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Documentary Evidence for Furniture Forms and Terminology in Charleston, South Carolina, 1670-1820
Bradford L. Rauschenberg, Ph.D.

 

"View of Charles-Town" by Thomas Leitch; Charleston, SC; 1774. Oil on canvas; HOA: 20-1/4", WOA: 60". MESDA Acc. 2024.30.

 

Of the vast amount of furniture that existed in Charleston, South Carolina, during the Colonial and early Federal periods, only a small percentage survives today for us to study. In contrast, the documentary record—inventories, wills, account books, newspapers, shipping returns, letters, and other sources—offers significant evidence for all types of furniture that were present in the Carolina Lowcountry—both vernacular and high style, imported and made locally. Those resources yield rich information, such as dateable terminology, that in turn aids in the analysis of surviving furniture as well as all that is lost.

This study provides documentary evidence for furniture forms and terminology in Charleston before 1820 and presents chronological evidence for their usage. It is hoped that the information provided will enable furniture historians to more fully understand the scope and variety of furniture that existed in Charleston and enable them to more accurately reconstruct furniture consumption and trade in early American communities.

Begin your search by choosing one of the furniture categories below:

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CASE FURNITURE

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SEATING FURNITURE

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TABLES

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SLEEPING FURNITURE

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OTHER FURNITURE FORMS

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REFERENCE LIST

 

GUIDE TO USAGE

Navigation: To best navigate the text, click on the blue words (hyperlinks) to jump between category directories and term entries. Scroll to the top of the page to begin a new search or click on any term entry’s title to return to the previous directory. Be aware that some categories have several levels and navigating them will take you through multiple directories (i.e., Tables –> Table Forms –> Gaming –> Card Table).

Citations: Source citations follow or precede each reference. Full bibliographic information is provided in the Reference List.

Dates: Date ranges at the beginning of each entry refer to the first and last years that a particular term was documented. Dual date years (i.e., “1734/35”) reflect the transition from Old Style to New Style calendars (click here for more information).

(q.v.): A term or phrase that should be looked up in its own entry is denoted by “(q.v.)”; Latin for quod vide (“which see”).

Printing: Due to the great length of this resource, it is best to copy any text you are interested in printing and paste it into a word processing document for output. Or you can print out a range of pages through your browser’s print menu.

Imported vs. Local Furniture: Differentiation between furniture that was imported and furniture made locally becomes somewhat of a problem within certain documents; however, the overall value of the citation outweighs the indeterminateness of where the furniture was made.

Values and Inventories: Difficulties encountered with inventory usage are inherent in the nature of this resource. Briefly some of these are: usually the wealthy had descriptive inventories while the poorer had more brief evaluations; room-specific inventories are the exception rather than the norm; the varying abilities of the inventory takers; grouping of furniture without regards to the room; the “carry‑over” of furniture of a much earlier period by a household; and, as previously mentioned, a lack of differentiation between the origins of furniture. Further, often it was found where some of the various properties of the wealthy were not item inventoried, but valued as a whole. These problems would be of more importance if this were a study of the inventories themselves; however, with dateable terminology as the goal, wealth is not as important as individual furniture values associated with documenting terminology.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bradford L. Rauschenberg, Ph.D., is Director of Research Emeritus of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, author of The Wachovia Historical Society, 1895-1995, co-author of The Furniture of Charleston, 1680-1820, and author of over thirty scholarly articles. He lives with his wife, Judy Aanstad, Ph.D., to whom he dedicates this article, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He can be reached at K4BLR@triad.rr.com.

 

SLEEPING FURNITURE

In the writings of furniture historians, sleeping furniture is among the least investigated forms. As the most frequently surviving form of sleeping furniture, the bedstead, termed as such in documents, is not alone in this category. Inventories reveal that in Charleston households there were others as well: cot, couch, cradle, crib, field/camp bed, folding bed, hammock, hidden, press, settee, sofabed, trundle, and wainscot. Within these categories the inventory and other documentary evidence for each forms is chronologically presented.

 

SLEEPING FURNITURE FORMS

Bedstead (General) (1686-1820)—This general term refers to the high or low four-post bedstead form. It also probably was the term used by many appraisers lacking knowledge regarding a more detailed term for the form. The documentary evidence following is selective because the references to this term are numerous.

In 1686, Paul Grimball sustained severe property losses when the Spanish invaded Edisto Island on 24 August. Among the goods itemized in his list of losses and damages were “5 beedsteads [sic] broke & spoyld [£]04‑0‑0” (“Paul Grimball’s Losses by the Spanish Invasion in 1686,” South Carolina Historical & Genealogical Magazine [hereafter SCHGM], vol. 29, p. 234). In 1678, Francis Jones, brass founder, obtained a warrant for land as “…one of the settlers of this province…,” and when his inventory was taken in 1693 his estate included “…1 old bedstead…” as the sole evidence of sleeping furniture (Salley, Warrants for Land in South Carolina, 1973, p. 167, 13 July 1678; Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 52‑53, 1687‑1711, 24 September 1693).

The few surviving seventeenth-century inventories reveal little about value as most often the bedstead is grouped with other objects; however, when singularly valued, the range is from twelve shillings to three pounds. The furnishings of bedsteads were always valued apart from the bedstead and are usually much higher than the bedstead itself, and, during this early period, little description accompanies the value. Most of the description is usually restricted to nothing more than “…one quilted bed[ing] 2 pillows & 2 blanketts… [£]2‑10‑0…” (Inventory of John Vansusteren, merchant, Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, pp. 199‑205, 23 May 1694). Further, on 3 March 1696/7, the inventory of Nicholas Mardin contained similar evidence for the unknown bedstead whereby only the higher valued bedding is mentioned “To one flock bead & bolster [£]1:10:0… Cattaile bead & bolster [£]1:10:0” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 52-53, 1687-1710, p. 418).

Such early evidence of form and construction is frequently lost in obscurity. There is only one surviving seventeenth-century American bedstead, and it is from eastern Massachusetts (Robert Blair St. George “ ‘Set Thine House In Order’: The Domestication of the Yeomanry in Seventeenth‑Century New England” New England Begins: The Seventeenth Century Vol. 2 [Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1982], p. 296, fig. 297). Therefore, further information must be gleaned from inventories and English and European paintings and prints of this early period. Such information derived is that early bedsteads were of the high and low post turned variety, undoubtedly similar to chair, table, and house turnings. Also, there were paneled and joined examples in the manner of woodwork, of these some undoubtedly had turned foot posts. It still remains, nonetheless, that with the lack of both descriptive seventeenth-century documents and surviving bedsteads, conjecture is all one has left. Notwithstanding, terminology offerings in post-seventeenth-century documents are intriguing, with bedstead terminology occasionally being annotated as to form, wood, color, furnishings, and construction.

After the early eighteenth century, documentary evidence begins to reveal more; therefore, sleeping furniture descriptions warrant a chronological partitioning of evidence based upon discovered terminology. These early eighteenth century documents quickly reveal the high value given to the bedstead, not so much to the wooden portion, but to the fabric hung on the bedstead. Such evidence is found in the extensive 1725 inventory of Daniel Gale, blacksmith, with “…a Bed[stead] and Furniture [hangings] [£]100–…” listed twice, the value of which were far and above the wooden furniture in the house (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, p. 24, 26 January 1725). The 1727 inventory of George Chicken reveals a construction feature frequently encountered later “…Bedsteads with Iron Rods…,” demonstrating the manner of hanging the fabrics, or “furniture,” as they were known (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, p. 596, 21 August 1727). Also found is the equipage of bedsteads, as in 1732 with the inventory of Mrs. Rhoda Hole, listing “…1 Bedstead & Canopy…” and “…one Old Pavillion…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 8, 24 August 1732) and in 1732/3 with another merchant’s inventory, Jacob Satur, which included “…Another Bed with ditto [blankets and curtains] besides Iron rods Tester & c…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 62, 20/21 December 1732/3).

The first evidence of bedsteads being made in Charleston is with the 1736 advertisement of John Bedon, “joyner,” who says that he sells “…very good Sashes and Bedsteads, or any sort of Joyners work…[and]…also makes coffins…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 4 September 1736). The importation of bedsteads is seen on 10 August 1734 when Bennet and Hunt advertised “Beds,” among other furniture forms, in the South Carolina Gazette. The reading of documents reveals a distinction to be made between “beds” and “beds made”; the latter is found with the upholsterer, Walter Rowland, who advertised in November 1741 his offering of “Beds made [up] in the newest fashion,” which indicated his trade with fabrics (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 November 1741). Bedsteads specified as imported from London are found in 1742 within an advertisement of the merchants Mackenzie and Roche for “…four post and field bedsteads…” among other furniture (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 April 1742, 2‑2). John Bee’s inventory of 1743 contained “…Parcell Bedsteads unfinished [£]8‑…” among his carpenter shop appraised material (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71,1739-1742, p. 73, 25 May 1743). In James St. John’s inventory of 22‑24 June 1743, “A Bedstead with Sacking Bottom, White Calico Curtains, Tester and Vallons, Feather Bed [£]30” was listed among his goods at “Kellys” plantation (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 257.)  Evidence of other unfinished work such as Bee’s is seen three years later in the inventory of Benjamin Elmes, joiner, who possessed “…one Beadstead [sic] [£]2‑10‑… [and] one ditto unfinished…” together with his wood and tools (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 74, 1746‑1748 [transcript], p. 51, 25 September 1746). The Brisbane’s, Robert and William, advertised in 1753 “…bedsteads compleat…” for sale; followed the next year with an explanation of “compleat” as “…stacking [sic] bottomed bedsteads with rods, rails and castors…” from London (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 October 1753 and 15‑22 January and 5‑12 February 1754).

The inventories of Samuel Miller, carpenter, in 1758, and William Coon, joiner, in 1760, revealed that both were producing bedsteads.  The evidence for Coon was “…1 Set of Staff [sic] for a Bedstead [£] 1‑10‑…” revealing the first use of the term “set” in regard to the preselection of wood for bed posts, ready to be turned or otherwise finished (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761 [transcript], p. 629, 9 November 1760). The 1769 inventory of Martha Bremar contained the first inventory listing of a “…Bed stead with Mahogany Claw Feet [£] 12‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories,1763‑1771, p. 177, 2 June 1769). When Edward Weyman, upholsterer, mortgaged some household property, it included “…one mahogany bedstead with Fluted Posts & Carved Knees with Curtains…” (Charleston County South Carolina Mortgages, No. B.B.B., 1767‑1771 , p. 333, 21 November 1769). In 1770 John Dobbins, cabinetmaker, apparently sold his stock at his shop, saying that he was leaving the area. Among the furniture sold were “…carved and plain mahogany bedsteads…” (South Carolina Gazette, and Country Journal, Charleston, 27 November 1770, 3‑1). The next year saw Thomas Shirley, merchant, selling his “…Household Furniture… [which included a]… Mahogany Bedstead, with fluted Posts, Eagle claw Feet, a fret Frez, and carved Cornice…” (South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Charleston, 11 June 1771, 2‑3). The cabinetmaker Martin Pfenninger, in 1774, collected for past work which included “…a fine Mahogany Bedstead with a Rich Cornice, Gothic Posts, Carved Swells & Caps [£] 100‑…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Box 101A, #164A, 17 November 1774, Martin Pfenninger vs. Soloman Smith).

Of all the Charleston documents, the Thomas Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775) contains the most descriptions and values of bedsteads (Mabel Louise Weber, “The Thomas Elfe Account Book, 1768-1775,” The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vols. 35-42 [1934-1942]). The document contained 62 bedsteads of mahogany, being sold from 1771‑1775, with prices from £25 to £95. An almost equal number amount of lesser valued bedsteads were also sold (to be cited under the category “Sleeping Furniture Woods”). The degree of description within the documentation for mahogany beadsteads increased proportionately with the values: “…Mahogany Bedstead £25…” (25 August 1772, Account #39); “…Mahogany Bedstead & castors £30…” (28 May 1772, Account #50); “…Mahogany Bedstead, sacking bottom, caps & ca[stors] £35…” (15 December 1772, Account #123); “…a large mahogany larth bottom bedstead & castors £35…” (4 October 1773, Account #164); “…Mahog[any] Bedstead fluted post[s] caps & castors £38…” (17 May 1774); “…Mahog[any] Bedstead square posts & fluted £40…” (21 July 1775, Account #54); “…Mahog[any] Bedstead Eagles claws & brass caps £35…” (1 October 1774, Account #188); “…Mahogany Bedstead Eagles Claws & Plane Knees with castors £40…” (22 November 1771, Account #98); “…Mahogany Bedstead Eagle Claws & Knees sacking Bottom £44.2…” (17 July 1771, Account #75); “…mahog[any] bedstead post swelled & carved & mahog[any] cornice £50…” (15 January 1773, Account #139); and “…Mahogany bedstead flutted [sic] post & brass caps with a carved cornish £65…” (6 May 1773, Account #128). Charges are also seen for repairs to and the moving of bedsteads as well as additions; ie., cornices, laths, testers, or iron rods. For example, on 29 April 1775, he recorded a charge for “A New head board to a bedstead £0.15” (Account #226). Elfe himself was the possessor of a “Bedstead with Eagle Claws etc.” as it was described in the 11 September 1776 inventory of his estate (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 99A, 1776‑1778, p. 116, 11 September 1766).

An unusual advertisement appeared in 1784 where probably a vendue room was selling imported goods among which was “…Ditto [mahogany] Elegant Bedsteads 5 feet 4 by 6 feet[,] 6 compleat…” (South Carolina Gazette, and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 29 May 1784, 1‑2). On 9 July 1785 an auction was announced of the household furniture of Mrs. Mary Philip, of 25 King Street. Among which was “an elegant bedstead, with Jones’s furniture compleat” (South Carolina State Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 9 July 1785). The reference to “Jones’s furniture” is a very specific mention of copperplate textiles by Robert Jones of Old Ford, near London, England (Florence Montgomery, Printed Textiles [New York: The Viking Press, 1970], pp. 29, 213, 214, 231, 260). Another Charleston reference to this textile maker was found a year earlier as “1 Suit Bed Furniture Jones’s Pattern” as being “In The Chamber” of the 18 February 1784 inventory of “Crowfield” house of Thomas Middleton (Charleston County, S.C., Inventories, Vol. A, 1783-1787, p. 182, 18 February 1784). The 14th of November 1785 issue of the Charleston Evening Gazette contained a sale notice of “A FOUR post Bed-stead of an extra width, Elegant fluted Mahogany Posts Fine White striped Diminity Furniture with scalloped, fringed Vallances, a feather Bed, Bolster, and 2 Pillows One hair Mattrass, with Blankets and a white counterpane, all of the best materials and extra breath.” The London furniture warehouse firm of Benjamin Wilson and Dawes shipped a cargo of furniture to Charleston on board the Castle Douglas on 1 August 1786. Among the furniture listed was a “Bedstead & Curtains [£]8.8” (“James Douglas Account Book” , 1 August 1786, p. 304, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds. Dictionary of Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son Ltd., 1986], p. 986).

An interesting insight into the export of Charleston bedsteads was found within the Baltimore Custom Records of 1782 to 1824 when, for 6 November 1786, the entrance of the sloop George was recorded from Charleston, S.C., with a cargo of “99 Setts Bed Posts” among casks of indigo, sole leather, and rum (Baltimore Customs Records, Entrance and Clearance [1782-1824], National Archives, microfilm T 257, 1 & 2; John Henry Hill, The Furniture Craftsmen in Baltimore, 1783-1823, unpublished Master of Arts Thesis, University of Delaware, 1967, p. 4). A Charleston merchant, John Teasdale, was selling “a few undressed mahogany bed-steads” in May 1788 (The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 May 1788). On 27 May 1789, the inventory of John Walters Gibbs revealed the unusual description regarding width of bedsteads in his “counting house” “…2 Mahogany single Bedsteads… [and] 1 double Do. [£]15/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p.191, 27 May 1789). In 1790, payment was made to Jacob Sass for a  “…Maohagony [sic] bedstead £6‑0‑0…” from Richard Baker (“Baker‑Grimke Papers‑Receipts,” Charleston, SCHGM 11‑535/539; 33‑25, 11 November 1788). In 1790, evidence is seen of New York bedsteads and other furniture being sold in Charleston with the advertisement of Andrew Gifford, cabinetmaker/warehouseman of New York, who apparently visited Charleston to sell furniture (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, 16 March 1790). The partnership of Bradford and Clements, upholsterers and cabinetmakers, advertised in 1792 that they sold “…bedsteads of all kinds and prices” (State Gazette of South Carolina, Charleston, 5 July 1792, 3‑1). In 1796, Charles Desel made Peter Broughton “…a Mahogany Bedstead & Cornish [sic]  [£]5‑10‑…” and took five years to collect for it and other furniture sold to Broughton (South Carolina Judgment Rolls Court of Common Pleas, 1802, #61A, 13 February 1802). In 1799 is seen that Philadelphia mahogany bedsteads were being offered to Charlestonians at auction, along with other furniture from that city (South Carolina Gazette and General Advertiser, Charleston, 3 October 1799). In 1801, William Haydon, cabinetmaker, ran his first advertisement offering “…A most beautiful BEDSTEAD and CORNICE…” among other furniture he had made (Times, Charleston, 10 April 1801). Later, in 1803, it was seen that Haydon moved to Philadelphia, continuing to sell furniture to Charleston clients, but furniture made in Philadelphia (Times, Charleston, 5 April 1803, 3‑3; 29 July 1803). Also in 1803 it was seen that the Baltimore firm of John and Hugh Finlay was in Charleston offering bedsteads and other furniture for sale that undoubtedly were of Baltimore manufacture (City‑Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1803). In 1804, Boston-made bedsteads were offered for sale by Joseph Byrnes, merchant (Charleston Courier, 29 December 1804).

After 1800 it seems that almost every cabinetmaker and upholsterer in Charleston was advertising that they had bedsteads for sale, thus only the unusual documents will be cited hereafter. An entry was found in the 1804 inventory of Spencer Mann, merchant, with a “…Patent Bedstead with Curtains $25.00…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 249, 27 April 1804; further in the inventory “…A Patent Water Closet $2.00…” was also found). As an understanding to what “Patent” indicated, furniture designer Thomas Sheraton had just published a year before a definition of patent that “…denote[s] the security granted by his majesty’s letters patent to any original  invention…” At the 1803 date of Sheraton’s publication, only certain types of dining tables and bedsteads were patented. Discussing bedsteads, Sheraton says that there were “…two or three four‑post bedsteads. The bedsteads are contrived as much as possible to prevent the harbour of vermin, and have therefore brass joints…” and then discusses the joining mechanisms (Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary, Vol. II [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], p. 281). The 1808 store inventory of William Keating revealed that “…3 New Bedsteads $11 $33…” were for sale, which is “in store” evidence of furniture being sold rather than in a warehouse or on a wharf (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 470, c.1808). It is during this period that some cabinetmakers, such as Alexander Calder, were operating warehouses and selling furniture, which at times the evidence was nonspecific as to origin of manufacture.  Fortunately, in 1808, it was specified that within a sale of furniture by Calder were “…6 bedsteads…” and that all to be sold “…being the best Charleston made Furniture…” (Charleston Courier, 22 November 1808). In 1811 the warehouse of Jacob Sass and Son was selling a variety of furniture, among which were “…4 elegant inlaid Bedsteads and Cournices…”; unfortunately no place of manufacture was given (Charleston Courier, 2 March 1811). The same year a reference to a carved post bedstead for $35 is seen in a judgment case involving the cabinetmaker Richard Smith (Charleston District Judgment Rolls, 1813, #436A, 7 September 1811, Richard Smith vs. George Rivers).

An unusual entry for “…a Mahogany Bedstead with gilt cornice…” occurs in a sale of household furniture in 1812 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 10 June 1812, 3‑3). Frequently there was specified “Charleston made” with furniture sales, but only once was “…1 American made Mahogany Bedstead with two Matrasses Tassels and Moscheto [sic] $40.00…” seen, which implies in this particular case of the deceased being French that it was necessary to distinguish that which was “American” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 106, 28 September 1812, Marie Francoise Merceron). More imported bedsteads are seen in 1813 with the arrival of “…New Mahogany Household Furniture… fluted Bedsteads…” from New York and being sold at Mr. Motte’s wharf (Courier, Charleston, 30 January 1813). Again in 1815 and 1816 is seen that bedsteads were arriving from Boston along with other furniture, with the latter date the bedsteads were described as “High post” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 April 1815 and 1 November 1816). It was during 1816 that William Rawson, cabinetmaker, is seen establishing his warehouse and selling bedsteads and other furniture, some of which was from his families shop in Providence, Rhode Island (Courier, Charleston, 27 December 1816). Another exceptional bedstead was sold, apparently “ensuite” for it was described as “…An elegant painted and gilt Bedstead with 6 fancy imitation satin‑wood Chairs, and a Grecian Bason Stand to Suit…” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 11 January 1817).  The term “Grecian” occurs in advertisements of warehousemen the same year as “…Do [Grecian] Bedsteads…” were being also sold by Rawson as well as other furniture by the same term (Courier, Charleston, 2 December 1817, 3‑1).

In 1818, bedsteads were arriving from Salem, Massachusetts, as found in the advertisement of the schooner Hero (Courier, Charleston, 6 January 1818, 2‑5). The same year is also seen Richard Otis, carver and gilder, selling furniture which was “…warranted to stand the climate…” and included bedsteads both “…Carved and Fluted…” imported from New York (Courier, Charleston, 30 June 1818). New York bedsteads are also seen being sold by E. Buckley & Co. at his New York Cabinet Furniture Ware‑House in Charleston and also at Robert Adams’s Charleston Auction Establishment, except that the latter were specified as being made by F. L. Everett of New York (Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818).

Charleston-made bedsteads were still available as demonstrated by H. C. M’Leod’s advertisement of a public sale of “ready made FURNITURE, All made in this city” which included “Carved Post Bedsteads and Plain” at 39 Queen Street in December 1818 (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 19 December 1818). In 1820, William A. Caldwell, warehouseman, was selling furniture that included “…Elegantly carved Mahogany Bedsteads… which have been faithfully made in this city, of the best seasoned materials” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 December 1820, 3‑5).

 

Bed Basket (1741-1819)—A variation on the normal wooden cradle is found in a 1741 advertisement of Robert Wilson announcing a shipment of London merchandise that included “child bed baskets” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 May 1741). This form was most likely a wicker or osier (willow) hooded cradle that was also made in Boston and the Netherlands (Museum of Fine Arts, New England Begins [Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1982], Vol. 2, p. 330, fig. 341). The “child bed baskets” were of plaited willow osiers (branches) also used to make baskets and other items. There is no evidence for this form being made in the Lowcountry; however, with the willows and other such available fibers, and with the close presence of Indians in towns and households, the possibility exists (see Christopher Gilbert, English Vernacular Furniture 1750-1900 [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991], pp. 148-149, fig. 241 for a c.1799 English example of  wicker cradle). In 1819, Andrew P. Gready, a Charleston cabinet warehouseman, was selling “Philadelphia made… Willow Cradle[s], Cloathes Baskets, open and covered Market Baskets…” (Courier, Charleston, 25 March 1819, 3‑2 and 22 July 1819, 2‑5).

 

Cabin Bed (1692-1702)—The origin of the term “Cabin bed” has not been determined as to country of origin nor has an extant Charleston example been found. The 18 June 1697 inventory of Nicholas Mardin, victualler, revealed “one Cabin bead [sic] & Quilt” with a “Blanket & Beadstead [£]5”, a “hamaco [sic]” and “One Cott Bead [sic],” which indicates a high level of differentiation of sleeping furniture forms by the appraisers (Charleston County Wills, etc., Vol. 52-53, 1687-1710, p.418, 3 March 1696/7). One might think that such a listing would be part of a ship’s inventory—that is not the case. The remainder of Mardin’s inventory reflects both a person of some wealth (£230.02.03) as well as household items. It must be concluded that the cabin bed was integrated into the household scheme. If “cabin” indicates a bed derived from an ocean-going form, Thomas Sheraton’s 1803‑1806 definition of a “cott” (q.v.) reveals the possible design as:

…a sort of bed used at sea, and formed of canvas, sewed together in the shape of a chest, and is about 6 feet long, 2 feet broad, and 1 foot deep. The bottom is made of a wood frame, and strained with canvas; the whole being suspended by cords to some of the beams of the ship… From these sea Cotts we have derived the notion of swinging cribs or cradles for children (Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary, Vol. 1 [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], p. 180).

Further, “3 Sea Beds” (q.v.) occur in a household inventory that could well be the same as the cabin bed form.  Of collateral interest is a similar citation in a Westmoreland County, VA, inventory of 1702 for “1 Small cabbin bed… 1 Suite of curtains for his cabin bed.” The inventory was of John Hawkins, merchant (Westmoreland County, VA, Deeds & Wills No. 3, 1701-1707, pp. 89, 109, 25 August 1702). The “Suite” of curtains suggests a free-standing form; however, this could also indicate a matching set and indicate curtains in two parts: one for each end of a single rod hanging inside an opening. Such a possibilty could describe a bedstead built into an enclosed area—an area that might be termed as a “cabin.” Such a furniture form would be unique to documentation in Charleston, although a type of cupboard bed or box bed with a curtain on the open side is found in the Netherlands (Peter Thornton, Seventeenth-Century Interior Decoration in England, France and Holland [New Haven, Yale University Press, 1979), pp. 158-159, 209, figs. 127, 198]). Also, the term “Closs bed” was used in Scotland and England to refer to this type of bed since the late sixteenth century (David Jones, “Box Beds in Eastern Scotland,” Regional Furniture, Vol. V, 1991, pp. 79-85, note 6); Christopher Gilbert, English Vernacular Furniture 1750-1900 [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991], pp. 61, 129-139, figs. 80, 215, 216, 221).

Such a form is somewhat inconceivable as the Lowcountry climate is not reflective of needing to sleep in a box. This form is further complicated by the occurrence of “Cabbin stools” (q.v.) as probably a folding form.

Cot (1695-1817)—See also Field, Camp, and Tent Bedsteads and Folding Bedsteads. The inventory of Joseph Pendarvis, appraised in 1695, included “…1 old Cote an old Quilt[,] an old Hamec [hammock] 0‑15‑0…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 301, 13 July 1695). In 1696/7, the inventory of Nicholas Mardin contained “…one Cott Bead [£]1‑…,” which was the same value placed upon “…one Table & Two Formes…” in the same inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 418, 3 March 1696/7). The 20 January 1726/7 inventory of Thomas Conyers contained “At The Stair Head… one old Cott” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726-1727, p. 409, 20 January 1726/7). Jonathan Main’s 1733 inventory included “…2 black cotts [£]4‑…” and a year later John Raven’s inventory contained “…a Cain Cott [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p.55, 20 April 1733 and p. 157, 18 October 1734). This was probably a fixed frame with a canned bottom. It is possible that a carpenter, John Johnson, was making cots because in his 1743 inventory are found “…6 Cott Frames [£]2‑…” listed after tools and saws (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 287, 7 November 1743). The Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775) contains eight entries for cots with charges from £2.10 to £10. These were variously listed as “with posts and larths,” “with Canvas bottom,” and “large cot”; unfortunately neither woods nor color were revealed (Mabel Louise Weber, “The Thomas Elfe Account Book, 1768-1775,” The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine, Vols. 35-42 [1934-1942]), account nos. 24, 64, 85, 117, 135, 203).

In a list of “nautical, or seafaring terms of expression, in use here [Jamaica] among the planters from time out of mind, were probably introduced by the first English settlers” was found: “Cot. A settee”. This list was in the 1774 The History of Jamaica by Edward Long (London: Frank Cass & Co. Ltd, 1970, p. 319). In April 1777, an inventory of the house that had been the residence of Lord William Campbell, South Carolina’s last royal governor, was taken and among the goods listed for the nursery was “1 Child’s Cot, Mattress, Pavillion, Pillow & Stand £1‑0‑0” (B.P.R.O T1/541, p.[2], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, April 1777). The 1808 inventory of William Keating, merchant, listed among the store appraisal “…1 Cot and Mattrass $2…” together with “…3 New Bedsteads…” implying that these were items intended for sale (Charleston County Inventories Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p.470, 1808). Further evidence for merchants selling cots is seen in the advertisements of Claude M. Samory, mattress maker and merchant, from 1813‑1821 that at times refer to the form as a “Ready Made Cot Bedstead” and was available in “various sizes” (City Gazette and General Advertiser, Charleston, 20 December 1813, 15 October 1814, 6 March 1817, 17 July 1817, 4 September 1817, 9 October 1817; Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 31 October 1814, 21 July 1817). John Rutledge, Jr. purchased, in 1817, from John P. Lloyd, Venetian blindmaker and joiner, a “…Tester & posts to a Cott [for]… [$]1.50…” (John Rutledge Papers, 1782‑1872, fol. 26, 30 October 1817). This accessory item for a cot probably reflects the need for a mosquito net that was made with the attachment of posts fitted into holes of the cot’s corner posts and a supporting member, or “tester,” was fitted to the post tops. Lloyd advertised in 1822 that he made cots as well as bedsteads (Courier, Charleston, 10 October 1822, 3‑1).

The above references do not reveal that this form was what is today recognized as a cot (a lightweight, portable bedstead). Instead, what is described is the military and camping type of cot with folding legs and side rails. This folding construction might have been more recognizable among the Field/Camp/Tent Bedsteads (q.v.) forms. The Oxford English Dictionary offers another “cot” form in nautical use: a frame suspended by cords with the bottom of canvas. This would be to maintain some manner of stability during ship movement. It is this latter “cott” form that Thomas Sheraton defined 1803-1806 as:

…a sort of bed used at sea, and formed of canvas, sewed together in the shape of a chest, and is about 6 feet long, 2 feet broad, and 1 foot deep. The bottom is made of a wood frame, and strained with canvas; the whole being suspended by cords to some of the beams of the ship… From these sea Cotts we have derived the notion of swinging cribs or cradles for children (Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary, Vol. 1 [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], p. 180).

Occasionally the term “small” and “low” are seen applied to cots, which might indicate another interpretation of the form. Such cots have not been discovered in Charleston. There are, however, a few known from Pennsylvania and New England of late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries (Beatrice B. Garvan, The Pennsylvania German Collection, [Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1982], p. 52, fig. 3; Dean A. Fales, Jr., The Furniture of Historic Deerfield [New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, Inc., 1976], p. 107, fig. 218).

 

Couch (1718-1821)—The inclusion of the couch within sleeping furniture forms is based upon its original usage as a bedstead in the Middle Ages that continued well into the seventeenth century; the term was later revived to denote a lounge (q.v). The inventory of England’s Charles I (d.1649) revealed a “couch bedstead”—a term often encountered in Charleston records, for example the 1726 inventory of John Boyden, victualler: “…One Couch bed Stead [£]2‑10‑…” (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 131, 3 and 5 September 1726).

The Oxford English Dictionary offers two citations for the usage of “couch”: in a c.1385 Chaucer quote from The Legend of the Good Women that denotes “couche” as furniture to sleep upon and in c.1450 with Merlin, or the early history of King Arthur, a prose romance that reveals a couch as a place to sit as “Thei sat doun on a Cowche that was covered with a cloth of silke.” Also, a similar (if not the same) form was a “day bed.” The Oxford English Dictionary also reveals that “Day bed” is found in use in Shakespeare’s 1594 Richard III: “He is not lulling on a lewd day bed.” Charleston inventories, however, contain the term “couch.” To the author’s knowledge, nowhere in the American South is the term “day bed” found in documents from the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries. It appears that “day bed” did not come into usage in the South until the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. English furniture historians understand that the term “couch” was applied to either a day bed or a lounge form. The day bed developed with a single end while the couch originally had two and at times a back and arms with “falls” attached to the latter. Both couch and day bed ends were often adjustable (Peter Thornton, Seventeenth‑Century Interior Decoration in England, France and Holland [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978], pp. 149, 172, 210, figs. 148-151; John Gloag, A Short Dictionary of Furniture [London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1977], pp. 262‑266, 287‑288; Robert F. Trent, “New England Joinery and Turning before 1700,” New England Begins: The Seventeenth Century [Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1982], pp. 533‑534, No. 490, pl. XXXI, p. 442).

Appearing only in the third (1762) edition of Thomas Chippendale’s The Gentleman and Cabinet‑Maker’s Director as well as in The Universal System of Household Furniture in 1762 by Ince and Mayhew, the couch is illustrated in both with one end; however, it becomes apparent that confusion existed among the cabinetmakers of the period for the couch illustrated in Genteel Household Furniture In the Present Taste appears to be the settee or sofa form; i.e., with a back and arms connected (Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinet‑Maker’s Director [London: by the author, 1762], pl. XXXII; Ince and Mayhew, The Universal System of Household Furniture [Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1960], pl. LXIV, p. 9 [in text as a “single headed couch”]; “A Society of Upholsterers, Cabinet‑Makers, etc.,” Genteel Household Furniture in the Present Taste, second edition [East Ardsley: EP Publishing Limited, 1978], p. 20). Thus, the couch apparently was of two types: a “day bed” as a low, single-ended form—or to use the 1762 term of Ince and Mayhew, “single headed couch”—and a “settee” (q.v.) as a double easy chair with arms (The Universal System of Household Furniture [Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1960], p. 9). Further, as a variant on the settee, a new form was popular in England in the 1730s called the “sofa” (q.v.) (Benno Forman, American Seating Furniture 1630-1730, p. 248).

It is difficult from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Charleston documents to differentiate the couch form as variations entered local usage, but generally: settee (q.v.) (1741), sofa (q.v.) (1762), and lounge (q.v.) (1816). Needless to say, it is impossible from documents to determine whether the intended use of documented couches was for sleeping or sitting. When couches were mentioned in inventories they were frequently valued with chairs, as in “…18 cane chairs, and two Elbow Do [chairs] at 15/pr. [£]15‑… an old Couch [£]‑10‑…” in 1734 and “…Eleven Mahogany Chairs Two Elbow Chairs & a Couch [£]59‑10‑…” in 1752 (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 168, 27 July 1734 and Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 215, 9 January 1752). Such listings probably indicate the couch serving in a sitting and reclining function. Apparently, as the use of the couch evolved for sitting only and possibly into the settee form, the inventories listing of bed furniture also declined.

The first documentary evidence of a couch in Charleston—and one which revealed a bottoming technique—was found in the 1718 listing of household furnishings of Fayor Hall, gentleman, as “…one cain Coutch [sic]…” along with cane chairs and bedsteads (Register of the Province of South Carolina, 1707‑1711, 1712‑1713, 1711‑1714, 1714‑1719, p. 353, 8 January 1718/9). Unfortunately a value for Hall’s couch was not given. It can be assumed that it was not of Charleston origin as both chairs and couches with caned bottoms and backs were being imported into the colonies. Producing caned furniture was a specialty trade in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and the majority of that made came from England—although some were made in Boston and Philadelphia. This cane construction was undoubtedly preferred over the less ventilating canvas bottom in the humid Lowcountry climate. After having produced this form in England for about twenty-four years, the London cane-chair makers, in a 1688 petition, revealed an ongoing industry which had high volume as well as targeted merchandise: “Six thousand Dozens of Cane-Chairs, stools, Couches, Squobs [sic],” were produced in England with the greatest of these in London as over “Two Thousand Dozens yearly Transported into almost all the Hot Parts of the World, where the Heat renders Turkey-work, Serge, Kidderminister, and other Stuffed Chairs and Couches useless” (quoted from Forman, American Seating Furniture 1630-1730, pp. 238-239, 234-250, 373-379; this book also contains a very fine discussion of the origins of caned furniture in America as well as a form design chronology). Documents do not reveal the presence of a caner in Charleston; however, Charleston chair and couch makers did advertise and there is a possibility that some caning was undertaken.

The earliest person known to have made couches in the Lowcountry was Thomas Holton, who referred to himself as “chairmaker” in 1720/1 and who was post‑mortemly referred to when his shop continued to operate under an unknown person where “the same business is carried on, where Chairs and Couches are made and mended after the same manner” (Charleston County Land Records, Misc., Pt. 10, Bk. A, 1719‑1721, p. 132; The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5 August 1732). In the 1732 inventory of Mrs. Rhoda Hole “…1 Couch [£]2.10…” was listed being the same value as that given in the above inventory of 1726 (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols.  65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 8, 24 August 1732). The South-Carolina Gazette of 23-30 December 1732 revealed the Charleston merchants Yeomans and Escott offering “lately imported” goods which included “…dozens of cane Chairs, elbow Chairs & Couches… .” In 1733 Yeomans and Escott, merchants, advertised again that they were selling “Imported… cane chairs and couches…,” as did Robert Pringle, merchant, the next year and in 1735, with “…from London… Chairs and Couches…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 28 July 1733, 4‑1 and 2 February 1733/4, 4‑1 and 13 December 1735, 3‑1). Robert Hunt, upholsterer, advertised in 1734 that he had imported “…all sorts of Household Furniture… [including]… couches…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 10 August 1734).

The first instance of upholstery definitely being associated with a couch, aside from frequent “Coutch and Coutch Bed[ding],” was in 1735 in the Goose Creek inventory of Andrew Allen, gentleman, which contained “…A Couch and Squab [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). The “squab” or cushion was an overstuffed mattress or cushion that often had tufting and corner ties (Peter Thornton, Seventeenth‑Century Interior Decoration in England, France and Holland [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978], p. 180, 210-217, fig. 205; Benno Forman, American Seating Furniture [New York: Norton, 1988], p. 248; Edward S. Cook, Upholstery in America & Europe [New York: Norton, 1987], p. 41, fig. 17). Not only were couches imported from England, in 1735 they were arriving from Boston together with chairs, desks, bricks, boards, and food (South Carolina Shipping Returns, December 1721‑December 1735, 24 November 1735, Ship Peter and Mary). The first mention of a couch of a specific wood and possibly leather covered squab was in the 1736 inventory of Rouland Vaughan, Esq., which contained “…1 Do[Walnut Tree] Couch Do [With Leather Bottom] [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 161, 22 November 1736). Imported from Bristol in 1738/9 and sold by Watson and Mackensie, merchants, were dry goods which included the first specific type of textile associated with this form, as well as further evidence for an en suite’ or set, and also a pillow on the couch was “…an easy Chair lin’d with green English Silk Damask, and a Couch with a Squab and Pillow, lin’d in the same Manner” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 December 1738, 3‑1 and 11 January 1738/9, 2‑2). When Joseph Elliott, Esq., died, his 1739 inventory included “…A New Couch and a Old one [£]6‑ [and]…two Couch Beds & 3 pillers[sic] [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 56, 27 June 1739).

The first pillow to be termed a “bolster” associated with a couch, was in 1741 in the inventory of Thomas Gadsden, collector of duties, which contained “…1 Couch[,] Bed[ding] & Boulster [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). The bolster was a firm stuffed cushion or pillow probably the width of the day bed over which a pillow could be placed. An upholstery other than cane and leather was found in the 1742 inventory of Anne Le Brasseur with “…an Old Bass Bottom Couch [£]3‑ … .” Bass (q.v.) was a rush woven bottoming also found in chairs (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 20 September 1742 [recorded date]). Further associated textiles are seen in the 1743 inventory of Andrew Broughton, gentleman, with “…1 Leathern [sic] bottom Couches with a Mattrass & 2 Callicoe Counts [counterpains as a coverlet] [£]9‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 197, 6 June 1743). In 1741 a “…Swinging Couch [£]2‑10‑…” was found in the inventory of Alexander Skeene, Esq., which might well have been a hanging crib (q.v.) for a child (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 110, 25 November 1741).

The first Lowcountry wood specific couch was found in the 1743 inventory of Dr. Philip Ayton as “…2 Cypress Couches [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 471, 24 June 1743). A specific leather upholstery type was given in the 1743 inventory of James St. John, surveyor general, as “…1 Rusia[sic] bottomed Couch [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p. 263). Russia leather is commonly found on seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century American chairs. The processing of the hide produced a pliable body and fine cross hatching lines; the latter is a result of the processing whereby the surface was scored to allow birch oil to penetrate the hide (Benno Forman, American Seating Furniture 1630-1730, pp. 206, 207, fig. 104). A combination of two coverings on possibly one squab or a back of one and the squab of the other was identified in the 1747/8 inventory of Abraham Satur, Esq. which contained “…1 Turkey [work &] Leather Couch [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 74, 1741‑1748, p.361, 24 February 1748/9). Turkey-work generally is loom produced with the pile knotted as in the manner of turkey carpets (Edward S. Cook, Upholstery in America & Europe [New York: Norton, 1987], p. 54). The first mahogany couch identified was in the 1747/8 inventory of Sarah Saxby which contained “…1 Mahogany Couch (without a bottom) [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.74, 1747‑1748, p. 416, 8 March 1747/8). The 1748 inventory of Henry Petty, merchant, contained in the shop contents “…3 Cane Bottom Couches £7/  [£]21‑…1 Cherry Tree Couch with Damask Bottom [£]20‑…” which apparently were for sale with the cherry example possibly from Pennsylvania (Charleston County Wills,Etc., Vols.77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p.83, 16 December 1748).

The store of Solomon Milner was selling London imported “…cane bottom couches…” in 1751 (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 June 1751). Earlier (1738/39) was mentioned the occurrence of a couch and chairs as an “en suite” of matching textiles. This matching is further seen in the 1752 inventory of Dr. William Bruce with color either indicating paint or fabric: “…1 Dozn. Black Chairs and 1 Do[black] Elbowed [chair] [£]8‑2‑6 …1 Black Couch with its Bed[ding] and Bolster [£]12‑ …”; this apparently was of the day bed form (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 412, 26 May 1752). Edward Weyman, upholsterer, in 1755 was advertising that he “…Makes all kinds of upholsterer’s work, Furniture [textiles] for…[beds, chairs and]…Couches…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 30 October and 6 November 1755). John Bilney’s 1759 inventory contained an “…Ash Couch [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, March 1759). That some couches were on rollers or later had rollers attached is seen in the 1760 inventory of John Cleland with “…1 Mahogany Couch on Castors [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, 15 July 1760). Another local wood was found in the 1763 inventory of Abraham Crouch as “…1 Bass Bottom hickory Couch [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, 23 December 1763).

The placement of a couch for leisure is seen in the 1763 inventory of John Rattray, attorney‑at‑law, where, in a detailed room by room appraisal, yielded “ ‘At The Garden’ …One Couch £16…one Spy Glass £12…,” implying that Rattray might have used one with the other (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑87B, 1761‑1763, p. 137, n.d., c. November 1763). John McQueen owned a “Couch with Crimson Cover & Pillow [£]20” in February 1764 (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A-88B, 1763-1767, p. 298). The attorney, James Grindley, possessed “1 Leather Bottom Couch and Pillows [£]7” as “In The Dining Room” when his August 1765 inventory was taken (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A-88B, 1763-1767, p. 531, 6 August 1765). Richard Fowler, upholsterer, advertised in 1766 that he “…makes all sorts of bed furniture…[and] stuffs and repairs…couches and sofas…” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 17 June, 3‑2 and 8 July 1766). The use of horse‑hair upholstery on couches was first found in a 1767 advertisement of Atkens and Weston, merchants, with “…a couch, covered with fine horse‑hair, and finished in a handsome manner…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, and Country Journal, Charleston, 29 September 1767). The Thomas Elfe Account Book reveals one “…Mohogoney [sic] couch check cover £20…” was sold or bought under the “Elfe and Fisher” account. Apparently it was covered with a furniture check, possibly a slipcover (Thomas Elfe Account Book, Account #45, June 1768). The cabinetmaker, upholsterer, and chairmaker Richard Magrath apparently was knowledgeable of the couch form as illustrated in plate 20 of the 1762 Genteel Household Furniture In the Present Taste, for in 1771 he advertised that he would auction furniture amongst being “…HALF a Dozen of carved Chairs, a Couch to match them, with Commode Fronts, and Pincushion Seats, of the newest Fashion and the first of that Construction ever made in this Province… .” The owner of the furniture was not specified, but it is possible that it was Magrath’s personally for he further said that he was moving. This couch form probably was of the sofa form; however, it would be expected to have the advertisement mention the new form by name if it were a sofa (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 August, 2‑1 and 5 September 1771, 2‑2).

In 1773, Abraham Maddocks, upholsterer, who “…makes and sells…Sofas, couches…[and other upholstery forms]…” reveals that he was from Dublin (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 September 1773, 1‑2). The 1777 inventory of Lord William Campbell, the last royal governor of South Carolina revealed that in the “Breakfast Parlor” he had a “Hair Couch Mahogany Frame on Castors & 2 Bolsters [£]7.7.0” which probably was a settee form (P.R.O./T.1/541/ Inventory of Lord William Campbell, p. 3, April 1777).   The form “French settee couches” occurs in 1797 which is a variation of the settee (q.v.), but nevertheless follows the terminology of the 1762 Genteel Household Furniture in the Present Taste in plate 25, which appear as a sofa form, but are entitled “Settee Couches” (A Society of Upholsterers, Cabinet‑Makers, etc., Genteel Household Furniture In the Present Taste [East Ardsley: EP Publishing Limited, 1978], pl. 25). This is seen in the 1797 inventory of James Heyward, planter, who had “…2 French Settee Couches & Diminity Furniture [£]20 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 254, 24 April 1797). “Diminity Furniture” refers to the textile of cotton similar to seersucker in its puckered patterning (Florence Montgomery, Textiles in America 1650-1870 [New York: Norton, 1988], pp. 218-222, figs. D-40, D-41). Also, in the same year occurs a couch form found only this once “…1 Folding Couch with Canvas Bottom [£]‑9‑4…” occurring in the inventory of Dr. William Calder, on Edisto Island. The assumption is that this was mistermed by the appraisers and possibly either a field/camp/tent (q.v.) bedstead or cot (q.v.), or it was a variation on a couch form and unique which has not surfaced in documents except this once (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p.298, 20 November 1797).

From 1792‑1802, when Thomas Sheraton published his The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book, the term “chaise lounge” was used with an illustration of two forms: one of the single-headed couch form and the other more of a sofa form except with a raised end and a low continuous back. In discussing the forms, Sheraton wrote that “…they have their name from the French, which imports a long chair. Their use is to rest or loll upon after dinner, and in some cases the lower one will serve for a sofa…” (Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book [New York: Dover Publications, 1972], Appendix, pl. 18, p. 170). When Sheraton published the Cabinet Dictionary, from 1804‑1806, he discussed the “couch‑bed” as with tester and with the tester removed “…it appears simply a couch or sofa…” (Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], p. 182). Also, in the latter publication, Sheraton defines the Grecian style, as had been gaining popularity through architecture and archaeology, in the furniture forms of: dining table, couch, and sofa. He speaks of the corruption of the Romans by the “Grecian luxury” and cites the dining use of “…three dining couches or beds…,” which influenced his designs. The three illustrated being: Grecian Couch, Grecian Squab, and Grecian Sofa. The Grecian Couch and Grecian Squab are similar while the Grecian Sofa had a continuous back and arms (Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], pp. 245‑248, pl. 49, 50, 73). However, the earlier 1802 London Chair‑Makers’ and Carvers’ Book of Prices contained “Grecian” legs and backs that reflected the developing taste for this style. These London designs as well as those of Thomas Hopes’ Household Furniture and Interior Decoration in 1807 and George Smith’s A Collection of Designs For Household Furniture in 1808, demonstrated the French influenced designs of archaeological discoveries of Roman and Greek culture (Thomas Hope, Household Furniture and Interior Decoration [London: John Tiranti Limited, 1946]; George Smith, Collection of Designs [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970]). These designs were seen in furniture both imported and made in America from 1815 to 1840 which reflected a variety of taste and interpretation called the “modern” or “Grecian” style that was part of the Empire style of the “antique.”

The first use that could be found of the term “Grecian” associated with furniture in Charleston was by the firm of Sass and Gready in 1817 that were selling furniture and other goods of Philadelphia origin in their “Northern Warehouse.” In an advertisement they offered “…Two Elegant Mahogany COUCHES, stuffed and covered, with hair seating and brass nails, made after the Grecian order” (Courier, Charleston, 7 May 1817, 3‑1). The next month Charleston had an auction of “English‑made” furniture at the “Charleston Auction Establishment” where “…2 Handsome Rosewood Grecian Couches, neatly carved and moulded, shaped feet and brass casters, cane backs and seats [and] 2 back cushions, round bolster and feather pillows, with handsome blue ground chintz cases, trimmed and lined” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 16 and 23 June and Times, Charleston, 19 June 1817). Other firms, such as William Rawson’s, were selling “…Grecian and common…” couches from his “…Manufactory at the North…” in Providence, Rhode Island (Courier, Charleston, 10 November, 1818, 3‑1; Courier, Charleston, 3 February 1819, 3‑4). New York couches of Grecian design were seen being sold in 1818 by the Charleston firm of E. Buckley & Co. at their Cabinet Furniture Warehouse as “…Elegant Grecian Couches, with embossed Morocco covers…Grecian and other Sofas” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 28 December and Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818). The “embossed Morocco covers” refers to Morocco leather with embossed designs. Further sales can be seen in 1821 of London made “…10 elegant Elbow CHAIRS, of British Oak, (mottled) Cane Seats, richly carved, and inlaid with Ebony, Cushions of best hair, 2 do. Grecian COUCHES, to match…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821).

 

Cradle (1734-1819)—The first documentary evidence for a Lowcountry cradle is in Georgetown within the joiner Thomas Blythe’s 1733/4 mortgage of property, household goods, and shop furnishings is listed “…one cedar cradle…” as part of his household goods (Charleston County Land Records, Misc., Pt. 15, Bks. L‑P, 1722‑1736, Book L, p. 291, 23 January 1733/4). In the plantation inventory, of 18 October 1734, of the Charlestonian John Raven, there was a “cradle [£]5” (Charleston County Wills, etc. Vol. 65-66, 1732-37, p.157, 18 October 1734). Charles Warham, cabinetmaker, advertised, in 1736, among several furniture forms, that he made cradles (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 August 1736, 2‑2). The 17 January 1738/39 inventory of Thomas Elliott included “a cradle [£]2” (Charleston County Wills, etc., Vol. 71, 1739-1743, p.115, 17 January 1738/39). A cradle of mahogany was listed in the 1764 inventory of the Reverend Robert Barron (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 256, 30 June 1764). The 16-25 March 1769 inventory of William Johnson included “1 Mahogany stand & cradle [£]4” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763-1771, p. 90, 16, 18, 25 March 1769). The Thomas Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775) records the sale of eleven cradles, of which six were specified of mahogany at a value of 12 to 15 pounds and two of cypress at 5 to 6 pounds. The mahogany cradles were variously described as “…with posts…[or]…with Banisters…,” while the Cypress examples were not described except for the £6 cradle being “colored,” which probably was to simulate a mahogany color (Thomas Elfe Account Book, Accounts #65, 78, 83, 125, 134, 135, 147, 154, 168, 177, and the Shop Account [#42]). The accounts also included the repair of a “…mahogany cradle…[with a]…new top front arch &ca…” (Account #161). Also there was a “stand and cradle [£]16.17.6,” which is a very high value and could well be two non-associated items; however, there was the earlier mentioned “stand & cradle” of the Johnson estate (Account #42). If these were associated items, could the cradle have been removed from the stand? Or could this be a swinging cradle (see Crib) with a cradle and a stand to hang the cradle?

A twenty‑five shilling value was placed upon a “…Mahogany Cradle & Curtains…” in the 1790 inventory of Dr. Richard Savage (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 266, 21 January 1790). Perhaps this evidence for “curtains” reflects a function of the “posts” on cradles as charged in the Elfe Account Book. The cabinetmaker Francis Joseph Lacroix was making cradles, for in 1806, when his inventory was appraised “…the amount of his work yet unfinished…” contained “…a Cradle half done  $2…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 407, 4 September 1806). The importation of Philadelphia “cradles for children” in 1816 by Claude M. Samory, mattress maker and merchant, could demonstrate evidence of transition between the cradle of wood and the reintroduction of the woven cradle. What Samory’s were made of was not revealed; however, as will be revealed later (in the “Sleeping Furniture Woods” section, in 1819), some were of willow.

 

Crib (1739-1820)—The year 1739 is when the first crib is found in a Charleston inventory, being described as “…1 Childs Cribb & Pavillion [£] 2‑10‑0…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 60, 14 November 1739, inventory of Maurice Lewis). The 1764 inventory of John Guerand included two cribs, one being of cypress (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 194, 30 May 1764) and the same year saw the inventory of Reverend Robert Barron appraised which included a cedar crib (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 256, 30 June 1764). In 1767, Farquhar McGillivray, cabinetmaker, sought payment for “…1 Crib with turned Cypress Banisters  [£] 8‑ …,” which had been due him since 1764 (Charleston County Court of Common Pleas Records, February 1767‑August 1767, p.228 [237], Roll #11, 14 August 1764, McGillivray vs. Dering).  The Thomas Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775) recorded charges for six cribs sold of cypress and mahogany, the prices which were from 5.10 pounds for “…a cypress crib coloured…” to 15 pounds for “…a mahogany crib…” (Accounts #64, 146, 157, 168, 177, 182). That some cribs were with a cord bottom is found in the August 1790 inventory of Gideon Dupont as “1 Crib Matrass pavelion & Cord 12/” (Charleston County Inventories, 1787-1793, p. 291, Aug.[?] 1790). The 1795 inventories of “Seaton” and “West Ham,” the plantations of Col. Isaac Motte, contained “…1 Green Crib [£]0‑16‑0…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 179, 5 June 1795). In 1796, John Marshall, cabinetmaker, collected for a past debt of furniture he had made that included a “…Large Mahogany Cribb  [£] 3.15.0…” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, 1798, #657A, John Marshall vs. William Marshall, 9 January 1796). Also in the Judgment Rolls was found that Charles Desel made cribs in 1797 and 1798 (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, 1802, #61A, Charles Diesel vs. Peter Broughton, 13 February 1802).

Not all cribs used in the Lowcountry were made there, for in 1806, probably from Philadelphia, an assortment of goods was advertised which included “…Children’s Cribs…” (Charleston Courier, S.C., 18 February 1806, 3‑4). That same year, more advertisements are evident that advertise cribs as from Philadelphia (Charleston Courier, 11 August 1806, 3‑4). In 1808, the inventory of Michael Muckenfuss was appraised which contained “…4 Pine Cribbs  $12…” in his shop (Charleston,S.C., Inventories, Vol. D., 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). The firm of Jacob Sass & Son in 1809 advertised that they were selling cribs which they had made (Strength of the People, Charleston, SC, 14 August 1809). The cabinetmaker Richard Smith, on 22 September 1822, made a “…Mahogany Crib with turned Bannesters [for] $22‑00…” for “Mr. Lucas,” of the “Wedge” plantation, in McCellanville, SC (MESDA Research File S‑6824‑G, original receipt, private collection). John McIntosh, cabinetmaker, had an “…unfinished Crib $4…” among other uncompleated furniture in his estate when it was appraised in 1823 (Charleston County, Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823). The Oxford English Dictionary contains a 1649 citation as the earliest date of usage for crib as a bed. Thomas Sheraton’s definition (1803‑1806) is a swinging bed for infants (Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary, Vol.1 [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], p. 183) which is possibly what was in the estate of Walter Russell, upholsterer, in 1776, as “…A Swinging Bedstead [£] 5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. 99A, 1776‑1778, p. 9, 10 July 1776).

 

Field/Camp/Tent Bedstead (1734-1820)—See also Cot and Folding Bedstead. The Port Royal, SC, inventory of Lt. James Watt appraised in 1734 contained “…1 Field Bed and Furniture [£]18‑…” in addition to a furnished bedstead and a hammock, perhaps demonstrating a transportable form (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 165, 31 July 1734). The extensive 1735 inventory of David Anderson, Surgeon, contained “…1 old field bedstead and screws and sack bottom [£]1‑10‑0…” and was found within the portion of the inventory that indicated the kitchen (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 277, recorded 11 October 1735). The first evidence of importation of this form is seen in 1742 by MacKenzie & Roche as from London “…field‑bedsteads…”(South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 April 1742, 2‑2). The year 1757 saw the first usage of the term “camp bedsteads,” which the author believes is basically the same form as a field bedstead, with the mid‑eighteenth century seeing the introduction of “camp” as the new term for this form. The origin of this term change is unknown. In this same year, Edward Weyman, upholsterer, advertised, apparently to the military or militia, that he “Makes all kinds of upholstered work, officers tents and marquies [sic], with camp bedsteads, matresses, curtains, stools and tables: also drums, colours, cartsuch [sic] boxes, and greinder’s [sic] caps” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 25 August 1757, 3‑1). Apparently Weyman was offering the service of providing camp furniture; ie., hinged to fold, thus portable, together with his upholstery items.

The Thomas Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775) contains charges for six field bedsteads and one camp bedstead. Of the field bedsteads, three were specified as of mahogany and one of poplar; of the former, one was with a “…Lath Bottom…” and the latter a “…Sacking Bottom… .” Several of these having “…a set of brass castors…30/…” were also charged. The field bedsteads were priced from 15 to 25 pounds and the camp bedstead, purchased in 1775, of an unspecified wood, was 12 pounds (Accounts #91, 100, 127, 133, 227). Another term also applied to the field bedstead was “tent bedstead”; however, the use of this term was seldom encountered in Lowcountry documents. Henry Laurens, gentleman, purchased in 1773 a “…Tent Bed…” from the Charleston vendue master Edward Oats; therefore it was probably not of Charleston origin (Henry Laurens Journal, September 1766‑September 1773, p. 43, Account #307, ____1773). This form occurs in the 1776 inventory of Walter Russell as “…A Tent Bedstead & Curtain  [£] 7‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. 99A, 1776‑1778, p. 9, 10 July 1776).

In 1777, the house in Charleston that had been the residence of Lord William Campbell, South Carolina’s last royal governor, was appraised, and in the nursery was found “1 Green Field Bedstead Mohair Curtains Feather Bed Blanket Bolster & Quilt [£]12‑12‑0” (B.P.R.O. T1/541, p. [2], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777.) The plantation of “Santee” belonging to the estate of Thomas Middleton contained “…A Tent Bed[stead] with Feather Bed 2 Mattrasses, a Bolster & 2 Pillows [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 182, 18 February 1784). As late as 1802 the firm of Oliphant and Haydon, upholsterers and cabinetmakers, was offering tent bedsteads for sale (Times, Charleston, 6 December 1802). Another upholsterer, Solomon Smith, in 1780, advertised “…Camp Beds and Bedsteads, with Springs and Cases…,” which reveals that both forms apparently contained a locking device for the rails and perhaps other parts. The “cases” undoubtedly were for the containment and ease of transportation of the two forms (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 16 December 1780) as was seen in the 1783 inventory of Benjamin Cattel, Esq., as “…1 Mahogany Camp Bedstead & Case [£] 8‑…”(Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 83, 20 June 1783).

Among the furniture shipped aboard the Castle Douglas, from London to Charleston, on 19 October 1784 by the London cabinetmaker William Fleming, were “2 field Canopy Top Stained Bedsteads with Sacking bottoms on Castors with gauses 42/ [each] [£]4.11 [and] 2 Do with Mahogany Posts &c 48/ [£]4.16” and by the London auctioneering and appraising firm of Pitt and Chessey “1 Tent Bedstead [£]1.5”. The following year another shipment onboard the Castle Douglas brought on 10 July 1785, again by Pitt and Chessey, “1 Field Bedstead” valued at £1.5. (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 153, 154 and 10 July 1785, p. 237; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds. Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son Ltd., 1986], pp. 304, 700). In 1788, mahogany camp bedsteads, from either Liverpool or London, were being sold in Charleston (The Columbian Herald, Charleston, 7 February 1788). Again, the less expensive “…1 painted camp Bedstead & Pavillion [£]‑10‑…” is seen in 1789 with the inventory of Reverend Bartholmew Henry Himley (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 217, 9 July 1789). The 1791 extensive inventory of Thomas Hutchinson, Jr., Esq., disclosed “…3 Camp Bedsteads  80/…” as well as “…2 Pavillions for a Camp bedstead  [£]6‑…,” and “…3 Setts red and white and Blue and White Curtains for a camp bedstead [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 403, 15 November 1791).

When the 1793 inventory of Arthur Middleton, Esq., was taken at Middleton Place, it recorded “…Camp Mahogany Bedstead Mattrass and Furniture…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 503, 26 February 1793). A judgement of Thomas Bradford, cabinetmaker, reveals that he was making camp bedsteads for three pounds in 1794 (South Carolina Judgment Rolls Court of Common Pleas., 1797, #463A, Thomas Bradford vs. William Boone Mitchell [Attorney]). The term “field bedstead” is last seen in a 1794 inventory of Ann Robertson (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 71, 23 June 1794). The year 1807 finds “…Mahogany and Stain’d Wood Field Bedsteads…” for sale by Verree & Blair, vendue merchants (Charleston Courier, SC, 31 August 1807, 3‑4) and the sale of “…Camp Bedsteads…” by Jonathan Alden, merchant, in 1810 (Charleston Courier, SC, 21 November 1810, 3‑4). The personal journal (1812‑1814) of General Peter Horry discloses that on 15 March 1814 he “…took down my Camp Bed Stead ‑‑‑& Sot [sic] up in my Room a [the same one?] Bed Stead…” (A.S. Salley, ed. “Journal of General Peter Horry,” SCHGM, 46:220). In 1818, Richard W. Otis, carver and gilder, was selling looking glasses and furniture from New York amongst which were camp bedsteads for $15.00 (Courier, Charleston, 30 June 1818, 3‑2).

Design books first illustrate a field bed with the 1760 London publication of Genteel Household Furniture In the Present Taste (A Society of Upholsterers, Cabinetmakers, etc., Genteel Household Furniture In the Present Taste, 2nd ed., 1762 [East Ardsley: EP Publishing Limited, 1978], p. 83). The 1762 publication The Universal System of Household Furniture contained a very similar illustration entitled “A single headed Couch or field Bed” along with somewhat of an explanation of the construction (Ince and Mayhew, The Universal System of Household Furniture, 1762 [Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1960], pl. XXVIII). It was not until the third edition in 1762 that Thomas Chippendale in The Gentleman and Cabinetmaker’s Director introduced “Designs for Field Beds.” Within the explanation of the “Four Designs of Tent, or Field‑Beds” in plate XLIX, regarding the hangings, that “Laths are hung with Hinges for Convenience of folding up” (Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinetmaker’s Director [London: Thomas Chippendale, 1762], Plate XLIX and p. 7). The 1794 third edition of The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide of George Hepplewhite illustrates two designs for field beds and five designs for “Sweeps for Field Bed tops” which illustrate hinges for folding. The plates are dated 1787 (George Hepplewhite, The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide [New York: Dover publications, Inc., 1969], pl. 102‑104, p. 20). When Thomas Sheraton published Cabinet Dictionary, between 1803 and 1806, he illustrated a “Camp Bed” (fig. 6.44.1) and how it folds; he further explains that this form was for portability and existed with other forms for a similar use: “camp chairs, desks, stools, and tables.” He said of “camp or field bedsteads there are a great variety [and] all have folding tester laths [which are] hinged so as to fold close together.” The size he suggests to be “…about 6 feet long, and 3 feet 6 or 9 inches in width, and between 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet high, to the crown of the tester.” He further describes the bedstead as to be folded (Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], plate 15, pp. 123‑126). The 1808 publication of George Smith’s A Collection of Designs For Household Furniture and Interior Decoration contains two illustrations of this form: a “Tent Bed” and a “Field Bed,” the explanation of each plate is limited to the fabrics (George Smith, A Collection of Designs For Household Furniture and Interior Decoration [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], pl. 20‑21, p. 5). The trade card of Morgan & Sanders, London, c. 1803-17, illustrates a tent bedstead with a sacking bottom (Sir Ambrose Heald, The London Furniture Makers [London: B.T. Batsford Ltd, 1953], p. 115). Arthur Middleton’s 1793 inventory included a “…Camp Mahogany Bedstead Mattrass and Furniture…” conceivably could be this one (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 503, 26 February 1793).

 

Folding Bedstead (1726-1797)—See also Cot and Field/Camp/Tent Bedstead. This form is difficult to understand when there are terms used as cot, and field, camp, or tent bedstead. The descriptions of the following therefore could be of these forementioned types and not called so by the advertisers or appraisers. A seventeenth century example, which, when folded, becomes a box for its own transportation and storage is illustrated in Seventeenth-Century Interior Decoration in England, France, and Holland (figs. 123 and 124; p.152). This example has elaborate brass covers for the joints and as hinges and lock cover. The first Charleston documentation occurrence of this form is in the inventory of Mehitable Bassett in 1726 where it was appraised as “…1 Foulding Bedstead [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 590, 1 September 1726). A very lengthy bedstead furnishing was found in the 6 and 7 April 1727 inventory of Captain Albert Muller’s inventory as containing “One folding Bedstead feather Bed Bolster[,] one ___of Blanketts, Curtains, Vallences, Curtain Rods, Testra, head piece, Pavillion, Vallens, and one Cotton hammock [£]30” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 424).  Then, in 1728, John Basset’s estate was appraised and included a folding bedstead form: “1 Turn up Bedstead with a Sacking Bottom [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1727‑1729, p. 165, 18 September 1728). The relationship between these two Basset’s was not determined; however, as both estates included the appraisal of Soloman Legare, the possibility exists that both items appraised were the same object. Such a conclusion is further strengthened by the infrequency of this form occurring in Lowcountry documents. The next mention of this form was not until 1775 with the inventory of Mrs. Elizabeth Lessene, where a “…Mahogany folding bedstead £ 10‑…” was appraised (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 66, 14‑16 August 1775). Later, on 12 October 1797, a further description is found in the Charleston City Gazette and Daily Advertiser of this form; however, most of the information concerns the textiles and not its origin or how it folds:

“PUBLIC AUCTION At WILLIAM’S Long Room On Friday, the 13th instant, At twelve o’clock, will be sold, An elegant Mahogany PATENT FOLDING BEDSTEAD, seven feet by six, lath Bottom and carved Posts, bright polished Rods, large French Casters, bound with Plates of Brass and Constructed so as to prevent Bugs from penetrating. The Furniture to the bedstead is of superfine ell‑wide Chintz, lined with Cotton and Bound; white Head and Tester of Marseilles Quilting; flounced Vallants, bound and fringed with broad white cotton fringe; Chintz Gymphead with buttons, Silk Tassels and Drapery Head Cloath; a set of Sweep‑cove and Drapery Cornisses [sic] neatly japaned; a Tick, bordered green, Monoco Mattrass filled with best curled hair; a superfine Four‑treddle Ticken Bolster, filled with best seasoned swansdown Feathers, two white Fustian Pillows, filled with Down. The above described Bedstead is set up, and may be viewed at Mr. Williams’s anytime previous to the sale. On examination it will be found fitted up in a Style equal, if not superior, to any thing of the kind ever offered for sale here.Terms, approved note with an Indorser at Sixty Days.DAVID DENOON [Vendue master].”

 

Hammock (1686-1808)—In August 1686, the Spanish invaded Edisto Island and ravaged the property of Paul Grimball. A list of his losses was drawn up shortly thereafter, and among the items was “1 hamock [£]1‑0‑0” (SCHGM 28:232). The 1695 inventory of Joseph Penderves contained “…1 old Cote an old Quilt and an old Hamec [sic] 0‑15‑ [and] 2 Hamecoes [sic] [£] 1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 301, 13 July 1695). When the estate of Nicholas Mardin was appraised in 1696/7, there was listed: “…4 blankets & one hamaco [£] 8‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols., 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 418, 3 March 1696/7). In 1725, the inventory of Daniel Gale revealed a “…pavillion and Hammock [£]5‑…,” which is listed in a manner to imply that the pavillion was for the use with the hammock (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 24, 26 January 1725). The 6 and 7 April 1727 inventory of Captain Albert Muller contained “One Cotton Hammock” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 426). When the merchant Mrs. Rhoda Hole died, her house inventory was appraised in 1732. Among the furniture, there were “…3 Sea Beds…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 8, 24 August 1732), which are included as possibly hammocks for this term was not encountered elsewhere; however, the “cot” might be this form, as it was later defined by Thomas Sheraton as being hung in a ship.

The material of which the hammocks were made is seen in 1734 with “…A cotton Hammock [£]6‑…” in the inventory of Tweedie Somerville (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 122, 7 May 1734) and in the 22‑24 June 1742 inventory of James St. John’s plantation called “Kellys” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 257, 22‑24 June 1743). Another material, silk grass, was also used as was found in the 1741 inventory of Thomas Gadsden, with “…1 Silk Grass Hammock [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). Silkgrass is a term applied to the sisal-type fibers extracted from the yucca (Bromelia) and various aloe (Agave) plants that are indigenous to the Americas and the West Indies. Silkgrass, also “Camock’s flax”, had been mentioned as early as March 1635, with a patent application by the Puritan John Pym as a member of “The Governor and Company of Adverturers of the City of London for a trade upon the coast and islands of divers parts of America”, as one of the items of trade (Cyril Hamshere, The British in the Caribbean [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972], pp. 45-46). It is difficult to know for certain if the silkgrass grown in the Lowcountry was used to produce hammocks, but the possibility exists as Johann Martin Bolzius’s Reliable Answer To Some Submitted Questions Concerning The Land Carolina..[and]..Georgia of 1751 revealed that “…Much silkgrass (Seidengras) does grow here, but it is only used for ropes, cords, and chairs. I do not know whether it is different from the Virginian. The Spanish one is much better” (Klaus G. Loewald, Beverly Starika, and Paul S. Taylor, trans. and ed. “Johann Martin Bolzius Answers a Questionnaire on Carolina and Georgia” William and Mary Quarterly Series 3, Vols. XIV and XV [1957], p. 249). That silkgrass was processed in Charleston is seen in the shipping returns of 1735 where “…1 Box Silk Grass Manufactured here [Charleston]…” was bound for London together with other Lowcountry produce along with products from the islands (South Carolina Shipping Returns December 1721‑December 1735, 24 July 1735).

Alexander Browne, a Charleston saddler and tanner, had “4 bunches silk Grass & 2 hanks spinnell [Spinelle?—a ruby],” possibly in an outbuilding in his estate inventory of 22 May 1750 (Charleston County Wills, Etc., 77A‑77B, p. 524). The “Spanish [silk grass]” possibly was manufactured into hammocks within the West Indies, and therefore available as a finished commodity. Perhaps this is the material of the hammock seen in the 1743 inventory of Joseph Tucker with “…A Spanish Hammock [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol 71, 1739‑1743, p. 362, 13 and 14 December 1743).

Charleston inventories aptly demonstrate that the Lowcountry trade with local Indians involved items of household use. This is found in the 1808 inventory appraisal of Peter Blake with an “…Indian Hammock…” among household furniture (Charleston County, S.C. Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 454, 24 February 1808). The survival of this form has not been forthcoming.

 

Press Bedstead (1774-1801)—See also Folding Bedstead and Settee Bedstead. The cabinetmaker Martin Pfenninger filed suit against Solomon Smith, in 1774, for overdue charges on work done, amongst which was “…a Mahogany Press Bedstead with a Scrowl [sic] Pediment etc. [£]90…” charged for on 18 November 1773 (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Box 101A, Martin Pfenninger vs. Solomon Smith, 17 November 1774). This form of a “hidden bedstead” is within a sham clothes press or other case form that conceals the bedstead. This reference is the sole entry for this particular form found in the documents; however, a similar, also single entry, was found for “…a Book Case, with Beadstead [sic] underneath…” which was sold at auction in 1801 (Times, Charleston, SC, 9 June 1801, 3‑4). This form functioned as the aforementioned except having the appearance of a bookcase. With the bedstead hidden in the base of the bookcase, probably the upper portion was functional. Of the press bedstead, George Hepplewhite, in The Cabinet‑maker & Upholsterer’s Guide of 1794, wrote “…The Wardrobe, Plate 85, has all the appearance of a Press‑Bed; in which case the upper draws would be only a sham, and form part of the door which may be made to turn up all in one piece, and form a tester; or it may open in the middle, and swing on each side; the under‑drawer is useful to hold parts of the bed‑furniture; may be 5 feet 6 inches high, and 4 feet wide” (George Hepplewhite, The Cabinet‑maker & Upholsterer’s Guide [New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1969], p. 20). For a full description of the press bedstead, see The Cabinetmakers’ Philadelphia and London Book of Prices, pp. 19, 20. For other sham forms containing a bedstead see: table bedstead (pp. 20, 21), toilet‑table bedstead (p. 21), bureau bedstead (p. 21), library press bedstead (p. 22) in The Cabinet‑Makers’ Philadelphia and London Book of Prices, Philadelphia, 1796).

 

Sea Bed (1726-1749)—See also Cabin Bed. The 20 January 1726/7 inventory of Thomas Conyers contained various bedsteads and a cot with furnishings; among these were “one Sea Bed & Matress” (Charleston County Wills, etc. 1726-1727, p. 409, 20 January 1726/7). In 1732, the inventory of Rhoda Hole, merchant, was taken and within the house portion of the records “3 Sea Beds” were found along with a “bedstead & Canopy” and other furniture (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65-66, 1732-1737, p. 8, 24 August 1732). In 1749, St. Philip’s Church paid an unnamed craftsman for “2 Sea Beds,” which can be assumed to have been for the poor as payment came from the warden’s accounts from which expenses for the needy were intended (St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, Charleston, S.C., Warden’s Account’s 1725-1751, 28 October 1749). The exact form appraised as a sea bed is unknown; however, one should consider it being of the “Cabin Bed” (q.v.) form.

 

Settee Bed (1748-1779)—See also Sofa Bedstead. This term first occurs in the inventory of Hugh Anderson in 1748 as “…1 Settee Bed [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 113, 2 March 1748) and is next seen in 1755 with the advertisement of Edward Weyman, upholsterer, announcing that he “…stuffs all kinds of Settees and Settee Beds…” (The South Carolina Gazette, 30 October and 6 November 1755). In the next year, Thomas Booden, upholsterer, was also advertising that he “…stuffs and covers all sorts of settee beds…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 16 December 1756). The next inventory evidence is found in 1761 with the large inventory of John Rattrey, attorney‑at‑law, containing “…One Settee Bed with Feather Bed Bolster Mattrass Curtains Pavilion Bolster and Pillows [£] 30‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑87B, 1761‑1763, p. 137, c.1761). Evidence for the importation of this form is found in 1766 when James Drummond, merchant, advertised that his source was London for “…Settee Bedsteads…” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 26 August and 16 September 1766). The only possible evidence for Charleston settee bedstead production is found in the Thomas Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775), for which Elfe “…Received for a Settee Bedstead  [£] 17‑…” in the “Stock” account (#41) for September 1768. This proof is somewhat tenuous as this account also contained items which were imported or bought and then sold; ie., furniture hardware, horsehair seating, and lumber—therefore, this settee bedstead could have been made outside of Charleston.

A variant on the settee bedstead is found in a Charleston sale at the house of Ann Sage, whom advertised in 1779 that a “…large settee, with a sacken bottom, a bedstead that foulds up inside of it…” would be sold (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 18 February 1779, 4‑1). The London auctioneering and appraising firm of Pitt and Chessey shipped a large cargo of furniture to Charleston on 19 October 1784 aboard the Castle Douglas. Among the cargo was “1 Side view Bedstead [£]1.9,” which probably was of the settee type and designed to fit against a wall (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds. Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son Ltd., 1986], p. 700). This was probably the “sofa bed” form illustrated by Ince and Mayhew in 1762, plate XXVII (Universal Systen of Household Furniture [Chicago: Quandrangle Books, 1960]).

 

Sofa Bedstead (1804-1804)—See also Settee Bedstead. The sofa bedstead occurs only once in Charleston documents, in an 1804 inventory of Spencer Mann, a merchant (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 249, 27 April 1804). Ince and Mayhew explained in 1762 that this form is “A Bed to appear as a Sofa, with a fixt Canopy over it; the Curtains draws on a Rod; the Cheeks and Seat takes off to open the Bedstead… .” The “open” position is a folding out of the seat to form a bedstead (Ince and Mayhew, The Universal System of Household Furniture [Chicago:  Quadrangle Books, 1960], p. 4, pl. XXVII). Sheraton, in The Cabinet‑makers and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book (1792‑1802) also illustrates the sofa bedstead and points out that “…The sofa part is sometimes made without any back, in the manner of a couch” (Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet‑maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book [New York: Dover Publications, 1972], p. 379, plate 31). Thomas Sheraton’s 1803 Cabinet Dictionary “Sofa Bed” offers a folding version with a canopy ([New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], Vol. 1, plate 17).

 

Trundle Bedstead (1765-1817)—It is in Ruth Bedon’s 1765 inventory that this form is documented; however, it is not named as such for it occurs as “1 under Bed, Bedstead Teaster & Bug Trap [£]15,” which undoubtedly is a trundle (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 463, 11 April 1765). The first use of the term is found in a Charleston document in 1817: “…1 Trundle Bedstead  $5‑…” in the inventory of John Ball, Esq. (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 460, 14 November 1817). Organized on a room basis, Ball’s inventory reveals that this trundle bedstead was probably in use as the form implies, for a mahogany bedstead and bedsteps were listed with the trundle. It is interesting that this form was not found with any frequency. It could be that the form was not very common in the Lowcountry.

 

Wainscot Bedstead (1761-1784)—This form was encountered in only one inventory. This was of that of Thomas Drayton, who had three so described: one defined as “small” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 988, 4 April 1761). This form could have been of a paneled construction or of oak, the latter being an archaic term seen as “wainscot oak.” The Oxford English Dictionary gives evidence that wainscot oak is an oak (Quercus robur) named as such in Germany and Holland where it grows. Apparently this oak was imported into England and regarded as superior to other oaks. Thus, if the appraisers were accurate, these bedsteads were either not of American origin or were constructed of Lowcountry oak and possible paneled. Evidence of an imported example is seen in 1784 with an auction of London imported goods, mainly furniture, that included “…3 Wainscot Bedsteads, with horsehair sackings and wainscot teaster laths, plain mahogany feet” (South Carolina Gazette and Public Advertiser, Charleston 5 June 1784, 1‑1). This description demonstrates that wainscot was oak in this particular case, as by this date paneling of bedsteads was not in fashion. For further discussion see the term Oak under “Sleeping Furniture Woods.”

 

SLEEPING FURNITURE PARTS

During the evaluation of documentary material evidencing sleeping furniture, several terms for parts were in constant use that should be presented each with their chronological usage:

Cords (1738-1818)—Apparently, cords for bedsteads and other related forms of sleeping furniture were precut, imported, and available as a “bed cord.” The first evidence found for this practice was in 1738 with the inventory of Samuel Eveleigh, a merchant. Listed as part of his shop were “…57 Bed Cords @ 4/ Jolon [?] 11‑8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 321, 21 July 1738). In 1742, the mercantile firm of Mackenzie and Roche is seen selling “…2 doz. Bed Cords  @80/ [£]8‑…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Box 53, #187A, James Maxwell vs. Mackenzie and Roche, p. 7, 5 April 1742). In the same year, the inventory of Anne Le Brasseur revealed an item associated with cord usage “… A Bed, Bed‑stead and Cord an[d] Hide [as a bed mat] Iron Curtain Rods A Bolster, two Pillows, a Suit course White Curtains Valence, Teaster, Head Cloth, Blanket & Quilt [£]20‑…”; also appraised was a bedstead that had a sacken bottom instead of a corded bottom. What is of interest in the quote is that a “hide” was being used in combination with the corded bottom to prevent the beddings efficiency from being depleted as it sagged (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 20 September 1742 [recorded]). Evidence for hides in this use is found from this date forward. In addition to hides being used for this purpose the Thomas Elfe Account Book contains evidence of bed posts being sold to James Drummond, cabinetmaker, along with “…4 Knobs for Matts…,” which probably are knobs that fit into the top of the rails to hold a woven [sic] mat (Account #67, 8 and 13 June 1771).

In 1760, the cabinetmaker Farquer McGillivray purchased “…2 Bed Cords  ea 8/9 ‑17‑6 …” from the store of James Poyas, as did Peter Mouzon, planter, who only bought one, as did several other individuals between 1760 and 1765 (James Poyas Account Book, p. 35, 16 July 1760; p. 71, 11 December 1760). The Thomas Elfe Account Book also contains a purchase of bed cords in 1773 of £5‑12‑4 (Account #142, 9 October 1773). In 1818 the Northern Ware‑House, of Charleston, through Edward George Sass, was selling “…Bed and Sash Cords…” along with general merchandise (Courier, Charleston, 5 November 1818, 2‑1).

 

Caps/Casters/Keys/Screws (1694-1815)—The 1694 inventory of James Beamer, joiner, was the first indication of bed bolts as “…a parcel of bed scrues [screws] [£]0‑2‑6…,” which were listed among his woodworking tools (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 206, 11 May 1694). That bedsteads could be on casters is recorded in an advertisement for 1742: “…Just imported… from London… casters and screws for bedsteads…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 April 1742, 3‑1). That bed screws were not sold individually is evidenced by “…a Set bed Screws…” in the 1744 inventory of John Wood, cabinetmaker (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 67A, 1732‑1746, 26 June 1744) and again in 1761 with “…1 Sett Comm[on] bed screws [£]1‑2‑6…” in the charges of Farquhar McGillivray within a judgment case (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, Box 59A, #18A, 16 June 1762, Farquhar McGillivray vs. Axson & Clive). The use of the term “set” could mean four screws in this case.

The Thomas Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775) contains ample evidence of casters and caps being sold with bedsteads. Apparently the c. 1760 period was the transition between the earlier casting and the later stamping of bedcaps, which reduced their price drastically (Letter to author from Mr. Donald Fennimore, Winterthur Museum, 7 October 1992). Citations for this can be found within the Bedstead form section.

A mortgage of Thomas Snead, cabinetmaker, in 1772, contained, within an enumeration of tools, “…1 Bed Key…,” the tool for tightening and loosening bed screws (South Carolina Mortgages, No. C.C.C., 1769‑1774, p. 220, 10 August 1772; Essex Institute, Salem, MA., Sample Books 739.4, S19.2 [Watermarked 1798, Birmingham, England, c. 1798-1834], Vol. 12, Plate 41). Bed caps were offered for sale in 1802 by G.W. Wyatt, turner, with other cabinetmaker related goods (Times, Charleston, 4 December 1802, 3‑4). Bedcaps were possibly eight caps, apparently sold as sets (as were bedscrews), for within a judgment case of Jacob Sass “…1 Set of Bedcaps  $1.00 …” were sold in 1803 (Charleston District Judgment Rolls, 1807, #202A, Jacob Sass vs. Charles Colcock, 14 February 1807).

In 1804 and 1805 is first seen evidence of the new style of having two bedscrews at each junction as “Double” when Robert Walker advertises furniture for sale among which was “…Bedsteads, Double and Single Screws…” (Charleston Courier, 16 February 1804, 3‑3; Times, Charleston, 19 February 1805). The silversmiths C. and F. Wittich advertised in 1804 that they had bed caps and bed screws for sale and in 1805 they are found to have been purchasing, from Charles Watts, cabinetmaker, “…36 dozen 8 inch bed screws 3/ [£]5‑8‑, 2 do 9 inch do  3/3  0‑6‑6, 60 do 7 inch do  2/9 [£]9‑7‑, 20 Sett bed casters  1/4 [£]1‑6‑8, 24 do  do   1/2 [£]1‑8‑, 12 do  do 1/ [£]0‑12‑…” (Charleston Courier, 17 May 1804, 3‑2; Account Books, Charles Watts, 9 December 1805; on 7 December 1810 Jacob Sass and on 28 March 1811 Richard Smith are seen purchasing bed screws directly from Watts). It is not until 1808 that the bed key or wrench is seen, cited as “…2 8/12 Doz Bed Wrenches 18/ [£]2‑8‑…” within the inventory of John Ewing, merchant (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 495, 3 February 1808). An attempt to understand the physical difference between a bed key and bed wrench was not successful. Within the Essex Institute’s Sample Books there is a plate from an ironmongery catalog on which both bed key and bed wrench are termed for very similar items; however, the difference could be in that during this period the technology changed from a single socket and handle to a multiple socket with handle (Salem Institute, Salem, MA, Sample Books, 672.2, S19 [Watermarked 1798, Birmingham, England, c. 1798-1834], Vol. 1, plate 43).

In 1808, the inventory of Michael Muckenfuss, cabinetmaker, contained a lot of shop tools, lumber, etc., among which were “…22 Set Bed Screws 50/100 $11… 7 Bed Keys $3.50/100…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). And in 1815 and 1816, Thomas Wallace was selling bed screws and bed keys, as well as Robert Walker in 1815 advertised he was selling bed screws (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 17 April 1815; Times, Charleston, 20 February 1816, 3‑3; Times, Charleston, 21 December 1815, 1‑2).

 

Cornices/Laths/Pullies/Rods (1742-1818)—The first reference to a bedstead cornice, which might have been an inexpensive version, is found in the 1742 inventory of Anne Le Brasseur, which included, with a bedstead, a “…Mould[e]d Wood[e]n Teaster[sic]…” and “counterpane” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 20 September [recorded] 1742). Supported by the posts, the tester was a flat component that covered the bedstead area. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the tester as fitting inside the cornice, which it sometimes supports as well as the rods. It is in the 1755 inventory of Ann Izard that the first mention of a cornice is found: “2 Bedsteads both [with] Cornish [sic]…” (Charleston County Wills, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 533, 14 February 1755). The firm of Townsend and Axson sold Richard Baker a “sett neat Cornices [£]10” on 15 August 1763 (Baker-Grimke Papers Receipts, Charleston, SC, SCHS 11-535/539; 33-25).

The Thomas Elfe Account Book reveals charges for cypress and mahogany cornices and related items from 1771‑1775. There is a difficulty in separating window cornices from bedstead cornices in the Elfe Account Book; therefore, only if the charge is for a bedstead cornice or a single cornice was the citation considered for inclusion here. An accounting of some of these charges are enumerated: “…Cypress cornish & laths [or a tester] 70/…” (Account #83, 5 November 1772); “…a Mahogany Cornish for a Bedstead £7…” (Account #107, 11 June 1772); “…a Mahogany Bed cornish & larths £8…” (Account #159, 2 September 1772); “…a Mahog[any] Bed Cornish with a frett Dentall £15…” (Account #69, 17 June 1773); “…a sett of Bed laths and a mahog[any] frett Dental Cornish £15…” (Account #274, 7 December 1773); and “…a Carved Mahogany Cornish to the Mahogany Bedstead £20…” (Account #72, 18 July 1771).

In 1794, John Francis Delorme, upholsterer, was advertising that he made and sold “…bed and window cornices covered with colored paper, in the neatest and most elegant taste (City Gazette & the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 24 September 1794). The year 1798 saw an auction at which a “…four post MAHOGANY BEDSTEAD, with japanned Cornice and Dimity Curtains, compleat…” sold (City Gazette & Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 January 1798, 3‑1). When Hugh and John Finlay, fancy furniture makers, shortly advertised in 1803, one of the available items were “…kinds of japan and gilt bed CORNISHES…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 March 1803. In 1806 John Sanford, carver and gilder, advertised that he was from New York and Philadelphia and was making “…the newest fashionable ornamented Window and Bed CORNICES…” (Times, Charleston, 21 May 1806, 3‑3). A similar offering was made by Samuel O’Hara in 1808 with the painting and gilding of bed and window cornices (Times, Charleston, 29 April 1808, 3‑3). In 1818, Richard W. Otis and Peter Fiche, both carvers and gilders, separately advertised that they made and sold bed cornices. Otis ran the Charleston Gilding Establishment and “…gilt to any pattern…,” while Fiche was selling imports from New York “…of an elegant pattern (Courier, Charleston, 16 February, 2‑3 and 22 October 1818, 1‑4).

The wooden frame composing the tester was referred to as the “lath”; at times confusing this becomes confusing because a “lath bottom” was interchangeably used, and “lath” could also be used describe a window. The earliest use of “lath” was found in the 1743 Judgment Rolls when John Wheeler became indebted to Richard Carlton on 16 September for “Making a bed £12… A Sett of Laths 15/ [£]12.15.0”; however, this is misleading as the entry concerns laths to support a mattress (Richard Caulton vs. John Wheeler, South Carolina Judgment Rolls (C.C.P.), Box 27A, #93A, 24 December 1743). To understand the entries for both meanings, this section cites only terms that describe the top of a bedstead; the other type of lath (i.e., for the bottom) will be discussed below under “Laths.”

The upholsterer Edward Weyman advertised on 25 November 1756 his being able to make “raised teater [sic] beds, with scallop’d headcloths, either scroll’d work or plain” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 25 November 1756). To further define this term, charges from the Thomas Elfe Account Book will be cited: “…a sett of teaster laths £1.10…” (Account #158, 9 November 1774); “…a set of laths with pullyes £4.10…” (Account #88, 13 November 1771); “…a frame larths[sic] for a field bedstead £1.10 …” (#81, 4 June 1772); “…a head and foot Teaster larth 15/ …” (Account #128, 31 October 1772); “…4 lathes with pullies £6‑ …” (Account #29, 1 July 1775); and “…altering the pullies in the bed larths ‑15‑…” (Account #162, 14 December 1773). In 1773, Martin Pfenninger charged for “…altering 4 Bed Posts & fixing the Pullies from a single to a Duble[sic] Trappery[sic]…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Box 101A, #164A, Martin Pfenninger vs. Solomon Smith, 15 March 1774). Of course the pullies needed line to work and this was found twice—the earliest being 1771 with John Blott, upholsterer, selling “…Bed Lines…” and in 1795 John Francis Delorme offering “…tassels and bed‑line…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 30 May 1771, sup. 3‑3 and City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 10 February 1795, 3‑1).

As cited in the Bedstead entry, the first mention of “rods” was in 1727 in the inventory of George Chicken with “…four Bedsteads Iron Rods…”; from there on numerous citations of this occurs (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 596, 21 August 1727). In 1736, one inventory named “poles” which might just have been of wood (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 161, 22 November 1736, Robert Vaughan). To better understand the composition of this “above the bed” structure, see Plates XLI and XLII of the 1762 edition of Thomas Chippendale’s Director, which illustrate designs for a bed and a canopy bed, respectively. In Plate XLII, there are two cornices: one on the bedstead and one to the right. Chippendale describes the lower illustration as “A,A,A, are the Lath, with Pullies to draw up the Curtains.” Another illustration on Plate XLI offers even more information in that the lath (“i is the Lath which goes round the Bed”) design is given as well as the tester (“a is a fourth part of the Tester”) with its “Mosaic work.” The supporting arrangement is the top of the bedpost that has a pin to first receive the tester and then the lath.

 

Sacking/Canvas Bottoms (1694-1774)—Throughout the various discussions in this section it is apparent that several forms of sleeping furniture were constructed with sacking or canvas bottoms. One of the earliest references to this was seen in 1694 with the John Vansusteren inventory appraisal of “…one bedstead and sacking…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 199, 23 May 1694). An interesting construction feature for this type bottom is perhaps seen in the 5 November 1764 charge Abraham Roulain collected upon when “…Putting up a Sacking Bottom Bed Stead [£]10‑ …[and]…To 2 Girts for do. [£]1‑ …” (Charleston County Court of Common Pleas, Records, February 1767‑August 1767, p. 91(88), 4 March 1767, Abraham Roulain). The “girts” apparently were supporting straps. Apparently this type of bottom was occasionally advertised as “…Canvas Bottoms for Bedsteads…, as did John Blott, paperhanger, in 1766 (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 21 January 1766, 3‑3). The Thomas Elfe Account Book contains several charges for sacking as well as rope bottoms, but none so informative as the account of Alexander Wright, who was charged, in 1774 for “…a sackg [sic] bottom with cord [£]5‑10‑[,] 44 Staples [£]2‑[,] 5 yds of sail Cloth 13 [£]3‑5‑[,] 5 hd tacks [£]0‑7‑6…”; the entry, suggests that all of the material was used for the installation of the sacking bottom (Account #78, 25 April 1774). In the same year, Martin Pfennenger was awarded past charges for cabinetwork among which was a “…Neat Mahogany Bedstead with a rich Carved Cornice ‑‑Sackon [sic] bottom with Boards [£]70‑…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Box 101A, #164A, Martin Pfennenger vs. Solomon Smith, 17 November 1774). This combination of both a canvas bottom as well as with boards (see also Laths) is confusing unless the boards were the bed rails.

 

Laths (1734-1817)—Within the “Sacking or Canvas Bottom” entry is a citation describing a problematical combination of bottom treatment: both a “sacken” bottom and “boards” on the same bedstead. Undoubtedly “boards” in this sense meant laths to fit between the rails, for the charges, to the same person, also included “…To altering a Theaster [sic] lath  [£]0‑16‑3…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Box 101A, #164A, Martin Pfennenger vs. Solomon Smith, 15 March 1774). Laths, with the probable meaning of teaster, are found the earliest in Charleston in the 1743 judgment case of Richard Caulton, upholsterer, who was awarded past charges on bedstead furnishing which included “…A Sett of Laths 15/…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Box 27A, #93A, Richard Caulton vs. John Wheeler [butcher by trade], 24 December 1743). The contemporary usage of lath was found to be for both teaster and bottom boards. The differentiation possibly being in the context of its usage. Often a “set” is used, which could indicate fitted boards for the rails. A bedstead (MESDA Research File 8815) with original rails has the slots for the laths marked with Roman numerals that match similarly marked laths. The Thomas Elfe Account Book contains entries for “larth bottoms” both in poplar and mahogany bedsteads (Account #104, July 1772 and 9 November 1774 and Account #164, 4 October 1773). In July 1773 Elfe’s shop sold “…a sett of Bed larths £1.10…” (Account #161, 5 July 1773). Three inventories specified this treatment, though with varying wording: “…One do [mahogany] plain [pillar] Bedstead Lath Bottom [£]3‑…” in 1785; “…ditto [Cedar Bedstead with a] boarded [bottom] 18/8 …” in 1790; and “…one Mahogany Bedstead rail [laths] Bottom  ‑50‑ …” in 1792 (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 478, John Hneeshaur[sic], 10 March 1785; Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 261, John Tompkins, ___March 1790 and p. 427, Samuel Miller, 9 February 1792). A contemporary diarist’s thoughts upon a lath bottomed bedstead was recorded in 1817 when Ebenezer Kellogg visited Charleston: “…I was troubled too by the hardness of my bed. Instead of sacking or even ropes, boards five inches wide, and at intervals of about the same width were laid from side to side. On these was laid a matrass, med to me quite as hard as the boards. This is the common way of fitting bedsteads here…” (Sidney Walter Martin, ed., “Ebenezer Kellogg’s Visit to Charleston, 1817,” SCHGM, 49:7‑8).

