Halsey Munson Americana
204 North Summit Avenue
Decatur, Illinois 62522
All rights reserved.
Although superb furniture has been created in every age—including the 20th C.—we specialize in 17th, 18th and 19th C. American country. Our emphasis is on period examples whose form and proportion is enhanced by original or early surface, such as antique painted chests, apothecaries and Windsor chairs, tavern and hutch tables with honest scrub tops, Queen Anne seating from New York, Pennsylvania and New England and early mirrors with original glass.
18th C. Octagonal Hutch Table
Ca. 1780-1800 Connecticut River Valley shoe foot hutch table with octagonal thumb molded top. The base is maple, the quadruple pinned stepped shoe feet are oak with chip carving, the three-board top is pine. The finger-notched hutch compartment lid slides in tracks cut into the table sides. The top is 45” x 37” and the table height is 27 ½”. Found in Massachusetts.
18th C. Painted Sackback
Fine eastern Connecticut sackback Windsor with unusually good proportions and turnings in crusty 19th C. black paint over the original green. The seven back spindles are spoke-shaved, fan almost perfectly to fill the bow and balance smoothly with the weight of the finely drawn turnings. All three stretchers terminate in arrow turnings. All roundwork penetrates the seat. 37½” tall with an 18” seat height. However, in addition to condition, form and surface, this Windsor has something no other published 18th C. sackback Windsor has: an incredibly rare, original two-board chestnut seat! I’ve never owned one. Never seen one. And of all the standard references only one even mentions the existence of two-board seats. This one is composed of two highly figured chestnut boards carefully chosen for their graining. Fanny wear has turned their grain pattern into something approaching art. A beautiful and extremely rare Windsor.
Pristine High Country
Pembroke Table in Red Paint
Excellent early 19th C. high country Pembroke table in original red paint. And a true Pembroke in that each drop leaf is half the width of the top. Gracefully turned legs, leaves with radiused corners and a nearly immaculate surface set this table apart. Entirely original. No breaks, no repairs, no apologies. Yellow birch throughout. 29½”H x 35½”L x 39”D with both leaves raised. Massachusetts North Shore, New Hampshire or Southern Maine. Ca. 1815-1820.
New York Candlestand
Ca. 1770-1800 snake leg maple candlestand with an octagonal tiger maple scrubbed top. Both the pillar, with deep ball and reel turnings, and the legs in a thin red wash. The edges of the one-board tiger top are chamfered to reduce apparent thickness while retaining full strength. The top of the pillar tenons through the chamfered oak cleat and the cleat is secured to the top with roseheads. Seven rosehead nails also fix the iron spider to the underside of the pillar and legs. At some point in the mid-1800s a stress crack developed at the base of the pillar and was tightened with square nails. Top 17½”; height 25”. Probably New York State or Western Massachusetts.
Early 19th C. Nantucket
Charles Carpenter in The Decorative Arts and Crafts of Nantucket catalogued a small group of candlestands in a form he identified as having been made on Nantucket in the first decade of the 1800s: A shaped square top with bowed edges and outset, pointed corners, an urn-turned standard above a bulging, donut-shaped ring supported by high lift legs….But where most Nantucket candlestands are yellow birch with two-board tops, this stand is maple with a one-board top, and the latching mechanism for the tilt top is a simple wooden rotating catch. Perhaps the most interesting distinction is that this stand is in early, perhaps original, grain paint instead of the typical finished surface. 18¾” x 19” x 28” high. A unique and elegant Massachusetts candlestand.
New England Textiles Chest
in Vibrant Paint
Top-grade ca. 1800-1825 New England dome top textiles chest in untouched, unenhanced, unmonkeyed-with condition. The paint decoration is all original, as are the lock, latch, hinges and heart-shaped carrying handles. The paint decoration, and the fact that it’s made of basswood, strongly suggest Vermont or New Hampshire roots. 29”W x 14½”H x 15”D. The kind of chest that might have been used beneath or on top of a highboy.
Superb Sackback Windsor High Chair
Remarkable 1795-1805 sackback Windsor highchair with outrageous leg splay. Remains of black paint that may have been original. Hickory bow and arm rail, ash spindles and arm posts, carved chestnut seat (rare in children’s seating) and maple legs. Pinned joints at the bow ends, arm posts and both ends of the medial stretcher. 32” tall and the 18” splay at both front and rear legs makes it seem almost weightless. Soft amber surface. Possibly Connecticut, probably Rhode Island.
Matched New Hampshire Banisterback Side Chairs
A pair of 1740-1760 banisterbacks in 19th C. grain paint over the original green. Old yellow-painted splint seats. Highly developed finials and distinctive turnings on the back post and banisters. Few Mid-18th C. banisterbacks survive in structurally original condition. This pair has and retain their original feet. 17" seat height.
Unique Connecticut Windsor
A pair of ca. 1798-1804 Windsor chairs in 19th C. sage green over the first sage paint, and the seats are in original Windsor green. The decorative motifs on the crest rails and legs are identical to those on a 18th C. rodback Windsor (fig. 440, American Windsor Chairs) made by Ebenezer Williams who worked with Eliphalet Chapin in East Windsor, CT about 1790 and may have apprenticed to his cousin Ebenezer Tracy Sr. The sharply flaring back was a CT characteristic and the underside of one seat appears to be signed in chalk "A Williams," perhaps a relative. However, the form of the signature matches the "E Williams" chalk signature on a chest belonging to the Connecticut Historical Society. 17½" seat height. $1,550
Rare Country Game Table
in Original Paint
An early 19th C. butternut card table in absolutely untouched red paint. Both halves of the folding top have breadboard ends and when open show a soft, worn surface with significant remnants of the original paint. Closed, the top has a mellow scrubbed surface. The drawer is dovetailed white pine, the hinges are original and the knob is a 19th C. replacement. One of the unique aspects of this table is that sometime in the late 19th/very early 20th C. an owner installed, or had installed, a front to rear brace channeled to accept a support element dovetailed into the underside of the drawer bottom that solves the tendency of all early drawers to get offline and jam when being seated. The date 1819 is painted in red on the underside of the top. New England, probably Vermont. Unaltered surface. 35½”W x 17½”D x 28”H. $3,200
Child's Banister Back Armchair
19th C. child's banister back armchair, probably from the Connecticut shoreline. Vase and ball finials, shaped crest and stay rail, double baluster turned front stretcher, intact splint seat. There are no breaks in the banisters or cracks in either the front or back posts. The surface is an oxidized reddish-brown tinted resin. 25"H. Probably 1850-1875.
Connecticut Sackback Windsor
In Brown Over Salmon Paint
Gutsy 1790-1795 New England sackback Windsor with knuckle arm terminals, in crusty Spanish brown paint over an earlier salmon-red. Obviously made in the Connecticut/Rhode Island border region, the chair is unsigned but because of the number of features characteristic of Tracy family work, I believe it is either an early Elijah Tracy (eldest son of patriarch Ebenezer Tracy Sr.) chair, or possibly the work of another chair maker in the area intimately familiar with the Tracy style. 36”H, 16½” seat height.
Painted 1725 New York Great Chair
A very special early 18th C. Hudson River Valley 4-back Great Chair with dramatic serpentine flat-carved arms terminating in wide downturned grips. Deeply turned ring and sausage front and back posts, shaped slats, turned double ball single front stretcher with arrow terminals, worn black paint, original feet, almost full height (45½”), with no repairs or restoration at all. The label from an early New York collection is on the underside of the left arm. The rush seat is a 20th C. replacement.