Category Archives: antiques

The Shop of Robert Stewart: Work and Wealth in the Antebellum Natchez Furniture Trade

The life and work of antebellum cabinetmaker Robert Stewart (1796–1866) spanned one  of the most contentious periods in American history in one of the country’s most complex places: Natchez, Mississippi, a river town of great diversity and incredible wealth. For … Continue reading

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Southern Collecting in the Post−Civil War Era: A Case Study of Barbara Fritchie’s Desk-and-Bookcase

On November 21, 1885, Ariana Trail wrote to her son-in-law, Reverend John Harding,  with a tone of urgency, imploring him to send his wife, Nan, $18, “so that she can buy Barbara Frietchie’s secretary, a lovely antique genuine, & in … Continue reading

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At Twenty-Five: Distinguishing the Biggs Museum of American Art

As we look forward to the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Biggs Museum of American Art, our focus is one dedicated to the objects, stories, and supporters who have made the institution not only notable—thanks to founder Sewell C. Biggs … Continue reading

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The Long Journey of the Charleston Dining Room

Seldom seen by visitors today, the Charleston Dining Room on the third floor of Winterthur contains woodwork and windows from what was once a fashionable gathering place in antebellum South Carolina. The 18th-century paneling, cornices, fireplace and mantle, and windows … Continue reading

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Creating Places to Call Home

For award-winning architect and Delaware Antiques Show co-chair and keynote speaker Gil Schafer, the measure of a house does not lie in the structure itself or in any particular element of its design. Instead, he says the most successful houses … Continue reading

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Delft Tiles, English Country Houses, Architectural Salvage, and Downton Abbey!

Madeline Hagerman, Winterthur postgraduate fellow in objects conservation, is researching delft fireplace tiles at Winterthur. Her series of blog posts details her findings. Read her latest post connecting England and America and the history of architectural salvage, with a nod … Continue reading

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A “Crazy” Quilt and its Revolutionary (War) History

Winterthur does not always acquire objects in pristine condition, untouched by time. For some objects, the years have not been kind. At some point, they have been purposefully altered, accidentally broken, or their histories forgotten. However, in their new state, … Continue reading

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Chinese Export Porcelain, Swedish Iron, and Beer: A Union of Late 18th-Century Global Connections

An extraordinary pair of Chinese export porcelain mugs recently donated to Winterthur and featured in our Collecting for the Future: Recent Additions to the Winterthur Collection exhibition opening May 6, has a fascinating private as well as global history. Likely … Continue reading

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Historians as Detectives

One of the best examples of the difficulty involved in dating and verifying a genuine antique is represented by the Chinese export porcelain in the Intent section of the Treasures on Trial exhibition. These objects were not sold in a … Continue reading

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A Closer Look: Winterthur’s Dollond Telescope

Taking a closer look has a double-meaning when a telescope is the object of our gaze. This one, with a mahogany wood barrel and brass fittings for glass lenses, is a special treasure in the Winterthur collection. It seems enormous … Continue reading

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