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American Furniture

THE FIRST AMERICAN FURNITURE was made by the Colonists not long after their arrival in Virginia in 1607. This very early furniture was limited in scope, consisting mainly of tables, chests, chests of drawers, stools and a few chairs.



The furniture they made for their homes in the new world was the same kind they had known back in England. This tie between the American Colonies and England remained very strong all during our Colonial days prior to Independence in 1776. This influence is demonstrated by the early cabinetmakers who often copied English designs directly, occasionally adapting them to suit American tastes. Some innovations were entirely of American design; the finest of these being the magnificent block front furniture from Rhode Island.

Because communication methods were unbelievably slow compared with today's instantaneous ones, the styles which originated in England were fashionable here at a date considerably later.

In the same way the rural districts tagged behind the larger cities. The country cabinetmakers did not follow styles as closely as those in the cities and often continued the use of a style years after it had passed out of fashion in the cities.

Some styles were made continuously over a long period of years because of their popularity.

All this makes dating of furniture an approximate, rather than an exact, science. For instance, a particular item cannot with any certainly be pinpointed at 1727; but it can be accurately dated as "circa 1730" (circa means about). These dates are more than adequately accurate.



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