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Dominy Craftsmen Collection

Hummel, Charles F. / With hammer in hand; the Dominy craftsmen of East Hampton, New York (1968)

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Appendix C

Newly Discovered Dominy Products

Objects illustrated in the preceding catalogue were discovered between 1958 and 1966, based on the use of patterns for furniture parts surviving in the Dominy Tool Collection (catalogue nos. 52-57); surviving Dominy accounts; comparison with Dominy family-owned furniture acquired by the Winterthur Museum; and objects called to my attention having local East Hampton or Suffolk County, Long Island family histories.

These new discoveries, made between 2007 and 2014, also rely on those approaches, but are supplemented by intensive genealogical research, comparison of Dominy shop practices, and the persistent, dedicated search for Dominy-made objects by Charles Keller and Glenn Purcell, both of whom have a passion for local history, which they unfailingly called to this author’s attention. In this recent seven-year period, more than 150 objects made by the Dominy craftsmen have come to light. Some are identical to, or very similar to, objects discovered between 1958 and 1966. In Appendix C, objects heretofore known only as unidentified entries in Dominy accounts have been documented in three dimensional form. Appendix C’s illustrations are only a representative sampling of the large number of new discoveries.

BEDSTEADS

1

Short Post Bedstead

color photograph with full view of short post bedstead in a musuem setting

1 - Full view

color photograph with close up of bedstead showing front left post and knotted end of rope support

1A - Foot post

color photograph with close up of bedstead showing right rear post and headboard

1B - Head post

color photograph with close up of bedstead with mattress pulled away from headboard showing rope supports

1C - Headboard

Between 1792 and 1810, Nathaniel Dominy V made six short post bedsteads ranging in price from twelve shillings to sixteen shillings. Joiners and cabinetmakers priced their products using a formula of one-third for labor, one-third for materials, and one-third for shop profit. In the years noted above, Nathaniel Dominy V charged seven shillings, six pence (0-7-6) per day for his labor. A twelve shilling bedstead was completed, ready for delivery in five hours while a sixteen shilling bedstead required seven hours of this craftsman’s labor.

This bedstead is recorded in Nathaniel V’s accounts on May 29, 1794, as “1Bedsted [sic] (short posts) Painted 0-14-0” made for William Mulford, Jr. (1745–1813). Because the Dominy craftsmen operated in a barter economy, individual wealth (with one exception, John Lyon Gardiner, ranked number 1 on East Hampton tax lists) did not relate to the cost of products purchased from the Dominys. East Hampton tax lists at the East Hampton Free Library, reflecting the value of real and personal property, exist for the years 1802–1803, 1805–1806, 1810, 1814–1816. Nathaniel Dominy IV ranked 108 out of 159 taxpayers while William Mulford, Jr. was listed at number 41.

Nathaniel IV’s and V’s accounts list purchases of both red lead and ingredients to make red stains, making it unclear, therefore, what was meant by the term “Painted” when it is listed in their accounts. In January 1765, Nathaniel IV credited Aaron Isaacs for supplying him with fourteen pounds of Spanish Brown, a dark reddish-brown pigment with lots of iron oxide in it. In 1773 he bought one pound of Argal, a crude tartar also used as a pigment for reddish-brown colors, from Aaron Isaacs. The same supplier furnished red lead in November 1767 and October 1770.

Like so many of the Dominy-made bedsteads, pierced holes in the rails show clearly the intent to have rope supports for a mattress or sack bottom. A groove placed on all four rails kept the rope flush with the rail surfaces and also provided minimal decoration.

This bedstead’s one-piece headboard is a broad, rectangular plank relieved only by curves at its ends to form tenons that join it to the head posts.

Description Height, 33″; Width, 41 ¼″; Length, 70 ½″.

All bedstead parts original; maple; original red lead paint or red stain; modern rope supports; modern mattress. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1794 for William Mulford, Jr. Descended in the Mulford family. Gift of the Mulford family to Mulford Farm Museum, East Hampton Historical Society.

2

Short Post Bedstead

color photograph with full view of four-poster bedstead in an empty room

2 - Full view

color photograph showing headboard of bedstead

2A - Headboard

color photograph with close up of bedstead showing front right post and partial baseboard

2B - Post

This bedstead was acquired in East Hampton at a sale of objects from the Edwards family estate. It came into that family collaterally, however, and was originally made for Elnathan Parsons at a cost of sixteen shillings.

Bedsteads, and other furniture made by Nathaniel Dominy V between 1789 and 1833, often reflect the fact that many of his customers no longer desired traditional Queen Anne and Chippendale period designs. They accepted, and wanted, newer Federal and Empire period styles. In part, that change mirrored the growing prosperity of farmers following the end of the American Revolution. In part, it was also due to only a few bedsteads made by Nathaniel IV. His son, Nathaniel V, therefore, was not tied to the use of existing bedstead patterns.

