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Windsor Furniture -- United States -- History

The following sources are recommended by an expert whose research specialty is historic American furniture.

Six Superlative Sources

· Cotton, Bernard D. The English Regional Chair. Antique Collectors' Club, 1990. A definitive study of English eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century vernacular seating furniture, including the Windsor chair, which forms a background and complement to the study of American Windsor furniture.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. American Windsor Chairs. Hudson Hills Press, 1996. A comprehensive study of the background, design development, regional interaction, and craftsmanship of this furniture form in the pre-industrial era, based on the evidence of period documents and furniture.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. American Windsor Furniture: Specialized Forms. Hudson Hills Press, 1997. A study extending the focus of American Windsor chairs beyond the adult side chair and armchair to include children's furniture, rocking chairs, settees, stools, and many other forms in a cultural context.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. Windsor-Chair Making in America: From Craft Shop to Consumer. University Press of New England, 2005. A document-based socio-cultural study comprising an in-depth exploration of the business of making and merchandising vernacular seating furniture in the pre-industrial era and providing a focus on the broad consumer base that drove the market.

· Skemer, Don C. "David Alling's Chair Manufactory: Craft Industrialization in Newark, New Jersey, 1801-1854." Winterthur Portfolio 22, no. 1 (Spring 1987): 1-21. A comprehensive overview of the organization and operation of a large, urban chair manufactory in the early nineteenth century.

· White, Frank G. "Sterling, Massachusetts: An Early Nineteenth-Century Seat of Chairmaking." Rural New England Furniture: People, Place, and Production, The Proceedings of the 1998 Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, edited by Peter Benes, pp. 119-37. Boston University, 2000. A study focused on northern Worcester County, where waterpower was effectively harnessed to build a flourishing chairmaking industry based on mass production.

Other Excellent Sources

· Baron, Donna K. "Definition and Diaspora of Regional Style: The Worcester County Model." American Furniture 1995, edited by Luke Beckerdite, pp. 167-90. University Press of New England for the Chipstone Foundation, 1995. An exploration of the growth and maturation of the furniture trade in northeastern Massachusetts in the late colonial and federal periods.

· Dunbar, Michael. Make a Windsor Chair with Michael Dunbar. Taunton Press, 1984. A comprehensive how-to book with many good illustrations, written by a well-known craftsman.

· (Evans), Nancy Goyne. "Francis Trumble of Philadelphia: Windsor Chair and Cabinetmaker." Winterthur Portfolio 1 (1964): 221-41. Winterthur Museum, 1964. A profile of an eighteenth-century craftsman.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. "The Genesis of the Boston Rocking Chair." Antiques 22, no. 1 (January 1983): 246-53.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. "Design Sources for Windsor Furniture, Part 1: The Eighteenth Century" and "Part 2: The Early Nineteenth Century." Antiques 33, nos. 1, 5 (January, May 1988): 282-97, 1128-43.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. "American Painted Seating Furniture: Marketing the Product, 1750-1840." Perspectives on American Furniture, edited by Gerald W.R. Ward, pp. 153-68. W.W. Norton for the Winterthur Museum, 1988.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. "Design Transmission in Vernacular Seating Furniture: The Influence of Philadelphia and Baltimore Styles on Chairmaking from the Chesapeake Bay to the 'West'." American Furniture 1993, edited by Luke Beckerdite, pp. 75-116. University Press of New England for the Chipstone Foundation, 1993.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. "The Philadelphia Windsor Chair: A Commercial and Design Success Story." Shaping a National Culture: The Philadelphia Experience, 1750-1800, edited by Catherine E. Hutchins, pp. 335-62. W.W. Norton for the Winterthur Museum, 1994.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. "Frog Backs and Turkey Legs: The Nomenclature of Vernacular Seating Furniture, 1740-1850." American Furniture 1996, edited by Luke Beckerdite, pp. 17-56. University Press of New England for the Chipstone Foundation, 1996.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. "The Christian M. Nestell Drawing Book: A Focus on the Ornamental Painter and His Craft in Early Nineteenth-Century America." American Furniture 1998, edited by Luke Beckerdite, pp. 99-163. University Press of New England for the Chipstone Foundation, 1998. Painted decoration was critical to the commercial and aesthetic appeal of vernacular seating furniture after 1800. This work comprised a major part of the livelihood of many ornamental painters.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. "Politics, Enterprise, and Design: The Nature and Influence of Windsor Chairmaking in Early Federal Rhode Island." American Furniture 1999, edited by Luke Beckerdite, pp. 48-77. University Press of New England for the Chipstone Foundation, 1999.

· Evans, Nancy Goyne. "The Classical Impulse in American Vernacular Chairs." The Catalogue of Antiques and Fine Art, forthcoming (Autumn 2004).

· Gillingham, Harrold E. "The Philadelphia Windsor Chair and Its Journeyings." Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 55, no. 4 (October 1931): 301-32. Statistical data on the late eighteenth-century export trade in Windsor chairs.

· Keno, Leigh. "The Windsor-Chair Makers of Northampton, Massachusetts, 1790-1820." Antiques 117, no. 5 (May 1980): 1100-07. A good regional study.

· Richmond, Andrew. "The Fashionable Frontier: Thomas Ramsey, Windsor-Chair Maker in Marietta, Ohio." Antiques 165, no. 5 (May 2004): 136-43.

· Santore, Charles. The Windsor Style in America. 2 vols. Running Press, 1981, 1987. The best survey books available; materials based primarily on secondary sources.

· Shettleworth, Earle G., and William D. Barry. "Walter Corey's Furniture Manufactory in Portland, Maine." Antiques 121, no. 5 (May 1982): 1199-205. A brief historical sketch of a mid-nineteenth-century chair manufacturer.

· Talbot, Page. "Cheapest, Strongest, and Best Chairmaking in Nineteenth-Century Philadelphia." Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association 33, nos. 2, 3 (June, September 1980): 28-30, 41-46.

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