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Anne S. McPherson
Adaptation and Reinterpretation: The Transfer of Furniture Styles from Philadelphia to Winchester to Tennessee

American Furniture 1997

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Daniel Smith, map of Tennessee, Philadelphia, 1795. Engraving on paper. 10 1/4" x 21 1/2". (Private collection; photo, John Bivins.)

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Desk-and-bookcase, Winchester area, Virginia, 1795. Cherry with yellow pine. H. 103 3/4", W. 42 1/4", D. 24 1/2". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; photo, Hans Lorenz.)

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Detail of the pediment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 2.

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Detail of the writing compartment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 2.

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Desk-and-bookcase, Philadelphia, 1760–1770. Mahogany with tulip poplar and white cedar. H. 109 3/4", W. 45", D. 25". (Courtesy, Philadelphia Museum of Art, gift of George H. Lorimer.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Detail of a quarter-column on the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 2.

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Armchair, Winchester area, Virginia, 1769. Walnut with walnut and white pine. H. 40", W. 28 3/8", D. 18 3/4". (Collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.)

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Rock Castle, Hendersonville, Tennessee, 1796. (Photo, John Bivins.)

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Desk-and-bookcase, Nashville area, Tennessee, 1795–1805. Walnut with tulip poplar and walnut. H. 106 9/16", W. 44 1/2", D. 22 1/2". (Courtesy, Ladies Hermitage Association; photo, John Bivins.)

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Detail of the writing compartment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 9.

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Detail of a quarter-column and writing surface lock rail miter on the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 9.

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Chest of drawers, Nashville area, Tennessee, 1795–1805. Walnut with tulip poplar.
    H. 34 3/8", W. 40 5/8", D. 20 11/16". (Courtesy, Ladies Hermitage Association; photo, John Bivins.)

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Desk, Nashville area, Tennessee, 1790–1805. Walnut with tulip poplar, walnut, and cherry. H. 45 1/4", W. 45 1/4", D. 23 3/4". (Courtesy, Tennessee State Museum; photo, John Bivins.)

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Ramsey House, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1798. (Photo, John Bivins.)

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Desk-and-bookcase, Knoxville area, Tennessee, 1790–1800. Walnut with yellow pine and tulip poplar. H. 87 1/4" (without feet), W. 41 7/8", D. 35 1/4". (Private collection; photo, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.) The brasses, feet, and small strip added to the bottom of the base molding are incorrect replacements.

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Detail of the writing compartment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 15.

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Detail of a quarter-column on the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 15.

  • Figure 18
    Figure 18

    Detail of chamfered corner of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 15.

  • Figure 19
    Figure 19

    Corner cupboard, Knoxville area, Tennessee, 1790–1800. Walnut with yellow pine and tulip poplar. H. 89 1/4", W. 44" at front face with 5 1/4" returns. (Private collection; photo, John Bivins.)

  • Figure 20
    Figure 20

    Detail of the cornice and a quarter-column on the corner cupboard illustrated in fig. 19.

  • Figure 21
    Figure 21

    Detail of the cornice, rosettes, and plinth of the corner cupboard illustrated in fig. 19.

  • Figure 22
    Figure 22

    High chest, Winchester area, Virginia, 1795. Walnut with yellow pine and tulip poplar. H. 97", W. 44", D. 24 1/4". (Courtesy, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; photo, Hans Lorenz.)

  • Figure 23
    Figure 23

    Detail of the pediment of the high chest illustrated in fig. 22.

  • Figure 24
    Figure 24

    Detail of the leg of the high chest illustrated in fig. 22.

  • Figure 25
    Figure 25

    Corner cupboard, Knoxville area, Tennessee, 1795–1810. Walnut with tulip poplar. H. 87 3/4", W. 50 3/4" at front face with 5 7/8" returns. (Private collection; photo, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.) The cornice molding rises above the top of the case and consists of separate moldings: the ogee below the dentil course is a single vertical piece that rises to the crown as does the dentil course; the cove is a single vertical piece attached to the dentil course; the crown is a horizontal piece that covers the top edges of the other moldings; the running astragal frieze is glued to the case below.

  • Figure 26
    Figure 26

    Detail of a quarter-column on the corner cupboard illustrated in fig. 25. (Photo, John Bivins.)

  • Figure 27
    Figure 27

    Chest of drawers, Knoxville area, Tennessee, 1795–1810. Walnut with yellow pine and tulip poplar. H. 49 5/16", W. 39", D. 23 1/2". (Private collection; photo, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.) The cornice on the chest of drawers is a simpler version of the cornice on the corner cupboard illustrated in fig. 25. The molded board that forms the top of the case and the face-nailed cove molding conceal the dovetails that join the case sides to a board below the top.

  • Figure 28
    Figure 28

    Desk-and-bookcase, Knoxville area, Tennessee, 1795–1810. Cherry with yellow pine. H. 96" (without feet), W. 42 1/2", D. 22 3/4". (Courtesy, Lawson-McGhee Library; photo, John Bivins.) This example is somewhat unusual in being made of cherry. Walnut is the most common primary wood in East Tennessee furniture.

  • Figure 29
    Figure 29

    Detail of the pediment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 28. (Courtesy, Lawson-McGhee Library; photo, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.)

  • Figure 30
    Figure 30

    Desk-and-bookcase, Knoxville area, Tennessee, 1795–1810. Walnut with yellow pine and walnut. H. 97", W. 46 3/4", D. 23 3/4". (Courtesy, Blount Mansion; photo, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.)

  • Figure 31
    Figure 31

    Detail of the pediment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 30.

  • Figure 32
    Figure 32

    Detail of the writing compartment of the desk-and-bookcase illustrated in fig. 30.

  • Figure 33
    Figure 33

    Tall chest, Knoxville area, Tennessee, 1795–1810. Cherry with yellow pine, tulip poplar, walnut, and cherry. H. 63 3/4", W. 54 3/4", D. 22 5/8". (Courtesy, Ramsey House; photo, John Bivins.)

  • Figure 34
    Figure 34

    Desk-and-bookcase, Greeneville area, Tennessee, 1800–1820. Walnut with tulip poplar. H. 92 1/4", W. 45 3/4", D. 20 3/8". (Private collection; photo, John Bivins.)

  • Figure 35
    Figure 35

    Corner cupboard, Greeneville area, Tennessee, 1795–1820. Walnut with tulip poplar. H. 95 1/4", W. 47" at front face with 4" returns. (Private collection; photo, Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts.)

  • Figure 36
    Figure 36

    Desk-and-bookcase, Greeneville area, Tennessee, 1800–1820. Walnut with tulip poplar. H. 96", W. 44 1/2", D. 22 3/8". (Private collection; photo, Helga Studio.)