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COLONIAL AND LATER PERIODS — Continued.
WE have seen by the middle of the century, 1750, how many comforts were obtainable at the large centres, and how many cabinet-makers were at work in the Colonies. About 1756 the ways and people are described thus:
"New York is one of the most social places on the continent. The men collect themselves into weekly evening clubs. The ladies in winter are frequently entertained either at concerts of musick or assemblies, and make a very good appearance. They are comely and dress well, and scarce any of them have distorted shapes. Tinctured with a Dutch education they manage their families with becoming parsimony, good providence, and singular neatness,"
Twenty-five years later the British officers quartered in New York made life there very gay. Fox-hunting was practiced till 1781, and was advertised in the "Royal Gazette" as taking place on Ascot Heath, in Brooklyn. Horse-racing took place on Hempstead Plains, Long Island, for life in general was a full copy of what was going on in England. The "New York Gazette" of June 4, 1770, tells us that —
— "a Great Horse-Race was run off on Hempstead Plains for a considerable wager, which engaged the attention of so many in the city that upward of seventy chairs and chaises were carried over the ferry from hence, and a far greater number of horses, so that it was thought that the number of Horses on the Plains at the Races far exceeded a thousand."
Figure 57. Room in Whipple House, Ipswich, Mass.
Figure 58. Carved and Gilded and Mahogany Mirror-Frames
The comparatively peaceful sport of horse-racing was not the only one indulged in. Bull-baiting was not at all unusual. The posters for this amusement were headed "Pro Bono Publico'" and in the "New York Mercury" for August, 1774, John Cornell announces that there will be "a Bull Baited on Town Hill at 3 o'clock every Thursday during the season." Town Hill was Columbia Street, near Cranberry Street, Brooklyn Heights.
On March 24, I777, in the "New York Mercury" was the following advertisement:
"On Thursday At the Theatre in John St. On next Thursday evening will be performed a Tragedy called Venice Preserved. With an Occasional Prologue. To which will be added a Farce called 'The Lying Valet.' The Characters by the Gentlemen of the Army and Navy."
As for clothes, of course the people followed the English styles, and copies of such magazines as "The Maccaroni Magazine or Monthly Intelligence of the Fashions & Diversions," found their way to America. Here is an extract from the issue October, 1772:
"Hats are rising behind and falling before. The blazing gold loop and full-moon button is now totally exploded, and succeeded by a single narrow looping, broad hatband, and pin's-head button. In full dress the three buttons zigzag with the foretop à la Grecque. Roses are entirely confined to Cheapside, and bags are increasing daily. The late stunting of coats having promoted the growth of skirts, the pockets are capable of holding conveniently a tolerable-sized muslin handkerchief and smelling bottle. Shoes are decreased in heels two inches, and cut like a butter-boat to show the clocks of the stockings'"
"The Magazine a la Mode, or Fashionable Miscellany," particularly adapted to the People of both Sexes, and calculated to convey early and useful information to those who are in any way concerned in furnishing articles of Dress, either in Town or Country," appeared in 1777. From one of these useful repositories we learn under date of 1786 that grass-green was the fashionable colour for gentlemen's suits, that the hair was dressed à la Taureau, and that watch-keys were remarkable for size and weight.
In 1760, pattern-books published in London were to be found in America for the benefit of native cabinetmakers, as the following advertisement duly sets forth:
"John Rivington of Hanover Square has for sale many books for cabinet makers, joiners, etc., and calls particular attention to a new work called Household Furniture for the year 1760, by a society of Upholsterers, Cabinet-makers, etc., containing upwards of 180 Designs consisting of Tea-Tables, Dressing, Card, Writing, Library and Slab tables, Chairs, Stools, Couches, Trays, Chests, Tea-Kettles, Bureaus, Beds, Ornamental Bed Posts, Cornishes. Brackets, Fire-Screens, Desk and Book Cases, Sconces, Chimney-Pieces, Girandoles, Lanthorns, etc., with scales."