 

Posts (1760-1820)—The consideration of bed posts as a “sett” was first seen in the inventory of William Coon in 1760, where matched blanks of lumber were ready for finishing into bedposts. The importation of bedsteads, presumably as a complete unit has been discussed in the “Bedstead” entry; however, additional evidence was found that “setts of bedposts” were also imported, presumably as blanks for bed posts. (A late advertisement in the Petersburg Republican, Petersburg, Virginia, of 6 March 1818, revealed that a shipment of “island and bay mahogany” was for sale that included “…bed‑posts turned & in the rough…,” thus presumably executed where the mahogany was lumbered. If this was true earlier, forthcoming evidence would then be most welcomed.) Sets of bedposts were first encountered in 1763 with “…7 Setts of Bedsteads…,” along with mahogany plank and limes, arriving from New Providence (an island in the Bahamas with its port of Nassau) (South Carolina Shipping Returns, March 1736‑January 1764, 5 July 1763, Schooner George). The same source also reveal that “14 Mahogany Bedsteads” were among a shipment from New Providence that arrived in Charleston on the William and Sarah, 12 September 1767 (South Carolina Shipping Returns, January 1764-September 1767 ,12 September 1767). In 1766 there were “…16 Setts of Bed Posts…” together with mahogany plank and limes from the same origin (South Carolina Shipping Returns, January 1764‑ September 1767, 26 May 1766, Schooner Success). This evidence, found in the import records from 1763 through 1787, revealed 429 “Setts of Bed Posts” entering the port of Charleston from New Providence, with an additional 130 from Abaccoa (Abaco Island, Bahamas, just north of New Providence). One ship, the Charlotte, entered from Philadelphia with a further 23 sets, apparently originating from the same source as the aforementioned bed posts (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, 2 December 1786). Thus, from 1763 through 1787, there were a total of 582 “Setts” recorded (South Carolina Shipping Returns [1763‑1767] and Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789).

That this importation of stock for bed posts was reflected in Charleston advertisements is not surprising. The advertisement of “…TEN TONS of Lignum‑Vitae ‑‑‑500 Feet of Mahogany Plank and Bed‑Posts ‑‑‑Four Tons of Box Wood…” by John Howell in 1766 is typical, reflecting the associated cargo as seen in the import records. (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 19 August 1766, 3‑1). This association is strengthened when the advertisement was found of the Charlotte selling her cargo on 1 September 1786, a day after arriving in Charleston from New Providence (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, 31 August 1786). The advertisement specified “…from New‑Providence… [and]…Mahogany Bed Posts…” (Charleston Morning Post, and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 1 September 1786, 3‑2). The original source of the entire cargo may be questioned; however, there were advertisements which specified “New Providence Mahogany” as well as “Jamaican mahogany” and others, thus demonstrating New Providence as undoubtedly the original source of lumber for the bed posts (South‑Carolina Gazette, and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 19 February, 1‑2 and 6 April 1785, 1‑1). In October 1797, the Charleston factor, John Milligan, offered “7 Setts of Mahogany Bed Posts” for sale, which were “on Board the Schooner Lydia.” The origin of this ship was not determined (The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 October 1797). An advertisement of November 1797 listed “…Sets of Bed Posts, elegantly carved…” being sold by Benjamin Booth, merchant, along with chairs and clothing (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 28 November 1797).

Aside from the imported “Setts” of bedposts, whether blanks or finished, there were also turners in Charleston that advertised locally produced bedposts. Such an example is seen in 1767 with Joshua Eden, who said that he “…will undertake to do all kinds of turning, in it’s several branches, such as banisters, column, bed‑posts, table frames…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 Jan 1767, 1‑3). Later, in 1803, John Whiting advertised that “…he carries on the TURNING BUSINESS, in all its various branches: Columns, Nuels [sic], Bannisters, Bedstead Posts & c. for Builders and Cabinet‑Makers” (City‑Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 January 1803, 3‑3). Some large cabinetmaking shops undoubtedly had the capability to turn bed posts; however, the lathe needed to turn such a length of wood undoubtedly was owned by all such shops; therefore, a dependence upon the specialized turner for bed posts was practiced by most cabinetmaking shops. The 1823 inventory of John McIntosh, cabinetmaker, revealed that he apparently was producing bed posts from the “rough” to the turned stage (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823). Thus, the bed posts evinced in cabinetmakers’ inventories were most likely not of their own production if the posts were only turned. Unfortunately, the inventories were not specific enough to distinguish the degree of completeness or finish (i.e., plain or carved; examples of such cabinetmakers having bed posts in their inventories were: Thomas Snead [1772], William Jones [1793], Francis Joseph Lacroix [1806], Michael Muckenfuss [1808], and Andrew Bare [1817]). By 1820, saw mills and lumber yards were advertising that they turned bed posts (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 28 August 1820 and 21 February 1821, advertisement of John Egleston).

The only evidence for the making of “setts” found on surviving bedposts—aside from their similar size, matching carving, and wood color, and history—is the marking with Roman numerals of posts and rails to accurately join them together.

 

Pavilion/Canopy (1725-1828)—The inclusion of this entry is necessary as the “pavilion” was an integrated part of the bedstead in Charleston, and when documents concerning bedsteads are encountered pavilions are also frequently found. There were many references to pavilions in the documentary evidence; however, this was not cited as it is not a furniture form. Included are period mentions of pavilions. Though this topic has been included in an article (Audry Michie, “Charleston Upholstery in All Its Branches, 1725-1820,” Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts [November, 1985], pp. 21-84), a brief entry will allow an understanding as to both the necessity for the use of the pavilion as well as its varieties of use. The need for pavilions in climates where mosquitoes abound is self evident (for a discussion of medical problems centering around mosquitoes, see H. Roy Merrens and George D. Terry “Dying in Paradise: Malaria, Mortality, and the Perceptual Environment in Colonial South Carolina,” The Journal of Southern History, Vol. L, No. 4, November 1984, pp. 533-550). The first evidence found yields an especial insight into the pavilion as well as various social, natural, architectural, and climatialogical topics. A 20 January 1725 letter written from Mrs. Margaret Kennett “From the Bay in Charls Town South Carolina/Next Door to the Governor,” to her mother, in Spring-grove in Wye, Near Ashford, Kent, England. After her descriptions of “Native Carolinians” as being “Trained up in Luxery and are the Greatest Debauchees in Nature,” Mrs. Kennett further remarks about mulletts and oysters, and she reveals that “We have no Fleas in all the Province but a very Troublesom sort of Insect which they call Moschatoes and are the same with out Gnats so that all the Hott Months we are forc’d to use Pavilions Made of Catgut Gause. Twenty yds just Makes a Pavilion” (Brian J. Enright, “An Account of Charles Town In 1725, SCHGM [January 1960, Vol. LXI, No. 1], p. 17).

The first document that provides evidence for personal ownership of a pavilion is found in the 24 August 1732 house inventory of the merchant Mrs. Rhoda Hole, as “One old Pavillion” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., 1732-1737, Vols, 65-66, p. 8, 24 August 1732). The 20 April 1733 inventory of Jonathan Main, trade unknown, contained “2 beds [,] bedstead Pervillian [sic]” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., 1732-1737, Vols. 65-66, p. 55). The Charleston merchant, Robert Pringle, ordered goods through his brother, Andrew, in London. A 14 June 1740 letter found “I have at Last sold all your Italian Gauze but won’t be in Cash for it sometime. It begins to take pretty well here & believe if you can procure some more of it Reasonable & Send over it will answer. But if you can would Desire it all Green Colour & Bleu Colours & no other Colours if possible, those Colours being best Liked here & most saleable” (Walter B. Edgar, ed., The Letterbook of Robert Pringle, Vol. 1, [Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1972], p. 224). This Charleston taste for colors was again emphasized in a 14 November 1743 letter from Robert Pringle to a Gibraltar mercantile firm of Charles, Robert, and William Campbell as needing “Italian Silk Gauze of Blue & Green Colours only for Pavillians for Beds” (Walter B. Edgar, ed., The Letterbook of Robert Pringle, Vol. 2, [Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1972], p. 605). Pringle writes his brother again on 27 February 1744 and provides evidence that pavillions were sent ready-made: “The Silk Gauze reddy made Pavillions you sent here per Capt. Warden [I] and afraid wont answer. They are a Great deal too small for Beds as us’d here & are fitt only for Field Beds, which will make a slow & Tedious Sale. It had been better you had sent Gauze in peices to be made up” (Walter B. Edgar, ed., The Letterbook of Robert Pringle, Vol. 2, [Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1972], p. 660).

The South Carolina Gazette of 6 June 1744 contained a request to English merchants to send over Scotch kenting (a fine close woven linen) for pavillions as “there being at present a great demand for that commodity, the inhabitants being almost devoured by the mosquitos for want thereof” (Evangelene Walker Andrews, ed., Journal of a Lady of Quality [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1923], p. 85, footnote). An advertisement in the 13-20 February South Carolina Gazette of 1755 found merchandise offered which included “black flower’d Gause, colour’d plain ditto for Pavillions.” The mercantile firm of Hogg and Clayton in Charleston records that in the early 1760s they received a shipment from England from William Savage which included “32 1/4 yds. Pavilion Gauze 15/ [£]2.0.3” (R. Hogg Account Book, M-343, Vol. 1, early 1760s, Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill). Within the account books of the Charleston merchant James Poyas are found several references to gauzes for pavilions which are: 11 April 1763 sale of “51 yards white Thread pavillion Gauze 10/ [£]25.10” to account 170 of Jonah Collins (James Poyas Account Books, Volume II, p. 350, Charleston Museum); 13 April 1763 sale of “2 ps white thread Pavillion Gauze 32 1/2 yds @ 10/ [£]16.5” to account 223 of William Bell (James Poyas Account Books , Volume II, p. 352, Charleston Museum); 20 June 1763 sale of “16 yards blue thread Pavillion Gauze 12/6 [£]10.3” to account 174 of Daniel Horry, Jr. (James Poyas Account Books, Volume II, p. 367, Charleston Museum); 2 August 1763 sale of “30 3/4 yards blue thre[a]d Pavillion Gauze 12/6 [£]19.4.4” to account 175 of Thomas Wilson (James Poyas Account Books, Volume II, p. 375, Charleston Museum); and the 2 September 1763 sale of “1 1/2 yard Green Pavillion Gauze @15/ [£]1.2.6” to account 213 of the firm Mazyck & Moultrie (James Poyas Account Books, Volume II, p. 381, Charleston Museum).

The upholsterer, John Mason advertised in February 1765 that he would charge “for making a pavillion [£]2” (South Carolina Gazette, 2 February 1765). The diary of the naturalist John Bartram reveals for 28th August 1765, when he was in South Carolina, that “A day or two in Charles town[.] all good livers has what they call muschata curtains or pavillions[.] some is silk[,] some say linen silk grass or Gaws[.] thay are wove on purpose for that use & make A very very comfortable lodging amongst thousands of those hungry vermin that infested all thair lodgings[.] I thought at first that thay would be stifling hot but upon tryall I found them very pleasant[.] as thay are fine & so thin wove Just to keep out ye fly[,] but if thay have any hole in[,] big enough to put ones little finger end in[,] thay will find it & torment us all by piercing 100 holes in our skin before morning if we are uncovered[,] which is not uncommon in hot weather” (Francis Harper, ed., “Diary of A Journey Through The Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida from July 1, 1765, to April 10, 1766,” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society [Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, 1942], p. 21).

Further accounts from the James Poyas Account Books find a 30 August 1765 sale of “18 yards Green Silk Gauze 15/ [£]13.10” to the firm of Griffith and Cape (James Poyas Account Books, Volume IV, p. 267, South Carolina Historical Society); and a 15 December 1766 sale of “16 yards Pavillion Gauze 8/9 [£]7” to Thomas Pacey (James Poyas Account Books, Volume IV, p. 464, South Carolina Historical Society). In a 4 April 1771 letter to the London attorney Thomas Corbett, Charlestononian Henry Laurens tells his friend that “Putrid Feavers as often rage there [Philadelphia] as here, and what is a little amazing, Musquittos, which were not known there thirty years ago, are now become so troublesome that boots and Pavilions are used by the Inhabitants to guard against those insects, in the same manner, and as commonly as they are used in this Province” (George C. Rogers, Jr. and David R. Chesnutt, eds., The Papers of Henry Laurens, Volume Seven: Aug. 1, 1769–Oct. 9, 1771 [Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1979], pp. 473-474). The Charleston paperhanger and upholsterer John Blott was offering “Silk and Thread Pavilions” on 14 May 1772 (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 May 1772, and 19 April 1773).

Other advertisements by upholsterers Abraham Maddocks, in 1773, and John Linton, in 1774, revealed pallivions being offered for sale (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 January, 27 September 1773; South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Charleston, 19 April 1774). In 1794, Thomas Bradford’s documents revealed his charging for “Thread and Making a pavillion [£]1” (South Carolina Judgement Rolls (C.C.P.), 1797, #463A, 8 February 1797). The New England school teacher, Ebernezer Kellog, visited Charleston on 26 November 1817 and recorded “On going to bed, I was surprised to find that my bed closely curtained with a very thin muslin or millinet. I threw one side of it upon the bed part, and went to bed. In the night I learned the use of this canopy, as it is called by the people, for the mosquitoes took advantage of my neglect to throw down the curtain and came buzzing about me at the end of November, as it had been only September” (Sidney Walter Martin, ed., “Ebenezer Kellog’s Visit to Charleston, 1817”, SCHGM, Vol. XLIX, 1948, pp.7-8). A 4 February 1828 letter of Abiel Abbot, preacher from New England, to his wife reveals: “It is a curious fact in this extraordinary winter that the pest of this country has been prowling & singing every night; & we have no quiet slumbers, except as we shrink behind our gauze rampart. Mrs. Gilman, with perhaps a little poetic license, thinks it a serious question in considering the evils of the country which is the greatest the yellow feaver or marchetos. The gauze pavilions give one a charming sense of security, like a pitiless [sic], pelting storm” (John Hammond Moore, “The Abel Abbot Journals: A Yankee Preacher in Charleston Society, 1818-1827,” SCHGM, Vol. 68, No. 4, October 1967, pp. 249-250).

Pavilions are still used in the Caribbean and one method of attachment of the pavilion is to the ceiling with hooks and the gauze piled on the post tops when not needed (Suzanne Slesin and Stafford Cliff, Jack Berthelot, Martine Gaume, and Daniel Rozensztroch, Caribbean Style [New York: Clarkston N. Potter, Inc., 1985], p. 117).

 

SLEEPING FURNITURE WOODS

Sleeping Furniture Woods (General)—Wood usage in bedsteads found in Charleston documentary evidence was identified by the appraisers of the estates, auctioneers, cabinetmakers, merchants, lumber merchants, etc. The genus of each has been offered and in several cases the species; however, in most cases the genus is provided only—to cite specific species is not often possible as origins of woods used were frequently not cited.

 

Ash (Fraxinus sp.) (1777-1779)—The inventory of George Sommers included “…1 Ash Do [bedstead]…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98‑99B, 1774‑1778, p.306, ____ August 1777). Ash must have been a favorite with James Parsons as his inventory contained three, one of which was described as of two woods “…An Ash Bedstead with Maho[gany] Posts, Iron Curtain Rods Head Cloth & Tester [£] 400‑…,” which would possibly mean that the foot posts only were of mahogany—those to “show” (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 339, 23 October 1779).

 

Birch (Betula sp.) (1789-1817)—Benjamin Guerard’s plantation named “Goose Creek” contained, in the 1789 inventory, “…1 Birchwood Bedstead…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 209, 18 September 1789). The next mention of birch found was in 1813 with an advertisement of Jacob Sass & Son offering a reward for “…a PLAIN MAHOGANY BED STEAD; the four Rails of Birch Wood, stained Red,” which would simulate mahogany to the casual observer or at least not present itself as a light-colored wood such as birch (Times, Charleston, 26 March, 1813, 3‑3). Birch is again seen in 1817 used on bedsteads with the import of Rhode Island furniture by William Rawson, cabinetmaker, who was selling “Burch [sic] Bedsteads” from his warehouse in Charleston (Courier, Charleston, 5 April 1817).

 

Cedar (Juniperus sp.) (1756-1806)—The 1756 inventory of Mrs. Elizabeth Dill contained “…1 Cedar Beadsted [£]3‑…” as well as chairs of cedar (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 805, 5 March 1756). The organ master Frederick Grunsweig’s inventory of 1765 included “…1 Spanish Cedar Bedstead [£]18‑ …”—if the appraisers were accurate in their wood identification; however, Thomas Elfe was one of the three appraisers. This wood, technically, is not a true cedar but of the mahogany family. However, “cedar” was being imported into Charleston and at times was not specified, thus suggesting the possibility of “Spanish cedar” being used in Charleston for furniture which, when cut or finished, has the appearance of red cedar. Further, in 1789, “…one Cedar Bedstead  ‑20‑…” was in the inventory of Mary Gillespie with one of the three appraisers being William Purse, cabinetmaker (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787-1793, p. 225, 31 August 1789). Apparently, Jacob Sass, cabinetmaker, was also producing bedsteads of this wood. In an 1806 judgment case, Sass collected for furniture made and work completed the previous year, among which were “…2 Cedar Bedsteads $30.00…” (Charleston District Judgment Rolls,1807, #918A, 20 November 1806, Jacob Sass vs. Peter Trezevant).

 

Cherry (Prunus sp.) (1748-1804)—When the 1748 inventory of Henry Petty, merchant, was taken it contained “…1 Cherry Tree Bedstead[:] Bed, Pavillion & Callico Curtains, Rods, 2 Blankets 1 Quilt 2 Pillows & Bolster [£] 55‑…”; also listed was other furniture of cherry as well as other woods (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 83, 16 December 1748). There is a good possibility that this bedstead was of New England origin, as Petty’s inventory well demonstrates his mercantile activity. It was not until 1804 that a cherry bedstead was found in another inventory: Samuel Fickling’s estate included additional furniture of cherry (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, 26 November 1804, [date property sold]).

 

Cypress (Taxodium distichum) (1754-1779)—Both inventories of Henry Peronneau in 1754 and Lt. Governor William Bull in 1755 contained cypress bedsteads as well as mahogany with the cypress ones being valued much less (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 258, 20 July 1754 and p. 626, 17 June 1755). The 1768 inventory of Francis Roche contained two cypress bedsteads, one painted (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 250, 25 January 1768). A variation on the cypress bedstead was the in the 1779 inventory of James Parsons, who had two “… Do [cypress bedsteads] with 2 Maho[gany] Posts £ 50‑ …” (Charleston County Inventory & Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 346, 27 October 1779).

 

Fustic (Chlorophora tinctoria) (1734-1734)—The 1734 inventory of John Lloyd contained “…2 Standing Fustian [sic] Beeds & Furniture [£]80‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 196, 6 December 1734). Fustic is a tropical wood, yellow in color, and resembles the Spanish mahoganies. The origin of these bedsteads is uncertain.

 

Mahogany (Swietenia sp.) (1746-1816)—The first citation of a mahogany bedstead in the Lowcountry is found in the 1746 inventory of Joseph Gaultier, doctor, where it was valued at 5 pounds (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 22, 3 September 1746). The importation of mahogany bedsteads from London is first specified in 1766 by the advertisement of the firm of Reeves & Cochran of Charleston (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 16 September 1766, supplement). The 1768‑1775 Thomas Elfe Account Book offers a variety of charges for mahogany bedsteads that range from £8 to £50, representing half (62) of the shop production of bedsteads, with tulip poplar the other half. Thomas Elfe’s inventory of 11 September 1776 reveals an interesting, though probably not uncommon, use of mahogany in the listing of “A Do. [Bedstead] of poplar Mahogany turn’d posts [£]20‑0‑0” (Charleston County Wills Etc, Vol 99A, 1776‑1778, p. 116.) Here the mahogany is used on the part of the bedstead that the eye rests upon; however its structure, hidden by bedcovers, etc., is of another, less expensive wood. In the circa April 1777 inventory of the house Royal Governor Lord William Campbell left behind after he fled Charleston in 1774, there were “1 Mahogany Four Post Bedstead [£]6‑6‑0” and “1 Mahogany Four Post Bedstead [£]6‑6‑0” in the “North East Bed Chamber” and “South East Bed Chamber,” respectively (B.P.R.O. T1/541, p. [1], Ld. William Campbell’s Inventory, c. April 1777). The imitation of mahogany by painting or staining a lesser wood undoubtedly occurred (see the Birch entry under “Sleeping Furniture Woods”). An example of staining is seen in 1807 with the advertisement of Verree & Blair, vendue merchants, where “Stain’d Wood Bedsteads… [and]… Stain’d Wood Field Bedsteads” were for sale, probably of London origin (Charleston Courier, 31 August 1807, 3‑4). Following a fire, Thomas Wallace, cabinetmaker, advertised in 1816 that certain “articles” were missing, among which were “…Sundry Mahogany Bed Railing” (Times, Charleston, 20 February 1816, 3‑3). Further discussion of mahogany bedsteads is provided within the bedstead form entry.

 

Maple (Acer sp.) (1767-1818)—William Banford’s inventory of 1767 contained “…A Maple Bedstead with Callico Curtains Bed Matrass sheets & c [£]50‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 867, 26 June 1767). The 1769 inventory of William Johnson, teacher, contained “…2 Maple Bedsteads with Sacking Bottoms [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, pp. 90, 16, 18, 25 March 1769). When Lewis Pitcock, planter, died, his 1771 appraised estate included “…1 Maple bedstead Cord & Hide  £ 2‑…”(Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 409, January 1771). That same year, the Jacksonsburgh estate of Moses Darquier included “…a Maple bedstead sackin Bottom & Rods [£] 15‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑94B, 1771‑1774, p. 92, 24 August 1771). Josias Allston’s 1777 inventory included “…2 Mayple [sic] Bedsteads & Curtain Rods [£] 5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98‑99B, 1774‑1778, p. 509, 12 March 1777). In circa April 1777, “1 Maple Post Bedstead wth Blue Harriteen Furniture [£]5‑5‑0” and “1 Other Maple Post Bedstead with Blue Harriteen Furniture [£]5‑5‑0” were found in “Capt Inness’s Chamber,” and “1 Four Post Bedstead of Maple wth Mattress, Bolster, Pillow and Blankets” were found in “Mrs. Sidney’s Room” when the inventory of the house formerly occupied by Lord William Campbell, the last royal governor of South Carolina, was taken (B.P.R.O T1/541, p.[2], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777.)  It was not until 1818 that maple bedsteads are found again, in an advertisement of E. Buckley & Co. selling New York made examples (Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818).

 

Mulberry (Morus sp.) (1758-1758)—The 1758 inventory of John Witter, planter, contained “…1 Mulberry Bedstead & Cord [£]3‑12‑6…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 48, 8 June 1758). Other mulberry furniture was recorded in the inventory and, if accurately described, undoubtedly was locally made.

 

Oak (Quercus sp.) (1751-1769)—When the inventories of the estate of Joseph Wragg, merchant, were taken in 1751 and 1753 at “Quarter House,” one of his four plantations, both listed “…1 four post oak Bedstead[s]…” valued at five and ten pounds (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 81, 18 September 1751 and Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 62, 31 May 1753). Another merchant, Patrick Reid, possessed, when his inventory was taken in 1754, “…1 Oak Bedstead[:] Bed a Suit Curtains Pavilion [sic] & Counterpain [£] 25‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 372, 5 July 1754). Several furniture forms of oak occur within the inventory of George Seaman, of which “…1 Oak Bedstead Rods & Sack Bottom [£]6‑…” is one (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 74, 15 February 1769). Though oak has not been found with any regularity in early Charleston furniture, it is possible that the cited bedsteads were made in the Lowcountry. See the “Wainscot” entry for further discussion.

 

Pine (Pinus sp.) (1746-1808)—The 1746 inventory of James Witter, a member of the Witter family of James Island, contained “…1 Pine Beadstead & Cord [£] 1‑7‑6…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 61, 13 October 1746). The specific type of pine of this bedstead is not specified, causing its origin to be questioned. If it was made of yellow pine at such an early date, then a locally made bedstead should be assumed; however, if it was of white pine (indicating New England origin) or Scots pine (English origin), then it is possible that venture shipping was well entrenched in Charleston at the time. The rarity of specific pine being identified for bedsteads undoubtedly occured for several reasons: pine’s low value in an inventory, infrequent wood used for this form in the Lowcountry, and because bedteads were frequently painted, thus the type of wood being masked by paint. A rare case in point where the wood is mentioned is the cabinetmaker Thomas Snead, who, in 1772, mortgaged his shop contents, amongst which was partially completed furniture that included “…2 Coloured Pine Bedsteads…” (South Carolina Mortgages, No. D.D.D., 1771‑1777, p. 222, 9 October 1772). Apparently Charles Desel, cabinetmaker, was making bedsteads of pine, for when his shop was inventoried in 1808, “…a pine bedstead…” was listed together with both finished and unfinished furniture (Charleston County Inventories, Book D, 1800‑1810, p. 450, 25 January 1808). Interesting evidence is found in the same year when the inventory was taken of Michael Muckenfuss, cabinetmaker, which included “…1 ditto [mahogany bedstead] with pine Railings  $20.00…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808).

 

Poplar (Liriodendron tulipiferia) (1752-1804)—Tulip poplar usage was widespread for bedsteads because it was an inexpensive wood and could be stained to simulate mahogany. The mention of “1 old Box and poplar Bedstead [£]1‑0‑0…” in the 1752 inventory of Elizabeth Hearne is typical of the citations and the low values of this wood (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 354, 17 March 1752). The occurrences of poplar bedsteads in “room designated” inventories of the wealthy usually occurs in the lesser rooms of the house. The preference for the more lavish and showy mahogany, even when the pocketbook was not large enough for a complete mahogany bedstead, is seen in the 1760 inventory of Francis Bremar, merchant, which, in addition to “…1 poplar painted Bedstead [£]1‑10‑0…,” contained “2 poplar Bedsteads with Mahogany feet [£]10‑0‑0…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 563, 25 June 1760). This wood combination is frequently seen in the Thomas Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775), such as “…1 poplar Bed Stead Mahogany footposts & castors £20‑…” (Account #50, 28 May 1772). This entry reveals that only the footposts, which showed, were of mahogany and the rear posts were of poplar. Elfe himself had a “Do. [Bedstead] of poplar Mahogany turn’d posts [£]20‑0‑0, as evinced by his 11 September 1776 estate inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 99A, 1776‑1778, p. 116, 11 September 1776.)

Occasionally the word “colored” was added to the poplar portion of the description, undoubtedly implying the wood was painted to simulate mahogany. The Thomas Elfe Account Book reveals that of the total volume of bedsteads charged exactly half were mahogany (£8‑£50) and the other half of poplar (£6‑£16). Occasionally “painted green” and once “blue” were mentioned, indicating the bedsteads were of a softwood (i.e., poplar, cypress, or pine) (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 928, 30 April 1761 and Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 133, 28 November 1794). Within this discussion of painting or staining furniture, it should be mentioned that the 1804 advertisement of Isaac Cutter (or Cotten), painter, offered the painting of rooms and furniture among which were bedsteads as a form which could be “…painted mahogany,… or any other colours” (City Gazette, Charleston, 17 February 1804; 1 March 1804).

 

Red Bay (Persea borbonia) (1767-1771)—The 1767 inventory of William Edings, planter of Edisto Island, contained “…1 Red Bay Bedstead… & furniture [£]40‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 820, 22 April 1767). Captain Francis Withers’s 1771 estate contained “…1 Red Bay Bedstead and Furniture [£]50‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols.94A‑94B, 1771‑1774, p. 140, 15 August 1771).

 

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) (1746-1767)—James Witter’s inventory of 1746 listed “…1 sasafrax Beadstead & cord [£]1‑7‑6…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741-1748, p. 61, 13 October 1746). Twenty years later, on 22 April 1767, the inventory of the estate of William Edings, Esq. was taken, and among the extensive list of furniture was “…1 Sarsafras Bedstead…Bolster & 2 pillows, 1 Matrass, 1 Pr. Sheets blankets & Quilt [£]25‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 820, 22 April 1767.) These two are the only occurrences of sassafras located. James Witter was of James Island, as were other Witters such as the earlier mentioned John (see the “Mulberry” and “Pine” entries), whose inventory contained mulberry furniture, which was not the average wood for bedsteads. The possibility exists that another John Witter, a joiner, who gave up his trade after 1770 to become a planter, was active earlier and possibly produced furniture of these unusual woods. A factor that strengthens this relationship is that the Witters were Quakers and undoubtedly patronized members within their own religious community. Another possibility, as the Edings family were of Edisto Island and not urban Charleston, is that this wood was only used in the country or the less populated islands of the Lowcountry.

 

Satinwood (Zanthoxylum sp.) (1791-1791)—The sole inventory mention of this wood, as associated with bedsteads, was found in 1791 with the appraisal of Thomas Hutchinson’s estate with “…1 Elegant 2 post Sattin wood Bedstead Compleat with a Suit of Chintz Bed Curtains… [and] 1 Large pavillion for the 2 post Sattin wood Bedstead…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 403, 15 November 1791).

 

Walnut (Juglans nigra) (1757-1783)—The 1757 inventory of Captain Thomas Law Elliot, of the Stono Troup, contained “…1 Walnut Bedstead, Bed and Furniture [£]75‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc. Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 95, 6 April 1757). Two years later, Joseph Poole’s inventory discloses “…1 black Walnut Bedstead [£]5‑…” as well as one of poplar and mahogany and another painted green, the latter also being valued at five pounds (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 444, 12 December 1758 and 3 January 1759). The extensive inventory of Martha Savage in 1761 revealed “…A Standing Walnut Bedstead of Walnut with Sacking Bottoms old curtains…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 928, 30 April 1761). The 1763 inventory of George Waller contained “…1 black warnut [sic] Bedstead wth Cord £ 5‑10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑87B, 1761‑1763, p. 617, 3 November 1763). This same identification is found in the 1771 inventory of Lewis Pitcock with “…1 Black Walnut bedstead Cord and Hide  £ 2‑…” (Charleston County Inventories,1763‑1771, p.409, January 1771). The return to the use of pound sterling currency is seen in the 1783 inventory of John Ash which contained “…One Walnut Bedstead & Bolster 20/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 130, 10 November 1783).

 

 

SEATING FURNITURE

Of all the categories, seating furniture exhibits the greatest terminology. Produced in a greater ratio to other forms within this category, chairs outnumbered all other furniture forms. Therefore, with such high production, the opportunity for a more rapid diversification of a style evolved multiple traits that were reflected in the nomenclature given chairs found within Lowcountry documents. Within this category, the forms to be considered are: benches, chairs, settees, settles, sofas, and stools. The evidence for each form will be chronologically presented with great variation noted in chairs.

 

SEATING FURNITURE FORMS

Chair (General) (1686-1820)—As the most common of the forms in the category of sitting furniture, chairs commanded the highest degree of nomenclature as to allow differentiation. The presentation of this form will be: form, Bottoms and Backs, and colors and then wood evidence. Within this category will be given the evidence for chairs that were unspecified as to form or constructed of mahogany. All other references are presented within the specific categories.

The first recorded mention of chairs in the Lowcountry was in the 1686 account of Paul Grimball, merchant of Edisto Island, in which was listed goods lost as a result of a Spanish raid on his home. The extensive itemized loss included “…12 Rich new backs & seats of Turkey work: for chear [£]10:0:0 …3: doz of reed lether backs & seats for cheares [£]10:0:0 …a parsell new bras nailes 2 sorts for chears [£]3:0:0…” (“Paul Grimball’s Losses By The Spanish Invasion In 1686,” SCHGM, vol. 29, pp. 231‑237 [this loss took place on 24‑29 August 1686]). Apparently the lost material reflects chairs being made within his house, which were of the Cromwellian type (See Benno Forman, American Seating Furniture 1630-1730 (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1988), pp. 195-204). Unfortunately, more detailed identification for Grimball’s losses was not given. Most seventeenth-century inventory listings are nonspecific as to the forms of chairs; in fact, the only description usually found was “old chairs” and the value being masked by the grouping of items. The sole value given for chairs was in 1696/7 in the inventory of Nicholas Mardin for “…16 Chears [£]1‑12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 418, 3 March 1696/7).

The first evidence for a chairmaker was found in the 1732 advertisement of an unnamed sucessor to “…the late T. [Thomas] Holton, chairmaker on the Green… where Chairs and Couches are made and mended, after the same manner…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5 August 1732). Also in 1732, the cabinetmaking firm of Broomhead and Blythe advertised that they were making “…Chairs [of mahogany] after the best Manner…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 August‑7 October 1732). In the same year, Mrs. Rhoda Hole, merchant, died and her house inventory revealed “…1/2 Dozn New Chairs £5‑ …”(Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 8, 24 Aug 1732). Another chairmaker, James McClellan, who also was a cabinetmaker, advertised in 1732/3 that he was from London and “…makes and sells all sorts of Cabinet Ware…,” which among the forms listed were chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 January‑3 February 1732/3).

In February 1733/4 the merchant Robert Pringle advertised his offering of “Chairs and Couches [q.v.]” from London (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 2 February 1733/4). The 1734 inventory of Tweedie Sommerville revealed that he died with “…Thirty‑Four Chairs [£]18‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 122, 7 May 1734). The store of Hutchinson and Grimke advertised in 1735 that they had just imported items that included furniture, amongst which were chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 April 1735, 4‑2). Unfortunately, the origin of their merchandise was not given; however, the Shipping Returns for 1735 revealed that chairs were being imported from Boston, as “…1 Dozn: Chairs…” (South Carolina Shipping Returns, December 1721‑December 1735, two listings: 24 and 26 November 1735). Apparently there was a need to recognize locally made chairs or these chairs were so different that they were easily recognized, because inventories of 1736 and 1738 revealed that the appraisers were conscious of the difference.

Further offerings by Robert Pringle were found in December 1735 with other London imports that included chairs and other furniture forms (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 13 December 1735). Another advertisement was found in June 1736 offering London imported furniture which included chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 June 1736). In the August 1736 estate of William Moore there were “…10 Chair’s this [Low?] Country Make [£]3‑…” and in 1738, the merchant, Samuel Everleigh’s house estate had “…1 Dozn Carolina Chairs…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 19, 17 August 1736 and p. 231, 21 July 1738). The mercantile firm of Simmons, Smith, and Co. advertised in November 1738 their offering of London imports which incuded chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 2 November 1738). William Hammet was another cabinetmaker and chairmaker whose December 1738 inventory included his shop sign of “…a Coffin and Chair  £1‑…14 Mahogany Chairs about a forth part done [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739 [transcript], p. 260, 12 December 1738). The merchants Yeomans and Escott advertised in January 1740/1 that they had received a shipment of merchandise from London which contained chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 January 1740/1). The following month another advertisement offered chairs from London which were being sold by Steel and Hume, merchants (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 February 1740/1). Later in May, the same year, other merchantile firms such as Crokatt and Michie, and Philip and Livie, advertised furniture from London which included chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 May 1741).

June 1741 found John Dart, merchant, selling chairs which he had imported from Boston (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 4 June 1741). Walter Rowland, “Upholsterer from London”, advertised in November 1741 that “…Chairs Cover’d stuffed and Cases made accordingly…” in addition to the other forms he could upholster (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 November 1741). In a judgement case the firm of Mackinzie and Roche were seen to have had “…1 Doz Chairs [£]80‑…” in their store in 1742 (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Box 53, #187A, James Maxwell vs Mackenzie and Roche, entry of 24 January 1742). Crockatt and Michie continued to advertise in February 1741 their offerings of shipments from London and Bristol which contained chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 February 1741/2). A supplement of the same February newspaper revealed an advertisement of the merchant Henry West that offered a shipment of “…english made chairs…” as from Bristol (South Carolina Gazette, suppl., Charleston, 20 February 1741/2). In April 1742, the merchants Mackenzie and Roche advertised “…a variety of Mahogany chairs…” and other furniture from London (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 April 1742). The merchant William Stone advertised in February 1742/3 that “…Cabinet Ware, such as Chairs…” were in stock and from London; in June 1743 he advertised again with London “…neat mahogany chairs…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 February, 27 June 1742/3). In September 1743 William Lupton, cabinetmaker and chairmaker, was advertising that he made “…Cabinets and Chairs in the best and neatest manner…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 September 1743, 3‑2). Chairs and other furniture from London and Bristol was advertised in March 1743/4 by the merchants Simmons, Smith and Co. (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 March 1743/4). Another mercantile firm, Macartan and Campbell, advertised in November 1750 that they had “…mahogany chairs…” from London for sale (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 November 1750).

At times the fabric used on the chairs outweighed further description as in the 1752 inventory of John Morton who had “…A Dozen Brocade Bottom’d Chairs [£]84‑…” which were £44 more expensive than his “…Dozen plain Mahogany Chairs…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p.215, 9 January 1752). The 1752 inventory of Christiana Mathews revealed “…6 Moulded Chairs & 2 Elbow ditto [£]9‑…” (Charleston County Wills, etc., Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p. 293, 13 March 1752).  October 1753 found an advertisement of Lennox and Deas, merchants, with “…some neat carved mahogany chairs, with elbow ditto to suit…” from London (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 October 1753). In 1755 the inventory of Mrs. Ann Izard contained “…1  Dozn. best leather bottom Mahogany Chairs [£]90‑…” which apparently were better than the dozen with brocaded bottoms of 1752 (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A-82B, 1753‑1756, p. 533, 14 February 1755). Thomas Booden advertised in 1756 that “…chairs stuffed…” was only one of his upholstering abilities (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 28 October 1756, 3‑1). The use of hair seating was found in 1758 with the inventory of St. William Shrubsole with “…6 Mahogany Chairs with Horse Hair Bottoms [£]2‑…” that were apparently of an inexpensive type (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 453, 10 July 1758). The year 1758 also revealed that the firm of Elfe and Hutchinson, cabinetmakers, were paid for “…chairs and tables for the Council Chamber £ 728:02:06…” (Statutes at Large of South Carolina, 1758, account #874).

The first recorded ball and claw feet, by description, were found in the 1759 inventory of Capt John Lloyd as “…1 Dozn Mahogany Chairs with Claw Feet [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 302, 10 January 1759). A rare mention of a form to be found in the records was in the 1759 inventory of the Honorable Peter Leigh as “…1 Handsome Gilt Do[chair] [£]25‑ …” which was almost the value of his “…8 Mahogany Chairs with silk Bottoms [and] 1 Large Settee Do [with silk bottom] [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, 15 September 1759). In an undated inventory which was probably taken in the spring of 1760, the cabinetmaker Robert Liston’s  (II) estate was listed and among the items were found “Stuff for 8 Chairs [£]17‑0‑0”, which was probably wood ready to be made into chairs or cut out parts ready to be further worked into chair parts (Charleston County, Wills, Etc., Vol. 85B, p. 572, inventory of Robert Liston, n.d.). Ball and Claw feet are probably found again in the 1760 inventory of Francis Bremar with “…6 Clawed feet Mahogany Chairs [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 563, 25 June 1760). Within the James Poyas Daybooks (1760‑1765) are found chairs purchased at this Charleston mercantile business which were occasionally entered as “Chairs Sold at Vendue.” The range of such sales were recorded as: “for 6 Chairs Sold at Vendue £25‑2‑6 …” (#27, 5 March 1761); “To Cash paid for 1/2 doz. Chairs [£]9‑…” (#31, 6 May 1762); “To Cash paid for 1/2 dozen Chairs [£]9‑…” (#24, 16 July 1762); “To Cash paid for 2 Child’s Chairs 15/ [£]1‑10‑…” (# — 6 October 1764); “1/2 doz. Chairs £6‑ …”(#236, 5 February 1765); “1/2 doz Chairs [£]6‑ …” (#27, 4 February 1765); and “To Cash paid for 1/2 doz Chairs [£]6‑ …” (#27, 28 February 1765).

In April 1761 John Packrow, cabinetmaker, had to take James Deaboys to court to collect for furniture he had made/sold in 1760 which included “…1/2 dozen Chairs by Do[agreement] [£]10‑ …” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, Box 52A, #85A, John Packrow vs. James Deauboys, 30 April 1761). 1764 saw Elfe and Hutchinson in the courts claiming for past charges for “…6 Mahogany Chairs [£]37‑ …” sold Thomas Robinson in June 1763 (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgement Rolls, Box 60A, #200A, Elfe and Hutchinson vs. Thomas Robinson, 3 January 1764). In October 1763 the merchants Croft and Dart advertised “…neat mahogany chairs cover’d [with] horsehair and brass nail’d and elbow ditto…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 October 1763). The February 1764 inventory of John McQueen included “…12 Mahogany Chairs with Leather Bottoms [£]40‑ …[and]…12 Mahogany Chairs with Yellow Silk damask bottoms [£]120‑…” (Charleston County Wills, etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 298, 2 February 1764).  Another advertisement of “…neat mahogany chairs with horse hair bottoms…” was found to have placed by the merchants Nowell, Davies, and Ancrum in March 1764 (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 3 March 1764). A further description of the ball and claw foot was found in the April 1765 inventory of Ruth Bedon which was “…1 Doz Mahogany Chairs with Eagles Claws [£]60‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p.463, 11 April 1765).

John Blott, upholsterer, advertised “…stuffing and covering…[of]…chairs…” and other forms (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 June 1765, 1‑1). In 1765 the partnership of Weyman and Carne sold “8 Mahogany Chairs [£]45‑ …” to Joseph Feltham; to collect for these and other furniture 1768 court action was necessary (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgement Rolls, Box 77A, Roll 157A, Weyman and Carne vs. Joseph Feltham, 18 July 1768, chairs sold 29 November 1765). Charles Warham, possibly acting as an agent, was selling at auction, in 1766, “…carved Chairs…” along with other furniture and imported goods at the store of Nicholas Bernard, who was in Charleston but a short time from Philadelphia (South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Charleston, 4 March 1766, 3‑2, see also 12 October 1765 for Nicholas Bernard). Col. Beale’s wharf was where chairs from Salem, Massachusetts, were to be sold, undoubtly as venture, were found in an advertisement of June 1766 (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 1766). The importation of six chairs from Rhode Island was found in September 1766, as revealed through the Shipping Returns (South Carolina Shipping Returns, January 1764‑September 1767, entry for 27 September 1766). In June 1767 the inventory of William Banford (sp.?) revealed in the “Dining Room 2nd Floor” “…A Doz Mahogany Chairs Fluted & Carved and 2 Elbow Chairs in the Same Manner [£]40‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 867, 26 June 1767). In 1767 and 1768 Thomas Coleman, upholsterer, advertised that his business included “…mahogany chairs…[and]…all other articles in the mahogany business…” (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 15 December 1767,3‑1, 19 April 1768, 3‑2). September 1767 revealed an advertisement of Atkins and Weston, merchants, offering a London shipment which included “…twelve neat carved mahogany chairs…” (South Carolina Gazette, and Country Journal, Charleston, 29 September 1767). An advertisement of July 1768 revealed evidence for the venture process: “JUST IMPORTED from New York, in the Sloop Sally, Jesse Hunt, Master, and to be sold by the said Master, at a Store on Colonel Beale’s Wharf, NORTH WARD RUM, GENEVA, pressed HAY, HAMS, BEER in Barrels and Bottles, BISKET in Kegs, dried SHAD, Sets of Mahogany CHAIRS, CHOCLATE, a good Chair Horse, one Sail Boat, one long Boat, and sundry other Articles” (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 19 July 1768).

When Martha Bremar died in 1769, her invertory included “…6 Clawfeet Mahogany Chairs & Covers [£]24‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 177, 2 June 1769). By and large the greatest volume of a single form recorded in the Thomas Elfe Account Book were chairs. During the 1768‑1775 period covered in the account book, from 1771 to 1775, 661 mahogany side and arm chairs were sold with a lesser volume repaired and upholstered. The nomenclature at the time of the entries varied, but there was a certain continuity as to description and charges. A distillation of the evidence for this yielded the following examples, listed in increasing description and charges. Chairs as “Mahogany Chairs” were usually sold as six for £42.10 to £50 and twelve for £85 to £135. There were “Mahogany Chairs hair bottoms” that were six for £42.10 to £45 and twelve for £85 to £100. The “Mahogany chairs Scrole backs” cost £42.10 for six and for twelve £85 to £90. His “Mahogany splat back chairs” for six cost £65 and for twelve £130 to £170. The “Mahogany splat back [and] carved & brass nailed” were £65 and for twelve £130 to £180. A further variation on this was “6 Mahog Splat back chairs Compass seats £70” and “1 dozn chairs carved backs, compass scaled & brass nailed £230.” Further were the “Mahogany chairs with carved backs & brass nails (or “stuff over the rails”) for £90 for six and for twelve £125 to £180. The “Dozen of Chairs with carved Backs, fronts fluted and brass nailes £164” was a single entry as were the two of “6 Mahogany chairs commode fronts, carved backs and brass nails £85 [and] 2 elbow chairs of same pattern £42.” A single entry was also found for “6 Mahogany Splat back chair frames £55” he sold to Walter Russell, upholsterer, on 9 May 1774.

Occasionally repairs of chairs are noted, as in the 11 July 1775 entry for “Mending a Mahog [sic] chair £0.5 Stuffing 4 chair seats 1.‑ girt webb & tacks 1.‑“ (#226). In August 1770 John Nutt, cabinetmaker, was selling mahogany furniture consisting of “…Chairs of different Patterns…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 2 August 1770, 4‑2). Two months later, the vendue merchants, Oats and Russel were advertising an auction of furniture which included mahogany chairs at John Nutt’s (South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Charleston, 2 October 1770, 3‑2). In November of 1770, John Forthet, cabinetmaker, had decided to leave and was selling his stock which included chairs as was another cabinetmaker John Dobbins; however, apparently Forthet later took over the shop of Dobbins in December of the year (South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Charleston, 27 November 1770, 3‑1; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 6 December 1770, 2‑2). Richard Magrath of London was advertising in 1771 that he had for sale at auction “Half a Dozen of Carved Chairs, a Couch to match them, with Commode Fronts, and Pincushion Seats, of the newest Fashion, and of the first of that Construction ever made in this Province; Half a Dozen Ditto Ditto; Half a Dozen of plain Ditto…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 August 1771, 2‑1). After the auction Magrath again advertised that he still had some furniture for sale which included “…an half dozen of very genteel chairs…[also]…some very neat plain chairs” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5 September 1771, 2‑2). In 1772 Magrath advertised, calling himself a cabinetmaker and chairmaker, that he had furniture for sale including “…carved Chairs, of the newest fashion, splat Backs, with hollow Seats and Commode Fronts, of the same Pattern as those imported by Peter Mantigault, Esq.‑‑ He is now making some hollow seated Chairs, the Seats to take in and out, and nearly the Pattern of another Set of Chairs imported by the same Gentleman, which have a light, airy Look, and make the Sitting easy beyound Expression” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 July 1772, 3‑2). When Thomas Sneed, cabinetmaker, mortgaged his shop and apparently its contents of tools and furniture stock in 1772 , it included “…2 Mahogany Chairs without Bottoms…” (Charleston County Mortgages, No. D.D.D., 1771‑1777, p. 222, 9 October 1772, Thomas Sneed, Sr. to Jacob Valk). When Sir Egerton Leigh sold some of his household furniture in 1774, there were “…elegant white and Gold Cabriole Sophas and Chairs, covered with blue and white Silk…one other Set of Sophas and Chairs, covered with black and yellow Figures of Nuns Work on Silk…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 6 June 1774, 3‑2).

The 11 September 1776 inventory of Thomas Elfe contained “A Dozn Mahogany Chair Frames £100 [,] 2 Dozn Do @ £50 each[,] a Dozn Do £40” (Charleston County, S.C., Wills, Etc., Vol. 99A, 1776-1778 [transcript], p.116, 11 September 1776). Robert Pringle’s 1777 estate contained “…1 Dozn Mahogany Chairs & 2 Arm Do [£]180‑ …”, reflecting the escalating values in Charleston at this time (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.99B, 1774‑1778, p. 362, 10 December 1777). In 1778 William Luyten was selling “…a variety of Mahogany Chairs with hair seats…” as well as other furniture (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 12 February 1778, 1‑1). The 1779 inventory of James Parsons demonstrates the peak of values with “…1 Doz common sitting & 2 Elbow chairs [£]500‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 346, 27 October 1779).

The change to South Carolina currency was seen in the 1781 inventory of Andrew Marr, merchant, who died with “…One Dozn carved Neat Mahogany Chairs [£]17‑ …One pair Do Armed Chairs(suit do) [£]5‑ …One Dozn plain Mahogany Chairs Canvas Bottoms [£]9‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 200, 23 February 1781). The 1783 inventory of Abraham Hayne’s “Ponpon” plantation, in St. Paul Parish, contained “…Nine Neat Cross backed and two arm’d Mahogany Chairs [£]140‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.A, 1783‑1787, p. 165, 13 January 1783). A 28 August 1783 entry in the South Carolina Treasury Ledgers and Journals 1783-1791 (p. 12), finds a £2.5.2 payment to Wheeler & Cooke [Benjamin Wheeler and Thomas Cooke, cabinetmakers] for “mendg. stuffg. & alterg. the Speakers Chair of the Genl. Assembly”. The same record for 10 October 1783 finds Matthew Strong, ship master, being paid “for 45 Chairs, imported from Phil. for the use of the Hs. Represens. [£]38.12.6.” When the attorney John Dart died, his 1783 inventory included “…6 Neat Mahogany Chairs horse hair Seating with d[ou]ble Rows of Brass Nails @ 28/ each [£]8‑8‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 146, 14 October 1783). On 12 May 1784 the ship Minerva, from Philadelphia, entered Charleston, for the merchants Merrick and Course, with “18 Chairs made at Philadelphia no  duty Sundrys, The produce of the US” (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, p. 92). Evidence was found that in June 1784 a ship arrived in Charleston from Rotterdam, for the merchant John Lajusan, with a cargo of glass, iron chests, window glass, tables and “…6 1/2 doz Chairs…” (Duties on Trade at Charleston, South Carolina Treasury Records, 1784‑1789, p.94, 1 June 1784 [arrival]). An advertisement appeared in June 1784 which offered London furniture which included “24 dyed Chairs, yoke tops, with matted seats…48 Mahogany Chairs, loose seats in sattin [sic] hair cloth 4 Elbow Chairs to match…”(South Carolina Gazette, and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 5 June 1784). On 3 August 1784 the ship Carolina arrived in Charleston with “5 doz Chairs” onboard, along with other furniture (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, p. 106, Manifest No. 354). The ship Castle Douglas departed London on 19 October 1784 with a cargo for Charleston which included a shipment of furniture from the London upholsterers, appraisers and auctioneers Pitt and Chessy among which were “12 Chairs 16/ [£]9.12[,] 2 arm Chairs 24/ [£]2.8[,] 12 Chairs 25/ [£]15[,] 2 arm Chairs 35/ [£]3.10.” Also on the same ship was another shipment from the London auctioneer and upholsterer Nicholas Phene which included “Six [Mahogany] Chairs One Row Nails  16/ [£]4.16” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 700). Another ship, the Carolina, arriving on 1 December 1784, carried furniture which included “10 Doz Chairs” (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, 1 December 1784, Manifest No. 581, p. 152). Further evidence for the importation of this form from Europe was found in an advertisement of December 1784 by A.E. van Braam Houckgeest, merchant, who announced the arrival of one ship from Amsterdam and three other Dutch ships that contained furniture including “Mahogany Chairs” (South Carolina Gazette, and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 25 December 1784).

In the Journals of the Senate for 1785, it was found that, through a committee, it was “…Ordered… That a proper Chair and Gown, be provided for Mr. President… [and]… That the same committee be instructed to procure one dozen Mahogany Armed Chairs for the use of the Members of the House” (Records of the States of the United States of America, South Carolina, A.Ia 6, 1773‑1785, Journals of the Senate, 17 February 1785, p. 142). Unfortunately, the outcome of this was not located in any records, other than the fact that Felix Warley was paid £49.15.7 from the contingency funds of the South Carolina treasury on 4 April 1785 for “the Cost of an Official Robe for the President of the Senate & a gown for the Clk [clerk] of the Senate also an Official Chair for the President of the Senate pr. his Order…” (South Carolina Treasury Records, Journal, 1783‑1790, April 1785, p. 76.)

In February 1785 Martin Alken, upholsterer, “…arrived from London…” and advertised that he was capable of “…stuffing or repairing Chairs…” (South Carolina Gazette and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 19 February 1785, 1‑1). In 1785, the merchants John and Thomas Manson advertised that they had just imported and had for sale Mahogany furniture including chairs (South Carolina Gazette, and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 8 June 1785, 3‑3). On 10 July 1785 the ship Castle Douglas again sailed from London with “Six Mahogany Chairs 16/6 £4.19” and “1 Do [Mahogany] Elbow [Chair] [£]1.4.6” again from Pitt and Chessey (James Douglas Account Book, 10 July 1785, p. 237; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 700). The merchant Joseph Myers advertised in November 1786 that he had received from New York “A very neat Chair, with compleat harness; A few Mahogany and Windsor Chairs, with bottoms” (Charleston Morning Post and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 7 November 1786). This is obviously the offering of a riding chair; what is not obvious was undoubtly seating chairs being offered which were of mahogany and of windsor construction. The “with bottoms” could refer to the inclusion of “slip seats” with the mahogany chairs, which inferred that some entered without seats. This, of course, raises the issue of identification of chair origin upon the wood identification of seats. The ship Castle Douglas again arrived in Charleston from London whence it had sailed on 1 May 1786. In this cargo was a shipment from the London chairmaker, cabinetmaker, upholsterer, and joiner John Russell that included “Twelve Mahogany Chairs–Two Do [Mahogany] Elbows.” The following August, the Castle Douglas again sailed from London to Charleston with “30 Mahogany Chairs 12/ [£]18[,] 5 Do [Mahogany] arm Do [chairs] [£]4.10” from the London upholsterer, undertaker, and furniture wharehouse firm Wilson and Dawes (James Douglas Account Book, 1 May 1786, p. 303, 304; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 772, 986).

A 14 August 1786 auction contained “a sofa and six chairs, with blue sattin bottoms” along with other furnishings as part of two lots and buildings belonging to Gabriel Manigault (Charleston Evening Gazette, S.C., 26 July 1786). In 1787, William Luyton, cabinetmaker, sold his household furniture and “…Stock in Trade…” which included chairs (Charleston Morning Post, and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 January 1787, 1‑1). In May 1788, the auction company of David Denoon advertised a sale of furniture which included “a dozen of Chairs” all made by “Bankson and Lawson, of Baltimore, and warented to any made on the Continent, or imported at their invoice prices” (The Columbian Herald, Charleston, 22 May 1788). An advertisement of January 1789 by the merchants Huxam, Courtney, and Eales, offered “A few dozen best London made Mahogany CHAIRS…” (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 January 1789). The merchant Adam Gilchrist advertised in July, August, and December 1789 his offering of chairs and other furniture and goods from New York (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 July, 7 August, 15 December 1789). Later in August 1789, the merchant E. Smerdon advertised his offering of “ONE set of strong, servicable, London made mahogany chairs, consisting of twelve, and two elbows, of the best materials and workmanship, finished in a style superior to most articles of the kind imported into this country” (City Gazette, or Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 August 1789). The cabinetmaker John Powell’s November 1789 inventory of his tools and stock included “…6 Chairs Unfinished 30/ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 248, 7 November 1789).

The auction firm of David Denoon and Co. advertised in January 1790 that “Just arrived from Philadelphia…One dozen mahogany chairs covered with sattin haircloth, One dozen do. with canvas” along with other furniture; all of which would be auctioned (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 30 January 1790). In March 1790, Andrew Gifford, cabinetmaker, “…Just from New York…” was advertising that at “…his store…” there were for sale “Chairs of the best Patterns…” (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1790). With the move of Governor Charles Pickney, the state legislature, and all of the staff and records to Columbia on the first of December 1789, in preparation for the 4 January legislative sessions to begin in the new State House, apparently the state engaged Joshua Lockwood, merchant, to send some of its furniture to Columbia. On 7 April 1790 the South Carolina Treasury Journals recorded that for “…1218 Contingencies… Pd Joshua Lockwood pr Governors order for Freight of 46 Chairs @ 2/4, 1 Table & 1 Clock @ 9/4 ea from Chston to Fridigs Ferry (at S. Columbia on the Congaree River) [£]6‑6‑…” (South Carolina Treasury Records Journals, 1783‑1790, 1790‑1791, p. 547, 7 April 1790; payments were recorded in November of 1789 for “…making 26 Chests, 2 Large Cases,[:] 140 ft. rope, 30 Chests Locks 30 pr. Hinges 21 pr. Handles Boards Screws Nails &c &c [£]21.19.0 …” [30 November 1789, p. 525]; payments were also recorded in December 1789 for “…the Waggon hire of Boxes & other charges in conveying up the Books papers &c. of the Senate & House of Representatives to Columbia‑ [£]28.10.0 [and] the Hire of Eight Waggons to carry the Books papers Desks & c. of the Different Public Offices to Columbia [£]51.5.3…” [South Carolina Treasury Records Journals, 1783‑1790, 1790‑1791,1 December 1789, p. 531]).

The 1791 inventory of John Deas, Esq., contained “…12 Mahogany Chairs Hair bottoms & brass Nails with two Sets of Covers [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 358, 5 May 1791). The courts decided that furniture made from 1790‑1793 by James Burns for Violetta Wyatt should be paid. The furniture included “…10 ditto [Mahogany Chairs] @55/[£]27.10. …” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, #1075A, 14 August 1799). In March 1792, Bradford and Clements, upholsterer, cabinet and chairmaker, were advertising that they “…re‑stuffed and covered…” “second‑hand” chairs (State Gazette of South Carolina, Charleston, 19 March 1792, 3‑3). Later, in June and July 1792, they advertised that they had “…new neat chairs…” for sale, and would take orders for “…Chairs of various patterns…” (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston 28 June 1792; State Gazette of South Carolina, Charleston, 5 July 1792, 3‑1). John Francis Delorme was seen advertising in 1792 that he was from Paris and would upholster “…chairs, arm chairs…both in the English and French style”, and in 1795 that he had “…4 dozen mahogany chairs of fine tastes…” for sale (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 13 April 1792; City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 25 September 1795, 4‑4). In the 1792 Charleston inventory of Dr. George Haig there were “…10 Old Mahogany Chairs with flatt Backs [£]‑40‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 412, 20 July 1792 ). The circa 16 February 1793 inventory of William Jones, cabinetmaker, contained “Cutt up Chair Stuff 30/”, that appeared along with table and bedstead “stuff” which indicated wood prepared at some stage for the forms (Charleston County, S.C., Inventories, Vol. B, 1787-1793, p. 495, undated [c. 16 February 1793]). February of 1796 saw both John Marshall and Thomas Wallace independently advertising “fashionable” mahogany chairs (City Gazette and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15, 25 February 1796). In 1796, Edward Johnson, cabinetmaker, “late from Philadelphia”, opened a “Ware‑Room” and was selling furniture, including “…a variety of Chairs of newest patterns…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 April 1796). John Marshall was still advertising “…Several dozen Mahogany Chairs, newest fashion…” for sale in July of 1796 and 1797 (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 July 1796; City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16, 30 March 1797). Charles Watts, cabinetmaker, advertised in 1796 that he was selling “…New Patterns of Chairs, from London…” (City Gazette and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 August 1796, 1‑2). The same year saw Alexander Calder, cabinetmaker, selling “…handsome Chairs…of the newest fashion” (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 10 December 1796). “Of the newest fashion” was also the description that Jacob Sass put on his chairs that he was selling at his “Ware‑Room” in 1797 (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797, 2‑3). The 1 June 1797 inventory of Anthony Kennedy, planter, revealed what was undoubtly materials for turned chairs being made on his land as “1 do [lot] of Turners Tools & turners Stuff for Chairs.” This was preceeded by shoemaker’s tools (Charleston County, Inventories, Vol. C 1793-1800, p. 275, 1 June 1797). Mahogany chairs from Philadelphia were being sold by William Cocks, cabinet warehouseman, in 1798 (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 September 1798). The 1798 inventory of Daniel DeSaussure included “…one Stuff back Chair [£]‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 370, 29 December 1798). The cabinetmaker Nicholas Silberg charged William Wragg Esq. on 21 March 1799 for “…Repairing and Stuffing twelve Chairs @17/ each [£]10.4.0 …” and on 24 May 1799 for “…Stuffing Eighteen Chairs @14/ each [£]12.12.0 …” (Wragg Papers, 1798‑1800, 11/466/14, South Carolina Historical Society). William Marshall, attorney, advertised an impending auction, in October 1799, of household items that included “Mahogany Arm Chairs in good order” (South Carolina Gazette and General Advertiser, Charleston, 3 October 1799).

Mr. John Singleton of Sumpter District was purchasing furniture in 1799 and 1800 from Jacob Sass which included “…Twenty Mahogany Chairs two with Elbows and eighteen without [£]68.9.0 [and] forty yards Ozenberg for Packing [£]2.0.0 …” (Singleton Family Papers, 1759‑1911, Folder #2, Cat. No. 668 S.C., 15 May 1799, 17 January 1800, 12 April 1800, Southern Historical Collection). The cabinetmaking firm of Watson and Woodill sold furniture to William Clement in 1799 and 1800 that included “…14 Mahogany Chairs [£]46‑…” an action of the court in 1807 was necessary for them to collect (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, #174A, Watson and Woodill vs. William Clement, 13 June 1807 [chairs were sold 25 January 1800]). In 1801, the arriving merchant John Bride, from London, advertised that he had “…a few sets of the most elegant MAHOGANY CHAIRS the London manufacture can produce. They were not made for exportation, but intended for a man of fashion, who afterwards declined house‑keeping; are truly supurb, and modern patterns, being manufactured in December last” (Times, Charleston, 14 April 1801, 3‑3). This is evidence there was a lower quality of London furniture made for export.

The merchants Griffith and Manciee advertised in January 1802 that they had received from London “…Several sets of London made Mahogany Chairs, neat handsome patterns, with Sattin [sic] Hair Seating Bottoms and Princes Metal Nailed, of an excellent quality…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 January 1802). An advertisement of April 1802 by the merchants Edward Gardner and Co. revealed the arrival of a ship from Bourdeaux, France, that, among its cargo, contained “6 dozen elegant chairs” for sale (South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 13 April 1802).  Watts and Walker, cabinetmakers, were selling “…Mahogany Chairs, newest patterns…” in 1802 and 1803 (Times, Charleston, 27 November 1802, 3‑2; City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 30 November 1802, 4‑4, 9 February 1803). The firm of Thomas Oliphant and William Haydon, the latter being from Philadelphia, were advertising in 1802 that they had Philadelphia-made furniture for sale that included chairs (Times, Charleston, 6 December 1802). Mahogany chairs were also being sold by William Walker, cabinetmaker, in 1803 (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 March 1803).

Thomas Wallace was selling “New MAHOGANY FURNITURE” in April 1803, including chairs, implying the practice of selling “second hand furniture” made by others (Times, Charleston, 12 April 1803). James Scot, merchant, advertised in July 1803 that there would be a sale of “…2 Doz. London made Mahogany Chairs…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 19 July 1803). In January 1804, an advertisement of the sale of the contents of the schooner Republican, from Philadelphia, which had been “cast away in Bull’s Bay,” included “3 dozen Mahogany Chairs” with other furniture (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 17 January 1804). Robert Walker, advertising for himself in February 1804, was selling chairs among a variety of furniture all of the “…newest and most approved patterns” (Times, Charleston, 14 February 1804).

Baltimore was supplying chairs in August 1804 with the advertisement by Thomas Ball, master of the schooner Roby, who offered “first quality CHAIRS” along with other cargo from Baltimore (Charleston Courier, Chartleston, 18 August 1804). In 1804 the firm of Oliphant, Calder & Co. were selling furniture including mahogany chairs, and with the absolution of the partnership Calder offered mahogany chairs along with other furniture forms (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 3 May, 1 November 1804, 28 January 1805). When Robert Walker was advertising, in February 1805, “WARRENTED FURNITURE, Being of the latest and most approved LONDON FASHIONS,” which included chairs, he also said that he had “…at present engaged a number of the ablest Workman [sic]…” implying that this furniture for sale was of London make, but he could now begin to make furniture (Times, Charleston, 19 February 1805, 3‑3). This was demonstrated the following year as he advertised that “…by the last arrival from London, has received some new Patterns of CHAIRS” (Times, Charleston, 18 January 1806, 3‑3; Charleston Courier, Charleston, 19 February 1806, 3‑4). When Esther Azuby, the widow of the Rabbi Azuby, died in 1805, her estate included “…6 Mahogany Chairs with round backs $8 [and] 7 ditto ditto Square ditto $7…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 356, ____June[?] 1805, [death notice City Gazette, Charleston, 31 May 1805]).

There was declining evidence for mahogany chairs being sold after circa 1800 as the fancy and windsor forms were so frequently mentioned that the differentation between them was not always possible. In February 1807, the merchant John P. White and Co. advertised his offering of “Chairs of different qualities, some very elegant” that were from New York (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 11 February 1807). The records of the Independent Congregational (Circular) Church, in Charleston, revealed that on 19 August 1808 the church paid Job Palmer, house carpenter, for “making a new Table for Communion Service” and also for “a Chair for [the] C. [communion] Table” (Accounts of the Independent Congregational [Circular] Church, South Carolina Historical Society). Evidence for the sale of goods aboard a ship was found in an advertisement of September 1810 by John Stoney, merchant, whereby William Bunce, master, could be contacted for the sale “on Board” of goods from Philadelphia, which included “Chai[r]s, of different patter[n]s” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 25 September 1810). A receipt exists that reveals the purchase of “14 chairs at $3 each $42” from “J. [John] Simmons,” auctioneer, on 20 November 1812 by Daniel Huger (Bacot Huger Collection, Daniel Huger Business, 11/48/10, South Carolina Historical Society Collection). On 2 September 1814, cabinetmaker Charles Coquereau mortgaged his household furniture to Maria B. Chevalier as well as “all the Setting Chairs making or shall be made finished or finishing in his work shop together with all the wood and other material necessary for fabricating and manufacturing the same” (Charleston. Co., S.C. Mortgages, No. N.N.N., 1808‑1816, p. 409, 2 September 1814). Capt Bunce again advertised as the shipper of Philadelphia goods in April 1817, which were to be sold by Archibald Whitney, merchant; the list contained chairs along with other seating forms (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 15 April 1817).

Continuing evidence was seen for the stuffing of chairs by John Francis Delorme in October 1818 and by Thomas C. Jones in 1820 (Courier, Charleston, 27 October 1818,4‑3, 27 June 1820, 1‑3). December 1817 found the merchant John Woddrop advertising “…chairs, a great variety…” from London (Courier, Charleston, 15 December 1817). January 1818 found William Rawson, cabinetmaker from Providence, Rhode Island, selling chairs that he had warehoused from his family’s northern business; this continued with several advertisements through 1820 (Courier, Charleston, 28 January, 27 October, 10 November 1818, 12 January, 27 June 1820). On 11 November 1818, Abiel Abbot, a visitor from New England, recorded in his journal a description of the building that housed the South Carolina Society and included the following statement: “The Hall occupies the whole extent of the 2d floor, at the head of which is the Steward’s seat under a canopy…” (South Carolina Historical Magazine, 68:59). This “seat” can be construed as an allusion to a general chair form.

 

Back Stool (1771-1773)—The earliest of this form is thought to have been referred to as a Low Chair (q.v.). The later chair form with an upholstered, continous back-to-seat was found to have been advertised by Richard Fowler, upholsterer and paperhanger, in 1771 and 1772, as he was able to upholster “French Back Stools” and “… has six elegant French Back Stools, covered with very rich Brocade, which he will sell very cheap for cash or short credit” (South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Charleston, 22 October 1771, 3‑2; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 May 1772, 3‑3). The “French Back Stool” was illustrated in the 1765 Genteel Houshold Furniture In the Present Taste with one plate (No. 28), the designs of which are similar to the back stools of Ince and Mayhew (1762) and Manwaring (1765). The Elfe Account Book contains a single entry for back stools on 23 December 1772, for “…2 back stools £30‑ …” to John Matthews, Sr. (Account #126, 23 December 1772). The 1773 advertisement of Walter Russell, upholsterer, who had “Lately arrived from LONDON,” revealed that he could “…perform his work in the most fashionable Manner now executed in Europe… [on]… Back‑stool[s]…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 November 1773, 2‑3).

 

Bamboo Chair (1800-1812)—“Bamboo” was seen as a descriptive term rather than as a chair form. The first occurrence was in an 1800 advertisement of Watson and Woodhill, cabinetmakers and upholsterers, who announced that they “…have just received, and have for sale at their Ware‑House… A variety of the newest fashioned BAMBOO CHAIRS…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 22 May 1800). The origin of the chairs was not given. The form undoubtly was in imitation of bamboo and probably was of the “fancy” variety popular during this period. The next use of the term was found in April 1804 with the advertisement of Crocker and Hichborn, merchants, who offered “1 dozen Bamboo CHAIRS…” from New York (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 16 April 1804). Later, in January 1812, an advertisement by M. Kelly, merchant, listed “An elegant assortment of CHAIRS, some with elegant Landscape paintings, Bamboo Chair Stuff in boxes”; it is unclear what “Stuff in boxes” refers to (Times, Charleston, 2 January 1812).

 

Barber’s Chair (1820-1820)—In 1820, the firm of Richard W. Otis & Co. announced that they had “…Barbers’ and Childrens Chairs…” for sale, from New York (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 26 July 1820, 3‑3).

 

Bed Chair (1737-1820)—The 1737 inventory of Henry Michael Cooke, gentlemen, included “one old & old Fashioned chair Bedstead [£] 1‑,” with a value of £1; the same value given to other chairs and an “old couch” in the inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 176, 20 June 1737). It should be assumed is that the “chair Bedstead” was not a couch and that the appraisers knew the difference. A “chair bedstead” described as “old” in 1737 could have been of the English “sleeping chair” or sick/invalid chair (q.v.) form popular in the late seventeenth century (Peter Thornton, Seventeenth-Century Interior Decoration in England, France and Holland [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979], pp. 196-201, figs. 175-182). This form has a back that is adjustable/reclinable by ratchets or straps on the arms junction with the back and hinges on the back and rear rail juncture. Whether for sleeping or sickness the “chair Bedstead” of the 1737 Charleston inventory is the earliest mention of this form in South Carolina. Later, on 15 February 1774, the Thomas Elfe Account Book, in the “Shop Account,” recorded the sale of a bed chair for ten pounds. This was most likely the product of the Elfe shop and—as this was the only one recorded as sold by the shop—it possibly was made through a special order.

When the inventory of Daniel Cannon was appraised in 1803, “…1 do [mahogany] Bed Chair $3….” was listed. Just where this bed chair was located in the house could not be determined as the “household goods” were collected into catagories and rooms were not definable (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, p. 197, 8 March 1803). The Charleston Poor House Journal recorded the 4 May 1803 purchase of a bed chair for $10 from the cabinetmaker William Walker (Poor House Journal, Vol. 1, 1801‑1810, 4 May 1803). Thomas Sheraton’s Cabinet Dictionary (1803‑1806) defines the form as “for a bed occasionally… a trunk below the seat, which is intended for the bed clothes. When the frame is folded quite down, within the seat, the cushion is placed upon it, and the back cushion being loose, is laid upon the frame when opened out, so that both of them make up nearly the whole length of the frame [and] for sick persons and functioned in the bed form by an adjustable back.” Sheraton further mentions that there are “side wings at top as a fence to the head” (Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary Vol. II [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], p. 336). Probably by the time Sheraton’s definition was written there was no distinction made between a bed chair or a sick chair, further, the main function of this form could have been for the invalid or sick as other furniture forms were available for sleeping while not in bed (i.e., couches, sofas, or hammocks).

The 12 November 1814 inventory of James Stiff, tavernkeeper, revealed “a do [mahogany] bed chair $2” on the third-story of his house, where it was listed along with three bedsteads (Charleston County Inventories, E (1810-1818), p. 246, 12 November 1814). This form is found inland from Charleston in the Camden, S.C., March 1819 inventory of John Chestnut, merchant, in a receipt: “to do [repairing] a bed chair $.75” (James Chestnut Papers, 1803-1818, 18 March 1819, Folder 2, Manuscript Department, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina). On 15 May 1821 the Charleston auctioneer Edward Lynah advertised items for a later sale that included both London-made and “Charleston-make” furniture. Among the latter were “Easy and Bed Chairs” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821). A surviving example of the bed chair has not yet been found in the Lowcountry.

 

Cabriole Chair (1774-1792)—The first use of this term was in 1774 with the description of furniture being sold of Sir Egerton Leigh: “…elegant white and Gold Cabriole Sophas and Chairs, covered with blue and white Silk…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 6 June 1774, 3‑2). This was seen again in 1779 with the auction at the “…House of Alexander Wright, Esq; amongst which are, twelve Cabriole Chairs…” (Gazette of the State of South Carolina, Charleston, 3 February 1779, 3‑3). The 1786 advertisement of Thomas Bradford, upholsterer and cabinetmaker, announced that “…cabriole chairs…[could be]…made after the most fashionable manner” (Charleston Evening Gazette, 22 February 1786). The “Parlor” of Daniel Horry’s house, as revealed in his 1787 inventory, included “…1 Dozn Cabriole Chairs with Damask Covers [£]24‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 41, 14 September 1787). In 1792, the partnership of Bradford and Clements, upholsterers and cabinetmakers, announced that they could make “…cabriole sofas and chairs of various patterns…” (State Gazette of South Carolina, Charleston, 5 July 1792, 3‑1). Thomas Sheraton, in 1803, describes this form as “…a French easy chair…[and]…a cabriole arm‑chair is stuffed all over” (Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet Dictionary, Vol.I [Praeger Publishers: New York, 1970], pp. 19, 120, pl. 8, no. 1).

 

Camp Chair (1783-1783)—In the 1783 inventory of Henry Beysel there were “…3 Camp Chairs…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 74, 11 April 1783). Thomas Sheraton, in 1803, defined this form as “…for a camp, made to fold up, the back and bottom of which are formed of girth‑webbing…” (Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet Dictionary, Vol. I [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], p. 20, pl. 8, No. 7).

 

Chamber Chair (1741-1803)—Walter Roland, upholsterer, advertised in 1741 that he could perform “…all kinds of Upholstery in the best Manner…[on]…Chamber Chairs…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 November 1741, 3‑1). The 1759 inventory of Peter Leigh, Esq., included “…6 Walnut Bed Chamber Chairs with Chintz Covers [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 436, 15 September 1759). In 1770, the inventory of Daniel Doyley, Esq., included “…5 old Chamber Chairs…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 294, 18 July 1770). The cabinetmaker and upholsterer Richard Magrath, in 1771, advertised that in a sale of furniture at his house there will be “…Chamber Ditto [chairs]…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 August 1771, 2‑1). The 1776 inventory of Benjamin Webb included “…half a Doz chamber chairs with blue bottoms [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 7, 16 November 1776). The 1791 inventory of John Deas included “…3 Chamber Chairs 30/…(Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 358, May 1791). The cabinetmaker Edward Johnson advertised in 1796 that he was selling from his “Ware‑Room” furniture that included “…Beautiful japanned Chairs, or painted for Do [drawing rooms], or bed chambers…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 April 1796). The cabinetmaker and upholsterer John Watson advertised, in 1796, that he had “…a few dozen of handsome Drawing and Chamber Room Chairs…” for sale (City Gazette and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 22 August 1796, 2‑5).

It is interesting that the term changed to “Bed Room Chairs” with the arrival of John Francis Delorme, upholsterer, who said that he was “…From Paris [and] has for Sale… 3 or 4 dozen Drawing Room and Bed Room Chairs…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 1 March 1797). Thomas Sheraton illustrates two “BED ROOM CHAIRS” in his 1803 The Cabinet Dictionary (pl. 30). There were some who clung to the earlier term, such as James Bulgin, merchant, who announced that his consignment aboard the brig Columbia included “elegant… chamber chairs” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 April 1801); E. Wood, cabinetmaker and chairmaker, who was selling “…chamber chairs…” in 1802 (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 26 November 1802, 3‑3); and William Haydon, cabinetmaker and fancy chairmaker, in 1803, who advertised “…Handsome Parlour and Chamber Chairs, with cane, rush and wooden seats, from three to six dollars per chair” (Times, Charleston, 5 April 1803, 3‑3).

 

Child’s Chair (1736-1787)—The first reference to this form was found in the 1736 inventory of John Lloyd with “…2 Childrens Do [chairs] [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 424, 28 May 1736). Jonathan Ashby possessed “…1 Childs Do [chair]…” in his 1758 inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 13, 20 June 1758). The first wood identified as used for this form was found with the 1764 inventory of Reverend Robert Barron, who had a “…Mahogany Chair for a Child…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 256, 30 June 1764). This form was apparently being sold at the store of James Poyas, for his account book for 1764 recorded the sale of “…2 Child’s Chairs [£]1‑10‑…” to Reverend Samuel Fenner Warren (James Poyas Account Book, p. 498, Account #199, 4 October 1764). The Thomas Elfe Account Book recorded the mending and sale of this form, the latter of which ranged in value from six to twelve pounds. They varied in description: “…a childs chair… a Mahog[any] childs chair… a childs Arm chair…[to]…a child’s chair carved…” (Accounts #90, 5 October 1771; #78 and #278, 15 June 1774; #147, 1 October 1773; #128 [Humphrey Sommers], 23 December 1772). With the 1787 inventory of Myer Moses, which included “…1 Childs green chair 1/6…,” the question of the child’s chair being of the Windsor variety should be raised—the importation of Windsors had been in progress for some time, the chair was given a low value, and that it was painted green. However, the chair could have been of a “common” construction (i.e., locally made with a post‑and‑rung form and woven seat) (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 199, 26 March 1787). Because citations for Windsors chairs were so frequent in this form, further evidence of children’s chairs is presented within the “Windsor” section.

 

Close Stool (1695-1776)—The close stool was first encountered in Charleston in 1695 with the inventory of John Parker, which contained “…one Close Stoole & pan [£]0‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, 29 July 1695). The first recorded evidence of the importation of the close stool in Charleston was with the 1718 arrival of the Emperor of London, which contained, among other cargo, “…3 Close Stools…” (South Carolina Shipping Returns, December 1716‑December 1719; this cargo arrived 21 May 1718). That the “Close Stools” were listed in the ship’s manifest among other furniture forms but were not grouped specifically among the chairs reveals that there were probably types of close stools that were not of the chair form. Such an assumption is bolstered by the 1719 will of Elizabeth Raven, which contained “…One Close Stool pan and a Case to it…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1772‑1726, p. 141, 20 May 1719). This box or case with a pan was a seventeenth-century form and Raven’s inventory is the single documentation for it in Charleston (Peter Thornton, Seventeenth‑Century Interior Decoration in England, France and Holland [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978], p. 324, pl. 312‑314). The close stool box or case might have been used in some way with a stand, as evidenced by a 1751 citation: “1 Dutch Close Stool Stand [£]0‑10‑“ (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, 2 October 1751, Edward Fowler).

In 1732, the inventory of James Le Chantre contained “…1 Close Stool [£]1‑…,” which equaled the value of “…1 Ordinary Oval Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 101, 25 August 1732). The 1733 inventory of Jonathan Main included “…1 round close Stule [sic] & a warming Pan [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 55, 20 April 1733). The 1735 arrival of the Queen Elizabeth from London brought close stools, textiles, brassware, and paint (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 November 1735, 3‑1). The 1737 shop inventory of Joshua Marriner included “…15 Close Stools @ 25/each [£]18‑15‑0…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 264, 26 September 1737). In a November 1737 advertisement of John Beswicke, merchant, were “…close stools and pans…” among other items from London (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5 November 1737). In 1738, the inventory of Stephen Leacroft contained “…5 Chairs and Two Stools with Brass Bottoms [£]3‑10‑ …,” which could be close stools (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 294, 3 January 1738).

The merchant Robert Wilson advertised in May 1741 his offering of close stools (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 May 1741). The plantation of “Pick Pocket,” owned by Colonel William Hext, contained “…1 Close Stool Chair [£]10‑ …” in Hext’s inventory of 1742, which is the first connection of the form to a chair (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 187, 26 June 1742 [recorded]). Prior to this, it was not clear if a close stool within a box was being inventoried or one in a chair form; the author believes that prior to 1742 the pan‑in‑a‑box was the most common form of the close stool. The 1742 inventory of Reverend James Parker included “…a Close Stool Easy Chair [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 235, 22 September 1742). Andrew Broughton’s 1743 inventory included “…1 Close Stool [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 197, 6 June 1743). The 1743 inventory of Dr. Philip Ayton included “…A Close Stool [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 471, 24 June 1743). In 1743 the inventory of Edward Keating included “…A new close stool & pan [£]7‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 319, 19 October 1743). The 1745 inventory of Richard Wrights revealed a “…Mahogany Close Stool & Pan…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 164, 13 May 1745). That two pans were seen with one close stool was evinced in the 1746 inventory of Dr. Joseph Gaultier with “…1 Close Stool 2 Pan[s] [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 22, 3 September 1746). The 1749 inventory of “The Spring” plantation, the estate of Benjamin Gordin, included another term for the close stool with arms: “…1 Elbow Chair with pewter pan [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 170, 20 and 21 June 1749).

In December 1750, Thomas Smith, merchant, offered “…close stool chairs…” for sale, which were from London (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 10 December 1750). Mr.  Elisha Ball died in 1751 with “…1 Close Stool [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 133, 8 November 1751). Another variation on the term was found in 1760 with the extensive inventory of Martha D’harriette as “…one necessary Do [chair]…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 541, 29 March 1760). The 1760 inventory of John Cleland had “…2 Mahogany stools and a Close Stool & Pan [£]5‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 592, 15 July 1760). In the cabinetmaker and chairmaker Thomas Lining’s 1763 shop inventory there were “…2 Mahogany Close stool Chairs [£]20‑…” within the tools and benches, which probably indicates that they were finished and a product of his shop (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 87B, 1761‑1763 [transcript], p. 634, c. September 1763). In 1763, Richard Baker paid the partnership of Townsend and Axson for “…a Close Stool Chair [£]13‑…” (Baker‑Grimke Papers‑Receipts, Charleston, SCHS 11‑535/539; 33‑25, 16 May 1763). The form was further defined in 1764 by the inventory of John McQueen, who had “…1 Close Stool Elbow Chair of Mahogany [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 298, 2 February 1764).

Blacksmith John Edward’s estate appraisal of 1770 listed “1 Close Stool Box & pewter pan [£]2” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 337, 7 November 1770.) The proximity of usage was inferred in the 1771 Goose Creek inventory of John McKenzie with “…1 Mahogany Close Stool & bason Stand [£]25‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑94B, 1771‑1774, p. 102, August 1771). Richard Magrath advertised in 1771 that he had “…Close Stool Elbow Chairs…” to sell at an auction at his house (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 August 1771, 2‑1). Within the Thomas Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775), it becomes evident that the form was a popular item with the public, apparently out of necessity, for forty were sold during the period of the account book. There were variations on the form in Elfe’s shop that took the descriptions and value ranges of: “…close stool chair £12‑… close stool elbow chair £15‑[to £16]… close stool corner chair £12‑… 2 comd [commode meaning serpentine front] close stool chairs £24‑…” and, if possible, the shop sold “…a peweter pan [for 2.10 pounds]… castors [for 1.5 pounds]…” to accompany the close stool (Thomas Elfe Account Book, various accounts). The 1776 inventory of Thomas Elfe included within the shop listing “…3 Close Stool Chairs [£]36‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 99A‑B, 1776‑1778, p. 116, 11 September 1776). When Richard Lambton died, his 1777 inventory included in the “Bed Chamber” “…1 Armchair with Convenience [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 369, 2 May 1777). The term “close stool” was not seen again and in 1766 we find that the term had changed to “Night Chair” [q.v.].

 

Common Chair (1755-1813)‑‑‑ the term “common chair” is occasionally encountered within documents and it is assumed that the form is post‑and‑rung turned with various woven bottoms and frequently painted. That they were not of the Windsor form is demonstrated with consecutive listings of “common” and “Windsor” chairs named as such in the same inventory. The first evidence of common chairs was in 1755 with the inventory of the artist Alexander Gordon who possessed “…6 Common Chairs & 1 Elbow do. £3‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 435, October 1755). With the aforestated theory of the common chair being a turned form, the 1762 advertisement of Richard Bird, upholsterer, provides an interesting variation on upholstering: he lists “…common chairs…” as one of the forms he treated (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 18 September 1762, 3‑2). Further values of this form can be found in the 1765 inventory of Frederick Grunsweig, which listed “…6 common Chairs £4‑… 6 Common Chairs 60/ [along with] 1 Windsor Chair [£]2‑… .” One of the appraisers was Thomas Elfe (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 389, 14 January 1765).

A case in which the value of furnishings was of such high value that “common” was possibly raised to a higher level with a meaning of “lesser” can be found in the Lord Campbell’s inventory. In Lord William Campbell’s breakfast parlor there were “7 Common Do. [Chairs] w/Do. [Hair Bottoms] [£]9‑9‑0” and in his dining parlor “7 Do. [Large] Do. [Mahogany] Common Do. [Chairs] with Do. [Hair Bottoms]” according to the c. April 1777 inventory taken of his household goods (B.P.R.O. T1/541, p. [3], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777). That common chairs were turned is evinced with the 1784 advertisement of Andrew Redmond, turner, who “…carries on… Turnery in all its Branches [and] Likewise [in the manner of] Philadelphia Windsor Chairs, either armed or unarmed, as neat as any imported, and much better stuff [wood]; Common Chairs… .” This implies that the “Windsor Chairs” were not riding chairs; nonetheless, Redmond was making common chairs of turned members (South Carolina Gazette and General Advertiser, Charleston, 13 January 1784). Also a turner, William Eden sold Captain John Singleton, in 1813, “…5 Dozen & 1/2 common chairs @ $ per doz $99…” (Singleton Family Papers, 1759‑1811, folder #7, 4 October 1813).

Corner Chair (1737-1777)—This form was first found in 1736/7 in the Dorchester inventory of John Whitfield with “…3 Corner Do [chairs] [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 73, 26 February 1736/7). An interesting inventory was that of Elianor Sandwell, brasier and pewterer, whose 1751 appraisal was organized by rooms. The “Dining Room” contained “…1 Dozen Leather Bottom chairs[,] 2 Do [dozen leather bottom or leather bottom only] Chairs & 2 Stools where of 1 is broke [£]45‑…” and the “Chamber Below stairs,” which was a bedroom, revealed “…Cain as Drawn but unworked for one Dozen of chairs and one Stool £6‑… ” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 190, 4 December 1751). The inventory reveals that someone, possibly within the household, was caning chairs and stools at this late date of 1751. That the appraisers could judge the capacity of the amount of caning material present was validated when investigation revealed that all three appraisers were merchants; however, the question remains of how they knew that the volume of caning material was not all for chairs—why “and one Stool”? Could it be that twelve of the chairs and the “broke” stool of the dining room were in the process of being caned, or needed caning? It is unclear.

In 1759, John Packrow, cabinetmaker, joiner, and chairmaker, took to the courts to satisify an unpaid charge, part of which was “…To making a Corner Chair [£]12‑…” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, S.C. Judgment Rolls, Box 51A, #240A, John Packrow vs. Mary Wigg, 30 October 1760, date of original bill was 12 October 1759). The 1760 inventory of Francis Bremar contained with a bedstead “…1 Corner Chair & pan [£]4‑ …,” which illustrates that all corner chairs were not exclusive to the entertaining rooms (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 563, 25 June 1760). When Mrs. Mary Lloyd died, her 1764 inventory revealed “…2 Do [mahogany] corner Do [chairs]…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 43, 5 March 1764). Corner chairs were seen listed with the “close stool” form in the Thomas Elfe Account Book when he charged for forty chairs while only two were specified as being “…close stool corner chair [and] corner chair [with] a pewter pan…” Of the others, some may have been of a corner design and not specificed because the charges did not reveal a form difference (Thomas Elfe Account Book, Account #71, 11 February 1773 and #192, 20 December 1774).

The cabinetmaker William Luyten was selling, in 1778, furniture that included “…corner chairs…” (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 12 February 1778, 1‑1). The 1791 inventory of Alexander Inglis recorded in the “Bed Chamber” “…1 Mahogany Corner Chair [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 369, May 1791). It is thus apparent that the corner chair could be constructed with low or shaped rails and/or aprons to conceal a pan or without to be used in areas of entertainment; the inventories do not always specify. The location within a house where some inventories record corner chairs sometimes suggests their functions. By 1800, the corner chair was a rarely documented in advertisements and inventories.

 

Couch Chair (1772-1777)—See also Couch Bedstead and Settee. The “couch” form is included among seating furniture due to the evolution of the “couch bedstead’ into primarily a seating function. This is demonstrated by the “settee” form, or “Settee Couches” as they were termed and illustrated in the 1762 Genteel Household Furniture In the Present Taste (pl. 25). In the Thomas Elfe Account Book there were charges (1772 and 1774) for two “Couch Chairs”: “…a Couch Chair and Couching [£]35‑ [and] a couch chair [£]35‑…” (Accounts #86, 24 August 1772 and #182, 28 June 1774). As both of these couches were recorded with upholstery, it is impossible to understand the value of the wooden form. As there is no record of Elfe selling a “settee,” it could be assumed that “couch chair” was his term for the settee form and not a couch bedstead. Another upholstered couch appears in the 1777 inventory of the goods left in the house occupied by Lord William Campbell, the last royal governor of South Carolina, as “1 Hair Couch‑ Mahogany Frame on Castors & 2 Bolsters [£]7‑7‑0,” which was recorded in the breakfast parlor (B.P.R.0. T1/541, p. [3], Ld. William Campbell Inventory, c. April 1777).

 

Curricle Chair (1817-1817)—The first use of this term was in the advertisement of J. Simmons Bee of the Charleston Auction Establishment in 1817 for the sale of “…English Made FURNITURE, of latest fashions… 2 Rosewood Curricle Chairs…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 23 June 1817, 3‑5). Sheraton’s The Cabinet Dictionary of 1803 defines and illustrates two of this form as for dining parlors “…affording easier access to a dining table…” (Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet Dictionary Vol. I [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], pp. 18, 185, pl. 6).

 

Dining Chair (1784-1784)—This form might have been of the Windsor type; however, since it remains an ambiguous term, it is presented within the “General” chair section. On 21 April 1784, the ship Philadelphia entered Charleston with Windsor chairs and “6 ditto [dozen] dining ditto [chairs] the manufacture of the united States, Therefore No duty by Law” (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, p. 91). In 1765, Manwaring mentions on his title page that any chairs could be used for dining and therefore did not title any plates for this purpose (The Cabinet and Chair-maker’s Real Friend and Companion ).

 

Drawing Room Chair (1795-1820)—John Francis Delorme was the first to use the “drawing room” term, in a 1795 advertisement with “…a dozen of drawing room chairs…” offered for sale, although their origin was not specified (City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 10 February 1795). Edward Johnson advertised in 1796 that, at his “Ware‑House” there was furniture for sale that included “…Beautiful Japanned Chairs, or painted for Do [a drawing room]…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 April 1796). In 1796, John Watson, cabinetmaker and upholsterer, advertised that he had “…a few dozen of handsome Drawing and Chamber Room Chairs…” (City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 22 August 1796, 2‑5). In 1797, Delorme was again advertising with “…3 or 4 dozen Drawing Room and Bedroom Chairs…” for sale (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 1 March 1797). The next year Delorme was offering “…New and second hand Drawing Room Chairs…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 January 1798, 3‑3). William Cocks, cabinet warehouseman, in 1798, advertised that furniture “…just imported from Philadelphia [included] Drawing‑Room Chairs of new fashions…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 September 1798, 3‑3).

That this form was made in Charleston was revealed in the 1801 advertisement of William Haydon who had for sale “…a FEW dozen elegant japanned, black and gold RUSH‑BOTTOMED CHAIRS… one set of Drawing‑Room do. with Stuff[ed] Bottoms… .” He added a note at the end saying “…W.H. being the manufacture of the above articles, will engage to deliver them in as perfect a condition as when just finished” (Times, Charleston, 10 April 1801, 3‑4). On 29 April of the same year, 1801, James Bulgin, a Charleston merchant, announced that he had landing aboard the brig Columbia “A consignment of elegant Drawing Room, Parlour, and Chamber chairs,” adding that they were made by “one of the first makers in London.” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 April 1801). In 1803, Haydon further defines this form as “…Elegant and fashionable Drawing Room Chairs, with stuff, cane and rush seats, from five dollars to twenty per chair” (Times, Charleston, 5 April 1803, 3‑3). It was during this time that Sheraton’s Drawing Book (1792‑1802) and Cabinet Dictionary (1803) both illustrated this form and described it, in the latter, as “…the produce of studied  elegance…” (Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book [New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1972], pp.11, 23, 85, plates 6, 10, 32, 34; The Cabinet Dictionary Vol.II [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], pp. 201‑202, plate 47).

December 1810 found M. and R. Brenan, merchants, advertising “a few sets of very handsome Drawing Room Chairs, gilt and ornamented…,” which were from Philadelphia (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 7 November 1810). In March 1811, William Payne, auctioneer, advertised a sale of “A SET of London made DRAWING ROOM FURNITURE‑‑‑consisting of a Sofa: 18 Arm Chairs, with cane bottoms, and Cushions covered with chintz…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 6 March 1811). An advertisement of April 1816 revealed that James Jacks, jewler and merchant, was offering “…on consignment, 14 handsome Drawing‑Room CHAIRS, of a very superior quality” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 20 April 1816). The merchant J. Simmons Bee advertised in November 1816 his offering from Philadelphia “A set of handsome drawing‑room Chairs…” (Times, Charleston, 14 November 1816). Identified as from England, the Charleston Auction Establishment was selling, in June 1817, “…12 Rosewood Drawing Room Chairs, with cane seats cushions and covers…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 23 June 1817, 3‑5). May 1818 found Archibald Whitney offering “12 DOZEN Drawing Room CHAIRS, new Patterns and elegantly finished; among which are 12 Drawing Room Grecian CHAIRS…” (Times, Charleston, 2 May 1818). The Philadelphia version of this form was being offered in June 1818 by George Timmons, merchant, in his store on the “Vendue Range,” as “…5 dozen handsome Drawing Room Chairs…” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 24 June 1818, 3‑2). The same year more Philadelphia seating furniture was being sold with “…12 drawing room Grecian Chairs…” by A. Whitney, who was identified from other documents as a baker (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 28 April 1818, 3‑2). The April 1819 inventory of Dr. Alexander Baron included, in the “Drawing Room,” “12 London Made Cane Bottom Chairs $120” along with two sofas of the same pattern (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 53, 16 April 1819).