Elnathan Parsons (1753–1836) resided in the area of East Hampton known as Fireplace. In 1786 he married Urania Dominy (1765–1837), a daughter of Nathaniel Dominy IV. In addition to making furniture for Elnathan Parsons, Dominy accounts show that Nathaniel V worked a total of thirty days at Elnathan Parsons’ farm in 1794, “building your Back House, Repr ye Old, & Barn &c,” and “making a Cyder Mill” at a total cost of £12. In 1805, Nathaniel V started work on a new house for Elnathan Parsons on April 24th. The house was “raised” on Saturday, May 11, and all work on it completed by October 26th. The total cost for Nathaniel V’s labor and that of journeymen Lewis Gann, Charles Lewis Mulford, and Seth Parsons was £110-1-10. Elnathan Parsons enjoyed a ranking of number six on the East Hampton tax lists.

Description Height, 47 ¾″; Width, 51 ¾″; Length (original), 76 ½″.

Striped maple posts; all other parts cherry. New section added to both side rails to extend it for a modern mattress. Rails pierced for a rope bottom; iron bolts; brass bolt covers. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Elnathan Parsons, 1799, “1 Bedstead 0-16-0.” To Colonel William Davis Parsons; to Henry Davis Parsons; to Charles Silas Parsons; to Elizabeth, daughter of Charles S. Parsons. She married Leroy Osborne Edwards. Current owners: acquired at Edwards family estate sale, 2012, by Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell.

3

Long Post Bedstead

color photograph with full view of bedframe in an outdoor setting

3 - Full view

color photograph showing disconnected headboard and baseboard leaning against a wall

3A - Headboard and posts

Between 1768 and 1833, Nathaniel Dominy IV and V made eighty-one bedsteads of various types: long posts with or without teasters; short posts, some painted; trundle bedsteads; field bedsteads; a cot bedstead; and a bedstead with a joint to turn up. Of that total, Nathaniel IV made only three, all in 1768, and all likely trundle bedsteads because of their price of ten shillings. Nathaniel Dominy V was responsible for the overwhelming majority of this form.

On October 4, 1809, he billed Recompence Sherrill (1741–1839) £2 for this tiger maple bedstead and teasters. Its rails have holes through which ropes were placed. They provided support for a more comfortable and expensive sack bottom on which a mattress rested, or a less comfortable and less expensive mattress resting directly on the ropes. Recompence Sherrill ranked number 40 on the local tax lists.

At some point in its existence, its feet were cut off to lower its height. A section of each post just above the rails was removed, undoubtedly in recent years, to accommodate a large mattress. The headboard design used by Nathaniel V typically consisted of large semi-oval spaces flanked by tenons to fit into the posts. The top edge of the headboards, often slightly curved, ended in rams horn “ears.” The latter relate to a pattern for a swan neck pediment crest illustrated as catalogue number 53i in this book.

Description Height, 58″; Width, 52 ¼″; Length, 76″.

Striped maple front posts and legs; all other parts maple. Original feet cut off; a section of all four posts removed; foot post bolt covers are missing as are its teasters. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1809 for Recompence Sherrill. Descended in the Sherrill family of East Hampton until acquired by current owners. Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

4

Long Post Bedstead and Teasters

color photograph of an assembled four-poster bed in an outdoor setting

4 - Full view

color photograph showing disconnected headboard and baseboard leaning against a wall

4A - Headboard

On November 29, 1809, Nathaniel Dominy V billed David Sherrill (1772–1861) £2-8-0 for a cherry bedstead and teasters. The addition of eight shillings for this type of bedstead was due to the wood of which it was fashioned. Woodworking craftsmen billed for their material according to a hierarchy that ran from the most expensive wood, mahogany, descending in order of cost through walnut, cherry, maple, pine, and poplar. David Sherrill was the son of Recompence Sherrill (4) and the son’s tax list ranking was 107 of 159 ratepayers.

Thanks to a letter to this author in 1998 from Dorothy T. King, then librarian, Long Island Collection, East Hampton Free Library, it was discovered that Recompence Sherrill sent his son, David “to Nat Dominy to learn a tread [trade] 27 April 1791 Age 19 Years Old December 3rd.” This reference appears on the last page of one of Recompence Sherrill’s account books covering the period 1763–1814.

The posts, teasters and headboard are original to the bedstead, but all four rails are replacements. Its feet are probably the same type that completed the legs of Recompence Sherrill’s bedstead, new catalogue number 3.

Description Height, 74 ¾″; Width, 59″ Length, 82″.

Cherry posts, headboard, and teasters; replaced rails, cherry. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1809 for David Sherrill. Descended in the Sherrill family to Sherrill Foster. Current owner, Sherrill family descendant Mary Morgan.

