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Peter Follansbee
A Seventeenth-Century Carpenter’s Conceit: The Waldo Family Joined Great Chair

American Furniture 1998

Full Article
Contents
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1

    Joined chair attributed to John Elderkin, eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Massachusetts, 1640–1680. Oak, cherry, and ash. H. 42 1/2", W. 22 1/4", D. 19 1/4" (seat). (Chipstone Foundation; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Joined chair illustrated in fig. 1, as it appeared in Wallace Nutting’s Furniture of the Pilgrim Century, 2 vols. (1921, reprint ed.; Framingham, Mass.: Old America Company, 1928), 2: no. 1774.

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Turned chair, England, 1550–1600. Ash. H. 44 7/8", W. 30 3/8", D. 22 3/8". (Formerly the collection of the late John Hill. Present whereabouts unknown; photo, George Fistrovitch.)

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4

    Detail of the underside of the turned chair illustrated in fig. 3. (Formerly the collection of the late John Hill. Present whereabouts unknown; photo, George Fistrovitch.)

  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Turned chair, England, 1550–1650. Beech and elm. H. 34", W. 24", D. 19". (Courtesy, Plimoth Plantation; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Turned chair, probably Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1630–1655. Red and black ash. H. 45", W. 24 1/2", D. 18 1/2". (Courtesy, Pilgrim Society, Plymouth, Massachusetts, gift of the heirs of William Hedge; photo, Gavin Ashworth.) The white pine seat board is a later replacement.

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Turned chair, Connecticut, 1650–1700. Ash and oak. H. 41 1/8", W. 23", D. 16 1/2". (Courtesy, Connecticut Historical Society; photo, Robert Bitondi.)

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Side view of the turned chair illustrated in fig. 7.

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Plain chair, England, seventeenth century. Oak. (Courtesy, Metropolitan Museum of Art.)

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Plain chair, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 1650–1720. White oak and maple. H. 37", W. 20 3/4", D. 16 1/8". (Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Hezekiah E. Bolles Fund.) This example came from Rochester in Plymouth County. It has a replaced bast seat. Most plain matted chairs probably had rush seats.

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Side view of the joined chair illustrated in fig. 1. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Detail of the back of the joined chair illustrated in fig. 1. (Photo, Gavin Ashworth.)

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Court cupboard, Newbury, Massachusetts, 1680. Oak, sycamore, maple, and walnut with tulip poplar. H. 57 3/4", W. 50", D. 21 5/8". (Courtesy, Winterthur Museum.)

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Joined chair, eastern Massachusetts, 1660–1680. Oak. H. 44 1/4", W. 23 1/4", D. 15 1/4". (Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; gift of Aimée and Rosamond Lamb.)

  • Figure 15
    Figure 15

    Diagram showing the seat and stretcher construction of a conventional New England wainscot chair.

  • Figure 16
    Figure 16

    Diagram showing the seat and stretcher construction of the joined chair illustrated in fig. 1.

  • Figure 17
    Figure 17

    Detail of a reproduction of the joined chair illustrated in fig. 1, showing the joint angles and pins of the stretchers. (Reproduction by Peter Follansbee; photo, Gavin Ashworth.)