Halsey Munson Americana
2707 Twin Oaks Court
Decatur, Illinois 62526
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.
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 Sawbuck Table
All-original ca. 1820-1830 New England sawbuck table. Its unaltered condition, with a one-board top, original and unmoved cleats, dovetailed stretchers, and untouched salmon paint, make it a truly remarkable survivor. 45”L x 23½’W x 28”H.
18th C. Wm. & Mary Lighting Stand maple with a 12” lipped rotating table surface that adjusts by revolving up and down a threaded shaft, which sockets into a molded circular 7” base supported not by the customary three but by four deeply turned legs. Original red paint covered by an ancient varnish oxidized almost black. It is popularly believed that all such stands included a rotating arm that held a pair of candles for illumination. Unfortunately, like many other bits of popular knowledge, this too is wrong. A simple experiment involving an adjustable candle arm and a mug of beer makes it immediately obvious that only screw thread candle stands in the 36”-44” range could handle both. At 32” tall, a light stand like this one was intended as a platform for a candle stick or rushlight—or perhaps a tankard of ale. From a Washington, DC collection. Purchased in New Hampshire in 1982 from Bert and Gail Savage. $2,100
Octagonal Topped 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. The top has two very early Dutchmen and has been snugged to the cleat with a rosehead driven down from above. Top 17½”; height 25”. Probably New York State or Western Massachusetts.
Ca. 1840 Painted & Scalloped Shelves
Mid 19th C. set of triangular hanging shelves, dovetailed construction, with scalloped galleries and molded edges. Good jack plane marks and square nails with some 20th C. helpers. Paint is probably late 19th C. green with red striping over the original blue. Scalloping is in amazingly good condition. 22”H x 23”W.
Early 19th C. Corner Sconce Shelf
Rare corner-hung candle shelf from the 1st half of the 1800s in original oyster paint, now heavily oxidized and darkened from smoke and age. American white pine with scalloped sides. Fine square nails. Late 19th C. tin patch on reverse to stabilize an old shrinkage crack. Wooden sconces like this have become scarce; corner sconces are today almost never seen. 17½” tall and takes takes a 7“ corner. New York or New England.
Early Looking Glass in Chrome Yellow
Small cushion framed looking glass from the 2nd half of the 1800s in chrome yellow paint with the original salmon surface showing through. Square nailed construction with some later helper nails at the corners. Only 10½” x 12¼”. The mirror plate appears to be original.
18th C. Windsor Footstool
Genuine 18th C. Windsor footstools are seldom seen outside museums and well-established Americana collections. They served multiple purposes—as an aid to milking (though those tended to be somewhat more primitive), as seating for children (which may be why there are so few around), and as a way to keep your feet up off cold and drafty floors. This one is particularly well made, with a saucered seat with chamfered edges, muscular turnings with emphatic thicks and thins, and the remains of 19th C. black paint, which probably covered the original red, on the underside of the seat. Tack marks indicate that at one time the seat was upholstered. Pine seat, maple legs and stretchers, probably Connecticut or Rhode Island, ca. 1795-1800. 11¼” H with a 10” seat diameter. $895.