Extensively researched throughout the United States and the British Isles, this lavishly illustrated volume brings to light the influence of Scottish cabinetmakers and designs on furniture made in Federal America. While the Scottish-born Duncan Phyfe has always been recognized as one of the premier makers of Federal furniture, Mary Ann Apicella illuminates the community of craftsmen active in and around Atlantic coast style-centers during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
By separating English antecedents and American design trends from those identified by the author as uniquely Scottish in form, ornament, and construction, the particular hallmarks of Scottish aesthetics and craftsmanship become visible. To illustrate these findings, individual chapters devoted to chests of drawers, wardrobes and linen presses, sideboards, desks and secretaries, tables, chairs, and clocks, offer a comparative study of items. To contextualize and personalize these objects, the author includes a discussion of Scottish migration patterns, artistic and social influences, and the cultural epicenter of New York City. Carefully researched, clearly written, and copiously illustrated, Scottish Cabinetmakers in Federal New York is a valuable resource for dedicated collectors and will introduce new enthusiasts.
MARY ANN APICELLA is an independent scholar who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Virginia School of Law, and attended the Institute of Fine Arts in New York. She has researched and written on topics in nineteenth century decorative arts. She divides her time between the United States and Great Britain.