more sources for 17th-century furniture studies

In an earlier post, I mentioned a number of sources for study concerning seventeenth-century furniture.

Jennie Alexander then called & suggested that I post a mini-bibliography of my writings on the subject. As we spoke, we arrived at the notion that it should include Alexander’s stuff as well…

Here’s a shot at it. Included are the links when the article is available online as well; but I have tried to include the whole publication citation, for those who are interested in books & things like that.

Peter Follansbee and John Alexander, “Seventeenth-Century Joinery from Braintree, Massachusetts: the Savell Shop Tradition” in American Furniture, ed., Luke Beckerdite, (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England for the Chipstone Foundation, 1996) pp. 81-104.

[this is the one that Alexander & I cut our teeth on, and the furniture in it is still my favorite; which anyone who sees my work can tell…]

Peter Follansbee, “A Seventeenth-Century Carpenter’s Conceit: The Waldo Family Joined Great Chair” in American Furniture, ed., Luke Beckerdite, (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England for the Chipstone Foundation, 1998) pp. 197-214.

[The Waldo chair in the Chipstone collection is an amazing piece of mechanics; thanks to Trent for leading me down that road…here’s one of my versions of it:]

3 legged wainscot chair iteFiles/AFintroframeset.html

Peter Follansbee, “Unpacking the Little Chest” in Old Time New England, vol 78, number 268 (Spring/Summer 2000): 5-23.

[not about a “little” chest, but about a chest that belonged to Nina Fletcher Little, whose collection ended up at Historic New England. The chest in question was made in Plymouth Colony, and this project really got me involved in the Plymouth Colony stuff…great variety of furniture forms survive from there. Here’s a picture I got of one that will be sold this winter at Sotheby’s]

Plymouth Colony chest with 2 drawers

Peter Follansbee, “Manuscripts, Marks, and Material Culture: Understanding the Joiner’s Trade in Seventeenth-Century America” in American Furniture, edited by Luke Beckerdite, (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England for the Chipstone Foundation, 2002), pp. 125-146.

[This one came the closest to showing how I get/got from surviving artifact & document to reproduction furniture…]


Peter Follansbee, “Connecting a London-Trained Joiner to 1630s Plymouth Colony” in Antiques and Fine Art (Summer/Autumn, 2007) 200-205.

 [the first installment in what I hope is a series of articles about London craftsmen who came to New England…I was thrilled when I found old Kenelm Winslow…]

Kenelm Winslow London record

Robert F. Trent and Peter Follansbee, “Repairs versus Deception in Essex County Cupboards, 1830-1890” in Rural New England Furniture: People, Place, and Production (Boston: Boston University Scholarly Publications, 2000) pp. 13-28

 [this one was an offshoot of the next one, but it came first…]

Robert F. Trent, Peter Follansbee and Alan Miller, “First Flowers in the
Wilderness: Mannerist Furniture from a Northern Essex County, Massachusetts, Shop” in American Furniture, edited by Luke Beckerdite, (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England for the Chipstone Foundation, 2001), pp. 1-64.

 [a monster project, spearheaded by Trent…amazing furniture]

Peter Follansbee, “Records of the London Carpenters’ Company” (2005) for New England Ancestors – the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society

 [more London records. One could spend a whole career studying in the Guildhall Library there…]

Peter Follansbee, “Recreating a 17th-Century Carved Box” in Woodwork (Spring 2009) 42-49.

 [simple how-to, just took me a while to get around to it… ditto for below] 

Peter Follansbee, “Seventeenth-Century Carving Techniques” in Antiques and Fine Art  (I don’t have the citation here…)

 Stephanie Stone, “Peter Follansbee: Craftsman Scholar” in Woodwork (June 2005) 26-34.

[Stephanie & Woodwork magazine treated me very well…]

 Stephanie Stone, “Peter Follansbee Researching Historical Furniture” in Woodwork (June 2005) 80.

 John Alexander, “The 17th-Century Draw Bored Mortise and Tenon: The Heart of Joinery” in Woodwork (October 1996) 66-71.

[Note that even way back then the fine print reads that John (now Jennie) Alexander & I were working on a book about joinery…well, we are doing our best to really make it happen in 2010…only 14 years later…]

John Alexander, “Riving Wood” in Woodwork (April 2003) pp. 64-70.

John Alexander, “Riving Wood For 17th-Century Joint Furniture” American Period Furniture (2002)

[There is an online version of these articles; at Aleaxander’s website. For the printed version, I like the one in Woodwork, early issues of American Period Furniture were a little rough. Now its production is excellent, though.]

 Adam Katz Stone, “John Alexander: The Science of Simplicity” in Woodwork (October 1997) pp. 22-29.

[I think still a good overview of what Alexander’s woodworking career covered…]  

JA riving oak
JA at shaving horse



10 thoughts on “more sources for 17th-century furniture studies

  1. Peter,Jennie

    The Chipstone articles are fantastic, for anyone serious about this stuff.

    I suggest buying the hard copy from them. The photos are priceless.

    thanks to you both for keeping the 17th century so very interesting!

    It would be wonderful to see the two of you do a lecture here in Boston sometime…

    thanks again,


  2. Joel
    I agree about buying the American Furniture volumes; Gavin Ashworth’s photos are excellent. Chipstone puts the articles online eventually; but usually the permission to publish photos does not extend to the web; so only some of the illustrations appear there.

  3. yeah, that was irritating, when one clicks some of the photo’s, that message “permission not granted”. It would be nice if they had a thingy where one can pay a fee or something to view the entire article, pic’s and all.

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