 

Duchesse (1797-1797)—The 1797 Hamburgh, St. Bartholomew Parish, inventory of James Heyward, Esq, included the single reference of an apparently rare form in Charleston: the Duchesse. In the “Dining Parlour,” “…2 Duchesses and Cushions [£]‑84‑ …,” a value that equalled a camera obscura in the same room. Additionally, in the “Hall” there were “…3 Duchesses & Cushions [£]7‑7‑…” that equalled the value of a “…Brussels Carpet and Hearth Rug…,” also in the hall (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 254, 24 April 1797). First illustrated in 1788 in The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide, George Hepplewhite described the Duchesse as “…Two Barjier Chairs…with a stool in the middle…and made from 6 to 8 feet long” (George Hepplewhite, The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide [New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1969], p. 5, plate 28). When Sheraton’s Drawing Book was published (1792‑1802) it contained an illustration and a description “Of the Duchesse” as “…The French have what they term duchesse beds, whence I suppose we have derived our ideas of a duchesse [of] two barjier chairs fastened to a stool in the middle… the ends, when detached from the middle stool, may serve as small sofas. When they are connected together without the tester, and a squab or cushion made to fit over the whole, it will then serve to rest or loll upon…[they are]… made narrow, between two and three feet wide…” (Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Drawing Book [New York: Dover Publishing, Inc., 1972], pp. 6, 7, plate 2). In 1803, Sheraton further defined this form by saying that “…they are only intended for a single lady…” (Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], p. 337, pl. 16).

 

Dutch Chair (1718-1769)—This form occurred twice in Charleston documents; nevertheless, it is not clearly understood as what the chair was; i.e., of Dutch origin or in a Dutch style. Probably these were of the ‘Flemish’ scrolled and balusters with caned seat type, inspired by the designs of Daniel Marot, being produced in Europe, England and New England (Foreman, Benno M. American Seating Furniture 1630-1730, New York: W.W. Norton & Co, 1988, pp.234-241).Fayer Hall sold Col. William Rhett “…Twelve Dutch Chairs…” in 1718 and the 1769 estate of George Seaman included “…6 Rush Bottom’d Dutch Chairs 90/ …” (Register of the Province of S.C., 1707‑1711, 1712‑1713, 1711‑1714, 1714‑1719, p. 353, 8 January 1718; Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 74, 15 February 1769).

 

Easy Chair (1725-1820)— The is no mention of this form until the 1725 inventory of Daniel Gale which contained “…1 easy Chair [£]1‑10‑…”(Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, p. 24, 26 January 1725). In 1726/7 the inventory of Thomas Congers, innholder, contained “…1 Easy Chair & cushion…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 415, 20 January 1726/7). The first evidence of importation of this form was in 1734, with the arrival of the ‘Snow Friendship’ from London, and its cargo of household furniture being sold by Bennet and Robert Hunt (upholsterer), which were described as “…easy chairs…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 10 August 1734, 3‑1; 3 August 1734, 3‑1 for arrival notice from London). The next year finds in the extensive Goose Creek inventory of Andrew Allen, gentleman, “…an Easie Chair [£]15‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). Col. Alexander Paris left in his January 1738 inventory an “…Old easy chair…” of no value (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p. 10, 13 January 1738). The merchants Watson and Mackenzie advertised “a fine easy Chair cover’d with green Silk…” in December 1738 and in the following month offered the same as from Bristol (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 December 1738, 11 January 1738/9). The year 1741 finds the first evidence for “…1 cover for the easy Chair & for the Cushions for Do[easy chair]…” in the inventory of Thomas Gadsden (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). Walter Rowland, upholsterer, was advertising in 1741 that he could upholster “…easy chairs…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 November 1741, 3‑1). The 1742 inventory of Anne Le Brasseur contained …an Easie Chair & Cushion, covered with Crewell Wrought and an old Calicoe Cushion Case [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 20 September 1742 [recorded]). Also in 1742, the estate of Reverend James Parker was inventoried revealing “…a Close Stool Easy Chair [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 235, 22 September 1742).

As discussed under the entry for Close Stool, that form could exist as an easy chair, and conversely, the easy chair occasionally functioned as a close stool chair, if so constructed. Thus, for the latter, the appraisers might have not always described easy chairs accurately as and with an additional feature of functioning as a close stool. Therefore, accurate descriptions are probably the exception as with the inventory of James St. John in 1743 which contained in his Charleston house, ‘South Room’ a “…Mahogany Easy Chair with Close Stool Pan [£]6‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743,p. 257, 1 July 1743). The estate sale of Sarah Saxby in 1747 revealed “…an Easy Leather Chair [£]5‑17‑6…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.74, 1741‑1748, p. 416, 8 March 1747). The merchant Robert Pringle sold “…an Easy Chair of Mahogany: stuffed & two Chintz Covers Cushion & Seat [£]70‑…” to Mrs. Sarah Allen “…some time ago…” as recorded in his journal of 30 June 1747 (“Journal of Robert Pringle,” SCH&GM 26:107). John Allen died with an “…Easy Chair Cover’d with Chintz [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 47, 5 February 1748). The upholsterer William Lupton was advertising in 1750 that he could upholster easy chairs (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 10 December 1750, 2‑1). 1752 saw the first evidence for “…one easy Chair with two covers [£]30‑…” in the inventory of Isaac Holmes (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 313, 18 February 1752). In 1755 Edward Weyman was advertising upholstering of easy chairs (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 30 October and 6 November 1755; 25 November 1756 and 13 January 1757, suppl., 2‑1). Thomas Bowden did also in 1756 (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 16 December 1756, 4‑2). The “…Easy Chair with a pan [£]10‑ …” was seen in the 1757 inventory of Ribton Hutchinson (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.84, 1756‑1758, p. 225, 17 October 1757). That this form was occasionally on casters was found in the 1760 inventory of William Waites with “…1 Mahogany easy Chair on Castors [£]20‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 747, 23 October 1760). In 1761 “…An Easy Chair with 3 Covers was in the inventory of Martha Savage (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 928, 30 April 1761). An advertisement of Rebecca Weyman in 1762 announced that she made “…easy chair‑cases for washing…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 18 September 1762, 1‑2). The same day Richard Bird advertised that he could upholster  “…easy chairs covered and nailed, or loose cases for washing…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 18 September 1762, 3‑2). John Mason, upholsterer, advertised in 1765 that he could upholster and repair “…in the neatest and newest Venetian fashions…[and charged]…For an easy chair cover [£]3‑ …He likewise repairs easy chairs…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 2 February 1765, 1‑2). In 1766 Richard Fowler, upholsterer, was advertising that he “…stuffed and repaired, all sorts of easy[chairs]…” (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 17 June and 8 July 1766). John Blott, also an upholsterer, was offering the same service in 1766 and 1767 (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 28 July, 1766, 2‑2 and South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 25 November 1767, 3‑2). Thomas Coleman, upholsterer, in 1767 and 1769 was also handling the upholstery of easy chairs (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 15 December 1767, 3‑1 and 28 February 1769, 2‑2). At a 1771 sale of furniture at his house, Richard Magrath, cabinetmaker, upholsterer,chairmaker, had “…a pair of easy chairs done in the best manner…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 August and 5 September 1771, 2‑2). The upholsterer Richard Fowler was advertising in 1771 his ability to upholster easy chairs as did John Blott the following year (South Carolina Gazette;and Country Journal, Charleston, 1771, 3‑2; 14 May 1772, 3‑3).

The year 1772 found the first of nine easy chairs sold as recorded in the Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775). This shop charged from 28 to 32 pounds for “…an Easy Chair and coaching[sic]…” and “…an Easy chair frame [£]13‑ …” The descriptions ranged from “…an Easy chair [£]28‑…an Easy chair & castors [£]30‑…an Easy Chair Eagle Claws [£]30‑…an Easy Chair & Castors Carved feet [£]32‑…” (Accounts #21, 10 July 1772; #89, 22 April 1773; 126, 3 March 1775; 31, 17 April 1775; 29, 7 November 1772; 205, 8 November 1773). The shop also charged for “…making a false [sic] Case of Check Linen…” for an easy chair sold in 1775 (Account #31, 17 April 1775). Further upholstery of easy chairs by the Elfe shop was found charged in 1775 for  “…mendg [sic] stuffg [sic] & coverg [sic] with Osnabrigs [sic] an easy chair [£]12‑10‑…” (Account #158, 4 January 1775). The above charge involved mending easy chairs, for which there were also two other examples:  “Mending a drawer and glueing on brackets to an easy chair &c. £0.12.6” (#161, 16 December 1774) and “A New stretcher & Castor to an easy chair £0.1.5” (#226, 11 July 1775). In 1773 Abraham Maddocks, Richard Magrath, and John Linton, in 1774, offered their trade of upholstering easy chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 January, 10 May, and 27 September 1773; South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 19 April 1774, 3‑2). The 1776 inventory of Walter Russell, upholsterer, included “…2 Easy chairs half finish’d [£]8‑…” and, the same year, Thomas Elfe left in his estate “…An Easy Chair frame [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.99A, 1776‑1778,p. 12, 10 July 1776 and p. 116, 11 September 1776). In c. April 1777, when an appraisal was made of the property in the house left behind by the last royal governor of South Carolina, Lord William Campbell, the list of furnishings in the dining room included “2 Easy Chairs of Do. [Crimson Silk Damask] [£]6‑6‑0” (B.P.R.O. 1/541, p. [1], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777). The merchant John Brewton’s 1777 inventory included “…1 Mahogany Easy Chair and 2 furniture check covers [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols.98,99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 395, 28 August 1777). The 1793 inventory of William Jones, cabinetmaker, upholsterer, included within his “…Stock in Trade…2 Easy Chairs a 40/ each 80 (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p.495, c. …” (16 February 1793). Charles Desel, cabinetmaker, received partial payment in a 1802 judgement case for furniture made between 1796 and 1799 which included “…To Making a Easey Chair [£]4‑ …” on 5 January 1797 (S.C. Judgment Rolls, C.C.P., #61A, Charles Desel vs. Peter Broughton, 13 February 1802). In 1797 Francis Delorme was offering the upholstery of easy chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 1 March 1797). Jacob Sass, advertising easy chairs for sale in 1797 and 1802, sold one in 1799 to John Singleton for five pounds (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797, 2‑3 and 3 August 1802, 3‑3; Singleton Family Papers 1759‑1911, #668, Folder #2, 22 October 1799).

In 1809 the estate of James Douglas claimed past charges for furniture sold which, in 1802 included “…a Easy Chair 120/ …” on 10 March (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, C.C.P., James Douglas vs. James Delaire, 18 February 1809). Apparently going out of business in 1802, the partnership of Will and Marlin, was having thier stock sold by the sheriff which included “…the FRAME of an EASY CHAIR…” (Times, Charleston, 20 August 1802, 3‑4). Thomas Wallace, cabinetmaker, was selling easy chairs in 1803 (Times, Charleston, 12 April 1803, 3‑3). In 1808 the ware house of Alexander Calder was selling easy chairs among other furniture “…being the best Charleston made Furniture…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 22 November and 13 December 1808,3‑4). From 1809‑1818 Jacob Sass was selling furniture which included easy chairs all of which was “…Ready made FURNITURE…and made by good Workmen in their own shop…” (The Strength of the People, Charleston,14 and 17 August 1809; Charleston Courier, Charleston 2 March 1811 and 19 October 1818). In 1812 Thomas Wallace, cabinetmaker, was also selling easy chairs (Times, Charleston, 1812, 3‑3). The 1814 sale of the estate of Thomas Lee,cabinetmaker, included easy chairs in the “…NEW HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 24 March 1814, 3‑4). On 19 December 1818, H. C. M’Leod announced that there would be a public sale of “ready made FURNITURE All made in this city,” which included “Easy Chairs” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, 19 December 1818.) In 1821 “…CHARLESTON‑MAKE…” furniture was being auctioned which included easy chairs (City Gazette and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821, 3‑5). The 1823 inventory of John McIntosh included “…1 Easy Chair frame $3…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823). It is interesting that George Hepplewhite published in The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholster’s Guide a 1787 plate of an ‘Easy chair’ which he termed in the description of the plate “…a design for a saddle Check, or easy chair…” (George Hepplewhite The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholster’s Guide [New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1969], p. 3, plate 15). “Saddle check” was apparently never found in Charleston documents.

 

Elbow Chair (1718-1772)— Documents refer to this form frequently, with the meaning of a chair with arms is with ‘elbows’. This was to distinguish between side or chairs without arms. The first evidence for this term being used was in the 1718 guardianship agreement of Fayer Hall selling furniture to William Rhett which included “…Two Elbow Do[chairs]…” (Register of the Province of South Carolina, 1714‑1719, p. 353, 8 January 1718). The 1749 inventory of Benjamin Godin’s ‘The Spring’ plantatation included ‘…1 Elbow Chair with pewter pan [£]8‑ …” which was a close stool (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 170, 20 and 21 June 1749). Thomas Chippendale used the term in his 1762, third edition of the Director, when refering to french chairs as “…with Elbows…” in plate XIX, which were the padded arms and apparently not the support for the arm (Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman & Cabinet‑Maker’s Director, 3rd ed. [New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1966], p. 3, pl. XIX). The Elfe Account Book charged two accounts for two elbow chairs each which possibly suggests that they were sold as pairs (Account# 109, 5 March 1772; 54, 20 May 1772 ). On 25 June 1785 an advertisement of a forthcoming auction of the household goods of Mrs. Rebecca Motte revealed “mahogany chairs, with Marlborough elbow chairs to match” (South Caolina State Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 25 June 1785). On 10 July 1785 the ship Castle Douglas departed London for Charleston containing a shimpment from the London upholstering, apprasing and auctioneering firm of Pitt and Chessey which included “Six mahogany chairs” and “1 [mahogany] Elbow [chair]  [l]1.4.6”. The following year found the Castle Douglas sailing for Charleston with “Twelve Mahogany Chairs–Two Elbows [chairs]” from John Russell, chairmaker, cabinetmaker, joiner, and upholsterer. Also in the same May cargo were “3 Dozen Elbow Chairs, All packed in 2 Bundles [£]23.2 …2 Dozen 24 Elbow [chairs] double Brass Nails 15/ [£]21” from the London firm of William and Thomas Wilkinson, cabinetmakers (James Douglas Account Book, 10 July 1785, p. 237, 1 May 1786, p. 304; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 700, 772, 977). After this date ‘elbow’ ceased to be found.

 

Forest Chair (1735-1735)— This form was evivced only once and that was in the Goose Creek 1735 inventory of Andrew Allen which included “…An old Forest Chair [£]1‑…” which was equal in value to a “…Small Old cedar Table broken…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p.331, 18 October 1735). Apparently this term refers to a rustic form of furniture which Robert Manwaring in The Cabinet and Chair‑Maker’s Real Friend and Companion, of 1765, illustrates five plates of ‘Rural Chairs for Summer Houses’ and two plates of a ‘Rural Garden Seat’ and explains in the preface the design. “The Designs given for rural Chairs for Summer houses, Gardens and Parks, are entirely new, and are the only ones that ever were published…” (Robert Manwaring, The Cabinet and Chair‑Maker’s Real Friend and Companion, or, the Whole System of Chair‑Making Made plain and easy [London: John Tiranti & Co., 1937], preface and pl. 24‑30). If this form was accurately termed in the inventory, the chair possibly was constructed of limbs and small trunks of trees. See Garden.

 

French Chair (1765-1784)— Originating with the rococo style or the’french taste’ was meant by this term which manifested itself in the french chair form in Charleston documents. The designs of this form were first illustrated by Chippendale in 1755 with four plates of eight chairs and described in the text as ‘French Elbow Chairs’ (Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinet‑Maker’s Director [London: J. Haberkorn, 1755], p. 8, pl. XVII‑XX). The form was further illustrated in Genteel Household Furniture (1762), Director (1762), Universal Sysyem (1762), and Cabinet and Chair‑maker’s Real Friend and Companion (1765). In 1765 John Mason, upholsterer, advertised that he sold “…a French chair cover [for] [£]1‑ …[and]…repaired French chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 2 February 1765, 1‑2). In the Robert Hogg Account Books, for the Charleston period of the business (1762‑1766) as Robert Hogg and Francis Clayton, an entry of 1765 reveals a venture cargo from Britain being bought by the firm of Hogg and Clayton part of which was “…1 French Elbow Chair [£]2‑6‑6 …” (Robert Hogg Account Books, 1762‑1775, 4 Vols.; Invoice Book, Inward, No. 1, 7 October 1765, Account 40). Richard Fowler advertised twice in 1766 that he upholstered French chairs as did Thomas Coleman once in 1767 (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 17 June and 8 July 1766; 28 February 1767). The Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775) reveals the charges for eleven of this form sold. With one exception all were two indicating sold as a pair. Prices throughout the period remained fixed at sixty pounds for two. The descriptions show little variance: “…2 French Chairs…2 French Arm Chairs…  2 French Elbow Chairs with Hair Seats…” (Accounts # 23, 29, 40, 80, 88, 106, 159). In 1768 eight French chairs were offered for sale by Thomas Gadsden as apparently part of or intended for a household ensuite (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 22 November 1768, 3‑3). Thomas Coleman, in 1769, was offering upholstery of ‘French Elbow’ chairs(South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, 28 February 1769, 2‑2).

From 1770 through 1773 there was a flurry of advertisements which mentioned French chairs both for sale and that upholstery could be performed upon by John Dobbins, Richard Fowler, John Blott, Abraham Maddocks, Richard Magrath, Walter Russell, and John Linton (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 27 November, 22 October, 1770; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 May, 21 May 1772, 21 January, 10 May, 27 September, 8 November 1773, South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 19 April 1774). In 1779 “…Covers for twelve French Chairs…” are offered for sale by the vendue firm of Colcock and Gibbons (Gazette of the State of South Carolina, Charleston, 11 August 1779, 2‑3). The 1779 sale of “…twelve handsome French Chairs, 2 Sophas, and 4 blue Damask Window Curtains to suit the Chairs…” were the property of Mrs. Rowand of Friend St., possibly the wife of Robert, a merchant, who had departed the state for Holland in 1778 as a Loyalist (Gazette of the State of South‑Carolina, Charleston, 8 July 1778 and 8 December 1779, 2‑3). The first evidence for this form in inventories was in 1783 with the merchant Josiah Bonneau’s “…2 French Chairs [£]10‑…”(Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p.65, 6 June 1783). The 1783 inventory of John Dart, Esq. included “…6 Neat Mahogany Chairs horse hair Seating with dble [sic] Rows of Brass Nails @ 28/ each [£]8‑8‑ [and] 2 French chairs ditto to suit @ 43/6 [£]4‑7‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.A, 1783‑1787, p.146, 14 October 1783). Philip Tydiman died with “…2 French Chairs [£]2‑ …” in 1784 and Daniel Horry, Esq. with “…8 French Arm Chairs [£]20‑…” in 1786 (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787,p. 215, 12 July 1784 and Vol.B, 1781‑1793, p.38, 16 January 1786). After this apparently the term fell out of use or the form was called simply ‘arm chair’ as the term ‘elbow’ also ceased to be used by this date.

 

Garden Chair (1755-1767)— Possibly of the rustic or forest form, but probably a name given to windsor chairs in outdoors use, the garden chair was first seen in the 1755 inventory of Robert Hamilton as “…2 Garden Chairs [£]5‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 674, 31 July 1755). The 1755 inventory of Alexander Gordon, the artist, contained “…2 Garden Chairs £1‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 435, ___October 1755). That this form was different from the windsor chair was suggested by the 1767 advertisement of John Biggard, turner, who produced for sale “…Windsor and Garden chairs…” (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 24 March 1767, 2‑3). The Halfpennys’ Rural Architecture in the Chinese Taste of 1755 included five plates of garden seats in the ‘chinese taste’ (William and Jonathan Halfpenny, Rural Architecture in the Chinese Taste [London: Robert Sayer, 1755], pp.3, 5, pl. 38‑40, 48, 49).  Genteel Household Furniture In the Present Taste of 1762 contained one plate of ‘garden seats’ (A Society of Upholsterers, Cabinet‑Makers, etc., Genteel Household Furniture In the Present Taste [East Ardsley: EP Publishing Limited, 1978], plate 19). The Garden Chair (as Seats) was illustrated by Chippendale in 1762, plate XXIV, as “…proper for Arbours, or Summer‑Houses…Grottos…in Walks, or at the Ends of Avenues” (p. 4). Manwaring’s The Cabinet and Chair‑Maker’s Real Friend and Companion of 1765 included four plates of garden seats: two ‘Rural’ and two ‘Gothick’ style (Robert Manwaring, The Cabinet and Chair‑Maker’s Real Friend and Companion [London: Henry Webley, 1765], plates 29‑32). The suggestion of this form being later of the Windsor variety and not of the forms suggested in the design books is suggested by evidence presented under Windsor Garden Chairs; however, if these chairs were called ‘garden chairs’ they were probably not ‘Windsor’ as this form was well known and was so called.

 

High/Low Chair (1686-1783)— The ‘low’ chair of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century in the Lowcountry was undoubtly of the early Back Stool, side or armed, form which is today called the Cromwellian chair. The earliest reference to this form is found in the 1686 “…acount of the loses & damedges Paul Grimball sostained by the Spanyards which cam from St. Augustene in August 1686 [at] his house on Edistow Island…[among which were]…12 Rich new backs 7 seats of Turky[sic] work: for chear [£]10‑ …3: doz of reed lether backs & seats for chears [£]10‑ …a parsell new nails 2 sort for chears [£]3‑… (“Paul Grimball’s Losses by the Spanish Invasion in 1686,” SCH&GM, 29: 231‑237). These might have been the form of chair referred to in the 1696/7 inventory of Francis Turgis which contained “…six ould Cushing Cheares [£]0‑9‑ …” as these chairs frequently were found with cushions (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 429, 19 March 1696/7). In 1701 Elizabeth Hyrne wrote her brother from Charleston asking him to send from England “my son a high cane chair with a table to it” (Hyrne Family Letters, The Colonial South Carolina Scene, Contemporary Views, 1697‑1774, Ed. H. Roy Merrens, Columbia, S.C.: University of S.C. Press, p. 22). In 1719 the will of Elizabeth Raven included “…Two Low Chairs and twelve High Chairs…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1722‑1726, p. 141, 20 May 1719). John Thorpe’s 1725 inventory included “…6 Black chares 2 Low ditto [chairs] [£]5‑ …” (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1722‑1726, p. 315, 13 March 1725). When Thomas Elliotts 1732/3 estate was inventoried it contained, in the kitchen “…12 Cain Chairs [£]12‑…2 Low Chairs [£]‑15‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p.41, 12 March 1732/3 ). In 1741 the inventory of the estate of William Laserre, merchant, revealed “…6 Cane Back chairs [£]6‑…2 low White chairs [£]1‑ …” Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 125, 13 October 1741). William Stobo died with “…1 Doz. Low Backed Bass Bottom Chairs…6 High Backed Do[chairs]…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 300, 18 July 1743).  Edward Keating died in 1743 possessed of “…11 Black Do[chairs] at 15/ Each [£]8‑5‑…2 Low Chairs at 10/ each [£]1‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p. 319, 19 October 1743). The James Witter estate included “…6 High Chairs and 2 Low [£]3‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 61, 13 October 1746). The 1750 inventory of Col. Thomas Ashby included “…6 Cain Chairs [£]3‑…3 Low Do [cain ? chairs] [£]‑15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 610, 7 September 1750).

From 1757 onwards the terms high and low chairs could indicate the Windsor form because of evidence found within The Papers of Henry Laurens as a letter from his mercantile firm to William Fisher, a Philadelphia Quaker merchant, requesting windsor chairs to be sent to Charleston for a friend’s plantation which were specificed as high back and low back windsor chairs (Philip M. Hammer and George C. Rogers eds. The Papers of Henry Laurens, Vol. 2 [Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1970], p. 461). In 1758 the inventory of Jonatnan Ashby included “…1 Childs Do[chair] & 1 Low Do[chair] [£]6‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 13, 20 June 1758). In 1767 Ruth Hartman died and within her inventory were “…7 high Old Fashioned chairs [£]1‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 762, 10 March 1767). In 1766, the plantation Wilton inventoried at the death of Chris Wilkinson, included “…1 Dozn high back’d green chairs [£]48‑…14 Low Do [backed green chairs] [£]42‑…1 1/2 doz Straw Do [high backed green chairs] [£]10‑ …2 Low Do[green chairs] [£]20‑ …” some of which could have been windsors (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑99B, p. 125, 9 September 1776). The last reference to these forms, by this name was the 1783 inventory of Henry Crouch, merchant of St Bartholomew Parish, which contained “…One Mahogany low chair [£]5‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 74, c. 1783). Further use of these terms indicated that the form was windsor.

 

Ladies’ Chair (1818-1820)— The brig Arethusa arrived in Charleston from New York on 16 February 1818 with “…Chairs Settees, &c…” which were to be sold by Richard W. Otis, a carver and gilder. Among the items listed were “…Ladies’ low Working Chairs…” (Courier, Charleston, 16 February 1818, 2‑3 and 3‑3). The next month Otis again advertised saying that the “…ship Corsair, from New York…” had landed with furniture and household objects and that he “…[still had]…ON HAND…Ladies low setting Chairs…” (Courier, Charleston, 25 March 1818, 2‑4). Thus, it is suggested that the form could be described differently at times. Further, in 1820, Otis was still receiving stock from New York as the “…ship President…” arrived containing goods and chairs which included “…Ladies Sewing [chairs]…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 26 July 1820, 3‑3). Philadelphia also supplied the market in Charleston for in 1820 Edward George Sass advertised that “…per ship Georgia Packet, from Philadelphia…” furniture arrived and would be for sale which included “…ladies…Working Chairs…” (Courier, Charleston, 14 December 1820, 3‑1).

 

Lawyers’ Chair (1820-1820)— In 1820 Richard W. Otis was offering ‘Lawyers’ Chairs’ for sale which had arrived from New York (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 26 July 1820, 3‑3).

 

Low Chair — See High/Low Chair.

 

Machine/Rolling Chair (1751-1813)— In 1751 Thomas Elfe advertised that he made “All kinds of Machine Chairs…stuffed and covered for sickly or weak people…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 7 January 1751). This apparently was a wheel chair form also seen in England as ‘garden machine’ which was for outdoor use. It is possible that this form was also given the name ‘Rolling Chair’ for the 1771 inventory of Edward Wilkinson, at Tobodoo plantation, included “…1 Mahogany Roling Chair…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 156, 23 July 1771). In 1791 the form was again found in the inventory of Daniel Legare as “…one Mahogany Rolling Chair [£]‑5‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 356, 10 August 1791). Evidence of this form in 1813 was found in the Journal of Peter Horry, of Winyah Bay, near Georgetown, which revealed after some time of sickness he “…wrote to Cleland Kinloch to Get me made, a Rolling Chair…” (A.S. Salley, ed. “Journal of General Peter Horry,” SCH&GM 46:112).

 

Marlborough Chair (1785-1785)— The sole mention of this term was found in a 1785 sale of household goods of Mrs. Rebecca Motte which included “mahogany chairs with Marlborough elbow chairs to match….” (South Carolina State Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 25 June 1785).

 

New England Chair (1752-1752)— This term was found in the 1752 inventory of John Owen as “…4 New England Chairs (old) [£]1‑5‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 419, 21 July 1752).

 

Night Chair (1770-1804)— With 1776 the last located reference to a close Stool, there apparently was a terminology change to ‘night stool’ by 1770 when the inventory of Daniel Doyley Esq. contained “…a night do [chair]…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 294, 18 July 1770). The Charleston house of Jacob Motte contained in 1770 “…a night chair [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Inventories Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 45, 19 July 1770). In 1776 the inventory of Benjamin Webb contained”…one night chair [£]5‑..(Charleston  County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑17, p. 7, 16 November 1776). Amongst the property inventoried in 1777 in the house once occupied by Lord William Campbell, the last royal governor of South Carolina, was “1 Do. [Square Mahogany] Night Chair [£]2‑2‑0” in “Capt. Innes’s Chamber.” (B.P.R.0. T1/541, p. [2], Ld. William Campbell’s Inventory, c. April 1777). The ship Castle Douglas departed from London on 19 October 1784 for Charleston with a cargo part of which was from the London cabinetmaker and upholsterer. Part of his shipment included “2 Mahogany Corner Night Charis with elbows & Stone Pan Com[modes?] [£]3.3” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 153; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 304). Robert Gibbs posessed at his death in 1794 “…2 Mahogany Night Chairs 30/…” in the ‘1st Chamber’ where there were two bedsteads and a bason stand among other furniture (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.C, 1793‑1800, p. 201, 23 November 1794). Jacob Sass was the only advertiser of ‘Night Chairs’ which was in 1797 (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797, 2‑3).The last night chair found was in the 1804 inventory of Reverend Thomas Frost as “…a Night Chair $6…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 296, 1 October 1804). See Stools, Night.

 

Parlor Chair (1786-1803)— Other than what was mentioned in three advertisements, this form of chair was not found in Charleston documents. In 1786 Thomas Bradford, upholsterer and cabinetmaker, advertised that if ordered, “…parlour chairs…shall be made after the most fashionable manner…” (Charleston Evening Gazette, Charleston, 22 February 1786). Fifteen years later, on 29 April 1801, James Bulgin, a Charleston merchant, advertised that he had for sale from the Brig Columbia, “a consignment of elegant Drawing Room, Parlour, and Chamber Chairs…made…by one of the first makers in London” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 April 1801.) Then in 1803, William Haydon, in announcing his impending move to Philadelphia, described the furniture he could make which included “…Handsome Parlour and Chamber Chairs, with cane, rush and wooden seats, from three to six dollars per chair” (Times, Charleston, 5 April 1803, 3‑3). The Universal System of Household Furniture (1759‑1762) by Ince and Mayhew present plates IX and X of this form.  In 1760 Genteel Household Furniture In the Present Taste included nine plates of ‘Parlour Chairs’ as single chairs with openwork unupholstered backs (plates 1‑6,8‑9,17). This publication included one plate of ‘Dining Room Chairs’ which were similar to the parlor chairs in the same publication. In 1765, Manwaring reserves six plates for this form with six additional ‘Parlour Chair Backs’ later in the same publication The Cabinet and Chair‑maker’s Real Friend and Companion (pls. 4‑9, 33, 34). Thomas Sheraton in The Cabinet‑maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book (1792‑1802) illustrates three chairs and six chair backs of this form (plates 33, 34 and 36 [1792], 28 [1793). In 1803, Sheraton in his Cabinet Dictionary, presented one plate of two parlour chairs (plate 31). Sheraton suggested that the dining room and parlor could use the same chair form.

 

Pin Cushion Chair (1745-1745)— The one record of this term is not of Charleston origin and it is possible that this was not a term used in Charleston.  However, its employer was a former Charleston upholsterer, Richard Caulton, who moved to Williamsburg, Virginia.  On 28 November 1745, he advertised in the [Parks] Virginia Gazette that he made and mended “Pin Cushion Chair Seats.”  ([Parks] Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg, Va., 28 November 1745, 4‑2.)

 

Recess Chair (1802-1802)— Only in one inventory was this form found and that was of Reverend Robert Smith, who in 1802 possessed in Charleston “…4 Recess Chairs 37/4 …4 Recess & 12 Chairs £5‑ …” One of the appraisers, William Hort, was a merchant and probably knew of this form by name (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 116, 19 January 1802). Possibly the same form, but termed a ‘seat’ John and Hugh Finlay, fancy furniture makers and painters, advertised “…Ditto [japanned] Window and Recess Seats…” in 1803 during thier short stay in Charleston from Baltimore where they had advertised  with similar wording in January (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1803,3‑3; Federal Gazette, Baltimore, 25 January, 1803). From the Finlay’s inference, the seat would be similar to a window seat form, designed for a recess or an alcove in a wall.

 

Rocking Chair (1771-1820)— The first of this form to be found in the documents was in the 1771 inventory of Edward Wilkinson with “…Rocking Chair…”(Charleston County Inventories, Vols.94A‑94B, 1771‑1774, p.156, 23 July 1771). The merchant Robert Philip, who died in 1785, posessed in his inventory “…1 Rocking Chair…” with no value given (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.B,1787‑1793, p.6, 28 August 1785). The mercantile firm of Matthew and R. Brennan advertised in August 1806 that “Rocking Chairs” were available (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 11 August 1806). In 1817 the “…Landing from the Sloop SPARTAN…[yielded]…An assortment of Elegant FURNITURE [among which were] Rockers…”; the Spartan was from Hartford, Connecticut (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 and 22 October 1817). The next year found the brig Arethusa, from New York, arriving with furniture. In offering the furniture for sale, Richard W. Otis, warehouseman, added, and continued to do so throughout the year, that he had “…ON HAND…Rocking Chairs…” undoubtedly from previous shipments (Courier, Charleston, 16 February, 1818, 2‑3, 3‑3; 25 March 1818, 2‑4; 20 October 1818, 2‑4). Andrew P. Gready, another warehouseman, advertised, in 1818 and 1821, that at the ‘Northern Ware House’ “…fancy and common Rocking Chairs…” were for sale (Courier, Charleston, 8 August 1818, 3‑4; 30 July 1821, 3‑4). Edward G. Sass advertised in 1818 that he was offering “…ladies’ rocking chairs…” for sale with other chairs and goods from Philadelphia (Courier, Charleston, 6 August 1818, 3‑2 and 5 November 1818, 2‑1). Sass advertised again in 1820 that from Philadelphia he was selling “…ladies fancy Rocking[chairs]…” (Courier, Charleston, 14 December 1820, 3‑1). Otis again advertised “…Rocking Chairs…” in 1820 and 1821, with the origin in 1820 specificed as New York (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 26 July 1820, 3‑3 and 2 May 1821, 3‑4).

 

Rolling Chair — See Machine/Rolling Chair.

 

Rout Chair (1791-1791)— The 1791 inventory of John Deas Esq., merchant and Grand Master of South Carolina Masons, contained “…4 Rout chairs…2 Rout chairs…” all apparently in the same room which was a bed chamber of old and broken furniture (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 358, ___May 1791; Deas’s death was reported as 30 September 1790, City Gazette & Daily Advertiser, 2 October 1790). The Cabinet Dictionary, of 1803, defines this form as “Small painted chairs with rush bottoms, lent out by cabinet makers for hire, as a supply of seats at general entertainments, or feasts; hence their name rout chair” (Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet Dictionary [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], p. 299).

 

Settee Chair (1757-1764)— This form was found in the 1757 inventory of Capt. Thomas Law Elliot as “15 Mahogany Chairs & 1 Settee Chair [£]50‑ …”, suggesting ensuite (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.84, 1756‑1758, p. 95, 6 April 1757). The Honorable Peter Leigh Esq. contained in his 1759 inventory “8 Mahogany Chairs with Silk Bottoms [and] 1 Large Settee Do[chair] [£]30‑ “ (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 436, 15 September 1759). The ensuite evidence continues in 1764 with the inventory of John McQueen revealing “12 Mahogany Chairs with Yellow Silk damask bottoms [£]120‑ [and] 1 Settee Chair the same [£]20‑ “ (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 298, 2 February 1764). The form was apparently a chair‑back settee, ie. a settee with the back of joined nonupholstered chair backs. This would follow with the ensuite pattern of chairs. Chippendale in the 1755 Director lists settees on the title page; however, he fails to illustrate the form, thus the form of the proposed settee is not known. Manwaring was the only illustrator of this design in The Cabinet and Chair‑maker’s Real Friend and Companion of 1765 with plates 19 and 20 of ‘Grand French Settee Chair’.

 

Sick Chair (1777-1777)— Richard Lambton, merchant, died with “1 Sick Chair [£]10‑ “ located in his “Back Bed Chamber” as appraised in 1777 (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 369, 2 May 1777). The form is not understood, but could be a Machine or Rolling form. In other areas of the country this form was also known as an invalid chair. With a value of ten pounds in 1777 it possibly could be the reclining Bed Chair form which the Elfe charged ten pounds for in 1774 (Shop account). It also could have been an easy chair with a pan.

 

Side Board Chair (1797-1797)— The 1797 inventory of James Wright contained “…1 Side Board Chair 20/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.C, 1793‑1800, p. 258, 1 June 1797). The form of this is not understood. Could it have been a writing chair?

 

Smoking Chair (1761-1761)— This form was found once and that was in the 1761 inventory of Benjamin Cattle who possessed at the time of his death “…1 Smoking Chair [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 843, 28 February 1761). Perhaps this is of a Windsor form as was the low back ‘smoker’s bow’ of the 1780’s found in England (Ivan G. Sparkes, The English Country Chair [Bourne End: Spur Books Limited, 1973], pp. 106‑107).

 

WINDSOR SEATING FURNITURE FORMS

Windsor Chair (General) (1736-1820)— This category contains all references of seating furniture found termed “windsor” or the associated context demonstrated that design. It will be clear that almost all citations were for importation from: London, Marblehead, Mass., New York, “Northern,” and Philadelphia. While the last source dominated the Charleston market, there were a few Windsor chairmakers in Charleston. Of all the references there was only one source which identified a wood type, which probably was a description for a color: satinwood (q.v.). Of the evidence for surface color or finish, there were several mentioned: blue, chocolate, dark, fancy, green, mahogany, painted, plain, satinwood, white, yellow. The various record description of design will be discussed under the word or words associated with the particluar Windsor form.

This general and therefore large category contains the bulk of the information for the undefined Windsor chair with specific type of chairs being found under that term. It should be understood that some of the early citations were of undefined English Windsors. The selection of data concerning Windsor chairs must be with caution as there were “riding Windsor chairs” (q.v.) being frequently listed as windsor chairs with the maker of the latter being called a Windsor chairmaker. The separation of trades occurs in the inventories with values, occurence and associated items, e.g. wheels and tools of the carriagemaker. The earliest use, found in Charleston, of the term windsor, was in 1736 as “Open Windsor” (q.v.). In the August 1741 inventory of Thomas Gadsden, “2 Windsor chairs [£]1‑…” were listed, the value of which was that of the two prints engraved by William Henry Toms, London, 9 June 1739: “A Prospect & Plan of Charles Town,” also found in his inventory. The occurrence of two Windsor chairs in houses will be cited with frequency it is assumed that these were with arms. (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). In the February 1745/6 inventory of James Mathews there was “1 Windser[sic] chair [£]1‑5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 336, 25 February 1745/6). The March 1748 inventory of Hugh Anderson disclosed “1 Windsor Chair [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 113, 2 March 1748). When Isaac Holmes died his February 1752 inventory included “6 Common chairs and a Windsor Chair [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 313, 18 February 1752). The June 1752 inventory of the merchant Jordan Roche included “2 Windsor Chairs [£]4‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 428, 22 June 1752). Two years later, in July, the estate appraisal of Henry Peronneau included “1 dozn. Mahogany chairs and 1 Windsor chair [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 258, 20 July 1754 [recorded]). In July 1760 the inventory of Daniel Crawford contained “1 Windsor Chair [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 618, 11 July 1760). In April 1761 it was revealed that, to some, the Windsor chair was “common” for in that month the inventory of Martha Savage revealed “2 common windsor chairs [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 928, 30 April 1761).

Evidence for the importation of Windsor chairs was not found until an advertisement in June 1761 by Edward Lightwood who offered “…a parcel of neat Windsor Chairs…” from Philadelphia (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 June 1761). The earlier mentioned separation of the riding chair and the sitting chair was found in the March 1762 inventory of John Stanyarne as “2 Windsor Chairs and 1 Windsor riding Chair [£]13‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 239, 8 March 1762). The January 1764 inventory of Thomas Broughton included “3 Windsor Chairs [£]9‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 26, 20 January 1764). March of 1764 found an advertisement of Nowell, Davies, and Ancrum, merchants, in which they offered “Windsor chairs” and mahogany chairs recently imported from London (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 3 March 1764). The death of Richard Singleton caused his estate to reveal in March 1764 “2 Windsor Chairs £4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 89, 19 March 1764). January the following year revealed “1 Windsor Chair [£]2‑…” in the inventory of Frederick Grunsweig (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 389, 14 January 1765). October 1765 found the mercantile firm of Thomas Shirley and Co. advertising the importation of “Windsor and settee chairs…” probably from Philadelphia (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 October 1765). At the end of the same month the inventory of William Raven disclosed “Two Windsor Chairs [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 18, 31 October 1765). An advertisement of Thomas Shirley later in December 1765 disclosed further offering of “Windsor CHAIRS, settee Ditto [windsor]…” with Philadelphia items (South‑Carolina Gazetteer; and Country Journal, Charleston, 17 December 1765). A most descriptive advertisement appeared in June 1766 in which the Church Street merchants Sneed and White offered the Philadelphia importation of “A LARGE and neat assortment of Windsor chairs, made in the best and neatest manner, and well painted, high back’d [q.v.], low back’d [q.v.], sack back’d [q.v.] and Settees [q.v.] or double seated [q.v.] fit for piazzas or gardens, childrens [q.v.] dining and low chairs. Also Walnut of the same construction” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 June 1766). Later in August and September 1766 Shirley further advertised Philadelphia windsor chairs for sale (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 8 August 1766; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 22 September 1766). As discussed earlier, windsor seating chairs and riding chairs differentiation often poses a problem; separation of types could be through values, but the case of the either devaluation or the lesser cost riding chair could cause a problem. A case in point was the October 1766 inventory of William Fuller which contained “1 Windsor Riding Chair [£]5‑ …2 Windsor Chairs [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, p. 644, 27 October 1766). The February 1767 inventory of Thomas Middletons’ plantation of Laurel Bay in Port Royal at Beaufort, S.C. included “17 Windsor Chairs [£]42‑10‑…4 Windsor Chairs [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 772, 3‑5 February 1767). Later in February the Shipping Returns for Charleston revealed that the Prince of Wales and the Argo entered port with 48 and 100 Windsor chairs respectively and both were from Philadelphia (South Carolina Shipping Returns, January 1764‑September 1767, entering 19 and 23 February 1767).

The first turner who advertised that he was making Windsor seating furniture was John Biggard who, in March 1767, offered “…windsor and garden chairs…” and other “turnery ware” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 24 March 1767). Also in March 1767 the mercantile firm of Sneed and White were offering Windsor chairs which had just arrived from Philadelphia (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 30 March 1767). The January 1768 inventory of Dr. William Pellans, of Purisburg, revealed “2 Windsor armed Chairs £2‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 273, 18 January 1768). In May 1770 the merchant William Sykes advertised his offering of Philadelphia “…Windsor Chairs of a new Fashion…” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 1 May 1770). Further evidence of two Windsor chairs in a house was found in the July 1770 inventory of Daniel Doyley as “ 2 Armed Windsor Chairs…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 294, 18 July 1770). When Jacob Motte died his July 1770 Mt. Pleasant house inventory revealed “15 Windsor Chairs…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 45, 19 July 1770). The plantation of “Tobodoo” owned by Edward Wilkinson contained, as revealed through his July 1771 inventory, “2 Windsor Do. [chairs]…1 Windsor chair [£]20‑…,” the latter obviously by the value was a riding chair (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 156, 23 July 1771). The January 1772 inventory of Mrs. Mary Bull disclosed “6 Windsor Chairs [£]9‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑94B, 1771‑1774, p. 251, 20 January 1772). The Elfe Account Book revealed the charge of one pound for “Mending 2 Windsor Chairs” for the Rev. Henry Parsall (#104) on the 15 February 1772. The Ashley River plantation of “Cedar Grove”, in the parish of St. George Dorchester, belonging to John Izard revealed, when his February 1781 estate was appraised, “21 Windsor chairs [£]8‑…” which was the same value placed upon “2 Marble Slabs with brackets” (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 385, 8 February 1781). The February 1781 inventory of Thomas Evance contained “6 Windsor chairs [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 190, 14 February 1781). In June 1783 the inventory of Col. Robert Rivers was found to include “1 ditto [pair] of Windsor chairs…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 41, 11 June 1783). When Doctor Joseph Hall died in September 1783, his inventory included “2 Windsor Settees large & small $7…9 Windsor Chairs $9…”(Charleston County Inventories,Vol.D, 1800‑1810, p. 269, undated [South Carolina Weekly Gazette, Charleston, 27 September 1783 reported his death]). It can be assumed that the 10 October 1783 payment to “Matthew Strong [merchant] for 45 Chairs imported from Philad[elphia] for the use of the Ho. [house] of Represen[tatives] [£]38‑12‑…” was for Windsor chairs as the cost and origin would indicate as so (South Carolina Treasury Records, Journals 1783‑1790, 1790‑1791, p. 18, 10 October 1783). In January the following year the turner Andrew Redmond advertised that he was offering “Philadelphia Windsor Chairs, either armed or Unarmed, as neat as any imported, and much better stuff…” (South Carolina Gazette and General Advertiser,  Charleston, 13 January 1784).

The Duties on Trade at Charleston records for 13 December 1784 revealed “70 Windsor chairs, no duty” among the cargo of the Sloop Experiment from New York which entered the port of Charleston; the following day “70 Windsor chairs” again, entered upon the Sloop Hetty (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, p.155). In November 1786 the merchant Joseph Myers advertised his offering of “A few Mahogany and Windsor chairs, with bottoms”, which arrived from Rhode Island eight days earlier (Charleston Morning Post and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 30 October, 7 November 1786).  Further evidence for the use of windsor chairs for the government was found on 1 July 1788 as “pd. John Loveday [gentleman] for the 30 Windsor Chairs for the use of the Senate pr. order their president [£]12‑16‑4…” (South Carolina Treasury Records, Journal 1783‑1790, 1790‑1791, p. 404, 1 July 1788). January 1789 found an advertisement of John Minnick, merchant, offering “Windsor chairs and settees…” for sale (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 13 January 1789). This form was found to have arrived from New York in a 30 March and 2 September advertisements of Adam Gilchrist, merchant, who offered “Windsor Chairs”, which arrived two days earlier (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 28, 30 March 1789). He advertised a similar offering in August 1789 also from New York (City Gazette, or the daily Advertiser, Charleston, 7 August 1789). In September 1789 another merchant, John Williamson, advertised Windsors from Philadelphia as did John Minnick later in the same month as “Trumble’s Philadelphia made windsor chairs, of various kinds and the newest fashions” (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, 3, 15 September 1789). Further, in December 1789 the merchant John Williamson was found offering Philadelphia windsor chairs for sale (City Gazette, or Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 8 December 1789). A letter from Moses Bartram, father of the botanist John Bartram, to the Charleston mercantile firm of Jones and Clark, on 19 May 1791, informed them that his son “…Wrote for a Number of articles [to be sent from Philadelphia] in the line of his profession for Housekeeping…about 28 Miles from Charlestown…” and that within “…the Several packages…” of items, there were “…Six Windsor Chairs…”. The letter requested Jones and Clark to supervise the receipt of the packages and inform his son of their arrival (Letter of 19 May 1791 postmarked Philadelphia, from Moses Bartram to Jones and Clarke, Charleston, S.C., courtesy of Dr. Charles Peery, Charleston S.C.). With the death of William Dalrumple in February 1796, his estate appraisal revealed “7 Windsor Chairs…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 185, undated [Letters of Administration, Vol. Q.Q., 1791‑1797, p. 324, revealed his death as 8 February 1796). In May and July 1798 the merchant Richard Brenan advertised Philadelphia “Windsor chaire and settees…” (City Gazette & Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May, 3 July 1798). Also in July there was an advertisement of another merchant John Haslett who offered “…WINDSOR SETTING CHAIRS…” probably worded as so to distinguish between riding chairs (City Gazette & Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 July 1798). September 1798 found the cabinet warehouseman William Cocks advertising fruniture from Philadelphia for sale which included “…WINDSOR CHAIRS, of all colours” (City Gazette & Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 September 1798). In November the Charleston windsor chairmakers Humeston and Stafford advertised their offering of “Warranted Windsor Chairs, and Green Settees, of the newest fashions, and of an excellent quality, surperior to any imported into this city…”(City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 November 1798). The last eighteenth century evidence found for windsor chairs was the December 1799 advertisement of the merchants Matthew and Richard Brenan’s offering of “Windsor Chairs and Settees…” from Philadelphia (City Gazette, Charleston, 11 December 1799).

Advertising in January 1800, the new partnership of Stafford and Thompson, at their Charleston “Windsor Chair Factory”, offered “…any number, or description, neater, they flatter themselves, than those brought from the Northward” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 January 1800). Another Charleston windsor chairmaker, William Tompson, advertised in October 1800 that he was “…making new chairs, and repairing old ones…and has constantly for sale northern made chairs of the neatest and best kind” (The Times, Charleston, 14 October 1800). The March 1801 inventory of John McCall’s house contained, in the “Back Room”, 12 Arm Windsor Chairs & 10 plain $22…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 54, 24 March 1801). In March and May 1801 the mercantile firm of Matthew and Richard Brenan were still advertising windsor chairs from Philadelphia (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 30 March 1801; Times, Charleston, 22 May 1801). The carver and gilder Thomas H. Whitney advertised in July 1802 his offering of “A few dozen coloured WINDSOR CHAIRS…” (Times, Charleston, 14 July 1802). In November 1802 E. Wood, cabinetmaker and chairmaker, advertised that he had Windsor chairs for sale (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 26 November 1802). February of the following year found William Ackerman, painter, offering “…a few dozen fancy and Windsor CHAIRS, handsomely finished…” (Times, Charleston, 1 February 1803). The Baltimore fancy furniture makers, John and Hugh Finlay, briefly visited Charleston to creat orders for their furniture business and advertised in May 1803 their ability to make “Japanned Windsor CHAIRS and SETTEES” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1803). In July of 1803 and January 1804 James W.Cotton, carver and gilder, advertised “…the best Philadelphia made Windsor CHAIRS (Times, Charleston, 29 July 1803, 5 January 1804). In March and April 1804 the merchants Crocker and Hichborn advertised New York Windsor chairs for sale (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 3 March, 13, 16 April 1804). Cotton again advertised in June 1804 and September 1806 more windsor chairs for sale (Times, Charleston, 7 June 1804, 6 September 1806). The August 1804 inventory of Col. Thomas Screven contained “6 Arm Windsor Chairs $9…” in the “Back Room First Floor” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 274, 23 August 1804). In January 1806 the schooner Regulater arrived in Charleston and advertised the sale of “6 dozen WINDSOR CHAIRS” on board by the captain, which was undoubtly a personal venture of his (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 14 January 1806). An advertisement of 146 Broad Street offered “Windsor CHAIRS, SETTEES…” in February 1806 and again in August the same year and January 1807 with the latter revealing Philadelphia as the source and that it was a “…FRESH supply…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 18 February, 11 August 1806, 16 January 1807). The effects of a ship which was in distress were auctioned in September 1806 by Verre and Blair, vendue masters, which included “18 dozen Windsor Chairs…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 24 September 1806). In October 1806 the mercantile firm of Matthew and Brennan were found to be selling, from New York and Philadelphia, “A large supply of Windsor Chairs…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 16 October 1806). Again the address of 146 Broad Street was seen to have been offering windsor furniture from Philadelphia and New York in August, November, and December 1807, but as “A HANDSOME variety of Fashionable Chairs and Settees, black and gold, both caned & rush bottoms, Windsor Chairs and Settees to suit [the above]…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 8 August, 17 November, 12 December 1807). Further evidence for the “on board” sale of furniture was found in April 1808 when the Ship Agnes arrived from Philadelphia into Charleston and advertised “FOR SALE ON BOARD…Windsor Chairs…” (Times, Charleston, 6, 8 April 1808). Later in April, another ship, the “Coppered Brig South Carolina”, also offered “6 dozen Windsor Chairs…For Sale On Board” (Times, Charleston, 23, 28 April 1808). The South Carolina again arrived from Philadelphia in August with “6 dozen Windsor Chairs” for an “on board sale” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 12 August 1808).

In October 1808 the Schooner Louisa was also found to be from Philadelphia and offering “3 1/2 dozen of Windsor Chairs…” and other furniture for sale on board (Times, Charleston, 13 October 1808). Further offerings of windsor chairs at 146 Broad Street was found in October and December 1808 (Times, Charleston, 25 October, 15 December 1808). In November 1808 the Brig South Carolina again was offering Windsor chairs for sale on board as was the schooner Industry in June 1809 with “42 dozen Windsor Chairs,” both from Philadelphia (Times, Charleston, 30 November 1808, 7 June 1809). In December 1809 146 Broad street offered, from Philadelphia, “A GREAT variety of Windsor Chairs, some Gilt and Ornamented…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 31 December 1809). The sole evidence for a C. Carter at 28 Broad Street, who advertised “WINDSOR CHAIRS of every description made of the best materials and painted in the neatest Manner. OLD CHAIRS repaired in the neatest manner…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 12 February 1810). In April and May 1810 two advertisements appeared for the ship Caroline which had docked at Vanderhorst’s Wharf and had, on board, “2 dozen Windsor CHAIRS” for sale (Times, Charleston, 3 April 1810; Charleston Courier, Charleston, 11 May 1810). Part of the Spanish ship Eugenia’s cargo, consisting of 18 Windsor Chairs…” was sold in April 1811, resulting from her being in distress when from Philadelphia to Teneriffe (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 3 April 1811). Joseph W. Page, merchant, advertised in October 1812 that “42 dozen of WINDSOR CHAIRS, of superior quality, and equal to any in this city, fancy colours; made and painted here, by a Philadelphia Chair‑Maker for sale, by the set, or the whole at reduced prices…” (Courier, Charleston, 28 October 1812). From December 1813 through January 1821 the warehouseman, grocer, mattress maker, Claude Samory, advertised many times his offerings of “Windsor Chairs,” “Fancy Windsor Chairs and Five Settees (elegantly painted),” “An assortment of Windsor CHAIRS, new patterns…Elegant SETTEES, of the same pattern,” “A large assortment of Fancy and Windsor CHAIRS, of a new fashion, and a variety of colors”, all of which were from Philadelphia (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 December 1813, 15 October, 21 December 1814, 21 April, 1 July, 16 August 1815, 16 July, 17 August, 24 September 4 November 1816, 6 March, 17, 21 July, 4 September, 9 October 1817, 25 April, 13 October, 20 November 1820, 9 January 1821). The merchant N.B. Dunkin advertised in April 1816 his offering of New York windsor chairs (Courier, Charleston, 10 April 1816). Possibly a painter and a windsor chairmaker, John Hills advertised in April 1816 that he was selling windsor chairs and “All those wishing to favor him with their custom, may have Chairs colored and ornamented in any manner they please…” (Times, Charleston, 11 April 1816). The Northern Ware House of Sass and Gready from May 1816 through May 1817 offered “Windsor Chairs, (Philadelphia make) warranted good, of various colors…” as well as settees; and from March 1818 through April 1821 Edward G. Sass, on his own, offered “20 dozen Philadelphia made Windsor CHAIRS and SETTEES” and “…of the latest fashions…” (Courier, Charleston, 22 May 1816, 7 May 1817, 24 March, 6 August,5 November 1818, 4 February 1819, 22 March, 14 December 1820; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 23 May, 21 October 1816, 23 March, 5 August 1818, 17 January, 23 April 1821). Another lone advertising merchant who offered windsor chairs was Richard W. Otis, who advertised from June 1816 through 20 December 1820 from New York. His sales were for “WINDSOR CHAIRS and SETTEES,” “10 dozen Windsor Chairs,” “6 dozen WINDSOR CHAIRS, from $18 to $35,” “30 dozen of Windsor Chairs, the whole of different patterns” (Courier, Charleston, 8 June, 14 December 1816, 5, 16 February , 25 March, 30 June, 20 October 1818, 20 December 1820; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 26 July 1820).

In November 1816 the mercantile firm of P. Miller and Co. advertised their offering of Windsor chairs (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 November 1816). Another merchant, James Kennedy, advertised in March 1817 that he was selling “12 do. [dozen] Windsor do. [chairs] handsome patterns…” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 1 March 1817). The arrival of the ship General Wade Hampton, from Philadelphia, in Charleston in December 1817, caused the merchant Ezekial Butler to advertise “WINDSOR CHAIRS, first, second and third qualities…” could be purchased at his shop (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 December 1817). The mercantile firm of Barelli, Torre and Co. advertised in February and June 1818 and March 1819 that ther were offering for sale “A FEW DOZEN of assorted Windsor [chairs and] Yellow, Dark and Satinwood Windsor Chairs” (Courier, Charleston, 23 February, 20 June 1818, 22 March 1819). With the recurrent arrival of the General Wade Hampton from Philadelphia, others apparently drew from the windsor cargo. In June 1818 the cabinetmaker John Gros advertised “Elegant Windsor Chairs” were for sale at his Cabinet and Ware Room (Courier, Charleston, 19 June 1818). Another multiple advertiser was Andrew P. Gready, cabinet warehouseman, who first advertised his offering of “Windsor Chairs and Settees” from August 1818 through July 1821, which were “Philadelphia made”, as being sold through his Northern Ware House (Courier, Charleston, 8 August 1818, 25 March, 22 July 1819, 30 July 1821). An auction in October 1818 found the stock of Jacob Sass being sold which included “…Two dozen Fancy Windsor Chairs…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 19 October 1818). In February 1819 the Providence, Rhode Island wharehouseman William Rawson, who was offering his family’s furniture from the North for sale, also offered windsor chairs, which might have been from Rhode Island (Courier, Charleston, 3 February 1819). On 2 October 1819, the upholsterer, Claude Nicholas Samory, offered “a handsome assortment of fancy WINDSOR CHAIRS” with settees to match. These were most likely from Philadelphia as were other items he ordered (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Adviser, Charleston, S.C., 2 October 1819). In January 1820 and January 1821 the painter Benjamin P. Simons was offering “Fancy and Windsor Chairs also painted in the neatest manner” and “Fancy and Windsor Chairs painted, gilted [sic], and varnished.” (Courier, Charleston, 26 January 1820, 13 January 1821). In December 1822 G. C. Harriott advertised his offering through the “Fancy and Windsor Store” where there was “…a very large and general assortment of Fancy and Windsor CHAIRS, made of superior materials, and finished in the most fashionable style…Old Chairs repaired, painted and regilt” (Courier, Charleston, 25 December 1822).

 

Armed Back Windsor Chair (1784-1784)— This term was found in the Duties on Trade at Charleston records upon the listing of the 21 April 1784 arrival of the Ship Philadelphia from Philadelphia for the merchant James Hill. Among the goods listed were “1 doz. armed back Windsor Chairs,6 ditto dining ditto the manufacture of the United States therefore no duty by Law” (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, p. 91).

 

Bow Back Windsor Chair (1801-1801)— This term was occured once in an April 1801 advertisement of Matthew and Richard Brenan, merchants, who were offering “Bow back CHAIRS, of various colours” from Philadelphia, which were probably windsors (Times, Charleston, 7 April 1801).

 

Children’s Windsor Chair (1766-1818)— The evidence for this form, or more specifically forms: high, low, table, dining, and open seat, occured in June 1766 with the advertisement of the merchants Sneed and White, who at their store in Church street, offered “Imported from Philadelphia, in the Brigantine Philadelphia Packet,…A LARGE and neat assortment of Windsor Chairs, made in the best and neatest manner, and well painted…childrens dining and low chairs” (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 24 June 1766). The next citation for this form was found in the December 1799 advertisement of Matthew and Richard Brenan who offered Philadelphia “Windsor Chairs…Children’s High Chairs…” (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 11 December 1799). It was seen in this and the following advertisements that the evidence for this form is assumed to be of the Windsor form as the children’s High Chairs, or what form the child’s chair took was preceeded by the “Windsor” identification for the listed several forms; therefore, it was assumed when the preceeding term “children’s” was followed by a chair form, it was a Windsor form; however, there was an exception found which will be evinced later. An advertisement of October 1800 revealed a sale at Pritchard’s Wharf, from Philadelphia, of “…Children’s Mahogany Colored Table Chairs…” which can be assumed to have been “high” chairs (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 October 1800). In May 1801 146 Broad Street advertised the arrival from New York and Philadelphia “Childrens high and low CHAIRS…” by Matthew and Richard Brenan (Times, Charleston, 22 May 1801). The c. May 1802 inventory of the tailor, Jesse Elmore, disclosed “Three Children’s Chairs $1.50 “ (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.D, 1800‑1810, p. 108, c. May 1802 [Wills Vol.28, Book D, p. 293, will proven 21 May 1802). The Brenans further advertised “Windsor CHAIRS, SETTEES…” which preceeded all of the: “Children’s high and Low Chairs” from 1806 through 1810. These advertisements further described this form as from Philadelphia and “A variety of very handsome gilt and ornamented chairs, children’s table chairs to suit,” “Children’s High Chairs for tables” and “Children’s Table & Low Chairs, ornamented & plain” (Charleston Courier, 18 February, 11 August, 16 October 1806; 12 December 1807, 25 October, 13 December 1808; 16 February, 25 October, 31 December 1809; 14 February, 20 July, 7 November, 22 December 1810).

In January 1813 Richard Brenan advertised that he was “selling off” and had “Childrens table Chair’s…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 22 January 1813). The firm of Sass and Gready advertised their Northern Ware House, in May 1816, as having “Windsor Chairs, (Philadelphia make) warranted good, of various colors, Children’s high and low Chairs…” (Courier, Charleston, 22 May 1816). In October 1816 they again advertised and specificed “Childrens high and table Chairs”, which reveals the possibility of two different forms, if this was not a misprint (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 October 1816). They continued their advertising of this form in May 1817 and January 1818 (Courier, Charleston, 7 May 1817; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 January 1818). From March 1818 through April 1821 Edward George Sass advertised his Northern Ware House on his own offering of Philadelphia “Children’s High and Low Chairs” (Courier, Charleston, 24 March, 5 November 1818; 14 December 1820; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 17 January 1821). Then, in August 1818, he advertised “children’s rush seat Chairs”, which demonstrates that if he was not specific in some of the past advertisements, some could have been of this form (Courier, Charleston, 6 August 1818). In one of these advertisements, that of December 1820, Sass described “A fresh supply of Philadelphia made Windsor Chairs and Settees, Childrens high chairs, do. small do. with and without Arms…” (Courier, Charleston, 14 December 1820). Another seller of this form was Richard W. Otis, who from March 1818 through May 1821, was offering “Children’s Chairs” and “Childrens high and low Chairs” (Courier, Charleston, 25 March, 20 October 1818; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 26 July 1820, 2 May 1821). Another cabinet warehouseman, Andrew P. Gready, was selling “Table Chairs, for Children” in August 1818, “Children open seat [for pots?] Chairs” in July 1819 and further offerings in July 1821 (Courier, Charleston, 8 August 1818; 22 July 1819; 30 July 1821). The warehouseman Claude N. Samory was offering “Elegant Painted high Chairs for Children”, from Philadelphia, in September 1818 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 September 1818).

 

Double Windsor Chair (1766-1775)— In June 1766 this term was first found in an advertisement of Sneed and White, merchants, who described, as from Philadelphia,…Windsor Chairs…settees, or double seated…” which might have indicated that the term was synonymous with “settee” (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 24 June 1766). In March 1768 Edward Oats, vendue master, advertised “Between ninety and one hundred single, double, and treble Windsor Chairs, all new and in good order” for sale at auction (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 1 March 1768). The September 1775 inventory of George Inglis revealed “In The Hall” “6 green Windsor Chairs £10‑ …1 double ditto [£]2‑…” which were at his plantation at Stono of “Point Pleasant” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 451, 28 September 1775).

 

Elbow Windsor Chair (1757-1764)— The arm chair of this form apparently was termed, infrequently, elbow chair. This was found in the February 1757 inventory of Joseph Edward Fowler, who had “1 Windsor Elbow Chair [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 131, 17 February 1757). Then, the February 1764 inventory of John McQueen revealed “2 Windsor Elbow Chairs [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 298, 2 February 1764).

 

Garden Windsor Chair (1764-1775)— The February 1764 inventory of John McQueen revealed “1 Windsor Garden Seat [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 298, 2 February 1764). An advertisement of the merchants Sneed and White disclosed their offering of “…Windsor Chairs…fit for piazzas, or gardens…” from Philadelphia (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 24 June 1766). The turner, John Biggard, was offering “…windsor and garden chairs…as neatly finished, and cheaper than can be imported…” (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 24 March 1767). The c. November 1769 inventory of John Snelling who had “a Garden Settee [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 212, c. 9 November 1769 [death reported South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 November 1769). The last of this form found was in the September 1775 inventory of George Inglis who had “In the Passage” of his Charleston house, “2 green Garden Windsor Chairs [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 451, 28 September 1775).

 

Half Back Windsor Chair (1759-1769)— The use of this term was found three times in the Charleston records. In September 1759 the first of this form was found as “4 half back’d Windsor Chairs [£]6‑…” in the inventory of the Honerable Peter Leigh (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 436, 15 September 1759). June 1760 revealed the inventory of Francis Bremar whose estate contained “1 half back’d Windsor Chair [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, p. 563, 25 June 1760).

 

High/Low Backed Windsor Chair (1757-1776)— These terms, not to be confused with high and low chairs (q.v.), revealed a destinction between the backs of chairs. The first of which was found in a letter from Henry Laurens, merchant, of Charleston to William Fisher, merchant, of Philadelphia dated 21 February 1757. Within this letter was revealed Laurens request for “12 high back Windsor Chairs” and “12 low back ditto” along with 6 triple Windsor Chairs” all of which were ordered for John McQueen of Charleston (The Papers of Henry Laurens, Vol. Two, p. 461, Letter dated 21 February 1757). The Charleston merchants of Sneed and White of Charleston were found in June 1766 to advertise that they had received from Philadelphia “…Windsor Chairs [which included] high backed, low backed…”; these were again advertised in January 1767 (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 24 June 1766; The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 January 1767). In September the same year the inventory of Isaac Peace disclosed “11 high & 1 low back Windsor Chairs [£]24‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 678, 3 September 1766). The importation of these forms from London was found in the November 1766 advertisement of Mansell, Corbett and Co., merchants, who offered “High and Low backed green Windsor chairs anmd settees…” (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 21 November 1766).

Crowfield Plantation of William Walter revealed in his inventory of March 1767 that in the “Little Parlor” there were “6 Low back’d & 6 high backed Windsor Chairs [£]36‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 779, 23 March 1767). The death of John Snelling in November 1769 revealed the contents of his estate which contained “3 High Back & 2 Low Back Windsor Chairs [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 212, c. November 1769 [South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 November 1769, record of his death]. May 1772 revealed the advertisement of John James, merchant, who offered “…some very neat round Top and high Back WINDSOR CHAIRS…” from Philadelphia (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 May 1772). This was last found in the September 1776 inventory of Wilton plantation of Chris Wilkinson who had “1 Dozn. high back’d green chair[s] [£]48‑…” and “14 Low do [£]42‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, p. 125, 9 September 1776).

 

Open Windsor Chair (1736-1819)— This form was twice found and perhaps indicates a chair for a pan. The first was in the 1736 inventory of John Lloyd as “3 Open Windsor Do [chairs] [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 424, 28 May 1736). The second was the July 1819 advertisement of Andrew P. Gready with “Children’s open seat Chairs” which was listed following windsor chairs (Courier, Charleston, 22 July 1819).

 

Piazza Windsor Chair (1766-1766)— This oblique term was found once and was used as “…Windsor chairs…fit for piazzas…” in the June 1766 advertisement of the merchants Sneed and White who were offering their latest imports from Philadelphia (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 24 June 1766).

 

Plain Windsor Chair (1801-1810)— This term was occasionally found and on one occasion, in March 1801, in the inventory of John McCall, found as “12 Arm Windsor Chairs & 10 plain [windsor ?] $22…” which indicates that plain in this case possibly indicated without arms (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 54, 24 March 1801). In their advertisements, the Brenan’s, used the term “plain” as in November 1810, from Philadelphia, “plain Windsor Chairs and Settees…” which could just have indicated undecorated (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 7 November 1810).

 

Riding Windsor Chair (1757-1797)— This form, while not classified as a seating form was first found referred to in the advertisement of the sale of a few items, having belonged to Doctor Poyn, by the executors J. J. Zubly and Anthony Bonneau. This January 1757 offering was “An exceeding neat new solo chair, made in the manner of a Windsor Chair, the back, rail, and elbows lined with cloth…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 6 January 1757). The March 1762 inventory of John Stanyarne revealed “2 Windsor Chairs and 1 Windsor riding Chair [£]13‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 239, 8 March 1762). The December 1763 inventory of Ebenezer Simmons revealed that in his John’s Island plantation there was “a Windsor Riding Chair & Harness [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 6, 20 December 1763). The May 1764 inventory of Samuel Perkins, coachmaker, contained, in the shop portion of the inventory, “A Windsor Chair & an old Body of a Riding Chair [£]7‑…2 Windsor Chairs No. 6 & 7 @£30‑ ea…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 239, 18 May 1764). In November 1764 Henry Laurens, merchant, advertised that he had just imported from London and had for sale “EIGHT neat windsor riding chairs…and one neat riding chair, of the sort usually imported, lined with a fine light coloured cloth, painted a strong choclate colour…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5 November 1764). In a letter to Ralph Izard dated 2 November 1768, Peter Manigault wrote of a Windsor riding chair when he informed Izard “I saw your Note to Harrison, & have searched every place both Town & Country for the Wings [elbow rests] of the Chair but cannot find them‑‑‑“ (Maurice A. Crouse, “Transcript of the Letterbook of Peter Manigault, 20 October 1763‑3 May 1773, p. 85.) That same month and year, on 25 November 1768, cabinetmaker Adam Culliatt’s estate was appraised and in the inventory was listed “1 Windsor Chair with a Top [£]40‑.” It can be assumed that the appraisers were referring to a riding chair. The July 1771 inventory of Edward Wilkinson disclosed his having on Tobodoo plantation “1 Windsor chair [£]20‑…” which by the high value should be considered to have been a riding chair (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 156, 23 July 1771). In February 1773 George Hewet, coachmaker, advertised a “…light Windsor CHAIR, with Harness compleat” (South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Charleston, 9 February 1773). Mathias Hutchinson, also a coachmaker, advertised in May 1773 that he had for sale “…a neat Chaise, and a double Windsor Chair…” (South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Charleston, 25 May 1773).

On 4 November 1790 The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser carried an advertisement of the auctioneer, David Denoon & Co., in which “A NEAT Green Windsor Sulkey” would be auctioned in Charleston. This is the first sulkey noticed by the author in Charleston documents. In November 1795 the coachmaker, John Prentice, advertised that he had for sale “A compleat Windsor CHAIR and HARNESS, almost new, made by Prentice, on Patent Springs…” which was probably of his own make (City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 November 1795). The coachmaking partnership of Abner Williams and Robert McKie advertised in February 1796 their offering of “…a well finished Coachee, a Chaise, and three Windsor Chairs…” (South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy & Mason’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 10 February 1796). The following year, in February, Robert McKie advertised again “…three Windsor CHAIRS…” which were probably the same offered the year before (South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy & Mason’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 February 1797). The best description of this form was found in the July 1797 advertisement of Captain M. Morrison seeking the return of his stolen “…new WINDSOR CHAIR and HARNESS; with brown mixed cloth lining, springs under the body, with letter W. at the back; the harness plain, with brass furniture…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 28 July 1797). The reader will be glad to know that In August, the following month, the chair was found in Georgetown, S.C. and the thief (Thomas King) was captured (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 August 1797).

 

Rocking Windsor Chair (1818-1818)— This form was seen in the February, March and October 1818 advertisements of Richard W. Otis, carver and gilder, who listed “Rocking Chairs”, which were listed after his windsor chair offerings therefore suggesting that they were of the windsor form (Courier, Charleston, 16 February, 25 March, 20 October 1818).

 

Roll Back Windsor Chair (1775-1816)— The first possible use of this was found in the August 1775 inventory of Mrs. Elizabeth Lessene as “roback [sic] Winsor [sic] chairs 80/…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 66, 14 & 16 August 1775).  Then, much later, in February 1816, the advertisement of Edward Gamage and Co., merchant, disclosed the offering of “Elegant Fancy Chairs” from New York, which included “2 do. [dozen] Windsor Roll Back Tortoise Shell Gilt do. [chairs]” (Courier, Charleston, 12 February 1816).

 

Round Top Windsor Chair (1772-1772)— This was first in the May 1772 advertisement of John James, merchant, who offered, from Philadelphia, “…some very neat round Top…WINDSOR CHAIRS…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 May 1772). The other use of this term was in October 1800 with the advertisement of the merchants Matthew Nad Richard Brenon who were offering chairs (windsor?) from Philadelphia; among which were some of “Round top of various colors” (South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 October 1800).

 

Sack Back Windsor Chair (1766-1766)— Found once, this term was used in the June 1766 advertisement of Sneed and White, merchants, who offered Philadelphia “Windsor Chairs…[among which were]…sack backed [types]…” (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 24 June 1766).

 

Settee (Windsor) (1765-1819)— This form of Windsor was found to have been entering Charleston from a northern port, most likely Philadelphia, in December 1765 as “Windsor CHAIRS, settee Ditto…Philadelphia double BEER…” by Thomas Shirley, merchant (South Carolina Gazetteer; and Country Journal, Charleston, 17 December 1765). June of the following year found the merchants Sneed and White importing settees from Philadelphia (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 24 June 1766). Also in November 1766 and June 1767 Hansell, Corbett and Co., merchants were selling settees from London (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 21 November 1766; South Carolina Gazette, and Country Journal, Charleston, 23 June 1767). When the inventory was taken of the estate of Dr. Joseph Hall, who died in September 1783, it revealed “2 Windsor Settees large & small $7…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 269, undated [South Carolina Weekly Gazette, Charleston, 27 September 1783 announced his death]). Another merchant, John Minnick, was also selling settees from Philadelphia in January 1789 (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 13 January 1789). May 1797 found Henry Ellison selling “Green Windsor CHAIRS and SETTEES” from New York (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 17 May 1797). The merchants Hopkins and Charles advertised in March the following year that they were offering “An excellent Assortment of Yellow, Green, Mahogany, and Choclate Colored CHAIRS and SETTEES” (City Gazette & Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 7 March 1798). In May and July 1798 Richard Brenan, merchant, sold settees from Philadelphia (City Gazette & Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May, 3 July 1798). The Charleston windsor chairmakers Humeston and Stafford advertised in November 1798 their ability to produce “Warranted Windsor Chairs, and GREEN SETTEES, of the newest fashions, and of an excellant quality, superior to any ever imported into this city…”(City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 November 1798). From December 1799 through November 1810 the partnership of Matthew and Richard Brenan sold Philadelphia windsor chairs and settees (City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 11 December 1799; Times, Charleston, 22 May 1801; Charleston Courier, Charleston, 18 February, 23 December 1806; 16 January, 8 August, 17 November 1807; 3 February, 25 October, 13 December 1808; 21 July, 7 November 1810).

In October 1800 they were offering settees, from Philadelphia, of the “Square top fashionable Bamboo” variety which was followed by “Do. Do. mahogany colored, with turn up sides to suit occasionally for beds” (South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 October 1800). The nature of this latter form must have been like the early form of the couch or daybed. In August 1807 they again advertised “A HANDSOME variety of fashionable Chairs and Settees, black and gold, both cane & rush bottoms, Windsor Chairs and Settees to suit…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 8 August 1807). July 1810 found the partnership offering “…full size settees…” (Times, Charleston, 20 July 1810). The c.1799 inventory of the merchant John Edwards revealed “1 Green Settee & 16 Chairs [£]‑40‑…” the latter of which were probably Windsors as was undoubtly the settee (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 390, c. 1799 [will proven 11 January 1799, Vol. 27, Book C, p. 799]). A sale was advertised of the ship Thomas Chalkley in September 1806, which had been enroute from Philadelphia to St. Thomas and put into Charleston in distress, therefore necessating the sale of her cargo which included “18 dozen Windsor Chairs,4 Settees…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 24 September 1806). A similar sale was held in April 1811, which was also the contents of a distressed ship, the Spanish ship Eugenia, which had been enroute from Philadelphia to Teneriffe, the cargo included “18 Windsor Chairs; 1 Settee…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 3 April 1811). The importer Claude Samory advertised the sale of settees from April 1815 through January 1821. The April 1815 advertisement offered “Fancy Windsor Chairs, and Five Settees, elegantly painted” and “14 dozen Windsor Chairs, of different colors and new fashion SETTEES, elegantly painted” in July 1817 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 April, 1 July, 16 August 1815; 21 July, 4 September 1817; 20 November 1820; 9 January 1821). In December 1816, February and March 1818 the carver, gilder, and warehouseman Richard W. Otis advertised Windsor settees and other furniture from New York (Courier, Charleston, 14 December 1816, 28 January, 25 March 1818). Others advertising windsor settees from New York were the firm of Barelli, Torre and Co. who described their offering in February 1818 as “Yellow, Dark and Satinwood Windsor do[chairs] SETTEES…” and in March 1818 as “An assortment of Fancy Straw Bottom and Windsor CHAIRS, with Settees to match them” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 23 February 1818; Courier, Charleston, 22 March 1819). The firm of Sass and Gready advertised in May 1817 that they had windsor settees for sale and by March 1818 they were advertising independently. In March 1818 Sass was offering “20 dozen Philadelphia made Windsor CHAIRS and SETTEES” and in April 1821 “…six Windsor SETTEES…” (Courier, Charleston, 7 May 1817, 5 November 1818; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 23 March 1818, 17 January, 23 April 1821). From August 1818 through July 1819 Andrew P.Gready, cabinet warehouseman, advertised that his Northern Ware House had Philadelphia made windsor settees for sale(Courier, Cahrleston, 8 August 1818, 25 March, 22 July 1819).

 

Single Windsor Chair (1768-1768)— In March 1768 the merchant Edward Oats was found advertising an auction of “BETWEEN ninety and one hundred single, double, and treble Windsor Chairs…” (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 1 March 1768).

 

Sofa (Windsor) (1783-1795)— This rarely used term as applied to windsor benches was first found in a March 1783 advertisement for an auction of household furnishings which included “…a Windsor Sofa…” (South Carolina Weekly Advertiser, Charleston, 19 March 1783).  In the April 1794 inventory of “Richmond,” the plantation of John Harleston, there were “2 large Green Windsor Sophas [£]‑20‑…1 Small do [£]‑5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 148, 7 and 8 April 1794). In the May 1795 inventory of James Hamden Thompson there were “2 Green do[windsor] Sofas at [£]‑20‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 129, 15 May 1795). In June of the same year the inventory of Col. Isaac Motte included “Two Old Green Sofas in the Entry”, which were not valued and were undoubtly Windsors (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 179, 5 June 1795).

 

Stick Chair (Windsor) (1785-1789)— This term to refer to the windsor form was twice found. First in the Jnue 1785 inventory of Samuel Peyre as “13 Stick Chairs & 2 Arm Do. [£]4 3/6…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 357, 21 June 1785). The other reference was in the March 1789 Charleston inventory of Robert Ladson as “12 Green Stick Chairs [£]2‑…” which were with a dining table and thus appeared to have been in use with the same (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.D, 1800‑1810, p. 293, 25 March 1789).

 

Stool (Windsor) (1767-1808)— It was surprising that this form was not found more often defined as a windsor stool. The few times it was found, it, most of the time, was implied to be of the Windsor form as will be seen in the associated references. The earliest was an advertisement of January 1767 by the merchants Mansell, Corbet and Co. who announced the arrival of a London cargo which contained “…green Windsor chairs and stools…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 January 1767). May of the next year found the “Office” inventory of Richard Lambton as containing “1 High Windsor Chair Stool [£]6‑…” along with a desk almost the same value. This form is assumed to be a stool form and the appraiser was using “Windsor chair” to define the type of stool (Charleston county Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 369, 2 May 1777). In December 1799 the merchants Matthew and Richard Brenan advertised the arrival of Philadelphia windsor chairs, settees, “Country House Stools,” and children’s high chairs, which, as listed, must have been of the Windsor form (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 11 December 1799). The “country house stool” was not seen again, but the counting house was begining in the October 1806 advertisement of the Brenan’s as imported from Philadelphia which was listed after windsor chairs and childrens high chairs was found “Counting‑House Stools” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 16 October 1806, 13 December 1808).

 

Stuffed Bottom Windsor Chair (1791-1791)— The sole entry for this term was found in a 24 November 1791 advertisement of the merchant, John Minnix, for “…one dozen elegant stuffed bottom yellow windsor chairs…” (The City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 24 November 1791).

 

Triple Windsor Chair (1755-1768)— The first description of a Windsor triple back was found in the October 1755 inventory of Alexander Gordon, artist, as listed after green chairs, which are assumed to have been windsors, as “1 Trible[sic] do[chair] [£]3‑…” (Charleston county Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 435, __October 1755). In February two years later a letter from Henry Laurens, merchant, to William Fisher, merchant in Philadelphia, revealed an order for Windsor chairs for John McQueen of Charleston which included “6 triple Windsor Chairs” (The Papers of Henry Laurens,  Letter of 21 February 1757, p. 461). Then was found the advertisement of March 1768 of Edward Oats announcing the auction of “BETWEEN ninety and one hundred single, double, and treble[sic] Windsor Chairs” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 1 March 1768).

 

Windsor Chairs with Backs (1767-1767)— This unusual description was singularily found in the April 1767 inventory of Isaac Marshall as “2 Windsor chairs with Backs [£]3‑…” which might have been to distinguish between stools; however, the a stool did not occur in the inventory nor did other windsors. The three appraisers were all merchants, thus this term was probably not common with a layperson (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 125, 27 April 1767).

 

Writing Chair (Windsor) (1818-1818)— It was surprising that this form, apparently, was only advertised by Richard W. Otis and not revealed in inventories. The first of his offerings was the June 1816 advertisement of “…Fancy and Windsor together with a Few WRITING CHAIRS…” the origin of which was not specified. The listings of this form after Windsor chairs suggests Windsor as a possibility for this form. February 1818 found his advertisements of “10 Dozen Windsor CHAIRS…2 Writing Chairs…” and “30 dozen Fancy and Windsor Chairs…Writing Chairs…” March and October 1818 found Otis still advertising writing chairs, which, like most of the earlier offerings, were from New York (Courier, 8 June 1816; 5, 16 February, 25 March, 20 October 1818).

 

WINDSOR FINISHES

Black (1800-1800)— It is once that a mention of black for a chair type, which can most probably be assumed to be, at this date, of the windsor variety, was found in an October 1800 advertisement of the merchants Matthew and Richard Brenan as among a shipment from Philadelphia of chairs was “Square top fashionable…Black, with wood seats” (South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 October 1800). 

 

Blue (1767-1767)— The sole citation for this was found in the c. December 1767 inventory of George Marshall, planter, whose estate contained “2 Blue Windsor Chairs [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 254, c. December 1767).

 

Chocolate (1789-1789)— This color was found in the March 1789 advertisement of the merchants Hopkins and Charles who offered “Windsor Chairs…An excellent Assortment of Yellow, Green, Mahogany, and Chocolate colored CHAIRS and SETTEES” from Philadelphia (City Gazette & Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 7 March 1798).

 

Dark (1804-1818)— The auction firm of M. Myers and Co. advertised a sale in March 1804 of “100 Best Green & Dark‑coloured WINDSOR CHAIRS…”(Charleston Courier, Charleston, 1 March 1804). In February 1818 the mercantile firm of Barelli, Torre and Co. advertised the arrival from New York of “Yellow, Dark, and Satinwood Windsor do.[chairs] SETTEES…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 23 February 1818).

 

Fancy (1801-1818)— This type of coloring and decoration as applied to windsor chairs was first found in the April 1801 advertisement by Morris Clayton, “Broker,” which announced the arrival of a large shipment from New York which included “300 Fancy Windsor Chairs, executed in the best manner and newest fashions, with permanent and lasting varnishes to exceed anything of the kind introduced in the southern States” (Times, Charleston, 7 April 1801). An advertisement in January 1803 of Crocker and Hichborn, merchants, offered “Fancy Windsor Chairs” which had arrived from New York (Charleston Courier, 12, 15 January 1803). In February 1808 an advertisement for “Gilt and ornamented windsor Chairs and Settees” from Philadelphia and in December following a similar appearance also both of which were for sale at 146 Broad St. (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 3 February, 13, 24 December 1808). The same address was advertised in December 1809 and February 1810, advertising “a great variety” as a prefix, which also were described as “Windsor Chairs, both plain and gilt” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 31 December 1809, 14, 26 February 1810). An upcoming sale was announced by Nicol Bryce in November 1812 which listed “One dozen elegant Windsor Chairs, gilt” (City Gazette and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 19 November 1812). The mercantile firm of C. E. Gamage and Co. advertised in 1815 and 1816 the arrival of cargos from New York which, in October 1815, contained “Fancy Windsor Chairs…6 dozen Windsor CHAIRS, neat patterns…” and in February 1816 “2 do. [dozen] Windsor Roll Back Tortoise Shell Gilt do. [chairs]…1 do. [dozen] do. [windsor] Slat do. [back] Yellow…” (Courier, Charleston, 23 October 1815, 3 January, 12 February 1816). In December 1818 H.C.M’Leod advertised the sale of Philadelphia made “two dozen Fancy Windsor Chairs” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 19 December 1818).

 

Green (1755-1804)— By far the most common color, green was first encountered in the October 1755 inventory of artist Alexander Gordon whose estate contained “2 [Windsor] arm Green chairs [£]3” and “1 Trible [sic] Do. [£]3.”(Charleston County, Wills, Etc., Vols. 82 A & B, 1753-1756, Vol. 82A, October 1755, p. 435).  Although the term Windsor is not actually used in the appraisal, the types described implied that the chairs were indeed green Windsors.  The first mention of Windsor with the color green is the January 1767 advertisement of Mansell, Corbett and Co. who offered “an assortment of GOODS, suitable for the province [which included] green Windsor chairs and stools…” which continued to be offered in June and December (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 January 1767; South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 23 June, 1 December 1767). The November 1769 inventory of Edward Lightwood revealed “6 Philadelphia Green Chairs…” undoubtedly windsors (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 157, 15 November 1769). When the September 1771 estate of Rev. Thomas Panting, rector of St. Thomas Parish, was appraised, there were “6 Green Windsor Do [chairs] [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 200, 28 September 1771). November the following year found the inventory of Edward Hughes with “2 Green Windsor Chairs [£]3‑5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols.94A‑94B, 1771‑1774, p. 371, 2 November 1772). The September 1775 inventory of George Inglis, merchant, disclosed that in his Charleston house there were “2 green garden [q.v.] Windsor chairs £5‑…2 childrens do [Windsor chairs] 70/…” in the “Passage” and in the “Hall” of his Stono plantation “Point Pleasant,” there were 6 green Windsor Chairs £10‑…1 double do [windsor chair] [£]2‑…”; both appraisals were made by the same persons.  Also in both inventories, in the same space, with the windsor chairs, there was only a dining table and a breakfast table. (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, pp. 451, 25, 28 September 1775). The May 1776 inventory of Thomas Wright contained “2 Green painted (Windsor) chairs [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 15, 14 May 1776). March the following year found the inventory of Josias Allston, of Georgetown, with “2 green painted Windsor Chairs [£]6‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 509, 12 March 1777).

In the general chair form evidence, where the citations for color was given, the color green (q.v.) was not a common color among the “post and rung” forms; therefore the inventory citations for green chairs could be assumed to be for the Windsor form, a form which frequently occurred as green. Thus, when the December 1777 estate of Sir John Colleton, Barronet, was appraised, there wwas revealed that in the “Hall” there were “11 Green Arm Chairs [£]60‑…” which could be assumed to be Windsors. That they were of this form is further supported by their being all arm chairs. (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 368, 30 December 1777). When Daniel Leseane died his March 1783 inventory included “Ten Green Windsor Chairs [£]4‑…”(Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 19, 21 March 1783). Later in the same year, in November, the inventory of John Ash disclosed a “Half Dozen Green Chairs 40/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 130, 10 November 1783). The ship Maria entered Charleston on 11 June 1785 with “10 doz Green Windsor Chairs” on board (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, p.215, Manifest No. 987). The March 1787 inventory of Myer Moses offered the possibility that windsors were listed which had cushions as “6 Green Chairs with Cushions 30/…” also in the inventory were “straw chairs” thereby increasing the liklehood of these being windsors (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 199, 26 March 1787). In the March 1788 inventory of James Skirving revealed that he had “A pair of green Arm Chairs 7/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 94, 7 March 1788). In January 1789 an advertisement of “67 Bay St.” offered “Best Green Chairs” as from Philadelphia (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 January 1789). March the same year also found the inventory of William Gibbes, Esq. with his Charleston house containing; in the “Back Parlor” “8 Green Chairs 40/…” and in the “Entry” “12 Green Chairs 60/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 238, 24 March 1789).  Further in November 1789 “Yellow, mahogany color and green Windsor chairs…” were found in the advertisement of Jonh Minnick, merchant, as from Philadelphia (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 13 November 1789). In April 1793 there was another advertisement of Minnick further offering Philadelphia “…Green and yellow chairs…” which are assumed to be windsors (State Gazette of South Carolina, Charleston, 26 April 1793).

When the April 1794 estate of “Richmond” the plantation of John Harleston was appraised there were “2 large Green Windsor Sophas [£]‑20‑…1 Small do.[green windsor sopha?] [£]‑5‑…15 Green Windsor Chairs 4/ [£]‑60‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 148, 7 and 8 April 1794). The May 1795 inventory of James Hamden Thompson, a Quaker, revealed “23 Green do. [windsor] do. [chairs] at [£]‑2‑ [£]‑46‑…2 Green do. [windsor] Sofas at [£]‑20‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 129, 15 May 1795). In March the following year the estate of Richard Gough contained the appraisal of “1 Doz. Green do. [chairs] [£]‑40‑…” which undoubtedly were Windsors (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 173, 22 March 1796). An advertisement of Henry Ellison, merchant, in May 1797, offered “Green Windsor CHAIRS and SETTEES” as from New York (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 17 May 1797). In March 1798 the mercantile firm of Hopkins and Charles advertised the arrival of “Windsor CHAIRS…An execellent Assortment of Yellow, Green, Mahogany, and Chocolate Colored CHAIRS and SETTEES” which had arrived from Philadelphia (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 7 March 1798).  November the same year found an advertisement of the windsor chairmakers, Humeston and Stafford, offering “…GREEN SETTEES of the Newest fashions…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 November 1798). The merchants Matthew and Richard Brenan advertised in October 1800 their shipment that included “Square top fashionable [chairs of] green…with wood seats”, which should be considered as being of the windsor variety (South Carolina Gazette and Timothy’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 October 1990). An advertisement of M. Myers and Co. of March 1804 disclosed an auction of “100 Best Green & Dark‑coloured WINDSOR CHAIRS…”(Charleston Courier, Charleston, 1 March 1804). In July the same year the inventory of Charles Snowden listed “1 Ditto[dozen] Green Ditto[painted chairs] $12…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 266, 27 July 1804).

 

Mahogany (1789-1800)‑‑‑ The imitation of mahogany could be found in a few records for the Windsor form. The earliest was the November 1789 advertisement of John Minnick, merchant, who was offering, from Philadelphia, “Yellow, mahogany color and green Windsor chairs…” (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 13 November 1798). Later, in March 1798, an advertisement of the merchants Hopkins and Charles revealed their offering of “Windsor CHAIRS…An Excellent assortment of Yellow, Green, Mahogany, and Chocolate Colored CHAIRS and SETTEES” from Philadelphia (City Gazette & Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 7 March 1798). June of 1800 found the inventory of James Patterson, vendue master, which contained “1 Doz Mahogany Color’d Windsor Chairs [£]‑40‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 466, 6 June 1800). In October 1800 an advertisement revealed that “…at Pritchard’s Wharf…” there were “Mahogany colored Arm and Oval Back Chairs [and] Children’s Mahogany Colored TABLE CHAIRS…” from Philadelphia, which might have been Windsor (City‑Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 October 1800).

 

Painted (1762-1820)— This was found thrice in the records. The first was a January 1762 advertisement of Isaac Holmes, merchant, offering “…Windsor chairs plain and painted…” which had arrived from London (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 30 January 1762). the inventory of May 1791 of John Deas revealed “6 Painted windsor Chairs with covers [£]3‑…” which suggests chairs with slip covers (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 348, 5 May 1791). The Charleston Windsor chair factory of Stafford, Thompson and Co. advertised in January 1800 their ability to “PAINT and REPAIR old [windsor] Chairs…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 January 1800). October 1800 found William Tompson, windsor chair maker of Charleston, advertising his ability in “painting old ones [windsor chairs]…”(The Times, Charleston, 14 October 1800). Later, in a September 1814 mortgage of personal and shop property of Charles Coquereau, cabinet and chairmaker, to Maria R. Chevalier, the mention of “…1 dozen painted windsor Setting Chairs…” were part of either his house or shop contents, it was not clear (Charleston County, South Carolina Mortgages, No. N.N.N., 1808‑1816, p. 409, 2 September 1814). In January of 1820 and then in January the following year, the painter, J. B. Simons, advertised his ability in painting, gilding and varnishing windsor chairs (Courier, Charleston, 26 January 1820, 13 January 1821).

 

Plain (1762-1810)— The references for this were as rare as the “painted”(q.v.) references. The January 1762 advertisement of Isaac Holmes, merchant, listed “…Windsor Chairs plain and painted…” as from London, among his items for sale (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 30 January 1762). In March 1801 the inventory of John McCall revealed “12 Arm Windsor Chairs & 10 plain $22.” which illustrates that the use of “plain” indicated, at least to one group of appraisers, windsors without arms (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 54, 24 March 1801). The other evidence was found for the year 1810. In February “Windsor Chairs, both plain and gilt” were being offered at No. 146 Broad Street (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 14 February 1810). A variation of this advertisement appeared later in the month as did still another in June with the latter revealing Philadelphia as the origin for these chairs (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 26 February 1810; Times, Charleston, 27 June 1810).

 

Satinwood (1818-1818)— The sole citation for this was in the February 1818 advertisement of the mercantile firm of Barelli, Torre and Co. with their shipment from New York of “Yellow, Dark and Satinwood Windsor do[chairs], SETTEES…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 23 February 1818). This color must have been more vibrant than the normal yellow or the sellers.

 

Yellow (1789-1818)— An advertisement of August 1789 of John Minnick, merchant, disclosed his offering of Philadelphia “…Green and yellow Windsor chairs…” (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 August 1789). Further, in November, he again offered another shipment of Philadelphia “…Yellow, mahogany color and green Windsor chairs…” (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 13 November 1789). On 24 November 1791 Minnick further defined the yellow offering to include “…one dozen elegant stuffed bottom yellow windsor chairs…” (The City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 24 November 1791). In April 1793, he again advertises “…Green and yellow chairs…” from Philadelphia, which in all probability were windsors (State Gazette of South Carolina, Charleston, 26 April 1793). The May 1795 inventory of James Hamden Thompson revealed “12 Yellow Windsor Chairs at [£]‑2‑ [£]‑24‑…” in addition to 23 green windsor chairs (q.v.) (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 129, 15 May 1795). In March the following year found the inventory of Richard Gough with “1 Doz. Yellow Chairs [£]‑70‑…1 Doz. Green do[chairs] [£]‑40‑…” which were undoubtedly Windsors (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 173, 22 March 1796). A March 1798 advertisement of the merchants Hopkins and Charles announced the arrival of “Windsor CHAIRS…An excellent Assortment of Yellow, Green, Mahogany, and Choclate Colored CHAIRS and SETTEES” (City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 7 March 1798). The merchants Matthew and Richard Brenon advertised on 31 October 1800 that they had just received by ship  chairs with “square top[s] fashionable Yellow…with wood seats”; therefore one should assume that these were of the windsor variety (South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 October, 1800). Then, in 1818, the mercantile firm of Barelli, Torre and Co. offered “Yellow, Dark and Satinwood Windsor do[chairs], SETTEES…”as from Philadelphia (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 23 February 1818).

