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Maker(s):Stedman, George (attributed)
Culture:American (1795-1881)
Title:bureau
Date Made:1816-1822
Type:Furniture
Materials:wood: cherry, maple, white pine; base metal: brass
Place Made:United States; Vermont; Norwich area
Measurements:overall: 34 15/16 in x 41 1/2 in x 19 3/4 in; 88.7 cm x 105.4 cm x 50.2 cm
Accession Number:  HD 2011.19
Credit Line:Museum Collections Fund
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield
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Description:
Bombe-fronted chest of drawers or bureau with four graudated long drawers and splayed French feet on the sides and front, which was probaby made by cabinetmaker George Stedman (1795-1881) at the conclusion of the War of 1812 for a member of the Ainsworth-West families of Norwich and Royalton, Vermont. Expensive to make, only a handful of chests are known in this French-inspired design. The attribution to Stedman is based on a similar example at Winterthur Museum, which is signed "Made by G / Stedman Norwich Vermont." Born in Chester, Vermont, Stedman took over the Chester cabinetmaking shop of Sampson Warner with whom he apparently completed his apprenticeship. In 1822 he married Mary Huntington (1798-1826) of Shaftesbury, Vermont, and moved to Jackson, New York, then to Rome, New York. After Mary's death in 1826 in Rome, New York, Stedman he married Mary's cousin, Harriet Huntington in 1836; Harriet died in 1839, leaving him childless. He did not remarry and spent the rest of his life in Rome and the adjacent town of Lee, making furniture, wooden planes and bedsteads, and died in the Oneida County poorhouse. The cherry top is screwed to two boards dovetailed to the cherry sides and separated by a space and to glue blocks nailed to the sides in the space between the two boards. Two horizontally aligned backboards are nailed into rabbets in the sides. The pine bottom is dovetailed to the sides. The solid cherry top rail and drawer dividers are set into recessed mortises in the sides; the mortises appear to have been miscut below the divider--each is filled with a shim. The maple(?) bottom rail and applied skirt are veneered with cherry. All of the drawer supports are replaced (although an example of what appears to be original drawer support has been retained--it consists of a rectangular strip of wood once attached to the case with cut nails). Drawer stops are nailed to the sides. The cherry side and front faces of the french feet are mitered and glued to the bottom of the case; the joints are reinforced with rectangular glue blocks. The pine drawer sides are dovetailed to the fronts and backs; the edges of the cherry drawer fronts are inlaid with lightwood stringing. The fronts and sides of the pine drawer bottoms are chamfered and set into grooves in the sides and front and butted and nailed to the backs. Striped maple stringing is applied to the case between the bottom rail and the skirt and carries to the sides where the feet meet the case. The brasses are replaced.

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=HD+2011.19

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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