Issue Six: Examination of a Hanging Cupboard


We are announcing one Issue Six article each weekday until pre-orders open on February 1st. If you don’t already have a subscription and just wanted to order a copy of Issue Six by itself, you may do so on February 1st. 

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Every piece of period furniture is alive with story, and we love to crawl under tables, pull out drawers, and look at all the hidden surfaces to learn what they have to say. There are always messages to be found, written in tool marks, layout lines, and even scrawled with pencil or chalk. In Issue Six, we will be examining an early-19th-century Pennsylvania hanging cupboard. This lively piece is noteworthy for both its fanciful decoration and its vernacular construction.

It is entirely assembled using wooden nails - the only metal fasteners here secure the original hinges and forged hanging hardware. Tool marks abound, from the foreplaned, typically rough secondary surfaces to a surprisingly coarse painted exterior, and even mistakes made in construction (we’ve all suffered botched layout efforts before) communicate a great deal about the maker of the cupboard. This photographic essay looks over every square inch of this piece, and is sure to inform your understanding of appropriate period tolerances.

Stay tuned for another post announcing the next article in Issue Six…