mason-dixon SOUTH

dealers of southern furniture and decorative arts

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Cooleemee Plantation, Davie County, North Carolina

The Cooleemee Plantation House is a National Historic Landmark and on    the National Register of Historic Places. It was constructed between 1853 and 1855 by Peter and Columbia Stuart Hairston. (Columbia was a sister to J. E. B. Stuart.)

The architect, William H. Ranlett, designed the house in the shape of a Greek cross as an “Anglo-Grecian villa”. The detailed plans were in the January, 1850 Godey’s Lady’s Book. The house was constructed of over 300,000 bricks made on the plantation. Stonemasons cut foundation stones and gutters and gateposts from local native rock deposits.  Moldings and mantle pieces were made in Philadelphia and brought to the site. Furnishings came from several family plantations, including Berry Hill and Beaver Creek, and some were ordered by Peter Hairston especially for the house.

The original plantation was put together by General Jesse Pearson. He named the plantation Cooleemee after the Kulimi tribe of Creek Indians, some of whom he captured during the War of 1812. He acquired 2,570 acres, which he sold to Peter Hairston in 1817. Peter had come from Virginia where his family had numerous land holdings and homes.

The Hairston family retains ownership of Cooleemee Plantation and resides there.

The pieces of furniture that we are featuring from this historic home have been deaccessioned by the current generation and come with certificates of authenticity as to the ownership by the Hairston family.

John Vogler, Gunsmith and Silversmith, Salem, North Carolina

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John Vogler, Gunsmith and Silversmith (1783-1881)

A prominent artisan and an important community figure in Salem, North Carolina, John Vogler was trained as a gunsmith by Christoph Vogler, his uncle. He completed his apprenticeship with Christoph about 1802 and continued to work in his uncle’s shop as a journeyman until 1806.  He worked at various trades in addition to gunsmithing– making jewelry, designing precision equipment, repairing clocks and watches, but his silver work was of a particularly high quality. He had begun working in silver by at least 1806.  He became the engraver for the Vogler family because of his incredible skill. He did work for Christoph, Nathaniel, Timothy and George, who moved his shop to Salisbury. John Vogler’s guns were designed with intricately engraved patchboxes with eagle finials and were beautifully mounted in coin silver.

His tableware was as well executed as his other wares.  Vogler used embossed eagles on the backs of the bowls of his spoons just as silversmith Samuel Krause of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, had done. After multiple trips to Bethlehem, it is possible that Vogler learned from Krause. Vogler had a number of apprentices including Traugott Leinbach, Timothy Vogler, Jacob Fockel, and his own son, Elias.

There are a large number of extant spoons, both teaspoons and tablespoons, made by Vogler. They are assorted in style from the coffin handled Federal shapes to the more common mid-1800’s forms. Vogler used three different marks through his career, representing his first name with both an “I” and a “J”, as they are the same letter in the Roman alphabet.

Vogler made a number of pieces of equipment, including a surveyor’s compass in brass (now in the Old Salem Collection) and a copy of a physiognotrace, a device for making silhouettes, which he saw at Peale’s Museum in 1805.

Newberry, South Carolina Quilt

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What do Emma and Caroline and Bettie, Sarah, Susan and Fanny have in common in 1841 in South Carolina?

The answer is a wonderfully executed broderie perse appliqued quilt. All of these young ladies and two others signed their quilt blocks either in indelible ink or in chain stitching, and three dated their work. These dedications of love and friendship were more than likely a presentation to Emma, or Mary Eliza McHardy, born the 10th of August, 1822, in Greenville, She married Lambert Jefferson Jones on the 16th of March in 1842. The quilt would have been lovingly stitched for the young couple as a celebration of their marriage.

The basic layout of this quilt is a 5 by 5 block grid with sashing dividing the blocks, and a wide border framing the whole. The colors are predominately red and green with blue. Chintz fabric is the basis for the appliqued designs except for the seven blocks that have more solid colored fabrics in their pieced and appliqued block patterns. The chintz designs illustrate flowers and birds, vases and a cornucopia, with even a fishbowl as part of one block.

The young women who fashioned this quilt had something in common other than their kinships and friendships. Their fathers were named in the 1854 listing of South Carolina businessmen as merchants, as political officials, as insurance salesmen in both Greenville or Newberry. All were respected families with solid social standing and a record of good works in the church and community.

The fabrics may have come through one of the families’ various mercantile establishments, unquestionably purchased for the purpose of making this quilt as a presentation piece. This album quilt sewn in the broderie perse style in South Carolina in the 1840’s is unique and definitely one of a small number of the type executed in the South in that decade.

Names and Dates:

Emma——-Your sister, C. A. Mauldin——-E. A. Hatton, 1842

Bettie S. Mauldin, 1843——-Fanny McMorries

Sarah A. Elford——-H.B. McGee——-Susan Anderson, 1846

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