5

Long Post Reeded Bedstead and Teasters

Color photograph of a headboard with posts leaning against an outdoor wall

5 - Head

Color photograph of footpost assembly leaning against an outdoor wall

5A - Foot

Color photograph showing detail of the footpost leg and joinery

5B - Foot detail

Color photograph showing detailed side view of the headboard assembly

5C - Head detail

Among the many bedstead posts turned by Nathaniel Dominy V, only two departed in their decoration from the vase, disc, spool, cylinder, acorn, and related turnings found on a majority of the bedsteads made in his shop. Of the two, the sole survivor is this bedstead made in 1818 for John Parsons, Jr. (1767–1850). He is ranked number 16 on the East Hampton tax lists. On March 16, 1818, Nathaniel V described the form as a “Bedsted [sic] long & reeded posts & Teasters £2-8-0.” The other bedstead, made for Thomas Baker (1742–1825) in 1809 at a cost of £2, was listed as “1 Bedsted [sic] fluted posts.” Thomas Baker ranked number 84 of 159 ratepayers.

The rails of this bedstead are missing and probably did not survive. Holes piercing the rails of the head and foot posts are evidence that it served as a rope bedstead. The tops of all four posts have been cut and its teasters probably discarded when that occurred. Shadow marks around the exterior surfaces of the bolt holes in the posts indicate that there were bolt covers, now also missing. The design of its wide headboard is a type popular during the Chippendale period, raising a question as to its being original to this bedstead. A dark red stain, frequently used by Nathaniel IV and V, was applied to give the wood an appearance of mahogany or walnut.

Description Height, 65″; Width, 42 ¾″.

Cherry posts and rails; iron bolts; iron and brass castors. Side rails and teasters missing; headboard possibly replaced. Tops of all four posts cut to reduce its height. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1818 for John Parsons, Jr. Collected by East Hampton resident John Hall Wheelock. Current owner: Wheelock Collection, East Hampton Historical Society.

6

Folding Bedstead

Color photograph with full view of a folding bedframe against a white background

6 - Full view

Set of color photographs showings various details of folding bedframe

6A - Details

Between June 24 and November 19, 1802, Nathaniel Dominy V and three of his journeymen spent a combined total of forty-seven plus days working on the farmstead home of Abraham Sherrill, Jr. (1754–1844). Although both Nathaniel IV and V list him in their accounts as “Jr.”, he was actually the son of Recompence Sherrill (1706–1786). Not only the Sherrill family occupied the farmstead house, but their farm workers also lived on its upper floors.

By 1818, Abraham Sherrill Jr.’s home must have been fully occupied, for in that year he ordered a piece of space-saving furniture from Nathaniel V, described in the craftsman’s accounts as “a Bedsted [sic] with a joint to turn up £1-8-0.” Abraham Sherrill’s taxpayer ranking was 42.

Unfortunately, Nathaniel V was never careful to give an indication of which of his customers bearing the same family and surnames were “Jr.” or “Sr.” Abraham Sherrill (4) had a son Abraham or Abram (5) born in 1803 who would normally be considered “Jr.” but in 1818 when this folding bedstead was made, Abraham (or Abram) was fifteen years old. Because Nathaniel IV and V’s accounts are replete with billings to parents for which they noted that the objects produced were for a son, daughter, or other relative, and because Abraham or Abram (5) moved from East Hampton to Western New York State, it’s highly likely that this folding bedstead was made for Abraham Sherrill (4) (1754–1844) for whom Nathaniel Dominy added “Jr.” The fact that Abraham (or Abram) (5) was not born when Nathaniel V billed “Abraham Sherrill, Jr.” in 1802 for work on the Sherrill farmstead lends credence to assigning the order for this bedstead to Abraham (4).

This space-saving bedstead consists of seven parts: a joined headboard base, two side rails, headboard and foot rails, and two front legs. Heavy, circular tenons fit into half-oval, open mortises at the top front of the headboard base section. That arrangement enables the rails and legs to be raised or lowered. Rectangular tenons at the front ends of the side rails fit into rectangular mortises of the front legs. With removal of the side rails and front legs, the joined headboard base functions as a bench.

Turnings of the lower part of the legs are very similar to those on a short-post bed made by Nathaniel V in 1794 (new catalogue #1). A red stain, or red lead paint, coats all parts of this folding bedstead with the exception of the plank seat of the joined headboard base section. Holes piercing the side rails were used for ropes to support a mattress.

Description Height, 31 ¾″; Width, 51 ¾″; Depth (base section), 17 ⅝″; Length (overall) 78 ⅜″.

All sections pine; red stain or red lead paint. All parts original. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1818 for Abraham Sherrill, Jr. Descended in the Sherrill family to Sherrill Foster. Gift of the Sherrill family to the East Hampton Historical Society.

7

Bedstead Posts

Set of color photographs showing various bedposts

7 - Comparison view

The nine bedstead posts depicted in this comparison view, all made by Nathaniel Dominy V, show turning motifs found on most of the bedstead posts that he produced. They were made for members of the Baker, Edwards, Hand, Huntting, Mulford, Parsons, Sherrill, and Talmage families.

