately stiff; moderately low in ihock rcirtsmCt; ditfi – Lull to split be cause fll’iiitttlockcd grain; шш well; glues satisfacto...


SOME TYPICAL OAKS or THE "WHIT*" CROUP,. called “lrucobalanus&quot

Burr Oak, Qurretu mactotuTpa, also called Mossy Cup Oak

Diameter 6′-7′, Heavy; strong; tough; close-grained; strong in bending and end­wise compression; high in shock resistance; stifT; tendency to have cuchantcnmg; machines well; finishes smooth; glues well; tendency to split along the rays; very durable; dark or rich light brown. It ranged front New Brunswick to the valley of the Petiobscot River, Maine, Vermonr, western Massachusetts.

White Oak, Quercus alba

Diameter 3 ‘-4’ Same properties asQ. mactocotpa. It ranged from southern Maine re Florida.

Post Oak, Quettus OeUnia

Diameter 3-1Same properties as above species, but also somewhat like the Black Ash (Primлій ‘rtjjrj); spins well tangentially; used for making baskets and splint seats...



Red Oak, Qitmws hvreatis Mich к. (Qwerau rtiira L.)

Diameter 2 ‘-j H. Heavy; hard; strong; close-grained; usually sera і ght-gratned; strong in bending and endwise compressior; high in shock resistance; stiff; tendency to havecaschardcning; machines well; finishes well; average 111 gluing; some tendency to split along thr rays; light reddish brown. It ranged from New Brunswick through northern New England.

Scarlet Oak,. Qiicrciu (otAnea, also called Spanish Oak

Diameter 2.’-}’. Much like die O, bprullt except that its grain is coarser, its sap – wood much thicker and darker. It ranged from the valley of the Androscoggin River, Maine, through southern New Hampshire and Vermont,

Pis Oak, Qi№hs palustris, also called Swamp Spanish Oak

Diameter i-i’. Like Q...


POROUS WOOD TIMBERS White Ash, Froxima amerkma

Diameter 5 ‘-6’. Heavy; hard; strong; works well under tools; close-grained; tough; brown heart Wood; Very thick light straw-colored sap wood. It ranged front

Nova Scotia to Florida,

* Spruce wood, though little used in the construction of furniture; has long been a favorite in the making of musical instruments, «рсеїлЦ-у sounding hoards, for ir has exceptional resonance. All of these trees ranged through all of (he New England states.

25<5 Boston Furniture of the Eighteenth Century

Red Ash, Fraxinus pctutsyivtirtica

Diameter lST-aO’, Heavy; hard; fairly strong; works well under tools; brittle; coarse-grained; light brown heartwood; very thick, lighter brown sapwood with ye Ho wish streaks. It ranged from Nova Scotia to central Georgia*

Black Ash, Fraxinus ttigm, also tailed Brown...


New England Timbers Red Си d л r, Junipenu Virginiana

Diameter j’-.i’. Light; dosc-graiucd; brittle; not strong; worts easily under tools; high in shock resistance; fine-textured; very fragrant; very resistant to decay; purplish or rose-red when first exposed, aging rapidly to a dull red or reddish brown. It ranged from New Brunswick to the toast of Georgia.

іііаск Spruce, Picca mtrfana*

Diameter rt’-ra’. Light; soft; not strong; glues well; easy to work; pale yellow – white.

White StHtUCE. Piftaglauta*

diameter under 2’r Same general properties as the Шаек Spruce.

Red Spruce, Ріка rubra*

Diameter Same general properties as the Black and White Spruces, except somewhat doser-grained and slightly tinged with red.

Tamapack, Larix taricina, also called Eastern Larch

Diameter iS’-ao*...


New England Timbers CONIFER TIMBERS

А в bo r vitae, Thuja addtnfaHs, also called Northern Whitt Cedar

Diameter а’-з’ Light; soft; brittle; very coarse to finc-prained; somewhat harsh under tools, but can tv worked to a smooth finish and holds paint well; faint bitter taste; pale brown. It rallied from New Etrimswiek to southern New Hampshire and central Massachusetts,

Ftp, Ahks baUamea, also called Нлкаш Fir

Diameter ii’-tS*, Light; soft; not strong; coarse-grained; pale brown streaked with yellow1; is used for sugar and butter tubs because of absence of objectionable taste. It ranged through northern New England and western Massachusetts.

Hemlock, Tsugatanadenslt

Diameter Лг-4 *...


Benjamin Fro thin glia m


O few Artier ran cabinetmakers have Ictr behind a broad variety of signed work that the picture of normal daily production cannot be easily examined by the student. William Savery of Philadelphia, John Townsend of Newport, and Benjamin FrOthing – hani of Charlestown arc three major exceptions in the eighteenth century, each having liberally labelled his furniture, while others as competent did not seem to do so. Among the many famous cabinet­makers of Boston, like John Cogswell, George Bright, and Ebenezer Hartshonie, sometimes only one or two pieces have retained signa­tures or maker’s marks, while in the case of Alexander Edwards, who paid as high a tax as Bright, not a single example is known...


Ornamental Carving on Boston Furniture. of die Chippendale Style

ДТ Last throe major furniture carved, each with his own particu – /-Д lar style of carving, worked in Boston between the years J – і t755 and 17Я5. One style of Carving, seen on a chesl-on – chest signed by John Cogswell, is notable for its three-dimensionality arid the wide shallow grooves articulating the surface of the leaves (fig. 139}. Another style, distinguished by two-dimensionality and the thin, narrow grooves used to indicate leaf forms, is evident on a desk and bookcase by George Bright (fig. 140). A third style, seen on a distinctive group of chairs and settees, is notable for its amorphous quality and lack of sharp articulating lines (fig. 141),

Personal and business papers relating to the activities of furniture craftsmen in eighteenth-century Boston are scarce...