Arts & Mysteries: Sticking Together


Anatomy of an 18th-century chair glue-up.
By Adam Cherubini
Pages: 20-23

From the October 2009 issue #178
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Eighteenth-century Philadelphia’s iconic Chippendale-style chairs featured unique joinery. Unlike earlier Philadelphia chairs or New England chairs of the same period, Philadelphia Chippendale-style chairs didn’t have lower stretchers (joining the legs together beneath the seat support rails) to help support the back. This design choice put a great deal of stress on the seat-rail-to-rear-leg-joint. Typically, furniture forms with structurally inferior joints (such as William & Mary high chests with their spindly turned legs) don’t last long. The pieces themselves don’t survive and the forms are abandoned by furniture makers and go extinct.


From the October 2009 issue #178
Buy this issue now