Not a paper but had advertisements of furniture offered for sale. Thus in 1774 we find:
"To be sold at private sale a large black walnut cupboard with a set of Delft, a large pier looking-glass, one pair of sconces, 3 large gilt frame pictures, and sundry other articles."
In the same number of the "Weekly Mercury," and in many succeeding issues appears the following notice:
"A scheme for the disposal of a large quantity of silver-plated furniture by lottery. The owner is a Philadelphian."
In Figure 58 are shown two looking-glasses of styles that were fashionable about the middle of the eighteenth century. One of them is dated 1749, of mahogany handsomely carved, and further embellished with ornaments of chiselled brass, a beading of it being next to the glass. It rests upon two mirror-knobs, which were screwed into the walls to support looking-glasses, and the collection of which is such a pleasing hobby to-day. The central ornament on the top is missing. The other glass is of carved wood gilded, and is now in Memorial Hall, Philadelphia. It hung for many years in the fine old house "Belmont," and is of the very finest style. The broken-arch cornice is finished with rosettes, and the central ornament is not the usual urn, but something more ornate.
Figure 59. Mahogany Desk and Chest of Drawers
There are constant notices of mahogany for sale, such as:
"A cargo of fine mahogany for sale by Anthony Van Dam, Jan'y 17, 1774."
In May of the same year John Morton advertises-" the largest and most elegant assortment of mahogany or gilt oval looking-glass frames ever imported in this city."
William Melbourn advertises also, in 1774, over a hundred items, among them are the following, showing that "small wares" were easily to be obtained:
"White and green ivory table and desert knives and forks.
"Ditto with silver caps and ferrils. Ditto black ebony with caps and ferrils. Also Black horn, camwood, centre-bone split buck, sham stag table knives and forks. Carving and oyster knives. Neat mahogany and fish skin knife boxes. Mahogany and fish skin razor cases. Plated coffee pots and spoons, Mahogany tea chests, Merry Andrew, Harry, and Mogul's playing cards, Pearl and ivory fish and counters, Mustard and Marrow spoons."
In Memorial Hall, Philadelphia, is a set of table knives with green ivory handles, like those advertised in the first item, and looking at the end of the blades we can no longer doubt that the use of two-pronged forks was supplemented by a dexterous manipulation of the knife-blades. Writing-desks or scrutoirs, or desks and bookcases, or even desks fitted into the drawers of a bureau, had become pieces of furniture that were found in every well-to-do home.
In Figure 59 is shown one of the early styles of make, about the middle of the eighteenth century. This particular desk was brought from England, is of mahogany, and is in good condition except that the front feet have been restored. It still has the original brasses and the overlapping drawers. It has several secret drawers where during the Revolution the private documents of the owner were concealed. During the Civil War its secret drawers were again in use, and effectually concealed papers of value. It has never passed out of the possession of the family whose ancestors brought it over, and it belongs to Miss Hite, of Waynesboro, Va. The two-drawer chest beside it is of a much earlier period. The mouldings make the chest part resemble two drawers, but the top opens as is usual. The handles on the desk are of the shape used so much by Hepplewhite on his bureaus and sideboards, while those on the chest are an earlier form of the well-known willow pattern of brasses and are fastened in by wires. The earliest patterns of handles were the knob and drop, which were used on furniture before 1700. These were succeeded by others which were fastened in by wire, and these again were replaced by handles which were affixed with nut and screw. On page 224 are shown the different styles of handles, and their approximate dates. The chest is of mahogany, with bracket foot. This is a most unusual and interesting piece.
Figure 60. Combined Bookcase and Desk
At the time of the Revolution there was comfort generally in most of the large cities at least. In 1776 there were sent to Cold Spring, for the use of the army, the following:
"2 Mah'y tables, 6 Rush Bottom chairs, 4 Mah'y Rush Bottoms, and 2 small bedsteads, a kitchen table, a new case of bottles, a Coffee Mill, Brass Scales and Waights, 2 Kitchen Tramels, 2 pickel Tubs and 2 Wash Tubs, an Iron hooped Pail and a soap barrel mostly full of soap and the Ticke of a Stra bed. Value £20."
