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Wallace Gusler
The Furniture of Winchester, Virginia

American Furniture 1997

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Detail of Thomas Fry and Peter Jefferson’s A MAP of the most INHABITED part of VIRGINIA containing the whole PROVINCE of MARYLAND with part of PENSYLVANIA, NEW JERSEY and NORTH CAROLINA, London, 1768. (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Desk signed by Christopher Frye and James Lee Martin, Fauquier County, Virginia, 1797. Walnut with yellow pine and tulip poplar. H. 41 3/4", W. 43 3/4", D. 21 1/2". (Private collection; photo, Craig McDougal.) The desk originally had a bookcase, and its feet are replaced.

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Detail of the interior of the desk illustrated in fig. 2.

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Detail of the inscription on the secret drawer of the desk illustrated in fig. 2.

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Desk-and-bookcase attributed to the Frye-Martin shops, Winchester area, Virginia, 1791–1794. Cherry with yellow pine. H. 103 3/4", W. 42 1/4", D. 24 1/2". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.) This example and the high chests illustrated in figs. 9 and 14 have their original finials and most of their original brasses.

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    View of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 5 with door and fallboard open.

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Detail of the interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 5, showing a fluted document drawer and the prospect compartment open. The mitered molding above the door is the face of a secret drawer. A card table that descended in the Lupton family (CWF 1987-725) has a top with a molded edge of the same configuration as the molding around the prospect door.

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Detail of the pediment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 5.

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    High chest with cabriole legs attributed to the Frye-Martin shops, Winchester area, Virginia, 1791–1794. Cherry with yellow pine. H. 97", W. 44", D. 24 1/4". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Detail of the pediment of the high chest with cabriole legs illustrated in fig. 9.

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Detail of an arched, stop-fluted quarter-column on the upper section of the high chest with cabriole legs illustrated in fig. 9.

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Detail of an arched, stop-fluted quarter-column on the lower section of the high chest with cabriole legs illustrated in fig. 9. This quarter-column is carved from the stile rather than being turned and fluted on a lathe like the columns on the upper section.

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Detail of a claw-and-ball foot of the high chest with cabriole legs illustrated in fig. 9.

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    High chest with cabriole legs attributed to the Frye-Martin shops, Winchester area, Virginia, 1791–1794. Cherry with yellow pine. H. 97 1/2", W. 44", D. 24". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Detail of the pediment of the high chest with cabriole legs illustrated in fig. 14.

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Detail of a front leg of the high chest with cabriole legs illustrated in fig. 14.

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Cherry Row, Frederick County, Virginia, completed 1794. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Detail of the carved date board on the exterior of Cherry Row. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Base of a high chest with cabriole legs, Winchester area, Virginia, 1791–1794. Walnut with tulip poplar. Dimensions not recorded. (Private collection; photo, Wallace Gusler.) This base may have supported a separate case of drawers, or it may be the lower part of a single-piece form.

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Detail of a leg of the high chest base illustrated in fig. 19.

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Detail of the right side of the high chest base illustrated in fig. 19.

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Tall clock case attributed to the Frye-Martin shops, Winchester area, Virginia, ca. 1795. Walnut with yellow pine. H. 99 1/2". (Private collection; photo, Craig McDougal.) The movement is not signed. The tips of the ogee feet are missing. The door has scars from modern, surface-mounted false hinges, but the original hinges are intact.

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Detail of the hood of the tall clock case illustrated in fig. 22.

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Corner cupboard attributed to the Frye-Martin shops, Winchester area, Virginia, ca. 1790. Cherry and mahogany (capitals) with yellow pine. H. 125", W. 61", D. 24". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.) The shelves are faced with applied strips with scalloped 
    lower edges.

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Detail of the pediment of the corner cupboard illustrated in fig. 24.

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Overmantle from the James Hamilton House, Kernstown, Virginia, ca. 1800. Painted yellow pine. (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.) The eagle has been removed from its original position shown here and reinstalled in another location in the Winterthur Museum.

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Corner cupboard, Winchester area, Virginia, ca. 1790. Yellow pine, walnut (capitals), and maple (shell) with yellow pine; linen lining; traces of original blue paint inside and out. Dimensions not recorded. (Courtesy, Piaget, St. Louis.)

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Corner cupboard in Cherry Row, Frederick County, Virginia, completed ca. 1794. Yellow pine and maple (capitals) with yellow pine; linen lining; traces of original blue paint inside and out. Dimensions not recorded. (Private collection; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Detail of a capital on the corner cupboard illustrated in fig. 28. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Detail of a capital on the corner cupboard illustrated in fig. 27.

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Detail of the carved shell in the interior of the corner cupboard illustrated in fig. 27.