A. David Sherrill’s bedstead, November 29, 1809 - £2-8-0
B. Lieutenant Thomas Baker, May 16, 1816 - £2
C. Probably Jonathan B. Mulford, September 10, 1819 - £2-16-0
D. Recompence Sherrill’s bedstead, October 4, 1809 - £2
E. Abraham Huntting’s bedstead, June 5, 1811 - £1-4-0
F. Charles R. Hand’s bedstead, 1818, [plus bureau table, & stand] - £10-14-6
G. Isaac Edward’s bedstead, 1818, [plus teasters & stand] - £2-19-0
H. David Talmage II’s short post bedstead, April 3, 1810 - £0-14-0
I. John Parsons Jr.’s bedstead, March 16, 1818 - £2-8-0

8

Bedstead Headboards

Set of color photographs showing various headboards

8 - Comparison view

After 1800, bedstead headboards and footboards shaped by Nathaniel Dominy V follow the same pattern: a large board with downturned rams’ horns and two tenons at each end separated by a large half circle set into mortises in the posts. A washstand, probably made for Jonathan Mulford, January 2, 1809, at a cost of ten shillings, exhibits the same downturned ram’s horn decoration as Dominy headboards and footboards. It descended in the Mulford family and was a gift to the East Hampton Historical Society from Harrison Mulford.

CASE FURNITURE

9

Bottle Case

Set of color photographs showing various external views of a wooden case

9A - Exterior

Color photograph showing interior of a wooden case

9B - Interior

On April 27, 1802, Nathaniel Dominy V entered into his accounts “1 Bottle Case 0-12-0” for Abraham Sherrill, Jr. (1754–1844). There is only one listing for a bottle case in Nathaniel V’s accounts. It is possible that he made others for which he received payment in cash, thus eliminating the need to post those transactions in his accounts.

The dimensions of this case indicate that it was intended to hold square-shaped green or colorless case bottles. Variations of this form were designed to hold between four to sixteen bottles. This example held eight.

Popular thought often associates green case bottles with gin, but the bottles could also hold cordials. Heavy iron escutcheons with carrying handles on the side boards indicate that the case was intended to be moved from time to time. A now missing lock provided security for the bottles and their contents.

Description Height, 15 ⅛″; Width, 22 13/16″; Depth, 16″.

Pine; original red lead or red stain exterior surfaces; iron side escutcheons and carrying handles; lock and interior bottle dividers missing. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Abraham Sherrill, Jr. (4) in 1802. History of continuous ownership in the Sherrill family to Nettie Sherrill Foster (AKA Sherrill Foster). Current owner: Sherrill Foster’s daughter, Mary Morgan.

10

Bureau

Color photograph with full view of the front of a four-drawer bureau

10A - Full view

Color photograph with angle view of a bureau

10B - Oblique view

Color photograph with detail view of the left front foot of a bureau

10C - Foot

Color photograph with detail view of the joinery of a drawer

10D - Drawer

Color photograph showing the hardware on the inside of a drawer

10E - Hardware

Between 1793 and 1817, Nathaniel Dominy V made seventeen bureaus ranging in price from £4-10-0 to £10. The price differentials were related to the number of drawers in the case and the type of primary wood used to make the form.

In American usage, unlike that of England and France, bureau referred to a chest of drawers intended for use in a bedroom. (See page 40 of Charles Boyce, Dictionary of Furniture (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1985.)) Nathaniel Dominy V never used the term chest of drawers but always entered “bureau” into his accounts.

His customer for this case example was John Parsons (1767–1850) to whom he billed the sum of £6 on November 3, 1803, for “1 Bureau.” Given that Nathaniel V charged £5 for a cherry bureau in 1809, it seems likely that this four-drawer bureau was fashioned from walnut as its primary wood. John Parsons ranked 16 out of 159 ratepayers entered on East Hampton tax lists.

Description Height, 39″; Width, 38 ¼″; Depth, 18 ½″.

Primary wood: walnut; secondary woods: tulip, white pine; four graduated drawers, molded drawer edges; original brasses; original iron drawer lock third drawer from top; bracket feet made from surviving Dominy pattern, catalogue 53F, WHIH; reinforcing foot blocks, one missing; lower one-third of right front foot replaced. Current owner: private collection.

11

Bureau

Color photograph with full view of the front of a bureau

11A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of the bracket foot of a bureau

11B - Foot

Color photograph with detail view of the joinery of a drawer

11C - Drawer

Color photograph with full view of the underside of a bureau

11D - Bottom

The last entry for a bureau in Nathaniel Dominy V’s accounts occurred on March 22, 1817. It recorded “1 bureau £6, made for Jacob Hedges, Jr.” (1784–1869). His order for such a storage form may have been related to his marriage in September 1816 to Betsy Dimon (1794–1844).

Unlike the bureau made for John Parsons (catalogue no. 10), this example has two small drawers over four large graduated drawers. Somewhat puzzling is the fact that Nathaniel V charged the same price, £6, for the smaller, four-drawer Parsons bureau. Except for the number of drawers, the cabinetwork of both bureaus is the same—pediment moldings, bracket feet made from the same pattern (catalogue no. 53F, WHIH), and molded drawer edges.

