Something has always puzzled me about carved decoration found on a number of the very best period Philadelphia mahogany furniture which have been made between a 10 year period of 1760-70.
What has court my eye is a simple circles which have been lightly carved out by probably the carver using a small gouge.
There really is nothing strange about them as they’ve blend in with the other caving but i have found very little research on them and why, as they are not found on every piece of carved mid 18th century Philly furniture but seem to be on the most expensive..
They seem not to be found on any other furniture mades and carved from other East Coast States of this period.
First piece that came to my attention was when I was restoring the damaged polish of all the showwood from the John Cadwalader bed ( photo 2).
We noticed the circular carving, each one is different showing they have been executed free hand and placed in the sunk parts of the canopy eg the concave section at the top scolap areas but we could not find at the time a connection but now after 3 and 1/2 years of research by myself and Ian Coulson this circling with the other physical evidence is drawing me to the the fact that this bed was made in Philadelphia in late 1768-9.
The image below got me to look at it twice when I was reading Wallace Nutting VOL III of Furniture Treasury
This drawing was taken from a Philadelphia piece of furniture but this too had the circular marks also in set on the concave sections. While going through the book i came across another Philadelphia furniture which had making too.
Both drawing got me looking at the bed again and its real connection to America at a time of some of the best Rococo furniture.
Now i have started looking into this more deeply by looking at the known piece but a large number of Auctioneers catalogues online or hard back and museums collections show great images but not good enough to see this finer details like the ones below
I am looking to build up the know piece with or without information of the makers and carvers who were involved in furniture making.