The Cabinetmaker’s Account: John Head’s Record of Craft & Commerce in Colonial Philadelphia, 1718-1753, by Jay Robert Stiefel
Suffolk-born joiner John Head immigrated to Philadelphia in 1717 and became one of its most successful artisans and merchants. However, Head’s prominence had been lost to history until Jay Stiefel’s discovery of his account book at the American Philosophical Society Library. Head’s account book is the earliest and most complete to have survived from any cabinetmaker working in British North America or in Great Britain and offers a 35-year ‘moving picture’ of an 18th century cabinetmaker’s daily life.
Historian, lawyer, and collector Jay Robert Stiefel is an authority on the crafts and commerce of Colonial Philadelphia and the institutions founded by Franklin for the welfare of its tradesmen. He studied history at the University of Pennsylvania and Christ Church, Oxford. Stiefel’s writings and lectures on social history have restored to the historical record many early craftsmen, artists, and merchants whose prominence had been obscured by the passage of time.
Jay will be presenting a lecture to introduce his new book at three venues over the next month:
Tuesday April 30th at 5:00 p.m. Christ Church, Oxford. Free, but booking required via the Christ Church website.
Wednesday, 1 May 2019, 6.00pm – 8.00pm Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London WC2N 5NF Cost: £28 – see the Furniture History Society website.
Thursday, May 9th. 6:00 – 8:00 pm at Lyon & Turnbull, Broughton St. Edinburgh. Tel: 0131 557 8844 for details.
Another wonderful publication was released last year by one of the Society’s members and former Newsletter editor, Noël Riley. The Accomplished Lady – a history of genteel
pursuits c. 1660–1860 is a richly illustrated “study of the skills and pastimes of upper-class women and the works they produced during a 200-year period.”
Noël Riley has written and lectured extensively on the decorative arts and is a
consultant at Sotheby’s Institute of Art, London. Her previous books include Penwork: A Decorative Art, The Victorian Design Source Book, Gifts for Good Children – the History of Children’s China 1790–1890, and pocket guides to Tea Caddies and Visiting Card Cases. She has written for many art periodicals, both academic and popular, and for many years she contributed to Historic House, the journal of the Historic Houses Association.
The book is, of course, available in all good book shops!
For more in formation see here, The Accomplished Lady – leaflet, and the review in the RFS Spring Newsletter 2018.
The sharp eyed amongst you may have noticed that we have gradually been making past Journal articles available on the Journal back issues page of this site.
Volumes 1 -23 (1989 -2009) – that’s 20 years of regional furniture research articles – are now accessible to read and download for study and enjoyment. Included are all the special and themed issues of the Journal.
We hope to publish the 2010-2014 volumes shortly. The current issue (Volume 30 – 2016) of Regional Furniture is, of course, only available to RFS members, but the back issues will be published on this website after a three year delay.
NAMES FOR THINGS
A Description of Household Stuff
Furniture and Interiors
Members will be pleased to hear that the posthumous publication of a glossary of terms, written by Victor Chinnery is now available for order.
The book will be published in October 2016 and is an A4 hardback, 324 pages and containing 53 illustrations. The approach taken in the book is both original and creative. It places emphasis on the integrated relationship between furniture and the many artefacts found within the early British home.
In the book, Victor looks, not only at furniture, but also interior decoration, metalwork, pottery, wood types and the use of colour in interiors.
Glossary entries – giving a detailed description of the objects – are backed up by inventory references and other documentary evidence, which aim to explain how the objects would have been used, in a period setting.
It will be an invaluable work of reference for historians, museum curators, dealers and collectors alike.
The book is edited and contains a foreword by Jan Chinnery.
The book retails at £35, plus UK postage of £4 and is available at through all good booksellers (ISBN 9780957599284).
To place an order for the book and for payment details by Bank transfer or cheque – please use the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org or order direct from Jeremy Mills Publishing
RFS members will be interested to see this new publication on the outstanding contribution of Laurence Cadbury who created a wonderful collection of early furniture, domestic objects and archives for Selly Manor. Written by Museum Manager Daniel Callicott and based on original research, this book catalogues the collection with detailed historical descriptions and photographs of the objects, which date from the 16th – 19th centuries. With over 170 full colour images this is a fascinating, illuminating and colourful publication that brings this important collection to print for the first time.
How Laurence Cadbury acquired such an impressive collection is documented through photographs and archives, and the book describes his relationship with local antiques dealer Oliver Baker.
All proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards the conservation and preservation of the Laurence Cadbury Collection at Selly Manor, ensuring these objects will be enjoyed by generations to come.
To purchase your copy of this book (£15) please contact:
email@example.com or call 0121 472 0199
or visit Selly Manor Museum
Maple Road, Bournville, Birmingham, B30 2AE