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Glenn Adamson
Mannerism in Early American Furniture: Connoisseurship, Intention, and Theatricality

American Furniture 2005

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Benno M. Forman, undated photo. (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.) 
     

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Cabinet attributed to the Symonds shops, Salem, Massachusetts, 1679. Red oak, black walnut, eastern red cedar, and soft maple with white pine. H. 17 3/4", W. 17 1/4", D. 9 3/4". (Courtesy, Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of Mrs. Russell Sage; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) This cabinet has a history of ownership in the Herrick family.
     

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Cupboard, northern Essex County, Massachusetts, 1685–1690. Oak and maple with oak and pine. H. 58 3/4", W. 48 1/2", D. 19 3/8". (Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, gift of Maurice Geeraerts in memory of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Robeson.)

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Detail of the canted panel of the cupboard illustrated in fig. 3.

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Bedstead, probably Ware, England, 1590–1600. Oak and unidentified light and dark woods. H. 105 1/8", W. 128 3/8*", D. 133". (© V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London, www.vam.ac.uk; purchased with the assistance of the National Art Collections Fund.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Stephen Harrison, design for a triumphal arch, London, 1603. Engraving. (© V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London, www.vam.ac.uk)

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Stephen Harrison, design for a triumphal arch, London, 1603. Engraving. (© V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London, www.vam.ac.uk.)

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Wendel Dietterlin, design for a chimneypiece, 1598. Etching. (© V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London, www.vam.ac.uk.)

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Hall screen, Burton Agnes Hall, Yorkshire, England, 1610. (Courtesy, Jarrold Publishing and Burton Agnes Hall.)

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Robert Smythson, Surveyor, Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire, England, 1580–1588. (Courtesy, Wollaton Hall.)

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Stone bow, probably eastern France or Germany, early seventeenth century. Fruitwood, unidentified marquetry woods, steel, silver wire inlay, mother-of-pearl, gilding. L. 33". (Courtesy, Joe Kindig Antiques; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Side chair, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1740–1750. Walnut. H. 41 5/8", W. 20 3/4", D. 21". (Chipstone Foundation; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Side chair attributed to the shop of Benjamin Randolph, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ca. 1769. Mahogany with white cedar. H. 36 3/4", W. 21 3/4", D. 17 7/8" (seat). (Chipstone Foundation; photograph, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Side chair, Boston, Massachusetts, ca. 1800. Maple, birch, and maple veneer. H. 35", W. 22 1/2", D. 23 1/8". (Chipstone Foundation; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Side chair, Milford, Connecticut, ca. 1820. (Courtesy, New Haven Colony Historical Society; reproduced from an illustration in Robert F. Trent, Hearts and Crowns: Folk Chairs of the Connecticut Coast, 1720–1840 [New Haven, Conn.: New Haven Colony Historical Society, 1977], p. 73.)
     

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Dimensional diagram of the chair illustrated in fig. 15. (Courtesy, New Haven Colony Historical Society; reproduced from an illustration in Robert F. Trent, Hearts and Crowns: Folk Chairs of the Connecticut Coast, 1720–1840 [New Haven, Conn.: New Haven Colony Historical Society, 1977], p. 73.)

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Folding table, Boston, Massachusetts, 1650–1680. Black walnut, red oak, maple, and cedrela with oak and white pine. H. 28 1/2", W. 28 3/4", D. 28 3/4" (open). (Chipstone Foundation; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Folding table, England, 1600–1650. Oak. Dimensions not recorded. (Private collectoin; photo, Peter Frahm.)

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Folding table, England, 1600–1650. Oak. Dimensions not recorded. (Courtesy, William H. Stokes.)

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Detail showing the turned legs and trapezoidal upper and lower frame of the table illustrated in fig. 17. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Detail showing a carved bracket, bosses, and glyphs on the table illustrated in fig. 17. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Plate 120 verso in Philibert de l’Orme, Le premier tome de l’architecture, 1568. (Courtesy: Houghton Library, Harvard University, Typ 515.68.532.)