 

OTHER SEATING FURNITURE FORMS

Bench (1693-1803)— Within The Academy of Armory, published in 1682, by Randle Holme of Chester, England, is found pictures of objects found in English homes of the mid‑to‑late seventeenth century. Two of these (74 and 77) illustrate “…a countrey stoole, or a planke, or Block stoole, being onley a thick peece of wood, with either 3 or 4 peece of wood fastened in it for feet. Note that if these be made long, then they are termed, either a Bench, a Forme, or a Tressell; of some a long seate…[and]…a Joint Forme, or Bench” (Randle Holme, An Academy or Store House of Armory & Blazon Vol II, Chester, England, 1682 as in Victor Chinnery, Oak Furniture [Woodbridge: Baron Publishing, 1979], pp. 545‑549). It is in the 1693 inventory of Francis Jones that the “…fourme…” is first encountered together with “…2 stooles & 1 table top…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p.112, 24 September 1693). Joseph Penderves’ 1695 inventory included “…1 longe Table & forme [£]0‑10‑0…” as did that of Richard Capers of the same year with “…one forme…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 301, 13 July 1695; p. 459, 18 Oct 1695). A mortgage of Joseph Morgan in 1724 finds the first use of “…three Benches…” as the comparable term (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1722‑1726, p. 134, 14 November 1724). A note of caution is that with the use of ‘bench’ as a seat, the occurrence of ‘bench’ in a woodworking inventory could indicate ‘workbench’. The use other than in homes for this form was seen in 1738 when the Commons House of Assembly agreed to the payment of an account for the “…Free School in Charles Town for Desks, Fourms and other Repairs for the said School…” (J.H. Easterby, ed. The Journal of the Commons House of Assembly, November 10, 1736‑June 7, 1739 [Columbia: Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1951], p.447, 2 February 1738). The last use of “forme” was in the 1739 inventory of John Herbert who died possessed of “…1 form…[and]…1 wooden form…”(Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743, 26 September 1739).

A specific category of benches was revealed on 27 November 1752 with an advertisement of Richard Lake offering a plantation on the Ashley River, “within 5 miles from Charles-Town”, which apparently contained an extensive garden and contained “…several handsome garden benches…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 November 1752). These could have been either of wood or iron. The Commons House of Assembly in 1765 paid “…Daniel Cannon [carpenter], for making writing Desks & Benches for the Free School, in Charles Town [£]79‑5‑ …” the year before (A.S. Salley, ed. Journal of the Commons House of Assembly, January 8, 1765‑August 9, 1765 [Columbia: State Commercial Printing Company, 1949], pp. 165, 176). An interesting form differentiation is noted in the 1769 inventory of William Johnson, schoolmaster, where there were “…2 Writing and 2 Sitting Benches 40/…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 90, 16,and 18,and 25 March 1769). Just what design indicated a writing bench for this date is not known, however, a bench with a supported front surface is indicated. The use of ‘deal’, meaning pine, is found in the 1788 inventory of a John Watson which contained “…4 Deal [pine/cypress] Benches [£]‑2‑ [and also]…1 green Bench [£]‑1‑…” the latter of which was possibly a painted windsor(Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 208, May 1788). Another schoolmaster, Philip Anthony Bessellieu, of the Orphan House School, contained in his 1795 inventory “…four writing Benches and Six firms [sic] [£]‑30‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.C, 1793‑1800, p.113, 26 March 1795). An interesting term is used in the 1796 inventory of William Dalrumple, shopkeeper, with “…4 Barr Benches or seats [£]‑5‑…” which could probably be interpreted as windsor benches were it not for “…7 Windsor chairs…” occurring further in the inventory indicating a consciousness of the term windsor (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.C, 1793‑1800, p. 185, no date c.1796). In the 1798 inventory of Jacob Jacobs, Vendue master, there were “…Vendue tables & Benches…” which probably were used together (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 308, 19 January 1798).  Another specialized use of the term bench is found in the advertisement of Hugh and John Finlay, Baltimore fancy furniture makers who advertised in Charleston on 18 March 1803 that they manufactured “bench seat chairs” (City Gazette & Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 March 1803, 3‑3.)

 

Lounge (1815-1820)— Thomas Sheraton’s 1802 edition of The Cabinet Maker and Upholsterers’ Drawing Book described the Chaise Lounge as “…from the French, which imports a long chair. Their use is to rest or loll upon after dinner, and in some cases…serve as a sofa” (Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet Maker and Upholsterers’ Drawing Book [New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1972], appendix, p. 26, pl. XVIII). George Smith’s 1808 Collection of Designs included four plates of this form and concluded that they were “…admissable into almost every room” (George Smith, Collection of Designs [New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970], p. 12, pls. 63, 64A, 65B, and 66). In Charleston the first evidence found was within the 1815 and 1816 letters between Miss Sarah E. Huger of New York and Mrs. Harriott Pinckney Horry of Charleston. These contain discussions concerning the ordering of tables, chairs and lounges from Duncan Phyfe, and Ellis and Wheaton of New York. The 1815 letter reveals that “…The Sofas or Lounges [from Ellis and Wheaton] will cost more…$60 is the price of a common Shape, but the fashionable ones…cost at least $75 each…”. Both letters illustrate that clients could dictate the design of the furniture as in 1815, a “…design enclosed to Mr. Wheaton…” and in 1816, “…all these improvements however, which I suggested to Ellis & Wheaton, when I shewed the Lounge sketch…” (Pinckney‑Lowndes Papers, 11/332/27, 21 October 1815, 5 March 1816, Charleston Historical Society; Letter of 27 January 1987 to author from Mr. Harlan Green, Assistant Director, Charleston Historical Society). In 1817 and through 1818, Archibald Whitney was the first and only advertiser of this Philadelphia imported form as “ELEGANT Lounge, Sofas, Settees, Chairs…The Lounge and Sofas are of the first quality, stuff’d in hair seating, and of the most modern style” (Courier, Charleston, 15 April 1817, 3‑2; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 April 1818; Times, Charleston, 2 May 1818). From 1819 through January of 1821 George E. Sass was the sole advertiser of the Philadelphia lounges. There is an 1819 receipt from Sass to Daniel Huger concerning payment for “1 Green Fancy Lounge with Rush Seat & Gilt ornaments $45.00…” (Bacot‑Huger Collection, 11/49/14, Daniel Huger, 22 January 1819, Charleston historical Collection). Selling from his “Northern Ware‑House”, Sass advertised his lounges as “…very elegant fancy Grecian, Cane, and Rush Seat CHAIRS and LOUNGES…” (Courier, Charleston, 22 March, 26 August, 14 December 1820; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 17 January 1821). In two of the advertisements “Loungers” was used; whether this was his wording or the newspapers is not known. In 1821 Andrew P. Gready offered a lounge for sale, but it apparently was not among his normal sale items of chairs (Courier, Charleston, 30 July 1821, 3‑4).

 

Seats (1803-1803)— In The 1803 advertisement of Hugh and John Finlay they offer to take orders for furniture, made in Baltimore at their firm, which included “Do [japanned] Window and Recess Seats…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1803, 3‑3). This was the sole evidence found in Charleston for furniture termed Seats except with Windsor garden chairs (q.v.). It is interesting that Hepplewhite (1794) termed this form “window stools” a term which was not found in Charleston (p. 4, pls. 18, 19, 20).

 

Settee (1741-1820)— This form was from the beginning of the eighteenth century with the Oxford English Dictionary quoting the 1716 London Gazette where the advertisement of an upholsterer (?) lists settees. The first settee encountered in Lowcountry documents was in the 1741 inventory of Thomas Gadsden who died with “…1 Settee & two Boulsters [£]10‑ …[and]…1 cover for the Setteee with two Boulsters…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). The same year Walter Rowland was advertising his capability to upholster Settees (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 November 1741, 3‑1). The full use of the settee was found in 1748 with the inventory of Charles Shepheard which included “…1 Settee with Canopy pavillion & Coverlid [£]35‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 74, 1741‑1748, p. 443, 27 May 1748). In the section on bedstead forms is the settee bedstead, and should not be confused with the settee, was first mentioned in 1748. Two of the inventories (1751 and 1753) of Joseph Wragg, merchant, contained two settees; one valued at twelve pounds (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 81, 18 September 1751 [house] and Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 62, 31 May 1753 [Quarter House plantation]). It is interesting that Chippendale’s 1755 Director contained ‘Settee’ among the furniture forms illustrated on the title page; however, within the book the form was not shown. The title page of the 1762 third edition did not list the form, but added ‘couches’. In 1755, 1756, and 1757 Edward Weyman, upholsterer, advertised that he stuffed settees and settee beds (q.v.) (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 30 October, 6 November 1755, 25 November 1756 and 13 January 1757 [supp.]). It is interesting that the design book Genteel Houshold Furniture In the Present Taste, of 1762, was alone in including two ‘Settee Couches’ on a single plate (#25). Apparently this form, by the name settee, was in the transitional stage in 1762, because when Richard Bird, “UPHOLSTERER from LONDON”, advertised in 1762 “That he makes, in the genteelest taste now in vogue…sophas, settees…” he named two forms which marked the first mention of sofa in Charleston and the decline in popularity of the settee, the design of which had been shunned by most design books (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 18 September 1762, 3‑2). As settees were still owned, they needed to be mentioned by upholsterers as within their capabilities of upholstering. This was also true with John Blott who, in 1765, advertised his “Upholsterers Business” in “…stuffing and covering sofas, settees…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 June 1765, 1‑1). Beginning in 1765 the term settee, if not defined, could indicate the Windsor form as Thomas Shirley was advertising in this year that “…Windsor CHAIRS, Settee Ditto…” for sale from Philadelphia (South‑Carolina Gazetteer; and Country Journal, Charleston, 17 December 1765). This was followed the next year with full descriptions of London and Philadelphia Windsor furniture entering Charleston, thus, from 1765, the interpretation of settee advertisements must be with caution if the Windsor vs. the upholstered form is to be understood, and, as will be revealed later, after 1802, if the difference between fancy Windsor settees and fancy settees is to be understood. The term settee was used in 1769 to refer to a “…Garden Settee [£]7‑…” which possibly was of the Windsor form as Windsow Chairs [£]5‑ …” were also listed in the inventory of John Snelling, Merchant (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 212, c. 1769 [The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 November 1769, Death notice]).

In the 1771 inventory of Benjamin Smith Esq. the ‘Parlor’ contained “…1 Mahogany Settee, Leather Bottom [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 369, 7 January 1771). The use of a settee, on the south side of a branch of the Cape Fear River in North Carolina, was recorded in The Journal of a Lady of Quality which, in 1775, as “The daily heat increases, as do the Musquetoes, the bugs and the ticks. The curtains of our beds are now supplied by Musquitoes’ nets. Fanny has got a neat or rather elegant dressing room, the settees of which are canopied over with green gauze, and on these we lie panting for breath and air, dressed in a single muslin petticoat and short gown…” (Evangeline Walker Andrews ed., The Journal of a Lady of Quality [New Haven: Yale University Press, 1923], pp. 182‑183). Two years later, in 1777, the inventory of the house formerly occupied by Lord William Campbell, the last royal governor of South Carolina itemized the form accordingly: in the “Dining Room” was “1 Settee of Crimson Silk Damask with Linnen Cover [£]11‑0‑0” and in the “Library” was “1 Mahogany Settee Hair Bottom with Red Check Cover [£]7‑7‑0” (B.P.R.0 T1/541, pp. [1, 3], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777.) On the 19 October 1784 the ship Castle Douglas sailed from London with a cargo which included “2 Settees a Jobb [£]3.3” as shipped with other furniture by the London firm of Pitt and Chessey who were upholsterers, appraisers, and auctioneers. The “Jobb” probably indicates that the settee, at least, was specially ordered. Along with the settees were 24 chairs and 4 arm chairs with other furniture (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 700). It was not until 1790 that this form was again found in the documents with the advertisement of Andrew Gifford, cabinetmaker, “Just from New York…” who offered furniture for sale “…at the head of Champney’s Wharf [which included] settees…” the form of which was not clear and could as well have been the Windsor (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1790). In the 1797 inventory of James Heyward Esq. in Hamburg, St. Bartholomew Parish, an old term was found: “…2 French Settee Couches & dimity Furniture [£]20‑…” It will be remembered that “settee couches” was the term used in the 1762 Genteel Houshold Furniture In the Present Taste; however, Heyward also owned five duchesses (q.v.), the form as such was of French origin, and that these were all that were found in Charleston records might have also been form France as possibly the “French Settee Couches” might have been (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 254, 24 April 1797).  Not all settees were of the windsor form, foreign or, as will be shown in 1802 fancy, for in 1809 Jacob Sass and Son advertised that they were offering at their “Ware Room…CABINET WORK, of the latest fashion, and made by good Workmen in their[Sass and Son] own shop [including] An inlaid pair of Mahogany Setees…” (The Strength of the People, Charleston, 14,17 August 1809). This advertisement was the last evidence found of upholstered settees in Charleston and it can be assumed that further mention of this form appeared as sofa [q.v.].  Interestingly, in 1796 the first advertisement was placed for fancy furniture, but it was not until 1802 that fancy  settees were mentioned by name. This was by Thomas Oliphant and William Haydon who offered “An elegant assortment of fancy japanned, black and gilt Chairs and Settees…” made by Haydon in Philadelphia (Times, Charleston, 6 December 1802, 3‑3 and 8 February 1803, 2‑4).

The Baltimore firm, John and Hugh Finlay, who briefly came to Charleston in 1803, advertised that they would take orders for Japanned settees which they would make in Baltimore (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1803, 3‑3). In 1806 Robert Eason, a commission and vendue merchant, was selling a “…Set of Elegant Gilt CHAIRS, with Straw bottoms, and SETTEES to match” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 7 May, 11 August, 25 September 1806). The mercantile firm of M. and R. Brenan, who had been importing Windsor and fancy chairs from Philadelphia, since 1806 finally said specifically in 1810 that they were offering settees in the fancy style as: “…a few sets of very handsome Drawing Room Chairs, gilt and ornamented, with Settees to suit, both cane and rush bottoms…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 11 August 1806, 3‑4; 22 December 1810, 3‑4). In 1812 an auction was offering “…18 white and gold fancy Chairs with cushions and dimity covers, two Settees to match…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 10 June 1812, 3‑3). The Brenan firm again advertised in 1813 that they had “…a few sets fancy CHAIRS and SETTEES, black and gold, with rush seats…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 22 January 1813, 3‑2). Charles Coquereau advertised in 1814 that he “…carries on the CHAIR and SETTEE MANUFACTURY BUSINESS, at his shop…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 August 1814, 3‑3). The “…Black and gilt straw bottom Chairs, and settee to match…” must have been a popular design as Philip Cohen advertised this in 1814 as the Brenan’s did in 1812 (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 7 November 1814, 2‑5). In 1816 Claude M. Samory, Sass and Gready, and Richard W. Otis all were advertising Philadelphia imported “fancy settees,” “SETTEES, elegantly painted,” and “Fancy and Windsor Chairs and Settees” with such a wording that the separation of fancy settees and fancy windsor settees was not possible (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 July 1816, 3‑2; Charleston Evening Post & Commercial & Political Advertiser, Charleston, 17 August 1816, 3‑1; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 October, 4 November 1816, 3‑4; Charleston Courier, Charleston, 14 December 1816, 3‑2). Archibald Whitney was selling a Philadelphia “…Settee …highly finished and gilted with rush seats” (Courier, Charleston, 15 April 1817, 3‑2). The firm of Sass and Gready were advertising “…Cane and Rush seat Fancy CHAIRS and SETTEES…” from Philadelphia, in 1817, which were available at their “NORTHERN WARE HOUSE” (Courier, Charleston, 7,27 May 1817). They offered a new color of settee in 1818 “…Cane and Rush Seat Fancy CHAIRS and SETTEES, Rosewood colors” although the origin was not revealed (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 January 1818, 2‑4). Also in 1818, the cabinetmaker William Rawson, from Providence, Rhode Island, was importing, from his families “Manufactory” in Providence, furniture among which were settees (Courier, Charleston, 28 January, 2 February 1818). Further in 1818 Otis, E.G. Sass, Samory, and J. Sass advertised the importation of Philadelphia fancy settees which were cane and rush (Courier, Charleston, 16 February, 25, 30 March, 30 June, 19, 20 October 1818). At the end of that year, H.C. M’Leod announced a public sale at 39 Queen Street, Jacob Sass’ address, and among the pieces of “ready made FURNITURE” listed for sale were “A few dozen Philadelphia made Cane Seat Chairs and Settees…” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, 19 December 1818, 3‑5.). The upholsterer, Claude Nicholas Samory, was offering “fancy windsor chairs, with elegant SETTEES of the same patterns” which undoubtedly were from Philadelphia as most of the goods he advertised were from that source (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 2 October 1819). The firms of Barelli, Torre & Co., in 1819, and Richard W. Otis & Co., in 1820, were offering fancy settees from New York (Courier, Charleston, 22 March 1819, 20 December 1820).

 

Settle (1758-1758)— This form only occurs once in the records as “…1 Mahogany Settle [£]5‑…” in the 1758 inventory of Richard Wainright (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 23, 17 June 1758). This record is unusual as this was not a Southern form and could represent a unique example or a misapplication of the term.

 

Sofa (1762-1820)— With 1741 as the first Lowcountry recorded settee and the 1754 Director the first design book sofa, it was not until 1762 that the first Charleston record of sofas were found (for “settee” [q.v.]; Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinet‑maker’s Director [London: J. Haberkorn, 1755], p. 9, pls. XXV, XXVI). This was record was the 1762 advertisement of Richard Bird “UPHOLSTERER from LONDON” (via. New York in 1761), who “…makes [upholsters], in the genteelest taste now in vogue…sofas…”(South‑Carolina Gazette,Charleston,11 September 1762, 3‑2). Also in 1762 was the third edition of the Director published as well as The Universal System of Houshold Furniture, both of which contained plates of sofas: the former with six designs and the latter with four (Thomas Chippendale, The Gentleman and Cabinet‑maker’s Director [London: T. Becket and P.A. DeHondt, 1762], pp.4‑5, pls. XXIX, XXX, XXXI, XXXIII; Ince and Mayhew, The Universal System of Household Furniture [Chicago: Quadrangle Books, 1960], pp. 8‑9, plates LXII, LXIII, LXV). Two years later John Blott advertised that he “…executes the Upholsterers Business in all its various branches, viz, stuffing and covering sofas, [etc.]…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 June 1765, 1‑1). In 1766 another upholsterer also “…from London…,” Richard Fowler, who had been an assistant to Blott, advertised that “…stuffed and repaired…sofas” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 17 June, 8 July 1766). Thomas Coleman, in 1767, 1768, and 1769, advertised that sofas were within his capability and could undertake “…other articles in the mahogany business in the neatest and most expeditious manner” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 28 February 1769, 2‑2). Thomas Gadsden, merchant, offered “…EIGHT French Chairs, two Sofas, and three Curtains compleat, with rich carved Cornices, covered with Crimson Silk Damask, and spare Check Covers…” for sale, “…under the FIRST COST and CHARGES…” indicating that he might have ordered these from England and the person desired the items did not purchase (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 22 November 1768, 3‑3).

In 1771 Richard Magrath, another upholsterer and cabinetmaker, “LATELY FROM London”, advertised a sale at his house which included “…Sophias, made up in the genteelest Manner…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 August 1771, 2‑1). The Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775) contains charges for seven sofas for 90 to 100 pounds. These were variously described as “…a Sopha [£]90‑ [and] two Hair Boldsters [£]4‑…” (#94, 13 October 1771), “…A Sopha @ [£]90‑…[and]…2 Bolsters to do [£]6‑…” (#78, 17 August 1771), “…a Sopha with Bolsters [£]95‑…[and]…2 Setts of brass castors [£]2‑…[and]…to cutting & fixing a case to do[sofa] of check [£]5‑…” (#164, 3 March 1774), “…a Sopha [£]100‑…” (#106, 20 February 1772).  Also, shop account, #63, paid twice in 1771 for having a sofa frame made and a sofa stuffed: on 17 August “…Paid Mills [Thomas] for makg [sic] a Sopha [£]8‑…” and on 23 December “…Paid Andrew Burn for stuffing a Sopha [£]12‑ …” (Other accounts for sofas both as sold and for mending were: #69, 18 December 1771; #104, 30 January 1772; #70, 2 June 1774; #278, 22 August 1775). Also during this same time was Richard Fowler advertising in 1771 that he “…continues to follow the UPHOLSTERY business in all its branches, such as making “…safoes[sic]…” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 22 October 1771, 3‑2). In 1772 John Blott again advertised saying that he “…Continues to make, cover, and stuff Sophas, [etc]…”(South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 May 1772, 3‑3). Also, again in the newspaper was Richard Magrath in 1772 selling “…Sophas, with Commode Fronts divided into three Sweeps, which give them a noble Look…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 July 1772, 3‑2).  An Irish “Upholsterer from Dublin”, Abraham Maddocks, advertised, in 1773, that “…he has commenced Business…where Sophas…[etc. and]…every other Article in the Stuffing Branch are performed in the neatest and most expedious Manner” and again the same year mentioning sofas again (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 January, 27 September 1773,). Richard Magrath, in 1773, was again advertising sofas for sale, together with other seating forms, indicating to the “Gentry” and the “First Families” that they were “…of the neatest Construction, such as were never offered for sale in this Province before…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 10 May 1773, 1‑3). Walter Russell, another upholsterer “Lately arrived from LONDON”, advertised in 1773, what might have been a typographical error: “…Back‑stool Sophas…”. There was not a form called this; however, this could have been a descriptive term for a Duchess (q.v.) or a Birjair (a half couch, French form). Assuming an error, “…Sophas…” were therefore indicated in this 1773 advertisement (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 November 1773, 2‑3). John Linton advertised in 1774 that he “…stuffs Sophas, [etc]…” (South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Charleston, 19 April 1774, 3‑2). The same year saw the sale of the household furniture of Sir Egerton Leigh, President of the Royal Council, which included “…elegant white and Gold Cabriole Sophas and Chairs, covered with blue and white Silk, Window Curtains to match; one other Set of Sophas and Chairs, covered with black and yellow Figures of Nuns Work in Silk…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 6 June 1774, 3‑2).

When the 1776 inventory was taken of Thomas Elfe’s estate it included “…A Frame of a Sophia [sic] [£]16‑ …” which was six more pounds than the frame of an easy chair also listed (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 99A, 1776‑1778, p. 116, 11 September 1776). There was a sale of household furniture at the house of Alexander Wright, Esq. in 1779 which included “…two Sophas Covered with blue Silk Damask…” (Gazette of the State of South Carolina, Charleston, 3 February 1779, 3‑3). This is of interest as Wright was account #78 in the Elfe Account Book, and as mentioned above, was charged with a sofa and bolsters in 1771. The same year found Mrs. Rowand selling her “…2 Sophas…” (Gazette of the State of South Carolina, Charleston, 8 December 1779, 2‑3). The 1780 estate of William Wragg included “…2 Sopha’s [£]12‑…” which represented the conversion to pounds sterling, which will be continued to be evidenced hereafter (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 160, ___December 1780). When the upholsterer Martin Alken arrived in Charleston from London, he advertised that “…stuffing or repairing Chairs, Sofas…” would be part of his business (South Carolina Gazette and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 19 February 1785, 1‑1). In the 1786 inventory of Daniel Horry there were, in the “Long Room” “…2 Sofas [£]12‑…[and]…8 French arm Chairs [£]20‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1778‑1793, p. 38, 16 January 1786). The upholsterer Thomas Bradford advertised in 1786 that he could make “…cabriole chairs and Sofas…if ordered [and that] sofas restuffed or covered…” (Charleston Evening Gazette, Charleston, 22 February 1786). It will be seen later that “cabriole sofas” was indicated here. The intent to leave the state prompted William Luyten, cabinetmaker, to offer his furniture for sale in 1787 which included “sophas.” (Charleston Morning Post, and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 January 1787, 1‑1). The 1804 estate of Richard Beresford revealed unpaid charges by Jacob Sass, cabinetmaker, of 1786 and 1787, for “…2 Sophas [£]20‑…covering a Sopha with hair seating [£]9‑ [this was charged on two dates]…a Capriol[sic] Sopha [£]21‑ …” (Charleston County Chancery Court Bills of Complaint, Pt. 10, Nos. 1‑50, 1804, No. 45, 26 September 1804, charges of 20 November 1786, 19, 26 October, 3 November 1787). When James Skirving died, his 1788 estate included “…A neat Sofa and Cover [£]8‑10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 94, 7 March 1788).

In 1786 and 1787 the Baltimore firm of John Bankson and Richard Lawson (1785‑1792) advertised twice in Charleston hoping to receive orders for furniture from their warehouse in Baltimore; within these were descriptions of “…A full stuffed sofa, six feet six inches long, stuffed with curled hair, and covered in fine linen for a loose cover, 46 dollars. Charge of covering with moreen or hair cloth and brass nails, no more than the bare purchase of the materials” (1786) (Columbian Herald, Charleston, 1 May 1786, 3‑4). The other advertisement, of 1787, offered furniture “…CONSISTING OF A DESK, Wardrobe, Side‑Board, a set of Northumberland Dining Tables, one dozen of Vanzeback[Fancy back?] Chairs with two Elbow to suit, a pair of circular Card Tables, a Pembroke Table, a Sofa, Easy Chair, &c…” (Columbian Herald, Charleston, 14 June 1787, 4‑4). An auction was to be held on 14 August 1786 which included two lots, each with a structure and belonging to Gabriel Manigault, also included a few furnishings among which were “a sofa and six chairs, with blue sattin bottoms” (Charleston Evening Gazette, S.C., 26 July 1786). David Denoon, a vendue store operator, held an auction in 1788 specificing the furniture as by this firm; therefor, suggesting that someone, possibly Denoon, either purchased furniture from Bankson and Lawson for the Charleston market or the Baltimore firm sent venture furniture to Denoon for sale in Charleston. The Denoon advertised furniture was an “…elegant SOFA, with loose cover, a pair of circular CARD TABLES, and a dozen of CHAIRS…imported at their invoice prices…” (The Columbian Herald, Charleston, 22 May 1788). From the items offered by Denoon it appears that he was selling part of the 1787 advertised furniture. It is not clear if Andrew Gifford, “Cabinet Maker, Just from New York”, who only once in 1790, offered furniture for sale which included sofas, was selling his Charleston or New York made furniture(Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1790). The auction firm of David Denoon & Co. advertised in April 1790 his offering of “New Mahogany Furniture, warranted with respect to workmanship equal to any in this state, viz. One pair sofas covered with Satin hair cloth and stuffed with baked hair [,] one pair do. covered with canvas stuffed with do…” (The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 1 April 1790). In 1791 John Deas Esq. died with “…2 Mahogany Sophas covered with hair brass nails & 4 bolsters with 2 sets Covers [£]20‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 348, 5 May 1791). Thomas Bradford, upholsterer, and Henry Clements, cabinetmaker, in 1792, advertised that they will take “…order[s] for sophas…[and that]…second‑hand sophas or chairs re‑stuffed and covered…” and again, that they had sofas for sale and that”… Cabrihole[sic]sofas…[could be ordered]…sofas…repaired restuffed and covered…” (State Gazette of South Carolina, Charleston, 19 March, 5 July 1792; (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 28 June 1792). Francis De L’Orme, “Upholsterer, from Paris,” advertised in 1792 that he made “…sofas…both in the English and French style” (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 13 April 1792).

The 1793 inventory of the cabinetmaker William Jones revealed within his “Stock in Trade”…1 Unfinished Sofa 80/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 495, c. 16 February 1793). De L’Orme again advertised the next year offering “…for sale, two sofas, made by himself in the newest taste” and it apparently was still for sale the next year (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 24 September 1794, 10 February 1795). Quaker James Hamden Thompson’s inventory, in 1795, included “…2 Green do[yellow and possibly windsor] Sofas at [£]‑20‑…1 Mahogany Sofa [£]60‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p.129, 15 May 1795). From this date it is not always possible to differentiate between sofa types of Windsor or stuffed, and after 1803 fancy. Apparently the length caused the term sofa to be given these types rather than being upholstered. The 1795 inventory of the Charleston house of Isaac Motte Esq. included “…1 Sopha [£]7.10/ …”in the “Drawing Room” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.C, 1793‑1800, p. 179, 5 June 1795). De L’Orme advertised late in 1795 that he had “Two very elegant Sophas of the newest fashion…” for sale (City Gazette & the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 25 September 1795, 4‑4). John Marshall, cabinetmaker, was advertising in 1796 that he had “…handsome SOFAS…” for sale and again with “…Mahogany Chairs, newest fashion, with sofas to match…” (City Gazette & the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 February 1796, 3‑4; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 July 1796). Marshall was seen, in 1798, to be in court claiming for 1796 and 1797 charges for “…Large Sofa Covered with Hair Seating [£]15‑…[and]…Repairing a Sofa [£]0.14.0…” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgement Rolls, 1798, #657A: John Marshall vs. William Marshall, 21 August 1798.  Charges were correspondingly 8 August 1796 and 1 May 1797). Further advertisements seen in 1796 for sofas were by John Watson and Alexander Calder (City Gazette and the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 22 August 1796, 2‑5; Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 10 December 1796). In 1797 Jacob Sass was found selling sofas in his “WARE‑ROOM” at 41 Queen Street (City gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797, 2‑3). Sass was still advertising sofas for sale in 1797 and 1798 , the latter year with “Four very elegant Sofas” (South carolina Gazette, Charleston, 1 March 1797; City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 January 1798, 3‑3). In 1799 John Singleton bought “…a Sopha [£]16‑ …” from Jacob Sass along with other furniture that year and the next (Singleton Family Papers, 1795‑1911, 1‑15‑85, Folder #2, #668, 22 October 1799 and 17 January 1800). The cabinetmaking firm of Watson and Woodhill took William Clement to court in 1807 for money due on past sales of furniture in 1799 and 1800. On 25 January they had charged him with a “Sofa [£]18‑ …” (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1807, #174A, Watson and Woodhill vs. William Clement, 13 June 1807). In 1800 Alexander Calder, cabinetmaker, advertised twice that he had sofas for sale (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 9 May 1800, 3‑2; Times, Charleston, 12 December 1800, 3‑3). In 1809 past charges were being claimed in court for furniture made by John Douglas which included, in 1800, “…a Sofa with Cushions [£]18‑…” (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1809, #292A, James Douglas (for estate of John Douglas) vs. James Delaire, 18 February 1809). In 1802 John Boyd, from Glasgow, announced his upholstery business and listed sofas as one of his potential (South Carolina State Gazette & Timothy’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 25 May 1802). The firm of Watts and Walker advertised in 1802 that they had sofas for sale (Times, Charleston, 27 November 1802, 3‑2). Thomas Wallace was selling off his mahogany stock in 1803 which included sofas (Times, Charleston, 12 April 1803, 3‑3). In 1803 Jacob Sass made 4 “…Small Mahogany Sofas…” which totaled $184.28 and in 1807 finally was paid for them through court action (Charleston District Judgement Rolls, 1807, #202A, Jacob Sass vs. Charles Colcock, 14 February 1807). In 1803 a sale of household furniture was being sold on the premises of Oliphant and Wilson which contained both “…Mahogany…Sofas [and] Japanned…Sofas…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 June 1803, 3‑4).

In 1803 James W. Cotton was selling “…Fancy japanned Furniture, such as Sophas…made by William Haydon, of Philadelphia, who lately resided at No. 118 Broad‑street [Charleston]…” (Times, Charleston, 29 July 1803, 4‑3). In January of 1804 the cabinetmaking and upholstering firm of Oliphant, Calder and Co. were giving the same address as theirs and advertising mahogany sofas for sale (Times, Charleston, 3 January, 11 April 1804; Charleston Courier, Charleston, 24 October 1804, 4‑4). Advertising alone in 1804, Robert Walker listed sofas among the furniture his “…approved workmen…” made and in 1805 he had sofas of “…the latest and most approved LONDON FASHIONS…” (Times, Charleston, 14 February 1804, 3‑4, 19 February 1803, 3‑3). In 1805 and 1806 Calder was advertising alone and announced that mahogany sofas were available from his shop at 29 Broad Street. In 1808 he was selling “…the best Charleston made Furniture [which included] Mahogany…Sofas…” at “CALDER’s Ware‑House” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 22 November, 13 December 1808). A household auction in 1807 contained “…London made…12 Mahogany arm Chairs and 2 Sophas to match, with cane bottoms and cushions with beautiful fine chintz coverings the whole entirely new” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 7 October 1807, 3‑3). Other London sofas were sold in 1809 at auction as “…2 elegant SOFAS, covered with hair seating, just imported from England and of the latest fashion…” and in 1811 “…London made DRAWING ROOM FURNIRURE…consisting of a Sofa[cane bottom]…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 2 March 1809 and 6 March 1811). In 1811 Jacob Sass and Son were advertising furniture at their warehouse which included “…1 Large inlaid Sofa…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 12 February and 2 March 1811). In 1812 Sarah E. Huger, in New York, wrote to Mrs. (Harriott) Horry of Tradd Street, Charleston, indicating that Mrs. Horry had asked her to inquire into obtaining some sitting furniture made by Duncan Phyfe and replying that “…if Mahogany is too expensive…[she could find painted]…rush or cane…” at twelve chairs and two settees of cane for $144 and $120 if of rush; compared with “…two Sofas & twelve chairs of Mahogany of the best stufte will be $500…” (Box 11‑334, 17 March 1812, South Carolina Historical Society). When John Watson died his “…new Mahogany FURNITURE, consisting of Sofas,[etc.]…” were sold at auction in 1813 (Times, Charleston, 27 February 1813, 3‑3). The same year Charles David, upholsterer, held a raffle of “A very handsome set of new fashioned Mahogany CHAIRS and SOFA, covered with hair seating” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 March 1813). A 25 July 1815 letter from Boston by John Wells of New York to his sister in law, (Miss) Sarah Elliott Huger in New York, requesting her to assist him in the selection of “…a carpet for our two lower rooms with proper tables for the front room and a tea table for the back room. Chairs will also be wanting & if it will not be adding too much to the trouble I am giving you I wish you also to direct them. I leave the whole to your selection & taste promising most faithfully to thank you for whatever you do and to approve and confirm all your acts. Mrs. Thompson will attend to getting the carpets made & to any other details: all I wish of you is merely to select the articles & give the necessary directions about them. The tables you will get best at Phyfe’s than elsewhere, & I wish therefore to give him the preference. I told him before I left Town that Mrs. Laight would do me the favor to call 7 direct what furniture I should Want; but I suppose she will be out of Town & therefore write to you. Some bedroom furniture will also be wanted, such as a dressing table which if you will have the goodness to order made at the same time with the other furniture” (“Four Letters of the Early Nineteenth Century” The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine Vol.XLIII, No.I, January 1942, pp.52‑53).

On 20 September 1815 Mrs. Harriott Pinckney [Horry] Rutledge, of Charleston, wrote her mother, Harriott Pinckney Horry, relating the wishes of Mrs. Rawlins Lowndes, who wished the addressee to “…get a set of drawing room chairs for her at least 18 in number to have cain seats and cushions covered with chintz not of a very large pattern, and not to require washing very often, with Sophas to your taste and Curtains with fringe to he draperies…she limits $700…” (Pickney‑Lowndes Papers, 11/332/27, 20 September 1815, South Carolina Historical Society). A letter of 21 October 1815 from Sara E. Huger of New York to “Mrs. Horry In the care of Mr. John Vaughan merchant Philadelphia [and] If Mrs. Horry is gone on & has left no directions about her letters please adress it to Charleston S C” the contents of which were:

I have received both your letters my dear Mrs. Horry from Philadelphia… your directions about Mrs. Lowndes’s furniture were delivered to Mr. Wheaton, with strict injuctions to be very careful and particular in the performance of his commission; he had forgotton the chair you fixed on as a mode so I took upon myself the responsibility of selection, hoping that a fortunate chance mey direct my taste to the same fashion which had gained your predilection; The Sofas or Lounges will cost more than you supposed $60 is the price of a common shape, but the fashionable ones according with the design enclosed to Mr. Wheaton, will cost at least $75 each; The Chairs $9, but they will be extremely plain, without gilt or ornament of any kind; this I must confess is as much in concornance with your taste as your directions; but whether Mrs. L. will agree with us in this simplicity of choice I am doubtful as some floating remberances of her toilette decorationsinduce me to suppose that she by no means estimates ornament as surperfluous; Mr. Phyfe has already received the directions respecting the card Tables, which I have desired him to make of maple, corresponding with the Chairs; They will not however be finished previously to January; but as the young lady (for whose wedding I presume these preparations are making) is quite young, I shall not feel excessively unhappy even should this detention of drawing room crates[?] delay her happiness for a few weeks… (Pickney‑Lowndes Papers, 11/332/27, 21 October 1815, Charleston Historical Society).

A 4 January 1816 reply to Mrs. Harriott Horry, Charleston, from Sarah E. Huger of New York, reveals:

What shall I say to you about Mrs. Lowndes Furniture?  in truth I feel Mortified in confessing that it is impossible for me to prophesy when the good lady will receive the Card and Pier Tables, Mr. Phyfe is so much the United States rage, that it is with difficulity now, that one can procure an audience even of a few moments; not a week since I waited in company with a dozen others, at least an hour in his cold Shop and after all, was obliged to return home, without seeing the great man; however a few days since “That happing chance which oft decides the fate of Kings” decided mine, for I had the great fortune to arrive at his house just at the moment he was ___ing and consequently exhorted from him another promise that the furniture should be finished in three weeks, but like the promises of other mis per, I fear they are little to be relied on; for the last three months he has said every week that in ten days Mrs. Wells should have her Tables & c & c, but never have they made their appearance, and they were engaged last June…Mrs.  L’s Chairs & Sofas I think will certainly be ready in three weeks, at which time I shall direct them shipped to the care of Mr. Kershaw; and as far as depends on my exertions you may rely on the Tables following with all possible expedetion; I recd $600 from Mr. Vaughan which sum is not exactly enough, The deficit however I shall draw upon Mr. V’s for, whenever Phyfe sends in his account; the Chairs and Sofas will amount to about $325 including packing, the Tables from $325 to $350; Phyfe says he cant tell precisely what will be the price, but I shall take care that it does not exceed the last mentioned sum, at least, not many dollars; the accounts shall be transmitted with all the accuracy through Kershaw to Mrs. Lowndes (Pickney‑Lowndes Papers, 11/332A/1816‑17, 4 January 1816, Charleston Historical Society).

On 5 March 1816 Sarah E. Huger wrote from New York to Mrs. Harriott Horry in Charleston  informing her that:

At last my dear Mrs. Horry, Phyfe has condescended to finish the long ordered Tables, which are on board the Schooner, South Carolina, Capt Allen; directed to the care of Mr. Kershaw, to whom I have written enclosing The Bill of Lading; the vessel cleared this morning, & with her go my sincere wishes for a short passage which I still think may possibly secure her arrival in time for the young damsells wedding, if not I must rely upon your goodness to exonerate me from allblame on The score of tardiness; tell Mrs. Lowndes also, That her furniture is by no means as handsome as I had wished it, or, as The nature of The wood could admit of; the Chairs for example should certainly have been scrubbed backed, to Correspond with Their attendant Lounges, and I think an insertion of gilt molding in place of the black line would prove more appropriate to Drawing Room display, all These improvements however, which I suggested to Ellis & Wheaton.

The cabinetmaking and fancy chairmaking firm of Stephen Wheaton and Jesse Ellis were listed in the New York city directory, in 1815‑1817, as operating a “furniture warehouse” at 15 and 16 Bowrey. During this same period they were also separately listed with Wheaton as cabinetmaker and Ellis as a chairmaker at the same addresses as the warehouse. In 1817 the firm of Wheaton and Ellis changed to Wheaton and Davies (1817‑1820+). The recognized furniture quality of both Phyfe and Wheaton and Ellis was discussed in a New York newspaper article, which also appeared in newspapers of Maryland and Virginia, in which the arrival of French furniture for the President in the White House is protested. This article points out that “American Manufactures” should have been bought and that New York furniture was the “…the very best household furniture…[and that one should see]…Mr. Phyfe’s cabinet ware‑house in Fulton‑street, and looking at his articles of cabinet work. The same may, with justice , be said of several of our first mechanics. A few doors higher up the same street, at Wheaton and Davis’s, may be seen specimens of neat and elegant Workmanship in fancy chairs, made out of our curled maple” (Frederick Town Herald, Maryland, 29 November 1817, 2‑4; Richmond Enquirer,Virginia, 21 November 1817, 2‑4).

Sarah Huger’s 5 March 1816 letter to Mrs. Horry continued:

…when I shewed the Lounge sketch, They entirely agreed to, provided $4 more were added to each chair, but this paid provision you know was at once putting a stop to The alteration, as Madame had circumscribed you to a certain sum; the Pier Table I think you will admire as a remarkably chaste and tasteful ornament, but I must confess that the Card Tables neither accorded with my Fancy or Directions; however Phyfe assured me that curled maple could not be worked in the shape I ordered but at an immense price; so high, that Mrs. L. he was sure could never be reconciled to give it for, what is generally so roughly used as Card Tables; Articles by the way that are now become so obsolete in drawing rooms, which should only exhibit marble Tables in every pier, and a round center one, corresponding in marble and finish with the five ornaments; this word is appropriate, as they are certainly of no use, though undoubtly very handsome. ‑‑The Chair and Lounges amounted to $316, but the Tables are not yet paid for, Phyfe promises to send me the amount the first leisure ten minutes he can snach from his numerous customers, and when I receive it I shall immediately enclose it with Ellis [and] Wheaton’s to you, by one of the many vessels sailing constantly to charleston… (Pickney‑Lowndes Papers, 11/334, 5 March 1816, South Carolina Historical Society).

In 1816 Willam R. Rawson from Providence, Rhode Island advertised that he had just opened a “WARE‑ROOM” and had for sale furniture in the grecian style as well as “…Persian Sofas…” all of which was “…from the North”. Undoubtly some, if not all of this furniture was from his families cabinetmaking firm in Providence as in April of 1817 more furniture was offered via. the “Brig Telegraph” from Providence and Newport, Rhode Island (Courier, Charleston, 27 December 1816; 2, 5 April 1817). Rawson continued to advertise furniture through 1819 with “Grecian and common sofas”, all from Providence (Courier, Charleston, 7 May, 2 December 1817; 2 February, 6 April, 10 November 1818; 3 February, 27 November 1819). Additionally Archibald Whitney was importing Philadelphia seating furniture that included a new form “Lounges and Sofas [which] are of the first quality, stuff’d in hair seating, and of the most modern style” (Courier, Charleston, 15 April 1817, 3‑2). The warehouseman Erastus Bulkley was selling “Grecian and bell[?] Sofas”, undoubtly from New York, during 1818 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 January, 28 December 1818). An sofa was offered in 1818 as “A SUPERB SOFA This Day and To‑Morrow, will be left at the Book Store of SCHENCK & TURNER…for the inspection of admirers of good workmanship, a highly finished Mahogany Sofa, of an entirely new pattern, being the work of an Artist of this city‑‑‑The Ladies are particularly invited to call” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 August 1818, 3‑1). Grecian Sofas were also being offered by Jacob Sass and undefined sofas by Walter Butler & Co., further, DeLorme was still advertising his ability with sofas in 1818 (Courier, Charleston, 19,27 October; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 1818). A public sale announcement of December 1818 made by H. C. McCleod advertised “A quantity of ready made FURNITURE all made in this city” and listed “Grecian Sofas” among the pieces for sale.  The sale was to be held at 39 Queen Street, Jacob Sass’s address.(Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 19 December 1818).  Also in December 1818 the Charleston Auction Establishment was advertising furniture for sale of the manufacture of F.L. Everett in New York which included “Grecian and Plain Dolphin Sofas” (Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818, 3‑3). In 1819 E.G. Sass advertised as from Philadelphia “four very handsome Mahogany Sofas” (Courier, Charleston,4 February 1819, 3‑3). The 1819 inventory of Dr. Alexander Baron included, in his “Drawing Room”, “2 London Made Cane bottom Sophas $50.” as well as chairs, other furniture and curtains, all London made (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p.53, 16 April 1819). In 1820 a “most supberb and complete sett of Rose Wood Drawing Room FURNITURE [was to be raffled which included] one do. [elegant] do. [rosewood] Grecian Sofa…” the set was decorated with “…a Border, in imitation of a Grape Vine, around every piece of it” and was made “…in one of the first Warehouses in New York, of the latest fashion, and warranted workmanship, and is, without exception, the richest and most elegant sett in the city [and] valued at 1000 dollars” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 11 April 1820, 3‑2). When the cabinetmaker John McIntosh died his 1823 inventory of his shop included “…One Sopha frame $3 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823).

 

Stools (General) (1738-1802)— This will contain the evidence of this form which was non‑specific, ie. only occuring as stools in the records and not within associated furniture. The 18 August 1726 sale of household goods upon the death of George Bampfield, Provost Marshall(?), contained “2 Stools Silk [silkgrass seats?]” (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1722-1726, p. 118, 18 August 1726). The only evidence for a “bass” bottomed stool was found in the 1738 inventory of Stephen Leacroft who had “…Two Stools with Brass[sic] Bottoms…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 294, 3 January 1738). The first upholstered evidence for this form was the 1755 inventory of Andrew Rutledge who had “…6 Chairs and 2 Stools with Blue & White Bottoms…”. While not given a description, these stools were of the upholstered form (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 769, 2 December 1755). The 1757 inventory of Cato Ash contained “…1 Ovall Ceader Stool 15/…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 102, 9 April 1757). Other Evidence for upholstered stools was found in the 1758 inventory of James Edes who had “…A Cushion Stool [£]‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 398, 10 April 1758). The 1759 inventory of the Honorable Peter Leigh revealed “…1 Large leather Bottom Stool [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc. Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 436, 15 September 1759). In the 1761 inventory of attorney John Rattray, “Two writing stools 10/” were found (Charleston County Inventories, 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 137, 28 December 1761.) It would seem that these were probably either Windsor forms, or just ordinary four‑legged stools, but it is interesting that the appraisers felt a need to specify the form as writing.  The 1763 inventory of the household goods of Charles Lowndes Revaled “…One Mahogany stool Leather Bottom [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 584, 28 July 1763). The Elfe Account Book contains charges for 14 stools ranging in price from £1.55 to £3. each. They varied from “…2 Cypress Stools [£]5‑…” (#85, 2 August 1769, Thomas Phaepoe; #164, 5 October 1774, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney) to “…6 Mahogany Stools Stuffed in Canvas [£]18‑…” (#104, 9 March 1772, Reverend Henry Purcell [Parsall]). There was also the account of Edmund Petrie who bought “…a platform for a Stoole [£]1.5‑…” perhaps he was short or bought a desk which was taller (#127, 5 October 1772) and Doctor David Oliphant who had his “night Table Stool” mended and was charged [£]1.5 for the work on 23 February 1772. Night Table [q.v.]” (#107, 23 February 1772).  The 1779 Charleston inventory of Miss Judith Wragg included “…6 Walnut Stools…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 69, 12 July 1779). The Duties on Trade at Charleston records revealed that on 1 December 1784 the ship Carolina arrived in the port of Charleston from Liverpoole with a cargo containg some furniture; among the shipment were “stools” (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, 1 December 1784, Manifest No. 581, p. 152). The ship Castle Douglas sailed for Charleston on 1 August 1786 from London and contained a large cargo which included a shipment from the London firm of Wilson and Daws who were upholsterers, undertakers and ran a furniture wharehouse. Among their shipment were “2 Leather stools [£] 0.8” (James Douglas Account Book , 1 August 1786, p. 304; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 986). Isaac Motte, Esq. had in his 1795 inventories of the plantations “Sweaton” and “West Ham” “…2 Mahogany Stools [£]‑10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 179, 5 June 1795). The 1802 inventory of the shop contents of the cabinetmaker Nicholas Silberg contained “…1 Stool 75 cts” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 97, 10 February 1802).

 

Cabin Stool (1755-1755)— This form was found only once and that being in the 1755 advertisement placed by Edward Weyman, upholsterer, where in naming what he could “make” in his line, lists “…Feather‑Beds; Mattrasses, Cabin‑Stools, &c…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 30 October, 6 November 1755). The nature of this form is not clear, but a ship‑related furniture form is possible.

 

Camp Stool (1757-1795)— With an advertisement in 1757, Edward Weyman directed his message to men who were involved with the military and needed “…upholstered work, [with] officers tents and marquies [sic], with camp bedsteads, matresses, curtains, stools…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 25 August 1757, 3‑1). The 1776 inventory of another upholsterer, Walter Russell, revealed “…12 Camp Stools [£]30‑…” listed within several of his items of shop inventory nature (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. 99A, 1776‑1778, p. 9, 10 July 1776). Thomas Hutchinson died in 1791 with “…10 Mahogany camp Stools without backs 20/…” in his inventory. Other items were also listed of a similar nature, e.g. “Tent and Marque, camp bedstead, marooning cases,” etc. (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 403, 15 November 1791). Of this form Sheraton, in his 1803 Cabinet Dictionary, illustrates (plate 8) a camp chair which is similar to a “directors chair” of a folding design with webbing straps and back. Though a camp stool was not shown it should be assumed that it was of this nature, but without a back, as was specified in Hutchinson’s inventory. In the 1795 inventory of Col. Isaac Motte Esq., the Charleston House contained “…1 Tent Stool…” which undoubtedly was of the camp stool form and possibly indicates a name change at this date (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 179, 5 June 1793).

 

Coffin Stool (1749-1808)— Of the joined or joint design, this stool was, by function, found in pairs. Archibald Young, joiner, died in 1749 possessed with “…2 Coffin Stools [£]1‑ …” and coffin hardware which indicated that he was making coffins and using the two stools for the role of the undertaker ie. to support the coffin for the ceremony prior to burial (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 270, 24 July 1749). The cabinetmaker, Thomas Stocks, 1760 inventory revealed a similar “…2 Coffin Stools [£]2‑ …” as well as coffin hardware; concluding a similar use as seen before (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 85B, 1758‑1761, p. 524, 14 April 1760). A later inventory demonstrating the identical function was the 1808 record of Michael Muckenfuss with “…2 Coffin Stools $2…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). On 15 March 1815 the inventory of the cabinetmaker Hance Fairly contained, along with coffin furniture, “1 pr. coffin Stools $1” (Charleston County, S.C., Inventories, Book E, 1810-1818, p.270, 15 March 1815).

 

Conversation Stool (1773-1773)— The cabinetmaker Richard Magrath advertised in 1773 that he had several upholstered seating forms for sale which included “…Conversation Stools…” listed between “French Chairs” and “Easy‑Chairs”. He further said that he would annually hold a similar auction as “…from his Connection in London, will always be supplied with the newest Fashions in his Branch”, which implied that what he was advertising for this particular sale was of London origin (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 10 May 1773, 1‑3). The same year Abraham Maddocks, an upholsterer, advertised that he “makes and sells” several forms which included “…Conversation Stools…stuffed and covered in the best and neatest manner” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 September 1773, 1‑2). These two were the only evidence of such a form in Charleston and would probably be of a form similar to “Conversation Chairs” which were with a padded top rail and intended to be sat upon facing the rear, with the persons arms placed upon the padded rail. The Cabinet Dictionary of 1803 described this form by saying “…they are made extrodinary long between back and front [and] narrow in front and back…” (p. 177, plate 29). In the advertisements the “conversation stool” might have been of the stool design as in the back stool form.

 

Counting House Stool (1741-1820)— As a form to be considered a counting house stool i.e., a tall stool, records reveal stools which, at times, must be understood in the context in which they occur in order to be classified as such for the form was not termed as such until 1806. A case in point is the first occurrence of this form which was found in the 1741 inventory of William Wallace, merchant, with “…A large Mahogany Beaurow in the Counting House [£]50‑…[and…1 Stool with a leather Cover Mahogany Frame [£]15‑…”, therefore, the assumption is that this could be classified as a counting house stool. Also demonstrated is that those stools unassociated are of unknown height and specific use. (Charleston County, Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 56, 12 June 1741). Another merchant, Henry Petty, died in 1748 with his shop inventory containing “…1 Counting House Desk & Stools [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 83, 16 December 1748). From 1767 on the occurrence of stools could indicate of the Windsor type as in this year “…green Windsor Chairs and stools” were imported from London into Charleston and sold by the mercantile firm of Mansell, Corbett, & Co. (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 January 1767, 3‑3). The silversmith, Alexander Petrie, housed in his 1768 shop inventory “…1 old Writing Desk & Stools [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 365, 16 March 1768). The Elfe account book contained the single £43 sale in 1772 of “…A Mahogany Counting House Desk [£]40‑ [with] For two Stooles [£]3.10‑…” (#37, 29 September 1772, Robert Stringer [starch maker]).

The cabinetmaker George Stewart made “…2 Stools for the Counting House [£]5‑…” of John Stuart in 1775 and had to claim the charges in court (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Box 107A, #94A, George Stewart vs. John Stuart, 30 September 1778). Within the South Carolina Treasury Records is the 1789 record of contingencies for payment which included “Pd. Mungo Finlayson [cabinetmaker], for 2 Mahogany Desks with Handles & 2 Stools for use of Treasury Office [£]20‑ …” (South Carolina Treasury Records, Journals, 1783‑1790, 1790‑1791, p. 485, May 1789). In 1802 the advertisement of James Symonds, turner, announced that “…Stools made to rise to any height by a screw, calculated principally for counting houses‑Likewise, Screws of different sizes cut out of wood”. The form of these could well have been of the windsor type and perhaps with an upholstered seat. He also made walking sticks in “…imitation of the different sorts of cane” See Piano Stools.(Times, Charleston, 9 July 1802, 1‑4). As earlier mentioned, the first accounting of this form by name was in 1806 with the importation, from Philadelphia and New York, of “…Counting‑House Stools” within a context inferring a Windsor type (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 16 October 1806, 3‑2). This is found again in 1807 and 1808 with “Counting House Stools” listed among imports from the same port (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 17 November 1807, 3‑4; Times, Charleston, 15 December 1808, 3‑2). In 1809 and 1810 advertisements listed the Philadelphia importation of “…counting room Stools…” which is an interesting name change undoubtedly reflecting what the Oxford English Dictionary says is chiefly a U.S. usage of the term (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 19 April 1809, 21 July 1810). The 1808 inventory of Michael Muckenfuss contained, within the shop portion, “…1 pr. Counting House Stools $3…” listed among his stock of finished furniture. The “pair” undoubtly meant two stools; whether pairs were matched of unmatched is unknown (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). This would infer that he had made them; therefore, they in all likelihood were not of the Windsor type as he was not known as a Windsor chairmaker.  For this, all counting house stools of late eighteenth‑early‑nineteenth century records were not necessarily of the windsor type, although some were. Another similar case was the 1811 receipt from Joshua Neville, cabinetmaker, to Daniel Huger for “A writing Desk with frame $12. [and] Ditto [to] A Counting house stool 1.50 …” (Bacot‑Huger Collection, 11/49/9, Daniel Huger, 30 October 1811, South Carolina Historical Society). Richard W. Otis, carver and gilder, was advertising the sale of New York imported “Chairs, Desk Stools, &c. 10 Dozen Windsor Chairs, 1 do. Counting House Desk STOOLS, 1 do. SETTEES, 2 Writing Chairs…” which infers that all were windsor (Courier, Charleston, 28 January, 5 February 1811). In the 1823 inventory of John McIntosh, cabinetmaker, there were “ 1 pr. Counting house desk Stools $3. …”, which gives a further specific terminology (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F., 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823).

 

Cricket Stool (1695-1695)— This form was so called “Creckest” in the context of the 1694/5 inventory of Richard Phillips as “…Four tables 2 Joynt stooles & 1 Creckest [£]1‑13‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 287, 20 February 1694/5). This form was a low stool either for children or as a kneeler in churches.

 

Desk Stool (1760-1820)— This was found independent of Counting House Stools though the form could well have been the same, thus for comparison Counting House should be consulted. The first use of this was found in the 1760 house inventory of Francis Bremar as “…1 Desk stool…” not associated with a desk (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 563, 25 June 1760).  Richard W. Otis, in 1818, 1820, and 1821 was importing furniture from Philadelphia and New York, which included “…Desk Stools…” within the context of fancy and Windsor (Courier, Charleston, 16 February, 20 October 1818; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 26 July 1820, 2 May 1821).

 

Dressing Chamber Stool (1757-1757)— The single evidence for this form was found in the 1757 inventory of Cato Ash who had “…1 Ovall Ceader Stool 15/ 1 Red Bay Dressing Chamb[er] Do. [stool] [£]2‑…” with a “Mahogany Dressing Chamber Table” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 102, 9 April 1757). This form was illustrated in Genteel Houshold Furniture (1762, pl. 11), The Universal System (1762, pl. XXXIV) and The Cabinet and Chair‑maker’s Real Friend and Companion (1765, pl. 18); in all of which it was called “Ladies/Ladys Dressing Stools”.

 

Flax Stool (1722-1722)— John Grimball’s 11 February 1722/3 will reveals his leaving “one Vless stools[sic]” to Mr. James David, glover (Charleston County Wills, 1671-1731, Vol. 1, p. 38, 11 February 1722/3). A “Vless” is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary as “Vleoin, Vleon, Vlesche, Vleys, Vlex” which is a southern Mediterranean variant of flax.

 

Foot Stool (1820-1820)— This form, so called, was not found until the 1820 advertisement of Thomas C. Jones, upholsterer, who advertised that “…Footstools and Cushions made” (Courier, Charleston, 27 June 1820, 1‑3). It is interesting that this term was not found earlier as the form is early.

 

Joynt Stool (1693-1754)— As this form indicates of a joint or joined construction, the occurrence was in the earliest records and so named by form; however, stools of pre‑1755 which were unspecified were assumed to be of this form, but they might also have been of the legs‑into‑board rude form. Such a case were the first stools found in the 1693 small inventory of Francis Jones, who had “…1 old bedstead 3 old Chests 2 old Chares 1 Fourme 2 Stoolls & 1 Table Topp [£]19‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 112, 24 September 1693). This inventory suggests that the table top could have been in use on the top of the two stools as a functioning table for no other base was indicated. The 1693 kitchen inventory of William Privat, mariner, listed “…Joynt Stoole…” as the first of this form by name (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 182, 21 December 1693). Richard Phillyps’ 1694/5 inventory included “…2 Joynt Stooles…” (Charleston County Wils, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 287, 20 February 1694/5). In 1724 a mortgage of Joseph Morgan included “…one Square stool…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1722‑1726, p. 134, 14 November 1724). John Rivers’ 1725 inventory revealed “…1 Pine Table & Stool [£]2‑…” which equalled the value of a corner cupboard in the same inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 208, 2 June 1725). The 1726/7 inventory of Thomas Congors included “…One Joint Stool…” in the “Lower Room” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 415, 20 January 1726/7). The merchant, William Laserre, died in 1741 with “…a Joint Stool [£]‑30‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 125, 13 October 1741). The first evidence for a Lowcountry made stool, which probably was of the joined form as James Kirkwood was a “Carpenter & Joiner” was disclosed when he went to court to gain past charges for work done for Robert Cochran, an artist. Aside from artist specific objects, Kirkwood had made “…4 Stools [£]2.0.0 …” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, Box 30A, #62A, James Kirkwood vs. Robert Cochran, 15 March 1746/7, charge of 26 September 1746). An interesting form of the joint stool was found in the 1751 inventory of Elianor Sandwell, brazier, evidenced by “…Cain as Drawn but unworked for one Dozen of Chairs and one Stool [£]6‑…”. This insinuates that the stool was of the cane seated type (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 190, 4 December 1751). This form was beginning to appear old by 1747 as the inventory of William Warden contained “…1 old Joynt…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 74, 1741‑1748, p. 111, 26 March 1747). The 1752 inventory of Christiana Mathews contained “…2 Joynt Stools [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, p. 293, 13 March 1752). In 1754 the inventory of Andrew Deveraux included “…3 Small Stools of[for ?] Tables [£]4‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, p. 210, 20 February 1754). It should be assumed that after this mid‑eighteenth century date the joint stool was not known by that name in Charleston, even though the form undoubtly continued to be made concurrently with other stool forms.

 

Piano/Music Stool (1808-1820)— It was not unill 1808 that this form was first found in Charleston and that being in the inventory of Michael Muckenfuss with the shop contents listed as among a group of finished furniture”…1 Pianna Ditto[stool] $4…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). Further evidence of this form being made in Charleston was seen in the 1813 receipt signed by Abraham Jones, cabinetmaker, for “…One Music Stool with Screwe $10…” as sold to Daniel Huger (Bacot‑Huger Collection, Daniel Huger, 16 July 1813, South Carolina Historical Society). That the music stool was also imported from London was found in 1818 with the advertisement of John Woddrop, merchant, offering furniture which included “Music Stools” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 June 1818, 1‑3). Through the Charleston Auction Establishment Robert Adams was selling furniture, in 1818, made by the New York cabinetmaker F. L. Everett which included “…A few elegant Music Stools, on a new construction and covered with different colored morocco” (Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818, 3‑3). The next year found E.G. Sass selling Philadelphia “…Eight Mahogany MUSIC STOOLS, with Screws, covered with Morocco” (Courier, Charleston, 4 February 1819, 3‑3). An 1821 auction specificed “CHARLESTON MAKE” furniture which included “…Music Stools” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821, 3‑5). Among the stock of the shop within the 1823 inventory of John McIntosh included “…One Music Stool $1. …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823).

 

Night Stool (1772-1799)— This form was first found in a November 1785 advertisement for furniture to be sold “having been Imported by a Gentleman for his own use” at 36 Meeting Street. Included was “A Mahogany night Stool” (Charleston Evening Gazette, S.C., 14 November 1785). The first design of this form was in The Cabinet‑makers’ London Book of Prices of 1793 and then as a close stool form of stool with “Marlbro’ legs” as the standard and tapered as extra in (The Cabinet‑makers’ London Book of Prices [London: W. Brown and A. O’Neil, 1793],pp.179‑180). A possible earlier form of this in Charleston was the “Night table stool” mended for Doctor David Oliphant by Thomas Elfe and for which Oliphant was charged [£]1.5 on 23 February 1772. (#107, 23 February 1772). In an 1802 advertisement of a public auction of furniture, from the firm of Will and Marlin contained “…A NIGHT STOOL COMMODE…”(Times, Charleston, 20 August 1802, 3‑4). The use of the term “commode” prior to this was thought of as meaning with a serpentine shape; however, in this use it suggests a close stool function which could well indicate the beginning of the usage in this sense. The possible use of commode to mean the night stool commode, therefore beginning the more accepted use of the term commode was found in the 1799 receipt of Nicholas Silberg to William Wragg for furniture purchased and repaired which included “to Reparing of a Commode [£]0‑5‑0 …” (Wragg Papers, 1789‑1800, 11/466/14, 21 March‑26 November 1799, charge was for 20 August, South Carolina Historical Society).

 

Tent Stool — See Camp Stool.

 

SEATING FURNITURE BOTTOMS AND BACKS

Baskett (1742-1742)— The 1742 inventory of Thomas Loyd included “…6 Chairs’ with Baskett Bottom’s & 3 old Do. …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 284, 29 December 1742). This indicates a woven bottom of any material as rush, silk grass, palmetto, or stripped bark. This could be the type chair that was also found in inventories of Maryland (1669) and Virginia (1695) as correspondingly “…Twelve wooden wicker chaires…One large high wickered chair…” and “…one wicker voyder[tray]…One Wicker Chaire…” (Maryland Prerogative Court, Vol. 8‑10, Wills, Liber W.A. 1670, W.B. 1678, W.C. 1679, p. 30, 1 October 1669; York County , Va. Deeds, Orders, Wills, &c. No. 10, 1694‑1697, p. 199, 19 July 1695).

 

Bass (1735-1763)— A more frequent term found from 1735 to 1763 is ‘Bass Bottomed’ which is a woven split reed or grass. This term describes the bottoms of chairs in inventories which also identify ‘Rush Bottoms’ and ‘Cane Back’, thus the appraisers recognized Bass as different from Rush and cane. A typical inventory including this term was in 1749 with James Boone who died with “…1 Dozn Common Bass Chairs [£]10‑…2 Black Chairs With cain backs & bass bottoms [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 152, 26 May 1749). The understanding is that the bass bottomed chairs were usually of the Common form.

 

Bench (1803-1803)— On 18 March 1803, the Baltimore fancy‑furniture makers John and Hugh Finlay advertised in the Charleston City Gazette and Daily Advertiser that they had “all kinds of japan and gilt…cane and bench seat chairs…” for sale.  Apparently, this was the only time this term was used in Charleston, and it may refer to wood bottom chairs (q.v.).

 

Buck (1772-1790)— It is difficult to determine the first of the use of Lowcountry hides for seats of chairs. Perhaps the evidence of the 1772 inventory of James Gilmore who was a tanner and therefore, logically had various leathers in his stock; however, he also had “…2 doz. of Chairs…12 new Chairs…4 doz of Chairs with no bottoms in them…” (Charleston County Wills, Nos. 14‑16, 1771‑1779, [transcript], 14, p. 243 and Wills, Etc., Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, [transcript], 94A, p. 348). The 1790 inventory of William Roper, of his Corn Hill plantation in St. Andrews Parish, included “…14 Buck Chairs 2 having arms 65/3 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 268, 10 January 1790). That Common chairs, with deer and cow hide, are still found within the coastal plains of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas, which date late‑nineteenth‑early‑twentieth centuries, is an indication of the continuance of such a tradition. An account of an unnamed traveller visiting the “Interior of South Carolina”, in September 1825, recorded that in the vicinity of Orangeberg    he found in a house “a dozen strong oaken chairs of the old school [old taste], with seats of deer or alligator skins, or hickory shavings…” (“Journal Of A Tour In The Interior Of South Carolina”, The United States Literary Gazette, Vol. III, October 1, 1825, To April 1, 1826; November 15, 1826. Boston: Harrison Gray, 1826, pp.104, 140).

 

Cane (1697-1820)— The 1696/7 inventory of Francis Turgis includes the first of Caning found which was “…One Dozen of Caine Cheares…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 429, 19 March 1696/7). A letter of 1701 from Elizabeth Hyrne of Charleston to her brother in Lincolnshire, England, requesting money and household goods which included “…send my son a high cane chair with a table to it” (H. Roy Merrens ed. The Colonial South Carolina Scene [Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1977], p.22). It was not unusual to find several chairs of this tupe in a single inventory as with Daniel Gale, who, in 1725/6, died with “…12 Cane Chairs and a Couch [£]20‑ …” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 24, 26 January 1725/6). The position of cane usage is found in the 1727 inventory of Major William Blaboway who died with “…1/2 Doz Cane back chairs [£]12‑ …1/2 Doz Cane bottomed and Wooden back [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 26, early 1727). The 1727 inventory of Robert Fenwick Esq. contained “…1 Doz New Cain Chairs [£]18‑…1 Doz Old Ditto [£]20‑ …” which proves the continuance of a style. This is also found in the 1732 and 1733 advertisements of “…cain Chairs…” for sale which had been imported (The South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5‑12 August 1732; 13‑20 January 1732/2; 28 July 1733). The 1735 inventory of Andrew Allen, merchant, Goose Creek, contains “…a Dozen flowered Cane chairs [£]25‑…12 flowered Cane chairs and Elbow Do [£]25‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). This either refers to carving of vines and flowers frequently occuring on this form or the possibility of a japanned surface also exists. During the 1730’s and 1740’s the inventories contain many cane chairs which were usually found as a dozen and with one arm chair similarly described as if there were a set. This was seen in the 1735 inventory of Joseph Fox who had “…12 Cane Chears 1 Armed Ditto [£]20‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 305, 11 September 1735). And also seen in the 1736 inventory of Rachel Moore with “…1/2 Dozen Cane Chair’s and Elbow Chair [£]8‑…8 Do and Elbow Chair [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p.48, 20 September 1736). A further description is found in the 1741 inventory of Thomas Gadsden which contained “…1 Old Cane Back Leather Bottom Chair worth Nothing…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741).

In December 1741 the merchant Othniel Beale advertised merchandise from London which included cane chairs (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 December 1741). It was during the 1740’s that appraisers were beginning to think of this type chair as ‘old’ for in the previous inventory and the September 1742 inventory of Anne Le Brasseur which had “…Six old High Back’d Black Cane Chairs [£]4‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p.205, 20 September 1742 [recorded]). The ease of sitting in this type of chair was found in the 1749 inventory of The Spring plantation which belonged to Benjamin Godin who, in addition to owning “…6 Chairs & 1 Elbow Do[chair] Black Cain Backs & the Seats Covered with Leather [£]9‑ …” also owned “…Two Elbow Cain Chaires a Do[cane] Couch [and] 12 Do[cane] Chaires with Cushions for the whole of Striped Sattin & yellow Damask [£]75‑…” and “…6 Black Chaires & 1 Elbow Chair covered with leather Bottoms & Brass Nailes [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 170, 20 and 21 June 1749). It appears that after 1750 the occurrence of high backed black caned chairs in inventories was slight and it was not until the first of the nineteenth century that caning was again found in the documents with the beginning of the fancy furniture style. Within this style the taste was for cane or rush bottoms. The first of cane chairs of this style to be advertised was in 1801 with the auction of “…RUSH and CANE bottomed CHAIRS, Handsomely Japanned and painted, of the newest patterns and excellent workmanship…” (Times, Charleston, 10 April 1801, 3‑4). In July 1801 London made cane bottom chairs were advertised by T. Cambridge, auctioneer (Times, Charleston, 28 July 1801). The importation from London of this form was seen in 1802 with the advertisement of Watts & Walker, cabinetmakers, who offered ,”…At their Cabinet Ware Room…from London…Painted and Gilded Chairs, with Cane Bottoms…”  (Times, Charleston, 8 May and 27 November 1802). The Baltimore firm of John and Hugh Finlay, who briefly came to Charleston in 1803, advertised in May that they were selling, and could make at their factory in Baltimore, “…Fancy Japanned CARD TABLES, CORNICES and cane seat CHAIRS…” (City gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1803, 3‑3). Also in May an advertisement by J. Mauger, auctioneer, offered “English Cain‑bottom Painted CHAIRS‑‑‑‑10 Dozen will be sold…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 26 May 1803).

The June 1803 house inventory of Casper C. Schutt, merchant, included “…12 Mahogany chairs with Cane Bottoms & pillows $180 [and] 12 Mahogany chairs with Cane Bottoms at $12. $144…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 216, 29 June 1803). In July 1804 James Scot, auctioneer, advertised “12 London made cane bottomed Chairs…” to be auctioned (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 10 July 1804). The 1803, 1804 and 1806 advertisements of James W. Cotton show that “…Philadelphia made Japan Chairs, Cane Rush and Wood Bottoms…” were available (Times, Charleston, 29 July 1803; 7 June 1804 and 6 September 1806). Another auctioneer, Elias Smerdon, advertised in October 1807 an auction of London made furniture which would include “12 Mahogany arm Chairs…with cane bottoms and cushions with beautiful fine chintz coverings…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 7 October 1807). The 1813 inventory of John L. Adams included “…16 gold and black cane bottom chairs & 2 arm do $90. …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 158, 3 May 1813). From 1815 through 1817, the firm of Sass and Gready were selling, at thier Northern Ware House “…a handsome assortment of Fancy Cane, Rush and Wood seat Chairs…of the latest Philadelphia fashions” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 June 1815, 3‑2; Courier, Charleston, 8 June 1816, 7 and 27 May 1817).  In 1817 the advertisement of S. Nicholson & Co. offered “Fancy Chairs” for sale which included some with “…Tortoise colored Cane Seats…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 November 1817, 1‑2). The c. 1810 inventory of Col. Thomas Shubrick revealed that “…2 dozen Gilt Chairs with Cane bottoms Cushions & Covers $120. …” were part of his estate (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 60, c.1810 [obituary appeared City Gazette, Charleston, 14 March 1810]). An interesting letter of 22 December 1801 survives, which could well relate to these chairs. In a letter to Miss Harriott Pinckney of Hampton, Thomas Pickney referred to the upcoming wedding of Col. Shubricks daughter as “…to be uncommingly brilliant. The Colonel’s new furniture is to be paraded on the occasion…” (“Letters From Thomas Pickney Jr. To Harriot Pickney” SCH&GM 41:102‑103). The connection is probable as 1801 would be an appropriate date for his chairs and with an upcoming wedding two dozen ‘Fancy’ chairs would certainly be needed. From 1818 through 1821 Edward G. Sass was advertising Philadelphia made cane chairs available at his Northern Warehouse, and also in 1821 defined some as “…Fancy Grecian Cane…” (Courier, Charleston, 30 March and 19 October, 1818; Courier, Charleston, 4 February, 1819; Courier, Charleston, 22 March 1820; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 17 January 1821). On 19 December 1818, H. C. M’Leod announced a public sale of “ready made FURNITURE” at 39 Queen Street, and among the items listed were “A few dozen Philadelphia made Cane Seat Chairs…” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 19 December 1818, 3‑3.) 39 Queen Street was the cabinetmaker Jacob Sass’s address at that time. Other importers of cane chairs are found after 1818, selling both of Philadelphia and London make,ie. John Woddrop, John Gros, and Andrew P. Gready.

 

Flag (1733-1771)— This term seldom occured in the documents and is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a marsh plant with a long leaf,ie. a reed or rush. The 1732/3 inventory of Jacob Satur, merchant, included “…A Doz white flag bottom Chairs & 1 Elbow Do [£]12‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 62, 20, 21 December and 2, 3 January 1732/3). In 1741 the estate of Alexander Skeene contained “…4 old chairs & 1 Elbow chair all Flag Bottoms…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 110, 25 November 1741). The term was still retained in 1771 with the inventory of Reverend Thomas Panting, of St. Andrews Parish, which contained “…6 chairs with a flag Bottom [£]12‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols.94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 200, 28 September 1771).

 

Matted (1734-1750)— The Oxford English Dictionary defines this term as made of platted rushes and quotes the London Gazette of 1720 (No. 58912/4) where Thomas Smith, Turner, is called a ‘matted chair‑maker’. The first occurence of this term in the Lowcountry was in the 1733 inventory of John Lewis which contained “…6 Maple Matted Chairs [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 112, 17 January 1733/4 [recorded]). The 1735 inventory of Joseph Fox contained “…6 Matted chairs Black Frames [£]4‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 305, 11 September 1735). In 1743 the inventory of Edward Keating contained “…9 Painted Do[chairs] with Matted Bottoms [£]4‑10‑ …”(Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p. 319, 19 October 1743). In 1746 the appraisers of the Joseph Gaultier estate went further in their description for “6 Carved Matted Chairs [£]3‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 22, 3 September 1746). Apparently different visually, “…6 Matted Bottom chairs [£]4‑ …” were listed in the same 1750 inventory as “…6 Rush Bottom Chairs [£]3‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 570, 22 October 1750, Mary Gaultier). The last use of ‘matted’ was the next year in an inventory.

 

Palmetto (1692-1757)— The Palmetto (Sabal palmetto), which is native to the Lowcountry, was found in the documents to have been of use as a seating material in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. This was also found listed in the 1774 The History of Jamaica by Edward Long which lists Rush and “Palmeto Leaf” as the two materials for bottoming chairs (Edward Long The History of Jamaica Reprint (Frank Cass & Co.,Ltd.,1970), p. 860). The first Lowcountry data found to contain such evidence was the 1692 inventory of Wilson Dunston, merchant, with “…ten palmato Chaires att 1ps 6d: ‑15‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 117, 27 April 1692). Richard Woodward’s 1725 inventory contained ‘…12 Black Permato [sic] Chares…” Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, p. 122, 2 December 1725). The 1733 inventory of [£]8‑ …” (John Gardner contained “…2 Elbow and 22 plain Parmatoe[sic] Botd[sic] Chairs [£]14‑5‑ …”(Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 139, 16 March 1733). By the mid‑eighteenth century this term was seldom found; occuring as “…1 Dozn old Palmetoed Bottom’d Chairs 60/ …” in 1750 and “…3 Old Chairs Pimento Bottoms [£]2‑ …” for the last time in 1757(Charleston County Wills, Vols.77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 515, 28 October 1750, Paul Mazyck; Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 95, 6 April 1757, Capt. Thomas Law Elliot).

 

Rush (1713-1820)— Edward Long’s 1774 The History of Jamaica reveals the use of rush for chairs as “Rush.–Scirpus. There are six species, growing in moist places and ditches, observable in this island. The smaller are proper for candles; the larger for mats and chair-bottoms.” He names rush and “Palmeto Leaf” as the two materials for “Chair-Bottoms” (Edward Long The History of Jamaica Reprint (Frank Cass & Co., Ltd., 1970), p. 760, 860). In a 1713 bond of Charleston’s William Harvey to Thomas Summors “…Tw[o] Doz Rush Chairs…” were listed as surety (Register of the Province of South Carolina, 1707‑1711, 1712‑1713, 1711‑1714, 1714‑1719, p. 380, 22 December 1713). The quality of the rush work was noticed in the 1727 inventory of Major William Blaboway with “…1/2 Doz Ditto [chairs] fine Rush Bottoms [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1727‑1729, p. 26, early 1727). The large 1734 inventory of Tweedie Somerville included “…Nine Walnut Chairs with Rush Bottoms [£]22‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 122, 7 May 1734). Apparently some chairs which were with rush bottoms were of local make for the 1750 inventory of Colsheth [Culcheth] Golightly revealed “…12 Carolina Rush Chairs [£]6‑…” Also in the same inventory were “ 11 Engl[ish] Oak framed rush bottomed Chairs & 1 Leather bottomed arm’d Chair [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 414, c. February 1750). There continues evidence for the occurrence of rush for chairs past the mid‑eighteenth century. The 1763 inventory of Dr. John Cochran contained “…1/2 Doz Neat Chairs with Bulrush Bottoms [£]18‑ …” which were differentiated from ‘common’ chairs of hickory at one‑fourth the value in the same list (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑87B, 1761‑1763, p. 469, 13 May 1763). This could indicate chairs not of local production which, by this date, could reflect the importation of rush seated chairs. Evidence for this was found the same year in the shipping returns where “…24 Rush Chairs…” from Philadelphia were being imported (South Carolina Shipping Returns, March 1763‑January 1764, 24 December 1763). After 1800 the records contain numerous accounts of rush chairs being imported as was found with caned chairs, in fact the citations are evinced with the same examples so closely that for further regarding rush see Cane.

 

Silk Grass (1751-1751)— The 23 July 1718 inventory of Joseph Pawley, shoemaker of Charleston, revealed “One pound and half of Silk Grass [£ 0]-7-6” without any apparent association with his trade (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1711-1718). This is cited as it is an early mention of apparent harvesting or intended using of this item. Johann Martin Bolzius in 1751 mentions that “Much silkgrass [Seidengras] does grow here [Carolina and Georgia], but it is only used for ropes, cords, and chairs. I do not know wheather it is different from the Virginian. The Spanish one is much better.” (Klaus G. Loewald, Beverly Starika, and Paul S. Taylor, eds. “Johann Martin Bolzius Answers a Questionnaire on Carolina and Georgia” William and Mary Quarterly, Series 3, 14 [1957] and 15 [1957]: 228‑252). See also Hammock.

 

Straw (1736-1820)— The first of this desigination were found in the 1736 inventory of Walter Welch, merchant, with “…6 Straw Bottom Chairs [£]3‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 36, 19 July 1736). That chairs of a straw seating could be differentiated was noticed, for within inventories straw seats were listed along with other seating materials. By the 1750’s the earlier form of chair with this seating was called “…6 Old Straw bottom Chairs [£]8‑…” as in the 1752 inventory of Jordan Roche, Merchant (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 428, 22 June 1752). The concept of the inexpensive straw bottomed chairs changed when the 1760 inventory of Martha D’harriett was found to contain in the “Brown Room” “…Nine Straw Bottom’d Chairs Veneer’d work and two common low Do [£]14‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 541, 29 March 1760). In 1767 Joshua Eden, turner, was seen to advertise that “…he continues to make straw‑bottom chairs…” and in 1775 he is still offering “…some very good Straw bottom Chairs” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 January 1767 and 7 November 1775). Straw bottomed chairs were found into the 1780’s at a relatively low value, but with the importation of Fancy chairs the value increases as the term becomes “…Japan, Rush and Straw‑bottom CHAIRS…” (Times, Charleston, 5 January 1804). The first of the new style with straw found in an inventory was in 1806 with “…12 Japanned Straw Bottom Chairs $3 $36….” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 427, 17 March 1806, George P. Veree). Philip Cohen, auctioneer, announced a public sale for 1809 of “…20 dozen Fancy Chairs [some with] straw bottom[s]…” (Charleston Courier ,Charleston, 31 December 1808, 3‑4). Later that year A.H. M’Gillavray, vendue master, was selling the contents of a house which contained “…gilt straw bottom Chairs…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 25 October 1809, 3‑5). Later, in 1814, Philip Cohen was found announcing an auction of furniture containing “…Black and gilt straw bottom Chairs, and Settee to match…” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 7 November 1814, 2‑5). The year 1818 finds “…Elegant Bronze & Gilt Fancy Chairs [for sale] of Cane, Rush and Straw Bottom CHAIRS, of the latest fashion, and excellent workmanship [from] one of the first factories in Philadelphia…” being offered by John Gros, cabinet warehouseman (Courier, Charleston, 28 October 1818, 3‑3). It was apparent that chairs with straw seats were of a lesser value to rush which was less than those with cane seats. During the first quarter of the nineteenth century straw bottom chairs were advertised with less frequency than rush and cane.

 

Stuffed (1784-1798)— On 18 February 1784, Thomas Middleton’s estate was appraised, and among the items listed “In the Chamber” were “6 Stuffed Back Chairs with Chintz Covers [£]10.‑‑“ (Charleston Co. Inventories, 1783‑1787, p. 182.) This is the first evidence of this term being used in Charleston; Thomas Hepplewhite mentioned it ten years later in his The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide (3rd Ed., p. 2) when he said, “CHAIRS WITH STUFFED BACKS ARE called cabriole chairs.” Daniel DeSaussure’s estate appraisers were also familiar with the form, and in that estate inventory of 29 December 1798, they listed “One stuff back Chair ‑‑10‑‑“ (Charleston Co. Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 370.) These are most likely references to upholstered side chairs.

 

Wood (1757-1803)— The description ‘wood seats’ occurs occasionally and it is assumed that this is the less expensive form of ‘fancy chairs’; however, with the mid‑eighteenth century useage the chairs may also have been of English origin. These were found in the 1757 inventory of the merchant Solomn Isaac whose estate included “…6 Chairs with wood seats 1 armed [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 89, c. 1757 [estate notice 20 January 1757, 2‑2, South Carolina Gazette, Charleston). Later in 1803, the inventory of Joseph Legare included “…10 Wood Bottom chairs £5.2.8…11 do  do  80/…” which could have been of the fancy style, but of an inexpensive type (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 177, 10 April 1803). The firm of Sass and Gready announced “…Philadelphia made Wood Seat Chairs and Settees, variety colors…” in a secondary position to cane and rush chairs (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 January 1818, 2‑4). 

 

SEATING FURNITURE COLORS

Black/White (1742-1777)— The early eighteenth century occurrence of ‘black’ and ‘white’ chairs in inventories can lead to confusion when “…six Black chairs [and] five White chairs…” are found without clarifiers, as to seating or construction, in a 1724 mortgage (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1722‑1726, p. 135, 14 November 1724, Joseph Morgan to John Lloyd). The image became clearer when, in 1725, the inventory of Daniel Gale was taken which included “…Gold [and] Black Chairs [£]1‑10‑…” revealing that the black chairs, at times, were with gold decoration; though what type was unknown. In this particular case the presence of “…12 Cane chairs…” was also noted (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 24, 26 January 1725). Regarding white chairs, the 1732/3 house inventory of Jacob Satur, merchant, included “…A Doz white[,] flag bottom chairs & 1 Elbow Do [£]12‑…” which reveal that, in this case, these were not caned and perhaps of local manufacture (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 62, 20, 21 December and 2, 3 January 1732/3). Evidence that black chairs could be of local manufacture was found in 1733/4 within the house inventory of John Lewis which contained “…12 Black Chairs Carolina Make [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p.112,17 January1733/4 [recorded]). The 1734 inventory of John Ramsay illustrated that black could refer to both caned or otherwise seated chairs as “…16 Old Black chairs & 1 Elbow Do, at 5/pr [£]4‑5…4 Old Black Cane [chairs] and 2 Elbow Do at 10/pr [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 168, 27 July 1734). The 1735 inventory of Joseph Fox listed “…6 Matted Chairs Black Frames [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 305, 11 September 1735). “…A dozn Old Black Chairs with Bass Bottoms [£]4‑…” were found in the 1742 inventory of Albert Delmar (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 267, 30 July 1742).

The 1744 inventory of Edward Scull, joiner, chairmaker, and cabinetmaker, contained information which allows judgment as to the relative values of black vs. white chairs: “…8 dozn white Chairs @£6 Dozn [£]48‑…2 Doz Black Chairs @ 8 Doz [£]16‑…” thereby revealing black chairs were worth two pounds more per dozen (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 67, 1732‑1746, p. 96, 18 December 1744). Another variation for black chairs was found in the 1749 inventory of James Boone with “…2 Black Chairs with cain backs & bass bottoms [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751,n.p., 26 May 1749). Also seen in 1749 were “…6 Chairs & 1 Elbow Do Black Cain Backs & the Seats Covered with Leather [£]9‑ …” in the inventory of ‘The Spring’ plantation of Benjamin Godin, at Goose Creek (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 170, 20 and 21 June 1749). Locating evidence for details of the physical appearance of black chairs was slight. The only item found was in the 1750 inventory of Col. Thomas Ashby with “…6 plain Black Chairs [£]3‑15‑ [and] 1 dozen Do [black chairs or only chairs] Turned heads [£]4‑10‑…”. This perhaps indicated finials, perhaps several on the crest. (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 77A‑77B, p.610, 7 September 1750). Other references were found to “turned chairs,” but the description was not type specific (Wills Charleston County, Etc, Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 293, 13 March 1752, Christiana Mathews Vols. 85A‑85b, 1758‑1761, p. 924, ___February 1761, Dr. Hugh McDowall). In 1754 comparative values were again seen with the advertisement of Solomon Legare, Jr., tanner and currier, who offered “…black chairs at 12 £ per dozen, white ditto at 9L…” possibly demonstrating that Legare had chairs made for sale for the public could buy these “…by applying to me at my plantation on John’s Island or Mr. Thomas Lagare next door to the EXCHANGE COFFEE HOUSE in Charles Town”. He also listed “low chairs” [q.v.] and “children’s chairs” [q.v.] which also could be purchased (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 September 1754). The differentiation of black and white was gone by the mid‑1760’s, with one exception: in the c. April 1777 inventory taken of the house left behind by royal governor Lord William Campbell after he fled Charleston, in the list of items for “Mrs. Sidney’s Room” appear “6 White Do. [Chairs] [£]2‑2‑0…” (B.P.R.O. T1/541, p. [2], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777). However, no black chairs were listed, only “2 Green Chairs…[£]1‑4‑0,” and it was not until the fancy chairs came in the late 1790s that this was again found.

 

Brown (1752-1794)— Brown must have not been a favorite color for only two citations were found. In 1752 the inventory of Dr. William Bruce revealed “…1/2 Dozn of Brown Chairs [£]3‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p. 412, 26 May 1752). Then in 1794 the inventory of Mrs. Sarah Sanders included “…12 Brown Chairs [£]‑96‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 133, 28 November 1794).

 

Fancy (1796-1820)— This approach to surface decoration was first called to the attention of the Lowcountry in April 1796 by Edward Johnson, cabinetmaker, “…late from Philadelphia…[who had opened]…a Ware‑Room in Meeting Street…[where he had for sale]…Modern and Elegant Cabinet work, Finished in a style of Elegance and Neatness that surpasses anything of the kind, hitherto offered for Sale in this City. Amongst which are…Beautiful Japanned Chairs or painted for do[a drawing room], or bed chambers” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 April 1796). The first found use of the term Fancy was in February 1797 with the advertisement of Denoon, Campbell & Co., vendue masters, who offered through William’s Assembly Room ‘London‑made’ furniture which included “…Fancy, Japanned and Cherry Tree Chairs…” (City Gazette and General Advertiser, Charleston, 14 February 1797). In October 1800 the merchants Matthew and Richard Brenon advertised their offering of “A Variety of Japanned Gilt and ornamented [chairs] with varnished straw seats” which had arrived on the ship Lavinia and for sale at 130 Broad Street (South Carolina State Gazette, Charleston, 31 October 1800). Denoon continues to advertise in 1801 with the sale of “…RUSH and CANE BOTTOMED CHAIRS, handsomely japanned and painted, of the newest patterns and excellent workmanship…” (Times, Charleston, 10 April 1801, 3‑4). The same day William Haydon “…FROM LONDON…” advertised “…A FEW dozen elegant japanned, black and gold RUSH‑BOTOMMED CHAIRS…” (Times, Charleston, 10 April 1801, 3‑4). Using pure description rather than the new term, Watts and Walker advertised in 1802 that “…from London…Painted and Gilded Chairs, with Cane Bottoms…” were for sale “…at their Cabinet Ware Room…” (Times, Charleston, 8 May 1802, 3‑4). Also, in 1802, the estate of Col.Edward Darrell was inventoried and found to contain “…13 painted & Gilt chairs…12 Mahogany Painted chairs $12…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 98, 16 June 1802). In December of 1802, G.W. Wyatt, turner, advertised that “…Black stained fancy CHAIRS, rush bottoms…” were for sale (Times, Charleston, 4 December 1802, 3‑4). William Haydon also advertised at the end of 1802 that he and Thomas Oliphant had “…fancy japanned, black and gilt Chairs…” for sale that Haydon had imported from his manufactury in Philadelphia (Times, Charleston, 6 December 1802, 3‑3).

In February 1803 William Ackerman, painter and fancy chairmaker (?), advertised that he was selling “…a few dozen fancy and Windsor CHAIRS, handsomely finished; paintings of MOUNT VERNON, the seat of the late General George Washington, from Stewart’s copy[?]. Old CHAIRS elegantly repainted, regilt, and ornamented in the newest taste, with brillant and lasting varnishes” (Times, Charleston, 1 February 1803, 3‑3). The well known Baltimore firm of John and Hugh Finlay were in Charleston in 1803, advertising  in May, “…Fancy japanned CARD TABLES, CORNICES and cane seat CHAIRS, with views, in this city, at No.24 Church‑street” and that they could take orders for furniture to be made at their firm in Baltimore (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1803, 3‑3). In June 1803 the auction firm of Scot, Campbell and Co. advertised a sale of “Four dozen English cane bottom Japanned Chairs” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 21 June 1803). In January 1804 an advertisement of the auctioneer Mc. M. Campbell announced the sale of furniture from the schooner Republican, which had been “cast away in Bull’s Bay”, which included “8 dozen Fancy Chairs” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 17 January 1804). An advertisement of April 1804 offered windsor and “1 dozen Fancy Chairs” which were from New York (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 13 April 1804). July 1804 found the inventory taken of Charles Snowden that contained “…1 Doz White painted Chairs $18. …1 Dozen Black painted Chairs $12. …[and]…1 Ditto  Green Ditto $6. …” which could have been of the fancy style or common for at this date it is difficult to know (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 266, 27 July 1804). A phrase James W. Cotton used for this style was “…Japan Chairs…” found in his advertisements of Philadelphia chairs in June 1804 (Times, Charleston, 7 June 1804, 3‑2). In July 1804 the auctioneer, James Scot, advertised “1 Dozen London Made Straw bottomed CHAIRS” were to be sold (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 26 July 1804). Fancy chairs were probably the “…1 Doz painted chairs [$]48…” that Robert Walker sold Arthur Hughes, planter, in October 1804 as recorded in the account books of Charles Watts (Charles Watts Account Books, Book I, 1802‑1811, 15 October 1804 [p. 41]). The merchant Robert Eason advertised in May, August, and September 1806 his offerings of “One Set of Gilt CHAIRS” with straw or rush bottoms (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 7 May, 11 August, 25 September 1806).

In May 1806 John Sanford, carver and gilder, advertised that he had been employed in New York and Philadelphia at “…ORNAMENTED GILT TABLES and CHAIRS, suitable for the Havana market…” and that he could make any of the same for anyone (Times, Charleston, 21 May 1806, 3‑3). The merchants Matthew and Brennan advertised in August 1806 “One Set of Gilt (Rush Bottom) Chairs” and in January 1807 “Fashionable (Black and Gold) Chairs and Settees [q.v.]” from Philadelphia (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 11 August 1806, 16 January 1807). The auctioneers Verree and Blair advertised in February 1807 that they were selling furniture which had been on the “ship Thomas Chalkley, [which] put into this port in distress, on her passage from Philadelphia to St. Thomas [Virgin Island]”; the furniture included “…cane coloured chairs” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 18 February 1807).February 1807 found the merchant Thomas Fletcher advertising Liverpool imports which included “1 Sett green fancy Landscape CHAIRS, 2 do. Yellow ditto ditto “ (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 27 February 1807). In December 1807 New York “7 dozen fancy Chairs” were being offered by Bulkley and Rose, merchants (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 22 December 1807). A new color combination of fancy chairs was found in the November 1808 inventory of Dr. Benjamin Powell as “…1 Doz chairs Gold & Red $24…1/2 Doz ditto Black $9…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 483, 26 November 1808). From November 1808 through July 1810 No. 146 Broad Street advertised as the source for various seating furniture and goods all of which was from Philadelphia; listed were “A variety of very handsome gilt and ornamented chairs,” “A variety of fashionable gilt and Japanned chairs, coelico [sic], gold, black and gold cane bottoms,” and “A HANDSOME assortment of Cane and Rush bottom Chairs, gilt and ornamented” (Charleston Courier, 30 November 1808; 16 February, 30 March, 19 April, 22 December 1809; 14, 26 February, 20 July 1810). The firm of Jacob Sass and Son were offering “…Philadelphia japan fancy chairs” in 1809 (The Strength of the People, Charleston, 14, 17 August 1809). In 1810 Jacob Sass sold Daniel Huger “…twelve black and gilt Chairs…” for fourty‑three dollars (Bacot‑Huger Collection, 11/49/8, Daniel Huger folder, 25 August 1810, receipt, South Carolina Historical Society).

