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Biography (B) - Encylopedia Of Antiques

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BADGER, THOMAS (1764-1826): Pewterer at Boston, late 18th century. Apparently flat ware was his chief product.

BADLAM, STEPHEN (1751-1815): Cabinet-maker of Dorchester, Massachusetts, who is given credit for making much of the furniture for the Derby family at Salem, by some attributed to Samuel McIntire (q.v.). He was a Brigadier General in the Revolutionary War.

BAGNALL, BENJAMIN (1689-1740): One of the earliest clock-makers in America, who was born in England and arrived in Boston about 1712. He made eight-day clocks in pine and walnut cases as early as 1722, and found a ready sale for them. His sons, Benjamin, Jr. and Samuel, were clock-makers also. The latter carried on business in Boston from 1740 to 1760.

BALCH, DANIEL (1735-1790?): Clock-maker of Newbury, Massachusetts, from about 1760 to 1790. His clocks are distinguished by engraved brass faces with chased spandrel decorations and carefully designed hands. After his death his sons, Daniel, Jr. (1761-1835) and Thomas (1771- ? ) carried on the business.

BALL,WILLIAM (?-1810): Philadelphia silversmith.

BARNS, B. (1759-1842): Pewterer of Philadelphia, known to have worked there from 1812 to 1817 and in that time to have been one of the most prolific producers of pewter in America. His ware is of good quality of metal and workmanship.

BASSETT, FRANCIS (1729-1800): One of the earliest New York pewterers. J. B. Kerfoot considered his product the most desirable from the collector's point of view, of all of the American makers. He is the only pewterer listed in the first issue of the New York City directory.

BASSETT, FREDERICK (1740-1801): New York pewterer of about the same time as Francis, mentioned above. His work is very rare and highly regarded. It is thought that Francis and Frederick were brothers and that they were sons of John Bassett (1696'1761), also a pewterer.

BECK, WASHINGTON (1839-?): Born in Pittsburgh and one of the best known glass mold-makers of his time. He not only made molds for American glass-makers but exported his product to foreign countries. His slogan was "a constant succession of new designs," and to him must be attributed many of the designs of the pressed so-called pattern glass of the period.

BELDEN: A partner of John Allis of Hatfield, Massachusetts.

BELTER, JOHN HENRY: A New York cabinet-maker of great popularity in fashionable circles first half 19th century.

BENNETT, EDWIN (1818-?): A brother of James Bennett (below) who came in 1841 from England to work in the East Liverpool, Ohio, pottery. In 1846, he left there and started a factory at Baltimore, Maryland, the first to be established south of the Mason and Dixon Line. He made a specialty of the finer grades of ware and was very successful. In 1890 the Edwin Bennett Pottery Company was formed.

BENNETT, JAMES: An English potter who came to this country in 1834, and after working in Jersey City and in Troy, Indiana, he went to East Liverpool, Ohio, where he established the first pottery in that district in 1839. Since that time East Liverpool has become one of the chief pottery centers in this country.

BENTLEY, THOMAS (?-1780): Partner of Josiah Wedgwood from 1768 to 1780. He resided in London and gave his attention to introducing Wedgwood wares to the trade in London , in which he was very successful.

BILLINGSLEY, WILLIAM (1758-1828): A decorator of porcelain employed by many of the English factories, Derby, Worcester, Pinxton, Nantgarw, Swansea and Coalport, where he died. The rose was his favorite flower decoration. He was the most famous of all china painters of his time, and for a few years conducted a porcelain factory at Torksey, which was unsuccessful.

BOARDMAN, THOMAS DANFORTH (1784-1873): Pewterer of Hartford, Connecticut. His mother was Sarah Danforth, a granddaughter of Thomas Danforth (q.v.), the famous pewterer of Norwich, Connecticut. Thomas was the first of the Boardman group of pewterers, rivaled in number only by those of the Danforth group. American Pewter by KERFOOT gives a detailed account of the activities of these groups. The best work of Thomas was done before 1825.

BOELEN, JACOB (1654-1729): Born in Amsterdam, he came to New York in 1659. He was one of the earliest of the New York silversmiths and his work is characterized by the Dutch influence to be seen on all early New York silver. Boelen became very active in civic affairs and occupied several important offices. His son Hendrick was also a silversmith associated with him.

