American Furniture By E. T. Joy

in three styles - Dutch-Queen Anne tran¬sitional, Queen Anne, and Chippendale. Also called roundabout and writing chair. Some authorities say the American Windsor chair (q.v.) may have been evolved from it.

Corner cupboard:

triangular-shaped, generally movable cupboard fitting a corner. The front is diagonal or curved, and there are curved or scalloped shelves. It often has glass doors in the upper portion, usually for the display of china, and closed doors below. Made from 1725 to 1820 with little change other than ornamental, they range from plain unpainted pine to finest mahogany. Many excellent examples survive.


seventeenth- to eighteenth-century term for day bed (q.v.).

Court cupboard:

the earliest fine cup¬board in America. A kind of Jacobean buffet (and called a buffet in England), with the upper portion enclosed, the lower open. Sometimes, however, the upper portion is partly open-that is, contains .a closed central cupboard with splayed sides. When the bottom portion is also closed, whether with doors or as a chest of drawers, it is in America called a press cupboard (q.v.). Early ones are generally of oak, with much sturdy Jacobean ornament, and seldom, if ever, ornamented alike (c. 1650-70).

Courting mirror:

small mirror framed with mouldings and a cresting, the crested area often containing a painted picture or design. They were traditionally a courting gift in eighteenth-century New England. Lockwood says their source was a similar mirror made in China for the export trade.

Cromwellian chair:

Spanish-type chair with strips of leather for the seat and back; turned legs and stretchers, occasionally spiral turned. Generally ornamented with brass-headed tacks. A mid-seventeenth-century 'Puritan' chair. Very few have been found.

Cross stretcher:

X-shaped stretcher in straight or curved lines. Sometimes found on occasional tables, highboys, lowboys, a few chairs.

Cupid's bow:

a distinctive feature of the Chippendale chair-back is its top rail, which is formed either in the shape of a Cupid's bow or with rounded ends (q.v.). The Cupid's bow top rail first appeared in America about 1740, and shortly displaced the Queen Anne yoke-curved back.


the grainings of some woods-maple, walnut, birch, etc - sometimes show feather-like, curly or tiger-stripe markings, which are much prized. Not to be confused with other markings, such as bird's-eye, wavy, blister and quilted (Plate 39A).


fine furniture was sometimes made of the pale to dark brown (swamp) cypress, especially in South Carolina, Georgia and other Southern states. More often used for drawers and linings, and for utility-type furniture. It is noted for its resistance to decay.

Day bed:

an early chair with the seat long enough to be used as a sleeping couch when the chair back is lowered. Used in American parlours from 1640 to 1780 for sleeping an extra guest. The fashion waned after 1750, as houses grew larger and offered more bed room.

Dowry chest:

romantic term for any chest reserved for the trousseau and house¬hold linen of a bride-to-be. Two American types are differentiated - the Connecticut chest (q.v.) and the painted Pennsylvania German chest. Dower chest is also heard.

Drake foot:

see Duck foot.


broad, open cupboard with shelves for the display of china or pewter, the lower portion with closed doors. Distinct from the low chest of drawers with a mirror which is modernly called a dresser in America.

Drop or Tear-drop handle:

the char¬acteristic pull used on furniture with drawers, 1690—1720. Of brass, solid or hollow, this pendant hangs from a brass plate and is attached to the drawer by wire pins. Also called tear drop and pear drop, which picturesquely suggest its shape.

Drop leaf:

a table with one or two hinged leaves which can be raised or dropped by bringing swinging legs or supports into use. Many kinds of drop-leaf tables have special names - butterfly, corner, gate-leg, library, Pembroke, sofa, etc.

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Antiques For Sale

Philip Burke has a wide range of 18th and 19th century English and continental antique furniture.

The different styles of antique furniture that comes in may only last a few days in the workshop before they are sold. If you require a piece of furniture not listed please call and we will do our best to cater for your needs.



Philip Burke has been involved in restoration work for a number of years dealing with all aspects of antique furniture restoration and conservation

Antique furniture is not always beautiful and pristine--in fact, some of the most valuable pieces show wear and fading. Whether or not to restore antique furniture can be a complex question, but it also depends on the definition of "restore."


The Workshop

Based in the heart of Kensington, Philip Burke is in the ideal location for servicing clients from around the London area's. If you require a home visit or just want some advice on your antique furniture please do not hesitate to get in touch.


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