Old Sturbridge Village is a recreated New England Village of the 1830s that includes a remarkable collection of antique buildings and the objects you would expect to find in them. They have more than 58 restored buildings and approximately 60,000 historic artifacts that were made or would have been used in rural New England in the early 1800s. Unfortunately, not all the Village’s holdings of period furniture can be displayed at any one time. Many objects remain out of public view.
Recently, Norm, who is a trustee of the museum, asked the curators to put a stunning bowfront chest they had in storage on display in one of the Village’s historic homes, the Salem Towne House, to inspire his New Yankee viewers. The stunning bowfront four-drawer chest was built by Alden Spooner working in nearby Athol, Massachusetts in 1807. Spooner, like many furniture makers of the time, was probably well aware of pattern books and high-style designs being made in Europe and America, and this chest may well have been inspired by furniture brought here from Great Britain.
Norm builds his version of mahogany and is challenged to form the French feet and the dovetailed bowfront drawers. While not a project for a beginner, the bowfront chest will be of great interest to serious woodworkers.
Season 18, Episode 11
Go to The New Yankee Workshop to see measured drawings for all projects