The c. 1810 inventory of Col. Thomas Shubrick revealed that “…2 dozen Gilt Chairs with Cane bottoms Coshions & Covers $120. …” were part of his estate (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 60, c.1810 [obituary City Gazette, Charleston, 14 March 1810]). An interesting letter of 22 December 1801 survives, which could well relate to these chairs. In a letter to Miss Harriott Pinckney of Hampton, Thomas Pickney referred to the upcoming wedding of Col. Shubricks daughter as “…to be uncommingly brilliant. The Colonel’s new furniture is to be paraded on the occasion…” (“Letters From Thomas Pickney Jr. To Harriot Pickney” SCH&GM 41:102‑103). The connection is probable as 1801 would be an appropriate date for his chairs and with an upcoming wedding two dozen ‘Fancy’ chairs would certainly be needed. Jacob Sass and Son advertised in February 1811 that they were offering “A few sets Philadelphia made JAPAN CHAIRS…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 12 February 1811). On 13 May 1812 the City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser carried a rare bit of evidence as an auction sale was to be held at the 12 Logan Street home of someone who was to leave the state “for a season”. Among the household goods were “Handsome fancy Chairs, with cane bottoms, and Tables and Settees to match, having Charleston views painted on them”. Could these have been products of the brief Hugh and John Finlay visit in the Spring of 1803? An estate sale was held the next month which contained “…18 white and gold fancy Chairs with hair cushions and diminity covers…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 10 June 1812, 3‑3). Richard Brennon was advertising “…a few sets of fancy CHAIRS and SETTEES, black and gold, with rush seats…” in January 1813 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 22 January 1813, 3‑2). In 1813 John Adams died with “…16 gold & black cane bottom chairs & 2 arm do $90…” in his estate (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 158, 3 May 1813). Black with gilt must have been a common selection for in 1814 Philip Cohen advertised a sale of “…Black and gilt straw bottom Chairs…” demonstrating that this decoration could be had with any type seat as can be comparatively evidenced by the two previous quotations(Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 7 November 1814, 2‑5). When Richard Stiff, a tavernkeeper, died, his 1814 house inventory of the “Front Room up Stairs” included, with a five part dining table, “…1 doz Single backed chairs with flowered backs $12.50…2 [doz] & 1 do [single] do [chairs] with Circle in the Center [$]25…”; it is assumed that these were of the fancy style. Also, in a “Side Room” with a breakfast table were “…6 chairs painted red & gilt $9…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 246, 12 November 1814). In October 1815, January, February, and April 1816 the mercantile firm of Edward Gamage and Co. advertised New York windsor and fancy chairs: “THREE dozen Fancy CHAIRS, with Rush Bottoms,” “A few sets Bamboo CHAIRS [q.v.], Gilt ditto, 1 set Tortoise ditto, 3 dozen Slatt Backs, 2 do. Bent do…” and “1 dozen Yellow Bamboo CHAIRS, 1 do. Tortoise Shell Spindle Back do., 1 do. do. do. Horn Patterns, 2 do. do. Broad Top do. do., 1 do. Sattin Wood, Gilt Patterns do., 1 do. do. do.  Feather do. do…” (Courier, 23 October 1815, 3 January, 12 February, 11 April 1816).

The firm of Sass and Gready continually advertised Philadelphia fancy furniture for sale at their Charleston “Northern Ware House” from 1815‑1818 with such descriptions as “…a few sets elegant rush seats FANCY CHAIRS…” and “…finished in a superior style, and of the latest Philadelphia fashions…Rosewood colors…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 June 1815, 3‑2, 21 January 1818; Courier, Charleston, 22 May, 8 June 1816; 7, 27 May 1817). Others advertising similar chairs during 1816 were Richard W. Otis, Claude M. Samory, and P. Miller & Co. The advertisements of Richard W. Otis were offering household furnishings from New York which included “…Fancy and Windsor Chairs…” Charleston Courier, Charleston, 14 December 1816, 3‑2). In January of 1817 the term “Grecian”, as referring to the Empire style of Grecian Furniture included “…6 fancy immitation satten‑wood Chairs…[and]…12 Grecian Chairs, painted and Gilt in the most tasteful manner,” was introduced by the Charleston Auction Establishment in describing an upcoming auction of a household (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 11 January 1817, 3‑2). Archibald Whitney, merchant, advertised Philadelphia seating furniture in April 1817 which included “…Chairs are highly finished and gilted, with rush seats” (Courier, Charleston, 15 April 1817). The merchant J. Simmons Bee was advertising English furniture “…of the latest fashion…” for sale at the same place which included “…2 Rosewood Curricle CHAIRS…12 Rosewood Drawing Room CHAIRS, with cane seats, cushions and covers. 4 Rosewood CHAIRS, as above, with scroll elbows, cushions, &c…” in June 1817 (Times, Charleston, 19 June 1817, 3‑4). Later in June he also advertised the auction of “12 dozen English made fancy CHAIRS, with cane seats. 6 dozen handsomely finished Philadelphia made CHAIRS, with cane and Rush seats…” (Times, Charleston, 27 June 1817). In October 1817 Archibald Whitney, advertised again that he had “…An assortment of PATTERN CHAIRS… “ from Philadelphia, which probably were chairs of a recognized origin, as is noted with the next advertisement or, with the new decoration of stenciling (Southern patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 20 October 1817, 3‑2). The dry goods firm of S. Nicholson & Co. was selling in 1817:

Tortoise Shell colored Rush bottomed fancy CHAIRS
Sattin Wood               do                   do      do
Maple colored             do                   do      do
Rose Wood                do with Brass Ornaments
Tortoise colored Cane Seats   Altar do
Yellow Bamboo Chairs
Ditto New York Pattern
Ditto of new pattern
(City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 November 1817, 1‑2).

Another general merchandiser, J.D. Stagg, was offering “Fancy Chairs…from New York…” which consisted of

8 dozen slat backs, gilt curled maple
1 do      ball backs   do   do      do
1 do      scrole frets  do   do      do
1 do      Burr frets    do   do      do
4 do      ball backs   do  cane seats
(City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 January 1818, 3‑3).

Richard W. Otis was offering, in February 1818, “…6 [dozen] Fancy do[chairs] from $38 to $100[per dozen]…[and]…30 dozen Fancy and Windsor Chairs…” from New York (Courier, Charleston, 16 February 1818). The firm of Barelli, Torre and Co., merchants, advertised in February and June 1818, and March 1819 that they were offering “Best Fancy TORTOISESHELL, and various colored CHAIRS…” from New York (Courier, Charleston, 23 February 20 June 1818, 22 March 1819). Whitney was selling in April 1818, from Philadelphia, “…12 dozen Drawing Room CHAIRS, new patterns and Elegantely finished: among which are 12 Drawing Room Grecian CHAIRS…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 April 1818, 3‑3). Richard W. Otis was advertising in 1818 that he had for sale “…FANCY and WINDSOR CHAIRS and SETTEES, received per Telegraph [origin unknown], comprising upwards of fifty different patterns” (Courier, Charleston, 30 June and 20 October 1818). In 1818 John Gross was also advertising but with “Elegant Bronze and Gilt Fancy Chairs” from Philadelphia (Courier, Charleston, 28 October 1818, 3‑3). William R. Rawson advertised in 1819 that he was selling, at his Furniture Ware House, fancy chairs and other furniture from Providence, Rhode Island (Courier, Charleston, 3 February and 10 June 1819). In 1820 and 1821 Benjamin P. Simmons, painter, was advertising that “Fancy and Windsor Chairs also painted in the neatest manner” (Courier, Charleston, 26 January 1820, 2‑4; 13 January 1821, 3‑2). Into the 1820s fancy chairs were being offered by warehousemen, cabinetmakers, and chairmakers such as: Edward George Sass, Richard W. Otis, Andrew P. Gready, Richard Goldsmith, G.C. Harriott, and Henry W. Neville. By 1822 Charleston saw the specific business of the fancy and windsor chairmaker and painter G.C. Harriott’s of “Fancy and Windsor Chair Store” (Courier, Charleston, 25 December 1822, 3‑5).

 

Green (1755-1796)— In the October 1755 inventory of the estate of artist Alexander Gordon, there were “6 small Green chairs [£]6 and “2 arm Green chairs [£]3” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 435.) The terminology used in the inventory suggests that the 2 arm green chairs may have been Windsors. In 1759 the inventory of Charles Main, merchant, included “…6 Green Straw chairs [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 642, c. 1759 [estate notice South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 6 October 1759). In 1777, the house inventory of former royal governor Lord William Campbell was taken, and it listed in “the South East Bed Chamber…5 Green Chairs with Rush Bottoms [£]3‑0‑0,” in “Capt. Innes’s Chamber…4 Green Chairs with Rush Bottoms [£]2‑8‑0,” in “Mrs.  Sidney’s Room…2 Green Chairs [£]1‑4‑0,” in the dining parlor “3 Green Straw Bottomed Chairs…[£]1‑16‑0,” and in “The Library…6 Green Chairs Rush Bottoms [£]3‑12‑0” (B.P.R.O. T1/541, pp. [1‑3], Lord William Campbell’s Inventory, c. April 1777.) The 1789 house inventory of William Gibbes Esq. contained in the “Back Parlour” “…8 Green Chairs 40/ [and in the ‘Entry’] 12 Green Chairs 60/…” which could have been Windsors except that the term windsor was in general use and not used. (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 238, 24 March 1789). In 1789, Alexander Crawford recorded in his daybook his 12 shilling charge to Rebecca Motte for “4 Chears painting green” (Alexander Crawford Daybook, p. 28, 23 July 1789).  A year later, on 30 June, Crawford recorded that he charged David Boggie [£]1‑10‑ for “painting a Chear” (Alexander Crawford Daybook, p. 62, 30 June 1790.)  Although the color was not specified, it is possible that Crawford also painted them green; however, the fact that he was painting chairs is important and indicates that someone was coloring chairs locally. Green chairs, also possibly Windsors were further seen in 1794 and 1796 inventories, but with no specifics given “…11 Green do[chairs] [£]‑33‑ [and] 1 Doz. Green do[chairs] [£]‑40‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 133, 28 November 1794, Mrs. Sarah Sanders, and p. 173, 22 March 1796, Richard Gough).

 

Red (1739-1764)— Except for the fancy style of painting, red chairs were only twice found in the inventories. In 1738/9 the estate of Thomas Elliott contained “…24 Black Chairs [£]20‑…” and the 1764 estate of Robert Reid with “…1 Dozn Red Hickory Chairs [&] 1 Low Do [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p. 115, 17 January 1738/9 and Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p.102, 11 April 1764).

 

Stained (1785-1785)— The sole mention of this treatment was found in a 14 November 1785 advertisement for the sale of household furniture which “having been Imported by a Gentleman for his own use” was to be auctioned and described as “6 Stained Chairs”. The color was not recorded (Charleston Evening Gazette, S.C. 14 November 1785).

 

SEATING FURNITURE WOODS

Ash (1766-1766)— The sole incident of ash being cited for chairs was in the 1766 inventory of Burtinhead Boutwell, planter, who had “…6 Ash Do [chairs] [£]‑40‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, p. 636, 16 and 17 October 1766).

 

Beech (1749-1769)— The 1749 inventory of John Muncrieff, blacksmith, contained “…3 old Beach Chairs [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p.158, n.d. c.1749; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5 June 1749, 3‑1, estate sale notice). In November 1749 an advertisement offered the sale of “Russia and Leather bottom Beach chairs” which had been imported from London (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 November 1749). The merchants Mathewes and Loyd advertised in May 1754 their offering of “Walnut [q.v.] and Beech chairs” from London (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 28 May 1754). The South Carolina Gazette for 13 May 1756 carried an advertisement for the sale of “beach[sic] and walnut tree chairs” as from London. The 1761 inventory of the Charleston house of John Rattray included “…Half a Dozen Beach tree Chairs & one Arm’d ditto [£]45‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑87B, 1761‑1763, p. 137, c. September 1761, South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 3 October 1761 [death notice]). A larger estate of John Snelling, merchant, was inventoried in 1769 or early 1770 and had “…6 Leather Bottom Beach Chairs…”(Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 212, no date; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 November 1769, death notice).

 

Cedar (1692-1758)— Assumed to be the red cedar, the first occurrence in chairs was recorded in 1692 in the inventory of William Dunston, merchant, who had in his home “…one Ceder arm chair [£]5‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 117, 27 April 1692). The 1733 inventory of Jonathan Main contained “…6 Seadr ____ bottom Chairs & 1 Elbo Do [£]30‑…1 Sedar Elbo Do [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, 20 April 1733). Mrs. Elizabeth Dill’s 1756 inventory had “…5 old Cedar chairs [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 805, 5 March 1756). The 1758 inventory of Richard Dunn Lawrence, planter, contained “…10 Spanish Cedar chairs @40/ [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.84, 1756‑1758, p. 394, 17 February 1758).

 

Cherry (1748-1797)— Henry Petty, merchant, died possessed in 1748 of “…6 Cherry Tree Chairs [£]22‑10‑…” as recorded in his inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, p. 83, 16 December 1748). Also in 1760 William Screven died with “…6 Cherry Tree Do [chairs] [£]8‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 691, 23 November 1760). The difficulty of distinguishing between cherry and mahogany experienced today was present in the eighteenth century for in the 1763 inventory of James Talbert, there were “…12 Mahogany or Cherry Chairs [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑87B, 1761‑1763, p. 572, 6 July 1763). When Thomas Middleton died his Laurel Bay Plantation was appraised in 1767 which contained “…6 Cherry Chairs [£]30‑…”(Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p.772, 3, 4, 5 February 1767). In 1783 the inventory of Col. Robert Rivers contained “…4 Cherry Chairs…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 41, 11 June 1783). The only origin mentioned of cherry chairs was in 1797 with the advertisement of Denoon, Campbell & Co., Vendue merchants, of an auction of “…London‑Made Household Furniture…[among which were] Cherry Tree Chairs…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 February 1797, 3‑4).

 

Chestnut (1799-1799)— The only account of chestnut was the 1799 inventory of James Granville, hair presser, whose home contained “…Five Chestnut chairs at 75 cts [$]3 75/100 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.C, 1793‑1800, p. 409, 3 June 1799).

 

Elm (1761-1761)— When Thomas Wigg, planter, died in 1761 his inventory included “…6 Elm chairs [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 367, 28 April 1761).

 

Hickory (1750-1784)— The 1750 inventory of Maurice Keating contained “…1 Dozn. Hickory chairs…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p.51, 28 September 1750). Two years later the inventory of John Owen, tailor, contained “…6 heart of hickory chairs & 1 Elbow Chair [£]5‑…6 heart of Hickory chairs [£]4‑10‑…” also there were “…2 1/2 Cords Chair Wood‑‑‑60@/a Cord [£]7‑10‑…[and]…1 Lot old Turning Tools &c. [£]5‑ …” which could indicate that Owen had someone turning and probably making chairs on his property, possibly a slave (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p. 419, 21 July 1752). The 1755 inventory of William Smilie, planter, listed “…7 Hickory chairs [£]1‑15‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 594, 8 May 1755). In 1757 the inventory of Peter Banbury named “…1/2 dozn Hickory Chairs [£]7‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 66, 2 February 1757). The 1760 inventory of John Roberts revealed “…13 house chairs heart of Hickory [£]16‑5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 498, 21, 23 February 1760). In the same year William Waites died possessed of “…11 Hickory chairs [£]11‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 747, 23 October 1760). Also 1760 saw the inventory of William Screven which contained “…24 Heart of Hickory Chairs [£]20‑…” in addition to other specifically identified furniture as to woods (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 691, 23 November 1760). The ‘heart of hickory’ description was not found elsewhere and the appraisers of the three forementioned inventories were not the same; perhaps this description was ‘of the time’. When Dr. John Cochran died his inventory revealed “…1 Doz Common White Hickory Do[chairs] [£]6‑…” which probably indicates a paint color (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 469, 13 May 1763). “…1 doz: Hickory Chairs [£]12‑…” were in the 1764 inventory of Thomas Broughton (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p.26, 20 January 1764). John McQueen’s 1764 inventory listed 8 Hiccory Rush bottom Chairs [£]2‑…”(Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p.298, 2 February 1764). When Richard Singleton died in 1764, he possessed “…19 Hickery Chairs £19‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 89, 19 March 1764).  Differentation was made between old and new in the 1764 inventory of the Reverend Robert Barron with “…6 New Hickory chairs [£]5‑…[and]…7 old Do Do [£]‑70‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p.256, 30 June 1764). Burtinhead Boutwell died in 1766 possessed of “…Twelve Hickory chairs [£]6‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc. Vols 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 636, 16, 17 October 1766). The blacksmith, John Edwards died possessed of eight hickory chairs in 1770 (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1770, p. 337, 7 November 1770). In 1771 Henry Laurens bought for Mepkin Plantation “…6 3/4 Chords Chair Makers Hickory £6‑10 pr. [£]43‑17‑6…” from Christopher Holson, mariner. Holson apparently had John Groning as an apprentice prior to this date, the latter had since become a riding chairmaker. This trade was known for its use of hickory and other hardwoods and Groning probably supplied Holson with the wood (Henry Laurens Journal, September 1766‑December 1767, February 1768‑May 1773, August 1773‑May 1773, p.363, 19 February 1771, Account 259; Charleston County, S.C. Land Records, Misc. Pt. 61, Bk. Y4, 1778, [transcripts], 20 March 1778; South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 March 1771, 3‑1). In the 1783 inventory of Col. Robert Rivers there were “…5 Hickory Chairs 4/8 …” and in 1784 the inventory of John Garden revealed “…Twelve Hickory Do[chairs] 14/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p.41, 11 June 1783; p. 236, 30 June 1784).

 

Mahogany (1732-1820)— The first mention of mahogany chairs was in 1732 with the advertisement of Robert Broomhead and Thomas Blythe who had a cabinetmaking partnership at ‘New‑Market Plantation’, a mile from Charleston. The wording, of this first cabinetmakers advertisement to appear in Charleston, implied that they had been in business for some time and would continue to make furniture including “…Mahogany Tables and Chairs made after the best manner…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 August‑7 October 1732). In the 1737 inventory of Henry Michael Cooke the first private ownership is recorded of “…1 Two arm’d Mehogany [sic] Chair [£]1‑5‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.68, 1736‑1739,p.176,20 June 1737). Evidence for the importation of mahogany chairs, probably from London, was first found in the 1742 advertisement of Joseph Pickering, merchant (South Carolina Gazette, postscript, Charleston, 8 May 1742, 2‑1). The Thomas Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775) contains many entries for chairs of this wood. With mahogany being the preferred wood for chairs, the documents studied were filled with references. For this reason, further material will be within the chronological general evidence for chairs.

 

Maple (1733-1820)‑‑‑ The 1733 inventory of John Lewis contained in the ‘Hall’ “…6 Maple Matted [bottomed] Chairs [£]6‑ …” and “…6 Maple Cain Chairs [£]10‑ …” in the ‘Chamber’ (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p.112, 21 December 1733). John Marshall’s 1764 inventory contained “…6 Maple Do [chairs]…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 886, 20 October 1764). The 1783 inventory of Reverend Alexander Garden contained “…13 Maple Chairs 30/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 204, 20 April 1783). The next year, the inventory of John Garden, of St. Thomas Parish, contained “…12 Maple chairs 21/9 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.A, 1783‑1787, p. 236, 30 June 1784). The next occurrence of maple is in 1831 with the firm of Deming and Buckley, warehousemen, via a receipt for “…1 Dozen Curled Maple Chairs $68.00…1 Ditto  Ditto  $63.00 …” they sold to William Lucas (Charleston, 1 April 1831, MRF‑11,971).

 

Mulberry (1764-1764)— The 1764 inventory of Joshua Screven contained “…1/2 Dozn Mulberry chairs [£]9‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p.57, 6 March 1764).

 

Oak (1750-1783)— There were only two references to oak chairs. The earliest was in 1750 with the inventory of “Colsheth” [Culcheth] Golightly which contained “…11 English Oak framed rush bottomed Chairs & 1 Leather bottomed arm’d Chair [£]12‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, c. February 1750). In the 1783 inventory of Col. Robert Rivers were “…3 White Oak Chairs [£]‑7‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 41, 11 June 1783). If the appraisers were botanically accurate these were of American origin as the true white oak (Quercus alba) is only found in North America. The English, or European oak is of two species Q. robur and Q. petraea; however all three species are classified as white oaks as opposed to the red and live oaks.

 

Red Bay (1760-1766)— With the death of William Screven, his 1760 inventory included “…18 Red Bay Chairs…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 691, 23 November 1760). Benjamin Stone, shipwright of James Island, died with “…a Dozn of Red Bay chairs [£]12‑ …” in his 1758 inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc. ,Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 102, 17 January 1758). In 1766 Samuel Heyward’s inventory included “…6 Red Bay Chairs [£]7‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 669, 19 November 1766).

 

Rosewood (1817-1820)— The late arrival of rosewood was found in a June 1817 advertisement of the auctioneer, J. Simmons Bee, who offered “English made FURNITURE” which included “Rosewood Grecian Couches [q.v.]” and “2 Rosewood Curricle Chairs to match. 12 Rosewood Drawing Room Chairs with cane seats, cushions and covers. 4 Rosewood Chairs, as above, with scroll elbows, cushions, etc. to match the above” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 16 June 1817). In an April 1820 advertisement of Demming and Buckley, warehousemen, of  “…a most superb and complete sett [sic] of Rose Wood Drawing Room FURNITURE…[among which was]…One dozen do[elegant] do[rosewood] Chairs…” from New York where it was manufactured (City Gazette and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 11 April 1820, 3‑2). Apparently, later in 1820, another shipment was announced of rosewood furniture from New York by Demming and Buckley which included chairs (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 November 1820).

 

Walnut (1733-1773)— Aside from mahogany, walnut was the most commonly mentioned wood of chairs found in documents. The first mention of which was “…A Dozn Walnut Chairs [£]50‑ …” in the 1732/3 inventory of Charles Worth Glover, planter (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 23, 5 February 1732/3). In 1736 Rowland Vaughn’s inventory included “…1 Walnut Tree Elbow chair with Leather Bottom [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 161, 22 November 1736). The first importation found of walnut chairs was in 1742. Although the origin was not given the list of objects to be sold indicated England (South‑Carolina Gazette, postscript, Charleston, 8 May 1742, 2‑1). The same year saw the inventory taken of Anne Le Brasseur which contained “…a Dozn Walnut Chairs with Sattin Bottoms [£]45‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 20 September 1742 [recorded]). The Col. William Wateis’s 1743 inventory included “…1 Walnut Armed Chair [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 221, 22 May 1743). The extensive 1743 inventory of James St. John included in the ‘Hall’ “…6 Walnut chairs, Leather Bottoms [£]9‑…1 Elbow Do [walnut chair] Russia Leather & a Cushion [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p. 257, 1 July 1743). One of the inventories of Ralph Izard, taken in 1743/44, revealed “…6 Walnut chairs [£]50 …” which equalled the value placed on a clock in the same document (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 369, 3 January 1743/4).  The 1745 inventory of James Matthews revealed “…1/2 Doz walnut Chairs with Red Bottoms Damask [£]30‑ [and] 1/2 Dozn walnut Chairs silk Damask Covers [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, etc., Vol.74, 1741‑1748, p. 336, 25 February 1745). In 1746, the inventory of Alexander Murray listed “…6 Walnut Black Leather Bottomed chairs [£]12‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.74, p. 101, 11 February 1746). In 1746 Robert Pringle, merchant, sold Charles Hill, also a merchant, “…6 Walnutt[sic] Tree Chairs with Chintz Bottoms £45‑ …” which implies that these were not of Lowcountry origin (Mabel L. Webber, annotated “Journal of Robert Pringle, 1746‑1747” The South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine Vol. XXVI [Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins Company, 1925], p. 21, 6 May 1746). Another merchant, George Heskett, died in 1747 with “…6 Black Walnut frame chairs …” (Charleston County Wills, etc., Vol. 74, 1741‑1748, p. 316, 14 December 1747). In 1748 John Watson’s inventory contained “…12 Walnut Chairs Leather Bottoms [£]96‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 21, 5 August 1748). When the plantation of Benjamin Godin known as ‘The Spring’ was inventoried in 1749 it included “…6 Walnut Frame Chairs Green damask Seatt [£]36‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p.170, 20, 21 June 1749).

The 1750 plantation inventory of Robert Thorpe, merchant, included “…8 Walnut tree chairs with Stuff Bottoms & Covers [£]16‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 433, 31 March 1750). Benjamin Savage’s 1750 inventory included “…6 Walnut chairs [£]25‑ …” (Charleston County Wills,Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 560, 29 September 1750). The 1751 inventory of Joseph Wragg contained “…1 Doz Virginia Walnut Chairs with blue Stuff[ed] Damask Bottoms and Settee [£]20‑ [and] 9 Walnut Chairs with Leather Bottoms [£]9‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, 18 September 1751). In November 1752 the merchants Woodrop and Douxsaint advertised their offering of London “mahogany [q.v.] and walnut chairs” for sale (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 November 1752). The June 1753 advertisement of Holmes and Peronneau, merchants, listed “…Walnut chairs with leather seats…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 18 June 1753). In October 1753 William Lloyd, merchant, offered “…mahogany [q.v.] and walnut chairs of the neatest fashion…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 22 October 1753). An advertisement of September 1754 offered “walnut chairs” and other goods from London and Bristol (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 September 1754). In 1755 a further admission to appear in advertisement form was “…TO BE SOLD…one dozen new fashioned house chairs, made of virginia black walnut, neatly carved, Spanish leather bottoms, lately imported per Capt. Ball from London” which is the rare evidence of American walnut being made into furniture in England then to be shipped to America for sale and still recognized as of that particular wood (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 15 May 1755, 4‑2). In 1751 the inventory of Edward Fowler was taken and included “…1 Doz Walnut Tree Chairs [£]20‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p. 104, 2 October 1751). In 1752 the inventory of Isaac Holmes revealed “…1 Dozn Walnut Chairs Straw Bottoms [£]25‑ …[and]…6 Walnut Chairs with Leather Bottoms…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p. 313, 18 February 1752). The merchant, Jordan Roche, possessed at the time of his death in 1752, twenty‑three walnut chairs with a value of sixty‑seven pounds (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p.428, 22 June 1752). The scientist, Branfield Evans, died with “…11 Walnut trees Chairs Leather Bottoms  [£]15‑ …” in his 1752 inventory (1751‑1753, p.508, ___November 1752). William Cattell’s ‘Horse Shoe’ plantation was inventoried in 1752 and found to contain “…6 Cain Chairs Walnut frames [£]12‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p. 499, 16 November 1752).The South Carolina Gazette for 13 May 1756 carried an advertisement for “beach[sic] and walnut tree chairs” as for sale and which were from London.

The estate of Nathaniel Smith included, in 1757, “…6 Walnut chairs with Pamata [palmetto] Bottoms 20/ [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 161, 19 May 1757). When the cabinetmaker Robert Liston died, his c. 1760 inventory included “…6 Walnut Tree Rush Bottom Chairs [£]4‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p.572, c. April 1760, South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 3 May 1760, 1‑3 [estate sale]). The specific origin of walnut was seen again in 1760 with the inventory of Francis Bremar which contained “…1/2 Dozn English Walnut Chairs [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 563, 25 June 1760). The death of Martha Savage revealed that her 1761 inventory included “…1 Dozn Walnut Chairs with Crimson Worsted Bottom Covers [£]40‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 928, 30 April 1761). When James Grindley, attorney, died, his 1765 inventory included in the ‘Back Room’ “…6 Walnut Chairs Green Stuff Bottoms [£]12‑…1 Ditto Armed Chair 60/…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 531, 6 August 1765). In the 1764 inventory of Andrew Johnston, at his plantation on Charles Town Neck, there were “…Twelve Walnut Chairs with hair Bottoms and two Armed Ditto [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 119,17 March 1764). In 1766, Merchants Sneed and White advertised that they had imported from Philadelphia “A LARGE and neat Assortment of Windsor chairs…  Also Walnut of the same construction” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 June 1766, 1‑3.)  The advertisment, as many were, is somewhat ambiguous and can be construed two ways: the merchants were either selling walnut Windsor chairs or walnut chairs which served the same purposes as the Windsors listed. The Elfe Account Book, 1771‑1775, revealed that a repair was made on a walnut chair of an unspecificied nature with a cost of 7/6 (Thomas Elfe Account Book, Account # 87, John Waring, 17 July 1773).

 

Yew (1791-1792)— It is surprising that more references to chairs identified as yew have not been found for English chairs of yew are common in England. It could be the problem of the appraisers knowledge of wood identification. Nonetheless, in 1791 the inventory of John Deas did include “…1 Dozen Yew Arm Chairs one Broke  [£]4‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 348, 5 May 1791). The next year found “…a dozen Yew chairs [£]‑40‑ …” in the Charleston inventory of Dr. George Haig (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.B, 1787‑1793, p.412, 20July 1792).

 

 

TABLES

TABLE FORMS

Of all the forms of furniture, tables undoubtedly represent the highest household survival rate. The evidence, as discovered in Charleston records, revealed that fifty‑nine forms of tables were classifiable. Many citations were not defined as to form, function, or wood; therefore, it is these that require noting as associated evidence for shape, color, finish, design details, terminology, and value was found with many undefined tables. Prior to the Director and other similar design books of the mid‑eighteenth century, form terminology was not uniform nor was it, for the most part, existent. On the whole, the pre‑1740 Charleston inventories and advertisements reveal that the layman and most merchants cited the general form and then were often specific as to wood. This generality of form was assisted at times by the addition of such terms as small, large, long, oval, round, or square. Thus, as one would expect, many descriptions were absent of the common or early forms, e.g. joined tables with or without stretchers.

 

Table (General) (1695-1820)— Such an example of the latter was found in the July 1695 inventory of Joseph Penderves whose estate contained “…1 longe [sic] table & forme [sic] [£]0‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 301, 13 July 1695). Probably a similar table was found in the 1769/70 inventory of Nicholas Mardin with “…one Table and Two Formes [sic] [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 418, 3 March 1696/70). The earliest record found for the importation of a table was in 21 May 1718 with a London and Monserrat cargo onboard the Emperor of London containing furniture among which was “…1 table…” (South Carolina Shipping Returns, December 1716‑December 1719). In the 1732 house inventory of Rhoda Hole there was a “…Long table [and] small table…” the former probably being without leaves and possibly stretchers (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 8, 24 August 1732). Early  advertisements, such as those of the cabinetmakers James McClellan of 27 January 1732/3 and William Carwithen of 5 May 1733, often were non‑revealing as to form with their “…Tables of all Sourts…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 January‑3 February 1732/3 and 5 May 1733). It will be shown in several other sections that the occurrence of oval, round, and square tables in inventories possibly indicate swing‑leg forms for which there was no terminology.  An example of this was found in the 1733 inventory of Thomas Pamor with “…an Large ovill [sic] table [£]9‑…an small ovill [sic] Table[,] old [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 93, 17 April 1733). Within the inventories there were ocassionally found references to “Dutch” tables such as the April 1733 inventory of Jonathan Main who had “…1 Square & 1 Oval dutch Table [£]3‑10‑0…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 55, 20 April 1733). The reason for terming these Dutch is not certain.  Further discussion of this problem is discussed under the form Dutch (q.v.). Apparently the “Long” table as “form” was becoming “old” by 1733 as suggested in the December 1733 inventory of Thomas Rose, brickmaker, with “…One old [long?] Table and Form [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 116, 12 December 1733). Further non‑described tables were found entering Charleston from London on 3 January 1735 aboard the brig Doreathy as in the “…10 [packing] Cases of Chests of Drawers & Tables, Plows…” (South Carolina Shipping Returns, December 1721‑December 1735). During the investigation of inventories occasional evidence for the early covering of tables was found. Though this was not a constant item this author recorded, a few were noted to demonstrate the terminology associated with these coverings. In the July 1734 inventory of John Ramsay a “…large Ceder[sic] Oval Table with an Old Counter pane [£]5‑…” which is an interesting function for such a fabric primarily used for a bedstead; however, it could have merely been folded on top of the table. (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 168, 27 July 1734).

The use of carpets to cover tables was frequently seen in inventories such as in the December 1735 inventory of John Parker with a “…Large oval Table and Carpet [£]16‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 392, 3 December 1735). At times these covers were apparently recognized and evaluated separately as in the December 1742 inventory of Thomas Lloyd with “…2 old Carpets for Tables 40/…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 284, 29 December 1742). One such carpet was specifically defined in the June 1743 “Kellys” plantation inventory of James St.John as “…A Dutch Painted Table Carpet [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 257, 22‑24 June 1743). The use of seal skin for table covers was found in the August 1741 inventory of Thomas Gadsden as “…1 Card Table [with] Seal Skin Cover [£]7‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). The presence of seal skin was found in the tanner/saddler Alexander Browne’s inventory in an outbuilding as “…113 Sides ordinary seal Leather [£]113‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 524, 22 May 1750). The importation of this leather was often found as from Boston within the Shipping Return Records prior to 1750. In the January 1758 inventory of Burrel Massingbird Hyrne there was “…A Mahogany Table and Str[iped] flannel Cover [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 332, 11 January 1758). The evidence for covers continued to change with time as in the July 1792 inventory of Dr. George Haig who owned a “…Table with Oil Cloth Cover [£]‑30‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 412, 20 July 1792).The continued evidence for “round” tables as was found in the 1755 inventory of the cabinetmaker Ellicott Story with “…a Round Table unfinished 30/…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 669, 16 May 1755). These could have been the type as “…1 Round Clawfoot Do [table]…” was found in the earlier May 1754 inventory of Richard Wrights (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 164, 13 May 1745). A much later occurence of a similar so termed table was found aboard the ship Castle Douglas as it sailed from London to Charleston on 19 October 1784 with part of the cargo being from the London appraising and auctioneering firm of Pitt and Chessey as “1 Round Claw Table [£]1.10 [,] 1 Round [table].” Two years later on 1 August 1786 the same ship left London with “2 Circular [tables] [£]4.10” as part of the cargo of the London upholdering, undertaking, and furniture wharehousing firm of Wilson and Dawes (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154, 304; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, Eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 700, 986). During the reading of the Elfe Account Book an entry of July 1773 for “…mending a Large table with a new fley [sic] rale [£]1‑5‑…” was found revealing a term later describing a few tables found 1789‑1790 in inventories as a description for a table (#65, 8 July 1773). Such was seen in the March 1789 inventory of William Gibbs with “…a fly Table 30/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 238, 24 March 1789).  Other similar termed tables were found in the inventories of Richard Muncreef [Moncrieff] of October 1789 with “…1 Fly Table 37/4…” and Richard Daniell of May 1790 with “…1 Fly Table 50/…” all with different appraisers (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p.244, 9 October 1789 and p. 288, 4 May 1790). This description as given to the movement of tables was found in October 1732 with the inventory of Samuel Screven who possessed “…a falling Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 4, 24 October 1732). When a shopkeeper Daniel Townsend died, his 1746/7 inventory contained “…1 Large and 1 small Swinging Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 82, 30 January 1746/7 [recorded]).

In the November 1751 inventory of Elisha Ball was found “…1 folding Populer [sic] Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p. 133, 8 November 1751). As records were investigated, it was interesting to note evidence for table parts in joiners and cabinetmakers inventories and mortgages as well as advertisements of cabinetmakers and turners. Such was the case with a January 1733/4 mortgage of the “joiner” Thomas Blythe of Winyaw, Prince George Parish, to Isaac Chardon, Thomas and Daniel Laroche for land, household property and his shop contents which included “…24 table legs…” (Charleston County Land Records, Misc., Pt. 15, Bks. £‑P, 1722‑1736, Bk. £, p. 291, 23 January 1733/4). Again, in June 1738, Blythe mortgaged similar property which included “…a parcel of Table Legs…” and he was termed “Cabinet maker” (South Carolina Mortgages, No. N. N., 1738‑1739, p. 9, 14 June 1738). In his February 1762 inventory “…Table legs…” were found (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 39, 5 February 1762). The January 1749 inventory of John Edwards, cabinetmaker, disclosed his shop as containing “…1 Table frame…” along with other unfinished furniture (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751,p. 389, 19 January 1749/50). The turner, Joshua Eden, advertised in January 1767 that he was turning “…in its several branches…” and was offering “…table frames…” apparently ready for tops, such as marble or mahogany (see slab tables) South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 January 1767, 1‑3). In such a case this would not necessarily be a table interrupted in its construction by the artisans death, but a table finished as far as the particular craftsman was concerned and ready to be finished according to the taste of the consumer. Another instance of partial construction was found with the 9 October 1772 mortgage of the cabinetmaker Thomas Snead who, among various furniture parts and tools, listed “2 Do.[Pembroke] Table frames without Tops” (Charleston County, S.C., South Carolina Mortgages, No. D.D.D., 1771-1777, p.222, 9 October 1772). This was in contrast to the craftsman who died and his inventory stock included “…Sundry Mahogany Table Leggs [sic] and Rails 60/…” as did the cabinetmaker William Jones in February 1793 (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. B, 1787‑1793,p.495,c.16 February 1793). Another turner, G.H.Wyatt, advertised in December 1802 to “Cabinet Makers” that “…Sets of Card and Pembroke TABLE LEGS, turned and reeded the London fashion” were available (Times, Charleston, 4 December 1802). In contrast to this leg design was the evidence found in a March 1806 letter, of the cabinetmaker Jacob Cardoza to Jacob Henry, cabinetmaker in Beaufort, North Carolina, in which Cardoza, in discussing his business, relates that “…I have employed Pierre in sawing and pluning [planing] Legs & find him fully apt…” (Jacob Henry Papers, 1806‑1839, Blotter Book and Loose Papers. Letter from Charleston, 24 March 1806. Manuscripts Department Duke University, Durham). This implies that the legs being cut were of the square tapered style as the Cardoza letter further reveals that he was making card tables, dining tables and perhaps sideboards. In September of the same year the inventory of Francis Joseph Lacroix, cabinetmaker, revealed, in “…the amount of his work yet unfinished…Do. [making] 12 turned table posts $1 …12 feet for tables $2…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 407,4 September 1806). In the above appraisals, of which Claude Bicais, cabinetmaker, was one of the three appraisers, the “posts” could have referred to the pedestal base card tables and the “feet” the legs as the often found “pillar [post] and claw [foot]” (q.v.) was found in price books. The 19 December 1818 advertisement of H.C.Mcleod, auctioneer, offered the sale of furniture made in Charleston along with wood and “Comprising a quantity of best Table Boards and Celerett Tops” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 19 December 1818).

That the inventories contained scarce evidence for tables being painted was very obvious as woods, shape or form usually dominated the description; this was in sharp contrast to chairs where colors, of turned chairs, were frequently encountered. Such infrequently found table citations were as in the July 1742 inventory of Albert Delmar who had “…A Large Square painted Table [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 267, 30 July 1742). And twice was found tables described as “white” as in the inventories of James Mathewes of February 1745/6 with “…1 White Table 15/…” and George Hamilton in April 1754 with “…small White Table [£]‑15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 74, 1741‑1748, p. 336, 25 February 1745/6; Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 356, ___April 1754). Another color was found in the 1755 inventory of the cabinetmaker Ellicott Story as “…1 Small Lead Colour Table [£]25‑…”, which represented the value of a desk and bookcase in the same inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 669, 16 May 1755).

As the evidence found in the post mid‑eighteenth century records were read, there was a lessening of the ambuguity of table terminology noted. This is not to say that because design books were being published that the layman’s consciousness of furniture terminology was directly related to this decrease; but that the use of terms for specific forms were becoming part of the general consumers’ and appraisers’ language.

 

Barber’s Table (1759-1759)— The only evidence for this form was in the 1759 inventory of John Billney, peruke maker, who possessed “…1 Barbers Table with Drawers [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 266, ___March[?] 1759, [Estate notice South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 February 1759, 1‑3]). A design for this form was first illustrated in Chippendale’s Director (third edition, 1762, plate LIV) as “A Shaving Table”. See Shaving.

 

Breakfast Table (1742-1818)— At Pick Pocket Plantation, when the 1742 inventory was taken at the death of Col. Alexander Hext, there was “…1 Breakfast Table [£]9‑…[and]…1 Small Oak Breakfast Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74,1741-1748, p. 187, 26 June 1742 [recorded]). Also in 1742 the estate of Albert Delmar included “…a small Breakfast Round Table [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols.73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 267, 30 July 1742). Again in 1742 the inventory of Anne Le Brasseur included “…a ditto[small] round Breakfast Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 30 June 1742). In 1743 the inventory of Dr. Philip Ayton contained “…A Round Breakfast Table [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p.471, 24 June 1743).  Robert Younge possessed a “…Breakfast Table [£]10‑…” at the time of his 1751 inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 283, c.1751 [buried at Too Goodoo Plantation, St. Pauls Parish, 4 Decenber 1751, SCH&GM 14:148]). The 1764 inventory of John Guerard included “…1 Breakfast Mahogany Table [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc, Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 194, 30 May 1764). Within the Elfe Account Book is the evidence of selling 39 breakfast tables from 1771 through 1775. The range in both description and price was as follows: “a breakfast table” from £12 to £20, “1 Sq. Breakfast Table [£]15‑“; “a common breakfast table with casters [£]26‑“; “a Mahogany Breakfast Table [£]16‑ to [£]17‑“; “a Mahog. Breakfast Table & cast.[ers] [£]18‑“; “a Breakfast Table with Drawer & lock [£]19‑“; “Breakfast Table with Drawer and Stretchers [£]18‑“; “Mahogany Breakfast table with Ends Carved [£]28‑“; “a Commode Breakfast Table” £27 to £30, “a Commode Breakfast Table with Castors [£]28‑“; “a Breakfast Table fluted legs, chineas Brackets [£]20‑“ (Accounts ?). In 1772 Richard Magrath advertised that he was selling “…Commode Card Tables; breakfast ditto, with stretchers; China Tables…” which might have indicated that his breakfast tables were also commode (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 July 1772, 3‑2). The c. April 1777 inventory of the house occupied until 1777 by Lord William Campbell, the last royal governor of South Carolina, included “2 Small Mahogany Breakfast Tables [£]5‑5‑0” which were found in the breakfast parlor (B.P.R.0. T1/541, p. [3], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777).  In 1786 Col. John Baddeley had in his inventory “…A Mahogany Breakfast Table 10/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 189, 25 July 1786). In 1786 Jacob Sass charged for “…Preparing a Card Table & Breakfast Table £18‑…” and it was not until 1804 that it had to be taken to court (Chancery Court Bills of Complaint, Charleston County, Pt. 10, Nos. 1‑50, 1804, No. 45, 26 September 1804, charge was on 4 November 1786). The 1789 inventory of John Powell, cabinetmaker, listed “…3 breakfast Tables 60/…” however, it was not clear if these were part of his stock as were other forms which were “unfinished” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 248, 7 November 1789).

John Wilson, cabinetmaker, was selling furniture in 1790 which included breakfast tables (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 18 March 1790). In 1793 Jacob Sass made “…a tea table & breakfast table [£]5‑10‑“ which he collected for, together with other furniture, three years later (Charleston District Judgment Rolls, 1796, #4A, Jacob Sass vs. admors Cato Ash, 31 March 1796, charge was on 14 May 1793). The 1794 inventory of Ann Robertson included “…1 Oval Breakfast table 60/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 71, 23 June 1794). The cabinetmakers Edward Johnson, John Marshall, John Watson, and Alexander Calder, through separate advertisements, were selling breakfast tables (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 April, 12 July; City Gazette and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 22 August, 10 December 1796). It was in 1796 that William Bayliss, cabinetmaker, to advertised for the return of items which apparently people had helped him take out of his shop during a fire, among which were “…Two Breakfast Tables…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 1 July 1796). The last eighteenth century evidence for this form was the 1797 advertisement of Jacob Sass in which he was selling furniture at his “Ware‑Room” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797, 2‑3). The 1802 inventory of Love Stone included “…one Breakfast Table $6…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 105, 2 March 1802). William Walker was selling this form in 1803 (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 March 1803,3‑2). In 1807 vendue masters Verree and Blair were selling furniture which included “…breakfast tables…” being part of the cargo which was offered from a ship which was enroute to St. Thomas from Philadelphia when it entered the port of Charleston in distress (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 18 February 1807, 3‑4). Jacob Sass and Son received $12‑00 for selling “…a Mahogany breakfast Table…” to Daniel Huger in 1810 (Bacot‑Huger Collection, 11/49/15, receipt for Daniel Huger, 9 October 1810, South Carolina Historical Society).  Within the Journal of Peter Horry is found that in 1812, while describing the inebriated condition of a friend at his house in that his friend “…Ordered [a decanter of brandy] to be placed on a Small Table Near to the One on which we were breakfasting on…” (A. S. Sally ed., “Journal of Peter Horry” SCH&GM 39:125, entry of 30 July 1812). “CHARLESTON MADE” furniture was being auctioned by the mercantile firm of Campbell and Milliken, which included breakfast tables, all of which apparently was the stock of John Watson, cabinetmaker (Times, Charleston, 25 February 1813, 3‑4). The same firm also auctioned the “NEW HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE” of the deceased cabinetmaker Thomas Lee in 1814 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 24 March 1814, 3‑4). In 1816 it was William Rawson, from Providence, Rhode Island, that advertised his opening of a “WARE‑ROOM” to sell his furniture from his families business in Rhode Island, which included “…Grecian Breakfast tables…”.  The offering of this form continued in 1817, 1818 and 1819, with the latter year he additionally offered “…common Breakfast Tables…” (Courier, Charleston, 27 December 1816, 4‑1; Courier, Charleston, 5 May 1817, 2 February and 6 April 1818, 3 February 1819). Also in 1818 the Charleston Auction Establishment was offering breakfast tables made by “…F.L.EVERETT, of New York, and warranted in every respect…” through a Robert Adams who apparently was operating the firm (Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818, 3‑3).

 

Bureau Table (1727-1820)— This form is somewhat of a problem as apparently the term indicated a variety of forms related to writing. The term is used here to indicate a writing table, as it was in the period; however, it also referred to a desk, escritoire, scrutoire, secretary, and a chest of drawers, although the term is used at this point assuming that it was of the bureau table form. It is obvious that this approach is rife with error, but as the form cannot be distinguished all references will be given.  When it is apparent that the use of the term indicated another form than the bureau table it will be additionally quoted within the form to which it relates. Major William Blakewe(a)y was buried in July of 1727 and soon after his estate was appraised which revealed that he died with the earliest bureau known in Charleston; in fact, the first reference to this form appeared in the Daily Post in London on 4 January 1727. This was listed as “…1 Walnut Buro [sic] [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 26, July[?] 1727; Nancy A. Goyne, “The Bureau Table in America” Winterthur Portfolio [Wilmington: The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1967], p. 25). The first cabinetmaker in Charleston to advertise that he made this form was James McClellan in 1732/3 who said that he was from London and “…Makes and sells all sorts of Cabinet Ware, viz…Cabinets, Desks & Book‑Cases, Buroes…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 January ‑3 February 1732/3).  In 1733 John Herbert’s inventory included “…an Oak Bureau [£]10‑ …” as well as a “Desk” valued at £2‑ (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1733, p. 58, 15 June 1733). When the 1733 estate of John Lewis was appraised, the “West Room Above” revealed “…1 Buroe [£]1‑…” which was a small value as that was the value placed on “…1 old tea Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 112, 21 December 1733).  The 1734 inventory of Tweedie Somerville included “…One Bureau [£]20‑…” which was the given value of a clock in the same inventory, also a “Scrutore” was listed at £15‑ (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 122, 7 May 1734). John Lloyd also had in his 1734 inventory an “…Oak Beaureau [£]5‑ …” as was seen earlier in 1733 (Charleston County Wills, Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 196, 6 December 1734).

The mercantile firm of Hutchinson & Grimke was selling “bureaus” in April of 1735 which they had imported. Although the port was not given, the advertisement contained items indicative of England (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 April 1735, 4‑2). This was not the case in November of 1735 when “bureaus” were being sold as part of the cargo of the ship Bell from New England; unfortunately, the specific port was not given (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 November 1735, 4‑1). In February 1735/6 the galley Pelham entered Charleston from London with a cargo containing a variety of textiles and furniture including “…chests of drawers, burroes, desks…” which were offered for sale at Michael Moore’s, carpenter (South carolina Gazette, Charleston, 7 February 1735/6, 3‑1). The 1736 inventory of John Lloyd included “…1 Old Oak Beaureau [£]5‑ …” which raises the question of what was old at this date in a bureau form. (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 424, 28 May 1736). The 1736 inventory of Walter Welch, merchant, contained “…a Burreau[sic]…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 36, 19 July 1736). When William Watson, joiner, died in August 1736 one day after he was buried, his widow advertised that the business would be continued and that the shop “…workmen [were] fully capable of making Coffins and Cabinet‑ware, [and that] she has already made and to be sold cheap…Buroes…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 11 August 1736). When Rachel Moore’s 1736 inventory was taken it contained “…a Bureau [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 48, 20 September 1736). Robert Raper was selling “…a fine walnut tree desk & bookcase, with glass doors…a bureau of very fine mohogany [sic]…” in 1739 along with other furniture and household goods (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 April 1739, 3‑1). The 1741 inventory of William Wallace, merchant, included “…a large Mahogany Beaurow[sic] in the Counting House [£]50‑ and with this was “…1 Stool with a leather Cover Mahogany Frame [£]15‑ …[and] a Plain small Pine Desk…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,73‑74, 1741‑1748, p.56, 12 June 1741). The Reverend Archibald Stobo possessed at his 1741 death “…a Mahogony[sic] Buroe [£]20‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p.145, 16 December 1741). Further importation from London and Bristol which included “…bureaus…” was seen in 1741/2 with an advertisement of Crokatt and Michie, merchants (South Carolina Gazette, Supplement, Charleston, 20 February 1741/2, 2‑1). Another minister, James Parker, possessed a bureau in his 1742 inventory which was “…An English Oak Buereau [£]35‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols.73‑74, 1741‑1748,p. 235, 22 September 1742). When Richard Walter died, his 1742/3 inventory included in the “Hall” “…A Beaureau [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p.380, 11 February 1742/3). The 1742 arrival of the Titchfield from London brought “…mahogany desks and book cases with glass doors, chests of drawers, bureaus with the furniture of a toylet…” as revealed in an advertisement of Mackenzie and Roche, merchants (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 April 1742, 2‑2). In 1743 further advertisements of February and June were found of bureaus being imported from London, with the latter also listing “…chests of drawers, escrutoris with glass doors…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 28 February and 27 June 1743). Also this year Dr. Philip Ayton died with a bureau in his estate (Charleston County Wills,Etc.,Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p.471, 24 June 1743). In Josiah Baker’s “Dwelling House on Ashley River” his 1743 inventory of a “Chamber” included “…One Walnut Tree beaureau [£]3‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p.246, 1 September 1743). An interesting relationship was found in the 1746 inventory of Josiah Gaultier whose estate included “…1 Desk & Buroe [£]60‑ …A Parcel of Books in the same [£]10‑ …”, a description which possibly indicates that there was a top drawer or an “escritoire” form of a board (pull out or fold over) and that the books “…in the same…” probably were hidden within the drawers (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols.73‑74, 1741‑1748, p.22, 3 September 1746).

Further evidence of London bureaus being imported was found in 1746 by the advertisement of Joseph and Samuel Wragg, merchants (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 17 November and 22 December 1746). The 1747 inventory of Sarah Saxby included “…1 Bureau (Walnut) [£]8‑ …” (Charleston County wills, Etc.,Vol.74, 1741‑1748, p.416, 8 March 1747). The 1747 house inventory of George Heskett, merchant, revealed, that he died with two bureaus, each valued at £10‑ (Charleston County Wills,Etc.,Vol.74, 1741‑1748, p.316, 14 December 1747). Jonh Seabrook’s estate sale in 1750 included a “…Bureau & Book Case [£]43‑ …” which implies that it was of a desk and bookcase form (Charleston County wills, Etc.,Vols.77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p.541, 4 April 1750). There is the possibility that this was a bureau table with a bookcase on its rear surface. It is apparent that “…1 Mahogany Burroe with Glasses[doors?] [£]40‑ …” in the 1750 inventory of Mary Gaultier. was probably a desk and bookcase form (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols.77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p.570, 22 October 1750). This form is further problematical with the c. 1751 inventory of Robert Younge who possessed at death “…A Glass case Bureau [£]40‑ …A Desk and Bookcase [£]50‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p.283, c.1751 [buried on 4 December 1751]). It was the 1752 inventory of John Owen, which included a “…Mahogany Beaureau Table [£]9‑ …a Desk and Book Case [£]16‑ …a Mahogany Writing Desk [£]15‑ …” which represents the first use of the term “bureau table”, being the topic of this form (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p.419, 21 July 1752). The 1752 inventory of Charles Carroll, perukemaker, revealed “…one Do[mahogany] Bureau [£]20‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vol.79, 1751‑1753, p.423, 25 August 1752). The brigantine Austin arrived in Charleston, from Liverpoole, in October of 1753 with “…a burreau…” for sale by William Lloyd, merchant (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 15, 22 October 1753). The next year the Industry, from Leith, Scotland, brought “…mahogany desks, drawers, bureaus…and neat desk and book case with glass doors…” to Charleston (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5, 12 December 1754). The 1754 Director illustrates four designs for this form (plates XLI and XLII) which are entitled “Buroe Tables”; however, in the description (p.12) of the plates Chippendale calls them “Bureau Dressing‑Table[s]”. Further in the Director, plate LXXXIX is entitled “Dressing Chest & Bookcase” which in the description(p.19) is “Bureau Dressing‑Chest and Book‑Case”. When Genteel Houshold Furniture In the Present Taste was published in 1760 it included an “Open pediment Bureau & Bookcase” (plate 70) which in form was a desk with bookcase. Thus from these it can be seen that the term bureau apparently was interchangeable and could indicate several forms. The 1760 inventory of Martha D’harriette illustrates this as “In The Brown Room” was “…A Bureau with Glass Doors [£]20‑ …” and “In The Back Green Room” was “…A Book Case & Bureau with Glass Doors [£]60‑ …”(Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols.85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p.541, 29 March 1760). The 1762 The Universal System of Household Furniture included plate XLII with two designs for “Bureau Tables” and the same year the Director was republished with two new designs of “Buroe Dressing Tables” which were described in the text as “Commode‑Bureau‑Tables”(plateLXII) and “Bureau‑Dressing‑Tables” (plate LXIII). The design for “commode dressing table” (q.v.) was also found in the above sources which in actuality is a chest of drawers form. In 1763 the estate of Thomas Lining, cabinetmaker, revealed that within his stock of his shop there was “…1 Mahogany Buroe [£]35‑ …” and within his household “…1 Small Buroe [£]25‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols.87A‑87B, 1761‑1763, p.634, late 1763).

The 1764 inventory of Mary Lloyd included “…1 Beaureau dressing Table [£]100‑ …”. The use of the term could indicate the knowledge that one of the appraisers was Thomas Elfe (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols.88A‑88B, p.43, 5 March 1764). When the 1764 inventory of Ann Nelson was taken there were “…one Maple Beauro [£]10‑ …One old Beauro Broken…” and a desk and book case (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols.88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p.113, ___April[?] 1764). The 1767 inventory of Isabel Marshall included “…A Finire[sic] Bureau [£]7‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p.125, 27 April 1767). In 1768 the inventory of Isaac Nichols revealed “…1 Bureau £100‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p.316, 4 March 1768). Also in 1768 there was evidence for the importation of “…mohogany bureaus and bookcases…” from London as being sold by James Drummond, merchant, which apparently were desks (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 8 March 1768, extra, 2‑2). The estate of the silversmith Alexander Petrie included within his house “…1 Mahogany Bureau Desk [£]15‑…1 Small Mahogany Bureau Desk [£]10‑…” and in his shop “…1 old Writing Desk…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 365, 16 March 1768). The Reverend John Evans possessed “…A Ladys Dressing Beauroe [£]12‑ …” in his inventory along with a desk and bookcase (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 267, 26 March 1770). Another minister, John Thomas’s inventory included at the “James Island Plantation…a Cherry Tree Bureau [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 269, 24 January 1772). Within the Elfe account book there was only a single reference to a bureau which was in 1775 as “…fitting a key to Beaureau 10/…” (Account #32, 14 November 1775). There are desks throughout the account book, but no dressing tables. In 1777 the inventory of Richard Lambton contained in the “Back Room” of his house “…A Mahogany Buroe with Glass[in doors and with] drawers [£]65‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 369, 2 May 1777). Within the advertisement of the closing of the tavern of Paul Snyder in 1777, there was a “…Mahogany Bureau…” listed (Gazette of the State of South Carolina, Charleston, 16 June 1777, 1‑2). The 1782 inventory of Benjamin Baker, carpenter, contained “…1 Mahogany Bureau 80/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 305, 7 June 1782). Col. Robert River’s 1783 inventory included “…1 Mahogany Bureau & Book Case [£]2‑10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783-1787, p. 41, 11 June 1783). When the 1783 inventory of the Charleston house of Judith Wragg was taken, it revealed “…1 Book Case & Beaureau, 1 Beaureau…”, thus the first apparently was a desk and perhaps the other (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 69, July/August[?] 1783). In 1784 William Turpin, merchant, in Charleston Received a cargo of the brig Charleston Packet, from London, which included “…1 Beaureau…” (Duties on Trade at Charleston, 1784‑1789, p. 122, 13 September 1784). When Hepplewhites’ The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide was published in 1788, 1789 and 1794 it did not contain a Bureau form. In February 1789 there was a sloop Sally unloading “…bureaus, desks, chest of drawers…” for sale by Adam Gilchrest, merchant; further offered also in March, July, August and December of the same year as the sloop was operating out of New York and Charleston (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 11 February, 30 March, 21 July, 7 August, 15 December 1789).

In 1793 the inventory of William Jones included in his “Stock in Trade…1 Beaureau 100/…an unfinished Desk 50/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 495, c. 16 February 1793). In The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices of 1793 (pp. 28‑29) and also The Cabinet‑Makers’ Philadelphia London Book of Prices of 1796 (pp. 14‑15) the bureau is found described as a desk form. In 1796 William Baylis was in the process of making a bureau when he was involved with a fire as he advertised for “…one shell of a Bureau…” to be returned along with other furniture and tools from his shop (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 1 July 1796). With an advertisement of 1797 the confusion of form identification is again apparent. This was with the sheriff’s sale of the estate of Peter Bocquet which consisted of furniture including “…ONE Mahogany Bureau…one Desk and Book Case…” (City Gazette and daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 February 1797). This is further demonstrated by “…A SIDEBOARD BUREAU…” offered for sale in 1801 by James Cotton, carver and gilder, which apparently was a sideboard with a secretary (Times, Charleston, 1 April 1801, 3‑3). In 1802 the inventory of Dr. Robert Smith revealed “…1 Mahogany Bureau & Book Case £7‑…1 Small Bureau 20/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 116, 4 May 1802). In 1803 Sheraton’s Cabinet Dictionary regarded the bureau as “…in French, is a small chest of drawers. In England it has generally been applied to common desks with drawers under them, such as are made very frequently in country towns”. He said that he included a design to “…retreive their obscurity…” which was illustrated as a “Bureau Bookcase” (plate 23[25]). The same year in Charleston confusion continued as in the inventory of Joseph Legare we find “…1 Bureau or Sett Drawers £5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 177, 10 April 1803). A sale of furniture by David Lopez, vendue master, included “…Circular Burueas…Desk and Book Cases…” which increases the difficulity in understanding (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 11 February 1807, 3‑4). In 1813 furniture from New York was being sold including a bureau which had arrived on the schooner Banyer (Courier, Charleston, 30 January 1813, 3‑2). Also from Boston a bureau and writing desks were arriving as evidenced by the advertisement of T.Tupper, merchant (Courier, Charleston, 20 April 1815, 4‑2).

In 1816 an advertisement for “…Carved leg BUREAUS…secretary and book CASES…” as arriving from Boston (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 1 November 1816, 3‑2). Richard W. Otis, warehouseman, was offering a bureau and other furniture from New York for sale in 1816 and 1818 (Courier, Charleston, 14 December 1816, 28 January 1818).  When William R. Rawson moved to Charleston, in 1816, from Providence, Rhode Island, he supplied Charlestonians with furniture from his families cabinetmaking business in Providence, which included bureaus, from 1816 through 1819 (Courier ,Charleston, 27 December 1816, 5 April, 5 May 1817, 2 February, 6 April, 10 November 1818, 3 February, 10 June 1819). During the year 1817 bureaus, with other furniture was being sold from Connecticut by Luther Freeman, auctioneer (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20, 22 October 1817). The New York cabinetmaker‑Charleston‑warehouseman, was offering bureaus for sale in January and December 1818 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 January 1818). The same month was also found that bureaus from Salem, Massachusetts, were being sold by M.and C. Bridge, merchants (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 8 January 1818). The 1823 shop inventory of John McIntosh, cabinetmaker, included “…4 Setts of Bureaus unfinished $15…1 Mahogany Bureau $10…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823). As late as 1825 a “Ladies Dressing Bureau” was sold to Daniel Huger by Richard Goldsmith, cabinetmaker, as per receipt (Bacot‑Huger Collection, 11/49/17, Daniel Huger, 8 March 1825, South Carolina Historical Society).

 

Camp Table (1775-1775)— The single camp table found was in the Elfe Account Book for 1775 as “…a camp Table [£]4‑ …” which was sold with a “Camp Bedstead” at the same time to William Cattel, planter (#100, 8 September 1775). Sheratons’ 1803 Cabinet Dictionary illustrates two camp tables in plate 8 as folding portable forms: one with a top of two parts and the other with a single board top (pp. 123‑126, plate 8).

 

Chamber Table (1726-1802)— This form (See Benno M. Forman “Furniture for Dressing in Early America, 1650-1730” Winterthur Portfolio, Vol.22, Nos.2/3, 1987, pp.152-154) was first found in 1726 within the inventory of Thomas Bee as “…One small chamber Table [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 30, 9 June 1726). When the inventory of John Raven was taken in 1734 of both the Charleston house and his plantation, there was a chamber table at both places with the town house one at £3‑ and the other at £6‑ (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 157, 18 October 1734). The 1742 inventory of Col. Alexander Hext contained, at his plantation Pick Pocket, “…1 Square Caedar Chamber Table [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 187, 26 June 1742 [date recorded]). The first evidence of the use of this form, aside from its name, was the 1743 inventory of Charles Odingsells which contained “…1 Chamber Table & [dressing/looking] Glass [£]10‑…” thus indicating a dressing association as will the further evidence found in the folling three inventories (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p.186, 22 June 1743).  The 1743 inventory of Josiah Baker revealed that within the “Chambers” of his “Dwelling House on Ashley River” there was “…One Chamber Table & Looking Glass [£]1‑15‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p.246, 1 September 1743). When the inventory of Benjamin Savage was taken in 1750 there was “…1 Chamber Table & Dressing Glass [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p.560, 29 September 1750). The further function was found in the 1757 inventory of Cato Ash who died with “…1 Mahogany Dressing Chamber Table 50/ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vol.84, p.102, 9 April 1757). When Robert Liston, cabinetmaker, died, his estate was appraised and then sold in May of 1760, which contained “…A Mahogany Chamber Table [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills,etc.,Vols.85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p.572, c. April 1760; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 3 May 1760, 1‑3). Within the Elfe Account Book twelve chamber tables were sold from 1772 through 1774 with a price range of £9‑ to £11‑ (Accounts # ?). The descriptions were not descriptive as “…a Chamber Table [£]10‑ …” was the typical entry. The 1776 inventory of Benjamin Webb included “…One Chamber Table & glass [£]20‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories & Sales, Vol.100, p.7, 16 November 1776). The merchant Robert Brewton possessed “…1 Do[cypress] Chamber Ditto[Table] with a Carpet [£]5‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols. 98,99A,99B, 1774‑1778, p.395, 28 August 1777). On 19 October 1784 the ship Castle Douglas sailed from London with a cargo for Charleston containing “1 Chamber [table] [£]1.7.6” as being shipped by the London unholstering, appraising and auctioneering firm of Pitt and Chessey (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 700). The Chamber Table was described in The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices of 1793 (pp. VII,103‑105) and the 1796 The Cabinet‑Makers’ Philadelphia and London Book of Prices (pp.52‑53). In 1797 John Marshall claimed past charges in court for furniture made in 1791 through 1797 for William Marshall which, in 1791, included “…Making a Large Chamber Table Covered with green Cloath £0‑16‑0 …” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgement Rolls, 1798, #657A, John Marshall vs. William Marshall, charge was on 23 July 1791). The last chamber table found was in 1802 with a sale of furniture by Jacob Sass, at his warehouse, which included “…chamber tables…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 August 1802).

 

Child’s Table (1745-1745)— The 1745 inventory of George Coker, carpenter, cabinetmaker[?], of Edisto Island, contained “one Childs Table & two juggs [£]1.10.” (Charleston County, S.C., Wills, etc., Volumes 67A-67B, 1732-1745, [transcript], Vol. 67B, p. 384, 20 December 1745).

 

China Table (1768-1784)— In 1754 the Director included plate XXXIV as “China Tables” which was explained (p.11) as “…China or Breakfast Tables…the frets to go round the tops…” and in the third edition of 1762 with the same plate, although numbered LI, and with the description (p.7) as “…Tables for holding…a Set of China, and may be used as Tea‑Tables…”. For the evidence of this form only the references as “China Tables” or “Chineas Table” will be used. The first Charleston use of this term was with the 1765 advertisement of Nicholas Ba(e)rnard who offered “…China Tables…” along with furniture and some imported items in his store (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 October 1765, 1‑2). The first inventory evidence for this was in 1768 with Charles Skinner, who had “…1 fretted Chine Do[table] £7‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p.336, 10 May 1768). In 1770 the cabinetmaker John Dobbins advertised that he was leaving and was offering his stock which included “…Chinese Tables…” (South Carolina Gazette, and Country Journal, Charleston, 6 December 1770.) Within the Elfe Account Book there were four of this form sold, from 1773 to 1774, with a range in price of £20‑ to £70‑ and variously described as “…A large China Table [£]70‑ …”(#69, 22 March 1773), “…To a Chineas[china or chinese in design] Table with a Stretcher[£]26‑ …a Commode fret China Table [£]45‑; a Set Castors [for a total] [£]46‑ …” (#29, 19 August 1773 and 15 February 1774). The 1777 inventory of Charles Crouch included “…1 China Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols.98,99A,99B, 1774‑1778,  p.364,___June 1777). Also in 1777 George Sommers’ estate was appraised with “…1 China Table…” in the inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols. 98,99A,99B, p.306, ___August 1777). In 1779 the inflationary values were seen in the inventory of James Parsons who died with “…1 China Table £150‑ …” which was equal to the value given a card table in the same inventory (Charleston County Inventories & Sales, Vol.100, 1776‑1784, p.346, 27 October 1779). The last China Table found mentioned was in the 1783 inventory of John Ward who had “…1 China Table 20/ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.A, 1783‑1787, p.139, 25 November 1783). And, the last “Chinese” table found was recorded in the inventory of Philip Tydiman, silversmith, as “…A Chinese table £20/…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 215, 12 July 1784.)

 

Commode Table — See Dressing Table.

 

Communion Table (1763-1763)— It is surprising that the only evidence of this form, as found in the documents, was in 1763 within the Vestry minutes of St. Michael’s Church for 7 March. At this meeting it was announced that “…the Honerable Edward Fenwick Esqr. has generously presented Rich Crimson Velvett coverings and Cushions Trimmed with Gold fringe for the use of the Communion Table [,] Pulpett [sic] and Reading Desk of this Church…”.  Apparently the communion table in current use at that time was either not of the quality to be used for this gift or it was not the right size for the “Velvett coverings” for at the same meeting the order was given for a communion table to be made. This was “Ordered that directions be given by the Church Wardens to Elfe & Hutchinson Cabinet makers, to make a Mahogany Communion Table of such dimensions as will fit the Velvet Covering to be ready against Easter Sunday.  And that they pay for the same when finished, out of the Monies in their hands received by Subscription” (St. Michael’s Church Vestry Minutes, 1759‑1829, South Carolina Historical Society, 50‑258, 7 March 1763).

 

Corner Table (1753-1769)— In 1753 the merchant James Fowler died with “…1 Corner Table [£]3‑ …” in his estate (Charleston County Inventories, Vols.82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p.99, 25 September 1753). Edward Weyman, upholsterer, mortgaged property in 1796 which consisted of a slave, silver and furniture, including “…one Mahogany Corner Table…” (South Carolina Mortgages, No. B.B.B., 1767‑1771, p.333, 21 November 1769).

 

Currying Table (1796-1796)— In 1796 when John Peter Dener died, part of his personal estate was also owned with his son. This was of a tannery which, among the extensive list of appraisement, included “…4 Mahogany Currying Tables at ‑70‑ each [£]14‑ …”(Charleston County Inventories, Vol.C, 1793‑1800, p.189, 6 May 1796).

 

Dining Table (1741-1820)— This form, by name, was first found in the inventory of Gabriel Escott, merchant, as “…1 large Dining Table at Mr. Savage[‘s] [£]16‑ …”, perhaps the table, and other forms also listed, was either on loan or involved in a business situation with “Mr. Savage”. Possibly the Benjamin Savage, merchant, who was one of the appraisers (Charleston County Wills, etc., Vols.73‑74, 1741‑1748, p.116, 7 August 1741). In 1742/3 the merchant William Stone was selling “…dining Tables…” imported from London, along with other furniture forms (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 February 1742/3). The estate of Dr. Joseph Gaulter contained “…1 large Mahogany Dining Table [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 22, 3 September 1746). This was also found in 1747 with the inventory of George Heskett, merchant, who died with “…1 Mahogany dining Table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 316, 14 December 1747). The 1748 inventory of John Walton contained “…2 Dining Tables [£]20‑…” which so appeared in the appraisal to perhaps indicate that they were together (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 21, 5 August 1748). James Boone’s 1749 inventory included “…A Round Mahogany Diniing Table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 152, 26 May 1749). In 1752 William Stone was still importing London furniture including “…square Mahogany dining tables…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 February 1752, 3‑1). The first evidence for this form being made in Charleston by this name was found in the records of the court case concerning the recovery of charges of John Packrow for making “…a Dining Table [£]10‑…” and other furniture for James Deaboys in 1760 (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgement Rolls, Box 52A, #85A, John Packrow vs. James Deauboys, 30 April 1761, table sold 21 November 1760). The 1764 Charleston inventory of John McQueen, merchant, contained measurements of some of the furniture which was unusual. Among the measured forms were dining tables: “…a pr of Mahogany Dining Tables 5 ft 3 in by 3 ft 10 in. each [£]30‑…1 Mahogany Dining Table 4 ft by 3 1/2  [£]7‑…1 Do. [mahogany] Do. [dining table] 3 ft 2 [in] by 2 ft [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 298, 2 Febryary 1764).

The partnership of Edward Weyman and John Carne filed for past charges for furniture sold Joseph Feltham, schoolmaster, in 1765, which included a “…Dining Table 4 feet long [£]20‑…” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, Box 77A, Roll 157A, Weyman & Carne vs. Joseph Feltham, 2 August 1768, table sold 29 November 1765). The planter Andrew Johnston’s 1764 appraised estate of his “Plantation on Charleston Neck” revealed that he had “…One Small dining Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 119, 17 March 1764). The 1769 mortgage of Edward Weyman to Hopkin Price, tanner, of personel property and furniture, included “…One Black Walnut Dining Table…” (South Carolina Mortgages, No. B.B.B., 1767‑1771, p. 333, 21 November 1769). In August of 1770 John Nutt was selling “…Dining‑Tables of different Sizes…” and other furniture; and later, in October, the firm of Oates and Russel, auctioneers, were selling his furniture which still included dining tables (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 2 August 1770 and South Carolina Gazette and Country Journal, Charleston, 2 October 1770). The Elfe Account Book contains 97 charges for dining tables, as specifically termed, with 129 single dining tables being sold from 1768 to 1775. The sampling of the descriptions is presented with increasing cost and information.  Several of “…a dining table…” were sold with a charge range of £6 to £18‑17‑6. These were further defined within several accounts by giving the actual size for the tables. A selection of these are “…3 foot dining table [£]12‑…a dining table 3 feet, Turned feet [£]16‑…a dining Table 3 foot 3 inches [£]14‑…A small dining table 3ft by 4[ft] [£]14‑…3 foot 9 inch Dining Table [£]18‑…a dining table 3 ft 10[inches] [£]20‑…a 3 1/2 foot Mahog[any] dining Table [£]16‑…1 dining Table 4 feet [£]22‑…a large dining Table 4 feet 2 inches [£]22‑…one Mahog[any] dining Table 5 1/2 feet wide [£]18‑…” Also “…a pair of dining tables…” or “…2 Mahogany dining tables…” sold from £24 to £38, and “…1 pair large Dining tables…” from £32 to £44. These too were found to be further elaborated upon in several accounts as actual sizes were given. A “…pair Mahog[any] dining Table 3 1/2 feet [£]32‑ …” was found several times. Occasionally “…a set of dining Tables [£40‑ to £52‑] …” was listed which indicated the sale of a large dining table with two ends to match. This was found to be described as “…a large Mahogany dining Table [£]22‑ [and] a [pair of] compass Tables to fit the ends of Ditto [£]30‑…[or]…A large square [dining] Table with two leaves & 2 do[large] side board do[tables] Round off to match with do [the large table] [£]58‑…” (Accounts ?).

Richard Magrath advertised in 1772 that he had dining tables for sale (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 July 1772, 3‑2). The 1775 inventory of Elizabeth Lessene contained “…3 Mahogany dining tables £50‑ …” which could have indicated a set (Charleston,S.C.,County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 66, 14 and 16 August 1775). When a c. April 1777 appraisal was made of the house formerly occupied by Lord William Campbell who left Charleston in 1775, the inventory of property in the breakfast parlor included “2 Large Do. [mahogany] Oval Dining Do. [Tables] [£]8‑0‑0” and in the dining parlor: “3 Do. [Large] Do. [Mahogany] Dining Tables [£]25‑0‑0” (B.P.R.O. T1/541, p.[3], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777). Selling the furniture of his tavern, Paul Snider offered “…a large Walnut Dining‑Table…six handsome Mahogany Dining‑Tables…” (Gazette of the State of South‑Carolina, Charleston, 16 June 1777, 1‑2). Miles Brewton, merchant, owned “…1 pair small dining do[tables] [£]20‑ …1 large oval dining do[table] [£]7‑…” as shown in his 1777 house inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 395, 28 August 1777). The 1783 inventory of Daniel Leseane revealed “…A large Mahogany Dining Table 35/…A Small Mahogany Dining Table 1‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787 p. 19, 21 March 1783). The William Burrows 1784 inventory included “In the Back Room” there were 14 chairs along with “…2 Mahogany [dining] Tables and 2 ends [£]3‑11‑5…” which was interesting as “In the Dining Room” were sofas, six chairs, and card tables; therefore, the dining room was possibly not being used as the dining room (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 191, 6 March 1784). Also in 1784 there was an auction of newly imported London furniture which included “…4 Mahogany Dining Tables, taper feet…” and another identical, also “…1 large Mahogany Dining Table…” (South Carolina Gazette, and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 2, 5 June 1784). The 19 October 1784 sailing of the Castle Douglas from London contained a cargo for Charleston among which was a shipment from the London upholderer and auctioneer Nicholas Phene which included “1 Dining Table”. Another part of the shipment was from the London appraisal and auctioneering firm of Pitt and Chessey which included “1 Large Dining Table [£]4.7.6” [,] 1 Square Dining Table [£]1.12” [,] 1 large Dining Table [£]4.7.6” and also the London cabinetmaking and upholstering firm of William Flemming which included “To a Sett of Second Hand dining Tables with round ends Made to Shift & Join Spring hinges 10ft. by 4 ft 6 [£]8.10” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 153, 154; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 304, 693, 700).

In the January 1786 inventory of Philotheas Chiffelle, an interesting term was found which indicated wooden inserts for extending the length of a dining table “…A Mahogany Dining Table with two Stretching Pieces 65/3 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 414, ___Jan 1786). On 1 August the Castle Douglas sailed from London for Charleston with a cargo containing a shipment from the London upholderer and auctioneer Nicholas Phene which included a “Sett [of] Mahogany Dining Tables [£]6.6.” Also included in the cargo was a shipment from the London upholstering, appraising, and auctioneering firm of Pitt and Chessey which included a “1 flap Table [£]1.7.” This latter is included here suggesting that it could be classified as a dining table as are others also found herewithin (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154,304 ; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 693, 700). An auction was to be held on 14 August 1786 to sell two lots with structures as having belonged to Gabriel Manigault. Also to be sold was a large bookcase, a “carpet, 31 feet by 15, [and] Two tables, with locks, to be made oval, round, or square, and will dine 24 persons” and a sofa and chairs. The advertisement implied that the furnishins could have been from the house (Charleston Evening Gazette, S.C., 26 July 1786). Jacob Sass went to court in 1804 to recover charges for furniture made in 1786 and 1787 which included “To a large set of dining Tables [£]14‑…” in 1786 and “…To making a foot to a dining Table [£]‑4‑8…” in 1787 (Charleston County, Chancery Court Bills of Complaint, Pt. 10, Nos. 1‑50, 1804. Number 45, 26 September 1804, Jacob Sass vs. Estate of Richard Beresford; Charges were on 4 November 1786 and 14 August 1787). The 1788 inventory of James Skirving revealed “…A Mahogany Dining Table and two End Tables [£]4‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 94, 7 March 1788). The 1789 inventory of Robert Ladson, St. Pauls Parish, contained “…1 Large Mahogany Table with 2 Separate oval ends & 3 [table] covers £4‑…” with twelve windsor chairs in what seemed to be a dining room (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 293, 25 March 1789). The same year the inventory of John Walters Gibbs contained in the “Back” “…1 Mahogany dining table with Circular Ends [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 191, 27 May 1789). Also, the same year, was the inventory of Reverend Barthlomew Henry Himely which included “…1 Dining Table with Two Circular Ends ‑60‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 217, 9 July 1789). Andrew Gifford, cabinetmaker, advertised in 1790 that he had “…Dining Tables in sets, Single ditto…” as did John Wilson with “…dining Tables…” (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 16, 18 March 1790). When James Burns went to court in 1799 to recover charges for furniture made from 1790 to 1793, it included “…To a Mahogany set of dining tables [£]10‑…” in 1791 and “…To 2 frames for dining tables hanging the tops [,] hinges & Screws [£]5‑…” in 1792 (Court of Common Pleas, South Carolina Judgment Rolls, 1799, #1075A, James Burns vs. Violetta Wyatt. Charges were for 10 September 1791 and 30 September 1792). The 1793 inventory of William Jones, cabinetmaker, included within his “Stock in Trade” “…3 Setts Dining [tables]…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 495, c. 16 February 1793). In 1793 the inventory of Thomas Gasden included in the “Back Common Parlour” “…one Set of dining Tables containing 6 leaves…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1783‑1793, p. 497, 23 February 1793). The earlier mentioned “covers” is further defined as found in the 1794 inventory of Ann Robertson who had “…2 ditto[mahogany] dining do[tables] 80/…2 oild[sic] covers for do [dining tables] 10/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 71, 23 June 1794).

The 1795 inventory of James Hamden Thompson contained “…1 pr. of Mahogany dining Tables with Ends…1 pr. of dining Tables of Stained Wood…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 129, 15 May 1795). In 1802 Charles Desel went to court to claim charges for furniture made from 1796 to 1799 which included “…To making a Mahogany Set of Dinning[sic] Tables [£]10‑…” in 1796, and “…To putting a leaf to a Dining Table [£]‑5‑…” in 1799 (Court of Common Pleas, South Carolina Judgment Rolls, 1802, #61A, Charles Desel vs. Peter Broughton.  Charges were on 2 April 1796 and 19 January 1799). William Baylis, cabinetmaker, advertised in 1797 for the return of furniture which had been saved from his shop during a fire. The furniture included “…one Dining Table…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 1 July 1796). Also in 1796, Charles Watts was selling furniture which included “…Sets of Dining Tables…”(City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Chalreston, 20 August 1796, 1‑2). Two other cabinetmakers, in 1796, selling dining tables were John Watson and John Marshall (City Gazette and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 22 August and The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 July 1796). In the “Ware‑Room” of Jacob Sass in 1797 furniture was being sold which included “…Sets of Dining Tables…” as was John Marshall with the same wording (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February, 16 March 1797). In 1798 John Francis Delorme was advertising dining tables for sale along with other furniture (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 January 1798, 3‑3). The first dollar value found to have been placed on this form was in 1800 with “…a Dining Table with ends $30…” as found in the inventory of John Bond Randell (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 475, 20 January 1800). In 1800 it was further found that Alexander Calder, cabinetmaker, was selling furniture which included dining tables (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 9 May 1800 and Times, Charleston, 12 December 1800). Also in 1800 Jacob Sass was selling “…A pair of Neat well kept MAHOGANY DINING TABLE[s] sufficently Large to place 12 or 14 persons to be sold Cheap, at Mr. Sass’s in Queen‑Street” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 November 1800). Further evidence for the dining process in the rear of the house was found in 1801 as in the inventory of John McCall where in the “Back Room” were “…1 pair dining tables with ends $20. …”and 22 windsor chairs (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 54, 24 March 1801). The 1802 inventory of Mary Clodner Vesey contained “…1 Set Mahogany Tables 5 feet wide to dine 30 people [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 80, 24 January 1802). The cabinetmaking partnership of Watts and Walker were selling dining tables in 1802 and 1803; further, 1804 found the firm having sold “…a Large Sett dining Tables [£]21‑…” to John Davidson, merchant, which were still carried on the books as due in 1806 (Times, Charleston, 9 February, 27 November 1802; City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 30 November 1802 and 9 February 1803; Charles Watts and Robert Walker Account Books, 1802‑1815, 1804 entry under accounts due and 1806 entry under “debts due late”). The 1803 inventory of Daniel Cannon included “…7 Mahogany Dining tables $35…2 do[mahogany] end Tables $6….” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 197, 8 March 1803).  Further in 1803 Thomas Wallace was selling dining tables and other furniture as he was leaving the state (Times, Charleston, 12 April 1803, 3‑3). The firm of Oliphant, Calder & Co. were selling dining tables in 1803 and 1804 and as Alexander Calder in 1805 and 1806 (Times, Charleston, 3 January 1803 and 11 April 1804; Charleston Courier, 15, 28 January 1805).

By himself, Robert Walker was selling this form in 1804 and 1805 (Times, Charleston, 16 February 1804 and 19 February 1805). An 1806 letter from Jacob Cardoza, cabinetmaker, in Charleston, to Jacob Henry, cabinetmaker, in Beaufort North Carolina, in which Cardoza explains that “…I would willingly make a few sets of dining Tables but cannot for want of Tops‑‑ the stuff you left me not answering the purpose being of the plainest kind & not having the money to procure them…” (Jacob Henry Papers, 1806‑1839, Blotter Book and Loose Papers, Manuscript Department Duke University, Durham). In 1809 the partnership of McIntosh and Foulds went to court to claim past charges for furniture made which included “…a Sett Dining Tables $40. …” sold in 1807 (Court of Common Pleas, South Carolina Judgment Rolls, 1809, #0287A, McIntosh & Foulds vs. Thomas Pickney. Charge was for 4 June 1804). Philadelphia made dining tables were being sold in 1807 by Verree and Blair, Vendue masters (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 18 February 1807, 3‑4). The lumberyard proprieter, Joshua Brown, advertised on 17 October 1807, his offering of new furniture which included “Sets of dining Tables” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 17 October 1807). The 1808 inventory of Michael Muckenfuss included what apparently was the shop portion as among the unfinished and finished furniture was “…1 Set 3 feet 6 inch Dining Tables $18…1 ditto $3…10 Ends for Ditto $15…1 Do. $3….” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). Alexander Calder was selling “…6 sets of dining tables…” in 1808 along with other furniture at “Calder’s Ware‑House” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 22 November and 13 December 1808). What might have been ends to a dining table were being sold in 1809 as “…2 half‑moon mahogany tables, 1 do. Dining Table…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 25 December 1809, 3‑5). In 1810 Daniel Huger bought “…one sett Dining Tables $38…” from Thomas Wallace (Bacot‑Huger Collection, 11/49/8, Daniel Huger Business Papers, South Carolina Historical Society. Charge was for 29 March 1810 as per receipt). Jacob Sass & Son were selling dining tables in 1811 (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 2 March 1811). 1813 found New York dining tables and other furniture, being sold in Charleston by Edward Blackford and J.M. Hopkins, merchants (Courier, Charleston, 30 January and 6 February 1813). The “1 set dining tables $11” sold to John Rutledge by David Sarzedas, vendue master, on 11 February 1813, could have been from New York (John Rutledge Papers, 1782-1872, folder 25, 11 February 1813, University of North Carolina, Southern Historical Collection). Further in 1813 both the cabinetmaker John Watson and the auctioneers Campbell and Milliken were selling “Charleston Made” furniture (Times, Charleston, 25 February and City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 March 1813). In 1813 it was also found that Richard Smith went to Court to collect for furniture made in 1811 which included “…a Set of Dining Tables [$]35…” (Charleston District Judgment Rolls, 1813, #436A, Richard Smith vs. George Rivers. Charge was for 7 September 1811). The 1814 inventory of Richard Stiff included in the “Front Room up Stairs” “…1 Set large Dining Tables Consisting of 3 middle & 2 Ends with flaps [of] Mahogany [$]50…1 Set large dining Tables Consisting of 2 middle & 2 ends [$]45….” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 246, 12 November 1814). A new term was found in the 1816 charge for “…a Sett eliptic [sic] Dining tables $60…” made by John McIntosh, who did not collect until 1821 (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, 1820, #494A, John McIntosh vs. Robert Pringle. Charge was for 13 September 1816).

The 1817 inventory of Samuel E. Axson, carpenter, revealed in his “Front Room Down Stairs” “…one small Sett of Mahogany Dining Tables Consisting of two ends & a middle leaf $16…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 437, 6 September 1817). Furniture, which included dining tables, was being brought in from Hartford, Connecticut in late 1817 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20, 22 October 1817). In December of 1817, June 1818 and December 1819 and 1820 John Woddrop, merchant, was offering London Furniture, including “…Fine Mahogany patent DINING TABLES, large size…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 December 1817, 18 June 1818, 15 December 1819, 8 March 1820). Also in 1817 William Rawson was seen selling the furniture of his family’s cabinetmaking shop in Providence, Rhode Island, imported into Charleston, which included “…Elegant Mahogany Dining Tables…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 5, 7 May and 2 December 1817).  Throughout 1818 Erastus Bulkley, cabinetmaker and warehouseman, was selling furniture which included “…one elegant extention[sic] Dining Table…” and the same”…opon a new plan…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 January; Courier, Charleston, 3 June and 28 December 1818). The same year Richard W. Otis was selling New York made “…Dining Tables, with and without ends…” (Courier, Charleston, 25 March, 30 June 1818).  Jacob Sass was still selling “…Ready made FURNITURE, All made in this city…” which included “…sets [of] large Dining Tables…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 19 October 1818). The merchants Sawyer and Herring were selling New York made dining tables in 1818 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15, 16 December 1818, 2‑3). In December 1818 H. C. M’Leod, auctioneer, stressed that the furniture he was selling was Charleston made including “…sets large Dining Tables…” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 19 December 1818, 3‑5). Also in 1818 there were being sold “Dinner” tables, which were probably dining tables, made by F.L. Everett of New York, at the Charleston Auction Establishment by Robert Adams, auctioneer (Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818, 3‑3). The 1823 inventory of John McIntosh, cabinetmaker, which included his stock, revealed “…2 Setts of Dining Tables $60. …2 Single dining tables $16. …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823). In 1827 The cabinetmaking firm of Neville & Son went to court to claim past charges for furniture sold which included, in 1823, “…A Sett of Dining Tables [$]35…” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgement Rolls, 1827, #388A, Neville & Son. Charge was on 5 March 1823). Also in 1827 there was the sale of “…a Dining Table $17…” to Daniel Huger by Joshua Neville and Son (Receipt dated 24 December 1827, Bacot‑Huger Collection, 11/49/18, South Carolina Historical Collection).

 

Drawing Table (1737-1737)— Within the 1737 inventory of Gabriel Bernard, engineer, there was listed a “…Drawing Table [£]1‑…”, which equalled the value placed on his “…4 Leather do[chairs]…” (Charleston County Wills, Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 132, 28 July 1737). The probability is that this was a table to draw upon rather than a “draw table” which was an early seventeenth century form not found termed as such in the records. That Bernard was an engineer would reflect the usage of this drawing table (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 June 1736, 3‑2). This was the sole table found in the records so designated for this purpose.  However, in 1796, Edward Johnson, a cabinetmaker “late from Philadelphia” announced that he had for sale “Two suits of Tables, superbly finished for a Drawing‑Room” (South Carolina Gazette, 23 April 1796).

 

Dressing Table (General) (1733-1820)— The first use of this term for this form (See Benno M. Forman “Furniture for Dressing in Early America, 1650-1730” Winterthur Portfolio, Vol. 22, Nos. 2/3, 1987, p.155-158) was found in 1732/3 with the inventory of Charlesworth Glover, planter, who died with “…A cedar Dressing Table & Twilight [£]2‑10‑…A Mohonie[sic] Dressing Table & [dressing] Glass [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, p. 23, 5 February 1732/3). The 1733 inventory of Jonathan Main included “…1 Dressing Table with Drawers [£]5‑…1 Do[dressing table] with 3 Do[drawers] [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 55, 20 April 1733). Also in 1733 the inventory of Martha Hall discloses “…A Dressing Table & [dressing] Glass [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 106, 1 November 1733). When John Lewis died in 1733, his inventory included in the “Chamber” “…1 Dressing Table & [dressing] Glass [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 112, 21 December 1733). The 1734 inventory of Tweedie Somerville contained a “…dressing Table & [dressing] Glass…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 122, 7 May 1734). The first written evidence of this form imported was found in 1735 in an advertisement of Crokatt and Seaman, dry goods merchant, wherein they were offering dressing tables and other furniture from London (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 15 November 1735, 3‑1). The 1736 inventory of Sarah Weaver, taylor, revealed “…a Dressing table [£]3‑ …a Mahogeny[sic] Dressing Table [£]7‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 122, 20 January 1736). When John Whitfield, merchant, of Dorchester, died, his 1736 inventory contained “…1 Dressing table and [dressing] Glass [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 73, 26 February 1736). The 1736 inventory of Rowland Vaughan contained “…1 Do[mahogany] Dressing Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 161, 22 November 1736). The surgeon David Anderson’s 1735 inventory included “…1 Dressing Table with draw’s[sic] [£]6‑…A Dressing Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, p. 277, 11 October 1735). In the house of Samuel Eveleigh, merchant, his 1738 inventory revealed “…A Mahogany Dressing Table and [dressing] Glass [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 231, 21 July 1738). The 1741 inventory of William Laserre disclosed “…one Mahoggony[sic] dressing table & [dressing] Glass [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 125, 13 October 1741). Further English imported dressing tables were found in 1741/2 with the advertisement of Crokatt and Michie, merchants, who were selling merchandise from Bristol (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 February 1741/2). The 1742 inventory of Anne Le Brasseur included “…a Mahogany Dressing Table and [dressing] Glase[sic] [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 30 June 1742).

When John Hext’s 1742/3 inventory was taken it revealed “…1 Square Ceader Dressing table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 313, 4 January 1742/3). In February of 1742/3 and later in June, William Stone, merchant, was advertising that he had dressing tables for sale which had been imported from London (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 31 January, 14 February 1742/3, 27 June 1743). The July 1743 inventory of James St. John disclosed that he had, in the “North Room” of his Charleston house, a “…Mahogany dressing Table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743,p. 257, 1 July 1743). Later in 1743, Edward Keating’s inventory included “…A Mahogany Dressing Table [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 319, 19 October 1743). In 1743/4 the inventory of Gerrit Van Velsen contained “…1 Walnut Dressing Table [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 378, 9 February 1743/4). The 1751 inventory of Stephen Elliott, planter, contained “…a Dressing Table with draws [sic] and [dressing] Glasses [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 722, 25 March 1751). In 1751 the inventory of Lawrence Sanders was taken and found to contain “…1 Black Walnut Dressing Table [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 717, 2 May 1751). In 1752 John Morton’s inventory included “…A Dressing Table with Drawers [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 215, 9 January 1752). Charles Carroll, perukemaker, possessed at the time of his death in 1752 “…One Mahogany Dressing Table [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 423, 25 August 1752). The 1752 inventory of John Owen contained “…A Mahogany Dressing Table [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 419, 21 July 1752). William Lloyd advertised in 1753 that he was offering dressing tables and other furniture and goods from Liverpool (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 22 October 1753, 3‑1). Other merchants, Woddrop and Douxsaint, were selling London imported furniture which included dressing tables (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 October 1753). The 1759 inventory of Peter Leigh revealed “…1 Do[mahogany] Dressing Table [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 436, 15 September 1759). The 1760 estate of Martha D’harriette contained in the “Blue Room” “…A Dressing Table [£]7‑…” and in “Mrs. Ba—s [?] Room” was “…A dressing table and Drawers [£]6‑…” and in the “Deceaseds Chamber…A dressing Table with Drawers [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 541, 29 March 1760). John Rattray’s 1761 inventory contained, in the “North west Chamber” “…One Dressing Table and Glass [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 137, 28 December 1761). The 1762 inventory of William Peak, planter, included “…1 Black walnut Dressing Table [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 435, 9 March 1762). Mary Crosthwaith’s 1762 inventory included “…a Walnut Dressing Table £7‑7…a Dressing Table very old 30/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑87B, 1761‑1763, p. 259, 1 April 1762). In the 1763 inventory of Thomas Lining, cabinetmaker, there was, in the shop portion of the appraisal, “…1 Dressing table (Mahogany) with Draws[sic] [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.87B, 1761‑1763, p. 634, post 15 September 1763 as he was buried on that date [Register of St. Philips Parish, p. 304]). In 1763 the cabinetmaking partnership of Townsend and Axson sold Richard Baker a “…3 drawer dressing table £15‑…” (Baker‑Grimke Papers Receipts, 11/535/539; 33‑25, Receipt dated 16 May 1763, South Carolina Historical Society). The 1763 inventory of Charles Lowndes included “…one Mahogany dressing Table and [dressing] Glass [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑87B, 1761‑1763,p. 584, 28 July 1763). When the merchant John McQueen’s 1764 estate was appraised, it was disclosed that there were “…1 Mahogany Dressing Table with 3 drawers & 1 Do[mahogany] dressing Glass, 15 In. X 9 In. Plate [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols.88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p.298, 2 February 1764).