The works at Cold Spring were destroyed, and the goods were never used, but the Government's strong-box paid for them.
Cornelis Van Santvoordt, who lived at Esopus, near Kingston, N. Y., when it was burned by the British October 16, 1777, put in a claim for damages for £54 17s 3d. The items which made up this account cover a large variety of goods, as may be seen from the following list:
This inventory is somewhat unusual from the number of "Chaina" articles enumerated, and among all the items there are but six chairs and not a stool. This claim, with many others, is recorded in the "New York Records of the Revolution," and it was paid out of the "strong-box." This box was not a mythical object at all, but a veritable chest. Gerard Bancker was State Treasurer for twenty years. During the Revolution the iron chest moved about from one place to another like the Continental Congress, and the Treasurer went with it. According to a custom of the times Mr. Bancker took the chest with him when he retired from office. His family kept it for a hundred years, but with many other relics it was sold in Philadelphia, in 1898, by one of his descendants.
Figure 61. Field Bed
Figure 62. Low Four-Post Bed
There were various patterns of combinations of desks and bookcases, and of desks and bureaus. There were the high, wide ones of Chippendale or Sheraton, that would almost fill one side of a room. There were small ones with desk below and shelves above, and occasionally there were such great ones as that shown in Figure 60. This piece of furniture is so tall and massive that it could not have been accommodated in any save a large house. It is over eight feet tall and five feet three inches wide. It is of a light mahogany, with pillars of Empire style and very handsome brasses. The lid of the desk folds back on itself and below it is a drawer and cupboard. The handsomest things about the bookcase are the glass doors with Gothic tracery. The date of this piece is about the first decade of the nineteenth century. The four legs on the front are of unusual elegance. It belongs to the Historical Society at Albany.
Quite as interesting as the inventories of property left by will are some old records in the State Library, New Jersey, called a "Record of the Damages done by the British and their adherents to the Inhabitants of Middlesex Co., New Jersey." This contains the inventories made by six hundred and fifty persons who suffered from the depredations of the plundering Hessians and the English soldiery. The lists extend over the years from 1776 to 1782 inclusive, but the worst mischief was done in the time from December, 1776, to June, 1777. There were eighteen hundred horses taken, and these form a single item. That the settlers were good livers the following inventory of one patriot shows. He lost —
— "4 hogsheads of cider, 1/2 pipe of madeira, 10 gallons brandy, 7 gallons Jamaica brandy, 1 barrel cherry Rum, barrel Porter."
The inventory does not state his business, but we trust from appearances that he kept a "public."
Another list reads:
"Three cupboards of Dutch make as good as new, also three large Bibles 1 Dutch and 2 English'"
David Harriott, of Middlesex County, was completely stripped by the enemy- Among many items were —
— "a set of Homespun curtains wove with damask flowers, one ditto of white in large damask flowers, and one ditto of double dimons. "Napkins, quilts, bedspreads, and sheets, as well as large-flowered damask table-cloths and linen covers testify to the industry of the women of the family.
The good wife lost her long gowns and short gowns, her "shifts of 500 linen," handkerchiefs of gauze, lawn, and linen, aprons of new flowered lawn, fine linen and homespun, 3 caps of cambric and lawn, all new, and even two bibs for a child. They took all of David's clothes and his silver teaspoons and buckles, smashed his windows and doors, broke down his partitions, drove off his cattle, and did not leave him so much as "a bed, a piggin, a trammel, or a gridiron."
Jacob Hyer was another sufferer. His house must have been one of considerable size and well furnished. There are many items, among them —
— "5 fluted brass candlesticks, 2 pr. common ditto, 1 doz. iron ditto, 10 pr. snuffers; 11 feather beds with bolsters and pillows, etc."