In pricing their products, woodworking craftsmen used a formula of one third for each of labor, materials, and shop profit. When both the Parsons and Hedges bureaus were made, Nathaniel V valued his time at seven shillings, six pence per day. In that formula, forty shillings represented labor to make the bureaus. Dividing forty shillings by Nathaniel V’s daily rate of seven and one-half shillings indicates that both bureaus were completed and ready for delivery in five and one-third days.

Jacob Hedges, Jr. ranked much lower on East Hampton tax lists than did John Parsons. Hedges was listed at 116 of 159 ratepayers compared to Parsons’ ranking at 16.

Description Height, 43 ¼"; Width, 38″; Depth, 19 ⅜″.

Primary wood: walnut; secondary woods: tulip, white pine; oval brass drawer pulls not original, shadow marks for original batwing brasses similar to those on the Parsons bureau (catalogue no. 10); original brass keyhole escutcheons. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Jacob Hedges, Jr., 1817. Descended in the Hedges family until sold to Robert Trent (dealer). Resold back to the Hedges family. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William D. Hedges to the East Hampton Historical Society.

12

Chest

Montage of color photographs showing various views of a complex chest

12 - Various views

Between 1768 and 1822, sixty chests were produced in the Dominy woodworking shop. Of that number, only one, “a Chest for an Indian 0-10-0” billed to Aaron Isaacs in 1768, was made by Nathaniel IV. Their prices for a chest ranged from a low of eight shillings to a high of thirty-six shillings (£1-16-0).

Most of the chests made by Nathaniel V were blanket chests. In October 1792, however, he billed John Parsons III £1-6-0 for a “complicated chest.” Inside the chest is a till with two drawers fitted under the till. At the opposite end of the box are two vertical dividers forming three large spaces, perhaps for bottles.

The number of hours worked by craftsmen, codified by laws, differed by seasons and were calculated by sun-up to sun-down. Because the Dominys’ charges for their labor and the price charged for their products remained the same without regard to seasons, calculation of the time they spent in completing an object will differ in fall and winter (twelve hour days) than will be the case in spring and summer (fifteen hour days). Given his labor charge of 0-8-8 for making this chest (one third of its price of £1-6-0) in October, a twelve-hour season, he completed it, ready for delivery, in about fourteen hours.

Jeannette Rattray, in her book East Hampton History (East Hampton, NY: self published, 1953) states on page 510 that “the first few generations [of Parsons family members] are pretty well mixed up, due to faulty records, and to the propensity of the Parsons for naming their sons Samuel, John, and Robert over and over again.” Although Nathaniel V clearly billed “John Parsons ye 3rd” in 1792, the only persons of that name listed in Rattray’s genealogy of the Parsons family are John (4) (d. 1793), or John (5) (1744–1824).

Description Height, 16 ¾″; Length, 45 ⅞″; Depth, 17″.

Primary and secondary woods: tulip; all surfaces refinished; lathe–turned knob pulls on drawers. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1792 for John Parsons III. Descended in the Parsons family; collaterally to the Sherrill family; to Sherrill Foster; to daughter Mary Foster Morgan.

13

Chest

Black and white photograph of a workbench with a variety of tools and scrap wood

13A - Interior of the Dominy woodworking shop

Color photograph showing front and top lid of chest

13B - Front

Color photograph showing rear and top lid of chest

13C - Back

Color photograph showing side of chest with rope handle

13D - Side

Color photograph showing interior of chest, lid, and iron strap hinges

13E - Interior

Color photograph showing bottom of chest

13F - Bottom

In 1940, as part of documentation conducted by the Historic American Buildings Survey of the threatened Dominy house and shops, Stanley P. Nixon took a photograph of the interior of the woodworking shop. Shown at the far end of the large bench (catalogue no. 9, WHIH) was a chest.

That chest was made by Nathaniel Dominy V in April 1796, recorded as “1 Long chest 0-10-0” on a list in his hand entitled “The above articles for our family.” Much of the tools and equipment shown in the HABS photograph of the shop had been stored at the Southampton, L.I. antiques shop of Ethel Marsden, from whom the Winterthur Museum made its initial purchase of Dominy shop contents in 1957.

Starting in 1786 when Nathaniel V was sixteen years old, his father, Nathaniel IV, began to record his son’s time working on house and mill carpentry outside the shop. The number of such entries increased from the 1790’s onward, creating Nathaniel V’s need for a chest to carry tools to construction sites.

The iron strap hinges used by Nathaniel V to fasten the lid of his tool chest to the chest box are found on many of the chests that he produced for his customers. There were blacksmiths working in East Hampton including members of the Strong and Talmage families. Deacon David Talmage made abundant metalwork objects for Nathaniel V, but is not credited in Dominy accounts for hinges. Earlier, between 1765 and 1770, Nathaniel IV obtained furniture hardware, including hinges, from New York City via the sloop shuttle conducted by Aaron Isaacs. The strap hinges are so identical, that it’s likely that they were produced in New York City or, even more likely, in England.