The 1764 appraisal of the estate of John Guerard included “…one Mahogany dressing Table & dressing Glass with drawers [£]25‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 194, 30 May 1764). In September and November 1766, the mercantile firm of Reeves and Cochran advertised they had just received from London, “Mahogany furniture” which included “gentleman and ladies commode dressing‑tables very ingeniously contrived” (South Carolina Gazette, 30 September 1766; South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 7 Novmeber 1766). This  evidence for the “commode dressing table” is further discussed in the chest of drawers form as “commmode” (q.v.).  The October 1766 inventory of the Georgetown cabinetmaker Robert Durant contained “…2 dressing Tables not quit[sic] Finished [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 88B, 1763‑1767, p. 654, 14 October 1766). George Seamans’s 1769 inventory included “…1 Walnut Dressing Table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., 1763‑1771, p. 74, 15 March 1769). The 1771 inventory of John McKenzie contained “…one Dressing Table and [dressing] Glass [£]70‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑94B, 1771‑1774, p. 102, ___August 1771). In 1775 the estate appraisal of Elizabeth Leserne included “…Do[mahogany] dressing Table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 66, 14 and 16 August 1775). Among the items listed in the drawing room in the c.April 1777 inventory of the house left by Lord William Campbell when he fled Charleston was “1 Do. [round] Dressing Table of Do. [mahogany] [£]1‑11‑6” in the drawing room and “1 Cyprus Toilet [£]0.15.0” in the “South East Bed Chamber” (B.P.R.O. T1/541, p.[1], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777). It can be assumed that the “Cyprus Toilet” was a dressing table. The 1779 inventory of James Parsons contained “…one Mahogany Dressing Table & [dressing] Glass [£]80‑…” (Charleston County Inventories & Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 346, 27 October 1779). On 25 June 1785 an advertisement of the household goods of Mrs. Rebecca Motte, of 94 King Street, were listed for a forthcoming auction. Among the furniture was “a rose wood dressing table compleat” (South Carolina State Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 25 June 1785). Benjamin Yarnold’s 1788 inventory included “…1 Mahogany dressing Table 50/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1783‑1793, p. 109, 20 May 1788).  Finally in 1790 somewhat of a description emerges of this form in the advertisement of Andrew Gifford, cabinetmaker, who is offering furniture which included “…Dressing ditto[tables] inlaid…” (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1790). Within the “Stock in Trade” of furniture in the estate of William Jones, cabinetmaker, there was “…a Dressing Table 18/8…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1778‑1793, p. 495, c. 16 February 1793).  When Thomas Gasden died, his 1793 inventory contained “…1 Dressing Table 40/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p.497, 23 February 1793).

The 1794 inventory of Ann Robertson contained “…1 Dressing Table 10/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 71, 23 June 1794). In 1794 Thomas Bradford sold furniture, which he finally collected for in 1797, including “…2 Dressing Tables [£]4‑…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1797, #463A, Thomas Bradford vs. William Boone Mitchell. Charge was in April 1794). In February 1797 Jacob Sass advertised the furniture available at his “Ware‑Room” which included “…Dressing Tables…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797, 2‑3). The next month Sass sold “…a dressing Table [£]2‑ …” to Col. Vanderhorst (Arnoldus V. Vander Horst Family Papers, 1682‑1944, 12/194/276, file #12/228, South Carolina Historical Society, Table sold on 18 March 1797). Also in 1797 John Marshall, cabinetmaker, was offering dressing tables along with other furniture in an advertisement (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1797, 3‑2). In 1802 the partnership of Oliphant and Haydon were selling dressing tables and other furniture “…made by the best workmen in Philadelphia” (Times, Charleston, 6 December 1802, 3‑3). In 1803, when the Baltimore partnership of John and Hugh Finlay, fancy furniture cabinetmakers and painters, briefly went to Charleston, they advertised that “…Japanned Dressing Tables, with or without Views…” along with other forms, could be purchased from their “Factory” in Baltimore (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1803, 3‑3). Within the 1808 inventory of Michael Muckenfuss, cabinetmaker, the furniture made and in the process of being made contained “…4 Dressing Tables $3. each $12….” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808).  Alexander Calder, cabinetmaker, was advertising, in 1808, that “Calder’s Ware‑House” he had furniture for sale which included dressing Tables (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 22 November, 13 December 1808). In 1811 the “Spanish Ship Eugenia, Put into this port [Charleston] in distress, on her voyage from Philadelphia to Teneriffe [Tenerife, largest of the Canary Islands of Spain]” and contained cargo which consisted of barrels and furniture among which were “…4 Dressing Tables…” all of which were offered for sale (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 3 April 1811, 3‑4). Dressing tables made in the Rawson shop in Providence, Rhode Island, were being sold by William W. Rawson, cabinetmaker and warehouseman, in Charleston in 1818 (Courier, Charleston, 28 January, 2 February 1818). At the end of 1818 the “Charleston Auction Establishment”, through Robert Adams, auctioneer, was selling “…Dress and Work Tables…”,along with other forms, made by F. L. Everett in New York (Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818, 3‑3). Further furniture made in New York, was being sold by Deming and Bulkley, warehousemen, which consisted of “Elegant Rose Wood Furniture” and included a dressing table (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 November 1820, 3‑2).

 

Gentlemen’s Dressing Table (1789-1789)— In 1789 the planter Benjamin Guerard’s inventory was taken and found to include “…1 Gentlemens Mahogany dressing Table  ‑50‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, p. 209, 10 September 1789). The use of this term was found only this once in the records, with the three appraisers being planters. The “Gentleman’s Dressing Table” was first used in 1766 when The Universal System of Household Furniture by Ince and Mayhew illustrated a plate (LX) entitled “Bureau Dressing Table”, but discussed it as a “…Gentlemans Dressing Table…” (p.6). Next it was found in the 1788 Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices, plate 10 and described as a “Gentleman’s Round Front Dressing Table” and in the second edition as “A Gentleman’s Dressing Table” (pp. 173‑174).

 

Ladies’ Dressing Table (1748-1820)— See also Toilet Table. In 1747/8 the Tryton brought a cargo from London which included “…women’s mahogany dressing tables…” and were offered for sale by Henry Petty, merchant (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 11 January 1747/8, 2‑2). In 1762, the third edition of the Director illustrated “A Lady’s Dressing Table” (pl. LII) as well as Ince and Mauhew in The Universal System of Household Furniture (pl. XXXVIII) of the same year. Thus, with the term established as “Lady’s” it was found that in 1767 Thomas Wooden was twice advertising “…ladies Dressing‑tables, with all the necessary apparatus…” for sale with other furniture (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 June, 8 September 1767). Perhaps his use of the term “apparatus” was from another plate (XXXIX) in Ince and Mayhew which was of a “Lady’s Apparatus” being “…another Dressing Table, and contrived for writing also…” (p. 6). Furniture was advertised at 36 Meeting Street which “having been Imported by a Gentleman for his own use” included “A Ladies Commode dressing Table” (Charleston Evening Gazette, S.C., 14 November 1785). In 1788 and 1793, the Cabinet‑Maker’s London Book of Prices illustrated (Plates 10 and 11, respectively) “Lady’s Dressing Table[s]”. Other design books after this were found to contain this form. In 1817 the next Charleston reference to this form was found as William W. Rawson advertised his furniture for sale which included “…Ladies’ Elegant dressing Tables, new patterns…” further he advertised in 1818 “…Ladies’ Dressing [tables]…” (Courier, Charleston, 2 December 1817, 6 April 1818). In November 1822, Richard Gouldsmith, cabinetmaker, advertised that at his “Cabinet Ware House” “…Ladies’ Dressing [tables]…” were for sale (Courier, Charleston, 2 November 1822).

 

Dutch Table (1727-1784)— Though the form for this table is not known for certain, this term was in use for some type of table recognized by appraisers of estates. Whether or not this form was termed ‘dutch’ by its being actually from Holland or a German form is not certain; however, the first use was found in Charleston documents was in the 11 March 1736/7 inventory of Alice Hog who owned “1 old Round Dutch flap Do[table] [l]2.” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726-1727, p. 418, 11 March 1726/7), p. 418). In the undated inventory of Major William Blakeway there were “…2 Dutch Tables [£]3…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1727-1729, p.26). On 20 April 1733, the estate of Jonathan Main was found to include “1 Square & 1 oval Dutch table [£]3-10-0” which was the exact value placed upon “1 Dressing Glass” in the same inventory. (Charleston County Wills, Etc., 1732-1737, p.55, 20 April 1733). Two months later on 15 June 1733, the inventory of John Hubert included “One oval Dutch Table [,]3 Kenisters [sic] in a Box” [£]10” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., 1732-1737, p.58, 15 June 1733). One of the appraisers in this estate and the two following was a merchant: Jacob Motte. Surely he would have known this form and how it should be properly termed. On the 13 January 1738 the estate of Col. Alexander Paris contained “4 old chairs and old Dutch table [£]1” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., 1739-43, p.10, 13 January 1738). In October 1741, the estate of William Laserre, merchant, contained “One old Dutch Table [£]1” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols.73-74, 1741-48, p.125, 13 October 1741). The 3 January 1743/44 estate of Ralph Izard included a “Dutch table [£]2-” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739-1743,p.369, 3 Janaury 1743/44). The brasier, Elianor Sandwell, died with “2 old Dutch Tables [£]3” as located in “the Dining Room”, in her 4 December 1751 inventory. (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.79, 1751-1753, p.190, 4 December 1751).  Almost thirty years later, in June 1784, found the ship “Cappelen Vandermarsch”, entering Charleston, from Rotterdam, with “6 tables” among the cargo. Were these “Dutch tables” ? (South Carolina Treasury Records, Duties on Trade at Charleston, Vol.74, 1784-1789, 1 June 1784).

 

End Table (1808-1808)— This was used once in 1808 when Jacob Sass charged $1.00 for “…Reparing an end Table…” for Thomas Waring of Waring and Hayne, factors (Waring and Hayne Papers, #61/87, 18 November 1808, South Carolina Historical Society). This possibly referred to an “end” of a dining table.

 

English Table (1806-1806)— When the 1806 inventory of Francis Joseph Lacroix, cabinetmaker, was taken, the portion containing “…his work yet unfinished…Do[making] an english table half done $3…” which was the value placed on “…[making] a bedstead…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 407, 4 September 1806). This was either that he was repairing, duplicating or making an english table or a form referred to as “English”.

 

Furniture Table (1766-1766)— See also Dressing Table. This was found in the two 1766 advertisements of Reeves and Cochran, with a shipment from London of “…neat mahogany tea‑tables and tea boards, furniture tables with essence bottles, ladies and gentlemen’s dressing stands…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 1 September 1766, 2‑1; South Carolina Gazette ; and Country Journal, Charleston, 16 September, supplement, 1‑1). The “…furniture tables with essence bottles…” apparently was a table with the drawer(s) outfitted with essence bottles and other compartments necessary for toilet functions. However, in a third advertisement appeared a rewritten version of, possibly, the same advertisement in which the “…furniture tables with essence bottles…” was left out and “…gentlemen and ladies commode dressing‑tables very ingeniously contrived…” inserted, which conceivably indicates Reeves and Cochran’s reappraisal of their furniture terminology (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 30 September 1766). Of the “Furniture Drawer” The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices, of 1788 and 1793, describes the “Particulars of a Furniture Drawer” in which possibilities for the outfitting would cost (pp. 20‑21).

 

Gaming Table (General)— Within this category each term will be evidenced as a Charleston use of “gaming” was not found connected with a furniture form. Of the terms applied to this furniture form, the following were found: A.B.C. or E.O., backgammon, bagatelle, billiard, card, checker, chess, dicing, miss­issippi, playing, pope joan, quadrille, shovel board, and truck.

 

A.B.C./E.O Gaming Table (1785-1816)— The Charleston City Council ratified on 1 September 1785, “An Ordinance to Surpress EO Tables within the City of Charleston” which stated that “…if any person or persons shall open, set up, or exhibit to be played at within the city of Charleston, any EO [even/odd] Table, or any table of the nature, kind or likeness of those commonly known by the name of EO tables, by which the ignorent and unwary are liable to be imposed upon and defrauded, every such person and persons shall forfet the sum of one hundred pounds…[for each offence per table]…And …each and every such table, when discovered…shall be publically broken to pieces, and destroyed…in the square fronting the Beef Market…” (Alexander Edwards Ordinances of the City of Charleston [W. P. Young: Charleston, 1802], XXVIII, pp. 29‑30). In 1789 an advertisement by Serjeant and Cambridge, vendue mast­ers[?], of an auction revealed “…a beautiful A.B. Table, finished in as compleat a manner as any on the continent” (The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 January 1789, 2‑4). Further, on 18 December 1802, an “…Act [#1786] for the more effectual prevention of gaming” was passed in which certain games persons were not to play were stated as being played “…at any tavern, inn, store for the retaliing spirituious liquors, or in any other public house, or in any street, high‑way, or in any open wood, high‑way, race‑field or open place, at any game or games, with cards or dice, or at any gaming table, commonly called A B C or E O, or any gaming table, known by any other letters, or by any figures, or rowley powley table, or at rouge and noir, or any fargo bank, or at any other gaming table or bank of the same or the like kind, under any denomination whatsoever; except the games of billiards, bowls, backgammon, chess or draughts­…shall…forfeit the sum of fifty dollars…” (Acts of the General Assembly of the State of South‑Carolina Vol. II [Columbia: D. & J. J. Faust, 1808], pp. 447‑449). In December 1816, another act was passed further defining the use of these tables and raising the penalty (Acts and Resolutions of the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina [Columbia: D. & J. J. Faust, 1816], pp. 7‑10). The Oxford English Dictionary believes this form of table was a roulette wheel.

 

Backgammon Table (1734-1803)— The 20 January 1726/7 inventory of Thomas Conyers, innholder, included “2 old Backgammon Tables” which is remarkable to know in 1726/7 there were “old” tables of this type in Charleston (Charleston County, Wills, etc, 1726-1727, p. 409, 20 January 1726/7). The 1734 inventory of Tweedie Somerville included “…One pair Baggamon [sic] Tables [£]8‑…One old pair Ditto not compleat [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 122, 7 May 1734). The same year found John Lloyd’s inventory containing “…Backgammon Tables…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 196, 6 December 1734). The importation of this form was found in 1735/6 in an advertisement of Richard Baker, merchant, who announced the arrival of textiles, cloathing and furniture among which was “…backgammon tables…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 7 February 1735/6). In the 1736 inventory of Thomas Fisher, there was “…An old Back Gammon Table with Men boxes and dice [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 409, 3 May 1736). The same year found the inventory of John Lloyd as containing “…Backgammon Tables [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 424, 28 May 1736). Further, in 1736 Rowland Vaughan possessed “…1 Backgammon Table [£]4‑ …” in his estate at his death (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 161, 22 November 1736). In 1739 a public sale of a household contained “…a pair of back gammon tables…” among the furniture (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 April 1739, 3‑1). The next year found Houghton and Webb, merchants, selling a new arrival of goods from London which contained “…back gammon tables…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 13 November 1740, 3‑2). In 1742 Ann Le Brasseur’s inventory contained “…A Pair old Back Gammon Tables [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 20 September 1742 ­[recorded]). The 1743 inventory of Col. William Waties included “…2 Backgammon Tables [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 221, 22 May 1743). In June of the same year Andrew Broughton’s inventory contained “…1 Backgammon Table [£]2‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p. 197, 6 June 1743). Late in 1743 found the inventory of Thomas Larouche with “…A Backgammon table Chess board & Men [£]11‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 333, 5 October 1743). The mercantile firm of Mathews and Lloyd were offering London imported goods in 1751 which included “…back‑gammon tables…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 May 1751, 3‑2). In 1753 further importation of this form was found in the advertisement of Bremar and Neyle, merchants, who were offering London goods which included “…back gammon tables…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 October 1753).

The 1760 inventory of Daniel Crawford included “…1 Backgammon Table [£]2‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 618, 11 July 1760). In 1761 the inventory of John Rattray, attorney, contained “In The Front Office” “…a bell[,] Harp and Back Gammon Tables [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 137, 28 December 1761). The evaluation of the “bell” along with the backgammon table is of interest as in the evidence for billiard tables 1764 evidence was also found for a “bell” being valued with the billiard table; thereby, suggesting that the bell might have been used as a signal for phases of the game. The April 1764 inventory of George Walker included “…2 Back Gammon tables men & dice compleat & 5 Packs Cards [£]11‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 157, ____April 1764). James Drummond, Merchant, was selling backgammon tables in 1767 as newly imported from London along with other furniture and general merchandise (South‑Carolina Gazette, and Country Journal, Charleston, 23 June 1767, 3‑2). The 1764 inventory of the “Plantation on Charles Town Neck” of Andrew Johnston included “…One Spy Glass & Backgamon Table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols­. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 119, 17 March 1764). Moses Daquier possessed “…An old Bacgammon[sic] Table [£]‑5‑…” in his 1771 inventory (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 92, 24 August 1771). In 1774 Barrow Johnston, upholsterer “…arrived from Liverpoole…” and was offering backgammon tables for sale along with matrasses and other upholstery related goods (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 31 October 1774, 3‑2). The c. April 1777 inventory of Lord William Campbell included, in the library, “1 BackGammon Table…[£]1‑11‑6” (B.P.R.O. T1/541, Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777). The May 1777 inventory of Richard Lambton contained in the “Parlor” “…1 Card Table with Backgammon Table [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.­, Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 369, 2 May 1777). The ship Castle Douglas sailed from London on 19 October 1784 with a cargo for Charleston among which was a “Mahogany Bon [backgammon?] Table [£]0.18” and “2 Leather Gami’g Table [,] Boxes & Men 18/6 [£]1.17” along with other furniture from the shop of Nicholas Phene, London upholsterer and auctioneer (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 693). The low price for the ‘Bon’ table would also suggest this backgammon identity as well as the leather and with men gaming table. This is the earliest date for the “leather” form of this table. Apparently this was portable and thus entirely of leather and marked for this game.

The 1785 shop inventory of George Cobham reveals “…3 Wood[en] Backgammon Tables 14/ 42/…3 Leather Do[back­gammon tables] 15/ 45/ …” and further “…3 Backgammon Tables 15/ [£]2‑5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 288, 2 March 1785). The same year Samuel Peyre possessed “…1 Backgammon Table 18/8…” at his death (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 357, 21 June 1785). On 5 May 1788 the Charleston merchantile firm of Lee and Banks advertised “Leather Backgammon Tables and spare men and dice” (The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 May 1788). In 1790 William Drayton’s inventory contained “…1 Backgammon Table 14/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 416, 6 August 1790). In 1791 the inventory of Thomas Hutchinson included “…leather backgammon table 7/…” with what apparently was valued together as camping or traveling items ie., a camp chest and tent, marooning cases, and a “travelling kitchen”, (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 457, 1 December 1791). The 1794 inventory of Ann Robertson included “…1 Back Gammon Table 5/…”  (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 71, 23 June 1794). Finally, a possible Charleston manufacture of items associated with backgammon was found in the 1803 adver­tisement of John Whitting, turner, who announced that he was in the “…Turning Business in all its various branches­…” and was offering the sale of “…Backgammon and Checquer Men…” (Times, Charleston, 8 February 1803, 2‑2).

 

Bagatelle Table (1733-1733)— The 1733 inventory of John Lewis contained “…1 Madera Ditto[table] with Bagga [bagatelle?] Tables [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 112, 21 December 1733). This was a table game similar to billiards.

 

Billiard Table (1732-1818)— In January 1731/2 Thomas Bartram, naturalist, advertised “…a very good Pennyworth [a bargan:], a good Billiard Table, with several pair of new and old Balls, Sticks, Qu’s, &c. Any person who hath a mind to purchase the same…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 January 5 February 1731/2). The 1733 inventory of Michael MacNamara revealed “…1 Billiard Table Ball Sticks & Slate [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 32, 27 April 1733). The year 1734 saw an advertisement for a billiard table for sale by William Street, victualer at Ashley Ferry, in June (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 1 June 1734, 3‑1). In December 1734 there appeared the notice that “…William Sterland has taken the House (an inn or tavern) belonging to Moses Bennet [victualer], in Union Street, gives notice to all Gentlemen that he has a fine new Billiard‑Table with new sticks and balls at their service, with good attendance and entertainment­…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 28 December 1734, 3‑1). In 1740/1 “…Henry Videau or Anthony Bonneau, merchant, in St. Thomas’s Parish…” were offering “…a Billiard Table with its Sticks Three pair of Balls, and four Candlesticks [for the table]…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 February 1740/1, 3‑2). That billiard tables were valuable was found in the 1743/4 inventory of Stephen Dowse, planter, who had one with an appraised value of £100‑ and a “…New Mahogany Table [£]13‑…” was also listed for a possible value relationship (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 340, 21 January 1743/4). The involvement of upholsterers with billiard tables was seen in 1745 with Richard Caulton who advertised in Williamsburg, Virginia, after he left Charleston in debt in 1744 or 1745, that he “…covers and stuffs the Banks of Billiard Tables…” (The Virginia Gazette, Parks, Williamsburg, 28 November 1745, 4‑2). On 15 February 1747/8, Charleston butcher John Clifford used an interesting term when he advertised that he kept a livery stable and a “wet Billiard Table, &c.” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 15 February 1747/8, 3‑1).  In 1750 Mumford Milner of Christ Church Parish offered “…a new billiard‑table, as good as ever was made in this providence without exception…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5 November 1750, 3‑1). This insinuates that either this was made in the Lowcountry or Milner was aware of them being made in the Lowcountry. In 1755 John Colcock, merchant, was selling “…a very good Billiard Table…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 3 July 1755, 3‑3). The same year found the inventory of Thomas Doughty, vinter and victualler, with “…1 Billiard Table sticks & Balls [£]100‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 641, 8 August 1755). In 1759 the inventory of John Bilney, perukemaker, revealed “…1 billiard Table with Balls & Sticks [£]40‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 266, ___March 1759).

Further evidence for billiard tables having been made in Charleston was the 10 December 1764 court case of Farquar McGillivray, cabinetmaker and carpenter, vs. Axson and Clive, carpenters, whereby McGillivray was awarded charges for 1761 and 1762 “…work and Labour…” he did, which included the sale of “…8 Long Screws for a Billiard Table [£]2‑…” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgement Rolls, Box 59A, #18A, Farquhar McGillivray vs. Axson & Clive. Charge was on 7 August 1761). In 1762 Joseph Wilson, tavern keeper, was selling prints, looking glasses and furniture at his “…Long Room, in the Orange Grove…” along with “…Two Billiard Tables, one of which is not to be equalled in this providence…” all of which could be seen in the “catalogue” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 November 1762, 2‑1). The 1764 inventory of George Walker, vintner, included “…1 Billiard Table & Boards[?] [£]60‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88­A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 157, ___April 1764). Also in 1764 the inventory of James Marshall revealed “…55 Billiard Sticks [£]35‑…1 Billiard Table & Cover & Bell [£]80‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 886, 20 October 1764). Thomas Middleton possessed at his death, as seen in his 1767 inventory, at Port Royal Island, Beaufort, “…1 Billiard Table and Appurtenances [£]60‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 772, 3‑5 February 1767). In 1776 John Ditmore, tavern keeper, died with his estate revealing “…1 Billiard Table [£]300‑…” and six windsor chairs with a value of £12 (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 26, 25 July 1776). The 1783 inventory of Henry Beysel found “…1 Billiard table 2 pair Balls &c &c [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p.74, 11 April 1783). The mention of billiard tables was occasionally found in advertisements of places of entertainment such as the 31 December 1787 description of the “Gentlemens Independent Academy and Commerce Coffee House” at 40 Bay Street as offered by Peter Conteretti who announced a King Street house he has opened “where he keeps a private billiard table” (Columbian Herald, Charleston, S.C., 31 December 1787). There was “A very elegant mahogany Billiard Table” for sale on 4 January 1790 by inquiring at the Printer in Charleston (The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 4 January 1790). In 1793, at the conclusion of an advertisement concerning the lease of a lot, Jacob Sass offers the sale of “…an elegant new CLOTH for a BILLIARD TABLE…” (State Gazette of South Carolina, Charleston, 31 May 1793, 1‑1). On 21 June 1806 the City Gazette and Daily Advertiser carried the advertisement of J.R. Mauran, tavernkeeper, offering “TWO BILLIARD TABLES, BALLS, MACES, QUES,—Also, a piece of superfine BILLIARD CLOTH”. Actual evidence for billiard tables made by a Charleston cabinetmaker was found in the September 1806 inventory of Francis Joseph Lacroix, cabinet­maker, whose “…work yet unfinished…” included “…Work done to 2 Billiard tables /not finished/ estimation made by 2 men of the same business $88 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 407, 4 September 1806). The sale of Lacroix’s estate in 1806 revealed “…Billiard Frames…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 19 September 1806, 3‑4). In 1808 the shop and stock portion of the inventory of Michael Muckenfuss, cabinet­maker, included “…42 Buillard [sic] Maces $1…[each?]” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 466, 6 September 1808). In 1813 Peter Bellisle, who was a baker in 1803, advertised that he had “…Three elegant and good Billiard Tables…” for sale (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 11 June 1813). The cabinetmaker and upholsterer John Francis Delorme advertised in 1818 that “…Billiard Tables banked in the most proper manner­…” (Courier, Charleston, 27 October 1818, 4‑3).

 

Card Table (1733-1820)— As expected, this form was found to have been mentioned more than any other of the gaming tables. The first mention of this form was in the 1732/3 inventory of Jacob Satur, merchant, with “…1 Walnut Card Table [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p.62, 20/21 December, 2/3 January 1732/3). In the 1733 estate sale of Richard Splatt “…1 Card Table [£]22‑…” was sold to a Captain King (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 84, 9 October 1733). When John Parker died his 1735 estate included “…2 small Square Tables & a card Do[table] [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 392, 3 December 1735). In 1738 Arthur Middleton’s estate included “…A Card Table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 276, 24 May 1738). The 1739 inventory of Maurice Lewis contained “…1 Mahoganey[sic] Card Table [£]6‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 60, 14 November 1739). In 1741 the inventory of Thomas Gadsden revealed “…1 Card Table Seal Skin Cover [£]7‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). The same year found the inventory of William Laserre, merchant, with “…One Card Table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 125, 13 October 1741). In 1742 Anne La Brasseur’s estate included “…A Black Frame Card Table [£]2‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 30 June 1742). The 1743 inventory of Gerrit Van Velsen recorded “…1 Card Table [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 378, 9 February 1743). The year 1743 found the first advertisement of the importation of London goods which contained “…mahogany card tables…” being sold by William Stone, merchant (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 December 1743, 3‑3). In the Goose Creek plantation “The Spring” of Benjamin Godin there was found “…A Walnut Card Table [£]2‑ …1 Walnut Oval Card Table [£]3‑…” when his 1749 inventory was taken (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 170, 20 and 21 June 1749).

 The next advertisement found of the importation of card tables was, in 1750 from London again, with “…Mahogany Chairs and Card Tables…” being offered by William Wooddrop, merchant (South‑­Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 November 1750, Postscript, 1‑2). The 1752 inventory of John Morton contained “…a Card Table [£]35‑…a Mahogany Card Table [£]25‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 215, 9 January 1752). In 1753 the partnership of Wooddrop and Dousaint, merchants, were selling, imported from London, “…card tables…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 October 1753). The inventory of George Cleland, of Georgetown, included “…1 Mahogany Card Table [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 592, 15 July 1760). The first room desigination for this form was found in the 1761 inventory of the attorney John Rattray with “In the Dining Room” “…One Card Table [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 137, 28 December 1761). The 1764 inventory of John Guerand included “…1[mahogany] Card Table [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 194, 30 May 1764). Also in 1764, in September, the cabinetmaking partnership of Townsend and Axson sold Richard Bohun Baker “…a pair Card tables [£]32‑…” (MRF‑8786, actual bill paid on 5 August 1765, descended in the family of Baker). The 1765 inventory of William Raven contained “…One Chinese Mahoggany­ [sic] Card Table [£]12‑10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 18, 31 October 1765). The importation of this form from London was seen in 1766 with an advertisement of Reeves and Cochran, merchants, as “…card‑tables and racks[?]…” along with other furniture forms South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 1 September 1766, 2‑1; South‑Carolina Gazette ;and Country Journal, Charleston, 16 September 1766, Supplement, 1‑1). In 1767 William Banford’s inventory included “…2 Carved Card Tables Mahogany [£]35‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 867, 26 June 1767). The 1771 advertisement concerning the sale of Thomas Shirley’s household property revealed thet “…a Pair of Mahogany Serpentine Card Tables, with carved Feet and Brackets and lined with green Broad Cloth…” was to be offered (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 10 June 1771, 2‑4).

The Elfe Account Book reveals that from 1768 to 1775 there were 16 pairs sold within a total of 36 card tables sold with the price per table from £15 to £35. A summation of descriptions and related pricing is as follows: ”…A Mahogany Card Table [£]15‑ …” (6 March 1772, #111), “…Two Plain Mahogany Card Tables [£]40‑…” (4 March 1768, #140), “…A Card Table lined [£]15‑…” (19 December 1772, #136), “…a pair of mahog. card Tables lined [£]40‑…” (2 December 1773, #169), “…2 card tables lined with Green cloath struck legs [£]40‑…” (22 May 1772, #52), “…2 card tables without Cloth, legs fluted [£]32‑…” (12 November 1771, #74), “…to a pair of Commode card Tables [£]70‑…” (25 November 1773, #67). The 1771 Charleston inventory of John McKenzie included “…1 Mahogany Card Table [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 102, ___August 1771). In 1772 Richard Magrath, cabinet and chairmaker, advertised that he was selling “…Commode Card Tables…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 July 1772, 3‑2). In c. April 1777, an inventory was taken of the house Lord William Campbell left when he fled Charleston in 1775.  Listed among the furnishings in the dining room were “2 Card Tables lined with Green Cloth [£]5‑5‑0” (B.P.R.O. T.1/541, Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777.) In the May 1777 inventory of Richard Lamberton the “Parlor” was the site of “…1 Card Table with Backgammon Table [£]30‑…” and the “Front Room” with “…1 Card Table [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols.98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 369, 2 May 1777). The first “pair” of card tables found in an inventory was in 1777 when the merchant John Brewton died and his estate was found with “…1 pair Card Do[table] [£]30‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 395, 28 August 1777). This was again seen the same year in the inventory of Robert Pringle with “…1 Pr Do[mahogany] Card Tables [£]40‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98­, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 362, 10 December 1777). The cabinetmaker William Luyten was selling card tables and other furniture in an advertisement of 1778 (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 12 February 1778, 1‑1). In 1781 was found that William Smith was importing “…TEA and Card Tables, plain and beautifully inlaid…” from London (Royal Gazette, Charleston, 24 October 1781, 1‑2). The 1784 inventory of William Burrows revealed that in the “Dining Room” were “…2 Card Tables 71/5…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 191, 6 March 1784). The same year found the auctioneers Cohen and Alexander selling imported London furniture among which were “…4 Mahogany Card Tables, square tops, lined with green cloth taper feet…” (South Carolina Gazette, and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 5 June 1784, 1‑1). The 19 October 1784 London sailing of the ship Castle Douglas for Charleston included as part of the cargo “4 Neat Inlaid Circular Mahogany Pair Card Tables Cross Bordered & String’d Lined with Green Cloth 58/ [£]11.12” as shipped by the London cabinetmaker and upholsterer William Fanning (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 153; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 304).

An advertisent in November 1785 at 63 Meeting Street of furniture “having been Imported by a Gentleman for his own use” included “2 pair elegant inlaid Cart[sic] Tables” (Charleston Evening Gazette, S.C. , 14 November 1785). The Castle Douglas sailed agin from London on 1 August 1786 and on board was “A pair of Mahogany Card Tables [£]2” as the sole shipment of a John Swain (with Samuel Swain [?], London upholsterer). Also on board was a shipment of the London cabinetmaking firm of William and Thomas Wilkinson as “3 Card Tables 18/”, a shipment of the London cabinetmaker, upholsterer, appraiser, and undertaker William Rawlins of “A pair of Circular Card Tables [£]4.14.6”, and a furniture shipment including “1 Card Table [£]3” from the London furniture wharehousing, undertaking, and upholstering firm of Wilson and Dawes. Further cargo was from a John Russell in London, of which there were several as chairmakers and cabinetmakers, who was shipping “Two Card Tables” among other furniture (James Douglas Account Book, 1 August 1786, p. 304; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 730, 772, 866, 977, 986). To obtain the funds billed in 1786 and 1787, Jacob Sass, cabinetmaker, went to court in 1804 to collect for “…Preparing a Card Table & Breakfast Table £18.8 …” in 1786 and “…a pr. Card Tables & a tea Table [£]19.11.6 …” in 1787, from the estate of Richard Breresford (Charleston County, S.C., Chancery Court Bills of Complaint, Pt. 10, Nos. 1‑50, 1804. Number 45, 26 September 1804; Charges were on 4 November 1786 and 1 September 1787). The 1788 inventory of James Skirving contained “…A pr of neat Card Tables lined with Green Cloth 60/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.B, 1787‑1793, p. 94, 7 March 1788). In 1788 was also found the first evidence for the sale of card tables brought down the coast from northern cities, in the advertisement of a furniture auction by David Denoon. The notice specificed that the furniture had been “…made by Messrs. BANKSON and LAWSON, of Baltimore…” and included “…a pair of Circular Card Tables…” (The Columbian Herald, Charleston, 22 May 1788). In 1789 the William Gibbs inventory contained in the “Front Room Parlour” “…1 pr. Card Tables 40/ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 238, 24 March 1789). David Denoon in 1790 was again auctioning furniture which included the sale of Philadelphia made “…Two circular card tables…” (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 30 January 1790). The same year found “…Card ditto­[tables], Circular do.[ card tables?]…” being sold by Andrew Gifford, cabinetmaker, “…Just from New York…” along with other furniture, which raises the possibility that he could have been selling New York made furniture (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1790). Further in 1790 was found the inventory of William Drayton who died with “…2 Card Tables 50/ …” in the “Parlour” (Charleston County Inven­tories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 416, 6 August 1790). In 1791 James Burns, cabinetmaker, sold John Wyatt “…a pair Card Tables [£]7‑…” and was not paid for them and other furniture sold to him between 1790 and 1793 (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1799, #1075A, James Burns vs. Violetta Wyatt. Settled on 14 August 1799, charge was for 20 August 1791).

On 24 November 1791 the Charleston merchant, John Minnick, of “No. 1, Greenwood’s Wharf, offered “…two high finished mahogany card tables…” (The City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 24 November 1791). The 1792 Charleston inventory of Dr. George Haig revealed “…2 Card Tables with Oil Cloth Covers [£] ‑46‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 412, 20 September 1792). Further was found in 1794 that the inventory of Ann Robertson contained “…1 do[mahogany] Card table 30/…1 do[mahogany] pr Card Tables 80/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 71, 23 June 1794). The same year found Thomas Bradford selling William Boone Mitchell “…a Pr. Card tables and a Tea Table [£]12‑…” among other furniture in April, which he did not collect for until 1797 (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1797, #463A, Thomas Bradford vs. William Boone Mitchell). The cabinetmaker John Marshall advertised in 1795 and 1796 that furniture was for sale which included card tables (The South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy & Mason’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 October 1795; City Gazette and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 February 1796). When Edward Johnson moved from Philadelphia to Charleston, he “…opened a Ware‑Room…” and offered for sale furniture which was “…Finished in a style of Elegance and Neatness that surpasses anything of the kind, hitherto offered for Sale in this City…” among which were “…card tables of various patterns, and figures[?]…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 April 1796). Also in 1796 Charles Watts, John Watson, and Alexander Calder separately advertised their cabinetmaking businesses, with the sale of furniture, which included card tables (City Gazette and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 August, 22 August, 10 December 1796). Within the 1802 court case of Charles Desel it was found that he was not paid for furniture he had made and repaired for Peter Broughton from 1796 to 1799 which included in 1797 “…Repairing a Card Table with Nine hinges [£]0‑8‑0…” and in 1798 to the sale of “…1 Pair of Card tables [£]10‑…” (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1802, #61A, Charles Desel vs. Peter Broughton. Charges were on 2 February 1797 and 7 July 1798). In 1798 the cabinetmakers Jacob Sass, Francis Delorme, and John Marshall were advertising independently that they had furniture for sale which included card tables (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 1 March 1797; City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1797). Within the invoices of John Singleton there was found the 1799 sale of furniture which included “…a Pair of Card Tables 7 Tea Tables [£]17‑ …” by Jacob Sass (Singleton Family Papers, 1759‑1911, Folder #2, 22 October 1799, Southern Historical Coll­ection). In 1799 and 1800 the cabinetmaking partnership of Watson and Woodill sold William Clement furniture which included “…1 pair inlaid Card Tables [£]14‑…” on 25 January 1800 (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1807, #174A, Watson & Woodill vs. William Clement). Further in 1800, Alexander Calder twice advertised that he was selling card tables “…of different patterns…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 9 May 1800; Times, Charleston, 12 December 1800).

It was found in 1802 that Watts and Walker, Hance Fairley, Jacob Sass, and Oliphant and Haydon were advertising their businesses of cabinetmaking and offering the sale of card tables (Times, Charleston, 9 February 1802, 3‑2; City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 2 April, 3 August, 9 December 1802; Times, Charleston, 27 November, 6 December 1802). The firm of Oliphant and Haydon, in 1802, also specificed that they offered “…an elegant assortment of fancy japanned…card [tables]…” which were made by “…Wm. Haydon of Philadelphia…” in addition to other card tables they were selling of mahogany made by others in Philadelphia (Times, Charleston, 6 December 1802). The turner, G.W. Wyatt was advertising “…Sets of Card and Pembroke TABLE LEGS, turned and reeded the London fashion” (Times, Charleston, 4 December 1802, 3‑4). In 1803 the partnership of Charles Watts and Robert Walker, and further in the year William Walker advertised card tables for sale (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 9 February, 3 March 1803). In March of 1803, the partnership of Hugh and John Finlay, fancy furniture makers, visited Charleston from Baltimore, to advertise the sale of their furniture made in Baltimore and apparently produced some in Charleston among which were “…Japan[ed] and gilt card…tables…” and “…with or without Views” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 March, 6 May 1803). Another in the fancy furniture line was William Haydon who also advertised in 1803 “…Card Tables, to match the Chairs [earlier described in the advertisement as of the designs for parlor and chamber], from thirty to fifty dollars per pair” as made in Philadelphia and sent to Charleston (Times, Charleston, 5 April 1803, 3‑3). Thomas Wallace was continuing to sell mahogany card tables in April 1803 (Times, Charleston, 3 January, 11 April 1804; Charleston Courier, Charleston, 24 October 1804). In 1804 Robert Walker was advertising on his own that his cabinetmaking shop was capable of producing furniture, among which were card tables (Times, Charleston, 14 February 1804). The gunsmith David Burger had “…2 Old fashioned Card Tables $4 & $8…” in his 1804 inventory (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 302, 15 October 1804). In 1805 and 1806 Alexander Calder advertised that card tables were for sale at his cabinetmaking shop (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 28 January 1805, 15 January 1806). In 1806, a letter from Jacob Cardoza, cabinetmaker in Charleston, to Jacob Henry, cabinetmaker in Beaufort, North Carolina, in which Cardoza said, in regard to his business, “…I finished a pair of Card Tables…” (Jacob Henry Papers, 1806‑1839, Blotter Book and Loose Papers, Letter dated 24 March 1806. Manuscripts Department Duke University, Durham). The year 1807 found the “…ship America, from Boston…” bringing rum, fish, cloth and furniture into Charleston which included “…3 pair Card Tables…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 27 January 1807, 3‑1). Also in 1807 a ship from Philadelphia to St. Thomas had its cargo sold in Charleston as it found itself in distress. The cargo had furniture aboard, including card tables, which was sold by Verree and Blair, vendue masters (Charl­eston Courier, Charleston, 18 February 1807, 3‑4). The same vendue masters were selling furniture, including “…a great variety of Card Tables…” at auction in the store of William Muir, merchant, in August 1807 (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 31 August 1807, 3‑4).

On 17 October 1807 the lumberyard proprieter, Joshua Brown, advertised his offering of new furniture which included “[sets] of card tables” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 17 October 1807). In 1808 the cabinetmaking partnership of McIntosh and Foulds made furniture for Thomas Waring and had to collect in court in 1809. Among the furniture was “…a Sett[pair?] Card & Tea Tables $13.6.0 …” (Court of Common Pleas, South Carolina Judgement Rolls, 1809, #418A, McIntosh and Foulds vs. Thomas Waring. Furniture was sold 2 August 1808). Within the shop portion of the 1808 inventory of Michael Muckenfuss, cabinetmaker, was found “…3 pr. Card Tables $30 each $90 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). Among the 1808 cargo of the schooner Louisa, advertised as bound for Philadelphia, there were Windsor chairs and “…2 Walnut CARD TABLES…”, unfortunately the origin of the schooner was not given, but it logically can be assumed that it was from Philadelphia (Times, Charleston, 13 October 1808, 1‑1). In November and December 1808, Alexander Calder advertised mahogany card tables for sale, with the November advertisement specifying “…12 pair card tables…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 22 November, 13 December 1808). In 1809 Jacob Sass and Son, cabinetmakers, advertised that they were selling “…Sundry Articles of CABINET WORK, Of the latest fashion, and made by good Workmen in their own shop…” and had Card Tables (The Strength of The People, Charleston, 14 August 1809). A Vendue Master, William Payne, advertised on 28 December 1809 the sale of furniture which included “Card Tables…inlaid with satin wood” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, S.C., 28 December 1809). When Col. Thomas Shubrick died in March 1810, his later inventory revealed “…1 Pair Pembroke Card Tables with Covers $60. …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 60, c.___March 1810 [death date recorded 14 March 1810, South Carolina Gazette]). In 1810 Joshua Brown, grocer, was selling “…New Cabinet FURNITURE Charleston made…” which included card tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Char­leston, 16 October 1810, 3‑3). March 1811 found William Payne, auctioneer and broker, selling “…A SET of London made DRAWING ROOM FURNITURE…” which included “…a pair of Card Tables…of satin wood…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 6 March 1811, 3‑4). In 1811 Richard Smith sold George Rivers furniture which Smith finally collected for in 1813 which included “…a pair of Card Tables $40.00 …” (Charleston District Judgement Rolls, 1813, #436A, Richard Smith vs. George Rivers. Furniture was sold 7 September 1811). In 1812 the property of William Reside, cabinetmaker, was sold which included “…A few articles of new Cabinet Work, not quite finished, consisting of a pair of Card Tables…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 July 1812, 3‑4). Specifying “Charleston made,” Myer Moses, merchant, was selling “NEW FURNITURE” in 1812, which included card tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charl­eston, 14 July 1812, 3‑4). The arrival and sale of New York furniture was found in 1813, with an advertisement which listed card tables (Courier, Charleston, 6 February 1813, 3‑3). The origin of the “1 Card Table [$]9” which was sold to John Rutledge on 11 February 1813 by a vendue master, David Sarzedas, along with a set of dining tables, is unknown (John Rutledge Papers, 1782-1872, folder 25, 11 February 1813, University of North Carolina Southern Historical Collection). The sale of the property of John Watson, cabinetmaker, by Campbell and Milliken, auctioneers, included “CHARLESTON MADE” mahogany card tables (Times, Charleston, 25, 27 February, 3 March 1813). The year 1815 found Tristram Tupper, merchant, selling card tables and other furniture from Boston (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 April 1815, 3‑1).

In November 1815 William Payne and Sons, auctioneers, advertised the sale of apparently the contents of a house which included “…One handsome set of satin wood Card [tables]…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 November 1815, 2‑4).  Within an 1815 letter from Sarah E. Huger of Charleston to Mrs. Horry in Philadelphia, it was revealed that “…Mr. [Duncan] Phyfe [of New York] has already received the directions respecting the card Tables, which I have desired him to make of Maple…”, which she was having made to match some chairs (Pickney‑Loundes Papers, 11/332/27, 21 October 1815, South Carolina Historical Society). Further, it was seen that in a letter of March 1816, from Huger in New York to Horry in Charleston that “…At last my dear Mrs. Horry, Phyfe has condesended to finish the long ordered Tables, which are safely packed (I hope) and shipped on board the Schooner, South Carolina, Capt. Allen; directed to The care of Mr. Kershaw, to whom I have written enclosing The Bill of Lading; the vessel cleared this morning…”,  further in the letter it was seen that there was some dissactifaction with the way the card tables turned out as “…I must confess that the Card Tables neither accorded with my Fancy or Directions; however Phyfe assured me that curled maple could not be worked in the shape I ordered but at an immense price; so high, that Mrs. L. [Lowndes of Charleston] he was sure could never be reconciled to give it for, what is generally so roughly used as Card Tables; Articles by the way that are now become obsolete in drawing rooms…” (Pickney‑Lowndes Papers, 11/332A/1, 1816‑1817, 5 March 1816, South Carolina Historical Society). Further in 1816 it was found that J. Simmons Bee, auctioneer, was selling two estates, both of which contained card tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 2 April, 25 April 1816).  In November 1816 the term “Grecian” was first found within a furniture shipment from Boston as “…Grecian and other Card TABLES…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charl­eston, 1 November 1816, 3‑2). From the end of 1816 to the end of 1819, William R. Rawson, cabinetmaker from Providence, Rhode Island, who moved to Charleston to make locally, and also to import to sell his families Providence furniture, advertised as imported from Rhode Island, “…Persian Card Tables…” and “…Grecian Card Tables…” (Courier, Charleston, 27 December 1816, 5 April, 5 May, 2 December 1817, 2 February, 6 April, 10 November 1818, 10 June 1819). In October 1817 the arrival of furniture for sale from Hartford, Connecticut included card tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Char­leston, 20, 22 October 1817). In December 1817 it was found that London furniture was still being imported which included card tables as well in June 1818 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, 16 December 1817; Times, Charleston, 18 June 1818). From January 1818 to December 1818 advertisements were seen of Erastus Buckley, then Erastus Buckley & Co. finally, in November 1820 as Deming and Buckley, selling “…Card [tables]…”; “…1 pair Pillar and Claw CARD TABLES…”; “…[Grecian] Card tables…” and lastly “…Elegant Rose Wood Furniture…[in­cluding]…a pair of Card Tables, supported by a Spread Eagle…”; all of which was of New York manufacture and imported into Charleston (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 January, 28 December 1818, 20 November 1820; Courier, Charleston, 3 June, 28 December 1818).

In 1818 Robert Adams, merchant, was offering furniture made by F.L. Everett, of New York, which included card tables (Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818). In March and October 1818 Richard W. Otis was selling New York furniture which also included card tables (Courier, Charleston, 25 March, 20 October 1818). To answer this offering of imported furniture Jacob Sass, through the auctioneer H.C. M’Leod, advertised in October and December 1818 “…A quantity of Ready made FURNITURE, ALL made in this city…” which included card tables (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 19 October, 19 December 1818). In 1820 the Charleston Auction Establishment was found to have advertised “The most superb Suit of FURNITURE probably ever seen in America­…[which included]…One pair Card Tables, inlaid as above [black ebony and fancy brass], most fashionable pattern” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 4 February 1820, 2‑4). In April 1820 further New York furniture was to be sold as “…A most superb and complete sett of Rose Wood Drawing Room FURNITURE, consisting of One pair elegant Rose Wood Card Tables…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 11 April 1820, 3‑2). In June and December 1820 the auctioneer William A. Caldwell was auctioning first New York and then Charleston made furniture (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 June, 11, 14 December 1820).  In the year 1821 it was found that M.H. Dillon, auctioneer, was advertising the auction of furniture which consisted of “…6 setts of superb Brass mounted CARD TABLES…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 10 February 1821). In March the same year, an advertisement for another auction offered “…FURNITURE, CHARLESTON MAKE [which included] Pillar and Claw Card [tables]…plain Card [tables]…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821, 3‑5).

 

Checker Table (1754-1763)— In 1754 Andrew Deveaux’s inventory included “…1 Checker Table and Men [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 210, 20 February 1754). And again in 1763 the inventory of Isaac Robinson revealed “…a Chequered Table [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 613, 13 December 1763).

 

Ches Table (1743-1743)— The sole evidence for this game was found in 1743 with the inventory of Thomas Laroche as “…A Backgammon table Chess Board & Men [£]11‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, 5 October 1743). This probably does not belong in this as it was not a table form; however, it could be with a reversable top.

 

Dicing Table (1742-1742)— In 1742 the advertisement of the merchants Mackenzie and Roche announced the importation of London goods which included furniture forms and specificed “…all sizes of dicing and tea tables…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 April 1742, 2‑2).

 

Loo Table (1805-1805)— In 1805 Robert Walker advertised furniture of “…the latest and most approved LONDON FASHIONS…” which included card tables and “…Loo Tables…”, the latter being a type of card game apparently thought by Thomas Sheraton to deserve a particular design (Times, Charleston, 19 February 1805). In plate 58 of his 1806  Cabinet Dict­ionary, Sheraton illustrated a “Loo Table” as a tilt‑top table of four feet six inches square, with a cupboard forming the base or pedestal.

 

Mississippi Table (1733-1733)— The 1733 inventory of Jonathan Main revealed “…A Massipy [sic] Ditto[ table] [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 55, 20 April 1733). This was a game similar to bagatelle which was related to billiards.

 

Playing Table (1694-1694)— This singularly occuring term for a table was found in 1694 in the merchant John Vansusteren’s inventory as “…To 2 paires of playing Tables [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 199, 23 May 1694).

 

Pope Joan Table (1788-1788)— On 6 May 1788 the Charleston jeweler, James Jacks, advertised that he had “From Bristol…Pope Joan Tables, Backgammon Tables, Boxes and Dice” (The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1788). The Oxford English Dictionary offers 1732 as the earliest date for a quotation on this type of card game in which there is a form of tray or board with eight compartments for the placement of the cards; therefore, Jacks’ offering of “table” might have been only a tray or board for this game.

 

Quadrille Table (1742-1749)— In 1742, the advertisement of Joseph Pickering, merchant, announced the importation of goods and furniture, the latter including “…two very neat quadrille tables…” (South Carolina Gazette, postscript, Charleston, 8 May 1742, 2‑1). Then in 1746, Dr. Joseph Gaultier died and his inventory revealed “…1 Quadrille Table [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 74, 1741‑1748, p. 73, 3 September 1746). When Col. thomas Cordes died in 1749, his inventory revealed “…1 Quadril Table Fish & Counters [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 200, c. April 1749 [will proven 21 April 1749]). Quadrille was a card game using forty cards.

 

Shovel Board Table (1726-1726)— In 1726 the victualler, John Boyden’s, inventory included “…One Shovell board Table & eight brass pieces [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727,p. 131, 3 and 5 September 1726). Also, in the 1728 plantation inventory of John Bassett there was “…1 Shuffle Board table & Eight pieces [£]3.10‑…” (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1727‑1729, p. 164, 26 September 1728). This is the modern game which, in the U.S., is referred to as shuffle‑board.

 

Truck Table (1773-1773)— Also “Trunk,” this early form of billiards was found referred to once and that in the 1733 inventory of Jonathan Main whose estate contained “…A Trunch [sic] Table Sticks & Bolls [sic] [£]90‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 55, 20 April 1733).

 

Grecian Table (1816-1817)— The first use of this term with tables was seen in the 1816 advertisement of William Rawson who first announced the opening of his “Ware‑Room” where furniture from Providence, Rhode Island was being sold among which were “…Grecian Breakfast Tables…” which continued to be so advertised in 1817, 1818, and 1819 (Courier, Charleston, 27 December 1816, 5 May 1817, 2 February and 6 April 1818, 3 February 1819). In 1817 the Charleston Auction Establishment advertised that a sale would be held of furniture, of which some was described as in the Grecian style, among which were “…Elegant Grecian Mahogany Tables, of different dimensions and for different purposes, with Pillar and Gilt Claws…” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 11 January 1817, 3‑2).

 

Ironing Table (1738-1772)— The house inventory in 1738 of Samuel Eveleigh, merchant, included “…A large Pine Table(for ironing clothes) [£]1‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p.231, 21 July 1738). In July 1772, the Elfe Account Book records the sale of “…a Ironing Table [£]5‑…” to Reverend Henry Purcell (account #104).

 

Library Table (1772-1790)— Chippendale’s 1755 Director contains six plates (nos. LIII‑LVIII) of Library tables and his 1762 edition has ten plates (nos. LXXVII‑LXXXVI). Other design sources published in 1762 were The Universal System of Household Furniture (plate XXIII) and Genteel Houshold Furniture In the Present Taste (plate 32, 62, 63). Within the Elfe account book there were two library tables sold: 2 May 1772 as “…a library table [£]35‑ …” to Wellings Calcoatt [Colcock?] and John Steward [Stewart] as “…A Library Table [£]85‑…” on 5 November 1772). The first library table found in an inventory was in the c.1780 inventory of William Wragg, planter, who owned “…A Library Table [£]5‑…” the low value reflecting the new currency of South Carolina (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 160, ___December c. 1780). The next of this form found was in the 1785 inventory of “…1 Mahogany library Table [£]108/9…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 510, 23 July 1785). Within the 1790 inventory of William Drayton was “…a Library Table 50/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 416, 6 August 1790). Further design books illustrated this form as The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices of 1793 and the publications of Sheraton. Apparently, as a form, the library table was not popular in Charleston.

 

Mosquito Table (1799-1799)— The single occurence of this form was in a 1799 advertisement of John B. Ricketts, architect and marble mason, who offered, at the end of several stone elements listed, “…MUSQUETO TABLES, which are particularly recommended, in a cool state” (Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 March 1799). This form was possibly a safe (q.v.) with a gauze or like material over a frame on a marble base or/and a shelf.

 

Night Table (1766-1807)— In 1762 two design sources were published with plates of this form The Universal System of Household Furniture (plate XXXIII) and Genteel Houshold Furniture In the Present Taste (plate 41). The description of this form in the former of these two design sources was brief and did not relate the function; however, the design, with its wide single or double doors, demonstrate that the form served as a “pot cupboard” or recepticle for the ubiquitious chamber pot.  In 1766 the mercantile firm of Reeves and Cochran advertised the arrival from London and the subsquent sale of household articles, including furniture among which were “…night ditto­[tables]…” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charl­eston, 30 September 1766). The 1771 Goose Creek inventory of John McKenzie included “…1 Small Mahogany Stand and Night Table [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 102, ___August 1771). The Elfe Account Book recorded the sale of three “night Table[s]” with prices from £26 to £28 (#91, 12 April 1773; #175, 9 February 1774; #180, 27 July 1774). Within the account book were entries for the “mending” of two of this form, one (#107, 23 February 1772) of which was described as “…a night table stool…” which was a combination of the form terminology for night table and night stool (q.v.). In c. April 1777, after Lord William Campbell left Charleston for England, the furnishings in his Meeting Street house were appraised, and among the items in “Capt. Inne’s Chamber” was “1 Square Mahogany Night Table [£]2‑2‑0” (B.P.R.O. T.1/541, p. [2], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777).

On 19 October 1784 the ship Castle Douglas departed London for Charleston containing a cargo part of which was from the London cabinetmaker and upholsterer William Fleming as “To a Mahogany Night Table in form of drawers with a stone pan [£]2.12.6 [,] Do[a mahogany Night Table] with washing top to fold, flint Glass water Bottles & Stone pan Com[mode] [£]3.3 [,]2 Matts Cord & Packing [£]0.2”. The London appraisal, auctioneering and upholstery firm of Pitt and Chessey also had a cargo on board which included “1 Night Table [£]2”. On 1 May 1786 the same ship again departed London to Charleston with “3 Night Do[tables] at 18/” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 153, 154, 1 May 1786, p. 303; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 304, 700). It is of special interest that the above “night table” which was as a chest of drawers was termed a night table instead a “close stool drawers” [q.v.]. In 1790 the cabinetmaker Andrew Gifford, “…Just from New York…” was advertising night tables and other furniture for sale, which raises the probability that the furniture being sold was of New York manufacture (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1790). It was within The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book by Sheraton in 1792‑1802, that the function of this form was illustrated with a single plate of two designs. With these it was obvious that this form would have been used with the chamber pot within the “Corner Night Tables” as he illustrated in plate 23. The “Night‑Table Bason Stand” shown in Plate 7 represents a variation of this form. The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices of 1793 defined this form as well as the pot cupboard. Further variations were shown by Hepplewhite in 1794 with The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide in plates 81 and 82. It was also found that in this publication the return of a design for a “Pot Cupboard” was seen (plate 89).  Hepplewhite defines this cupboard form as “…an article of much use in bed‑chambers, counting‑houses, offices…” (page 16). In 1806 Sheraton summed up the “Night Table” in his Cabinet Dictionary as “…a usefull piece of furniture for night occasions” (p. 274). The last reference to this form was found in 1807 with the advertisement of Verree and Blair, vendue merchants, who were selling furniture which included “Night tables” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 31 August 1807, 3‑4).

 

Pembroke Table (1772-1820)— The first use of this term for the form was found in 1772 when Thomas Sneed, cabinet­maker, mortgaged some or all of his cabinetshop contents to Jacob Valk, gentleman, which included “…1 Mahogany Pembroke Table, cut out & not made up…” (Charleston County, South Carolina Mortgages, No. D.D.D., 1771‑1777, p. 222, 9 October 1772). The Elfe Account Book contains three entries for this form; two recording sales and one a repair. The sales were in 1773 and 1775 with “…a pembroke tea table [£]16‑…” (#171, 27 December 1773), “…a pembroke table [£]15‑…” (#69, 8 August 1775) and the repair as “…­smoothing a pembroke table & a new frett [£]2‑…” (#155, 21 August 1775). The “pembroke tea table,” a combi­nation of terms was found only once in the Elfe account book, but was later seen occasionally used, next in 1777 with an advertisement of Jacob Valk, gentleman, loyalist and real estate dealer, announcing the sale household furniture which included “…a Handsome Pembroke Tea Table…” which belonged to a unnamed person who was leaving “…the State…” (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 17 April 1777, 2‑3). The 1777 inventory of Mary Smith included “…1 Pembroke Tea Table [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 343, 25 June 1777). In 1780, the inventory of William Wragg included “…An inlaid Mahogany Pembroke Table [£]4‑ …” the low value of which reflected the new South Carolina currency (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 160, ___December 1780?). An auction in 1784, by Cohen and Alexander, auctioneers, consisted of imported, London made, furniture among which were “…2 solid Mahogany Pembroke Tables, taper feet, socket castors, flaps rounded…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, and Public Advertiser , Charleston, 2 and 5 June 1784). The ship Castle Douglas departed London on 19 October 1784 for Charleston with part of the cargo containing a shipment from the London cabinetmaker and upholsterer William Fleming which included “2 Neat Square Mahogany Pembroke Tables 42/ [£]4.4 [,] 1 [Neat] Oval plain [Mahogany Pembroke Tables] [£]1.11.6 [,] 1 [Neat] Inlaid [Mahogany Pembroke Table] [£]2.15 [,] A Large Deal Packing Case to Contain the above with Maritime packing & Wood & Nails used for Securing them inside [£]1” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 153; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 304).

The 1786 estate of Col. John Baddeley included “…2 Pembroke Tables  60/ …[and]…A Mahogany Breakfast Table 10/ …” reflecting the concious separation of these forms in this inventory (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 189, 25 July 1786). The 1st of August 1786 found the Castle Douglas departing London with a cargo for Charleston including a shipment from the London cabinetmaking firm of William and Thomas Wilkinson with “1 Pair of round Pembroke Tables 18/” (James Douglas Account Book, 1 August 1786, p. 304; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 977). This differentation was not always found; for in the 1789 inventories of Benjamin Guerard, his Goose Creek plantation contained “…1 Pembroke Breakfast Table 25/…” and his Charleston house was found with “…1 Mahogany Pembroke Tea Table [£]1‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 209, 18 September 1789). With this evidence of the two inventories being appraised by the same people, the Pembroke table is seen to be further termed as “tea” or “breakfast” with its usage at the time of the appraisal. In 1790 David Denoon and Co., auctioneers, were advertising the sale of Philadelphia furniture among which was “…One Pembroke[table]…” (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 30 January 1790). When Andrew Gifford, cabinetmaker, advertised in 1790 that he was selling Pembroke tables it was possible that he had imported them from New York (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1790). When John Deas died, his 1791 inventory contained “…1 Tea Table [£]5‑…1 Pembroke Tea Table 30/…” listed as one after the other, which further perhaps illustrates the use and probably that the latter had leaves (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 348, 5 May 1791).

Sheraton’s The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book of 1792‑1802 defines this form and variations and defines it as “…for a gentleman or lady to breakfast on…” (p. 412). In The London Cabinet Book of Prices of 1793 the pembroke table is described with several variations. The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide of 1794 by Hepplewhite had two plates (62 and 63) of this form and described it as “…the most useful of this species of furn­iture…” (p. 12). When the estate of Peter Bocquet was sold in 1797 there was a Pembroke table listed (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 February 1797). In December 1802 the turner G. W. Wyatt was advertising “…Setts of Card and Pembroke TABLE LEGS, turned and reeded the London fashion” (Times, Charleston, 4 December 1802, 3‑4). Also, the same month Thomas Oliphant and William Haydon, cabinetmakers and furniture warehousemen, were advertising mahogany pembroke tables for sale from Philadelphia (Times, Charleston, 6 December 1802, 3‑3). In 1805 Robert Walker was advertising “…WARRENTED FURNITURE, Being of the latest and most approved LONDON FASHION [incl­uding] Pembroke Tables…[and] Do. [Pembroke] Do. [tables] (Satin Wood)…” (Times, Charleston, 19 February 1805, 3‑3). In the 1806 Cabinet Dictionary Sheraton defines the Pembroke table as “…a name given to a kind of breakfast table, from the name of the lady who first gave orders for one of them, and who probably gave the first idea of such a table to the workmen…” and illustrates a form in plate 62. Timothy Sullivan, merchant, advertised a sale of furniture from the home of a person leaving the state, which included pembroke tables (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 31 August 1807). In 1817 and 1818 John Woddrop, merchant, advertised the sale of London furniture including pembroke tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 December 1817 and 18 June 1818). Pembroke tables from New York were sold in 1820 by William A. Caldwell & Co., merchants, as well as by Erastus Bulkley, warehouseman and cabinet­maker, in 1818 and as Deming and Bukley in 1826 with “…1 Pembroke Table $40. …” to William Lucas (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 June 1820, 5 January 1818; receipt dated 28 October 1827 for furniture sold in 1826, MESDA Research files S‑11,971).

 

Pier Table (1802-1820)— The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book of 1792‑1802 illustrated one plate (IV) of two designs and three plates (3, 5, 7) for designs to be placed on these forms. This form was illustrated once in plate 10 in The Cabinet­‑Makers’ London Book of Prices of 1793 and described in eleven variations within the text (pp. 105‑120). In The Cabinet­‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide of 1794 two plates (64 and 65) illustrating four designs for the pier table and one plate (66) showing four top designs for this form. The first written evidence for this form in Charleston was with the 1802 and later 1803 advertisement of Thomas Oliphant and William Haydon, cabinetmakers and warehousemen, where a shipment of mahogany furniture arrived from Philadelphia which included “…a few pair of Pier Tables, with gilt and Japanned frames, with Italian and American Marble tops” (Times, Charleston, 6 December 1802, 3‑3, 8 February 1803, 2‑4; City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 7 February 1803, 3‑2). In March and May of 1803 the Baltimore fancy furniture makers Hugh and John Finlay visited Charleston briefly to receive orders for furniture to be made in Baltimore and possibly made some in Charleston. Two advertisements reveal their intention to sell pier tables, “…with or without Views…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 March and 6 May 1803). There was an auction in June 1803 of household furniture which included “…japanned gilt Pier Tables…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 1 June 1803, 3‑4). Apparently the sale continued for on 3 June 1803 an advertisement revealed that the remainder of the furniture would be sold at 118 Broad St., the location of Oliphant and Haydon, upholsterers (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 June 1803). The Cabinet Dictionary of 1806 defines (p.284) this form as “…made to fit in between the archtraves of the windows, and rise above the surbase” and illustrated in plate 63. In 1816 a letter from Sarah E. Huger, of New York, to Harriott Horry, of Charleston, informing her of the status of the furniture she had ordered from Duncan Phyfe and telling her that it was being shipped and that “…The Pier Table I think you will admire as a remarkably chaste and tasteful ornament…Articles by the way are now become obsolete in drawing rooms; which should only exhibit marble tables at every pier…” (Letter dated 5 March 1816, 11/332A/1, Pinckney‑Lowndes Papers, 1816‑1817, South Carolina Historical Society). In June 1818 Erastus Bulkley & Co. advertised a few furniture forms, probably of New York manufacture, for sale which included “…1 Pier Table…” (Courier, Charleston, 3 June 1818, 3‑2). In December 1818 Bulkley & Co. were advertising that furniture could be purchased at their New York Cabinet Furniture Ware‑House which included pier tables as did Robert Adams, auctioneer, at the Charleston Auction Establishment, at the same time with “…Pier Tables, with marble tops…” (Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818, 3‑3). In 1820 the firm of Deming and Bulkley, warehousemen, advertised twice that they were selling “Rose Wood Furniture” which consisted of “…One Do [Elegant] Do [Rose Wood] Pier Table, with an Italian Marble Top, and Glass in the Back, 36 by 22 inches” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 11 April and 20 November 1820). In June 1820 William A. Caldwell, merchant, was offering New York made furniture including pier tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 June 1820, 3‑5).

 

Pillar/Claw Table (1816-1819)— This form was the small three legged table with the pillar or column seen in the 1762 The Universal System of Household Furniture with plate XIII entitled “Claw Tables” as well as the 1765 Genteel Household Furniture In the Present Taste, plate 38, also entitled “Claw Tables” in which three were equally illustrated, none having claw feet. The retention of the term is interesting as the 1793 The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices contains an entry for pricing this form entitled “A Pillar and Claw Table” and with additional information in the Tables concerning variations and with plate 29 illustrating “Top mouldings for Claws” and “Therms for Claws” which were the feet today termed tapered or spade feet. The continued use of this term for such a table was found in 1816 charges of John McIntosh, cabinetmaker, to Robert Pringle, for furniture made which included “…a Pillar & Claw Table $22.00…” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, 1820, #494A, John McIntosh vs. Robert Pringle, furniture charge was on 20 October 1816). In 1819 the term was still in use as found in the advertisement of William R. Rawson, cabinetmaker and warehouseman who was selling furniture from Providence, Rhode Island which included “…Pillar, Claw, Card and Breakfast Tables…” (Courier, Charleston, 3 February 1819, 3‑4). It is not understood why the comma separates pillar and claw; perhaps it was a typographical error.

 

Reading Table (1743-1743)— This form was found once and that was in the 1743 inventory of Dr. Philip Ayton who died with “…A Reading Table [£]2‑ …” the value of which equalled a close stool (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 471, 24 June 1743). The form of this is not known for this date, but it probably had a top which inclined and with a stop.

 

Shaving Table (1764-1803)— The first of this form was found in the 1764 inventory of Andrew Johnston’s “Plantation on Charles Town Neck” which contained “…One Mahogany Shaving Table [£]3‑…” which equalled the value of “…a Pair of Steel Dogs Tongs Shovel & Fender…” (Charleston, County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p.119, 17 March 1764). An elaborate design for this form was illustrated in the 1762 Director (plate LIV). Further designs were in 1794 with The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide with plates 80 of two “Shaving Tables” and plate 81 of “Bidet Shaving Table”. In 1803 the Baltimore fancy furniture makers John and Hugh Finlay, who moved to Charleston for a short time to take orders for furniture to be made in Baltimore and perhaps maed some in Charleston, advertised that their Baltimore factory could make “…Shaving Tables, with or without Views…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1803, 3‑3).

 

Shell Table (1772-1773)— In 1772 the Rev. John Thomas’s Charleston house contained “…A Shell Table, a Chest Carpenters Tools & Case empty Bottles [£]40‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 269, 24 Jan. 1772). The Elfe Account Book recorded the sale of “…a Shell Table [£]18‑…” to Moses Lindo, merchant and Inspector General of Indigo, on 21 July 1773. This form probably was a table for the display of shells.

 

Show Table (1765-1765)— This was found in the 1765 inventory of William Raven as “…One Do. [Chinese] Do. [Mahogany] Show Table [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Etc., 1763‑1771, p. 18, 31 October 1765). This undoubtedly was an exhibit case/table much as was the Shell Table.

 

Sick Table (1771-1771)— Once this form was found and that in the 1771 inventory of Benjamin Smith as in the “Parlor…1 Mahogany Sick Table [£]2‑…” which value equated a hobby horse in the inventory (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 369, 7 January 1771). This apparently was as is a bed table is today.

 

Side Table (1754-1799)— This perhaps was a generic term for a table placed against a wall and perhaps used to indicate a slab form (q.v.). In 1754 the inventory of Hugh Bryan revaealed “…1 Small Marble Side table [£]6‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 246, 21 March 1754). In a 1774 letter from William Pollard, a visitor from Philadelphia in Charleston, writing his firm in Manchester, England about mercantile conditions in Charleston, expressed that “…this is a very gay place and the people in business live in too high a manner, in my opinion. Some of their side tables are furnished in such a manner as wou’d not disgrace a nobleman dining room” (Letter of 1 February 1774 from William Pollard, Charleston, to Messrs. B. and J. Bower, Manchester, as quoted in H. Roy Merrens The Colonial South Carolina Scene [Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1977], pp. 277).  Reference to this term was seen in the 1799 advertisement of John B. Ricketts, architect and marble mason, who was listing “…SIDE‑TABLES…” along with his cut stone offerings (Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 30 May 1799, 4‑5).

 

Side Board Table (1695-1784)— When the 1694/5 inventory of Richard Phillyps [sic] was appraised, the listing of “…One Damask Table Cloth Sidebord Ditto[table? cloth]…” is the first, though somewhat indecisive, evidence for the side board table or sideboard (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 287, 20 February 1694/5). Rererence to this as a form was first found in the 1738 inventory of Hannah Lusk as in the “Kitchen…a corner Cup Board a White Side Board Table [£]0‑0‑3…” equaling the value placed on “…One Standing & 1 Turn up Tea Table…” This inventory was of further interest in that there was “…One Side board…” listed in a separate portion of the inventory. Either the word “table” was not written down or this was indeed a sideboard (q.v.) which is more frequent in the late eighteenth century (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 229, 26 April 1738). The “Side Board Table” and the “Sideboard” as different forms were difficult to understand within the documents; therefore, as the two terms were found they were separated into two distinct forms to understand the chronology of the two as forms. Because of this the evidence for the “Sideboard” will given following the “Side Board Table”. The same year found the inventory of the merchant Samuel Everleigh with “…1 Side Board Table [£]6‑…” in his house (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 231, 21 July 1738).  When William Holmes died, his 1738/9 inventory contained “…1 Side Board Table [£]2‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 326, 19 February 1738/9). The 1741 inventory of Gabriel Escott revealed “…1 Square Side Board Table [£]6‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 116, 7 August 1741). The next year found the plantation “Pick Pocket” inventory of Col. Alexander Hext containing “…1 Side Board Table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 187, 26 June 1742[recorded]). When the 1742/3 inventory of the joiner John Leay was appraised it revealed “…1 Cypress side Board Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 316, 24 February 1742/3). The death of Kennedy O’Brien in 1743 revealed “…1 Side Board [table]…” in his inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 158, 4 April 1743). Also in 1743 the inventory of Charles Odingsells contained “…1 Side board Table [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 186, 22 June 1743). The same year found the estate of Dr. Philip Ayton with “…A Side Board Table [£]3‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 471, 24 June 1743). In 1745 the inventory of Richard Wrights disclosed “…One Mahogany Side Board Table with Green Cover…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 164, 13 May 1745). The estate of James Mathewes of 1745/6 contained “…1 Side Board Table [£]4‑…1 Side Board Table [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 336, 25 February 1745/6). The 1747 inventory of Sarah Saxby disclosed “…1 Side Board Table [£]7‑…” which sold at auction as “…A Side Board Table (Mahogany) [£]8‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 416, 8 March 1747). In 1748 John Watson’s estate contained “…1 Side Board Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 21, 5 August 1748). The same year the estate of Sarah Glaze contained “…1 Side Board Table [£]12‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, 2 September 1748).

The 1750 estate sale of John Seabrook revealed “…1 Side Board Table Walnut…” which sold for £2‑7‑6 (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 541, 4 April 1750). In 1752 the inventory of John Morton contained “…A Side Board Table [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 215, 9 January 1752). The same year found the estate of Thomas Broughton with “…1 Side Board Table [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 289, 10 February 1752). The merchant Jordan Roche’s 1752 inventory contained “…1 Side Board table with Drawers [£]8‑…1 Side Board Table with Drawers…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 428, 22 June 1752). Another merchant, Patrick Reid, died with his 1754 inventory containing “…1 Square side Board Table [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 372, 5 July 1754). The Director of 1755 contains one plate (XL) of a “Side Board Table” which Chippendale describes (page 12) as “…a Sideboard Table…” in the text. In the 1762 edition there are six plates (LVI‑LXI) with seven designs illustrated and entitled “Sideboard Tables” which are described in the text as “Side‑Boards” (p. 8). Also in 1762 The Universal System of Household Furniture, with plates XL and XII, described in the text and on the plates as “Side Board Tables” and Genteel HousHold Furniture In the Present Taste having plates 30 and 40 as “Side Board Tables” with three designs.  The c. 1760 inventory of the cabinetmaker Robert Liston contained “…1 Side Board Table Carved Feet £12‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 85B, 1758‑1761, p. 572, c.1760 [estate sale 3 May 1760, South Carolina Gazette]). An opportunity to understand somewhat of a room arrangement was found in the 1763 inventory of John Freeman with “…1 Side Board Do[Table] 20/ 1 Rum Case with bottles [£]6‑10…” as presumably underneath or, if presentable, on the top of the side board table (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 592, 28 June 1763). The revealing inventory of John McQueen in 1764 offered measurements of this form “…1 Side Board Do[table] 2 ft 7 by 2 ft 3 [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 298, 2 February 1764). In March 1764 the “plantation on Charles Town Neck” inventory of Andrew Johnston revealed “…1 Pair of Venetian sideboard Tables [£]12‑…One Small dining Table & 1 Venetian Side Board Table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767,p.119, 17 March 1764). The coachmaker Samuel Perkins possessed at the time of his 1764 death “…A Sideboard Table & Cover [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 239, 18 May 1764). Also in 1764 the inventory of John Guerard revealed under “Mahogany Furniture” “…1 Sideboard ditto [table] [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 194, 30 May 1764). In 1765 the inventory of Ruth Bedon contained “…A Mahogany Sideboard Table £5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 463, 11 April 1765). The 1768 inventory of Dr. William Pellans contained “…1 Side Board Do[table] £5‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 273, 18 January 1768). The same year found the inventory of James Fabian with “…1 Poplar Side Board Table [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p.387, 10 September 1768). Further in 1768 the inventory of Thomas Mitchel revealed “…1 Mahogany Table Side Board [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 286, 15 April 1768). In 1769 the firm of Oats and Russel auctioned of the contents of a house which included “…one side‑board Table…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 February 1769, 2‑2). When George Seaman’s 1769 inventory was appraised, there were “…1 small square side Board Table [£]8‑…1 side Board Table with 1 Leaf £12‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 74, 15 February 1769).

In 1770 the inventory of Dougal Campbell included “…1 mahogany Side board table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p.385, 28 December 1770). Within the Elfe Account Book there were twenty two “side Boards” sold between 1771 and 1775 from £10‑ to £12‑ each. The descriptions of those sold varied. A typical example of a single was “…A Side Board table [£]11‑…” (#31, 29 September 1773).  When the other examples were examined it became apparent that the “…2 Sideboard Tables to fit to a large table [£]22‑ …” (#74, 4 October 1773) were tables without leaves, made to fit an existing center table with leaves; thus, becoming a set of tables for dining. A variation on this sale was found with “…2 Sideboard tables, one with a flap to fit to a square table [£]25‑…” (#184, 27 February 1775) which was apparently for a further extension of the form. The method of attachment was revealed with “…2 Sideboard tables to fix to a square[table] [£]24‑…2 pr. hooks & eyes [£]1‑…” (#288, 8 August 1775). This enlargement of an existing table into a set was found again with “…2 Sideboard tables, one with a flap to fixt to a square Table [£]25‑…2 pair hooks & eyes put on his tables [£]0‑15‑…” (#184, 27 February, 28 March 1775). That some sideboard tables were rounded or of half circle was found with “…1 Large square table & 2 side Boards rounding to fit the other [£]48‑…” (#78, 10 February 1773). Also, this was found as “…a large square Table & 2 side board[tables] Rounded off [£]56‑…” (#107, 11 November 1772). An unusual sale was “…A side board [table] fitted to a Counting House desk [£]4‑…” (#195, 3 July 1775), possibly representing the presence of a typewriter. A further entry of “…A Mahog. Side board [table?] fixed in Dining room afterward taken down and made wider [£]7‑10‑…” (#180, 10 May 1774) may well have been the form without legs and supported by brackets, all mounted on the wall as a slab (q.v.) with brackets. Evidence for this form so termed a sideboard was found in the 1778 Charleston inventory of Thomas Lynch whose “Parlor” contained “…Sideboard on Brackets [£]25‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 487, 27 February 1778). The 1775 inventory of Elizabeth Lesesne contained a “…Mahogany side board table £8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p.66, 14 & 16 August 1775). The following year found the inventory of Benjamin Webb with “…three dining Tables and a Side board Table [£]50‑…” (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 7, 16 November 1766).

The 1780 inventory of William Wragg included “…a Mahogany Side Board Table [£]4‑ …” (Charleston County Inventory and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 160, ___December 1780). In 1783 Daniel Leseane’s inventory contained “…1 Mahogany Side Board Table 20/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 19, 21 March 1783). The same year found the inventory of Col. Robert Rivers with “…1 Side board Table 10/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 41, 11 June 1783). The 1784 arrival of the “…brig Friendship, just arrived from Amsterdam, and in three other Dutch ships [which] arrived last week…” was advertised by A.E. van Braam Houckgeest as containing furniture which included “…ditto[mahogany] sideboard tables…” (South Carolina Gazette, and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 25 December 1784, 3‑2). It is apparent by plates 29‑34 of “Side Board[s]” in The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide of 1794, which are dated 1787, that the “side board table”, by name, has ceased to be used and that the designs were of both the table form as well as the table with drawers form or the “sideboard”.  The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices of 1793 offered nine price designs for a “Sideboard Table” and eight for the “Sideboard Celleret”. Both forms offered drawers in the design and only the “Sideboard Celleret” was illustrated with plates 2, fig. 24, fig. 1, 5, figs. 1, 2, and 6. Within The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterers’ Drawing‑Book of 1792‑1802 there were plates dated 1791 (26, 29) and 1794 (21, 31) which illustrated designs of both the “Sideboard Table” and the “Side Board” as with drawers. The accompaning text discusses “…Sideboard Tables…and of Tables of this kind…”; however, the discussion is totally of the sideboard (p.363 and following). Thus, it is found that by the end of the eighteenth century the “Side Board Table” typologically and evolutionally had totally bowed to the sideboard (q.v.).

 

Sideboard (General) (1738-1820)— The 1738 inventory of Hannah Lusk contained “…one oval__ one side board 6 Tables [£]0‑10‑…” demonstrating an unknown differentation between a sideboard and tables in the inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.68, 1736‑1739, p. 229, 26 April 1738). The same year finds the inventory of Thomas Lynch with “…5 Sideboard Cloaths…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p.282, 20 December 1738). The year 1740 finds Josiah Claypoole, cabinetmaker, advertising that at his shop could be purchased furniture “…after the newest and best Fashions…” made by him, including “…Side‑Boards and Waiters…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 22 March 1739/40). Within the 1743 inventory of Richard Walter there was in the “Hall” “…A large Mahogany Table [£]8‑ …a Side Board [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 380, 11 February 1742/3). In 1750 the Georgetown inventory of Alexander Browne disclosed “…1 Black Walnut Oval Table [£]7‑10‑…1 Do [black walnut] Side Board [£]3‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 524, 22 May 1750). In March 1751, Governor James Glen wrote a report on the economic status of the colony of South Carolina and its citizens.  In his description of Charleston he wrote: “There are besides in other parts of the Town many Houses that have cost a thousand and twelve hundred pound Sterling. The furniture in those Houses must be very considerable and Plate begins to shine upon their side Boards.” (Records in the British Public Records Office Relating to South Carolina, 1750‑1755, Vol. 24, 1750‑1751, p. 309.)  The 2 October 1751 room‑by‑room inventory of Edward Fowler disclosed that in the “Front Upper Room” there were “…4 Side Board Cloaths @ 7/6 [£]0‑7‑6…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 104, 2 October 1751). The first evidence for the importation of this form was with William Stone advertising in 1752 that he was selling, from London, furniture which included”…side‑boards…”(South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 February 1752, 3‑1). In 1754 the inventory of John Fraser contained a “…Mahogany Side Board [£]10‑…1 Mohogany [sic] Side Board [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 263, 20 August 1754 [recorded]). On 3 November 1758 an advertisement of William Sloan, planter, in the South Carolina Gazette offered household and other items which included “two marble side-boards”. The 1770 inventory of Daniel Doyley included “…1 Mahogany Side Board with Drawers [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 294, 18 July 1770). The Elfe Account Book contains three charges for this form: “…Mending a Sideboard Drawers, New Hinges [£]1‑10‑…A  Sett of Brass Castors to Do. [sideboard drawers] & Putting on [£]2‑…” (#87, 3 September 1771), “…a side board Drawers [£]30‑…” (#155, 23 March 1775 and “…a side board Drawers [£]26‑…” (#166, 17 April 1775). This reveals that the terminology within the Elfe shop classified sideboards (q.v.) as with drawers and apparently that “Side Board” was not used to denote this form, but “Slab Table” (q.v.) was found to have been used for this without drawers form.

In 1773 when Josiah Quincy, Jr. of Massachussetts visited Charleston, he wrote in his journal that “At Mr. Brewton’s side board[there] was very magnificent plate…A very fine bird kept familiarly playing over the room, under our chairs and the table, picking up the crumbs, etc., and perching on the window, side board and chairs: vastly pretty” (“Journal of Josiah Quincy, Junior, 1733,” Massachussetts Historical Society Proceedings, Vol. XLIX (1916), p. 424). In 1778 the departing Loyalist Philip Henry was selling his furniture which included “…a Mahogany side board…” which probably was the one sold to him by Elfe on 17 April 1775 as “…a side board Drawers…”(#166), as quoted above (South‑Carolina Gazette and American General Gazette, Charleston, 28 May 1778, 2‑3). The c. April 1777 appraisal of the house left behind by royal governor Lord William Campbell when he fled Charleston listed “1 Large Mahogany Side Board [£]6.16.6” in the dining parlor (B.P.R.O. T1/541, p. [3], Inventory of Ld. William Campbell, c. April 1777.) In 1782 the inventory of the carpenter Benjamin Baker contained “…2 Mahogany Side Boards 21/9…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 305, 7 June 1782). In the February 1784 Charleston inventory of Thomas Middleton, there was in the “Front Room Below” “…1 Mahogany Side Board [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 182, 18 February 1784). The same year found an auction by Cohen and Alexander containing a London furniture shipment including “…2 solid Mahogany Side Boards, and plain Therm feet…” (South‑Carolina Gazette and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 5 June 1784, 1‑1). On 19 October 1784 the ship Castle Douglas departed London for Charleston whith a cargo containing furniture from the London auctioneers and appraisers Pitt and Chessey among which was “1 Sideboard fine Inlaid front [£]7.12” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son Ltd., 1986], p. 700). Within the March 1786 inventory of William Hopton, there was “…1 Mahogany Side Board 50/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 485, undated [13 March 1786, death date as recorded in Charleston Morning Post, Charleston, 13 March 1786). Again the Castle Douglas sailed for Charleston from London this time the date was 1 August 1786 and contained a cargo which included a shipment of furniture from the London auctioneer and upholsterer Nicholas Phene which included a “Mahogany sideboard [£]5.5…Large Mahogany side Board [£]6.6” (James Douglas Account Book, 1 August 1786, p. 304; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son Ltd., 1986], p. 693). A sale of mahogany furniture in 1788 of what was possibly the stock of the cabinetmaker John Wilson, included “…a Mahogany side‑board…” (City Gazette or Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 April 1788). The same year found the inventory of Dr. Joel Poinsett containing “…1 Side Board 50/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 117, 17 May 1788). In 1789 there were two advertisements of Adam Gilchrist, merchant, regarding his offering of furniture which included “…Elegant side boards…” and implied all being from New York (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 July, 7 August 1789).

The 1790 Charleston estate of William Roper included “…1 Mahogany Sideboard [£]3‑5‑3 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.B, 1787‑1793, p.268, 10 January 1790). Also in 1790 there was an advertisement of Andrew Gifford, cabinetmaker, “…Just from New York…” whereby furniture, which included “…Side boards plain and inlaid…” was offered for sale which might have been from New York (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1790). In 1791 the inventory of John Deas contained “…1 Mahogany Sideboard [£]5‑ ..1 Mahogany Butler with brass Hoops [£]3‑…” illustrating the probable association between the two (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 348, 5 May 1791). The year 1793 found the second edition of the 1788 The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices which contained plates (2, fig. 2, 4, fig. 1, 5, fig. 1, 6) and written (pp. 122‑144) description of pricing the “Sideboard Celleret” and “Sideboard with Pedestals and Vases to join”. With the 1792‑1802 publication of The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book, containing plates (26, 21, 31) dating 1793 and 1794 of the “Sideboard”. When The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholster’s Guide of 1788 was published in the third edition of 1794 it contained plates (29‑34) of the “Side Board” dated 1787 and text which described the form as “…the conveniences it affords renders diningroom[s] incompleat without [it]…” (p.6). In 1794 Thomas Bradford, cabinetmaker, sold William Boone Mitchell furniture which included “…A Large Sideboard and a Sett of Mahogany Dining Tables [£]30‑…” which was not until 1797 that he collected (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1797, #463A, sold April 1794). In 1795 James Down’s inventory included “…1 deal Sideboard [£]‑40‑ …” and other “deal” furniture, which meant a softwood most likely white pine (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 107, 25 February 1795). The same year and 1796 found advertisements of John Marshall, cabinetmaker, for furniture he had for sale that included “…Elegant Commode sideboards…” (The South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy & Mason’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 October 1795, 3‑5; City gazette and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 February 1796, 3‑4). The “commode” shape of the sideboard was seen again in 1797 when John Marshall sold a “…Comoade[sic] Sideboard Compleate [£]14‑…” to William Marshall (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgement Rolls, 1798, #657A, John Marshall vs. William Marshall, date purchased 12 March 1797). The same year found an auction at “William’s Assembly Room” of “…genteel London‑made Household Furniture…[that included mahogany]…sideboards…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 February 1797, 3‑4). At another auction in 1797 a “…Mahogany Side Board [and] one commode Side Board…” were offered (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 February 1797, 3‑3). The year 1797 also revealed evidence for “…An elegant SIDE BOARD…” being sold by Henry Ellison as imported from New York (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 17 May 1797, 4‑4). In June, the next month, Ellison further emphasided this piece as “A very elegant Side Board, For Sale, price One Hundred Dollars…Coates’s Row” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 June 1797). In 1798 the upholsterer John Francis Delorme advertised that he had “…Two Side Boards…” and other furniture for sale (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 January 1798, 3‑3). September 1798 found a sale to be held at William’s Coffee House of Philadelphia furniture aming which was “…a SIDE BOARD at Eighty Pounds…” also a tambour secretary and bookcase (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 September 1798, 3‑3). Apparently the furniture did not sell for another advertisement appeared in September announcing a raffle to sell the furniture in October. Also to be held at William’s Coffee House, the sale was described as consisting of “…That superb Side‑Board, advertised a few days ago at eighty pounds; and the elegant Tambour SECRETARY and BOOK CASE, at forty five pounds.” Te raffle was divided into thirty five shares at a reduced value of three pounds each and the “…highest number to gain the Side‑Board…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 24 September 1798, 3‑3). In 1799 the further sale of Philadelphia “…side‑boards and Slabs…” was found in an advertisement of William Marshall, merchant (South Carolina Gazette and General Advertiser, Charleston, 3 October 1799).

The cabinetmaker Alexander Calder advertised in 1800 that he was offering furniture that included “…straight and commode Side‑Boards…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 9 May 1800, 3‑2). Later in 1800 Calder advertised “…Sideboards, of different patterns…” (Times, Charleston, 12 December 1800, 3‑3). In the 1802 inventory of Mary Clodner Vesey there was found in the “Dining Room” “…1 Do[mahogany] Side Board 100/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 80, 24 January 1802). 1802 also found Hance Fairley, cabinetmaker, selling furniture which included sideboards (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 2 April 1802, 3‑4). The partnership of Watts and Walker, cabinetmakers, was offering “…A variety of Side‑boards…” in 1802 and 1803 (Times, Charleston, 27 November 1802; City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 9 February 1803, 3‑3). The similar partnership of Oliphant and Haydon was offering mahogany “…SIDE‑BOARDS…made by the best workmen in Philadelphia” (Times, Charleston, 6 December 1802, 3‑3). In 1803 the cabinetmaker William Walker was offering sideboards for sale as well as an auction at the address of the upholsterers Oliphant and Wilson (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 March, 3 June 1803). In 1803 the cabinetmaker John Douglas sold John Lewis Polony furniture which included “…a Sideboard [£]18‑…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, James Douglas[for estate of John Douglas] vs. James Delair, 1809, #292A, sale date 30 June 1803). In 1804 the cabinet and upholstering firm of Oliphant and Calder, & Co. offered sideboards for sale (Times, Charleston, 3 January, 11 April; Charleston Courier, Charleston, 24 October 1804). In 1804 the schooner Republican, from Philadelphia to Charleston, wrecked on Bulls Island and had its cargo sold, which contained furniture and included “…2 Side‑Boards…” all of which was sold as damaged (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 17 January 1804, 3‑4). Also in 1804 the inventory of John C. Martin contained “…1 Sideboard or Slabb $8…”. An approach to questioning the term probably indictes a social change in term usage (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p.242, 15 February 1804). This same approach to this form was found later in 1804 with the appraisal of the estate of Patrick Purcell as “…A Slab or Side Board $30…”, with different appraisers (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1801, p. 323, 19 October 1804). Also in 1804 Robert Walker, cabinetmaker, and later Alexander Calder, cabinetmaker, were selling sideboards (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 16 February, 24 October 1804). In November of 1804 Samuel Fickling, planter, died and in his inventory “…1 Pine Side Board $5.00…” was found (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 312, [death 26 November 1806, City Gazette, Charleston, 26 November 1804]). Apparently furniture was being shipped from Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1805, as the schooner Dove’s cargo was being sold which contained  “…1 elegant Mahogany Side Board…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 24 December 1804, 7 January 1805, 3‑3). In 1805 and 1806 Alexander Calder was further offering “…sideboards of various patterns…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 28 January, 21 November 1805, 15 January 1806). In 1805 Jacob Sass repaired furniture for Peter Trezevant which included “…putting a set of Castors on a side Board…” (Charleston District Judgment Rolls, Jacob Sass vs. Peter Trezevant, 1807, #918A, charge occured 11 June 1805). In 1806 the cabinetmaker Jacob Cardoza, in Charleston, wrote Jacob Henry in Beaufort, North Carolina, in which Cardoza related that “…I have finished a pair of Card tables ‑‑ and have on hand‑‑ Two straight front side boards‑‑ one large and one small which I can proceed on as far as making the drawers and then must put them aside until the arrival of the Veneers‑‑as for purchasing Veneers here it will not answer ‑‑ independent of the reluctancy of the cabinetmakers to sell‑‑ if they could be got. the price of them would far exceed the advantages which we could derive from their use.” (Jacob Henry Papers, 1806‑1839, Blotter Book and Loose Papers, 24 March 1806, Manuscripts Department, Duke University, Durham). In 1806 another ship, which had met with a mishap, had its cargo, containing various goods and furniture, sold, the latter of which included “…Side‑boards…”(Charleston Courier, Charleston, 24 September 1806, 3‑3). In 1807 the inventory of Sarah V. Johnstone contained a “…Side Board & Glasses[?] $15.00…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.D, 1800‑1810, p. 419, 8 January 1807). Further in 1807 David lopez, vendue master, advertised an auction of furniture including “…Side Boards…” which had been “…Just received from the Manufactory in good order…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 11 February 1807, 3‑4). In 1807 still another ship, which was on the way from Philadelphia to St. Thomas, put into Charleston in distress and had her cargo sold that included “…Mahogany Sideboards…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 18 February 1807, 3‑4). The cabinetmaking partnership of McIntosh and Foulds sold Thomas H. Pickney furniture which included “…a Square side Board $28.00…” in 1807 (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, McIntosh & Foulds vs. Thomas H. Pickney, 1809, #0287A, date sold 8 July 1807).

The sale of new furniture that the lumberyard proprieter, Joshua Brown, offered on 17 October 1807 included “2 side boards, very handsome” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 17 October 1807). Within the 1808 inventory of Michael Muckenfuss, cabinetmaker, there was a “…Side Board Top…” listed among his shop stock (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). Further in 1808 Alexander Calder’s Ware‑House was selling mahogany furniture which included “…20 Side‑boards, different patterns…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 22 November, 13 December 1808). The mercantile firm of Campbell and Co. were selling furniture in 1809 which included “…An excellent new SIDE BOARD…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 17 August 1809, 3‑4). In 1810 the merchant Joshua Brown was selling “New Cabinet FURNITURE, Charleston made…side boards…” (City‑Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 October 1810, 3‑3). In 1811 Richard Smith sold George Rivers “…a Side board $45.00 …” along with other furniture (Charleston District Judgement Rolls, 1813, 3436A, Richard Smith vs. George Rivers, date sold 7 September 1811). Also found in 1811 was the receipt for a “…mahogany side board $8…” as bought from A.H. McGillivray (auctioneer in 1820) by Daniel Huger (Bacot‑Huger Collection, 11/49/9, 16 October 1811, South Carolina Historical Society). In 1812 Thomas Wallace, cabinetmaker, was selling his stock and listed sideboards as a form he was offering (Times, Charleston, 3 March 1812, 3‑3). In February and March 1813 the firm of Campbell and Milliken were auctioning the furniture stock of the cabinetmaker John Watson which included sideboards (Times, Charleston, 25, 27 February 1813 ; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 March 1813). In 1814 the estate of the cabinetmaker Thomas Lee was auctioned which included sideboards (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 24 March 1814, 3‑4). The 1814 inventory of the Reverend Isaac S. Keith revealed in the “Back Room” a “…Mahogany Side Board with Drawers $15. …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 224, 16 June 1814). When the cabinetmaker Hance Fairley died his 1815 inventory included “…1 unfinished Side Board $10…A Side Board Unfinished $5…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1810‑1818, p. 270, 15 March 1815). Also in 1815 there was an auction of furniture, possibly of the cabinetmaker Thomas Wallace, which included sideboards (City‑Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 17 April 1815). Further in 1815 was found evidence for the importation of furniture from Boston that included sideboards (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 April 1815; Courier, Charleston, 20, 21 April 1815). The 1815 inventory of the grocer, James Grady, revealed “…1 Slab or Side Board $10…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 295, 22 August 1815). In December 1815 William Marshall, merchant was selling “…An elegant SIDEBOARD made by the first workmen in New York” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 19 December 1815). The year 1816 finds William Rawson selling furniture from Providence, Rhode Island, which included sideboards (Courier, Charleston, 27 December 1816). In 1817 The Charleston Auction Establishment was offering “…One of the highest finished and most elegant and compleate Celeret SIDE‑BOARDS, that was ever made in Charleston, of the handsomest wood, best materials and warrented workmanship” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1817, 3‑2). Further in 1817 Rawson was found to offer more furniture from Providence which included sideboards and described as “…Ditto [Elegant] Mahogany Side Boards, having Reflectors attached to them [and] Common Side Boards very neatly finished” (Courier, Charleston, 5 April, 5, 7 May, 2 December 1817). The merchant S. Nicholson and Co. was offering furniture for sale in November 1817 that included “…1 elegant fancy Sideboard…[and]…3 plain do. [sideboards]…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 November 1817).

