Category: the Virginia Museum

Eastern Shore

The Eastern Shore of Virginia, which is separated from the V irginia mainland by the Chesapeake Bay, shows an independent development of furniture styles. Since the peninsula is shared w ith Maryland and Delaware, it might initially appear that a stronger influence would be felt from Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley than Tidewater Virginia. But […]


Fredericksburg, situated on the falls of the Rap­pahannock River, had become Virginia’s leading industrial center by 1770. From the early eighteenth-century settlement of Germanna, anil the iron furnace established there by Lieutenant- Governor Alexander Spotswood in 1714, the Rap­pahannock River basin supported this industry.’ Fredericksburg’s prominence in industrial develop­ment is also well documented by two […]


Richmond did not achieve prominence as an urban center until late in the colonial period, and it was not until the capital was moved from Williamsburg in 1780 that it became the focal point for political activity in Virginia. The city blossomed after that date and, like others during the federal period, attracted a community […]

Southeast Virginia

Southeast Virginia is the area bounded by the James River to the north, the Carolinas to the south, and the Piedmont to the west. Colonial furniture pro – duccd there is dramatic testimony to the combined influence of Williamsburg and Norfolk on rural cabinetmaking. Styles from these urban centers also extended into the Albemarle Sound […]


T he clothespress and chest made by John Selden raise some interesting questions regarding patronage patterns in colonial T idewater. Were the pieces purchased in Norfolk during 1775, or could they have been saved from the fire and taken to Blandford, where they were then sold to the Carters? Is it possible that Selden attempted […]

. Eastern Uirgmia

On New Year’s Day of 1776, Virginia’s largest town, Norfolk, was burned to the ground. Unfortu­nately, most of that area’s colonial furniture was destroyed in that fire, but court records for the county of Norfolk that survive from the period are testimony to the existence of a strong community of tradesmen. The lack of notices […]


The five ceremonial chairs shown in this study comprise one of the most important groups made in eighteenth-century America. Two of them (figs. 7, 46) have histories of usage in the Capitol building in Williamsburg. The remaining three are Masonic Master’s chairs (figs. 47, 49, 59). As a rule, furniture from eastern Virginia is stylistically […]


The excavation of the Anthony I lay shop by Ivor Noel I lume, Colonial Williamsburg’s resident ar­chaeologist, was the most successful of several cabinetmaking sites examined in Williamsburg. Many artifacts w ere recovered, yielding a remark­able quantity of information regarding the building and its activities, and providing the main thrust of Noel I lume’s Williamsburg […]