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Buckland, William (14 August 1734–Nov. or Dec. 1774), craftsman, designer, and architect, was born in Oxford, England, the son of Francis Buckland, a small property-owning farmer, and Mary Dunsdown. On 5 April 1748 he was apprenticed for a term of seven years to a London joiner, James Buckland, who may have been his uncle. Joinery, the craft of smoothly fitting together small pieces of wood, was taught according to rules and standards established by a trade organization, which was organized along the lines of a traditional medieval guild. In eighteenth-century England formal academic architectural training was absent, and it was primarily out of the ranks of the building trades that ambitious men, armed with drawing skills, rose to claim the title of architect....

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Goddard, John (20 January 1723–04 July 1785), cabinetmaker, was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, the son of Daniel Goddard, a shipwright, and Mary Tripp. Shortly after John’s birth the Goddards moved to Newport, Rhode Island. There John was apprenticed to cabinetmaker Job Townsend, Sr., in about 1743; on 3 April 1745 he became a freeman of Rhode Island. In 1746 he married his master’s daughter, Hannah Townsend. The Goddards had sixteen children, three or four of whom became cabinetmakers. Relatively little is known about Goddard’s personal life. On 22 August 1748 he bought a house lot for £250 on Easton’s Point, later Washington Street, where he erected his house and shop. In the 1760s he held town offices, including viewer of lumber and justice of the peace, and apparently was a respected citizen....

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Gostelowe, Jonathan (1745?–03 February 1795), joiner and cabinetmaker, was born in Passyunk, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, the son of George Gostelowe, a farmer who immigrated from Sweden, and Lydia (full name unknown), who was from England. Although some sources give his birth year as 1744, his obituary lists 1745. Gostelowe began to work in Philadelphia at a time when he had to compete against approximately thirty master joiners and cabinetmakers. He may have apprenticed with ...

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See Herter, Gustave

Article

Catherine Hoover Voorsanger

Herter, Gustave (14 May 1830–29 November 1898), and Christian Herter (08 January 1839–02 November 1883), craftsmen, were born in Stuttgart, Germany, the sons of Johanna Christiana Maria Barbara Hagenlocher and Christian Herter, a cabinetmaker and woodworker.

Gustave’s full name at birth was Julius Gustav Alexander Hagenlocher; his mother was unmarried at the time. When she married Christian Herter, Sr., he adopted Gustave, who eventually added the extra letter to his first name. Gustave immigrated to New York in 1848 at the age of eighteen, renounced his German citizenship two years later, and quickly distinguished himself among a burgeoning population of immigrant craftsmen. Although unsubstantiated, it is said that he was employed by Tiffany, Young & Ellis as a silver designer until 1851. He then established a short-lived cabinetmaking concern, called Herter, Pottier & Co., with a young French émigré craftsman named Auguste Pottier; this partnership lasted only until 1853. Concurrently, Herter seems to have been associated with Erastus Bulkley, a well-established New York cabinetmaker, and from 1853 until 1858 their firm, Bulkley & Herter, is listed in the local directories. From 1854 the firm was located at 547 Broadway, then at the heart of the carriage trade, an address at which Herter remained until 1869....

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Hitchcock, Lambert (28 May 1795–03 April 1852), chair and cabinet manufacturer, was born in Cheshire, Connecticut, the son of John Lee Hitchcock, a veteran of the American Revolution, and Eunice Hudson. Although his master is not known, Hitchcock is thought to have been apprenticed in the furniture trade in Cheshire. By 1814 he had begun work as a journeyman in the shop of Silas E. Cheney of Litchfield, Connecticut, where he would remain for four years (minus an unsuccessful semester of study at the Episcopal Academy of Connecticut in Cheshire)....

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Lannuier, Charles-Honoré (27 June 1779–16 October 1819), cabinetmaker, was born in Chantilly, France, the son of Michel-Cerille Lannuier, an innkeeper, and Marie-Genvieve Malice. He spent his formative years in a France racked by the political and social upheaval of the revolution. Unfortunately, only the barest outline of his life in these tumultuous times can be traced. Baptismal and court records in Chantilly and Paris indicate that he was one of ten children and the considerably younger brother of Nicolas-Louis-Cyrille Lannuier, a Parisian cabinetmaker who attained the guild rank of ...

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Marcotte, Léon Alexandre (15 May 1824–25 January 1887), cabinetmaker and interior decorator, was born in Valognes, Manche, France, the son of Pierre Alexandre Marcotte, a lawyer, and Mélanie Julie Ringuet. He was educated as an architect at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and trained in the studio of Henri Labrouste, who designed the Bibliotheque Ste. Geneviève in Paris. Marcotte had been introduced into the world of cabinetmaking by the time that his sister married the Parisian ...

