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Luke Beckerdite
Immigrant Carvers and the Development of the Rococo Syle

American Furniture 1996

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    First-floor, southeast parlor, Philipse Manor, Yonkers, New York, ca. 1750. (Courtesy, Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site, administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Second-floor, southeast parlor, Philipse Manor. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Detail of the frieze appliqué of the chimneypiece illustrated in fig. 2.

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Picture frame by Stephen Dwight, New York, 1762. White pine, gilded. 52 3/4" x 40". (Collection of the New-York Historical Society; photo, Metropolitan Museum of Art.) The frame is on Lawrence Kilburn’s portrait of James Beekman.

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Picture frame, British, ca. 1760. Red pine, gilded. 54 1/4" x 45 3/4". (Collection of the New-York Historical Society; photo, Metropolitan Museum of Art.) The frame is on Lawrence Kilburn’s portrait of Abraham Beekman.

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Parlor from Hampton Place, Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1760–1765. (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Detail of a truss and crossette appliqué on the chimneypiece illustrated in fig. 6.

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Detail of the left truss of the chimneypiece illustrated in fig. 2. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Desk-and-bookcase, New York, 1750–1760. Mahogany with tulip poplar, gum, oak, and mahogany. Dimensions unrecorded. (Private collection; photo, John Walton Antiques.)

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Detail of the relief-carved heron on the prospect door of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 9.

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Detail of an appliqué on the scrollboard of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 9.

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Chimneypiece from Mount Pleasant, New York, 1763–1765. White pine, painted. (Collection of the New-York Historical Society; photo, Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Detail of a crossette appliqué on the chimneypiece illustrated in fig. 12. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Detail of a rosette on the chimneypiece illustrated in fig. 1. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Desk-and-bookcase, New York, 1760–1770. Mahogany with unrecorded secondary woods. H. 106", W. 50", D. 24 1/2".

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Detail of the frieze appliqué on the chimneypiece illustrated in fig. 12. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.) The carver used short, paired gouge cuts to simulate hair and feathers. This distinctive technique appears in work attributed to Henry Hardcastle.

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Detail of a truss on the chimneypiece illustrated in fig. 12. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Interior of St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway and Fulton Street, New York, 1764–1766. (Courtesy, St. Paul’s Chapel, Parish of Trinity Church; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Pulpit in St. Paul’s Chapel, New York, ca. 1765. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Detail of the stair leading to the pulpit illustrated in fig. 19. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Detail of the relief-carved frieze of the pulpit illustrated in fig. 19. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22
    Detail of the cartouche above the Venetian window in St. Paul’s Chapel. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)
  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Detail of the acanthus leaves on the cartouche illustrated in fig. 22. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Detail of one of the upper appliqués on the pulpit illustrated in fig. 19. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Detail of a stair bracket in Philipse Manor. (Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site, Yonkers, NY. New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.)

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Entrance hall from Van Rensselaer Manor, Albany, New York, 1765–1769. (Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. William Bayard Van Rensselaer, in memory of her husband, 1928.(28.I43)All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Detail of a spandrel appliqué in the hall illustrated in fig. 26. (Courtesy,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. William Bayard Van Rensselaer, in memory of her husband, 1928. (28.I43) All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Design for a spandrel illustrated on plate 10 of Matthias Lock and Henry Copland’s A New Book of Ornaments (1st ed. 1752). (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Detail of the acanthus leaves on the spandrel appliqué illustrated in fig. 27. (Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of Mrs. William Van Rensselaer, in memory of her husband, 1928. (28.I43) All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Picture frame by James Strachan, New York, 1767. White pine, gilded. 43 1/2" x 35 1/2". (Collection of the New-York Historical Society; photo, Metropolitan Museum of Art.) The frame is on John Durand’s portrait of James Beekman, Jr.

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Chimneypiece in the first-floor parlor of Van Cortlandt House, Bronx, New York, 1760–1765. (Courtesy, National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Detail of the frieze appliqué on the chimneypiece illustrated in fig. 31. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Detail of the frieze appliqué on the chimneypiece illustrated in fig. 31. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Detail of a truss on the chimneypiece illustrated in fig. 31. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Tea table, New York, 1760–1765. Mahogany. H. 29", Diam. 29". (Chipstone Foundation; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Tea table, New York, 1760–1765. Mahogany. H. 29", Diam. 29". (Private collection; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 37
    Figure 37

    Detail of the edge bead and carving on the top of the tea table illustrated in fig. 36. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Detail of the top of the tea table illustrated in fig. 35. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 39
    Figure 39

    Detail of the baluster of the tea table illustrated in fig. 35. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Detail of the baluster of the tea table illustrated in fig. 36. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 41
    Figure 41

    Detail of the knee carving on the tea table illustrated in fig. 35. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 42
    Figure 42

    Detail of the knee carving on the tea table illustrated in fig. 36. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 43
    Figure 43

    Detail of a paw foot on the tea table illustrated in fig. 35. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 44
    Figure 44

    Detail of a paw foot on the tea table illustrated in fig. 36. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 45
    Figure 45

    Tea table, New York, 1760–1765. Mahogany. H. 29", Diam. 30". (Courtesy of Sack Heritage Group.) www.sackheritagegroup.com

  • Figure 46
    Figure 46

    Tea table, New York, 1760–1770. Mahogany. H. 29", Diam. 45 3/8". (Courtesy, National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York, Van Cortlandt House; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 47
    Figure 47

    Detail of the knee carving on the tea table illustrated in fig. 46. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 48
    Figure 48

    Detail of the edge bead and carving on the top of the tea table illustrated in fig. 46. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 49
    Figure 49

    Side chair, New York, 1760–1790. One of a pair. Mahogany, cherry, white oak,. H. 38 7/8", W. 21", D. 21 1/2". (Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1940.) (40.100.1) All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • Figure 50
    Figure 50

    Side chair, New York, 1745–1765. Mahogany; ash slip seat. H. 38 3/4", W. 21 1/2", D. 17 1/2". (Courtesy, Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York; photo, Helga Studio.)

  • Figure 51
    Figure 51

    China table, New York, 1750–1765. Mahogany with gum. H. 27", W. 34 3/8", D. 21 1/2". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)

  • Figure 52
    Figure 52

    China table, New York, 1750–1765. Mahogany. H. 27", W. 35 1/4", D. 22". (Courtesy, Bernard and S. Dean Levy, Inc., New York; photo, Helga Studio.)

  • Figure 53
    Figure 53

    Detail of the knee carving on the china table illustrated in fig. 51.

  • Figure 54
    Figure 54

    Detail of the knee carving on the china table illustrated in fig. 52.

  • Figure 55
    Figure 55

    Card table, New York, 1760–1790. H. 28 7/8", W. 37", D. 19" (closed). Mahogany, mahogany veneer, birch, tulip poplar. (Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of James DeLancey Verplanck and John Bayard Rodgers Verplanck, 1939.) (39.184.12) All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • Figure 56
    Figure 56

    Side chair, New York, 1760–1790. From a set. H. 38 1/2", W. 24 1/2", D. 21 3/4". Walnut, white oak, white pine. (Courtesy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, gift of James De Lancey Verplanck and John Bayard Rodgers Verplanck, 1939.) (39.184.7) All rights reserved, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  • Figure 57
    Figure 57

    Side chair, New York, 1750–1775. H. 41 1/2", W. 22 1/2", D. 21 1/2". Mahogany; with beech, cherry, eastern pine and soft maple. (Courtesy, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Bayou Bend Collection, gift of Miss Ima Hogg.)