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Detail of a carved capital in Belle Grove, Frederick County, Virginia, ca. 1795. (Courtesy, Belle Grove Plantation; photo, Wallace Gusler.)

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Desk-and-bookcase, Winchester area, Virginia, ca. 1800. Walnut with yellow pine.
    H. 93", W. 41 1/4", D. 23". (Private collection; photo, Craig McDougal.) The feet, finial, and rosettes are restorations based on the Lupton desk-and-bookcase (fig. 5) and the tall clock case shown in fig. 22.

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Detail of an arched, stop-fluted, quarter-column on the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 33. (Photo, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.)

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Detail of the pediment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 33.

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Detail of the interior of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 33.

  • Figure 37
    Figure 37

    Clothespress, Winchester area, Virginia, ca. 1815. Mahogany and mahogany veneer with yellow pine. Dimensions not recorded. (Courtesy, Belle Grove Plantation.)

  • Figure 38
    Figure 38

    Detail of the capitals on the upper and lower sections of the clothespress illustrated in fig. 37.

  • Figure 39
    Figure 39

    High chest, Winchester area, Virginia, ca. 1795. Walnut with yellow pine. H. 84", W. 48", D. 23". (Private collection; photo, Wallace Gusler.) The feet are replacements.

  • Figure 40
    Figure 40

    Chest of drawers, Winchester area, Virginia, ca. 1790. Mahogany, mahogany veneer, and apple with yellow pine. H. 36 1/8", W. 39", D. 20 3/4". (Private collection; photo, Craig McDougal.)

  • Figure 41
    Figure 41

    Plan of the drawer support system of the chest of drawers illustrated in fig. 40. (Drawing, Wallace Gusler; artwork, Wynne Patterson.)

  • Figure 42
    Figure 42

    Chest of drawers, Winchester area, Virginia, ca. 1810. Walnut with yellow pine. H. 37 5/8", W. 38", D. 21 7/8". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 43
    Figure 43

    Detail of the foot of the chest of drawers illustrated in fig. 42.

  • Figure 44
    Figure 44

    Tall clock case, Winchester area, Virginia, ca. 1790. Curly maple with yellow pine and walnut. H. 87 3/4", W. 22 1/4", D. 12 1/4". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 45
    Figure 45

    Detail of the hood of the tall clock case illustrated in fig. 44.

  • Figure 46
    Figure 46

    Detail of the brass patchbox on a rifle signed “J. Haymaker,” Winchester, Virginia, ca. 1790. Curly maple, iron, steel, brass, and silver. L. 60". (Private collection; photo, Craig McDougal.) Haymaker’s work reflects an acute understanding of the rococo style and its application to woodcarving, brass work, and engraving. From the standpoint of design and workmanship, the products of the city’s riflemaking school are far more sophisticated than those of the furniture-making school.

  • Figure 47
    Figure 47

    Desk, Winchester area, Virginia, ca. 1800. Walnut and maple inlay with yellow pine and tulip poplar. H. 44 3/8", W. 40 3/4", D. 21 3/4". (Private collection; photo, Craig McDougal.) The desk has arched, stop-fluted quarter-columns and other features associated with the Frye-Martin shops. The interior has a central prospect door flanked by four equal-sized drawers (two over two). Above the drawers are three pigeonholes with arched valances. The prospect door of the interior has the initials “I·F” inlaid in maple.

  • Figure 48
    Figure 48

    Detail of the star inlay on the fallboard of the desk illustrated in fig. 47.

  • Figure 49
    Figure 49

    Detail of the cheek rest of the rifle illustrated in fig. 46, showing the silver “hunter’s star” inlay.

  • Figure 50
    Figure 50

    Tall clock case attributed to Peter Raff with movement attributed to Peter Whipple, Pulaski County, Virginia, ca. 1815. H. 10 8 1/2", W. 24", D. 15". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 51
    Figure 51

    Detail of the hood of the tall clock case illustrated in figure 50.

  • Figure 52
    Figure 52

    Desk-and-bookcase, Knoxville, Tennessee, ca. 1810. Cherry with yellow pine and tulip poplar. H. 96" (minus feet), W. 42", D. 20". (Courtesy, Lawson McGhee Library; photo, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.)

  • Figure 53
    Figure 53

    Detail of the pediment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 52.

  • Figure 54
    Figure 54

    Desk, Virginia or Tennessee, 1808. Walnut and maple inlay with tulip poplar. H. 47 1/4", W. 42", D. 20". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)

  • Figure 55
    Figure 55

    Detail of the writing compartment of the desk illustrated in fig. 54. The mitered molding above the door is the face of a secret drawer. 

  • Figure 56
    Figure 56

    Detail of the prospect door of the desk illustrated in fig. 54.