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Welcome to SAPFM

For more than 20 years, The Society of American Period Furniture Makers has been committed to providing our members with the best in fine furniture making education.  We provide this service through our symposiums, publications, chapter meetings, and on-line resources. 

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Scott Severns

SAPFM President



As we continue to define our new “normal for now” and work to solve issues many of us have never experienced, we can still walk into our shops and find some sense of normal. Personally it is my favorite place to be, there is nothing quite like the smell of coffee and sawdust.






Visit our Members Gallery to view the many fine pieces built by SAPFM members. Many are museum reproductions. We hope that among these many masterworks you will find inspiration for your next build.



Visit the Gallery



American Period Furniture Throughout the Decades


Enjoy the Many Benefits of SAPFM Membership

Members enjoy the following benefits.

  • A subscription to our annual American Period Furniture Journal mailed each December
  • A subscription to our quarterly Pins & Tails e-magazine.
  • Participation in all local chapter events
  • Eligibility to attend SAPFM confrences and particapte in SAPFM exhibitions
  • Access to on-line resources including our library of articles, past issues of Pins & Tails e-magazine, and more
  • An online gallery where Members' work is displayed
  • Our online Members forum

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Article Index

The 1772 Philadelphia Furniture Price Book

The lack of period rococo Philadelphia beds as comparators is regrettable, but The 1772 Philadelphia Furniture Price Book helps us understand their form and gives a fascinating insight to their costing.

A bedstead with poplar stained frame, mahogany fluted foot posts, claw feet, moveable leaf carved knees and a member carved on the capital and base was priced at £10.


Very few Philadelphia beds survive with leaf carved removable knees and it may well have been reserved for the very best commissions.

Chippendale mahogany four-post bed, Philadelphia, circa 1750-80. Albert Sack, Fine Points of Furniture.

“An outstanding example of a very rare type. The carved kneecaps are removable and the proportions of the foot posts are excellent.” Albert Sack. 25

The carved and pierced cedar cornice of the bed is consistent with that described in The Price Book “bed cornice of cedar, cut open for carving or covering…scalloped on the upper edge…with pieces to the corners”.

The journeymen’s wages for cutting claws itemises a bedstead at 2s 6d each.

The Cadwalader mansion contained many beds; the best ones were as Nicholas Wainwright suggests, “apt to be of mahogany with high posts surmounted by canopies and carved cornices.”26

Unfortunately their are few surviving bills for the Cadwalader furnishings.

Thomas Affleck supplied an expensive bed, described on his bill of October 13th 1770: “Bedstead wt Casters Brass Caps etc Compleat”.

Thomas Affleck Bill, October 13th 1770.

The Affleck bed has “Brass Caps” as covers for the bed bolts not the elaborate, leaf carved, removable knees we see on the present bed. Supplied in October 1770, the Affleck bed is likely to have been that in the second best bed chamber with the chintz hangings set off by a dozen tassels.

The two windows with matching carved cornices would also have been draped in chintz. This would tally with the upholsterer, Plunket Fleeson, describing the Chintz Bed as the “‘new’ Chintz Bed” in December 1770: Decem 25th ... “To fixing and putting up the new Chintz Bed, Cloak pins, tacks 0”12“6”.27

Plunket Fleeson bill, December 1770.
Detail of Plunket Fleeson bill showing making of drapes with “red & white copper plate cotton”, December 1770.
Randolph Bill, 26 September 1769, Historical Society Pennsylvania.

Upcoming Events


New Articles

  • Fitting an Asymmetrical Splat Into an Oval Chair Back

    BY DAVE HELLER April 1, 2021 Updated: April 1, 2021 This article discusses a specific aspect of making a set of not-yet-completed Bing-style Art Nouveau dining room chairs of my own design. I will write an article for SAPFM on...

  • A Standup Davenport Computer Desk

     BY JOE PARKER April 1, 2021 Updated: April 1, 2021 The name "Davenport" comes from a reference in the records of an 18th-19th century English furniture maker Gillows. The reference, in about 1795, gives the original design and...

  • Remembering Phil Lowe: Craftsman, Mentor, Friend

    BY MICKEY CALLAHAN April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 It’s with a heavy heart that I write of the passing of one of America’s master period furniture makers, Phil Lowe. I’ve known Phil for over 30 years and was privileged to have...

  • Luthier's Friend To Thickness Small Part

    BY JEFF THOMPSON April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 There are number of ways one can thickness stringing and bindings. I’ve used a couple methods myself like on a drum sander, but mine is in a shed out back behind my shop...

  • Mirka Hand Sanding System

    BY BOB LANG April 1, 2021 Updated April 1, 2021 I can develop a pretty smooth surface with a hand plane and/or a scraper, but before finishing I sand to ensure that all the surfaces of a project are consistent. Each hand...

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