RESTAURATION MAHOGANY GUERIDON

Albert Brown and Samuel L. Hand

Marked: Brown & Hand (active 1848-1855)

Schenectady, NY, c. 1850

The circular Carrara marble top with molded edge above a conforming skirt with applied spooling at the bottom edge, above three  “C” and “S” shaped scrolling legs raised on a serpentine-shaped plinth on three turned pad feet, raised on brass castors.

Inscribed in graphite on top edge of apron: Brown & Hand, Schenectady

H: 30″ Diameter: 21½”

Condition: Excellent. Retaining original marble top.

Both Brown and Hand began as independent craftsmen appearing in Riggs’ Schenectady city directories as “cabinet and chair maker” at 64 State Street and “chair painter” at 6 Front Street, respectively, as early as 1841.  In 1848, the following advertisement appeared in The Schenectady Cabinet: or, Freedom’s Sentinel.

CABINET WARE, CHAIRS and UPHOLSTERY.

-A. Brown and S.L. Hand having entered into co-partnership, under the firm of Brown & Hand, for the purpose of carrying out the above business, invite their friends and the public in general to call at their Ware-House, Nos. 58 and 60 State-street, where they manufacture and keep constantly on hand all articles in their line of business, such as Pier, Center, Card and Toilet Tables, Looking Glasses, Sofas, Ottomans, Divans, Book Cases, Bureaus, Work and Wash Stands, Bureau Cupboards and Bedsteads. Mahogany, Black walnut, Curl maple, Cottage, Windsor and Office Chairs of every variety of pattern; Curl Hair, Palm Leaf and Cotton Matresses [sic]; also, live Geese Feathers of the best quality.

Having enlarged the establishment by the addition of several rooms, we intend keeping a fine assortment of low priced Mahogany Furniture, all of which will be offered on the most reasonable terms.

S.L. Hand will take charge of the finishing department, and no pains will be spared to satisfy those who favor us with a call. – May 1, 1848.

A. Brown

                                                                                                                S.L. Hand

This same advertisement appeared several times over the course of their partnership, which seems to have lasted about seven years. By 1857 Brown appears as a furniture dealer at 67 State Street as A. Brown and Son.  He was to continue in this firm into the 1860s.  Samuel Hand is listed separately as a “chairmaker,” and by 1862 is no longer listed in Schenectady city directories.  He had moved to Saratoga, NY where he ran a hardware store.  He died there in March 1870.

The gueridon form derives from ancient Roman lamp stands and candelabra and was adopted by early 19th century designers in the Neo-Classical period. This design was inspired by a drawing of a “Work Table” published by Thomas King in Modern Style of Cabinet Work Exemplified (London, 1829), pl.87.[1]  A related gueridon c. 1850, labeled by John Meads, Jr. of Albany (active 1838-1852), is in the collection of the New York State Museum and illustrated in New York State Furniture: At the New York State Museum (Alexandria, VA.: Highland House Publishers, 1984), 82, pl. 82.

 

T-C-GSB-183108

[1] The evolution of the tripod form can be found in Carswell Rush Berlin, ‘Solid and Permanent Grandeur’: The Design Roots of American Classical Furniture, International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show catalog 2002 (New York: Haughton Fairs, 2002), p.24

Leave a Reply