The enemy left him nothing, even taking his "Iron chain for Smoke Jack." Much of the furniture listed in these inventories was evidently of American make, for the woods mentioned are bilstead, gum pine, walnut, cherry, or red cedar. The last was the favorite. "Bilstead" was maple.
Figure 63. French Bed
The beds were chiefly of three styles, field beds, high four-posters with testers and valance, and low four-posters, with an occasional "English" or "French" bed. There were beds much plainer than the carved ones we so much admire, but in any case the bed was the most valuable household possession, as it had always been. In 1640 William Southmead's house in Gloucester, Mass., is valued at £8, and his feather-bed, bedstead, and appurtenances at the same sum In 1628 a pair of sheets was furnished to each Massachusetts Bay Colonist. Linen and flannel sheets were the ones in use. After spinning became universal and flax abundant, homespun sheets abounded, — "20 and 1 pr." is not an unusual number; and where there were several daughters whose chests had to be filled, the number was many times greater. Table linen also was of domestic manufacture.
One of the fashionable patterns of beds shown in the English books imported into the Colonies, and made by American cabinet-makers, was known as the "field bed'" The one shown in Figure 61 is in the Whipple House, Ipswich, and is draped with the netting curtains, heavily dotted and fringed, which were customary in its day. Early in 1700 there was an auction sale of Governor Cornbury's effects in New York, and the following advertisement concerning them:
A fine yellow Camblet bed lined with silk and trimmed with fine lace, which came from London. One fine field bedstead and curtains. Some blue cloth lately come from London for liveries and some broad gold lace. A very fine medicine chest with a great variety of valuable medecines. A parcel of sweetmeats and jelly glasses. A case of 12 knives and 12 forks with silver handles. A large iron fireplace and iron bars all to be seen at the Fort.
It seemed as if the field bed had been made here, as it is specified that several of the other articles came from London. "The Journeyman's Cabinet & Chair-makers Philadelphia Book of Prices" gives in 1795 the price of a mahogany field bed, with sloped roof, at £1 7s., while one of poplar, with the roof sloped each way, cost but one pound. The carving of the posts was of course extra and was to be paid for according to time. Each inch that the bed was longer than six feet and wider than four feet was to be charged for at the rate of two pence per inch. This may be the reason why many of the beds were so narrow. It is often stated that the field bed was in use for a few years only, about the middle of the 18th Century, while in fact it was here, imported and of domestic make for fully one hundred years, and I am by no means sure that Governor Cornbury's was among the earliest.
Figure 64. Highboy
Great attention was paid to the draping and arranging of the curtains, valances, and testers of the high four-posters. Heavy materials of silk and woollen were used, as well as cotton stuffs. Men paid great attention to the colourings of their bed furniture, as we have seen in several inventories, and Horace Walpole chose for his own bed at Strawberry Hill purple cloth lined with white satin, and bunches of feathers on the tester. Hepplewhite spent much pains on the details of his beds, and recommended that the valance be made very full, in which case it was called the "petticoat valance." There were also elaborate details for tying back the curtains and trimming them with gimp and fringe. The bed-drapings, even in early days, were often very valuable. Col. Francis Epes, of Henrico Co., Va., has in his inventory dated October 1, 1678:
"One large new feather bed with camlett curtains and double vallins lind with yellow silke, bolster, pillow, counterpane, Rodds and hooks tops and stands, 1 curtaine and some Fringe damnified £24 5s 0d."
The low-post bed was also a very handsome piece of furniture, and in many cases the post was surmounted by a pineapple, like the example shown in Figure 62. This bed has passed through a career of violent contrasts, and it is only within a year that the four posts were rescued from a barn, where they afforded convenient roosts for poultry. The side and head and foot boards had passed entirely out of sight, no doubt in some moment of stress they had fed the family cooking-stove. The missing parts have been restored in solid mahogany, and it makes a very handsome piece of furniture. It belongs to Mr. William M. Hoyt, of Rochester, N. Y. The acanthus leaves on the lower parts of the legs are unusually handsome. The posts are 63 inches high, and the brass drops which conceal the screw-holes have been restored from a bed of the same period.