In April and May of 1769, Nathaniel Dominy IV, along with his journeyman Jeremiah Sherrill, spent thirty-eight days “building and mending” a local saw mill. Between 1798 and 1830, Nathaniel V and his journeymen spent a great deal of time on repairing, fitting a new saw, replacing cogs, brake wheels, and other parts for the same saw mill. Undoubtedly the up-and-down saw marks on the bottom board of Nathaniel V’s tool chest were made at that local mill.

Description Height, 16 ½″; Length, 44″; Depth, 18 ⅜″.

Pine, iron, rope, paint; rectangular box and lid; exposed dovetails; a cleat on lid undersurface at each end; original iron chest lock; iron hasp at upper front added later; small keyhole; wood carrying bracket on each side panel bored for heavy rope carrying loop; interior till at right side panel; all surfaces painted Prussian blue; marks from an up-and-down sawmill blade on bottom board. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852); to Nathaniel Dominy VII (1827–1910); to Charles Mulford Dominy (1873–1956); to Robert M. Dominy (b. 1926). Museum purchase, 57.93.1, from Robert Dominy.

14

Chest Strap Hinges

Composite color photograph showing four samples of chest hinges, labeled as follows: Nathaniel Dominy V chest hinge (Wintherthur); John Huntting chest hinge 1812; (Probably) David Hedges chest hinge 1799; Nathaniel Dominy V chest hinge

14 - Various chest hinges

Nathaniel Dominy V used strap hinges on a “long chest” made for his use in 1796 (catalogue no. 13). Virtually all of the chests identified as having been made by Nathaniel V utilize the same type of strap hinge. On only a few examples were butt hinges used.

15

Chest

Color photograph showing oblique view of chest

15A - Full view

Color photograph showing interior of chest

15B - Interior

Color photograph showing detail of joinery of chest

15C - Detail

In 1792, and again in 1793, Nathaniel Dominy V made “a Plain chest” and “1 Plain Chest” for Lieutenant Thomas Baker (5) (1742–1825). In July 1792, he charged Baker twelve shillings for that chest and in December 1793, billed Baker for eleven shillings. Although not documented, perhaps the lack of brackets for carrying handles on the chest illustrated here accounted for the lower price charged in 1793.

Lieutenant Thomas Baker was a frequent customer of Nathaniel V. So much so, that at Baker’s death in 1825, Nathaniel V and Jonathan Fithian were designated as executors and appraisers of Baker’s personal property. The inventory of that property, filed on December 17, 1825, listed “2 large chests” valued at a total of two dollars. Baker’s personal property amounted to $129.67. On East Hampton tax lists, Baker ranked eighty-fourth out of 159 ratepayers.

Like many chests made by Nathaniel V, this example has exposed dovetails, two standard strap hinges, Prussian blue paint on the exterior surfaces, and a till. A few of the chests made by Nathaniel V employ breadboard molded edges at the sides of the lid instead of cleats.

Description Height, 14 ⅝″; Length, 45 ⅞″; Depth, 16 ⅝″.

Pine; original iron chest lock; two iron strap hinges; exterior surfaces painted Prussian blue; rectangular box and lid; exposed dovetails; breadboard molded side edges to lid. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Lieutenant Thomas Baker (1742–1825) in 1792 or 1793. To daughter Phebe Baker (1778–1870) who married General Jeremiah Miller (7) (1777–1839) in 1798; to Rosalie Miller (1823–1901) who married Captain Edward Mulford Baker in 1844: to Fanny Mulford Baker who married John Young Strong in 1901; To Barbara Strong Borsack. Current owners: Barbara and Ted Borsack.

16

Chest

Color photograph showing oblique view of chest

16 - Full view

Three years after Nathaniel Dominy V made a “long Chest” at ten shillings for his own use, the craftsman made one for Colonel David Hedges (6) (1779–1857) at the same price. Nathaniel V’s entry on April 24, 1799, for David Hedges was simply “To making Chest 0-10-0”.

Colonel David Hedges was a silversmith with a house and shop located near Clinton Academy on Main Street in East Hampton. Silver objects bearing his touchmark are prized by Long Island collectors. His forms for shaping spoons are part of the East Hampton Historical Society’s collections. His first wife, Nancy Miller, died in 1811, and four years later he married a second wife, Esther Osborn. Of that marriage their only child, Dr. John Chatfield Hedges, was born in 1821. David Hedges succeeded Felix Dominy as East Hampton Town Supervisor in 1836 and served four years in that capacity. On three separate occasions between 1825 and 1833 he represented Suffolk County in the New York State Assembly.

Description Height, 16 ¼″; Length, 41 ⅞″; Depth, 16 ½″.

Pine; iron chest lock missing; iron hasp added later; original beeswax finish; rectangular box and lid; cleat on undersurface of lid ends; exposed dovetails; brackets for heavy rope carrying handles on each side panel; interior till. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1799 for Colonel David Hedges (1779–1857); to his second wife, Esther Osborn Hedges; to their son Dr. John Chatfield Hedges (1821–1877); to his wife, Esther Mulford Hedges (1825–1898); to Everett J. Edwards (1871–1950) via purchase of the Hedges’ house and shop in 1900; to daughter Jeannette Frances Edwards; collaterally to her husband Arnold E. Rattray. Current owner: Helen Rattray.