A new shape was found in 1817 with the arrival of London-made mahogany “…Pedestal Sideboards…” (Courier, Charleston, 15 December 1817, 3‑2). In December 1817 it was found that Richard W. Otis, furniture warehouseman, was selling “…four Sideboards…” origin unknown, and continued to offer these four and other sideboards further in 1818 (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 24 December 1817; Courier, Charleston, 5 February, 25 March, 30 June, 20 October 1818). In January 1818 another warehouseman, Erastus Bulkley, from New York, opened in Charleston “…an assortment of Cabinet Furniture…Side Boards, of various patterns…” all of his manuracture, and in December he specificed a pattern as “…Sideboards with enclosed and open Centres…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 January 1818; Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818). Also in this month there were “…4 SIDEBOARDS, elegant patterns, and warranted workmanship…” for sale which had arrived from Salem, Massachusetts  (Courier, Charleston, 6 January 1818, 2‑5). Rawson continued to advertise sideboards in 1818 and 1819, from Providence, for sale in his New Cabinet Ware‑House. There were variously described as “…elegant and common…[and]…of different patterns…” (Courier, Charleston, 28 January, 2 February, 6 April, 10 November 1818, 3 February 10 June, 4 December 1819). In 1818 and 1819 John Woddrop was offering furniture from London which included sideboards which, in 1819, were described as “…Handsome Pedestal Side‑Boards” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 June 1818, 15 December 1819). Other offerings of sideboards in 1818 were Walter Butler & Co., warehouseman, and Sawyer & Herring, merchants (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 November, 16 December 1818). In 1819 the Georgetown cabinetmaker Edmund Morris was selling off his stock which included sideboards (Winyah Intelligencer, Georgetown, 17 April 1819, 3‑4). In February 1820 there was a raffle of “…the most supurb suit of FURNITURE probably ever seen in America, consisting of A most elegant Mahogany Sideboard, carved back, supurbly executed, inlaid with black ebony and fancy brass, gilt knobs and brass railing, with ornamental pillars, ball feet” which were on view at the Charleston Auction Establishment (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 February 1820, 3‑1). Further in 1820 another furniture warehouseman, William A. Caldwell & Co., was offering new York made furniture which included sideboards (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 June, 11, 14 December 1820). In November 1820 the warehousemen Deming and Buckley were offering “Elegant Rose Wood Furniture” which included a sideboard, all from New York (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 November 1820, 3‑2). In 1821 the offering of London made furniture continued with sideboards listed (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821, 3‑5).

 

Bureau Sideboard (1784-1801)— This form was twice found the first in the December 1784 inventory of Benjamin Fuller as “1 Sideboard Bureau [£]‑60‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 273, 13 December 1784). Then, in April 1801 with the advertisement of James Cotton, carver and gilder, a “SIDEBOARD BUREAU, made in the latest fashion, and executied in a masterly manner” (Times, Charleston, 1 April 1801).

 

Celleret Sideboard (1797-1820)— In March 1797 the cabinetmaker John Marshall advertised “Celeret Sideboards” among the furniture he listed for sale (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1797). The cabinetmaker Thomas Wallace advertised in April 1803 his offering of “Celerat [sic] Sideboards” for sale (Times, Charleston, 12 April 1803). And, in the January 1823 inventory of the cabinetmaker John McIntosh there were “6 Sellerette [sic] Sideboards [$]150. “ among the shop stock (South Carolina Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823).

 

Double Top Sideboard (1808-1808)— This description of a form was found in the 2 August 1808 sale of “a Double Top Sideboard Table [$]21” by the cabinetmaking firm of McIntosh and Foulds to Thomas Waring along with other furniture (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1809, #418A, McIntosh and Foulds vs. Thomas Waring).

 

Pedestal Sideboard (1817-1820)— This form was found in the December 1817 and March 1820 advertisements of John Woddrop, auctioneer, as “large size Pedestal Side Boards” and “Handsome Pedestal Side Boards” among other furniture which had been imported from London (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 12 December 1817; City Gazette and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 16 December 1817, 8 March 1820).

 

Secretary Sideboard (1811-1811)— This unusual form was once found in April 1811 in an advertisement of Jonathan Alden, merchant, who offered furniture among which was “One Sideboard with Secretary” (Charleston Courier, 2 April 1811).

 

Skeleton Table (1740-1740)— This use was found in 1740 with the advertisement of Josiah Claypoole, cabinetmaker, who offered “…Rule joint Skeleton Tables…” which apparently were swing or “rule” leg and leaf tables. The use of “skeleton” was apparently for the “gateleg” form, as is known in modern terminology (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 22 March 1739/40, 3‑1).

 

Slab (Table) (1727-1817)— This form was first found in the early eighteenth century as “marble,” the evidence for which will be considered under this form as if all marble tables, including “slab with brackets” i.e. mounted on wall, and also slabs of mahogany, if not otherwise defined, will be classified as slab. This was first seen in 1727 with the inventory of Major William Blakeway as “…1 Marble Table[top] with a Cedar Frame [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1727‑1729, p. 26, [recorded 14 August 1727]). In December 1734 the shipping returns for Charleston revealed that a ship, the Molley, entered from Philadelphia with a cargo containing various commodities among which were “…6 Marble Tables [tops only]…” (South Carolina Shipping Returns, December 1721‑December 1735, ship entered 9 December 1734). Also in December of 1734 an advertisement of Samuel Jennings, merchant(?), selling, “…at the House of Mr. Moreau Sarrazin…Jeweller, Eight very fine & curious Indian Marble Tables of different sizes, all ready moulded and finely polished” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 December 1734, 3‑1). This description of “all ready moulded and finely polished” undoubtly indicates that these were only tops, as previous citations suggested, and were being offered to cabinetmakers for the completion of the form, whether a standing table or on a bracket, as apparently was the purpose for the importation of previous entry. The “Indian” description as a source is unique in the records. That marble tops were being imported was further demonstrated by the March 1739/40 advertisement of Josiah Claypoole, cabinetmaker, who in describing the forms he could make listed “…[table] Frames for Marble Tables [tops]…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 22 March 1739/40). In 1741 the inventory of Thomas Gasden revealed “…1 Marble slab [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). The 1744 inventory of Gerret Van Velsen contained “…1 Marble top Do[table] 1 Tea Chest Chest & 2 Tea Boards [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑43, p. 378, 9 February 1743/4). Within The Papers of Henry Laurens it was found that a 24 June 1747 letter from Henry Laurens, merchant, in Charleston to James Crockatt, London merchant, revealed a consignment of Crockatt to Laurens of “…three Cases Marble Slabs & Bracketts…” of which “…one of the Small Slabs [was sold] to Mathew Roche for £36‑…” (Philip M. Hamer, ed., The Papers of Henry Laurens Vol.I [Columbia, S.C.: University of South Carolina Press, 1968], pp. 2, 8‑12, 37).  Here it is assumed that these were for indoor use. In February 1749 the appraisers of the estate of Garret Vanvelsin identified the source of the marble as “…1 Philadelphia Marble Table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 554, 9 February 1749).

The 1750 publication of The City and Country BUILDER’S and WORKMAN’s TREASURY of DESIGNS by Batty Langley contained plates (CXLI‑CXLVI) of designs for “Marble Tables” and plate CXLVII of “Table Frames” which were for marble slabs all of which were described in the text as “…Frames for Marble Tables in Rooms of State, & c…after the French Manner” (p. 21). In 1750 Robert Thorpe’s plantation inventory contained “…1 Marble Slab with Mahogany Frame [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 433, 31 March 1750). When William Cattell, merchant, died in 1751, his inventory included “…a Marble Slabb in a Frame…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 175, c. 1751 [buried 4 August 1751, St. Andrews, Berkley Register, SCH&GM 14:148]). The year 1751 found the Charleston inventory of Joseph Wragg with “…1 Marble Table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 81, 18 September 1751). The same year saw the inventory of Edward Fowler taken disclosing in the “Dining Room” a “…Marble Slab and Frame [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 104, 2 October 1751). In 1752 the merchant Jordan Roche’s inventory contained “…1 Marble Slab and Frame [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 428, 22 June 1752). The “Quarter House” plantation of Joseph Wragg was inventoried in 1753 revealing “…1 Marble Table [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 62, 31 May 1753). In September 1753 the inventory of James Fowler, merchant, revealed “…1 Marble Slabb & Supporters [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 99, 25 September 1753). The 1754 inventory of Hugh Bryan contained “…1 small Marble Side Table [£]6‑ …”, which was an interesting use of the form “side” (q.v.) in connection with marble (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 246, 21 March 1754).  In the 1755 Director plates CXXXIII, CXXXIV were of nine designs of “Brackets for Marble Slabs” and plate CXLVIII of four “Frames for Marble Slabs”. The June 1755 inventory of Dr. Thomas Dale revealed “…1 Marble Slab Table with Iron Scrolls [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 681, ___June 1755). In 1757 the inventory of Capt. Thomas Law Elliot contained “…1 Marble Slab [£]20‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 95, 6 April 1757). The 1759 inventory of Peter Leigh contained “…1 Marble Table & Stand [£]20…” possible being one complete form as table could have meant slab (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 436, 15 September 1759). The following year found the inventory of Martha D’Harriette with “…A Marble Slab with Iron Supporters [£]8‑…”, located in the “Back Green Room” which were with brackets (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 541, 29 March 1760). The 1760 inventory of Daniel Crawford contained “…1 Marble table [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 618, 11 July 1760). Also the same year found John Cleland’s inventory with “…1 Small marble slab with Mahogany Frame [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 592, 15 July 1760). The 1762 Director contained plate CLXII of four “Brackets for Marble Slabs” and plates CLXXV and CLXXVI of six “Frames for Marble Slabs” which were described in the text as “…Frames of tables” (p. 19). The same year found The Universal System of Household Furniture with four designs on two plates (LXXIII and LXXIV) of “Slab Frames” and plate LXXV as “Tables for Slabs” the latter being described in the text as “Slab Frames” (p. 10). Also in 1762, Genteel Houshold Furniture In the Present Taste contained one plate (29) of a “Slab Table” and another (60) of two “Slab Frames”. The same year the inventory of Mary Crosthwaith contained “…A Slab of Marble in a Mohogany [sic] Frame [£]10‑…A Marble Slab with Bracketts [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 259, 1 April 1762).

In 1765 the inventory of William Raven contained “…One Small Marble Slabb and Brackets [£]7‑7‑…One Large Marble Slabb with Chinese Mahogany Frame [£]25‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 18, 31 October 1765). An advertisement in 1766 revealed that “…marble slabs with neat mahogany frames…” and other furniture was being imported from London (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 16 September 1766, supplement, 1‑1). In January 1767 the turner Joshua Eden advertised his “turning in several branches” and then enumerated his abilities amongst which were producing “…table frames…” which at this date implied a frame for a top of marble or mahogany (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 January 1767). June of 1767 found further London imported furniture which also included “…marble slabs with neat mahogany frames…”  (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 23 June 1767, 3‑2). Also in 1767, the inventory of William Banford contained “In The Dining Room 2nd Floor…A Large Marble Slab on a Carved Mahogany Stand [£]70‑…” which probably was a frame as a “stand” (q.v.) would not have been large enough (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 86, 26 June 1767). In 1768 an advertisement of James Drummond, merchant, offered the sale of “…marble slabs with mahogany frames…” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 8 March 1768, extra, 2‑2). The slab form was found in the 1770 inventory of Jacob Motte as “…a Marble Table and Iron Brackett [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 45, 19 July 1770). December 1770 found the inventory of Dougal Campbell appraised which revealed “…1 Marble Slabb & Mahogany Frame [£]40‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p.385, 28 December 1770). When the 1771 sale of the household furniture of Thomas Shirley occured it contained “…a marble‑slab, six Feet seven inches long, and two Feet eight Inches Wide, in a carved Mahogany Frame…” (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 10 June 1771, 2‑4).  Also in 1771 the Charleston inventory of John McKenzie included “…a Marble Slabb and Frame [£]30‑…a Marble slabb & frame [£]35‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 102, ___August 1771).

The Elfe Account Book discloses that from 1771 to 1775 there were 26 slab tables and frames sold ranging in price from £12‑ to £30‑…”. From these sale descriptions an interesting fact emerged. The Elfe shop made both “slab frames” and “slab tables”, the former were apparently for marble or mahogany tops and the latter with only mahogany tops. Prior to this, all evidence presented has been for slab tables with marble tops. The use of “Side Board” (q.v.), within the documents apparently denoted the mahogany top “Slab table” evidence for the use of “Side Board” rapidly dwindled after 1770 to a point of absence after 1784. The Elfe shop sold a “…Frame for a Marble Slab [£]10‑…” (#23, 1 April 1773) and several “…1 Slab Frame…” from £20 to £26. The definite use of mahogany tops (slabs) was found as “…A mahog. slab frame and Top [£]20‑…” (#171, 11 April 1774), “…A Slab frame & Top of Mahogany [£]26 …” (#164, 12 March 1774), “…Mahogany Slabb & Frame [£]30‑…” (#53, 10 June 1772). It is assumed that the eleven “…a Slab Table…” from £12 to £28 were of the mahogany top form. One of these, a “…large Slab table [£]28‑…” was found to be additionally charged with “…a Sett of 3 wheel casters [£]2‑…” (#198, ___September 1775). The source for some of the marble tops was possibly found with the 1774 advertisement of William and James Carsan, who had imported from London “…Their Winter Supply of Goods…” which included “…Marble Slabs…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5 December 1774, 3‑3). The same year found the “Church Street House” inventory of Thomas Loughton Smith with “…In the Yard & Garden ‑‑2 packages with Marble from Philadelphia [£]90‑…” which could have been for exterior or fireplace use, but here is cited to demonstrate an American source (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p.533, ____1774). That Philadelphia marble had been imported into Charleston was found as early as 1734 with the shipping returns as “Ship George of Philadelphia…from Philadelphia [entered with] Flower Bread Bacon Butter Maderia Wine 1 Marble Stone…” on 4 December 1734 (South Carolina Shipping Returns, December 1721‑December 1735). The use of this and most other marble imported is unknown, as the majority certainly was ornamental, but some could have been for slab tables. Further inventory evidence was found in the 1775 estate of Elizabeth Lesesne with “…Ditto [mahogany] frame with marble slab [£]25‑…” also there was a “…mahogany side board table [£]80‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 66, 14 & 16 August 1774). In the 1777 inventory of Richard Lamberton there was “…1 Slabb [£]50‑…” in the “Front Room” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 369, 2 May 1777). The same year found Mary Smith’s inventory with “…One Marble Slabb with Bracketts [£]25‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 343, 25 June 1777). The 1777 estate sale of Lionel Chambers’ contained “…1 Marble Slabb & Bracketts [£]24‑…” as sold to a Mr. Abercromby (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 137, 7 July 1777 [inventory date]). Further in 1777, the house inventory of the merchant John Brewton contained “…1 Marble Slabb [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 395, 28 August 1777). At the end of 1777 the inventory of George Sommers contained a “…Marble Slabb with Brackets [£]20‑ [and] Do. [Marble Slab] with a Mahogany Frame [£]75‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 306, ___August 1777). In 1778 an advertisement of the household sale of the departing Philip Henry listed “…a marble slab, and a mahogany side board…” (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 28 May 1778, 2‑3). The next found the house contents of Alexander Wright being sold which included “…a Marble Slab…” (Gazette of the State of South Carolina, Charleston, 3 February 1779, 3‑3). Also in 1779, the inflated value inventory of James Parsons was found to contain “…A large marble Slab & Maho. Stand [table?] [£]1000‑…” (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 346, 27 October 1779).

In February 1781 the inventory of the Ashly River plantation of Cedar Grove, belonging to John Izard, the deceased, contained “…2 Marble Slabbs with Brackets [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 385, 8 February 1781). In 1783, the decreased value, because of the new currency, inventory of Daniel Leseane contained “…A Mahogany Slabb [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 19, 21 March 1783). The death of Mary Philip, wife of Robert, merchant, resulted in a sale of “genteel household furniture” on 29 July 1785. Among the items listed was “an elegant large marble slab, with a neat mahogany stand” (South Carolina State Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 9 July 1785). The 1789 inventory of William Gibbs contained in the “Back Parlor…1 Marble Slab 60/…” and in the “Front Wainscott Parlor” a “…Marble Slab 80/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 238, 24 March 1789). The year 1790 found the inventory of William Drayton “Parlour” with “…A Marble Slab [£]80‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 416, 6 August 1790). In 1791 the inventory of Thomas Hutchinson contained “…1 Marble Slab carved frame [£]60‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 403, 15 November 1791). In 1792 James Burns, cabinetmaker, sold Violetta Wyatt a “…ditto[mahogany] Slab [£]7‑…” (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1799, #1075A, James Burns vs. Violetta Wyatt, charge was on 6 July 1792). The 1793 inventory of the cabinetmaker William Jones’ stock contained “…1 Inlaid Cellerett [£]8‑…1 Ditto [inlaid] Slabb 80/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 495, c. 16 February 1793). The next year the inventory of Ann Robertson listed “…1 Small blue Marble Slab 60/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 71, 23 June 1794). The origin of this type of marble is not known by the author. The 1794 inventory of Robert Gibbes revealed “…1 marble Sideboard 40/…” located in the “Hall” which also held the set of dining tables and a fireplace thus the confusion of the use of “Sideboard” is of no surprise (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 201, 23 November 1794). The upholsterer John Francis Delorme advertised in September 1795 that he was offering “…Six very elegant gilt slabs with marble tops…” which apparently were imported (City Gazette and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 25 September 1795, 4‑4). The January and March of the following year he was still advertising the “…Marble Slabs with gilt stands [tables] [but added] for drawing rooms…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 13, 28 January, 1 March 1796). In January 1798 there was an auction at which “a Marble Slab” was to be offered (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 January 1798, 3‑1). The same day found another auction with “…two Slabbs…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 January, 3‑1). In 1799 there was an auction of furniture, probably from Philadelphia, which included “…side‑boards and Slabs…” (South Carolina and General Advertiser, Charleston, 3 October 1799).

The 1802 inventory of Love Stone included “…One Slabb $15…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 105, 2 March 1802). In 1803 there was an auction of furniture which included “Marble Slabs” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 June 1803, 3‑4). In two inventories of 1804 the equating of the sideboard to the slab was seen as with John C. Martins’s with “…1 Sideboard or Slabb $8…” and Patrick Purcell’s as “…A Slab or Side Board $30…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 242, 15 February 1804; p. 323, 19 October 1804). The 1807 inventory of Sarah H. Johnstone included “…1 Marble Slab $3…” and a “…SideBoard & Glasses $15…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 419, 8 January 1807). The 1808 inventory of the brass founder, Alexander McCleish, contained a “…Mahogany Slab and Knife Case $12…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 472, 20 May 1808). The same found the shop portion of the inventory of Michael Muckenfuss, cabinetmaker, with “…6 Slabb Top[s] $9.50…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). The 1809 inventory of Thomas Boas, who owned “Oak Grove[,] the Plantation near Dorchester”, contained “…1 Mahogany Slab and do[mahogany] Liquior Case $20…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 521, 28 November 1808). The year 1811 found the offering of “…2 Marble Slabs…” other furniture and wood, by J.M. Davis, underwriter for the owner of the “Cargo of the Spanish Ship Eugenia, Put into this port in distress, on her voyage from Philadelphia to Teneriffe [an island near Spain] (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 3 April 1811, 3‑4). The same year found the inventory of a stablekeeper, Samuel Billing, with a “…Round Table with Marble Slab $5…” which would evince a deviation of the table which could be placed against a wall earlier found (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 39, 19 April 1811). In 1814 an auction was advertised which included a “…Mahogany Slab…” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 7 November 1814, 2‑5). The next year the inventory of James Grady, grocer, contained “…1 Slab or SideBoard $10…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 295, 22 August 1815). The last record of marble being used as a top, prior to 1821, was the advertisement of Barrelli, Torre, & Co. who were offering “…Veined marble tables, with richly gilt and ornamented stands [q.v.]…” along with other furniture and merchandise all from “Leghorn” which is a West coast Italian port (Courier, Charleston, 21 January 1817, 4‑4).

 

Slate Table (1728-1755)— There is a possibility that this form was marble and the appraisers interpreted a type of marble as slate; however, as this occured several times within the records, there is a probability that slate topped tables were found in some homes in Charleston. The first of this form found was in the 1728 inventory of William Loughton as “…one Slate table & Letter Casie[sic] [£]3‑…” with one of the appraisers listed as William Watson, the cabinetmaker; therefore, the description of the stone for the table top was probably most accurate (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, p. 307, 14 April 1728 [recorded]). In 1733 the merchant Jonathan Main’s estate included “…2 Small Slate & One Seadr[sic] Ovell[sic] Table [£]3.10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p.55, 20 April 1733). The same year found the inventory of Thomas Rose, brickmaker, with “…One Slate Table [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 116, 12 December 1733). May of the next year found the inventory of Tweedie Somerville with “…One Slate Table & a [bottle?] Crane…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p.122, 7 May 1734). The 1742 inventory of Ann Le Brasseur revealed “…A Slate Table and an hand Bell [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 20 September 1742 [recorded date]). In 1742 the house inventory of Daniel Townsend, shopkeeper, contained “…1 Ovil & 1 Slate table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 82, 30 January 1746 [recorded]).  The 1754 inventory of Henry Peronneau included “…1 old Slate Table and a dressing Glass [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols., 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 258, 20 July 1754 [recorded]). In c.1755 John Reily’s inventory included in “HouseHold goods in the Hall…1 Side Table with a Mahogany frame and Slate cover [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p.543, undated, c.1755). It was unfortunate that there were no further examples for this form and more complete descriptions which could have aided in the possible attribution that these were table frames with Swiss slate tops, the latter imported possibly as “Dutch Tables” (q.v.). This Dutch description is thought to have originated with these tops being purchased in Rotterdam (hence Dutch) via down the Rhine River with shipment from possibly Basel, Switzerland (Winslow Ames “Swiss Export Table Tops” Antiques, July 1961, pp. 46‑49). Where this rare type of William and Mary table and top combination is found is the Boston area attributed examples in which the top is of slate with Mannerist decorated borders of fruitwoods (Alexandra W. Rollins “Furniture in the collection of the Dietrich American Foundation” Antiques, May 1984, p. 1101, fig. 2). There is the further thought that the inventory and advertisements found which list “Dutch Tea Tables” (q.v. tea tables) possibly refer to this type of table; however, the values given in the Charleston inventories seem too low to have been for furniture of this quality.

 

Snap Table (1753-1753)— Once in the records was this term found and that was in the 1753 advertisement of William Lloyd, merchant, who listed goods received from Liverpool amongst the furniture forms were “…snap ditto [tables]…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 15, 22 October 1753). This form, by this name, was found with fuequency in British records and, with this rare Charleston use, was more commonly found in the Colonies as a turn up or tilt top table of the tea table (q.v.) form.

 

Sofa Table (1818-1820)— This form was illustrated in the Cabinet Dictionary of 1806 in which plate 74 offerd a design and was described (pp.305‑306) as “…used before a sofa, and are generally made between 5 and 6 feet long…”. In 1818 John Woddrop, merchant, advertised that he had imported furniture from London which included “…Sofa[tables]…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 June 1818, 1‑3). An advertisement of Edward Lynah, auctioneer, revealed imported London furniture for sale in 1821 which included “…1 Sofa Table…” to match couches and sofas in the grecian style and “…1 Sofa table…” to match a pair of mahogany card tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily  Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821, 3‑5).

 

Spider Leg Table (1771-1772)— This form apparently described the “gate‑leg” of current terminology as did the “skeleton” (q.v.). The use of this was restricted to the Elfe Account Book which recorded two references: 22 November 1771 (#78) of “…A Spider Legg Table [£]6‑…” and 22 December 1772 (#124) “…Mending a spider leg Table [£]0‑15‑…”.

 

Tea Table (1725-1820)— The first of this form was found in the 1725 inventory of Daniel Gale, blacksmith, who had “…a Tea Table Cups Basons Saucers Tea Spoons & c. [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 24, 26 January 1725). The following year found the inventory of “Madm.  Willoughby Gibbes” with “…A Tea Table & Board [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 109, 30 June 1726). The sale of household goods of the estate of George Babpford on 18 August 1726 included “1 Tea Table & 1 Tea Board” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726-1727, p. 118, 18 August 1726). The 11 March 1726/7 inventory of Alice Hog contained “1 old Dutch Tea Table £ 0:10” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726-1727, p. 418). In 1728 the inventory of William Loughton revealed a “…Dutch Tea Table[£]6‑…” and one of the appraisers was William Watson, joiner, cabinetmaker (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 307, 14 April 1728 [recorded]). The “Dutch” connection for this form, and several others to be cited, is not clearly understood. There is some thought that the slate tables (q.v.) were of this form; however, the author does not believe so on the basis of their low value in Charleston Inventories when compared to other furniture forms in the same appraisal. The 1732 house inventory of Rhoda Hole, merchant, included “…1 old Tea Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 8, 24 August 1732). Also in 1732 the inventory of James LeChantre with “…2 Tea Table [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 101, 25 August 1732).  Further in 1732 the inventory of Samuel Screven revealed a “…Tea Table…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 4, 24 October 1732). The first indication of this form being imported was with the advertisement of Edward Simpson, merchant, with “…tea‑tables…”, though the orign was not given (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 4 November 1732, 4‑2). Within the December and January 1732/33 house inventory of the merchant Jacob Satur, there was an “…Old Japan[ed] Tea Table [£]1.10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 62, 20‑21 December, 2‑3 January 1732/33). In January the following year another merchant, Peter Horry, advertised that he was offering “…tea tables for sale which were imported along with merchandise which appeared to have been from England (The South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 13‑20 January 1732/3). In November 1733 Martha Hall’s inventory included “…A Japan Tea Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 106, 1 November 1733). In December 1733 the brickmaker Thomas Rose had in his inventory a “…Tea Pot & Tea Table & Cups [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 116, 12 December 1733). January 1734 found the inventory of John Lewis with the “Hall” containing “…2 Tea tables with 2 Toilets…” and the “Chamber” with “…1 old Tea Table [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 112, 17 January 1733/4[recorded]).  The next month George Smith’s inventory of the “Hall” included “…A Tea Table [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p.235, 21 February 1734). In May 1734 the inventory of Tweedie Somerville contained “…a Tea Table…[and]…One Japan Tea Table and Coverlid [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 122, 7 May 1734). In the home of John Ramsay the inventory revealed “…A Book Stand and a Tea Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 168, 27 July 1734).

The 1734 plantation inventories of John Raven contained “…To a [large] Tea Table [£]2‑…” and the Charleston house “…two Tea tables [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 157, 18 October 1734). In 1735 Crockatt and Seaman, merchants, were selling imported merchandise from London which included “…tea tables…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 11 October 1735, 3‑1). The surgeon, David Amderson, died in 1735 with “…1 Mahogany Tea Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 277, 11 October 1735 [recorded]). October of 1735 found the inventory of Andrew Allen with a “…Square Japanned Tea Table and Tea Board [£]3‑…[and…A Square black Japaned Tea Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). The 1738 inventory of Rachael Moore contained “…a Small Tea Table [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 48, 20 September 1736). In December 1736 the inventory of Susanna Mayrant contained “…1 Tea table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 101, 21 December 1736). In 1737 the inventory of John Whitfield revealed “…1 Tea Table [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.68, 1736‑1739, p. 73, 26 February 1736/7). In 1737 both Jonathan Scott and John Beswicke, merchants, were found to have been separately advertising tea tables they were selling as imported from London (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 16 April, 5 November 1737). July 1737 found the inventory of Gabriel Bernard, surveyor, with “…2 Dutch Tea Tables [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739,n.p., 28 July 1737). In November 1737 the inventory of John Vicaridge revealed “…1 painted Tea table [£]3‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1737‑1739, p. 211, 24 November 1737).  The 1738 inventory of Hannah Lusk contained “…One Standing and 1 Turn up Tea Tables [£]0‑0‑3…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 68,n.p., 26 April 1738). In May 1738 the inventory of Arthur Middleton revealed “…a Tea Table & Round 3 Leg Do[table] [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 276, 24 May 1738). The July 1738 inventory of the merchant Samuel Eveleigh disclosed “…1 Ordinary Jappand Tea Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.68, 1736‑1739, p. 231, 21 July 1738). In September 1738 John Beswicke, merchant, advertised as London imported, “…new fashion’d japan’d tea Tables…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 7 September 1738, 3‑2). The 1739 inventory of Thomas Elliott found “…1 Tea Table & Board [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 115, 17 January 1738/9). In June 1739 the inventory of Joseph Elliott found “…a painted Tea Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 56, 27 June 1739). The September 1739 inventory of Hannah Gale revealed “…Two Dutch Tea Tables [£]2.5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 33, 8 September 1739). When the cabinetmaker Josiah Claypoole first advertised in March 1740, he said that his shop could make furniture which included “Tea Tables” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 22 March 1739/40).

The April 1740 inventory of Elizabeth Green included “…1 Dutch Tea Table [£]1.10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 63, 7 April 1740). When Gabriel Escott died, his 1741 inventory included “…4 Tea Tables [£]5‑…” and an unusual variation of this form “…1 small Turn up Table with Draws [£]15‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 116, 7 August 1741). This “turn up Table with Drawers” undoubtedly was similar to a known table attributed to the Newport cabinetmaker John Goddard illustrated in Master Craftsmen of Newport The Townsends and Goddards by Michael Moses, p. 49, fig. 1.36. On the 27 August 1741 the inventory of Thomas Gadsden was taken revealing “…1 Old japand Tea Table [£]0‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). In December 1741 the inventory of the Rev. Archibald Stobo contained “…a Japaned Tea Table with a Sett of China & Cover [cloth?] [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 145, 16 December 1741). The 1742 inventory of Joseph Barton revealed that his “Chamber” contained a tea table (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 168, 30 March 1742 [recorded]). Further importation of this form was found in 1742 with “…all sizes of dicing and tea tables…” as advertised from London by Mackenzie and Roche (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 April 1742, 2‑2). Also in 1742 the inventory of Ann Le Brasseur contained a “…Japanned Tea Table with Sundry Tea Potts, Cups Saucers, Dishes Sugar Pots & ca. thereon [£]8‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 20 September 1742 [recorded]). The 1743 inventory of Gerrit Van Velsen revealed “…1 Mahogany Tea Table [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 378, 9 February 1743). In March of the same year found the inventory of William Wilkinson with “…a painted Turnup Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 458, 15 March 1743), which undoubtedly was the tea table form as this description was given in the 1738 inventory of Hannah Lusk previously cited.  Also in 1743 the inventory of Kennedy O’brien contained “…1 Round Tea Do[table]…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 158, 4 April 1743). In 1743 the inventory of Pon Pon Plantation of James St. John found “…a round Walnut Tea Table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 257, 22‑24 June 1743). In July 1743 the inventory of Ann Elliott revealed “…1 Tea Table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 234, 25 July 1743). September 1743 found the “Dwelling House on Ashley River” inventory of Josiah Baker with “…in the Hall…Two Brushes & One India Tea Table [£]1‑5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 246, 1 September 1743). October 1743 found, in the inventory of Edward Keating, “…A Tea table Japaned [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 319, 19 October 1743). In the May 1745 inventory of Richard Wrights there was revealed in the “Back Chamber” “…one Old Japand Tea Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 164, 13 May 1745). The 1747 inventory of Abraham Satur of St. James Goose Creek, contained “…An oval Stand [and?] Tea Table  [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 74, 1741‑1748, p. 361, 24 February 1747). The March 1743 inventory of Hugh Anderson contained “…1 Japan’d Tea Table [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 113, 2 March 1748).

In 1752 the inventory of John Morton contained “…a Round Tea Table [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 215, 9 January 1752). The 1753 inventory of Richard Baker contained “…A Japaned India Tea table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 526, 30 January 1753). In 1754 the inventory of George Hamilton revealed “…a Mahogany Pedestal Tea Table [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 356, ____April [?] 1754). The 1757 inventory of Cato Ash revealed 1 Round Ditto [old] Falling Tea Ditto [Table] £5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1757, p. 102, 9 April 1757). The 1757 inventory of Nathaniel Smith contained a new style: “…1 Pillar & Claw Tea Table [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 161, 19 May 1757). When the inventory of Hon. Peter Leigh was appraised in 1759, there was “…1 India Tea Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 436, 15 September 1759). In 1759 John Packrow charged £9 for “…Making a Tea Table…” for Mary Wigg (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Box 51A, #240A, John Packrow vs. Mary Wigg, transaction 12 October 1759). The 1760 inventory of Martha D’harriette contained “In The Back Green Room” “…A Mahogany scalloped Tea Table and Waiter [£]4‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 541, 29 March 1760). John Cleland’s 1760 inventory contained “…1 Scalloped Tea Table of Mahogany [£]5‑…1 Small Do[tea table] [£]3‑…1 Large Do[tea table] on Castors [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 592, 15 July 1760). Also in July 1760 the inventory of John Hutchins revealed “…1 Tea Table Claw’d feet…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 600, ___July 1760). The c.1760 inventory of Therodora Edings revealed “…1 Claw’d Foot Tea Table [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 697, undated [will proven 3 October 1760]). John Packrow was in 1760 found again to have made “…a Tea Table pr. agreement £9‑…” (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, Box 52A, #85A, John Packrow vs. James Deauboys [transaction 21 November 1760). In 1761 the inventory of Dr. James Thompson revealed “…1 Mahogany Scalloped Tea Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 796, 9 March 1761). The April 1761 inventory of Martha Savage revealed “…A Mahogany Tea Table with carved feet [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 928, 30 April 1761). In 1761 the inventory of John Rattray, attorney, revealed “…1 Square Tea Table £6‑…” which was possibly a China table form (q.v.) (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 137, ___December [?]1761). The 1762 Director contains a plate (LI) for “China Tables” which the text (p.7) reveals “…may be used as Tea‑Tables” which in the 1755 edition (plate XXXIV) was not described (p. 11) as such. The “Claw Table” (see pillar and claw) was of the design for the tea table in use other than the china table. Within the 1764 inventory of John McQueen “…1 Round Mahogany Tea Table 2 Ft 6 In Diam[eter] [£]5‑…” was found (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 298, 2 February 1764). Also in 1764 the inventory of George Walker revealed “…1 Round Tea Table [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 157, ___April 1764). In the 1764 inventory of the coachmaker Samuel Perkins, there was a “…Mahogany Round Tea Table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 239, 18 May 1764). A further 1764 inventory was of John Guerand with “…2 Round Tea Tables [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 194, 30 May 1764).

In 1765 Ruth Bedon’s inventory contained “…1 Mahogany Tea Table 60/ …1 Small Do[tea Table] 70/…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 463, 11 April 1765). The carver and gilder Nicholas Bernard, from Philadelphia for a short time, was advertising in October 1765 and March 1766, that he was selling tea tables and other furniture at a “…Back‑Store in Gadsden’s Alley…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 October 1765; South Carolina Gazette, and Country Journal, Charleston, 4 March 1766). In October 1765 William Raven’s inventory included “…One Scalloped Tea Table & one Tea Chest [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 18, 31 October 1765). In 1766 the mercantile firm of Reeves and Cochran were advertising a shipment from London of “…European and East‑India Goods [which included] VERY neat mahogany tea‑tables and tea‑boards…” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 16 September 1766, supplement, 1‑1). Also in 1766, the merchant James Drummond advertised twice the London imports which included “…CHINA Tea Tables and Trays…” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 26 August, 18 September 1766). In 1767 the inventory of William Edings included “…1 old Red Bay Tea Table [£]‑50‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p.820, 22 April 1767). In June and December 1767 the merchantile firm of Mansell, Corbett and Co. advertised “…japaned Tea tables…” for sale which were described as having been imported from London along with other goods (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 23 June, 1 December 1767).  Also in 1767 the carver and cabinetmaker Thomas Wooden advertised that he was selling furniture which included “…Chinese Bamboo Tea‑Tables…London Make” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 29 July; South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 8 September 1767). In 1768 James Drummond was found advertising London imported goods among which were “…china tea tables…” (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 8 March 1768, extra, 2‑2).

The Elfe Account Book contains charges from 1768 to 1775 for 47 variously described Tea Tables sold which ranged in price from £2.5‑ to £45‑. The briefest of these so termed was “Tea Table” or “Mahogany Tea Table” which cost £2.5‑ to £14‑. One of these was sold with castors (#194, 13 April 1775). This form was further found as “…a Turned top Tea Table [£]16‑…” (#202, 30 May 1772) and “…a large Mahogany Round Tea Table [£]13‑…” (#83, 4 August 1773). Several entries for “mending” occurred which obviously were for the round tea table form being:  “…a new Block to a Tea Table [£]1‑…” (#39, 24 April 1774), “…mending a Tea Table Stand and new Catch [£]0.12.6…” (#121, 20 May 1774), “…a New pillar to a Tea Table [£]2.5…” (#35, 15 December 1773), “…a Claw to a Tea Table [£]2‑…” (#187, 25 October 1774), “…turning 4 Tea [table] Legs [£]0‑7‑6 …” (#182, 26 January 1775), “…a tea table with an Iron Plate [underneath] [£]1.10‑…” (#104, 24 May 1775), “…the block of a Tea Table [£]0.5‑…” (#104, 24 May 1775), “…mending a japann’d tea table £0.5…” (#280, 23 March 1775).  Further descriptions for this form were found as “…A Scallop Tea Table [£]5.10 …” (#103, 22 May 1772), “…A Scallop tea Table with Eagle Claws [£]25‑…” (#277, 28 February 1775), “…A Carved Mahogany Tea Table [£]30‑…” (#103, 25 January 1772) and “…A mahogany carved Tea Table & Caster [£]40‑ …” (#88, 16 November 1771). It has been shown that the “China Table” (q.v.) probably served as a tea table and that this form was made in the Elfe shop. There was also the rectangular or square, four legged “China Tea Table” produced in the shop which was described as “…A China Tea Table [£]28‑ …” (#180, 27 July 1774), “…A China Fret Tea Table [£]20‑ …” (#175, 24 February 1774), further, this form was mended as “…a China Tea Table with 2 new end rims [£]2.10 …” (#175, 18 August 1774). Additional description for what was apparently this form was a “…Chinese Tea Table [£]25‑…” (#53, 20 May 1772), “…Chinese Tea Table with a Stretcher [£]26‑…” (#29, 19 August 1773), “…Chinese Tea Table Carved Acorn [£]30‑…” (#10 July 1772), and with mending “…to new end rims cutt to a Chinese Tea Table & c. [£]2.10…” (#74, 14 October 1773).  Evidence for the square form made was found as “…A Square Tea Table with a rim [£]12‑…” (#146, 8 January 1773). Another shape varience, that might announce the arrival of the falling leaf type of table, was found with three of a commode shape, one example being “…a Commode tea table [£]27‑…” (#187, 28 October 1774).

Further evidence for this for in the inventories was in 1769 with George Seaman’s as “…1 Small round mahogany Tea Table [£]3‑…1 Larger with an edge [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 74, 15 February 1769). The same year found Martha Bremar’s with “…1 Scallopt [sic] Mahogany Tea Table [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 177, 2 June 1769). In November 1769 the cabinetmaker and upholsterer Edward Weyman mortgaged furniture and other goods among which was “…one mahogany Tea Table with Scallop Top…” (Charleston County, South Carolina Mortgages, No. B.B.B., 1767‑1771, p. 333, 21 November 1769). On the same day the inventory of the architect Ezra Waite revealed “…#46 a Chinese Tea Table and Stand Do[tea table?] [£]25‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 180, 29 November 1769). In 1770 the inventory of Daniel Doyley contained “…1 Handsome Mahogany Tea Table [£]12‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 294, 18 July 1770). August of 1770 found John Nutt, cabinetmaker, advertising mahogany furniture which included tea tables (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 2 August 1770, 4‑2). The 1771 inventory of John McKenzie of Goose Creek contained “…a Tea Table £12‑ …a Chines[e] Tea ditto[table] £10‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑94B, 1771‑1774, p. 102, ___August 1771). In 1776 the inventory of Thomas Elfe contained, within the apparent stock portion of the appraisal, “…3 Tea Tables £36‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 99A, 1776‑1778, p. 116, 11 September 1776). In 1777, when Paul Snyder, tavern keeper, advertised that he was selling the furniture and contents of his business, it contained “…two Tea Tables…” (Gazette of the State of South Carolina, Charleston, 16 June 1777, 1‑2). Also in 1777, the inventory of Col. George Paddon Bond contained “…A Handsome Mahogany Tea Table (Chinese) [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 99A, 1774‑1778, p. 291, 28 March 1777). In August 1777 the inventory of George Sommers revealed “…1 Tea Table 1 china Table [£]45‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 99B, 1774‑1778, p. 306, ___August 1777). Also in August 1777 the inventory of the merchant John Brewton contained “…1 Ditto [Mahogany] round Tea Table [£]10‑…1 Ditto [mahogany folding tea Do [table] [£]15‑…1 Tea Ditto[table] and tea board [£]4‑…1 Ditto [Japanned] Tea Table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 395, 28 August 1777). In December 1780 the inventory of William Wragg contained “…A small mahogany Tea Table, on Rollers [£]1.10…”, as valued in the new South Carolina currency (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 160, ___ December 1780).

The first evidence for this form being inlaid was with the advertisement of the upholsterer Solomon Smith in 1780 was selling furniture as “…Inlaid Tea Tables and Trays…” (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 16 December 1780, 3‑1). In October the following year found William Smith, merchant, selling furniture and upholstery goods from London including “…TEA and Card Tables, plain and beautifully inlaid…” (Royal Gazette, Charleston, 24 October 1781, 1‑2). The inventory of John Dart in 1783 contained “…1 Neat tea table of Mahogany, 3 Guineas [£]3‑5‑3…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 146, 14 October 1783). The ship Castle Douglas sailed on 19 October 1784 from London with a cargo for Charleston which contained a shipment from the London upholstering, appraising, and auctioneering firm of Pitt and Chessey which included “1 Square Tea Table [£]1.7” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 700). When the ship captain William Bennet died his 1785 inventory included “…1 Round Tea Table 21/9…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 275, 20 January 1785). On 1 September 1787 Jacob Sass sold Richard Beresford a “…pair of Card Tables & a Tea Table [£]19.11.6…” (Charleston County South Carolina Chancery Court Bills of Complaint, Pt.10, Nos. 1‑50, 1804, N0.45, 26 September 1804). The October 1787 inventory of Peter Bacot included “…1 Round Mahogany Tea Table 25/…1 Square [China ?] Do[mahogany] Do[tea table] Open Work 10/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 79, 15 October 1787).  When William Gibbes died his 1789 inventory included in the “Back Parlour” “…a Round Tea Table 40/ [and in the] Front blue Parlour…a Tea Table 50/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 238, 24 March 1789). Also in 1789 the inventory of Dr. William Burnett contained “…1 Oval Mahogany Tea Table 10/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 263, 19 and 20 December 1789). Records reveal that James Burns, cabinetmaker, sold a tea table to Violetta Wyatt for £3‑ in 1791 (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1799, #1075A, James Burns vs. Violetta Wyatt, table sold 20 August 1791). In 1793 the cabinetmaker William Jones’s inventory his “Stock in Trade” included “…1 Pair Inlaid Tea Tables a 100/…Do[unfinished] Tea Table 10/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 495, c. 16 February 1793). In 1793 Jacob Sass sold Cato Ash “…a Tea Table & breakfast Table [£]5.10…” (Charleston District Judgment Rolls, 1796, #4A, Jacob Sass vs. Administors Cato Ash, charge 14 May 1793). Thomas Bradford, cabinetmaker, sold William Boone Mitchell, in 1794, a “…Pr. Card Tables and a Tea table [£]12‑…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1797, #463A, Thomas Bradford vs. William Boone Mitchell, sold April 1794).

Ann Robertson’s 1794 inventory included “…1 Small Tea Table(Square) 15/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p.71, 23 June 1794). In 1795 and 1796 the cabinetmaker John Marshall advertised “…Tea Tables Do[different sourts]…” for sale (The South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy & Mason’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 October 1795; City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 February; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 July 1796). In April 1796 Charles desel charged Peter Broughton for “…Making a Tea table [£]3.10…” (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1802, #61A, Charles Desel vs. Peter Broughton, charge 15 April 1796). The cabinetmaker Charles Watts advertised in 1796 tea tables for sale (City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 August 1796). In 1797 both Jacob Sass and John Marshall were separately advertising tea tables for sale (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February, 16 March 1797). In January 1798 the inventory of Jacob Jacobs, vendue master, revealed “…One Mahogany Tea Table [£]0.20…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.C, 1793‑1800, p. 308, 19 January 1798). Jacob Sass sold John Singleton in October 1799 “…a pair of Card Tables & Tea Tables [£]17‑…” (Singleton Family Papers, 1759‑1911, Folder #2, 22 October 1799, University of North Carolina, Southern Historical Collection). In January 1800 the cabinetmaking firm of Watson and Woodill sold William Clement furniture which included an “…inlaid Tea Table [£]5‑…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1807, #174A, Watson & Woodill vs. William Clement, sold 25 January 1800). The cabinetmaker Alexander Calder was advertising “…Tea Tables of different forms…” in May and December 1800 (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 9 May 1800; Times, Charleston, 12 December 1800). Between 1801 and 1805 John Douglas sold James Delaire furniture which included three tea tables at different times, two at £5 and one £4 (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1809, #292A, James Douglas [for estate of John Douglas] vs. James Delair, tables sold 29 May 1801, 15 December 1802, 22 April 1805). In 1802 and 1803 the cabinetmaking partnership of Watts and Walker were offering tea tables at their Ware‑Room (Times, Charleston, 9 February, 27 November 1802; City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 9 December 1802, 9 February 1803). Further offerings of this form in 1802 were by Hance Fairley in April and Jacob Sass in August (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 2 April, 3 August 1802).

The Baltimore fancy furniture makers and painters John and Hugh Finlay advertised tea tables in Charleston twice in 1803 the first impling that their furniture was being made in Charleston and the second that several of the furniture forms could be bought in Baltimore including “…Tea Tables, with or without Views…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 March, 6 May 1803). William Walker in March 1803 and Thomas Wallace the next month, both cabinetmakers, advertised tea tables for sale (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 March; Times, Charleston, 12 April 1803). In June 1803 the merchant Casper C. Schutt contained in his household inventory “…A London Tea Table $30…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 216, 29 June 1803). In 1804 January, April, and October found the firm of Oliphant, Calder and Company advertising tea tables (Times, Charleston, 3 January; Charleston Courier, Charleston, 3 May, 1 November 1804). Robert Walker also advertised in 1804 his offering of tea tables (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 16 February 1804). When Samuel Fickling died his c.1804 inventory included “…one Inlaid Tea Table $9…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 312, c. 1804 [will proven 23 November 1804]). In 1805, 1806, and 1808 the cabinetmaker Alexander Calder advertised tea tables for sale (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 28 January, 1805, 15 January 1806, 22 November, 13 December 1808). Joshua Brown, lumberyard proprieter, advertised on 17 October 1807, his offering of new furni9ture which included “[Sets] of tea tables” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 17 October 1807). The firm of McIntosh and Foulds sold Thomas Waring, in 1808, “…a Sett Card & Tea Tables $13.6…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1809, #418A, McIntosh and Foulds vs. Thomas Waring, sold 2 August 1808). In September 1808 the inventory of Michael Muckenfuss revealed, within the shop items, “…1 Unfinished Tea Table…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). In October 1810 Joshua Brown advertised that he was selling “New Cabinet FURNITURE Charleston made [which included] Tea tables…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 October 1810). Jacob Sass and Son were selling tea tables at their “Ware Room” in 1811 (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 2 February, 2 March 1811). In September 1811 Richard Smith sold George Rivers “…a pair of Card Tables $40.00 [and] a Tea Table to Match ditto [card tables] $20.00…” (Charleston District Judgment Rolls, 1813, #436A, Richard Smith vs. George Rivers, date 7 September 1811). The cabinetmaker Thomas Wallace advertised in 1812 that he was “…selling off…” his stock which included tea tables (Times, Charleston, 3 March 1812). In September 1812 the inventory of Marie Francoise Merceron contained “…1 folding Mahogany Tea Table(small) $4…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 106, 28 September 1812). Further “CHARLESTON MADE” furniture was found to have been advertised to be auctioned in 1813 of the stock of John Watson, cabinetmaker (Times, Charleston, 25 February; City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 March 1813). Further auctions were found in 1814, 1815, 1816, of household furniture which included tea tables (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 24 March 1814; Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 7 November 1814; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 17 April, 14 November 1815, 25 April 1816).

From Providence, Rhode Island, William Rawson began advertising in 1816 offering furniture from his families cabinetmaking shop in Rhode Island which included “…Persian Tea [tables]…”(Courier, Charleston, 27 December 1816, 4‑1). From the end of 1817 through the middle of 1819 Rawson advertised five times that three tables were offered through his business of an unspecificed type as opposed to the type specific 1816 advertisement (Courier, Charleston, 2 December 1817, 2 February, 6 April, 10 November 1818, 10 June 1819). In 1817 there was a shipment from Hartford, Connecticut of furniture which included tea tables, all being offered by L. Freeman, merchant (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20, 22 October 1817).  A Georgetown cabinetmaker, John B. McDaniel, advertised in November 1817 that he “…continues to manufacture and keep on hand all kinds of course and fine Mahogany FURNITURE…” which included tea tables (Winyaw Intelligencer, Charleston, 15 November 1817, 1‑2). Further in 1817 the inventory of the “East Bay” house of John Ball revealed that in “Room No. 1” there was “…1 Ditto[Japanned] Tea Table $10…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p.460, 14 November 1817). Another offerer of tea tables was the warehouseman, carver and gilder, Richard W. Otis, who advertised so in December 1817, June and October 1818 (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 24 December 1817; Courier, Charleston, 30 June, 20 October 1818). In March 1818 possible Virginia furniture from Norfolk entered Charleston and was offered for sale as damaged which included “…2 Mahogany TEA TABLES…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 30 March 1818, 3‑4). June and December 1818 finds Erastus Bulkley and Co., through the N. Y. Cabinet Furniture Ware‑House, offering in June “…1 pair do [pillar] and do [claw] TEA do[tables]…” and in December unspecified tea tables (Courier, Charleston, 3 June, 28 December 1818). On the same day in December, Robert Adams, merchant, specificed his offering of furniture as made by made by F.L. Everett of New York which included tea tables (Courier, Charleston, 28 December 1818, 3‑3). At what apparently was a sale of Jacob Sass’s stock of furniture and stock, indicating his evolvement into the warehousing phase, H.C.M’Leod auctioned the aforementioned goods in October and December 1818, which included tea tables (Charleston Counrier, Charleston, 19 October; Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 19 December 1818). When Col. Thomas Shubrick died his estate contained “…1 Pembroke Tea Table with Cover $20…” and probably was sold in the estate sale in 1818 (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p.60, undated [estate sale 12 January 1818, Charleston Courier, Charleston, 12 January 1818). The merchant John Woddrop was selling London made furniture in 1819 and 1820 that included tea tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 December 1819, 8 March 1820). The auctioneer, merchant, William A. Caldwell, offered New York made tea tables in June 1820 and the same form made in Charleston in December 1820 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 June,  11, 14 December 1820). In May 1821 Edward Lynah was auctioning Charleston made furniture which included “…Pillar and Claw…Tea Tables…plain…Tea Tables…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821). November 1822 found the “Cabinet Ware house of Richard Goldsmith [cabinetmaker] being sold which included tea tables (Courier, Charleston, 2 November 1822, 3‑6). The 1823 inventory of John McIntosh, cabinetmaker, included the shop contents of furniture, wood and tools, amongst which were “…2 Tea Tables $16…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823).

 

Toilet Table (1713-1818)— This form (See Benno M. Forman “Furniture for Dressing in Early America, 1650-1730 Winterthur Portfolio, Vol.22, Nos.2/3, pp.158-162) variously spelled, was the lady’s dressing table in the eighteenth century. By this name it was not often recorded in Charleston. The first record in which this form was found was the 1713 bond of William Harvy to Thomas Summors, in which “…One Taylett[sic] Table…” was listed (Register of the Province of South Carolina, 1707‑1711, 1712‑1713, 1711‑1714, 1714‑1719, p. 380, 22 December 1713). The 1743 inventory of Thomas Larouche revealed “…1 Mahogany Toilet & [dressing] Glass [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 333, 5 October 1743). In 1762 the design books reveal this suggested form with varing degrees of elaboratness: the Director (pl. CXVIII and CXIX, text p. 14), The Universal System of Household Furniture (pl. XXXVI and XXXVII, text pp. 5, 6) and Genteel Houshold Furniture In the Present Taste (pl. 35 and 101). Past this 1762 date this form, by this name, was not encountered in design books. In c. April 1777 the appraisers of the house deserted by royal governor Lord William Campbell when he fled Charleston prior to the Revolution, listed in the room‑by‑room inventory “1 Cyprus Toilet [£]0.15.0” in the “South East Bed Chamber.” The inventory of John Brewton, merchant, taken later that year in August 1777, contained “…1 Cypress toilet table with Sundry certain [?] brackets [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p.395, 28 August 1777). When the 1783 inventory of Maj. Thomas Grimball was appraised the was “…One Toilet Table & [dressing] Glass 100/…”(Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 36, 14 April 1783). The same year found the inventory of the merchant John Ward with “…1 Cypress Toilet Table 3/…” which deflated value reflected the sterling currency (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 139, 25 November 1783). This form was further found in the inventory of William Gibbes in 1789 as in the “Chamber” “…a Toilet Table & Cover 20/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 238, 24 March 1789). In 1790 the inventory of William Drayton revealed “…1 Toilet Table (Deal)[pine] 2/6 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.B, 1787‑1793, p.416, 6 August 1790). The last eighteenth century mention of a toilet table was found in 1796 with the sale of “…a Toilet Table [£]0.14.0 …” by Charles Desel to Peter Broughton (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1802, #61A, Charles Desel vs. Peter Broughton, sale 2 April 1796).

It was interesting that this form, by this name, continued to be found in advertisements and estate appraisals even though apparently such terminology had been outdated. The countinuance of this was found with the advertisement of William Haydon, cabinetmaker, as “Toilets” were listed among his offerings (Times, Charleston, 10 April 1801, 3‑4). An unusual description was found with the advertisement of the dry good merchants Lewis and R. Groning who offered “…Mahogany Tables, with Toilets…” which was in effect a table outfitted for/with the toilet (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 17 February 1803, 3‑3). In 1805 Robert Walker advertised “…Ladies…Toilet Tables…” for sale (Times, Charleston, 19 February 1805, 3‑3). John McIntosh and William Foulds sold Thomas H. Pickney “…a Toliet Table $3.00…” in 1807 (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1809, #0287A, McIntosh & Foulds vs. Thomas H. Pickney, date sold 4 June 1807). The 1808 inventory of Michael Muckenfuss revealed “…2 Pine Toilet Tables $1 $2…” within his stock of his cabinetmaking shop portion (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). In 1817 the import firm of Barelli, Torre & Co. advertised the offering of “…Mahogany and Cherry Toilet Tables…” the origin of which was not specificed (Courier, Charleston, 21 January 1817). The next year found Richard W. Otis, carver and gilder, offering New York toilet tables (Courier, Charleston, 25 March 1818, 2‑4).

 

Triangle Table (1760-1760)— The 1760 inventory of Martha D’harriette included “In the Deceaseds Chamber” “…A small Triangle Table [£]3‑ …” which in all probability was a corner table (q.v.) (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 541, 29 March 1760).

 

Vendue Table (1798-1798)— This form was found in the 1798 inventory of Jacob Jacobs, vendue master, as “…Vendue Tables & Benches…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 308, 19 January 1798). The specific design of such a table is not known. This form could be like a counting/compting house desk (q.v.).

 

Work Table (1783-1820)— Generally thought of as to have been used by women, this form was first found in the c.1783 inventory of “Spring Grove” plantation upon the estate appraisal of Miss Judith Wragg. This was listed as “…1 small Mahogahy Working Table 4/8 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p.69, c.1783 [will proven April 1783]). The 1793 The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices contains plate 25, fig. 2 of “A Lady’s Work Table” and a text (p. 87‑89). There also are price guides for “A Square Work Table” (pp. 191‑192), “An Oval Work Table” (pp. 192‑193) and “A Canted‑Corner Work Table” (p. 258). In 1796 Charles Desel made “…a Mahogany Work Table [£]1.3.4…” for Peter Broughton (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1802, #61A, Charles Desel vs. Peter Broughton, date sold 10 May 1796). Jacob Sass was advertising “Work Tables” in 1797 for sale at his “Ware‑Room” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797, 2‑3). The publication of the 1802 The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book revealed a plate of “Ladies Work Tables” (pl. 26; p. 193) and “A Lady’s Work table” (pl. 54; p. 112). In 1803 the cabinetmaker, William Walker advertised work tables for sale (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 March 1803).

Verre and Blair, vendue masters, were auctioneering furniture and wood of the firm of Oliphant, Calder & Co. in 1804, which included work tables (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 24 October, 1 November 1804). Further, in 1805, the same auctioneers were found to be disposing of the cargo of the schooner Dove, from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which included a work table (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 7 January 1805, 3‑3). In February 1805 Robert Walker, cabinetmaker, offered “Ladies Work Tables” and other furniture for sale as of “…the latest and most approved LONDON FASHIONS…” (Times, Charleston, 19 February 1805, 3‑3). It was interesting to find that with the apparent increasing popularity of this form it became disguised by such names as “Pouch Table” (pl. 65; p. 292), “Quartetto Table” (plate 75, text p. 293) and “Trio Table” (p. 323) as revealed by the Cabinet Dictionary of 1806. In January of 1806 Alexander Calder, cabinetmaker and upholsterer, was selling “…Ladies Work Tables…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 15 January 1806, 2‑3). The cabinetmaking firm of McIntosh and Foulds made “…a work table $1.8…” for Thomas Waring in 1808 (South Carolina Judgement Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1809, #418A, McIntosh & Foulds vs. Thomas Waring, sold 2 August 1808). Also in 1808 the inventory of Michael Muckenfuss revealed within his shop “…5 small working Tables $3. $15…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). The year 1809 finds Jacob Sass & Son, cabinetmakers, selling work tables and other furniture which they specifically say was made in their shop (The Strength of The People, Charleston, 14 August 1809). In 1810 Joshua Brown,  auctioneer, was found listing furniture to be sold which was “Charleston made” including work tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 October 1810, 3‑3).

The merchant Jonathan Alden advertised in 1811 “Ladies’ Work‑Tables” for sale (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 2 April 1811, 3‑2). In 1812 the cabinetmaker Thomas Wallace offered “Ladies’ Work Tables, complete…” (Times, Charleston, 3 March 1812, 3‑3). John Watson, cabinetmaker, advertised in 1813 “Ladies’ Work ditto [tables]…” for sale (Times, Charleston, 25 February 1813, 3‑4). Advertised as “Ladies’ Work Tables…” this form was to be auctioned in 1813 by the firm of Campbell & Milliken (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 March 1813). When the estate of the cabinetmaker Thomas Lee was sold in 1814, there were “Work Tables” to be auctioned (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 24 March 1814, 3‑4). In 1815 this form was found to have been offered by T. Tupper, merchant, as being from Boston (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 April 1815, 3‑1). In 1817, William Rawson advertised “Elegant Mahogany Ladies’ Work Tables…” for sale, from Providence, Rhode Island (Courier, Charleston, 5, 7 May 1817). Later in 1817 he described this form as “…Elegant Work Tables New Patterns…” (Courier, Charleston, 2 December 1817, 3‑1). In September 1817 the inventory of Samuel E. Axson, carpenter, revealed in the “Front Room Upstairs” “…a Ladys work Table with Drawer (Mahogany) $1.50…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 437, 6 September 1817). From Hartford, Connecticut “Ladies’ Work Tables” were found to have offered for sale by L. Freeman, merchant, in October 1817 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20, 22 October 1817). The warehouseman Richard W. Otis was found to have been offering work tables for sale in 1817, origin not specified (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 24 December 1817, 3‑2). Four advertisements appeared in 1818 by Erastus Bulkley & Co. for the sale of work tables (City Gazette and Comercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 5 January, 28 January; Courier, Charleston, 3 June,28 December 1818). Throughout 1818 and 1819 Rawson advertised “Ladies’ Work Tables” and “Work Tables” as from Rhode Island (Courier, Charleston, 2 February, 6 April, 10 November 1818, 3 February, 10 June, 4 December 1819). In 1818 John Woddrop, merchant, was found to have been selling London “Ladies’ Work Tables” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 18 June 1818, 1‑3). In October and December 1818 H. C. M’Leod was found offering the furniture and wood stock of Jacob Sass, cabinetmaker, which included work tables (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 19 October; Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 1818). A further sale of “Ladies’ Work Tables” was found in 1818 by Walter Butler & Co., merchant (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 November 1818, 3‑2). In June 1820 the auctioneering firm of William A. Caldwell announced the sale of New York made “Ladies Work Tables” and in December a further sale of Charleston made “Ladies Work Tables” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 June, 11, 14 December 1820). In 1821 the merchant Edward Lynah offered Charleston made work tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821). The cabinetmaker Richard Goldsmith offered Charleston made furniture for sale in 1822 among which were “Working Tables” (Courier, Charleston, 2 November 1822, 3‑6). The 1823 shop inventory of John McIntosh, cabinetmaker, revealed “…5 Work Tables $25…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823).

 

Workman Table (1763-1763)— The single occurance of this form was found in the 1763 “Household Goods” inventory of Charles Lowndes as “…One Mahogany (Workmans) Table & Vices [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763,p. 584, 28 July 1763).

 

Writing Table (1774-1820)— This form is found in The Director of 1755 (plate XLIX) and 1762 (plates LXXII‑LXXVI, CXVI and CXVII) also in 1762 in the The Universal System of Household Furniture (plate XXIV) and Genteel Houshold Furniture In the Present Taste (plates 31, 39, 51, 61). It was not until 1774 that the first reference to this form was found in the records and this was the Elfe Account Book where John Scott, Jr. was charged for “…mending a writing table [£]2.10…” (#179, 10 May 1774). Also in the same records was found the sales (1771 and 1772) of, what appears to have been, two writing tables, though not by that name, suggesting that the term was not known to the person recording the sale or as a term in the shop. These were “…a Large Mahogy [sic] Square Table with a case of 24 Prugon [pigeon] Holes & 4 Draw’s [sic]  [£]22‑…” (#85, 15 October 1771) and “…A Mahogany Case with Priegon [pigeon] holes & a desk for a Table [£]8‑…” (#111, 18 September 1772). In 1777 Jacob Valk, auctioneer, advertised the impending sale of household furniture of “…a gentlemen leaving the State…” which included “…a Writing Table…” (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 17 April 1777, 2‑3). The 1786 inventory of Philotheos Chiffelle revealed “…A Mahogany Writing Table 37/4 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 414, ___ January 1786). In The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices of 1793 contained price descriptions (pp. 56‑58, 60‑82) for fourteen variously described writing tables and three plates (13, 21, 22) of four. The 1794 The Cabinet‑Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide contained two plates (67 and 69) so titled and text (pp. 12, 13). In 1797 Jacob Sass advertised furniture at his wareroom which included “…Ladies Writing Tables and Bookcases…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797, 2‑3). This was one of the four forms of writing tables illustrated in The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book of 1802, which contained plates (37, 43, 44, 50) and text (pp. 388‑390, 395‑396, 396, 407‑408). The plate 37, entitled “A Lady’s Writing Table” was illustrated without a bookcase as Sass described, but such an addition could easily have been designed by Sass or taken from plate 69 of Hepplewhite’s 1794 design book aforementioned.

In May 1803 the Baltimore cabinetmakers and fancy painters, John and Hugh Finlay, visited Charleston to test the market and advertised “…Japanned Writing Tables, with or without Views…” for sale (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 May 1803). The 1803 inventory of Casper C. Schutt, merchant, included “…1 Writing Table $1…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p.216, 29 June 1803).  The 1806 Cabinet Dictionary contained a plate (40) and text (p. 188) of “A Lady’s Cylinder Writing Table” and plate (68) of “A Lady’s Writing Table”. In 1808 a sale at the cabinetmaker Alexander Calder’s warehouse was advertised furniture which included “…ladies writing tables…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 22 November 1808, 3‑4).  In 1815 there was a sale of furniture by W. Payne & Sons, auctioneers, at which “…A Gentleman’s Writing Table, with drawers, & c. Complete…” was included (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 November 1815). This so named form was first described in the 1793 The Cabinet‑Makers’ London Book of Prices in plate 21 and text pp.78‑79. At a sale of furniture in 1821 by the auctioneer M.H. Deleon, the furniture listed included “…Do [Ladies] Writing Do [tables], Gentlemen’s Do[writing tables]…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 10 February 1821). In 1822 Richard Goldsmith, cabinetmaker, advertised Charleston made furniture which included writing tables (Courier, Charleston, 2 November 1822, 3‑6). The 1823 inventory of John McIntosh, cabinetmaker, revealed “…2 Writing Table & Book Cases $25…” in the shop portion of the appraisal (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 473, 2 January 1823).

 

TABLE WOODS

Beech (1757-1757)— The single evidence for the use of this wood was found in the 1757 inventory of Peter Banbury where “…1 Beach[sic] Do[table] 90/…” among other woods as cedar and cypress which were differentiated (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 66, 2 February 1757).

 

Bullet Tree (1743-1743)— The 1743 inventory of Thomas Laroche contained “…a Bullet Tree Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p. 333, 5 October 1743). This wood was also known as Bully Tree. The Oxford English Dictionary offers this term variation and defines the tree as of the order Sapolaceae, also a genera of Mimusops and quotes Stedman’s Surinam, vol. II, of 1796, “The bullet-tree…the bark is grey and smooth, the timber brown, variegated or powdered with white specks”. Sargent’s Manual of The Trees of North America, defines Mimusops as of thirty or forty species distributed through the tropics of the Americas with a single species in southern Florida (Charles Sprague Sargent Manual of The Trees of North America, New York: Dover Publications, 1965, pp. 808-809, 819-820).

 

Cedar (1692-1768)— The earliest mention of a table of cedar was in the 1692 house inventory of the merchant William Dunston as “…one Ceader ovell table [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 117, 27 April 1692). The 13 December 1711 inventory of Nathaniel Williamson contained “one large Ceder Table 2-10-0” (Charleston County, S.C., Miscellaneous Records 1711-1718, p.54, 13 December 1711). In 1718 the guardianship agreement of Fayer Hall revealed “…two Square Cedar tables…” (Register of the Province of South Carolina, 1707‑1711, 1712‑1713, 1711‑1714, 1714‑1719, p.353, 8 January 1718). In 1731 an entry in the shipping returns for Charlestown revaled that the sloop Prince Frederick of South Carolina owned by Joseph Wragg and Benjamin Dhariette was bound for (New ?) Providence with “…3 cedar Tables…” together with corn, pork, flower, and beef (South Carolina Shipping Returns 1721‑1735, entry for 29 April 1731). The 1732 inventory of James LeChantre contained several tables of which some were “ ordinary oval table[s]…”, but one was “1 Large Cedar Oval Table [£]6‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 101, 25 August 1732). The merchant Jacob Satur’s 1732/33 house inventory contained in the “Lower Room” “…A Large cedar Table [£]10‑ …” along with 19 chairs (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 62, 20/21 December, 2/3 January 1732/33). Tweedie Sommerville, another merchant, died possessed, in 1734, of “…one oval cedar table [£]8‑…one old cedar midling [sic] oval table [£]5‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 122, 7 May 1734). Still another merchant, John Ramsay, died in 1734 with “…a large Cedar Oval Table with an Old Counter pane[covering cloth] [£]5‑…” in his house (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 168, 27 July 1734). The 1736 inventory of Elias Horry revealed several forms of furniture of cedar which included “…3 Sedar Tables [£]18‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 169, 6 January 1736). Not all of the tables of cedar by 1736 old for the inventory of Anne Colleton included “…1 New Cedar Table [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 412, 14 May 1736). The 1737 inventory of Gabriel Bervard, surveyor, contained “…1 Square Ceceder Do. [table] [£]2‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 132, 28 July 1737). The “…1 large Cedar Table [£]8‑…” was still being seen in 1741 in the inventory of Alexander Skeene (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 110, 25 November 1741). Among the tables owned by Andrew Broughton were “…2 large oval Cedar Tables [£]15‑…1 large Square Do [£]3‑…1 Square Caeder Table [£]3‑…1 Square Caeder Table [£]2‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 197, 6 June 1743). The 1752 inventory of John Hassel included “…1 Cedar Table [with] Drawers [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 532, 22 December 1752). In 1765 the cabinetmaking partnership of Townsend and Axson sold “…a Small Cedar table [£] 4.0.0…” to Richard Bohn Baker (MRF- 8786, Receipt of Richard Bohun Baker to Townsend & Axson, of which they were paid 5 August 1765. Descended in family). In 1768 Francis Roche’s inventory included “…2 Spanish Cedar Tables…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 250, 25 January 1768). The last cedar table found was in the 1768 inventory of Thomas Mitchell who had “…a Cedar Table & Cover [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 286, 15 April 1768).

 

Cherry (1761-1817)— It was not until the eighteenth century that evidence for cherry tables in Charleston was first found in the 1761 inventory of Thomas Wigg who had “…1 small Cherry Table [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 367, 28 April 1761). The next was found in the advertisement of J.S.Barker, merchant, who listed “…some handsome Cherry‑Tree Desks and Tables…” for sale, apparently from New England (Rhode Island?), as he also had “Narraganset Cheese” and soap for sale which suggests that origin (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 April 1801, 1‑2). In 1804 Samuel Fickling died with a “…Cherry Table $2….” in his inventory as well as a cherry bedstead valued at $6. (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 312, no date [Will proven 23 November 1804, Wills, Vol.29, Book D, p. 720]). Possibly from Italy, “…Cherry Toilet Tables…” were being sold in Charleston as part of a shipment, from Leghorn in central Italy, of tables, wine, hats, ornaments and food via the firm of Barrelli, Torre & Co. in 1817 (Courier, Charleston, 21 January 1817, 4‑4).

 

Cypress (1773-1774)— Thomas Elliotts’ 1732/3 inventory included “…1 cyprus Table [£]1‑…” in comparison to a cedar table which was valued at £8‑ (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 41, 12 March 1732/33). The 1735 inventory of Andrew Allen included “…a cypress Table [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). In 1739 the inventory of Elias Foissin included “…1 Small Cypress Table [£]‑30‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 67, 1 May 1739). The 1742 inventory of Albert Delmar included “…an Oval Cypress Table [,] Pine frame [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 267, 30 July 1742). The plantation of “Kellys,” belonging to James St. John, surveyor general, included “…a Square Cypress Table large [£]1‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 257, 22‑24 June 1743). James Kirkwood, a “Carpenter & Joiner”, made a “…Cypress Table [£]2‑ …” for Robert Cochran, artist, in 1746 (South Carolina Court of Common Pleas, Judgment Rolls, Box 30A, #62A, James Kirkwood vs. Robert Cochran, 15 March 1746/7). The 1757 inventory of Peter Banbury included three cypress tables valued at 12/6, 15/ and 20/, with one of cedar at 60/ and one of beech at 90/ (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.84, 1756‑1758, p. 66, 2 February 1757). The c.1761 inventory of Mrs. Theodoara Edings contained “…1 Cyprus cross Legg’d [sic] Table [£]0‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 697, not dated [will proven 3 October 1760]). In 1769 Henry Laurens purchased “…2 Cypress Tables [£]2‑…” along with six “straw bottomed” chairs for £5 (Henry Laurens Journals, September 1766‑December 1767, February 1768‑May 1773, August 1773‑September 1773, entry for November 1769, p. 277, account #275, Special Collections, College of Charleston). A unique citation, for tables, was found in the 1769 inventory of John Hubbard with “…1 Cypress Table with Turned frame [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 154, 7 October 1769.) During the 1768‑1775 period of the Elfe Account Book, there were five cypress tables charged ranging from £3.5 to £7‑ each. In 1773, “…2 Cypress Tables with drawers in each [£]8.10 …” and “…2 Cypress Tables [£]7‑ …” were sold through the Elfe shop to Brian Cape (Account #64, 17 March and 6 May 1773). The following year the Elfe shop sold Lewis Ogier “…a Cypress table with a flap & fly foot [£]7‑ …” (Account #180, 10 May 1774).

 

Deal (1736-1795)— This term was originally used for a plank of softwood such as a pine or fir. The term was often applied to furniture in Britain and occasionally used in the Lowcountry. The St. Andrew Ashley River Plantation of George Smith, where he lived, included in its 1736 inventory, at the time of his death, in the “Hall,” “…An old Deal Table 7 an old mapp broken [£]1‑ …” and in the “Little Parlor” “…an old Deal table [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 235, 21 February 1734/5). The 1737 inventory of Samuell Clagg included “…2 old Deal Do. [tables][£]1‑5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 67A‑B, 1737‑1746, p.184, 15 June 1737). At “Quarter House” plantation of Joseph Wragg there were “…3 Deal Tables [£]5‑…” at the time of his death in 1753 (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 62, 31 May 1753). At the death of Martha Savage, her 1761 inventory included “…2 old Deal Tables…” which were not valued (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 928, 30 April 1761). The 1788 inventory of John Watson’s plantation of “Hampstead” contained several forms of furniture which the appraisers (George Watson an upholsterer and John Watson, probably the cabinetmaker) interperted as of deal including “…1 Do. [deal] Table [£]‑2‑ …” in the “Front and Back Piazza” and in the “Kitchen” “…2 deal Tables [£]‑2‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 208, ___May 1788). Another inventory which included several deal forms was in 1795 with James Down’s of which there were “…5 deal Tables @3/6 [£]‑17‑6…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 107, 25 February 1795). Deal was a term in use by some to generically call a softwood, ie. Pine, spruce, fir, etc.

 

Gum (1752-1756)— The 1752 inventory of William Miles contained “…one large oval table Gum [£]8‑ …” as well as one of black walnut at the same value (Charleston County Wills, Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 486, 25 August 1752). A Barnaby Branford’s inventory of c. 1756 included “…1 Gum Do[table] [£]1‑…” as well as other tables of five different woods (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 51, c.1756).

 

Horseflesh (1766-1766)— In 1766, the notice concerning the dissolution of the Weyman and Carne cabineting partnership was followed by the enumeration of stock which was being sold. The listing of the woods on hand were: “Mahogany, Cypress, Horseflesh…” (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 21 October 1766, 3‑2). The only other evidence of the wood known as horseflesh was in the 1776 inventory of Thomas Elfe which contained in the portion which apparently was of the household contents was “…1 Horse flesh Table & 1 Mahogany Table [£]18‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.99A, 1776‑1778, [transcript], p. 116, 11 September 1776). The wood called horseflesh comes from the genera Lysiloma of which one, the Wild Tamarind (Lysiloma bahamensis Benth.) is found in a tropical growth from the Bahama Islands, through south Florida, the West Indies and Mexico, to Central America and upper South America. The timber is of a “…heavy, hard, not strong, tough, close grained, rich dark brown tinged with red, with nearly white sapwood…” (Charles Sprague Sargent, Manual of the Trees of North America [New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1961], pp. 589‑591). The Oxford English Dictionary referrs to this wood as “Bahama Mahogany” of the sabicu tree (Lysiloma sabicu). Hinckley says that the wood is “…decidedly heaver than that of mahogany…” and that the name “horseflesh” refers to the tree as well as the wood which was exported from the Bahamas into Colonial America as well as Britain (F. Lewis Hinckley, Directory of the Historic Cabinet Woods [New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1960], pp. 145‑148).

 

Juniper (1770-1770)— The sole evidence for this wood was found in the 1770 inventory of Alexander Davidson who had “…1 Juniper Do. [table] [£]2‑…”(Chalreston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 293, 4 June 1770). The softwood Juniperus virginiana is the common Red Cedar (q.v.).

 

Manchineel (1741-1741)— The 1741 inventory of Alexander Skeene included “…1 Machineal Do[table] [£]7‑ …” which was listed as one pound cheaper than one of mahogany and one of cedar (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 110, 25 November 1741). This unusual wood, for timber use, is found in the West Indies and northern South America as Hippomane  mancinella, where it is cut with caution as the sap is poisonious (Oxford English Dictionary). Hinckley says that in 1762 the wood was “…recommended to American joiners and cabinetmakers as ‘a very fine ornamental wood’, brought to this country from Jamaica,” unfortunately no source for this was given (F. Lewis Hinckley, Directory of the Historic Cabinet Woods [New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1960], p. 60).

 

Madeira (1727-1754)— The first evidence of this wood was found in the first evidence found of this wood in tables was in the 1726/7 inventory of Albert Muller who had “…one Scrutore & one small table of Made.[madeira] wood [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 423, 26 and ___Jan 1726/7 and 6, 7 April 1727). The John Lewis inventory of 1733 contained “…1 Maderia Ditto[table] with Bagga[telle?] tables  [£]15‑…” which was located in the “Hall” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 112, 17 January 1733/4 [recorded date]). Baggatelle was a type of billiards. The 1734 inventory of Tweedie Somerville contained “…one small Madera round Table [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 122, 7 May 1734). Also in 1734 the inventory of John Lloyd had “…A Madera Table (Broke) [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 196, 6 December 1734). In 1736 the inventory of another John Lloyd revealed “…One Madera Broken Do[table] [£]2‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737,p. 424, 28 May 1736). The Merchant Samluel Eveleigh had “…1 Madeira Oval Table [£]10‑…” in his 1738 inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 231, 21 July 1738). The last evidence for a table of this wood was found in the 1754 inventory of Hugh Bryan who had “…1 Oval Table Madeira [£]7‑…”(Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 246, 21 March 1754). Madeira is Persea indica or P. canariensis which is native to Madeira and the nearby Canary Islands off the west coast of northern Africa. This wood is also known as canarywood.

 

Mahogany (1732-1812)— In this wood section the sources cited will be the undefined mahogany tables, all other references to mahogany tables will be located within each form. This was necessary as the voluminous evidence for usage of this wood, if here cited, would have involved unnecessary repetition. The first evidence of mahogany tables made in Charleston was found toward the end of the first year in the publication of the first (8 January) Charleston newspaper, in the August 1732 advertisement with the partnership Robert Broomhead and Thomas Blythe who, at “New Market Plantation…sold all sorts of Cabinet Work…Mahogany Tables…Where all sorts of bespoke [ordered] Work is made and mended…” (The South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 August‑7 October 1732). It is also with this advertisement that the first Charleston reference to mahogany was found. Soon afterwards mahogany tables, on a limited description basis, were found in inventories. The first of this form revealed was in the February 1732/33 appraisal of Charlesworth Glover’s estate with “…A Mahogini[sic] Table [£]14‑…” and a mahogany dressing table (q.v.) (Charleston County Wills, Etc, Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 23, 5 February 1732/33). From this record forward, the citations for undefined mahogany tables could be assumed, for the most part, to signify plain tables of a nonspecific or multipurpose function, i.e. oval, round, square, small, or large. The main reason for this, aside from ignorance, was that prior to the issuance of furniture design books, the laymans awareness of furniture terminology for forms was somewhat limited and restricted, in appraisals, to generally: wood, color, or type, i.e. table, chair, cupboard. During this period, the terminology learned was primarily through advertisements of merchants and furniture related trades. In February 1734, the “Ashley River Plantation” inventory of George Smith contained several unspecificed forms of tables, three of mahogany, and one “tea table” with the wood unspecificed (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 235, 21 February 1734). In December 1734 “…3 Mahogany Tables…” along with seal skins, and miscellaneous commodities arrived from Boston (South Carolina Shipping Returns, December 1721‑December 1735, arrived 9 December 1734). It was unfortunate that these table forms were not defined as what form these were from Boston would have been important to have known. The September 1735 inventory of Joseph Fox revealed “…1 Oval Mahogany Table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 305, 11 September 1735). The next month found the inventory of Andrew Allen with “…A large Mahogany Oval table [£]35‑…A Square Mahogany table, with Drawers [£]12‑…A Large Mahogany Oval Table [£]15‑…A Midling Mahogany Oval table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). It is seen with these tables that there are several possibilities for interpertation as to form. It is felt that most of the “oval” tables in the early inventories were of the swing‑leg variety with multiple turned legs or pad turned legs. The other was possibly a dressing table form. In February 1735/6 the merchant Richard Baker advertised the sale of imported furniture from London which included a “…Variety of Mahaganny [sic] tables…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 7 February 1735/6).

The January 1736 inventory of Sarah Weaver, a taylor, included “…A Mahoganny [sic] Round Table [£]7‑…”, also probably of the swing‑leg form (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, p. 122, 20 January 1736). This form was further found, though possibly with a different foot form, in the April 1740 inventory of Elizabeth Green as “…1 Round Mahogany Table Claw Foot [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 63, 7 April 1740). The June 1742 inventory of Anne Le Brasseur included “…a Small Oval Mahogony table, old [£]2‑10‑…” also there was listed a breakfast table demonstrating the consciousness of form terminology by this date even though it was prior to the Director (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 205, 20 September 1742[recorded]). In January 1742/3 the inventory of John Hext included “…1 Mahogany Oval Table [£]10‑…1 Mahogany Claw foot Table [£]5‑…” which implied that the clawfoot table might have been of a smaller form as it was of a lesser value (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 313, 4 January 1742/3). The October 1743 inventory of Edward Keating again revealed relatively high value tables without terminology “…a Large Mahogany Oval Table [£]16‑…1 Mahogany Round Table [£]10‑…A Mahogany Round Table [£]14‑…” and the other tables listed were tea and dressing, with the latter of mahogany at six pounds value (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 319, 19 October 1743). The January 1743/4 inventory of Stephen Dowse disclosed “…A New Mahogany Table [£]13‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 340, 21 January 1743/4). It was in the September 1751 inventory of Joseph Wragg that “…1 Pair Square large Mahogany Tables [£]20‑…” were found which implies that these were dining tables, a term in use at this time, but was not used and therefore unknown by the appraisers (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 81, 18 September 1751). This form was again seen in January 1752 with the inventory of John Morton as “…A pair of Square Mahogany Tables…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc, Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 215, 9 January 1752). June of the next year found the advertisement of the merchant William Stone, merchant, who was selling London “…mahogany square tables…”, which might have been of the same purpose (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 4 June 1753). The continuing need for furniture form terminology, among laymen, was found in the April 1754 inventory of George Hamilton as “…A large Mahogany Flap Table [£]14‑…” was appraised and a similarily described walnut table,both of which were undoubtly swing‑leg tables (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 356, ___April 1754).

Another document demonstrating such a need for understanding was found in the 1757 inventory of Barnaby Bradford as “…1 Mahogany table [£]12‑…” and six other tables only listed by wood (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 51, undated [estate sale 10 March 1757, South Carolina Gazette, Charleston]). A more complete description was attempted with the April 1761 inventory of Martha Savage as “…A Large Oval Mahogany Table with fluted feet [£]18‑…An Oval Mahogany Table with plain feet [£]10‑…A Square Mahogany Table Carved feet [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 928, 30 April 1761). This unrecorded definition was also found within the Elfe Account Book with many entries being listed simply as “…2 Large Mahogany Tables [£]34‑…” (#48, ___April 1768), “…a Mahogany Table 3 1/2 feet [£]16‑…” (#29, 14 August 1772), “…a large mahogany Square table [£]17‑…” (#136, 19 December 1772), “…2 Mahogany tables 3 ft by 9[ft] [£]38‑…” (#71, 7 January 1774). It Will be obvious by the last of the previous citations, of which there were severel others, that the probability of the table being a dining form is high.  The likelihood for the unspecificed square form of tables, especially when found in pairs, being dining tables (q.v.) was high and it is also assumed a similar function for the round and oval unspecificed forms. In the August 1771 Goose Creek plantation inventory of John McKenzie the evidence for the latter was found “…a Round mahogany Dining table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑94B, 1771‑1774, p. 102, ___August 1771). A further reference to a table with a swing leg was found in the December 1780 inventory of William Wragg as “…A fly Mahogany Table [£]1‑…”, valued low as South Carolina Currency had become into effect (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 160, ___December 1780). This ambuiguity was still seen at a later period as in the September 1812 inventory of Marie Francoise Merceron with “…1 Mahogany folding Table $4 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 106, 28 September 1812).

 

Maple (1748-1777)— Abraham Satur had in his 1747/8 inventory “…1 Maple Dining Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 74, 1741‑1748, p. 361, 24 February 1747/8). In 1757 Ribton Hutchinson had “…1 Maple Do[table] [£]1‑…” in his inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1757, p. 225, 17 October 1757). George Walker had “…1 Round Maple Table [£]5‑…1 Square Maple Table & 2 Round ditto [£]7‑…” in his 1764 inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p.157, ___April 1764). In 1764 James Marshall had “…1 Oval Maple Table…” in his inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 886, 20 October 1764). The 1764 inventory of Ann Nelson included “…Three Maple Dining Tables & one old Writing desk [£]13‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 113, ___April 1764). In 1777 the death of Charles Crouch revealed “…3 Maple Tables [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 364, ___June[?]1777; His estate notice was published on 16 January 1777 in the South Carolina and American Gazette, Charleston).

 

Mulberry (1745-1758)— In 1745 the inventory of William Clifford included “…One Small Mulberry Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 74, 1741‑1748, p. 221, 4 March 1745). When the 1749 inventory of Margaret Williamson was taken it included “…1 Mulberry Dressing Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 288, ____1749). The 1758 inventory of John Witter revealed “…1 large Mulberry Table [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 48, 8 June 1758).

 

Oak (1734-1769)— The first oak table found was in the 1734 inventory of John Ramsay, merchant, as “…an Oak Do[table]…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 168, 27 July 1734). In March 1736 Duncan McQueen’s inventory revealed the use of the term “Wainscot” as “…A Wainscot Table [£]2‑…” a term for Oak in the eighteenth century (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 194, 12 March 1736.) The 1736 inventory of Thomas Fisher contained “…1 Black Oak table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 409, 3 May 1736). When the 1736 inventory of John Lloyd was taken “…2 Small Oak Do. [tables] [£]2‑…” were found (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, n.p., 28 May 1736). The 1740 inventory of Mrs. Elizabeth Greene contained “…1 Round Oak Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741-1748 p. 63, 7 April 1740). In 1741 the estate of Thomas Gasdsden included “…1 Small Oak Table [£]‑15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). The 1742 inventory of Edward Hext contained “…1 Oak Oval Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 222, 1 April 1741). The 1742 inventory of Col. Alexander Hext revealed “…1 Small Oak Breakfast Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 187, 26 June 1742 [recorded]). The 1743 inventory of James St.John revealed a wonderful room‑by‑room appraisal of his Charleston house which included in the “Lobby” “…An Oaken Table [£]4‑…” together with “…an Oaken Escrutore and Bookcase…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 263, 1 July 1743). Also in 1743 the inventory of Edward Keating included “…an Old Oak Table [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.71, 1739‑1743, p. 319, 19 October 1743). In 1759 another use of wainscot was found in the inventory of the merchant Charles Mayne (Main) as “…A Wainscott Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 642, no date; however the South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 6 October 1759, recorded the death of Charles Main as “Sunday last”). The last oak table found was in the 1769 inventory of George Seaman who had “…1 large round oak Table [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 74, 15 February 1769).

 

Pine (1725-1797)— The first evidence for a pine used for tables was in the 1725 inventory of John Rivers who had “…1 Pine Table and Stool [£]2 …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 208, 2 June 1725). The merchant Jacob Satur possessed in his 1732/3 inventory “…A Pine Table [£]1 …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 62, 20/21 December 1732/3 and 2/3 January 1732/3). Andrew Allen had in his 1735 inventory “…A small Pine Table [£]‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). Joseph Fox had in his 1735 inventory “…1 Square pine Table [£]2‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, p. 305, 11 September 1735). The plantation “Kellys” revealed “…a Small square Pine Table [£]1‑…” in 1743 as belonged to James St. John (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 257, 22‑24 June 1743). The 1743/44 inventory of Stephen Dowse included “…2 plain Oine Tables [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 340, 21 January 1743/44). In 1751 the inventory of Elisha Ball revealed “…1 Little Pine Do. [table] ‑15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 133, 8 November 1751).  The c. 1756 inventory of Barnaby Branford included “…1 Pine Do. [table] 10/…” which was the lowest value placed on a table in the inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 51, c.1756). The 1761 room‑by‑room inventory of John Rattray, attorney at law, included in the “Back Room & Passage…Two Pine Tables 20/…”; in the “Garrett…one pine Table 10/…”; and in the “back Offices” “…One pine Table with Drawers [£]4‑…” Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763,p. 137, c.1761 [Death notice] South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 3 October 1761, 3‑1]). In 1794 pine tables were still being made as was revealed in the court case of Thomas Bradford, cabinetmaker, who was able to collect his charges for furniture made which included “…a Pine table [£]2‑…” (Court of Common Pleas, South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Thomas Bradford vs. William Boone Mitchell, #463A, 8 February 1797).

 

Poplar (1737-1755)— In 1737 Samuel Clagg’s inventory included “…1 Popupal[sic] Table [£]1‑15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 184, 15 June 1737). The 1737 inventory of Thomas Lynch included “…1 Poplar Table [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 282, 20 December 1738). When William Smilie died his 1755 inventory included “…1 Square small Poplar Do[table] [£]1‑10‑…” Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 594, 8 May 1755).

 

Red Bay (1735-1777)— In 1735 the inventory of Andrew Allen revealed “…a Midling red bay Oval Do. [table] [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). The 1736 inventory of Thomas Fisher revealed “…One Red Bay Table…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 409, 13 May 1736). The merchant Samuel Everleigh died with “…1 Red Bay Oval Table [£]15‑…” in his 1738 house inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 231, 21 July 1738). The 1743 inventory of James St. John’s plantation “Kellys” included “…a red Bay Square Table [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 257, 22‑24 June 1743). In 1747 the inventory of William Warden revealed “…1 red Bay Table [£]4‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.74, 1741‑1748, p. 111, 26 March 1747). The estate of Col. Thomas Ashby included “…1 Small Square red Bay Table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 610, 7 September 1750). In 1751 Joseph Wragg died with “…1 Large Red Bay ditto [table] [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 81, 18 September 1751). A blacksmith Andrew Bell’s 1754 inventory revealed “…1 Smaller Red Bay Do[table] [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols.82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 202, 1 January 1754). When William Smilie died his 1755 inventory included “…1 large Oval Bay Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 594, 8 May 1755). John Bilney died with his 1759 inventory revealing “…1 Red Bay Table [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 266, ___March 1759). In 1758 the inventory of John Witter revealed “…1 Bay Oval Table [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, 8 June 1758). The 1763 inventory of John Freeman revealed “…1 large Bay Table [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 592, 28 June 1763). William Edings 1767 inventory included “…1 Small Red Bay Oval Table [£]‑40‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 820, 22 April 1767). The 1777 inventory of Richard Lamberton revealed that “…2 Red Bay tables [£]20‑…” were in his “Front Room” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 369, 2 May 1777).

 

Rosewood (1820-1820)— Furniture advertised as from New York was advertised, in 1820, for sale which included a set of rose wood tables of the pier and card form (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 11 April 1820, 3‑2).

 

Satinwood (1791-1819)— Thomas Hutchinson’s 1791 inventory included  several forms with satin wood among which were “…1 Sattin Wood Tea Table with a Sattin Wood Waiter plated handles [£]6‑…1 pair Sattin Wood card tables [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 403, 15 November 1791). In 1805 Thomas Walker advertised that he was selling furniture which included “…Card and Pembroke Tables (Sattin Wood)…” (Times, Charleston, 19 February 1805, 3‑3).  In March of 1811 an advertisement by William Payne, auctioneer, of “…A SET of London made DRAWING ROOM FURNITURE…a pair of Card Tables, and Tea Tables, of satin wood…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 6 March 1811, 3‑4). In November he was still apparently trying to sell the same furniture including the satinwood tables (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 November 1815, 2‑4). In 1819 Dr. Richard Boron’s Charleston inventory included “…1 pr. Sattin Wood Card Tables $20. …1 pr. Sattin Wood Tea Ditto[tables] $10…” which developes the grounds to speculate that he bought the tables from the 1815 sale of William Payne, who might have bought them from Robert Walker in 1805 (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. F, 1819‑1824, p. 53, 16 April 1819).

 

Walnut (1733-1763)— In 1732/3 the merchant Jacob Satur’s house inventory included “…1 large black Walnut Table [£]20‑…1 Walnut Card Table [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 62, 20/21 December 1732/3 and 2/3 January 1732/3).  When the 1735 estate of Andrew Allen was appraised “…A large Walnut Oval Table [£]25‑…” was included (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). The 1738 inventory of Thomas Lynch revealed “…1 Walnut Table [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, 20 December 1738). In 1741 the inventory of Thomas Gadsden included “…1 Walnut Table [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, 27 August 1741). The 1743 estate of Andrew Broughton included “…1 Square Black Walnut Table [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, 6 June 1743). The 1743 inventory of Ann Elliott included “…1 Warnut [sic] Table [£]3‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, 25 July 1743). In 1750 Alexander Browne’s estate included “…1 Black Walnut Oval Table [£]7‑10‑…1 Do [Table] Cedar Frame Wallnutt Leaves [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, p. 524, 22 May 1750). The 1751 inventory of Joseph Wragg included “…1 Small Round Virginia Walnut Table [£]1‑10‑…” and twelve chairs also of “Virginia Walnut”; additionally other forms were simply described as of Walnut (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 81, 18 September 1751). The 1754 estate of Andrew Deveaux included “…1 Square lid Walnut Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, p. 210, 20 February 1754). When Barnaby Branford died his c.1756 inventory included two walnut tables of a value of £6 and £3 (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 51, c. 1756). The July 1763 inventory of James Talbert contained “…1 Double Leaf Walnutt [sic] Table [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 572, 6 July 1763.)

