Graham Hood
American or English Furniture? Some Choices in the 1760's

American Furniture 1993

Full Article
  • Figure 1
    Figure 1
    Ballroom, Governor's Palace, Williamsburg, Virginia. (Photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.) The Governor's Palace was reconstructed on its eighteenth- century foundations in the early 1930s. It was refurbished in 1981, based on extensive historical research conducted by the staff of Colonial Williamsburg into Lord Botetourt's inventory, account books, cash books, and other documents that he sent back to England.
  • Figure 2
    Figure 2

    Parlor, Governor's Palace. (Photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.) The design of the reproduction couch conforms to one that George Washington ordered from Philip Bell in London.

  • Figure 3
    Figure 3

    Study, Governor's Palace, showing prints "brass nailed" to the walls. (Photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 4
    Figure 4
    Bedchamber, Governor's Palace, showing a chintz bed and bed carpet. (Photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)
  • Figure 5
    Figure 5

    Field bed with red check curtains, stable, Governor's Palace. (Photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 6
    Figure 6

    Dining room, Governor's Palace. (Photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 7
    Figure 7

    Side chair, England, 1760—1770. Mahogany with beech. H. 37 1/2", W: 22 1/2". (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, acc. 1985-259.) According to tradition, this chair was purchased at the sale of Governor Dunmore's furnishings by a member of the Ambler family; however, identical chairs survive at Badminton, and they could be associated with Botetourt. It is conceivable that this chair was Botetourt's and that it was used by Dunmore after Botetourt died.

  • Figure 8
    Figure 8

    Ballroom, Governor's Palace, detail showing the wallpaper and border. (Photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 9
    Figure 9

    Opposite view of the bedchamber in fig. 4 showing the bamboo chairs. (Photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 10
    Figure 10

    Arm chair (left), England, 1770-1780. Beech. H. 36 5/8", W. 19 1/2". (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, acc. 1936—344.) A somewhat more robust version of the bamboo chair than the Linnell examples referred to above, this chair originally was painted yellow-white with a glazed overcoat of varnish in imitation of bamboo. The chairs to the right are from a set of twelve reproductions made for the Palace.

  • Figure 11
    Figure 11

    Plate 54 from Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director (3d. ed., 1762). (Photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 12
    Figure 12

    Nightstand, eastern Virginia, probably Williamsburg, 1765—1775. Mahogany with yellow pine. H. 32 3/4", W. 18 1/4". (Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, acc. 1985—40.) This nightstand is typical of the sophisticated, London-style furniture made by Williamsburg cabinetmakers during Botetourt's residence.

  • Figure 13
    Figure 13

    Plate 54 from Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director (1st. ed., 1754). (Photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)

  • Figure 14
    Figure 14

    Firescreen, probably Virginia, 1760-1770. Mahogany with oak and yellow pine. H. 42", W. 74". (Kenmore Association, on loan to Colonial Williamsburg; photo, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.)