You may have seen the announcement on the Colonial Williamsburg web site concerning the 2014 Working Wood Symposium. I wanted to put some pictures to those words.
In late June, Jay Gaynor, Ted Boscana and I took a scouting tour through the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) in Old Salem, North Carolina. One month later Bill Pavlak and Brian Weldy joined Ted and I for another visit to collect specs and more photos. It’s an amazing collection presented with wonderful accessibility. There were many pieces that caught our interest, but dining room furniture was our focus. I was especially excited about the Buckland-Sears sideboard and Bill and I spent most of our time photographing and recording information from it.
When we learned that MESDA has what is probably the earliest Virginia gate-leg table, it was an easy choice. We’ve never featured a gate-leg table in the symposium. Ted and Jay had collected quite a bit of information during our first visit, and on the followup visit Brian took an entire day pouring over it.
MESDA has a number of period corner cupboards. But we couldn’t resist an elegant Carolina country piece from the Swisegood school. Brian Coe (with Old Salem) will take up the challenge of exploring this case piece.
Contrasting with this Carolina cupboard is a colorful joiners example from the eastern shore of Virginia. Ted will tag team with Brian and compare and contrast the eastern shore cupboard.
If this wasn’t already a rich enough menu, a beautiful Winchester, Virginia veneered sideboard also had to be included. It’s going to be great to have Steve Latta with us again to present this piece.
We’re all excited to jump into these pieces, and have already pulled the walnut for the gate-leg table and Buckland Sears sideboard. We expect to start work by September.
I can’t say enough about the hospitality of the staff at MESDA and Old Salem. Martha Ashley was so accommodating, and Robert Leath and Daniel Ackerman went out of their way to open this amazing collection to us. Thank you!
See you in January!