A Tall Tale or True?

mahogany dining chair with simple design

Sometime in the 1780s, or even earlier, a furniture maker in England put the finishing touches on this utilitarian chair with its simplified fiddle back. He painted it with shellac and used his hammer to drive in iron tacks to secure the brown leather upholstery and to stamp the letters ‘S’ and ‘L’ (perhaps his […]

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Commerce and Grandeur

A grand house deserves fancy furniture. Perhaps that’s why James Martin Hillhouse Taylor (c1814-1875) purchased this elaborate dining chair and ‘grandmother’ chair in about 1849 – to furnish his new residence in Morpeth. As a shipping agent for the Hunter Valley Steam Navigation Company, with a profitable side business selling spirits and other goods, Taylor […]

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