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Phyfe, Duncan (1768–16 August 1854), cabinetmaker, was born Duncan Fife in Loch Fannich, Scotland, near Inverness (according to family tradition), the son of Isabella (maiden name unknown) and a father whose first name is unknown. His boyhood years and apprenticeship remain shrouded in obscurity. Tradition records that he sailed for America in 1784 with his widowed mother and family, settling first in Albany, New York, where he probably received additional training. By about 1790 he seems to have moved down river to the larger market of New York City. He was certainly in New York by 1792, when he became a member of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York. After working at several locations, he first established his own shop in 1795 on Partition (now Fulton) Street; he soon added more property at this location, where he would work until his retirement in 1847 and reside until his death. In February 1793 he married Rachel Lowzada; they had seven children. (By 1794 he had changed the spelling of his surname to Phyfe.)...

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Quervelle, Anthony (1789–31 July 1856), cabinetmaker, was born Antoine Gabriel Quervelle in Paris, France, but virtually nothing is known about his early life. His biographer, art historian Robert C. Smith, has speculated that Quervelle was one of the many Frenchmen who trained during the Napoleonic era and then, disaffected, left the country after the emperor’s downfall. Whatever the case, Quervelle had arrived in Philadelphia by 1817. That year he married Louise Geneviève Monet, herself a Parisian living in Philadelphia; they had two children. After the death of his first wife in November 1847, Quervelle married a woman named Caroline; they had one daughter....

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Savery, William (1722– May 1787), cabinetmaker, , is known today almost entirely through his furniture and through isolated historical references. Nothing is known of his parents, birth, or boyhood, although he probably moved to Philadelphia in 1740. Relatively recent discovery of a 1741 receipt issued to John Wister and signed by Savery acknowledging payment “for the use of My Master Salomon Fussel [ ...

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Seymour, John (c. 1730s–21 August 1818), cabinetmaker, was born in or near Axminster, Devon, England. Although his parentage is unknown, he was certainly a member of the clan of woodworking Seymours established in the Devon area. Little is known of his years in England, although aspects of construction and decoration of surviving furniture reveal English training. He emigrated from Lyme Regis, Devon, with his family in November 1784. Thomas Hopkins, another Axminster emigrant and a merchant from whom Seymour would purchase furniture hardware in the American colonies, owned the ship on which they sailed. The Seymours arrived in Falmouth (now Portland), Massachusetts (now Maine), by 4 December 1784. The seacoast of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts was similar to the Devon area and attracted many emigrants from southwestern England....

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Seymour, Thomas (14 February 1771–09 May 1848), cabinetmaker and furniture seller, was born in Axminster, Devon, England, the son of John Seymour, a cabinetmaker. He arrived with his family in Falmouth (now Portland), Maine, by 4 December 1784. He served an informal apprenticeship with his father, where in addition to making furniture, he performed general tasks associated with house carpentry and shipfitting. His cabinetmaking training was considerably less regimented than his father’s. In much of the furniture attributed to the Seymours during their Boston years, the construction techniques and attention to detail is less refined in Thomas Seymour’s work. In 1793 he is noted in the “Taking books of Assessors of the Town of Boston [Massachusetts]” as a single cabinetmaker residing with his father. John Seymour had moved to Boston from Falmouth in 1792, and his son followed, likely for economic reasons. The furniture partnership of John Seymour & Son, located in Creek Square, dates from 1793 until approximately 1803....

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Stickley, Gustav (09 March 1858–21 April 1942), cabinetmaker, house designer, and editor, was born in Osceola, Wisconsin, the son of Leopold Stoeckel and Barbara Schlaegel, farmers. Leopold, whose German parents immigrated to Wisconsin early in the nineteenth century, changed the family’s name to Stickley. Young Stickley spent most of his childhood on the family farm near Osceola. He did not like the life of a farmer at the time, but he later advocated agrarian ideals, which he felt should be the basis of American family life. In 1870 Stickley’s father moved the family to Stillwater, Minnesota, where he took up the trade of stonemason. He apprenticed Gustav to a stonemason, but at age twelve the young boy found the work even more distasteful than farming. Shaping stone, however, did lead Stickley to an appreciation of wood and the ease with which it could be shaped....

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Townsend, John (17 February 1733–12 March 1809), cabinetmaker, was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the son of Christopher Townsend, Sr., and Patience Easton. Townsend likely served his apprenticeship with his father, as probably did two of his brothers who entered the same trade, Christopher and Jonathan. A document indicates that he was working independently as a joiner by 1754, and objects bearing his name are dated as early as 1756. By the time he was thirty, he had served as surveyor of highways, and he would later become town treasurer, both indications that he was well respected within the town. He married Philadelphia Feke, the daughter of the portrait painter ...