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Detail showing the pentagonal leg stiles of the table illustrated in fig. 17. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Cupboard, England, ca. 1540. Oak. Dimensions not recorded. (Private collection.) This remarkable early cupboard has a set-back upper section with “secret” sliding panels.

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    House front, London, ca. 1600. Oak and leaded glass. (© V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London, www.vam.ac.uk.)

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Chest, England, ca. 1680. Oak, bone, and mother-of-pearl inlay with unidentified secondary wood. H. 31", W. 67", D. 26 3/4". (Courtesy, Sotheby’s Olympia, London.)

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Pulpit, Lincolnshire, England, 1646. Oak. (Courtesy, St. Margaret’s Church, Bucknall, and Reverend Simon Witcombe.)

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Plate 30 in Hans Vredeman de Vries, La perspective (1604–5; reprint, Amsterdam, 1629). (Courtesy, University of Madison–Wisconsin Library, Special Collections.)

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Jean du Brueil, La perspective pratique, London, ca. 1645. Engraving. (Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.) This treatise was initially published between 1642 and 1649.
     

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Inigo Jones, design for the House of Fame, from the Masque of Queens, performed in 1609. (Courtesy, Chatsworth House.)

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Inigo Jones, set design for the masque Albion’s Triumph, 1632. (Courtesy, Courtauld Institute of Art.)

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Cupboard, Boston, Massachusetts, 1670–1680. Oak, maple, cedar, and walnut with oak and white pine. H. 55 5/8", W. 49 1/2", D. 21 3/4". (Chipstone Foundation; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Detail showing the underside of the upper section of the cupboard illustrated in fig. 32. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Cupboard, Yorkshire, England, first half of the seventeenth century. Oak. H. 53", W. 52 1/2", D. 22". (Courtesy, Huntington Antiques, Stow on the Wold, Gloucestershire, England.)

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Drawing of a stage cupboard, Flemish, 1549. (Courtesy, Warburg Institute and Cadland House, Fawley, Southampton.)

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Gravestone of Thomas Call Jr., Malden, Massachusetts, 1678. (Courtesy, American Antiquarian Society, Farber Collection.)

  • Figure 37
    Figure 37

    The Execution of Charles I, England, 1649. Oil on panel. (Collection of Lord Dalmeny, on loan to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.)

  • Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Great chair attributed to Thomas Dennis, Ipswich, Massachusetts, ca. 1670. Oak. H. 45", W. 25 3/4", D. 17 1/2". (Courtesy, Peabody Essex Museum; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 39
    Figure 39

    Friedrich Unteutsch, design for a cartouche illustrated on pl. 50 in Neues Zieratenbuch den Schreinern Tischlern ofern Küstlern und Bildhauer sehr dienstlich, 1640–1650. (© V&A Images/Victoria and Albert Museum, London, www.vam.ac.uk.)

  • Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Entrance front gable, Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire, 1580–1588.

  • Figure 41
    Figure 41

    Great chair, probably Middletown, Connecticut, second half of the seventeenth century. Red oak. H. 44 1/4", W. 22 1/2", D. 19 1/2". (Chipstone Foundation; photo, John R. Glembin.)

  • Figure 42
    Figure 42

    Detail of the back of the chair illustrated in fig. 41.

  • Figure 43
    Figure 43

    Armchair, Shrewsbury, England, 1662. Oak. Dimensions not recorded. (Reproduced from Victor Chinnery, Oak Furniture: The British Tradition [Suffolk, Eng.: Antique Collectors’ Club, 1979], fig. 2.11.) Richard Ellis made this chair for the Shrewsbury Drapers’ Company. 
     

  • Figure 44
    Figure 44

    Armchair, French, sixteenth century. Walnut. H. 55 3/8", W. 24 5/8", D. 16 1/2". (Courtesy, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts.)