An unusually elegant example of the French bed is the one given in Figure 63. This bed is of rosewood, with legs of splendidly carved dolphins, and on the side rails and rolling ends are very rich ormolu decorations cut from solid brass. The medallions directly over the legs show Fame blowing her trumpet, and the rams, heads terminating the head and foot boards where they rest upon the wood above the stars are solid brass also. This bed has been many years in this country, and stood in the bridal chamber or guest-room of the old Van Rensselaer Manor House at Albany, N. Y. This room was situated on the ground floor to the right of the front door.
A most necessary piece of furniture which every housekeeper endeavoured to own was some form of "highboy," as it has come to be called, or a chest-on chest of drawers. Figure 64 depicts a fair example of the highest style of perfection to which these articles reached. Few are found more ornate than this. The wood is mahogany, and is richly carved on the knees, with the upper and lower drawers ornamented with shell and scrolls. The escutcheons and handles are original, and the only defect is the loss of the two ornaments which decorated either side of the top. The date of this chest of drawers is anywhere from 1750 to about 1780, the overlapping drawers making it more likely to approximate the earlier date. Belonging to about the same period is the corner cupboard shown in Figure 65. This is of cherry, with the broken arch-cornice and Gothic door. It has turned posts with rosettes which Sheraton often used, and the cupboard doors overlap and are panelled. The back of the cupboard is of pine, as are the shelves. The wood is a rich dark colour and unpolished. Similar pieces, though not exactly in this form, are to be met with in Virginia and are doubtless of native manufacture.
American makers used not only mahogany, cedar, ash, elm, pine, maple, cherry, poplar, and walnut, but could inlay with "King, tulip, rose, purple, snake, zebra, Alexandria, panella, yew, and maple." There were cabinet-makers in every town, and many of them put out as handsome work as their contemporaries in London. In Chapter V mention has been made of the cabinet-makers of the eighteenth century, but furniture was made in the Colonies even before that. The native joiners began to work as early as 1622, for Phineas Pratt, of Weymouth, Mass., was what we now call a cabinet-maker, and before 1700 Boston had at least 25 cabinet-makers whose names appear in various records. We have also spoken of Connecticut chests, and their manufacture somewhere in that State. There is also another style known as the Hadley chest. Mr: Lockwood, in his fine work on furniture, places the date of these chests as ranging from 1690 to 1720. They come in one-, two-, and three-drawer patterns, varying in height from 321 inches in one-drawer size to 46 inches for the three-drawer style. The peculiarity of these chests is their decoration, their shape being similar to other chests of the same period. In addition to being carved they are stained as well, — red, mulberry, and black being the colours chosen. On the central panel of the front the initials of the owner were usually roughly carved; the decoration of the chest, confined to the front, being a rude vine, while the sides are panelled. The top, body of drawers, and back of chest are always pine, the thrifty New England craftsman saving his hardwood for places where it would show. There is a very fine specimen of these Hadley chests in the Museum at Deerfield, Mass. Several more are in collections gathered in Massachusetts or adjoining States. The black-stained pine ornaments do not always mark a piece as of domestic manufacture, for pear-wood was used by the Dutch, and even occasionally by the English, stained black to imitate ebony, which was always more or less costly.
Figure 65. Corner Cupboard
Figure 66. Inlaid and Lacquered Table and Chair
After 1725 there was considerable travel by merchants, and to a small extent by others bent on pleasure. Inns became of importance, and brought in good incomes to their owners. Abel Chapin kept a tavern at Chicopee, Mass., in 1730, and some few leaves of his account-book still remain, The records of the bar are the most numerous entries, and he sold there "Rhum & Cyder", bowls of punch and mugs of flip, and sometimes "Shugar, seed-corne, salt, and molasses." When this prosperous innkeeper died he left personal property valued at £400, and his real estate was worth £1,300. There were six hundred items mentioned in his inventory among the household furnishings, including iron, pewter, and brass ware with some china and glass. There is also special mention of "36 linen sheets, sixteen blankets, eleven woolen sheets, 6 table cloths and 21 towels." The inventory of his wardrobe shows richness for those days, and justifies his mother's statement that she had one son who was too rich. The inventory begins with:
"2 Great Cotes, 1 srait Body Cote, 1 pare lether Britches, 1 pare shues, 4 pare pumps, 1 hat, a black Velvet Vest, 1 pare Velvet Britches, 9 pare hose, 4 fine shirts, 6 common shirts, shoe Buckles."