17

Chest

Color photograph showing front of chest

17A - Front

Color photographs with detail view of inscription reading "Mary Brainerd Gardiners 1816"

17B - Inscription

Color photograph with view of bracket attached to side of chest

17C - Bracket

Color photograph with view of side of chest missing bracket

17D - Side

Ranked at number one, John Lyon Gardiner (1770–1816), seventh proprietor of Gardiners Island, New York, was the wealthiest ratepayer on East Hampton tax lists. He and other members of the Gardiner family were among the Dominys’ best customers.

Prior to his death on November 22, 1816, John Lyon Gardiner placed an order with Nathaniel Dominy V for three large chests. They were finished before Gardiner’s death, but Nathaniel V didn’t list them in his accounts until January 1817, when he billed Gardiner’s estate a total of £5-8-0 for the three chests, or £1-16-0 apiece.

Under the lid of this blanket chest is the ink inscription “Mary Brainerd Gardiners/1816.” Born December 1, 1809, she was the granddaughter of John Lyon Gardiner.

This chest’s survival is due to an unusual and fortuitous circumstance. An astute person foraging at the East Hampton Town dump saw a bulldozer about to push this chest into a trash burial trough. Recognizing that it might have merit, he stopped the bulldozer and brought the chest to the East Hampton Historical Society. It now forms part of their large collection of furniture made by the Dominy craftsmen.

Description Height, 19 ¼″; Length, 48″; Depth, 20″.

Pine; original red lead or red stained exterior surfaces; original iron chest lock; exposed dovetails; rectangular box and lid; a bracket for rope carrying loops on each side panel (one missing); butt hinges attached to lid and interior rear panel of the chest. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for John Lyon Gardiner (1770–1816); to Sarah Diodati Gardiner Thompson; to Mary Brainerd Gardiner Thompson. Current owner: East Hampton Historical Society.

18

Chest with one drawer

Color photograph showing front of chest

18A - Full view

Pair of color photographs showing different chest hinges, labeled Chest hinge (A) and Winterthur chest hinge

18B - Comparison of hinges

Color photo montage showing various views of chest, legs, and joinery

18C - Details

Nathaniel Dominy V’s accounts list five chests with one drawer made between 1799 and 1804. His prices for them ranged from £1-12-0 to £1-14-0. Complicating assignment to the original owner of this example is the fact that under the general term “chests” in his accounts, Nathaniel V also made one entry at the price of £1-12-0.

The current owners of this chest with one drawer acquired it from the Clinton Dewitt Talmage home on East Hampton’s North Main Street, located next door to the Dominy property. On October 12, 1793, Nathaniel V clarified an account entry for Samuel Stratton for a “chest” by adding “1 chest accountable to Deacon Talmage £1-12-0.” In 1794, he entered a billing to “Deacon David Talmage, Jr.” with the explanation “1 chest that was chargd to Widow Sarah Stratton now transferred to you £1-12-0.”

Nathaniel V charged £1-12-0 for one of the five chests with one drawer that he produced and also listed the same price for a “chest” billed to Deacon David Talmage, Jr. (6) (1765–1822). It seems likely, therefore, that this chest with one drawer, recovered in a Talmage house in East Hampton, was made for Deacon David Talmage, Jr. He ranked number sixty of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists.

Description Height, 29 ¼″; Length, 38 ¼″; Width, 16 ½″.

Pine; two iron strap hinges; all exterior surfaces stained red or painted with red lead; rectangular lid, box and case; exposed dovetails on chest section; one drawer with small circular brass knobs; sawn cyma curves at side board bases form bracket feet. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Deacon David Talmage, Jr. (6) (1765–1822) in 1793. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

19

Chest with one drawer

Pair of color photographs with angled views of chest

19 - Front and side

Other than the chest with one drawer made in 1793 for Deacon David Talmage, Jr. (catalogue no. 18), five more were produced by Nathaniel Dominy V. They were for Abraham Edwards (5) (1739–1813) in 1799; Nathan Miller (6) (1743–1800) in 1800; Uriah Miller (6) (1750–1820) in 1800; Martha Terry Bennett (1779–1827) in 1803; and Joseph (5) (1767–1840) and Isaac (5) (1781–1863) Dimon in 1804.

Recovered in Greenport, Long Island on the North Fork, its history and provenance are not known. There is no question, however, that it was made in the shop of Nathaniel Dominy V between 1799 and 1804. Its lid, strap hinges, cyma curved feet sawn as part of its side boards, drawer construction, and overall dimensions echo Nathaniel V’s shop processes.

On East Hampton tax lists of 159 ratepayers, Abraham Edwards ranked seventy-six; Nathan Miller thirty-nine; Uriah Miller eighty-four; Martha Bennett’s husband, Abraham, 159; and Joseph and Isaac Dimon were ranked ninety-eight.