BOTTGER, JOHANN FRIEDRICH (1682-1719): A chemist who discovered the secret of true porcelain in 1709 while in search of a process that would convert base metal into gold, and, under the patronage of the Elector of Saxony, established the Dresden (Meissen) China factory in 1713, which produced the first hard porcelain to be made in Europe. After the death of Bottger, Kandler, modeler, and Herold, painter, together produced designs never excelled, which made Dresden porcelain (q.v. PART 2) famous.

BOUCHER,FRAN; (1703-1770): Noted French painter who was also the most brilliant and successful tapestry designer of the 18th century, first at Beauvais and then for Gobelin.

BOULLE, ANDRE CHARLES (1642-1732): French cabinet-maker noted for his work in ebony, inlays and clever coverings with ornaments of brass, ormolu, and other metals. He was also an architect, carver in mosaic, artist in cabinet work and designer of figures; altogether a man of many abilities. His great success, however, was in his use of tortoiseshell inlay in connection with brass (usually), and his name has since been given to that process although it is disputed that he was the inventor of that form of decoration. Boulle was one of the staff of Charles Le Brun (q.v.), the great master of decorative art under Louis XIV, and resided in the Louvre from 1672 until the time of his death, where the celebrated ebeniste composed his choicest work. His furniture is luxurious and harmonizes only in a rich setting. After the King's death his fortunes dwindled and he died in poverty.

BOULSOVER, THOMAS: A cutlery-maker in Sheffield, England, who in 1742 accidentally discovered that silver and copper could be welded together, which discovery led later to the establishment of the Sheffield plate industry.

BOYD, PARKES: Pewterer of Philadelphia whose name appears in the directory from 1798 to 1819. He was a maker of fine pewter in both quality and finish. Examples of his work are rare.

BRACE, RODNEY: Clock-maker who came from Torrington, Connecticut, and worked at North Bridgewater (now Brockton), Massachusetts, early in the 19th century. He made many small shelf clocks, and these were sold in all parts of the country by means of wagon travel.

BRADFORD, CORNELIUS (1729-1786): Pewterer of New York, son of William Bradford (below), removed to Philadelphia and there pursued his trade until the death of his wife, after which he returned to New York. His pewter work ranks as high as other pewterers' of his time. In the years just before the Revolution he was a trusted dispatch bearer between the Colonies.

BRADFORD, WILLIAM (1688-1759): Pewterer. In 1719 he became a freeman of New York, his occupation on the records given as that of a pewterer.

BRECKENRIDGE, J. M. (1809-1896): The last one of the old Connecticut clock-makers. During his long career he made many improvements in tools for making clocks. He remained at his bench in the shop of the New Haven Clock Company until a few months before his death.

BREWSTER, ELISHA C. (1791-1880): Clock-maker of Bristol, Connecticut, from 1833 to 1862, when he retired. He invented a new spring for clocks and manufactured the first spring clocks made in this country. He had a branch house in London for the sale of his goods.

BRIGDEN, ZACHARIAH (1734-1787): Silversmith whose shop was located in Cornhill, Boston. Marked pieces of his work are to be seen in some collections. He married Sarah, daughter of Thomas Edwards, also a silversmith.

BROWN, GAWEN (1719-1801): Clock-maker from England who settled in Boston. He made the clock for the Old South Church in that city and was also the maker of tall clocks and watches.

BULLARD, CHARLES (1794-1871): Noted for the painted glass fronts and dials which he furnished for Simon Willard (q.v.).

BURLING, THOMAS: A cabinet and chair-maker of New York. Active from 1790 to 1800.

BURNAP, DANIEL (1760-1838): Clock-maker of East Windsor, Connecticut, and an apprentice of Thomas Harland (q.v.). His clocks always had brass works and tall cases and are among the best made in New England. A characteristic of his clocks is the silver face, beautifully engraved and without spandrel decoration. They often had also the phases of the moon, calendar attachments and chimes. About 1800 he removed to Andover, Connecticut, where he was located at the time of his death.

BURT, JOHN (1691-1745): A prominent Boston silversmith of the first half of the 18th century. The bulk of his work was simple, useful hollow ware. He was very successful and his business was continued by his three sons, Samuel (1724-1754), William (1726-1752), and Benjamin (1729-1805). The latter made some of the finest ware of his time.