His brother, a bachelor, died in 1747, and also had much worldly gear. He had "cotes and jackets of Camlet, serge and Broadcloth", and "some shirts, some more shirts, and some fine shirts."
There was no longer such great stress for the necessaries of life, in the Connecticut Valley at least, though there was still hardship and danger a plenty.
Figure 67. Lacquered Table
Figure 68. Mahogany Bureau
Game and wild fowl abounded in the woods, and the rivers were full of fish. There is on record a single catch in one night of 6,000 shad and go salmon, six men being at work. Each householder was required to keep at least three sheep, and these, with the fields Of flax, supplied bedding and clothing.
The Wayside Inn, South Sudbury, Mass., is still standing to show what a handsome and hospitable dwelling one of these old-fashioned inns was. In Figure 18 is shown the old dining-room, looking to-day pretty much as it did a century ago. On the left is a handsome lowboy with carving, and from the little alcove on the right many a steaming glass of flip or negus was served to cold and weary travellers. The dining-room was the centre of hospitality in the later Colonial days, as the kitchen had been in the earlier period. There was no handsomer or more hospitable entertainer than John Hancock, of Boston. In September, 1778, he gave a dinner to Count D'Estaing, the French Admiral, and his officers and other dignitaries. There was such a large company that the spacious ball-room at the Hancock House was not large enough, so Faneuil Hall was engaged for the occasion. All contemporary accounts agree that it was a very splendid affair and went off with great éclat. The following amusing glimpse behind the scenes shows Mr. Hancock's anxiety about the provisions for this same dinner.
"MONDAY NOON, 30 Aug. 1778.
DEAR SIR — The Phillistines are coming upon me on Wednesday next at Dinner. To be Serious, the Ambassador, etc., etc., are to dine with me on Wednesday, and I have nothing to give them, nor from the present prospect of our Market do I see that I shall be able to get anything in Town. I must beg the favr of you to Recommend to my man Harry where he can get some chickens, Ducks, Geese, Hams, Partridges, Mutton or anything that will save my reputation in a dinner. and by all means some Butter. Be so good as to help me and you will much oblige me. Is there any good Mellons or Peaches or any good fruit near you? Your advice to Harry will much oblige me. Excuse me, I am very troublesome. Can I get a good Turkey? I walked in Town to-day. I dine on board the French Frigate to-morrow, so you see how I have Recovered. God bless you. If you see anything good at Providence, do Buy it for me.
"I am Your Real Friend
Apparently the friend carne to his assistance. The appearance of the company must have been very gay, for bright apparel was not confined to ladies alone.
Seven years later James Bowdoin, the Governor of Massachusetts (1785) on a review day at Cambridge, wore a grey wig, cocked hat, white broadcloth coat and vest, red small-clothes, and black-silk stockings. Thomas Jefferson wore a white coat and red breeches. The ladies were looked out for also, and —
— "a neat assortment of women's and children's stays, also hoops and quilted coats, also men's and women's shoes from England" were advertised in the "New York Mercury." As early as 1761 Mr. H. Levy offered for sale Hyson tea, coffee and chocolate, and English-made shoes.
The "New York Gazette" of May 15, 1789, describes a gown of the prevailing mode as follows:
"A plain but celestial blue satin gown over a white satin petticoat. Over the neck was worn a large Italian gauze handkerchief. Headdress a pouf of gauze in form of a globe, the head-piece of which was made of white satin having a double wing which was trimmed with a wreath of roses. The hair was dressed in detached curls and a floating chignon."