 

 

CASE FURNITURE

CASE FURNITURE FORMS

Bedstep (1805-1820)— Though this form is not for sleeping, it is related to the function and apparently necessary with some bedsteads. This form can be classified as a case form. The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing‑Book, published from 1792‑1802 by Thomas Sheraton illustrates “ New Bed Steps” in plate LXXV that depicts two forms concealing bidets and as pot cupboards (Thomas Sheraton, The Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing‑Book [New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1972], pp. 202‑203). When Sheraton published his Cabinet Dictionary in 1803‑1806, he defined bed steps as “…placed by a bed side for the convenience of getting more easily into full and high made beds. They generally consist of three steps, rising about 22 inches or 2 feet high, and 18 inches wide, or less when without a night convenience. The top is commonly hinged, and it being inclosed, serves for a pot cupboard” (Thomas Sheraton, Cabinet Dictionary, Vol.II [New York:Praeger Publishers, 1970], pp.335‑336). It was during the 1803‑1806 publishing of Cabinet Dictionary that Robert Walker in 1805 was the first Charleston cabinetmaker to advertise “…Bedsteads…do.[bedstead] Steps and Night Chests…” (Times, Charleston, 19 February 1805). In 1814 a household auction contained “…Handsome mahogany Bedsteads, with Cornices and mahogany Steps” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 7 November 1814). When John Ball Esq.’s estate was appraised in 1817, it contained in room seven, “…1 Mahogany Bedstead & Cornice…1 Trundle Bedstead…Bedsteps…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 460, 14 November 1817). A receipt survives of payment to Richard Goldsmith, cabinetmaker, by Daniel Huger in 1825 for “…a Ladies Dressing Bureau & Bed Steps” (Bacot‑Huger Collection, #11/49/17, 8 March 1825, South Carolina Historical Society).

 

Bidet (1802-1802)— The January 1802 inventory of Mary Clodner Vesy revealed “1 Mahogany Bidet 12/…” located in a bed chamber (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 80, 24 January 1802).

 

Bookcase (1734-1820)— The evidence for this form, as the form by itself, was often nonspecific; therefore, the design was often unknown with reliance on value as the only means of judging the bookcase which came in different forms. In November 1734 the cabinetmaker Charles Warham advertised that he was “…late from Boston, New England…” and could make furniture which included “…Book‑cases…”; later, in August 1736 he again advertised offering this form (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 November 1734, 14 August 1736). The first inventory evidence for this form was found in November 1736 with Rouland Vaughan who had “1 Mehogany[sic] Bookcase with 16 Square Glasses [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 161, 22 November 1736). In January 1738 Col. Alexander Paris’s inventory included “1 Book Case [£]1‑…”, which either was very old or damaged as the value was equivalent to that given “4 old Chairs an old Dutch Table” in the same inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 10, 13 January 1738). The November 1739 inventory of Maurice Lewis contained “A Cypress Book Case [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 60, 14 November 1739). When the Rev. James Parker’s September 1742 inventory was taken there were recorded “2 Book Cases [£]16‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 235, 22 September 1742). The December 1748 shop inventory of the merchant Henry Petty contained “1 Walnut Tree Book Case with Glass Doors [£]40‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 83, 16 December 1748). The plantation inventory of Robert Thorpe, taken in March 1750, recorded “1 Large Mahogany Book Case with Many Drawers [£]50‑…1 Do smaller [£]30‑…” and, to demonstrate a use for the top and that the top was probably flat, there were “24 pieces China on the top of the Book Case” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 433, 31 March 1750). In the September 1751 inventory of Joseph Wragg there was “1 Mahogany Book Case [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 81, 18 September 1751). When John Morton died his January 1752 inventory included “A Mahogany Book Case [£]100‑…” a high value in comparison with the rest of his estate (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 215, 9 January 1752). February the same year found the estate of Isaac Holmes with “A Oak Book Case with Glass Door and a parcell Books [£]70‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 313, 18 February 1752). In May 1753 the plantation of “Quarter House”, belonging to Joseph Wragg, contained “1 Mahogany Book Case [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 62, 31 May 1753). The January 1759 inventory of Capt. John Lloyd revealed “1 Finner’d Book Case with Glass Doors [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 302, 10 January 1759). Within the Journal of the Commons House of Assembly in South Carolina for 19 January 1759 (p.75) there was the purchase recorded “An Account of [Thomas] Elfe and [Thomas] Hutchinson for making a Book Case for the Use of the Secretary’s Office & c. 22 November 1758 One Hundred Pounds 17/6  £100‑17‑6…”

The 1767 inventory of the Charleston office of John Rattray revealed “In The Back Office” “One Large Book Case [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑87B, 1761‑1763, p. 137, c. December 1761 [Vol. 9, p. 192, will proven 24 November 1761]). An unusual record was found for 20 July 1763 in the Hogg and Clayton Letters and Accounts 1762‑1771, which was the Charleston partnership for the Hogg firm in Wilmington, N.C., in which the firm ordered from Grubb and Watson, English factors, “4 pair Bookcase Looking glasses without anything but the plate & Quicksilver on the Back of it 31 In. by 14 In. well packed‑‑“. Also,”One painted Book Case and Books [£]50‑…” was in the house inventory of Charles Lowndes when his inventory was taken in July 1763 (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 584, 28 July 1763). On 14 September 1764 the cabinetmaker Abraham Roulain charged James Grindlay for “Altering the Cornice of a Book Case [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Court of Common Pleas, Records, February 1767‑August 1767, record of 4 March 1767). The importation of this form was found in the November 1766 advertisement of the merchants Reeves, Cochran and Poole who announced the arrival from London of furniture which included bookcases (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 7 November 1766). In March, two years later, James Drummond, merchant, also advertised bookcases from London for sale at his store (South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 8 March 1768). Within the Elfe Account Book (1768‑1775) the first evidence for book cases were the “Stock” account’s(#41) entries for looking glass (q.v.) precut for book cases: “P’d for a Book Case Glass [£]16‑…” in February 1768, “Received for a pare [sic] of Book Case Glass [£]25‑…” in April 1768, and “Received for Two Book Case Glasses [£]31‑…” in May 1769. On 12 February 1772 the “Shop” account (#63) “Rec’d for a Library Book Case [£]110‑…” a form which was sold again on 14 November 1772 as “Library Book Case with Chineas doors & Drawers under them [£]100‑…” (#120) and on 23 January 1773 “a Library Book Case [£]110‑…” (#145). Further sales were on 14 September 1772 “For 6 Cypress cases for Books [£]20‑15‑…” (#111), a form which could be for shipment, but were most likely book cases for a room as “case” was used later (4 October 1774) for this form. Possibly the upgrading of a bookcase was seen on 3 May 1773 with “a mahogany book case pediment head With a frett [£]75‑…” (#85). On 4 October 1773 there was “a case for Books with Draws[sic] and pidgeon holes [£]12‑…” (#150) sold. And on 31 March 1774 there were “3 Cypress Book Cases each in two parts [£]120‑…” (#117) sold. Aside from this evidence during this period, there was an advertisement of August 1768 in which Nicholas Langford offered London imported “…elegant mahogany…BOOK CASES, with glass doors and brass locks…” (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 22 August 1768). The June 1771 sale of the household furnishings of Thomas Shirley revealed a most detailed description of this form “A Mahogany Library [book] case with eight Doors, four above and four below, is nine Feet two‑Inches high, and seven Feet wide, has a scroll Pediment Head with dentiled Cornice and Frize; is in nine Pieces for the Convenience of moving, and fixed together with Screws…” (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 10 June 1771). The August 1771 inventory of John McKinzie disclosed “a Cypress painted Book Case [£]50‑…” at his Charleston house and “2 Cyprus[sic] painted Book Cases [£]24‑…a Mahogany Book Case Sash’d [£]150‑…” which were at his Goose Creek plantation which also inventoried “The Library of Books [£]21000‑…”. Correct value, checked. (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 102, ___August 1771). In September the same year found the inventory of the Rev. Thomas Panting, of St. Andrews Parish, containing “a Mahogany Book Case & Drawers [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 200, 28 September 1771).

The 1 January 1773 advertisement by William Wayne, painter and glazer, offered “Glass cut to all Dimensions–Chinese Book Cases glazed in the neatest Manner” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, S.C., 7 January 1773). The August 1775 inventory of Mrs. Elizabeth Lessene found a “very neat mahogany book case with glass doors £250‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 66, 14 & 16 August 1775). In February 1777 Dr. Alexander Fotheringham’s inventory disclosed “a painted book case with a great Number of Books [£]450‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 231, 11 February 1777). In the “Library” in the April 1777 inventory of Lord William Campbell there was “1 Large Mahogany Library [bookcase] Glazed & Cetra [etc.]‑‑ 17 feet Long [£]100‑…” along with a great number of books (Public Record Office, Inventory of William Campbell, T. 1/541, c. April 1777). In the South Carolina and American General Gazette of 10 December 1779, Thomas Lining, as an agent, advertised the future auction of a house on Orange Street which contained books and “two elegant Library Book Cases”. The December 1780 inventory of William Wragg contained “2 Mahogany Book Cases [£]12‑…” and “Books contained in the above Cases, they being filled [£]60‑…” (Charleston County Inventories & Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 160, c. December 1780). On 25 June 1785 the household goods of Mrs. Rebecca Motte were advertised for a future auction. Among the goods was “a bookcase with glass doors” (South Carolina State Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, S.C., 25 June 1785). On 10 July 1785 the ship Castle Douglas sailed from London to Charleston whith a cargo among which which a shipment from the London upholsterers, appraisers and auctioneers firm of Pitt and Chessy which included “1 Bookcase [£]5” (James Douglas Account Book, 10 July 1785, p. 237; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son Ltd., 1986], p. 700). The June 1786 inventory of the Charleston house of John Middleton contained “A Mahogany Book Case [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787,p. 440, 24 June 1786). The next month found an advertisement of Gibbes and Graham, auctioneers, offering “A VERY COMPLETE BOOK‑CASE, Eight feet wide, and Nine feet high; the upper part in Three pieces, kept together by a beautiful cornice. For taste, elegance, and workmanship, this piece is not exceeded by any in the State.” Also described were two lots, each containing buildings, on the “South-side of Tradd-street, near the Lower Market”, were described as having belonged to Gabriel Manigault. By listing some furnishings with the lots and buildings, the implication is that all could have belonged to Manigault(The Charleston Evening Gazette, Charleston, 26 July 1786). Two years later, on 22 October 1788, the publishers of The City Gazette or The Daily Advertiser advertised what was also a large bookcase:”FOR PRIVATE SALE ONE of the genteelest pieces of furniture in the state suitable for a large room; it consists of a very elegant book case in three divisions, with glass doors formed in the first style, a secretary, having within three pigeon holes and drawers for papers, &c. and a wardrobe in the center below, with a row of drawers to contain linen, &c. on each wing; the whole finished in a masterly manner. Also may be had with the above, a choice and valuable collection of books… The present owner wishes to part with the above very valuable piece of furniture &c.on account of its occupying too much room in a small house.” In the “Back Parlor” of the house of William Gibbes’s estate, appraised in March 1789, there was “1 Mahogany Book Case [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 238, 24 March 1789).

The merchant Adam Gilchrist advertised in July and August 1789 that he still had mahogany furniture to dispose of including bookcases, which were probably from New York as he was also selling “Albany Pine Boards” and offering space on ships bound to New York (City Gazette or The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 21 July, 7 August 1789). He again advertised in December “book cases” which were just in from New York (City Gazette, and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 December 1789). The September 1789 Goose Creek inventory of Benjamin Guerard included “1 Counting House Mahogany Book Case [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 209, 10 September 1789). The January 1790 inventory of Dr. Richard Savage contained “One small Mahogany Book Case 30/. One Large Do. Do. with Books 15/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 266, 21 January 1790).  Within the Alexander Crawford daybook (1786‑1795), the business record of a Charleston painter, glazer, and paper hanger, reveals his involvement with this form. On 6 October 1787 the daybook recorded “…glazing two Book Case doors [£]1‑8‑…” for William Jones, cabinetmaker (p. 10, account #12). On 22 January 1789 Adam and William Tunno, merchants, were charged for “…glazing a Book Case for St. Augustine (Fla.) [£]2‑3‑6…”(p. 27, account #3). The cabinetmaking partnership of Wallace and Watts was charged for “…[glazing] 2 Book Case doors [£]1‑3‑4…” on 20 May 1790 (p. 52, account #59). Two years later on 10 June Mrs. Pattoril was charged for “…painting a small Book Case Mahogany Color [£]1‑6‑…” (p. 122, account #115). And, on 3 July 1792, the cabinetmaker Charles Watts was charged for “a Glass for Book Case [£]‑5‑ …” (Watts Account Book p. 124, account #139). The August 1790 inventory of William Drayton disclosed “A Book Case with Canvas Doors No.1‑ A Do. Do. No.2‑ A Do. Do. No.3‑ 45/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 416, 6 August 1790). Moving into the newly constructed wooden State House, the governmental shift from Charleston to Columbia was revealed in the South Carolina Treasury Records. In November the Contingent Funds paid, on the 21st, “…to Conrad Zuber, John Zuber, & U. Zuber for hanging a Mahogany Book Case from Charleston for the use of the Senate [£]11‑13‑4…” (South Carolina Treasury Records, Journals, 1791‑1813, Colunbia, 21 November 1791). The February 1793 inventory of the cabinetmaker William Jones found in his “Stock in Trade” “1 Unfinished Bookcase  40/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p.495, c. 16 February 1793 [Letters Testamentary, 1792‑1799, p. 33, 16 November 1792 order for an appraisal “…by February next” of the estate]). In May 1795 the cabinetmaker Charles Stewart advertised that he was capable of producing anything in the “CABINET MAKING…branches, from a tea caddy to a library book‑case” (City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 May 1795). An auction of January 1798 revealed another description of this form “A large Mahogany BOOK CASE, with Glazed Chinese Doors, and upright Partitions for Account Books, with small Partitions for the Alphabet, adapted for a Merchant or Gentleman of the Law” (City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 29 January 1798). June 1801 saw another auction which was of an unusual bookcase form “…a Book Case, with Bedstead[sic] underneath…” which was apparently a bedstead hiden in the base of the bookcase by folding and appearing as a or several drawers (Times, Charleston, 9 June 1801). Another cabinetmaker, Hance Fairley, advertised in April 1802 his having on hand “Book Cases” and other furniture forms (City Gazette and The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 2 April 1802).

Daniel Cannon’s estate of October 1802 included a “…Do [mahogany] Portable Book Case $3…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 197, 4 October 1802). In June 1803 there was a sale of furniture of the cabinetmakers Oliphant and Wilson which included “mahogany…Book‑Cases…” (City‑Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 June 1803). Also, the same month, there was the inventory of the merchant Casper Schutt which disclosed “1 Double Mahogany Counting House Desk $20…” and listed next, thus apparently separate from the desk, was a “1 Do. Do. Book Case $30…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 216, 29 June 1803). Within the records of the German Friendly Society there was the 25 September 1805 entry for “The Committee of Inspection Report, that after due consideration they fine[sic] a Bookcase Mahogany or of pine two expensive [.] Therefore recommend that a Set of Shelves enclosed by neat pannel[sic] doors [and] an cornice be fixed against the center of the north side of the room” (Finished Minutes of the German Friendly Society, Vol. 3, January 19th 1803‑January 19th 1814, p.129, 25 September 1805; Collection of the College of Charleston, Special Collections). The 26 January 1808 codical to the will of judge Lewis Trezevant revealed leaving to his nephew John Farquah Trezevant “the Large Book Case in which they [my Library of Law] have been usually kept…[in] My Office” (Charleston, S.C.,Wills, Volume 31, 1807-1818, [transcript], p.74, 29 February 1804). In November 1810 the cabinetmaker Richard Smith sold Daniel Huger “…a Bookcase $50…” (Bacot‑Huger Collection, Daniel Huger Business Records, 11/49/8, 22 November 1810, South Carolina Historical Society).

A sale in March of the stock of the cabinetmaker John Watson advertised by the auctioneers Cambpell and Milliken in February 1813, listed bookcases (Times, Charleston, 27 February 1813). The most unusual of all the bookcases found described was in the November 1813 advertisement of a raffle which the winner would receive “An Elegant Mahogany BOOK CASE, SECRETARY, WARDROBE and CELLERETT, under one frame, complete, in perfect order‑‑original cost $350 [.] To be seen at No. 88 East‑Bay”, which was the address, as found in the 1813 A Directory of The City and District of Charleston, of James George, shipright (p. 30) and William Porter, Justice of the Peace and vendue master (as vendue master in 1810 as per advertisement of Charleston Courier, Charleston, 27 March 1810) (p. 63) (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 25 November 1813).  Two years later, almost to the day, apparently the same piece was being sold for an advertisement of W. Payne and Sons in November 1815 offered, for private sale “A large Book Case, Secretary, Wardrobe, and Drawers in one, with glass doors and patent locks, remarkably roomy”, along with other furniture. It should be noted that this description did not list the included celleret as did the earlier advertisement (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 November 1815). In October 1817 the merchant L. Freeman advertised the arrival of furniture from Hartford, Connecticut which included bookcases (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20, 22 October 1817). A S. J.( or I.)  Cohen sold Daniel Huger a bookcase for twenty nine dollars on 7 May 1818 (Bacot‑Huger Collection, Daniel Huger, 11/49/14, South Carolina Historical Society). In November 1822 the cabinetmaker Richard Goldsmith was selling bookcases, which he specified were of Charleston make (Courier, Charleston, 2 November 1822).

 

Box (General) (1734-1775)— This form was constructed to accomodate many functions and might just have been termed a case (q.v.). Of the box forms there were several aside from the generic “box” : balloting, carriage, close stool, comb, dressing, japan, paper and ink, shaving, sugar, tea, working, and writing.

The nonspecific “box” could indicate an all purpose form or the appraisers lack knowledge of the function or a lack of particulars. The first indication of this was in the July 1734 inventory of James Wilkie who had a “…small cedar Chest and Box [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 134, 22 July 1734). In March 1743 the inventory of William Wilkinson contained “1 Table 1 Box & Broken Looking Glass a painted turnup table [£]2‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 458, 15 March 1743). The April 1757 inventory of Cato Ash contained “1 Cypress Box 20/…1 Case 20/…” which demonstrates the differentation between these two forms, at least in this inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p. 102, 9 April 1757). The Elfe Account Book contained several charges concerning this form. On 19 October 1771 “A Mahohgany Box with a Drawer at the Bottom, Locks & Handles [£]12‑…” (#83). The 22 March 1773 found the charge for “a Cypress Box [£]‑15‑…” (#32). On 18 November 1773 a charge was made for “mending a Mahogany box & new hinges [£]1‑5‑…” (#55). This was found again on 18 February 1774 with “a Cypress Box [£]1‑10‑…” (#72). On 14 April 1775 “a Mahogany Box  [£]4‑15‑…” (#193) was charged. Then on 24 July 1775 there was the charge for “a new top to a Mahogany box & new hinges [£]1‑5‑…” (#55).

 

Balloting Box (1771-1772)— On 24 February 1771, the German Friendly Society, meeting at Michael Kalteisan’s, “agreed that a ballotting Box should be made in to the Chest of Drawers belonging to the Society” (Finished Minutes of the German Friendly Society, Vol. I, 15 Jan. 1766‑17 Jan. 1787, pp. 123‑4.) The Elfe Account Book contains a charge for “a Balloting Box 2 Brass Locks & Hinges [£]1‑15‑…” (#22) on 10 July 1772.

 

Carriage Box (1774-1774)— For 21 February 1774 the Elfe Account Book recorded “a Mahogany top to his [John Drayton] carriage box [£]1‑5‑ …” (#102).

 

Close Stool Box (1770-1770)— The November 1770 inventory of the blacksmith John Edwards revealed “1 Close Stool Box & pewter pan [£]2‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 337, 7 November 1770).

 

Comb Box (1697-1697)— The August 1697 inventory of Robert Allen listed “…One Combe [sic] box with one Drawer [£]0‑4‑0…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 434, 23 August 1697).

 

Dressing Box (1695-1777)— The first of this form (See Benno M. Forman “Furniture for Dressing in Early America, 1650-1730” Winterthur Portfolio, Vol.22, No.2/3, 1987, pp.155-157) was found in the February 1694/5 inventory of Richard Phillips as “One Dressing Box [£]‑16‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 287, 20 February 1694/5). In July 1695 the inventory of John Parker disclosed “one Dressing Box [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 295, 29 July 1695). The inventory of John Thorpe, taken in March 1725, revealed “a Dressing box and small chest [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1722‑1726, p. 315, 13 March 1725). In October 1732 Samuel Screven’s inventory included “a dresong [sic] Box & Glass & another…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 4, 24 October 1732). An advertisement of April 1739 offered “a Lady’s dressing box…” among other items to be sold (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 April 1739). The September 1759 inventory of the Honorable Peter Leigh revealed “1 Dressing Box with Looking Glass fixt [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 436, 15 September 1759). In April 1777 the inventory of Lord William Campbell found “A Sett of Maple Dressing Boxes Unfinished [£]8‑8‑…”. The “sett” could indicate several en suite boxes. It could not be determined if these were being constructed on the property or being “Japanned” by a household member and therefore “unfinished”. If one considers the last supposition it is possible that several of the same size were being prepared therefore the appraiser would see a “sett” (Public Record Office, T. 1/541, Inventory of Lord William Campbell, c. April 1777).

 

Japan Box (1777-1777)— The Elfe Account Book recorded the repair of “a pair of hinges of [a] Japan[ned] box [£]‑5‑…” on 4 July 1774 (#87).

 

Paper/Ink Box (1773-1775)— This form was found once in the Elfe Account Book as “To a Mahogany Box & for paper and ink [£]5‑…” on 15 November 1773 (#168).  On 29 September 1775, Elfe charged John Huger for a “pr. Ink & Sand bottles.” (#282) These were probably put in a box such as the one described above.

 

Shaving Box (1774-1816)— The Elfe Account Book charged on 28 September 1774 “mending a Shaving Box [£]‑15‑…” (#181). An advertisement of John Whiting, the turner, of August 1807, announced his move into new quarters and that he would be able to supply the public with turnery and “…the Ironmonger with Shaving Boxes and Brushes…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 21 August 1807). In October 1816 Charles D. Torre, merchant, advertised the sale of his stock which included “…Shaving Boxes…” (Times, Charleston, 17 October 1816).

 

Sugar Box (1762-1762)— This form was found in the August 1762 advertisement of Thomas Stone, merchant, as from London and Bristol “…square and round painted sugar boxes…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 28 August 1762).

 

Tea Box (1733-1774)— The majority of these entries would be found under “Tea Chest” (q.v.). As termed a box, the first of this form was found in the January 1732/3 advertisement of the cabinetmaker James McClellan, who offered “…Tea Boxes…” along with other furniture forms which he “…makes and sells…” (the South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 January 1732/3). The June 1733 inventory of John Herbert revealed “3 Kenisters[sic] in a [tea] Box…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 58, 15 June 1733). The Elfe Account Book recorded the charges for the mending of this form on 1 April 1772 as “mending a Tea Box and pepper mill [£]1‑…” (#112) and on 1 September 1774 with “a new key & ring to a Tea Box [£]1‑5‑ …” (#175).

 

Work Box (1808-1820)— This form was advertised in January 1808 by E. G. Masorati and Co., carvers, gilders, instrument makers, merchants,as”…Do[Ladies]Working Boxes…” (Times, Charleston, 19 January 1808). In February 1817 the merchant E. Morford advertised “LADIES’ Cabinets and Work Boxes. Just received from London, Ladies’ WORK BOXES, of a new and elegant pattern, richly gilt and ornamented, of all sizes…” (Courier, Charleston, 14 February 1817). Other advertisements for this form were found in December 1817 by John Wooddrop, merchant, as “…London made furniture…Ladies Work Boxes…” (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 12 December 1817; Courier, Charleston, 15 December 1817; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 December 1817). In November 1820 John Bird Stiles, merchant, advertised that he was selling the stock of Charles D. Torre, which included “…Ladies Morocco Work Boxes…” (Courier, Charleston, 25 November 1820).

 

Writing Box (1817-1817)— The merchant John Wooddrop advertised in December 1817 that he had “Writing Boxes…” which were London made, for sale (Southern Patriot and Commercial Advertiser, Charleston, 12 December 1817; City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 December 1817).

 

Buffet (1725-1810)— This form occured in the January 1725 inventory of Daniel Gale as “a Buffett and China Ware [£]50‑…” a high value for the time (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 24, 26 January 1725). The April 1728 recording of the inventory of William Loughton revealed “One Moving [on castors?] Bofett[sic] [£]25‑…” (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 307, 14 April 1728 [recorded]). The July 1734 house inventory of the merchant John Ramsay contained “a Mahogany Bovet [sic] with Drawers [£]30‑…” one of the highest valued objects in the inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 168, 27 July 1734). An advertisement of June 1736 for the sale of a plantation on Goose Creek, “…about 12 miles from Charles‑Town…” which had a dwelling house 50 by 25 feet and contained, on the first floor “…three large rooms with fire‑places, [ceilings] 12 feet high, with raised cornishes and two handsome beaufets made after the newest fashion…” which were apparently built in as they were the only furniture mentioned in the house. The house was probably empty. (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 June 1736). The September 1739 inventory of Hannah Gale, widow of the blacksmith, included “1 Ceader Beaufett [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 33, 8 September 1739). In August 1741 the inventory of Thomas Gadsden contained “1 Mahogany Beaufitt [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). The September 1743 inventory of Josiah Baker contained “One Beaufett [£]8‑…” in the “Hall” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 246, 1 September 1743). The great room by room inventory of James St. John of July 1743 disclosed in the “Hall” of his Charleston house “A mahogany Buffet with Glass Windows [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc. Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 257, 1 July 1743). When Peter Hume died, his January 1746 inventory included “Decanters Glasses China Bowls 13 plates in the Beaufett [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 96, 12 January 1746). September the same year found the inventory of Dr. Joseph Gaultier with “1 Mahogany Beaufait[sic] [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 22, 3 September 1746). The February 1747 inventory of Abraham Satur included “In the Buffett, 17 Glasses…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 361, 24 February 1747). The Goose Creek plantation “The Spring” of Benjamin Godin contained at the time of his inventory “1 Moving Beaufet made of English Oak [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 170, 20 and 21 June 1749). In November the same year the inventory of John Drake included “A parcel of Earthenware China & Glass in the Buffet [£]45‑…” which itself was not appraised as it was probably built into the house (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 307, 17 November 1749).

Mary Galter’s October 1750 inventory contained “1 Mahogany corner Beaufait [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 570, 22 October 1750). Six days later the inventory of Paul Mazyck found “A large Japan Beaufet [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 515, 28 October 1750). March 1751 found the inventory of Stephen Elliott with “1 large Moving Buffet & China earthen[ware] & glasses [£]20‑…” which, again, was so mentioned probably to distinguish between one which was built in to the woodwork and not. (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 722, 25 March 1751). In December 1751 Robert Younge died and his inventory included “China in the Buffett [£]30‑…” which was undoubtedly a fixed part of the woodwork (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 283, c. 1751 [will proven 20 December 1751, V. 6, Sec. 1, p. 578]). The perukemaker Charles Carroll possessed, at his death, “one corner Beaufett Cypress Glazed [£]10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 423, 25 August 1752). In April 1757 Anthony Bonneau’s inventory contained “1 Buffett with China & ca. & two Water Muggs [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 84, 1756‑1758, p.154, 26 April 1757). George Waller’s November 1763 inventory contained “1 Corner Boffett [£]7‑10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 617, 3 November 1763). In April 1764 the inventory of George Walker revealed “1 ditto[cypress] Beaufett [£]10‑…1 Lott China Bowles [sic] odd Cups, saucers & Glass in Beaufetts [£]7‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 157, ___April 1764). The sole mention of this form in the Elfe Account Book was the “opening a Beaufet lock & putting on a new one [£]1‑10‑…” on 5 February 1774 (#55). An advertisement of the sale of the content of a tavern, kept by Paul Snyder, in Charleston, revealed “…a Buffet with Glass Doors…” (Gazette of the State of South Carolina, Charleston, 16 June 1777). The January 1785 inventory of Capt. William Bennet, ship captain, found “1 Mahogany Beaufet 60/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 275, 20 January 1785). June 1791 found “1 Mahogany corner Buffet 40/…” in the effects of Dr. George Hahnbaum (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 367, 27 June 1791). The daybook of Alexander Crawford, painter and glazer, revealed the charge for “Glazing a Beauffett 16 panes 9 by 11 [£]1‑4‑…” for Kennedy of Queen Street (#165) on 30 November 1793 (Alexander Crawford Daybook, p. 147, account #165). In October 1799 an advertisement of William Marshall of a public auction at which household furniture was to be sold which included “…a large mahogany Buffet…” (South Carolina Gazette and General Advertiser, Charleston, 3 October 1799). An advertisement in March 1810 disclosed the contents of an auction, by William Porter vendue master, which included a “…Beaufet…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston 27 March 1810).

 

Butler (1766-1795)— This form was not found in Charleston until the November 1776 inventory of Benjamin Webb as “One Mahogany Butler for Liquors [£]40‑… (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 7, 16 November 1776). In the February 1784 inventory of Thomas Middleton’s plantation of “Santee” there was “1 Small Mahogany Butler [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 182, 18 February 1784). Five years later, in March, the inventory of William Gibbes revealed in the “Back Parlour “…1 Mahogany Slab 60/…1 Do[mahogany] Butler 50/…” which this, as well as other evidence, reveals the probability of the butler being placed under the slab (q.v.) and under or next to a sideboard (q.v.) (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 238, 24 March 1789). The May 1791 inventory of John Deas Jr. included “1 Mahogany Sideboard [£]5‑…1 Mahogany Butler with Brass Hoops [£]3‑…” and “…1 other Mahogany Butler [£]‑30‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 348, 5 May 1791). Also the same month John Deas Sr.’s estate was appraised and revealed “1 Mahogany Butler with Brass Hoops 50/…3 Mahogany Coolers [q.v.] with ditto[brass hoops] 60/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.B, 1787‑1793, p. 358, ___May 1791). May also found the inventory of Alexander Ingles revealing in the “Front Parlour” of his Charleston house “1 Butler Brass hoops 40/…1 Cooler 40/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 369, ___May 1791). The November 1792 inventory of Mrs. Eliza Blake included in the “Hall” “1 Butler & a Cooler [£]6‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.B, 1787‑1793, 5 November 1792). In May 1795 the inventory of James Hamden Thompson contained “1 Mahogany Butler at [£]‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.C, 1793‑1800, p.129, 15 May 1795). In the “Back Parlour on ground Floor” the Charleston house inventory of Col. Issac Motte, taken on 17 August 1795, disclosed “1 Slab 50/…1 Butler 10/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 179, 17 August 1795).

 

Cabinet (1727-1821)— This form first occurs in the “Chamber” in the August 1727 inventory of George Chicken as “One Old Cabinet [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 596, 21 August 1727). In January 1732/3 the cabinetmaker, from London, James McClellan’s advertisement offered “…all sorts of Cabinet Ware…” which included “…Cabinets…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 January 1732/3). The February 1734 inventory of the Ashley River plantation of George Smith there was, in the “Right Hand Chamber above Stairs East,” “a broken Case of Drawers & Cabinet Drawers [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 235, 21 February 1734). In April 1735 an advertisement of the merchants Hutchinson and Grimkie offered furniture for sale which included “…cabinets…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 April 1735). The January 1736 inventory of Sarah Weaver, taylor, contained within the “Living Area” “1 Walnut Cabinet [£]3‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 122, 20 January 1736).  Further, the merchants Crokatt and Michie advertised in February 1741/2 their offering of London furniture imports which included “…cabinets…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 February 1741/2). In April 1742 the inventory of Edward Hext included “1 Vineared Cabinet [£]20‑…” which was valued the same as “1 Mahogany Press and Drawers under it” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 222, 1 April 1742). The July 1743 inventory of William Stobo of James Island, St. Andrew Parish, included “A Small Table Cabinet [£]1‑…” which apparently was a cabinet to be placed upon a table (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 300, 18 July 1743). In September the same year an advertisement of William Lupton, cabinetmaker and chairmaker from London, offered to make “…all sort of Cabinets and Chairs in the best and neatest Manner…” which was probably a general term for case furniture, in this situation (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 19 September 1743). The March 1747 inventory of Sarah Saxby disclosed “A Japaned Cabinet [£]10‑…” and when her effects were sold, what was apparently the same, sold as “An India Cabinet [and ?] Frame [£]24‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 416, 8 March 1747). March of the following year revealed the inventory of Hugh Anderson which contained “1 Cabinet & Drawers [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, 2 March 1748). The June 1749 inventory of “The Spring” plantation in Goose Creek, which belonged to Benjamin Godin revealed “1 Fineared Cabinet [£]5‑…” and in his Charleston house there was “1 English Oak Cabinett [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑77B, 1748‑1751, p. 170, 20 and 21 June 1749).

The November 1752 inventory of the scientist Branfield Evans disclosed “A Small Cabinet with Drawers [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 508, __November 1752). An extraordinary cabinet was described in the March 1764 inventory of the plantation on Charles Town Neck of Andrew Broughton which contained “One Chinese Cabinet with Glass doors and drawers under & [a] Shakespeare Bust a Top [£]80‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 119, 17 March 1764). August 1771 found the “Jacksonburgh” inventory of Moses Darquier with a Ladies Mahogany Cabinet [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 92, 24 August 1771). The December 1777 inventory of Sir John Colleton Barronet disclosed in his “Blue Chamber” there was “1 Roman Cabinet [£]150‑…” which was valued thirty pounds greater than a “Mahogany double Chest drawers” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p.368, 30 December 1777). The September 1786 death of the merchant William Hopton revealed, through his inventory, “1 India Cabinet with 2 Sets China Jars [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 485, undated [Wills Vol. 22, p. 72, 15 September 1786, proven]). The September 1789 Goose Creek inventoey of Benjamin Guerard disclosed “1 old fashioned Walnut Cabinet [£]‑10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 209, 10 September 1789). A new form of the cabinet was advertised in February 1807 by David Lopez, vendue master, as “Cabinets and ditto[bookcases]”, which were apparently imported (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 11 February 1807). The form was again found to be changed in the April 1811 advertisement of Jonathan Allen, merchant, as sale was to be held which included “…Night Cabinets…” which apparently was a cupboard for a chamber pot (see Night Stool Chair, Close Stool Chair) (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 2 April 1811). This possibly was what E. Morford, merchant, advertised in February 1817 as “Elegant inlaid, Landscape and Chinese Patterns [,?] Cabinets for the Toilet…” (Courier, Charleston, 14 February 1817). May 1821 found another advertisement of this form with a sale by Edward Lynch, who was selling “CHARLESTON‑MAKE” furniture which included “…1 elegant Japan Cabinet, superior work…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821).

 

Case (General) (1734-1772)— This general form was occasionally found undefined; two such instances demonstrate this: the October 1734 inventory of John Raven whose plantation estate contained “2 Cases [£]8‑…” which was the value of a chest of drawers or of a corner cupboard (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 157, 18 October 1734) and the July 1743 inventory of Ann Elliott with “1 Great Case [£]16‑…” almost the value of a chest of drawers (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 234, 25 July 1743). As is obvious, these two are of unknown purposes; however, they are most likely for two different purposes. The “2 Cases” most likely were “Bottle Cases,” but the “Great Case” was of a different form to be called “Great.”  This latter case was undoubtedly either impressive or just large ‑‑the knowledge is past. Two other mentions of general case forms are more explicit.  On 18 September 1772, Thomas Elfe charged Justice John Futrell £ 8 for “a mahogany case with prijeon [pigeon] holes…” and duly recorded in the Elfe Account Book.  (Elfe Acct. Book, #111, 18 September 1772.) A little over a year later, he charged £12 for “A Case for books with draws and pidgeon holes.” (#150). Other types of cases were defined: Bottle, Dressing, Knife, Letter, Shaving, Travelling, Watch, and Work.

 

Bottle/Marooning Case (1695-1809)— This term will be used as there were variations on this form found in the references such as: Rum, Spirit, Marooning, Cordial, Gin, Liquor, and Dutch. The use of “cellaret”, of which form some of these might have been, will be found under the term “cellaret”. The first found was in the April 1695 inventory of Thomas Greatbatch who died with “1 Chest & a Case of Bottles [£]‑15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 290, 10 April 1695). The 20 January 1726/7 inventory of Thomas Conyers revealed “1 Case with 10 Bottles” (Charleston County Wills, etc. 1726-27, p. 409, 20 January 1726/7). The blacksmith Andrew Bell’s January 1754 inventory included “1 Small Red Bay Case with 9 Bottles [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 202, 1 January 1754). The death of Barnaby Bradford resulted in the 10 March 1757 estate sale that had been appraised prior revealing “1 Case of Bottles [£]5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol.84, 1756‑1758, p. 51, undated (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 10 March 1757, estate sale]). Within the March 1760 room‑by‑room wonderful inventory of Martha D’harriette there was “A Small Case with Nine Bottles Gin & a Jug [£]6‑…” found “In the Closet in Mrs. Ba‑‑s Room” (Charleston County Wills, Etc, Vols. 85A‑B, 1758‑1761, p. 541, 29 March 1760).  The March 1764 inventory of Mrs. Mary Lloyd revealed “1 Rum Case [£]‑60‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 43, 5 March 1764). When Samuel Perkins, coachmaker, died, his May 1764 inventory included “1 small Case with bottles with a little Liquor [£]4‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 239, 18 May 1764). The first evidence for the importation of this form found was the advertisement of the merchant James Drummond, who, in August and September 1766, offered “…Spirit Cases…” along with furniture imported from London (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 26 August, 16 September 1766). In June the following year he also advertised the importation of London goods which included “…mahogany rum‑cases with double flint glass bottles…”, which might have been the same form (South‑Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 23 June 1767). The May 1764 house inventory of the merchant Isaac Holmes included “1 Bottle Case with 9 Bottles [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 130, 9 May 1764). In January 1768 the inventory of Francis Roche disclosed “2 Rum Cases [£]‑30‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 250, 25 January 1768). December 1768 found an advertisement of the sale of the shop contents of the late James Drummond which included “…Mahogany Rum Cases…” (South Carolina and American General Gazette, Charleston, 19 December 1768). A new design and name for the same form form entered the scene which was first found in the inventory of the merchant John Snelling, who died in November 1769; this was the “Marooning Case” used for travel listed as “2 Marooning Cases with Bottles & c. [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p.212, c. November 1769 [South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 November 1769, death notice]).

The December 1771 estate appraisement of the cabinetmaker Josiah Murphy disclosed “a Case with Liquors £6‑…a Case with 11 bottles with Liquors in some of them [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 213, 31 December 1771). The January 1772 inventory of Mrs. Mary Bull revealed “2 large rum cases [£]45‑…” which seems like a very high value unless filled as was “An old rum case with 4 Bottles filled with Rum [£]20‑…” in the same inventory (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 251, 20 January 1772). The Elfe Account Book recorded charges for this form from April 1772 through March 1775. These were variously listed as “For a new key to a Rum Case [£]1‑…” (#112) on 1 April 1772, “a Mahogany Cordial Case with brass handles [£]10‑…” (#124) on 20 November 1772, “2 Mahogany Cases for Bottles [£]15‑…” (#160) on 2 November 1773, “a Mahogany Case for Bottles & c. [£]12‑…” (#168) on 2 December 1773, “a lock to a tea Chest [q.v.] & Cordial Case & mending ditto [£]1‑10‑…” (#176) on 21 March 1774, “A Mahogany Case for bottles & brass handles [£]12‑…” (#85) on 24 September 1774, and “a Mahogany case for bottles & c. with brass lifting handles [£]21‑10‑…” (#78) on 23 March 1775. In the August 1774 inventory of Peter Bonneau there were listed “1 Mahogany Rum Case with 12 Bottles & Ground Stoppers [£]25‑…” and “4 Rum Cases with Bottles Compleat and 1 Do with two Bottles [£]32‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 21, 29 August 1774). The volumetric measure of a “large” rum case, which was apparently not full, was found in the September 1776 inventory of Chris Wilkinson, at his Tobodoo plantation, was “1 Large Rum Case with about 8 Gallons Rum [£]45‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols.98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 125, 9 September 1776). Within the September 1776 inventory of Thomas Elfe, cabinetmaker, were “2 Cypress Rum Cases [£]60‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols.98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 116, 11 September 1776). In October 1783 the inventory of John Dart included “1 large Rum Case (without a Key) 12/…2 Smaller ditto, 6 and 9 Bottles, 2 Dollars‑9‑4…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 146, 14 October 1783). The November 1783 inventory of John Ash contained “One large Case & Bottles 65/3…One Case & Bottles 65/3…One Gin Case & Bottles 9/4…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 130, 10 November 1783). In December, the following month, the inventory of the Rev. Offspring Pearce disclosed “4 Rum Cases & 2 Gin Cases 95/…”(Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 137, 5 December 1783). On 19 October 1784 the ship Castl Douglas departed London for Charleston and contained a cargo part of which was from William Flemming, a London cabinetmaker and upholsterer, containing “3 Neat Mahogany Rum Cases with 4 flint Glass bottles & Ground Stoppers to each the different divisions lined with Green Biaz Good Locks & Brass Lifting Handleson Castors 73/6 [£]11.6” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 153; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son Ltd., 1986], p. 304). Another entry was found for a “large” rum case in the December 1784 inventory of Benjamin Fuller, at his “At The Horseshoe” plantation, with “1 Rum Case Containing 14 Gallons Rum 93/4…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 273, 13 December 1784).

Still other evidence for this was found in the March 1788 inventory of James Skirving as “A 25 gallon empty Rum Case 40/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 94, 7 March 1778). An interesting form of the marooning term was found in an auction notice of the personal effects of John Scott, Jr., on 20 March 1789, in which “a pair of Marooning canteens” was listed. The Oxford English Dictionary offers that this, in addition to being a tin or wooden vessel, was a small case divided into compartments for flasks or bottles of spirits (The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 20 March 1789). In May the same year there was “1 Rum Case with 9 Bottles 20/…” found in the inventory of Benjamin Yarnold (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 109, 20 May 1788). It is assumed that the “3 empty Cases [£]‑3‑…” found in the July 1789 inventory of the Rev. Barthlomew Henry Himely were for spirits (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 217, 9 July 1789). In December 1789 the inventory of Dr. William Burnett was found to contain “3 Gin Cases with a few Bottles 3/9…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 263, 19 and 20 December 1789). The January 1790 inventory of Dr. Richard Savage included “One Large Mahogany Liquor Case with Bottles 50/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793,p. 266, 21 January 1790). The February 1790 inventory of William Roper contained, at his Corn Hill plantation, “2 Liquor Cases…” in the “Hall” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 268, 10 February 1790). The death of Capt. John Williamson revealed, in his March 1790 inventory, “19 Gin Cases 30/…1 Large Rum Case 20/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.B, 1787‑1793, p. 264, c. March 1790).  Apparently a large case was in the 1791 inventory of Dr. William Remington for it was described as “A Sea Liquor Case with Gallon Bottles 4/8…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 351, 27 May and 6 June 1791). Associative items were found for the marooning case in the November 1791 inventory of Thomas Hutchinson as “2 small Marooning Cases 15/…1 Large ditto 15/…” and also listed with these were “1 Tent and Marque (much worn) 60/…1 pair leather horse Canteens 40/…1 Black Leather Camp Chest and Travelling Kitchen 60/…Leather Backgammon table 7/…” which illustrates that all of these were for use away from the house. The inventory also contained “2 Empth Gin Cases 10/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 403, 15 November 1791).

In February 1795 the inventory of James Down revealed “1 Marooning Case [£]‑9‑4…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 107, 25 February 1795). The following month found “to a Marooning Case [£]‑20‑…” in the inventory of Philip Anthony Bessellieu (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, 26 March 1795). The origin for some if not all of the marooning cases was found in the March 1796 inventory of Richard Gough as “1 Dutch Marooning Case broke 18/8…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 173, 22 March 1796). January the following year found “one Marooning Case [£]‑10‑…” in the inventory of Samuel Legare (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 278, 28 January 1797). In November 1799 Mr. William Wragg was charged for “…a large liquor Case [£]2‑5‑…” by the cabinetmaker Nicholas Silberg (Wragg Papers, 1798-1800 11/466/14, South Carolina Historical Society). The Charleston estate of John Harleston, appraised in April 1794, included “1 Mahogany Rum Case & 1 Marooning Case [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 148, 7 and 8 April 1794). The February 1796 death of William Dalrumple disclosed, in his inventory, “A Dutch Case (Damaged) [£]‑7‑…” which was undoubtedly a marooning case (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p.185,c.February 1796 [Letters Administration, Vol. QQ, 1791‑1797, p. 324, death recorded as intestate, 8 February 1796]). The December 1803 inventory of Mrs. Mary Loocock found “1 Liquor Case $2…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 230, 17 December 1803). The April 1804 inventory of the merchant Spencer Mann disclosed “1 liquor Case $3…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.D, 1800‑1810, p. 249, 27 April 1804). Later in 1804 August found the inventory of Col. Thomas Screven with “1 Mahogany Cordial Case $6…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 274, 23 August 1804). At Oak Grove, the plantation of Thomas Boas, which was near Dorchester, S.C., there was, in his November 1809 inventory, “1 Pine Liquor Case $3…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 521, 28 November 1809).

 

Dressing Case (1808-1820)— This form first appeared in the January 1808 advertisement of E. G. Marsorati and Co., merchants, as imported goods “Ladies Dressing Cases…” (Times, Charleston, 19 January 1808). That both genders had this form was next found in a November 1815 advertisement of a sale of household furnishings which included “A gentleman’s elegant Dressing Case, complete…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 November 1815). An advertisement of William Bittle, carver and gilder, merchant, offered “…Gentlemen’s Portable Dressing Cases…” (Courier, Charleston, 24 August 1816). In August 1818 Andrew P. Gready, cabinet warehouseman, advertised “Ladies Dressing Cases, various colors and sizes…” (Courier, Charleston, 8 August 1818). In November of 1818 Charles D. Torre, merchant, was found advertising “…Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Dressing Cases…” (Courier, Charleston, 27 November 1818). March 1819 saw Andrew P. Gready again advertising but with “…Gentlemen’s Dressing Cases, complete…” instead of the female form (Courier, Charleston, 25 March 1819). In November 1820 John Bird Stiles, merchant, advertised “Gentlemen’s Mahogany and Tin Dressing Cases…” (Courier, Charleston, 25 November 1820).

 

Knife Case (1772-1820)— This form was found so called in the January 1772 inventory of Mrs. Mary Ball as “3 Mahogany Cases, containing Silver handled knives and forks and silver spoons [£]520‑…” which because of the silver being included distorts the values (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 94A‑B, 1771‑1774, p. 251, 20 January 1772). On 5 September 1774 the Elfe Account Book recorded the “mending [of] 2 Knife Cases [£]‑10‑…” (#121). In October 1781 an advertisement of William Smith, merchant, offered “…Knife Boxes…” for sale (Royal Gazette, Charleston, 24 October 1781). A private sale in March 1783 was to have offered a “Shagreen Case with best tipt Knives and Forks, Table Spoons, Tea ditto…” (South Carolina Weekly Advertiser, Charleston, 19 March 1783). The 19 October 1784 sailing of the Castle Douglas from London to Charleston contained a cargo from the London auctioneer Nicholas Phene which contained “2 Mahogany Knife Cases–pack’d with Chairs [listed earlier in the same cargo] [£]2.8” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October, 1784, p. 154; Geoffery Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds. Dictionary of English Furniture makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son Ltd., 1986], p. 693). In June 1784 an auction was advertised as containing a large portion of silver which was followed by “…5 dozen inlaid Cases for ditto…” (South Carolina Gazette, and Public Advertiser, Charleston, 5 June 1784). On 1 August 1786 the sailing of the Castle Douglas from London to Charleston brought “4 Mahogany Knife Cases pack’d in Do[ with chairs] 16/ [each] [£] 3.4” as shipped by the London cabinetmaking firm of William and Thomas Wilkinson and “3 Knife Cases packed inside [of  commodes] [£]2.10” by the London auctioneer Nicholas Phene (James Douglas Account Book, 1 August 1786, pp. 303, 304; Geoffery Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds. Dictionary of English Furniture makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son Ltd., 1986], p.977, 693). Another advertisement, in February 1797, this by the goldsmith and jeweler, William Wightman, offered as from London “Mahogany and Satin Wood Cases, with or without Knives, Forks and Spoons…[and a variant term which was for the form, but still a knife case]…Fashionable Urn Cases, with Silver Table and Desert Spoons and Knives, complete…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 6 February 1797). “Knife Cases” were among the items to be auctioned in February 1797 by the auctioneers Denoon, Campbell and Co. (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 February 1797). The upholsterers Oliphant and Wilson advertised in June 1803 their offering of “…Knife Cases…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 June 1803). The merchants Means and Fraser advertised in October 1803 the London importation of “…handsome mahogany knife and spoon Vases…” which was but another term for this form. Interesting inclusion of spoons and not knives (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 11 October 1803). The offering for a raffle of furniture in February 1820 disclosed “One pair Knife Cases, inlaid with black ebony and fancy brass…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 February 1820).

 

Letter/Paper Case (1728-1772)— This form was found in the April 1728 inventory of William Loughton as “one Slate Table & Letter Casie [sic] [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 307, 14 April 1728 [recorded]). As the same form, “1 do[mahogany] Paper Case [£]16‑…” was in the November 1736 inventory of Rouland Vaughan (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 161, 22 November 1736). The Elfe Account Book disclosed charges for two cases for a table that were to hold letters, which could have been called a small bookcase, but were described as “…a large Mahogany Square Table with a Case of 24 prugon[sic] Holes & 4 Drawers [£]22‑…” (#85) on 15 October 1771, and “…a Mahogany Case with priejon [sic] holes & a Desk for a Table [£]8‑…” (#111) on 18 September 1772. The 26 January 1808 codical to the will of judge Lewis Trezevant recorded that his nephew John Farquhar Trezevant should receive the “Mahogany Drawers & Paper Case made for the use of My Office when I practiced the Law”. It was not clear if the paper case was part of the drawers or not (Charleston, S.C., Wills, Volume 31, 1807-1818, (transcript), p.74, 29 February 1804).

 

Shaving Case (1789-1817)— The shaving case was found in the December 1789 inventory of Dr. William Burnett as “1 Shaving Case 5/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 263, 19 and 21 December 1789). In January 1817 an advertisement of Peter Fiche, carver and gilder, offered “…Gentlenen’s Shaving Cases, complete…” (Courier, Charleston, 8 January 1817).

 

Traveling Case (1795-1795)— This was seen twice and could have been a type of trunk or portmanteau. Those references found were first in November 1795 within the inventory of Chandler Dinwiddie Fowke, attorney, as “1 Travelling Case [£]‑40‑…” which was the value placed upon a “View of Charleston” most likely a print (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 270, c. November 1795 [South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 November 1795 death citation]) and in May 1794 with the inventory of Thomas Dearington as “1 Travelling Case [£]‑20‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.C, 1793‑1800, p. 127, 8 May 1794).

 

Watch Case (1752-1752)— In the November 1752 inventory of Branfield Evans, scientist, there was “A Walnut Tree Watch Case [£]‑10‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc, Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 508, __November 1752).

 

Work Case (1816-1816)— An advertisement of August 1816 revealed the offering of William Bittle, merchant of looking glasses and time pieces, to included “…Ladies’ Work‑Cases…” (Courier, Charleston, 24 August 1816).

 

Celleret (1767-1820)— This term was not found in the design books until the third edition of Hepplewhite’s Guide in 1794; however, one could assume that the term was in use somewhat prior to that date. Hepplewhite’s reference (p. 7, pl. 37) to the celleret also termed it a “gardes de vin” which was found in the April 1767 inventory of Isabel Marshall as “A guard Vin with 12 Square Bottles [£]5‑ …” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 125, 27 April 1767). February 1793 was the first mention found in Charleston for the celleret by name; this was in the inventory of William Jones, cabinetmaker, as under his “Stock in Trade” with “1 Inlaid Celleret 8/…” one of the appraisers was the cabinetmaker Jacob Sass (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 495, c. 16 February 1793 [Letters Testamentary, 1792‑1799, p. 33, 16 November 1792 referred to the inventory to be made “…by 16 February next”]). With the pre‑1793 absence for this form, by name, there is a high probability that some of the “bottle cases” (q.v.) found were of the cellaret form. The first advertisement for this form was in July 1796 by John Marshall, cabinetmaker, as he was offering “…Handsome Cellerets…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 July 1796). In January the following year an advertisement for an auction listed “A neat Mahogany CELERET [sic]…” along with other furniture forms (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 January 1797). The following month Jacob Sass advertised furniture offerings which included “…Sellerets [sic]…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797). In May 1799 the inventory of Thomas Hooper of Stateburgh, S.C. revealed “1 Celleret $12…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 395, 29 May 1799). A rather confusing entry was found in the c.January 1799 inventory of John Edwards who had “One Large Celleret or Slab [l]‑100‑…” which insinuates that the form was possibly a slab board (q.v.) with a cellaret drawer or more correctly a sideboard (q.v.) with cellaret drawer (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 390, c. January 1799 [will proven 11 January 1799, Vol. 27, Bk. C, p. 799).

The January 1800 inventory of Thomas Bond Randall included “a Scelleret [sic] $30…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 475, 20 January 1800). In December 1799 the cabinetmaking partnership of Watso and Woodill sold William Clement “…one Celleratt [sic] £14‑…” (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1807, #174A). The October 1800 inventory of Maria Frances Vaniassendelft revealed “One Mahogany Celeret $30…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 478, 14 October 1800). The “Back Room” of the house in the March 1801 appraised estate of John McCall contained “1 Celleret $15…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 54, 24 March 1801). In the February 1802 inventory of the cabinetmaker Nicholas Silberg there was “No.1 A Commode Cellerette [sic] $25  No. 2 & 3‑2 ditto ditto $30  $60…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 97, 10 February 1802). In August the same year an advertisement of Jacob Sass offered “…Cellerets…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 August 1802). A further description as to the shape of this form was seen in the April 1803 inventory of Joseph Legare with “1 Square front Celleret 93/4 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol.D, 1800‑1810, p. 177, 10 April 1803). The following June there was an advertisement for the sale of a household which included “…a Cellarette [sic]…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 1 June 1803). In July 1804 the inventory of Charles Snowden disclosed “1 Cellaret [sic]…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 266, 27 July 1804). An advertisement of January 1806 offered “…Celarets [sic]…” among other furniture in an impending auction (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 7 January 1806). In April 1807 an advertisement announced an auction which included a “…Celleret…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 29 April 1807). January 1808 found an advertisement for an auction including “…one neat cellaret [sic]…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 18 January 1808). The September 1808 inventory of Michael Muckenfuss, cabinetmaker, revealed that within the shop section there was “1 large Cellerett[sic] raised Top $50…1 ditto ditto flatt Do. $40…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. D, 1800‑1810, p. 476, 6 September 1808). Another advertisement later, in October 1809, offered “…1 Celleret…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 25 October 1809).

In February the following year another auction included “…two Cellarets [sic]…” as part of the household furnishings (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 5 February 1810). The following month found the inventory of Alexander Grigor containing “…1 Mahogany Celleret not finished $3…” which implied that it was not finished as in being constructed. Nothing is known of the deceased and there was a lack of information in his effects to warrent a trade designation (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 1, 15 March 1810). October of 1810 revealed the inventory of William Wisk with “1 Mahogany Celleret $20…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 32, 27 October 1810). In February 1811 the warehouse firm of Jacob Sass and Son advertised furniture for sale which included mahogany  “…Cellerets…” and in March the following month “…Inlaid Mahogany Cellerets…” were also offered (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 12 February, 2 March 1811). In March the following year the cabinetmaker Thomas Wallace advertised that he was “SELLING OFF” and listed “…Cellerets…” for sale among other furniture (Times, Charleston, 3 March 1812). An unique piece of furniture was advertised as being raffled in November 1813; this was a “…Elegant Mahogany BOOK CASE, SECRETARY, WARDROBE and CELLERET, under one frame, complete, in perfect order‑‑original cost $350…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 25 November 1813). Two years later, also in November, this combination of furniture form was again offered, this time for sale, by William Payne and Sons, auctioneers; however, described as “A large BOOK Case, Secretary, Wardrobe, and Drawers in one, with glass doors and patent locks, remarkably roomy”, it was not described as having a celleret (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 November 1815).

In April 1816 a private sale of furniture was advertised that included “two handsome Celerets” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 2 April 1816). Richard W. Otis, carver and gilder, warehouseman, advertised in December 1816 and February 1818 his offerings of New York imported “1 handsome celeret [sic]” and “3 handsome celerets [sic]” (Courier, Charleston, 14 December 1816, 16 February 1818). The September 1817 inventory of Samuel Axson, carpenter, included “One Mahogany Celleret with Drawers $22 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 437, 6 September 1817). In November 1817 and February 1819 a Georgetown, S.C., cabinetmaker, John B. McDaniel, was advertising that he had on hand “a few elegant Celerets…” (Winyaw Intelligencer, Georgetown, S.C., 15 November 1817, 13 February 1819). In October 1818 an auction was advertised to be held by H.C.M’Leod in which furniture owned by the cabinetmaker Jacob Sass would be sold. Among the items to be sold which were “…All made in this City…” were “…Celeretts [sic]…” and “…Celerett[sic] Tops…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 19 October 1818). In February 1820 an advertisement for a raffle which was of “The most supurb Suit of FURNITURE probably ever seen in America, consisting of A most elegant Mahogany Sideboard, carved back, superbly executed, inlaid with black ebony and fancy brass, gilt knobs and brass railing, with ornamental pillars, ball feet. An elegant Celleret, carved and inlaid as above, lion claw feet” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 3 February 1820).

 

Chest (General) (1692-1813)— Citations for this form are assumed to consist of a box design with a lid; whereas, the chest as a chest of drawers (q.v.) is interpreted elsewhere. Under this form the unspecificed evidence will be given while the specificed chest forms will be considered under their individual forms: Camp, Cloth, Dressing, Dutch, Medicine, Night, Open, Tea, and Travelling. It was the April 1692 inventory of the merchant William Dunston which first revealed the chest form; this was in the shop portion which listed “One Ceader Chest [£]1‑10‑…3 Pine Chests without Locks [£]‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 117, 27 April 1692). The September 1693 inventory of Francis Jones included “…3 Old Chests…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 112, 24 September 1693). In the following December the inventory of the mariner William Privat who died with “One Table, four Chaires[sic], Joynt Stoole[sic] & one Chest [£]8‑10‑…” in the “Kitchen” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 182, 21 December 1693). The death of another merchant John Vansusteren revealed, within his inventory, “…1 Ceader Chest [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 199, 23 May 1694). The February 1694/5 inventory of Richard Phillips disclosed “Two Ceder Chests [£]1‑5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 287, 20 February 1694/5). A cordwainer, Thomas Greatbatch, died and revealed through his April 1695 inventory “1 Chest…2 Chests…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 290, 10 April 1695). The July 1695 inventory of Joseph Penderves included “…2 Great Chests [£]1‑…” were of a high value in comparison to other furniture in his estate (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 301, 13 July 1695). The probability is that the “Two Spanish Ceader [sic] Chests [£]4‑…” in the July 1695 inventory of John Parker, indicated chests which were of Spanish origin rather than the wood being of Spanish Ceder (Cedrela ororata) as the records which disclose the use of wood cut locally as well as imported into Charleston, of which Spanish Ceder would have been, do not indicate the use of this cedar as a cut timber; besides, cedar was ceder, there was no reason to differentiate the type (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 295, 29 July 1695). A description of an example of this form was found in the January 1718 guardinship record of Jane Keys in which there was a “…Large Ceder Chest with Drawers at the Bottom…” (Register of the Province of South Carolina, 1707‑1711, 1712‑1713, 1711‑1714, 1714‑1719, p. 353, 8 January 1718).

The March 1725 inventory of John Thorpe revealed “A Dressing box and Small Chest [£]4‑…”(Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1722‑1726, p. 315, 13 March 1725). The number of drawers in the bottom of such chests was disclosed in the June 1726 inventory of Thomas Bee as “One Cedar Chest with 2 Drawers [£]10‑…[and]…One Poplar Chest [£]1‑5‑…” the former being of very high value in comparison to the other items in his inventory (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 30, 9 June 1726). In August 1727 the clockmaker James Batterson’s inventory contained “…a large Ceder Chest with two Drawers [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Miscellaneous Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 612, 21 August 1727). An advertisement of January 1732/3 of James McClellan, cabinetmaker, announced his offering to make furniture which included “…New‑fashioned Chests…” which probably was not chest of drawers as will be demonstrated later in a November 1734 advertisement of Charles Warham (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 27 January 1732/3). The following month Thomas Townsend’s inventory disclosed “1 Caeder Chest [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 37, 14 February 1732/3). A value less was seen in the March 1732/3 inventory of Thomas Elliotts which contained “1 Seder Chest [£]1‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 41, 12 March 1732/3). The following month revealed the inventory of Michael MacNamara which had “3 Old Chests [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 32, 27 April 1733). June 1733 found the inventory of John Herbert with “…One Old Cedar Chest [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols.  65‑66, 1732‑1737, 15 June 1733). The July 1734 inventory of James Wilkie revealed “a small Cedar Chest and Box [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 134, 22 July 1734). The advertisement of Charles Warham, cabinetmaker, in November 1734, offered his services in making furniture, forms of which included “…Chests, Chests of Drawers…” which demonstrates the distinguishing between the two forms (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 9 November 1734). Another wood was found for this form in the March 1734/5 inventory of David Peyer with “2 Cyprus[sic] Chest[s] [£]6‑15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 231, 13 March 1734/5). The Goose Creek inventory of Andrew Allen, taken in October 1735, revealed “a Deal Chest [£]‑10‑…” which was probably yellow pine (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). John Parker’s December 1735 inventory contained “1 Large Mahogganey[sic] Chest [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 392, 3 December 1735). The May 1736 inventory of Anne Colleton contained “1 old Popular Chest [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 412, 14 May 1736). In July 1736 a tanner, Jonathan Collins, disclosed in his inventory “a Chest and Desk [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 54, 12 July 1736). Charles Warham again advertised later in August 1736 that he was still making furniture including “…Chests,[and] Chests of Drawers…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 August 1736). The January 1736/7 inventory of Elias Horry contained “1 Sipress [sic] Chest [£]2‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 169, 6 January 1736/7). A new wood was found for a chest in the January 1738/9 inventory of Stephen Leacroft with “1 Firr [sic] Chest [£]3‑…2 Caeder[sic] Do[chest] [£]10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 294, 3 January 1738/9). Also the same month found the inventory of Col. Alexander Paris with “An old Chest with Drawers [£]5‑…”, along with a Japanned chest of drawers (q.v.) at the same value (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 10, 13 January 1738/9). Additionally in January the inventory of John Parris contained “a Spanish Chest…” which again demonstrates the presence of this form (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 18, 13 January 1738/9).

The December 1741 inventory of the Rev. Archibald Stobo included “A Cedar Chest [and] a Cedar Chest…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 145, 16 December 1741). The March 1742 St. Andrews inventory of Joseph Burton contained “A old Caeder[sic] Chest & Frame [£]2‑…” which must have been a chest on frame form, and “An old Cypress Chest [£]1‑…” which were located in his “Chamber” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 168, 30 March 1742 [recorded]). The plantation of Pon Pon, which belonged to James St. John, contained “a Large Chest and pad lock [£]2‑10‑…” when it was appraised in June 1743 with the death of the owner (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 257, 22‑24 June 1743). William Stobo’s July 1743 appraised estate on James Island, St. Andrews Parish, included “3 Ceadar [sic] Chests 1 Great Spanish Do[chest] 1 Old Pine Do[chest] [£]14‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 300, 18 July 1743). The same month revealed the inventory of Ann Elliott which contained “1 Ceader Chest [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 234, 25 July 1743). The Dorchester January 1743/4 inventory of Stephen Dowse included “1 large Cypress Chest [£]2‑…1 old Caeder [sic] Chest [£]‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 340, 21 January 1743/4). The James Island inventory of Thomas Heyward, taken the next month, disclosed “1 Caeder [sic] Chest [£]4‑…1 Pine Chest [£]2‑…1 Spanish Ceader [sic] Chest [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 357, 14 February 1743/4). September of 1746 found the inventory of Joseph Gaultier with “1 Mahogany Chest [£]3‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 22, 3 September 1746). That all chests found for sale or in inventories were considered furniture can be demonstrated with the Journal of Robert Pringle in which he recorded on 2 November 1747 that he “Paid for bringing on Shoar [sic] my Chests £‑1‑…” which was from a trip from Sapelo Island to Frederica on the Georgia coast (“Journal of Robert Pringle,” SCH&GM 26:110). In April 1751 the inventory of William Spencer disclosed “A large Spanish Chest [£]2‑ [and] 1 large Ceder Chest [£]8‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 233, 17 April 1751). A new wood and a construction feature was found in the c. 1749 inventory of Peter Hearne as “1 Oak Pannel [sic] Chest [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 266, c. 1749). The same chest was probably represented in the March 1752 inventory of Elizabeth Hearne whose inventory included “1 Oak Pannel [sic] Chest & Bedstead [£]2‑5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 354, 17 March 1752). Still another wood was found in the April 1753 inventory of Richard Waring with “1 Ash Chest [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 7, 25 April 1753). In April 1755 the inventory of Mrs. Margaret Ackles disclosed “A large Chest with two Drawers [£]1‑…” which was a low value in comparison to a chest of drawers valued at 12 pounds (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 560, 21 April 1755).

June 1760 revealed the inventory of Francis Bremar with “1 Large Cypress Chest with Two Drawers [£]2‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 563, 25 June 1760). A external as well as an internal description was found in the inventory of Dr. Nathaniel Broughton who had “A blue painted pine Chest containing 1 Hatt[sic] 20/ 1 Drab Great Coat 40/ [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑B, 1761‑1763, p. 168, 6 January 1762). In the June 1762 inventory of John Freeman there was a “Painted Chest [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 87A‑87B, 1761‑1763, p. 592, 28 June 1763). In December the same year the inventory of Ebenezer Simmons disclosed “One Large Cypruss[sic] Chest…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑B, 1763‑1767, p. 6, 20 December 1763). The Elfe Account Book recorded the charge on 23 November 1773 of “…a Cypress Chest and handles [£]10‑12‑6…” to John Creighton, vintner (#165); also on 14 December the next month “…Mending a large draw to a Mahogany chest & ca…” to Thomas Waring, commision merchant (#97). Further on 3 March 1774 “a Cypress Chest with partitions & drawers [£]15‑…” was charged to Alexander Wright (#78) and on 22 September 1774 Thomas Phepoe(?) (#85) was charged with “mending bottom frame of a large Chest [£]1‑5‑…”. Within the South Carolina Treasury Journals there was a charge recorded under the “Contingencies” fund for 26 May 1784 as “paid Jacob Sass for two Chests to contain the Foreign & Council papers per order [of the] Governor [£]7‑12‑3…” (South Carolina Treasury Journals, 1783‑1790, 1790‑1791, p. 36, 26 May 1748). The August 1775 inventory of Mrs. Elizabeth Lesserene contained a “Mahogany Chest £15…” and a half chest drawers (q.v.) was 20 pounds (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 66, 14 and 16 August 1775). In November the following year Benjamin Webb’s inventory included “a Mahogany Chest [and] couch [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Inventories and Sales, Vol. 100, 1776‑1784, p. 7, 16 November 1776). On 19 October 1784 the ship Castle Douglas left London for Charleston with a cargo part of which was from the London upholsterers, appraisers and auctioneers Pitt and Chessey containing “1 Serpentine Chest [with] furniture Drawers [£]6.6 [,]1 [Serpentine Chest] without furniture Drawers [£]4.10 [,] 1 Serpentine Chest [with] furniture Drawers [£]6.6” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 700). Later, in May 1797, Samuel Bonsall’s estate included “A Spanish Cedar Chest [£]‑15‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C, 1793‑1800, p. 268, 24 May 1797). And in 23 September 1813 St. Pauls (Episcopal) Church, Stono, of Charleston County paid Robert Walker for “…a Cedar Chest [$]14 …” (Saint Pauls (Episcopal) Church, Stono, Charleston County,54/56/58, South Carolina Historical Society, 23 September 1813).

 

Camp Chest (1791-1791)— This form of chest was most likely used for the containment of cloathes and personal belongings when travelling or camping. The May 1791 inventory of John Deas contained “1 Camp Chest with Utensils [cooking ?] & Jack [for waggon?] [£]5‑…”; there also was a leather trunk (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 348, 5 May 1791). In November the same year the inventory of Thomas Hutchinson included “1 Black leather Camp Chest and Travelling Kitchen 60/…”, which announces that not all chests for this purpose, or all for that matter, were of leather, and that the last cited “Utensils” were most likeky cooking. There was also a marooning case (q.v.) in the inventory which should also be considered as being of leather (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p.  403, 15 November 1791).

 

Clothes Chest (1736-1772)— This form might well be as the general “chest” form described above; however, obviously not all chests were for clothes. The first so described was in the February 1735/6 advertisement of Richard Baker, who offered goods imported from London which included “…cloaths chests…” and chests of drawers (South‑Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 7 February 1735/6).  The June 1741 inventory of William Wallace included “1 Cloathes chest [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 56, 12 June 1741). In February 1769 George Seaman’s inventory contained “1 Mahogany Cloaths [sic] Chest with 2 drawers [£]20‑…” and a mahogany clothes press with 3 drawers of sixty pounds value (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 74, 15 February 1769). The Elfe Account Book recorded the shop (#63) sale of a “Mahogany close [sic] chest [£]35‑…” and, listed next, a “Set of Brass Casters [£]1‑15‑…” which could well have been for the chest, on 21 March 1772.

 

Dressing Chest (1796-1804)— A December 1796 advertisement of the cabinetmaker Alexander Calder revealed his offering of “…Ladies dressing Chests of different forms…” among other furniture forms (City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 10 December 1796). In February 1797 Jacob Sass, cabinetmaker, advertised his offering of “…Dressing Chests…” among other furniture forms available at his “Ware‑Room” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 February 1797). March, the next month, found another cabinetmaker John Marshall advertising the sale of “…Dressing Chests…” which was preceded by “Ladies Commodes” therefore the assumption is that the dressing chests were for “Ladies” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1797). Alexander Calder was again found to have advertised later in May 1800 offering “…Ladies Dresssing Chests of different patterns…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 9 May 1800). In February 1804 and February 1805 the cabinetmaker Robert Walker advertised “…Dressing and Lobby Chests (q.v.), straight and round…” which was preceeded by “Ladies work tables” (q.v.) possibly implying that the dressing chest were for ladies (Times, Charleston, 14 February 1804, 19 February 1805).

 

Dutch Chest (1754-1784)— Two types of this form were found: the first being in the February 1754 inventory of Andrew Deveaux as “1 Large Dutch painted Chest [£]3‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 210, 20 February 1754). And, in the October 1784 inventory of Joseph Turpin with “1 Old Dutch Chest 2/4 …” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 276, ___October 1784).

 

Medicine Chest (1789-1789)— An advertisement of Adam Gilchrist, merchant, in March 1789, offered “…medicine chests, neatly put up in London…” (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 30 March 1789). The cabinetmaker Charles Desel charged Peter Broughton for “making a Medicine Chest [£]1‑5‑…” on 25 April 1798 (South Carolina Judgment Rolls, Court of Common Pleas, 1802, #61A, Charles Desel vs. Peter Broughton).

 

Night Chest (1805-1805)— Only two examples of this form were found; the first as part of the cargo of the Castle Douglas which sailed from London on 19 October 1784 with a portion being from the London firm of Pitt and Chessey who were upholsterers, appraisers, and auctioneers. Among their goods was “1 Night Chest [£]2.4” (James Douglas Account Book, 19 October 1784, p. 154; Geoffrey Beard and Christopher Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840 [Leeds: W.S. Maney and Son, Ltd., 1986], p. 700). The second example of this form was found later in February 1805 with an advertisement of Robert Walker, cabinetmaker, who offered “…Bed Steps (q.v.) and Night Chests…” which indicates that this form was a container for a chamber pot and further associated articles (Times, Charleston, 19 February 1805).

 

Open Chest (1777-1777)— The June 1777 advertisement of Paul Snyder, tavern keeper, in which he listed furniture to be sold which had been in his tavern included “…a Mahogany open Chest…” (Gazette of the State of South Carolina, Charleston, 16 June 1777).

 

Sea Chest (1727-1736)— The few entries found for this form do not reveal much; however, the name was apparently indicative of its function. The first evidence for this was in the August 1727 inventory of George Chicken as “In The Chamber” “One Old Sea Chest [£]‑7‑6 …” (Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p.596, 21 August 1727). The October 1732 inventory of Samuel Screven, planter, contained “A Sea Chistt [sic] and Close Stool (q.v.) £9‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 4, 24 October 1732). The July 1734 inventory of the merchant John Ramsay included in his “Home” “One Sea Chest [£]1‑5‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 168, 27 July 1734). The January 1736 estate of a taylor, Sarah Weaver, included “2 Sea Chests [,]1 Box [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 122, 20 January 1736). And, the May 1736 inventory of Thomas Fisher contained “3 large Sea Chests [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 409, 3 May 1736).

 

Tea Chest (1739-1820)— This form is best described by the first evidence found; this was in the April 1739 advertisement of Robert Raper, merchant, who offered “…a very good walnut tree tea‑chest with best canisters…” which apparently was imported (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 April 1739). The mercantile firm of Philip and Livie advertised in May 1741 that they were selling imported “…tea chests…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 May 1741). The following year, in February 1741/2, the merchants Crokatt and Michie offered “…tea chests and boards…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 February 1741/2, Supplement). This was found in the February 1743/4 inventory of Gerrit Van Velsen who had “1 Tea Chest & 2 Tea Boards”, which were included with a marble top table in the evaluation (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 378, 9 February 1743/4). In January 1747/8 an advertisement by the merchant Henry Petty offered “…tea chests…” as did the merchant Solomon Milner with “…mahogany tea boards and chests (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 11 January 1747/8, 19 November 1750, Postscript). The merchant Francis Bremar advertised in June 1751 the arrival of goods from London and Bristol which contained “…mahogany and painted tea chests…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 June 1751). Further imported tea chests were found in the advertisements of Wooddrop and Drouxsaint in November 1752, John Tucker in September 1753, and Andrew Cowen from Leith, Scotland in December 1754 (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 November 1752, 24 September, 8 October 1753, 12 December 1754). The July 1760 inventory of John Hutchings included “a Tea Chest and 3 Tea Boards [£]12‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 600, ___July 1760). Within the James Poyas Day Book the sales of “Mahogany Tea Chests” were recorded on 19 March 1761 (#191), 9 May 1761 (#174), 7 July 1764 (#239) and 23 July 1764 (#239) which sold for 4‑5‑ and 5‑5‑ pounds (James Poyas Day Book). May 0f 1764 revealed the inventory of John Guerard who died with “1 Neat fineer’d [sic] Tea Chest [£]1‑10‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 88A‑88B, 1763‑1767, p. 194, 30 May 1764). The Philadelphia carver and gilder and merchant Nicholas Bernard, who briefly opened a shop in Charleston advertised in October 1765 his offerings which included “…Tea Chests…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 October 1765). In December 1767 the mercantile firm of Mansel, Corbett, and Co. advertised their shipment which had arrived from London which included “…tea chests and tea boards…” (South Carolina Gazette, and Country Journal, Charleston, 23 June 1767). The Elfe Account Book recorded the charges for the “mending” of three of this form: on 21 March 1774 for “a lock to a tea Chest & cordial Case & mending ditto [£]1‑10‑…” (#176), also on 20 February 1775 for “mending a Tea Chest [£]‑10‑…” (#72), and on 11 November 1775 for “mending a tea Chest [with] new Brackets 20/ a new lock 10/ [£]1‑10‑…” (#179). In the February 1793 inventory of William Jones, cabinetmaker, there was the first mention of the “tea caddy” which will be included in this form chronology as the tea chest and tea caddy were similar. This inventory contained “3 Tea Caddys…” listed within his shop contents(Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 495, c. 16 February 1793). Designs for the two forms were first illustrated in the Cabinet‑Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide by George Hepplewhite in which the tea caddies contained one or two spaces inside for tea and the tea chests were with three (plates 57 and 58). Later, other design books contained further variations on these forms. In May 1795 the cabinetmaker Charles Stewart advertised that he made everything in the “CABINET MAKING” business “…from a tea caddy to a library book‑case” (City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 May 1795). Both forms were being sold in a December 1817 advertisement of John Wooddrop as from London “…Handsome Tea Chests, Tea Caddies…” and he also advertised “…Tea Chests…” in June 1818 (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 December 1817, 18 June 1818). In August 1818 the cabinet warehouseman Andrew P. Gready advertised “Tea Caddies, East‑India made, very handsome and useful, calculated to hold 1 lb. 5 oz…” (Courier, Charleston, 8 August 1818). In June 1820 a sale was announced ehich included “…a number of Tea Chests and Tea Caddies…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 16 June 1820).

 

Traveling Chest (1791-1794)— This twice used term was first found in the 17 February 1791 issue of The City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser as “Any person having a compleat MAHOGANY Travelling Chest TO DISPOSE OF Will find a purchaser, by applying to the printers.” The nature of being “compleat” becomes clesr with the second found entry in the November 1794 inventory of Robert Gibbes as in the “Hall” a “Travelling Chest with Glass Bottles complete 60/…” which was probably a marooning case (q.v.) (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. C , 1793‑1800, p. 201, 23 November 1794).

 

Cistern (1772-1786)— The cistern was found in an advertisement of Ledger and Greenwood, merchants, who “…imported from London…Mahogany Cisterns…Mahogany oval Cooling Tubs (q.v.)…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 April 1772). That this form was in use in Charleston was found in the Elfe Account Book as two charges were made for “…mending a Sestern [sic] stand [q.v.] [for] [£]1‑ (#91, 2 May 1772) [and another for] [£]‑10‑ (#165, 12 October 1773). Later in October 1781 the merchant William Smith was found to have advertised as from London “Wine Cisterns” (Royal Gazette, Charleston, 24 October 1781). Jonh Middleton’s June 1786 inventory contained “A Mahogany Cistern [£]4‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 440, 24 June 1786).

 

Clock (Case) (1692-1820)— The first of this form found was in the April 1692 house inventory of the merchant Wilson Dunston as “One old clock [£]2‑10‑…” being the highest valued piece of furniture in the inventory (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 52‑53, 1687‑1710, p. 117, 27 April 1692). A search of the records revealed ninety‑four clockmakers in Charleston prior to 1821; of these few probably made clocks. If so none have yet to be discovered. The first evidence for clockmaking was found for James Batterson whose July 1727 will and August 1727 inventory revealed correspondly “..my working Tools in the Shop relating to the making or Mending of clocks or Watches…” and in the inventory a list of these tools along with watches and “a Old 30 howr [sic] Clock [£]10‑…a Clock Case [£]4‑…a Clock movement of 8 days [£]25‑…” (Charleston County Wills, No. 2, 1722‑1731, Section 3, p. 47, 23 July 1727; Charleston County Misc. Records, 1726‑1727, 1727‑1729, p. 612, 21 August 1727). The April 1733 inventory of Jonathan Main included “a clock & case [£]35‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 55, 20 April 1733). The first cabinetmaker who can be said to have made clock cases was William Carwithen as found in an advertisement of May 1733 in which “…Clock‑Cases…and all other sorts of Cabinet Ware, made as Neat as ever, and Cheaper” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5 May 1733). In May the following year the inventory of Tweedie Somerville contained “One Clock [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 122, 7 May 1734). The July 1734 house inventory of the merchant John Ramsay included “a plain clock [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc.,  Vols.65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 165, 27 July 1734). In October the same year, the plantation inventories of John Raven revealed “a Clock [£]40‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 157, 18 October 1734). The type of clock was found in the March 1734/5 inventory of Robert Shaw as “1 hanging Clock [£]4‑…” which was valued a pound less than a Scrutore (q.v.) (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 224, 13 March 1734/5). In October 1735 the Goose Creek inventory of Andrew Allen included “a Clock [£]50‑…” and in his Charleston house “a Clock [£]50‑…”; both of values exceeding other furniture in the houses, even the bedstead and hangings (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 65‑66, 1732‑1737, p. 331, 18 October 1735). The same value was placed on a clock in the February 1736 inventory of John Whitfield of Dorchester Parish (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 68, 1736‑1739, p. 73, 26 February 1736). December 1738 found the first evidence for the importation of a clock as the merchant John Scott offered, from an undisclosed origin, “…a handsome Arch Clock and Wallnut [sic] Case” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 December 1738).

In August 1741 Thomas Gadsden’s inventory included “1 Clock [£]35‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 97, 27 August 1741). The October 1741 inventory of William Laserre, merchant, contained “One Clock [£]15‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 125, 13 October 1741). November the same year found “1 Clock [£]30‑…” in the inventory of Alexander Skeene (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 110, 25 November 1741). March 1741/2 revealed an advertisement of the merchant Robert Wilson in which he offered “…One very good eight Day Clock in a double arch’d fine Grenoble Walnut Tree case, the Pillars reliev’d…”. Grenoble is a city in southeast France (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 6 March 1741/2). In December 1742 the inventory of Thomas Loyd included “1 Black Japan’d Cased Clock [£]35‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 284, 29 December 1742). An extremely high value was placed on a clock in the July 1743 inventory of James St. John, Surveyor General, who had in the “Parlor” “a repeating Clock [£]80‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 257, 1 July 1743). The same month found “1 Clock [£]50‑…” in the inventory of Ann Elliott (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 234, 25 July 1743). Ralph Izard’s January 1743/4 inventory contained a “Clock [£]50‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 71, 1739‑1743, p. 369, 3 January 1743/4).  Dr. Joseph Gaultier’s September 1746 inventory contained “One Eight Day Clock & Japanned Case [£]50‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 22, 3 September 1746). In December the following year the inventory of the merchant George Heskett listed “1 Clock [£]50‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 73‑74, 1741‑1748, p. 316, 14 December 1747). The August 1748 inventory of John Watson contained “1 Clock [£]30‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p.21, 5 August 1748). Hugh Anderson’s March 1748 inventory contained “1 Clock [£]40‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 113, 2 March 1748). Also, in the same year, Mrs. Sarah Glaze’s inventory contained “1 Clock [£]50‑ …” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 30, 2 September 1748).

When the March 1750 inventory of Robert Thorpe, of Beaufort, Port Royal, was taken “1 Eight Day Clock [£]25‑…” was included (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 433, 31 March 1750). In Charleston William Poole’s April 1750 inventory contained “1 Japan 8 Day Clock [£]40‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 496, 19 April 1750). Further importation evidence was found advertised in May 1750 with an offering by the mercantile firm of Alexander and Thomas Broughton of “…a very handsome 8 day clock in a mahogany case…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 14 May 1750). The carpenter Richard Muncrieff, on 21 August 1750, “delievered [to the Vestry of St. Philips Church] his account for putting up the Clock and making a case for the same & amounting to £88.00”. There is a possibility that this was evidence for the clock in the cupola as it was agreed to have him repair the cupola (St. Philips Episcopal Church Vestry Minutes, 1735-1755, p.194, 21 August 1750). In October of 1750 the “Clock and Watch Maker from London”, John Francis Bois‑de‑Chesne, advertised “…that he does all sorts of work in his business…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 8 October 1750). Also in October the inventory of Mary Gaultier was found to contain “1 eight day Clock and Case [£]40‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 77A‑B, 1748‑1751, p. 570, 22 October 1750). February 1752 found the inventory of Isaac Holmes with “An Eight Day Clock [£]60‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vol. 79, 1751‑1753, p. 313, 18 February 1752). An advertisement in August 1752 of John Paul Grimkie, silversmith, offered “A fine clock, which chimes every quarter, shewing [sic] (besides the hours and days of the month) the age of the moon, at 200£” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 10 August 1752). Later in August 1752 Charles Woodmason, merchant, advertised the importation of several items among which was “…an eight day clock…” for sale (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 24 August 1752). John Paul Grimke advertised “…Clocks of various kinds…” for sale in February 1753 (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 5 February 1753). Another clock was also advertised in February 1753, this by Thomas Smith, merchant, who described it as “an exceedingly good 8‑day clock in a mahogany case…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 26 February 1753). The May 1753 inventory of the plantation Quarter House belonging to Joseph Wragg revealed “1 Eight Day Clock [£]35‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 82A‑B, 1753‑1756, p. 62, 31 May 1753). In June 1753 Grimke again advertised his stock of goods which included “…Clocks in mahogany frames…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 18 June 1753). The merchant William Lloyd advertised in October 1753 that he had “an eight‑day clock…” for sale. An earlier issue of the same newspaper revealed the source of his import as Liverpool (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 15, 22 October 1753). The July 1754 inventory of Henry Peronneau included “1 Eight day Clock Japan’d [£]50‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vols. 82A‑82B, 1753‑1756, p. 258, 20 July 1754 [recorded]).

Francis Bremar’s June 1760 inventory included “1 Handsome 8 Day Clock [£]80‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 85A‑85B, 1758‑1761, p. 563, 25 June 1760). In June 1761 the silversmith Grimke again advertised offering “A very neat table clock, which chimes every quarter and cost twenty guineas (for £160)…[and]…A large clock…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 20 June 1761). The following year Joshua Lockwood, cabinetmaker, advertised in January that “TO BE RAFFLED for, by twenty gentlemen at Ten Pounds a chance, The most curious MUSICAL CLOCK that ever was seen in this province, which plays twelve tunes on sixteen bells, and represents a concert in the arch, where every person seems to play on his separate instrument of musick as natural as the life” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 January 1762). Later, in August of 1762, Lockwood again advertised that he had imported from London “A neat assortment of Clocks and Watches. As there are several curious machinery motions in each clock, which has never been seen in these parts…There are slaves variously employed about rice, imitated to the life, hunting ditto, and several other motions new to this place…Those gentlemen who have favored me with orders, I petition to let their clocks be in my shop for a few days for the curious to see and me to regulate” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 August 1762). The mercantile firm of John Edwards and Co. advertised in August 1762 that arrivals from London, Liverpool, and Bristol included “…a few eight‑day clocks in mahogany cases with the moon’s full and change, warranted good…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 August 1762). In March 1765 John Oliver, Jr., who called himself a watchmaker, advertised as “latelt imported from London, some eight-day clocks, with arch faces, in mahogany and japan’d cases…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 23 March 1765). And, again in September, he offered “Two very good eight-day CLOCKS, one in a Japan, the other in a Mahogany case…” (The South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 21 September 1765). The following February he offered, as from London, “a Parcel of Eight Day CLOCKS, double Moon’s Age, in Mahogany Cases fluted, with Brass pendulums, made by the best hands in London.” (The South Carolina Gazette; and Country Journal, Charleston, 11 February 1766). Another firm, Reeves and Cochran, announced twice in September 1766 their offering of “…eight day clocks in mahogany cases…” (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 1, 16 September 1766). In June 1767 Mansell, Corbett, and Co. again advertised “…handsome eight day clocks…” from London (South Carolina Gazette, and Country Journal, Charleston, 23 June 1767). In September the same year the merchants Atkins and Weston advertised a shipment from London which contained “…A very neat eight‑day clock, in a mahogany case, warranted…” (South Carolina Gazette, and Country Journal, Charleston, 29 September 1767).

The March 1770 inventory of the Rev. John Evans revealed “A table Clock £60‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, 1763‑1771, p. 267, 26 March 1770). In a 5 December 1771 letter to John Laurens in Philadelphia from James Laurens in Charleston the effects of a lightning bolt which struck the house of John Laurens on 14 November 1771. The destructive force was described on the effects in the house, which apparently was great, also resulted in the “…Concussion [which] was so great that the house Shook in a most astonishing manner & one extrodinary proof of it was that the Pendulum of my Clock which Stands in the So. E. Corner of the Hall was unhung & thrown down & the side Windows (if I may call them so) of the case burst in & several of the Brass Capitals thrown down. So was the Glass at the sides of your Pappa’s Clock in the No. W. Corner of the back Room broke to pieces” (Henry Laurens Papers, Vol. 8, p. 83). The Elfe Account Book recorded charges for mending seven clock cases (#73, 28 April 1772; #136, 7, 21 February, March 1774, 24 April 1775; #109, 18 August 1774; #162, 9 November 1774) and the sale of one “Clock case [£]40‑…” on 29 June 1775. It was interesting that account #136, which had four charges for “mending Clock case & cleaning it up”, at different dates, was the account of the mercantile firm of Downs and Lee; who also were charged throughout their account for cleaning and repairing services on various furniture forms. This would lead to the speculation that this firm engaged in the second hand furniture business; though unprovable, this concept is reinforced by the evidence from the 1790’s and later of this process by cabinetmakers as well as auction houses. When the property of Sir Egerton Leigh was auctioned in June 1774, there was “a fine musical Clock, by Elliott mounted in Ormolu [sic]…” included in the furniture (South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 6 June 1774). In the March 1777 inventory of Col. George Paddington Bond there was “An Old Japanned Clock, much out of repair [£]20‑…” (Charleston County Wills, Etc., Vols. 98, 99A‑B, 1774‑1778, p. 291, 28 March 1777).

Stephen Cater’s November 1784 inventory contained “1 Eight Day Clock [£]7‑…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 273, 15 November 1784). Also, in the July 1785 inventory of Thomas Taylor there was “1 Eight Day Clock [£]7‑12‑3…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. A, 1783‑1787, p. 510, 23 July 1785). In the Alexander Crawford Daybook, who was a painter and glazier of Charleston, there was recorded the account (#28) of the clockmakers Munro and Murhead, who were charged with “1 Clock glass [£]‑10‑…” on 13 August 1789 (p. 33), also on 9 December 1793 William Wrighten (#162) was charged for “Glass for a Clock Case  [£]‑10‑…” and the cabinetmaker William Reside (#153) was charged with “Glass for [a] Clock Case [£]‑10‑…” on 4 July 1793 and again on 17 October 1794 for “1 Clock Case Glass…” In September 1789 James Jacks, the much advertised seller of jewelry and other small metal items, announced a shipment from Liverpool which contained “…eight day clocks with mahogany cases…” (City Gazette, or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 23 September 1789). In March 1790 the cabinetmaker Andrew Gifford, “Just from New York,” advertised furniture for sale which he probably brought with him among which was “An elegant clock and case…” (Charleston City Gazette and Advertiser, Charleston, 16 March 1790). May 1790 found the inventory of Robert Daniell, of Cain Hoy plantation, with “1 Eight Day Clock 10/…” (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. B, 1787‑1793, p. 288, 4 May 1790). John James Himley, of Charleston, advertised as a clock and watchmaker; however, he occasionally was listed as a merchant. The author believes that Himley, like most all Charleston clockmakers, imported clocks and sold them, some with their names on the dials. Himley was such a man. His advertisements reveal various clocks he imported for sale; however, none are as spectacular as revealed in two advertisements for raffles in April and July 1791. On 27 April he offered “The most superb, neat & elegant CLOCK ever imported into this country…This clock was made for one of the fugitive nobility of France, and during the trouble there, was shipped to America. The cost and charges amount to seventy guineas…” (The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 27 April 1791). On 1 July he again announced a raffle:

The following elegant and valuable property…subscriptions at five guineas…1.[a watch], No. 2. A superb clock representing a temple, white marble, richly decorated with gilt ornaments; the figures of two women on the sides, and an eagle on the top; the whole elegantly executed, value seventy-six Guineas. No. 3. An elegant clock, representing two pyramids of black marble supporting the clock work, richly decorated with a Minerva on the top, value seventy Guineas. No. 4.[a painting] No. 5. A clock with three dials, showing the house, the signs of the Zodiac, days of the week and month, and phases of the moon, being a traveling clock, value twenty-four Guineas. No. 6. A clock with the attributes of Fidelity, in the figure of a woman, cupid and a dog, value thirty-five Guineas. No. 7. [a watch] No. 8. A clock, supported by two columns, made of the root of the mahogany tree, with gilt ornaments, value twenty Guineas. No. 9. A clock, supported by ornaments, representing a pavillion in the Chinese taste, value fifty Guineas. No. 10. [a watch] No.11. A clock, representing a temple of white marble, with gilt ornaments and a cupid on the top, value sixty-five Guineas.
(The City Gazette or the Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 1 July 1791).

The cabinetmaker John Marshall advertised in October 1795 “A very elegant EIGHT DAY CLOCK” for sale among other furniture forms (The South Carolina State Gazette and Timothy & Mason’s Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 31 October 1795). In February, July 1796, and March 1797 he repeated the advertisement (City Gazette & The Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 February 1796, 16 March 1797; South Carolina Gazette, Charleston, 12 July 1796). The first evidence for Willard of Boston clocks arriving in Charleston was the advertisement of January 1803 in which “On board the Ship Hannah, at Craft’s North Wharf, one of Willard’s TIME PIECES.  Inquire of the Captain on board” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 11 January 1803). In January 1803 John Munro, clockmaker, advertised that he was “Selling Off” and had for sale “…London made warranted Eight‑day Clocks, in fine Mahogany cases, do. spring chamber do….” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 15 January 1803). Vendue master M.M. Campbell advertised in January 1804 that the damaged goods which had been on board the schooner Republican would be sold which included “…2 Eight Day Clocks…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 17 January 1804). The merchant M. Myers and Co. advertised in February 1804 his having received “from Boston, a Consignment of…4 Handsome CLOCKS…” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 14 February 1804). In December 1804 the vemdue merchants Verree and Blair advertised an auction at which a “Kitchen Clock, complete…” would be sold (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 8 December 1804). An advertisement appeared in June 1805 for the sale of goods on board the Sloop Oxford which included “Clocks” which had arrived from New Bedford, Conn. (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 20 June 1805). A sale of furniture at the “house of Thomas Oliphant”, upholsterer and paperhanger, in July 1806, included a “Clock Case…” (City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 4 July 1806).

In January 1809 a raffle was advertised which offered “The French TIME PIECE exhibiting at the Planters’ Hotel, is reduced to fifteen subscribers at ten Dollars each. If the subscription is not filled up in one month from this date the Time Piece will be removed and the money returned to the subscribers” (Charleston Courier, Charleston, 23 January 1809). In April 1815 the merchant T. Tupper advertised that he had received from Boston a shipment which included “…Patent Time‑Pieces…” which were probably Willard (Courier, Charleston, 20 April 1815).  Evidence for this attribution was found in an August 1818 advertisement of James Calder, cabinetmaker, who announced that “Stolen…From the subscribers house…a TIME PIECE in Mahogany Case, a round face, and the maker’s name on the face, A [Aaron] WILLARD Boston[.] Watch Makers and other persons, are requested to stop the said Time Piece should it be offered for sale by any suspicious person…” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 14 August 1818). Within the August 1813 inventory of John Francis Schem there was “a receipt of Made. Himely for $100 in advance on the proceeds of 4 clocks unsold…” She was the widow of John James Himely, clockmaker, who had died in January the past year; thus, apparently Schem had been trying to sell her clocks, passed on by her deceased husbands’ shop estate (Charleston County Inventories, Vol. E, 1810‑1818, p. 173, 6 August 1813). In May 1821 an auction advertisement revealed the sale of “FURNITURE, CHARLESTON MAKE” which included “Clock Cases” (City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser, Charleston, 15 May 1821). The cabinetmaking firm of Neville and Son had engaged Thomas McDonald, cabinetmaker, “Before 25 May 1821 [to] make eight mahogany Clock Cases [for] $130 plus materials”; on 24 November 1824 Neville and Son filed charges against McDonald for failure to “…follow specifications