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Mack Headley
Eighteenth-Century Cabinet Shops and the Furniture-Making Trades in Newport, Rhode Island

American Furniture 1999

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Vue Interieure de la Boutique d’un Menuisier” illustrated on pl. 11 of André-Jacob Roubo, L’art du menuisier, 1770. (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Drawing of the floor plan of Chippendale’s shop based on the Sun Fire Insurance Company plan of 1803. (Artwork, Wynne Patterson; derived from a drawing in Christopher Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale [New York: Tabard Press, 1978], p. 23.)

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    George Forster, English Joiners, Britain, 1816. Oil on canvas. Dimensions not recorded. (Private collection; photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    John Hill, The Carpenter's Shop at 
    Forty Hill, Enfield
    , Britain, 1813. Oil on canvas. 18 1/2" x 17 1/8". (Courtesy, Tate Gallery London; photo, Art Resource, New York.)

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Christopher Townsend shop and residence, 74 Bridge Street, Newport, Rhode Island, 1725–1740. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    View of the Dominy shop installed in the Winterthur Museum. (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Interior view of the Anthony Hay shop. 
    (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Design for a tea table in the Gillow firm’s papers, 1760. (Courtesy, City of Westminster Archives; photo, Geremy Butler.)

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Design for a tea table sketched on page 55 of the Gillow firm’s estimate book for 1766. (Courtesy, City of Westminster Archives; photo, Geremy Butler.)

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Design for a clothespress sketched on page 11 of the Gillow firm’s estimate book for 1766. (Courtesy, City of Westminster Archives; photo, Geremy Butler.)

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Chest-on-chest, Newport, Rhode Island, ca. 1770. Mahogany with tulip poplar and chestnut. H 89", W. 41 1/2", D. 21 3/8". (Private collection; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    John Townsend, chest of drawers, Newport, Rhode Island, 1794. Mahogany with tulip poplar and chestnut. H 34 1/2", W. 36 1/4", 
    D. 19 1/4". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Detail of the label on the chest illustrated in fig. 12.

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Detail of the bottom of a drawer from the chest illustrated in fig. 12.

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Maniere de Refendre le bois de Placage avec les Developpements de la Scie Presse.” Illustrated on pl. 278 of André-Jacob Robou, L’art du menuisier, 1770. (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Detail of the dovetails on the drawers of the chest illustrated in fig. 12.

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Drawing showing how a saw would be used in the process of shaping a blocked drawer front. (Drawing, Mack Headley.)

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Detail of the inner surface of a drawer front on the chest illustrated in fig. 12, showing toothing plane marks, gouge marks, and file marks.

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Detail of a foot on the chest illustrated in fig. 12.

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Detail of a convex shell on the chest illustrated in fig. 12.

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Pattern for carving a convex shell similar to the one on the chest illustrated in fig. 12. (Drawing, Mack Headley; artwork, Wynne Patterson.) The principal arcs designate (a) the perimeter of the shell, (b) the termination of the concave lobes, (c) the crest of the shell and demarcation point in the curvature of the lobes, and (d) the perimeter of the interior design. The compass ticks along the arcs indicate the position of the lobes at the outer perimeter, crest, and perimeter of the interior design.

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    Detail of the concave shell on the chest illustrated in fig. 12.

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Design for a chest sketched on page 37 of the Gillow firm’s estimate book for 1766. (Courtesy, City of Westminster Archives; photo, Geremy Butler.)