American Furniture By E. T. Joy

in chair splats, and mostly in Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore work. Gothic motives seldom occur in New England furni-ture.

Grandfather clock:

long-case floor clock in standard use by i 750, though many earlier examples exist. Lockwood mentions one in a Boston inventory of 1652. American grand-father clocks generally follow English models, except when the decorative motives are American - e.g. block-front-and-shell.

Grandmother clock:

modern name for a smaller floor clock, about half to two-thirds as tall as a grandfather clock.

Hadley chest:

so called because mostly found in and around Hadley, Massachusetts. A characteristic New England dower chest of 1690-1710. Its distinctive feature is the incised carving of tulips, vines and leaves which cover the entire front (Fig. 11).


oak-like American wood often used for furniture parts needing strength without heaviness; also for bent parts; and almost always for spindles of Windsor chairs.


uniquely American tall chest of drawers mounted on a commode or low¬boy (q.v.) and topped with a broken-arch pediment usually heightened with finials. Characteristically plain in New England; richly carved and ornamented in Phila¬delphia. It was made in three styles - William and Mary, Queen Anne and Chippendale. The Philadelphia Chippendale highboy is sometimes called the most remarkable crea-tive achievement in American antique fur-niture design (Plate 4OA). The late authority on English antique furniture, Herbert Ces-cincky wrote: '. . . there is little or no kinship between a Philadelphia highboy and any¬thing ever made in England'. Much sought today, they bring high prices - up to $43,000 for one; $44,000 for another.

Hitchcock chair:

American adaptation of the late Sheraton-style painted and stencilled chair. It has round-turned legs, raked, and an oval-turned 'pillow-back' top rail. Almost always painted black with stencillings of fruits and flowers in gold or colours. Named for Lambert Hitchcock, of Hitchcockville, Connecticut, who made them in quantity from 1820 to 1850.


fine-grained, almost white wood, sometimes used for inlay.


see Windsor chair.

Hope chest:

colloquial term, widely used for dowry chest, which itself is a misnomer, since a chest normally serves more purposes across the years than holding a trousseau (see Dowry chest).

Horseshoe back:

see Windsor chair.


a bit of inlay, such as stars, checker¬ing, etc, occurred in American furniture as early as the last quarter of the seventeenth century. It was increasingly used in Queen Anne and all subsequent styles except Chippendale (when carving and other orna¬ment took its place). Reached its height in Hepplewhite- and especially Sheraton-style furniture. In lavish use of inlay, late eighteenth-century Maryland cabinet-makers probably led all other Americans.


an American type of raised-work lacquering occurred occasionally on American Queen Anne furniture - highboys, chairs, mirrors. Few examples survive, the finest often reflecting Boston origin. The earliest mentioned dates from 1712. Another type of japanning - drawings in gilt without raised work - came in for a while about 1790, followed by painted furniture in the late Sheraton and American Empire taste.


a Dutch form of wardrobe made in the Hudson and Delaware River valleys about 1675-1750; a large clothes cupboard with panelled doors, large mouldings, over¬hanging cornice and, usually, ball-front feet. Often painted with decorative designs.

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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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