Figure 69. American-Made Chairs
At this same period in winter weather the gentlemen wore muffs of bearskin with knots of scarlet ribbon, while the hats of the ladies were so immense that it was suggested that a larger style of umbrella be invented so as to protect them.
From 1750 the decoration of the fireplace became of importance, and marble chimney-fronts, blue and white tiles, and beautifully variegated marble hearths in different colours are freely advertised. Carved and openwork mahogany mantelpieces could be had by 1765, and elegant grates and Bath Stoves are imported from England. Fire-dogs or andirons of many patterns are advertised for sale. In Figure 57 there will be seen in the fireplace a pair representing marching soldiers.
We have seen in many inventories how the elegances of the East crept in among stouter and more practical goods. In Figure 66 are shown two fine examples of Oriental lacquer-work ornamented with gold and inlaid with mother-of-pearl flowers. The chair is lacquered on some exceedingly light and porous wood, and has a cane seat. The table, which is of a very ornate design, has a heavy base to prevent its tipping over. Both belong to the Erastus Corning Estate, and are now at the Albany Historical Society Rooms. Music-stands were also made of lacquered wood and decorated with gilt patterns and mother-of-pearl.
Another very beautiful example of lacquer-work is shown in Figure 67. This is gold lacquer on black and special attention should be given to the Oriental rendering of the pillar and claw feet of the table. The carving is very fine, the dragon's head in which each foot terminates being quite a work of art.
The vase which stands on the table is Sèvres, made under Napoleon's direction as a gift to the Emperor of Russia. It never reached its destination; for Napoleon himself went to Russia, and his mission was not to give, but to take. The vase was secured in Paris by . Mr. William Bayard, and presented by him to his brother-in-law, General Stephen Van Rensselaer, the eighth patroon of Rensselaerwick.
Bureaus with flat tops, upon which stood either lacquered or wooden dressing-glasses, were in use during the latter part of the eighteenth and in the early part of the nineteenth centuries. Sometimes the glasses were attached to the bureau itself, which then had an extra set of small drawers above the larger ones, set back so as to leave a shelf in front of them. Such a piece of a very ornate character is shown in Figure 68. It is of mahogany with gilt mountings of very beautiful design on the pillars of the front. The drawer which swells out has on it a splendid Empire gilt ornament. Above this the rail across the front is painted black and has a pattern in gold upon it. The curved supports to the mirror are carved and then painted with gold, as is the mirror-frame itself. The handles are glass, with bosses of gilt, completing an unusually handsome piece of furniture. The glass handles place the date of this bureau as not earlier than 1820.
The work of domestic furniture-makers has often been referred to in this work, and in Figure 69 are given examples of three chairs, all of them mahogany, the two on the left being in Sheraton style, and the one on the right rather later, and coming under the head of Empire. The latter has the curved back and legs which were very popular, and a very distinctively American touch in the finely carved eagle which ornaments the cross-bar of the back. All three chairs are well carved, and the panelled back of the middle one has a thread of brass moulding. The carved design is adapted from some well-known patterns by Sheraton The one on the extreme left has some very delicate carving above the three arrows. In the little open panel are a bow and quiver quite out of proportion, in their size, to the large, heavy arrows below it. All three chairs had the covering nailed down with brass nails in the popular style, and the middle one still has the original stuff. American cabinet-makers also excelled in making and carving very beautiful rosewood furniture which was held in high estimation down to the middle of the century. A piece of such work is shown in the handsomely carved card-table represented in Figure 70. The legs are gracefully curved and embellished with fine carving. The top turns, and then opens, a circular portion of the center being covered with cloth. Within the frame the table is finished with handsome curled maple, and has numerous little compartments for holding cards and counters. This specimen belongs to Miss Sarah Frost, of Rochester, N. Y.
Figure 70. American-Made Rosewood Card Table