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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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 severns

Scott Severns

SAPFM President

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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.

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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

 

Physical Evidence

CONSTRUCTION & UNITY OF FRAME

CB2
Acanthus carving on corner of cornice.

With the exception of eighteenth-century replacement side rails and a replacement headboard, the frame can be confirmed as intact, and not a marriage of different parts.

Holes in the rear of the front corners of the canopy show an unusual fastening method. Once located over the drapes on the subframe, a two-pronged dog is placed in these holes to keep the carvings secured.

The carved and pierced canopy and poplar subframe retain their original hand-forged prongs and brackets. Some of the screws have been replaced.

CB3
Iron bracket on canopy tester rail.

 

There would have originally been six hooks to locate three rods. One hand-forged iron hook remains on the underside of the canopy to hold the missing curtain rods.

CB4
Original iron hook on underside of tulip poplar canopy tester rails.

 

It is clear from their placement that curtains were intended at the foot posts, but did not obscure any of the carvings.

 

Bed Posts

Corresponding bruising/impressions on the underside of the canopy sub-frame show the head and foot posts to be original. The unity of the head and foot posts is further confirmed by the remains of the original castors. Chuck marks from the lathe are clearly evident on the top of the posts showing the height to be correct.

Both foot posts retain part of their original cast iron castors. The castors of the head posts have been removed but the impression shows them to have been the same, therefore confirming the unity of all four posts.

CB5
Remains of original castor on right foot post.

 

Chuck marks from the lathe are clearly evident on the top of the posts, showing the height to be correct.

CB7 CB8
Top of foot posts showing chuck and hammer marks.

 

The unity of the head and foot posts is further confirmed by the remains of the original castors. Both foot posts retain part of their original cast iron castors.

The castors of the head posts have been removed but the impressions show them to have been the same, therefore confirming the unity of all four posts.

CB6
Castor impression on head posts with remains of front castor.

 

Hammer marks are evident on top of both posts from the assembly and gluing of the post sections. The construction of the fire screens in sections, as demonstrated by the X-rays in the Winterthur Cadwalader Study,4is a technique also employed on the bed posts.

Shakes and splits in the mahogany show that the posts are assembled from three sections: The first join is between the square section and the base of the vase, and the second join is between the spiral carving and the base of the long stopped flute.

CB9
Details of posts.

 

The mortice and tenon joints are identified by corresponding Roman numerals made by a ½” chisel, which further shows the unity of the original components.

The acanthus carved detachable knees (bolt covers) are similarly marked II & III on their reverse. Detachable knees are reserved for the very best beds and detailed in The 1772 Philadelphia Furniture Price Book as "knees to move”.

CB10
Chisel markings on bed rails.

 

There is a further mark made with a carving gouge in the form of a ‘C’ on one of the posts and the front cross-rail. The two side rails are eighteenth century replacements.

The original headboard is missing; the construction suggests this was a simple board hidden by the drapes; this would have been stuffed and covered with fabric as detailed by Plunket Fleeson.5

Upcoming Events

News/Announcements

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...

Cartouche Award

  1. The Award
  2. Guidelines
  3. Cartouche Recipients

Resources

  1. SAPFM Business Member Directory
  2. Our Sponsors

Publications

  1. American Period Furniture
  2. Pins and Tales Magazine