Description Height, 34″; Length, 37 ⅞″; Depth, 16 ¼″.

Pine, red stain or red lead exterior surfaces; original batwing brass drawer escutcheons missing; replaced by circular wood knob drawer pulls; rectangular lid and box; two original brass keyhole escutcheons; bead molding on lid edges probably made by cove with bead plane (catalogue no. 68A); applied ogee and cove molding to lower front and side of box. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V between 1799 and 1804. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

20

Chest with two drawers

Color photograph with full view of chest

20A - Full view

Color photograph with front view of chest

20B - Front

Color photograph showing side and feet of chest

20C - Side

Color photograph showing foot pattern matching feet of chest

20D - Bracket foot pattern

On February 3, 1800, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Abraham Edwards (5) (1739–1813) £2 for “1 Chest with 2 Drawers.” It was one among eight blanket chests with two drawers that he made between 1786 and 1812. His prices for this form ranged from a low of £1-12-0, because “you found Brass,” to a high of £2-12-0. In exchange for the convenience of placing items more easily fetched from drawers, his customers were willing to give up storage capacity in the chest box.

At some time after the advent of television, the last of the owners of this example converted the box section to receive and conceal a television set. When it was originally made, it took Nathaniel V one and one-half fifteen hour days to complete it, ready for delivery to Abraham Edwards.

Under the more recent black paint can be seen traces of the original red stain or red lead paint so frequently used by both Nathaniel IV and V. A bracket foot pattern that is part of the Dominy tool collection acquired by Winterthur (catalogue no. 53 F, WHIH) was used to make this chest’s feet.

Description Height, 40 ½″; Length, 39 ¾″; Depth, 18″.

Pine; original red lead or red stained surfaces under recent black paint; rectangular lid and box; two rectangular drawers; turned wood drawer pulls; four bracket feet; two strap hinges attached to underside of lid and rear box board; molded lid edges; molded drawer edges and molding below lowest drawer. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1800 for Abraham Edwards (6) (1739–1813). To his wife Elizabeth Baker Edwards (1747–1815); to their son David Edwards (1781–1831); to his wife Esther Barnes Edwards (1791–1853); to their son Isaac B. Edwards (1822–1866); to his wife Harriet Payne Edwards (1828–1859); to their son Charles Wesley Edwards (1852–1922); to his wife Melvina Downs Edwards (1857–1939); to their son Leroy Osborne Edwards (1876–1947); to his wife Elizabeth Parsons Edwards; to their daughter Madeline Huntting Edwards (b. 1900) who married Herbert Eugene Mott, 1921; to their son Leonard Leroy Mott (b. 1922) who married Mary Riley Mott; to their children Sally Ann Mott (b. 1947), Leonard Riley Mott (b. 1949) and Peter Leroy Mott (b. 1951). Purchased at Edwards family estate sale by current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

21

Chest Upon Chest (Chest on Chest)

Color photograph showing front of chest

21A - Front

Color photograph showing front and side of chest

21B - Angle view

Color photograph showing skirt and legs of chest

21C - Legs and skirt

Color photograph showing detail of chest legs

21D - Legs

Color photograph with side view of chest legs

21E - Side view of legs

Color photograph showing detail of drawers and cornice of chest

21F - Detail

Descriptions of this type of case furniture refer to it as a high chest of drawers or, in short form, a highboy. Nathaniel Dominy V, who made thirteen between 1791 and 1806, listed them in his accounts as either a “Chest upon Chest” or a “Chest on Chest.” Both are accurate designations for the form.

The chest upon chest that Nathaniel V made for his family’s use in 1796 is illustrated as catalogue number 193 in With Hammer in Hand. Survivors of the thirteen examples made by Nathaniel V differ only in one aspect, namely the number of top drawers. Most have three small drawers abreast beneath a pediment while a few have two longer drawers in that position.

Nathaniel V charged £7-12-6 for his least expensive version and £12 for his most expensive ones. The woods that he used, numbers of drawers constructed, and types of brass drawer pulls entered into the price charged for each chest upon chest.

This cherry-wood example, most likely made for Joseph Dimon in 1801, cost just over £10. Its exact price is not easily determined because Nathaniel V’s account entry was “To Chest on Chest & Stand £11-0-0.” A cherry “Chest upon Chest” made for Sineus Conkling in 1793 was priced at “£10.” It took Nathaniel V eight and three-quarter 15-hour days to complete one, ready for delivery, for both Dimon and Conkling.

Of the 159 ratepayers recorded in East Hampton tax lists, Joseph Dimon was ranked ninety-eight.

Description Height, 72″; Width, 38 ¾″; Depth, 18 ⅝″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary woods: tulip, white pine; except for its drawer pulls, this chest upon chest is identical to the one made by Nathaniel V in 1796 for his family’s use (catalogue no. 193, WHIH); drawer and lockplate hardware replaced; surface refinished. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Joseph Dimon (5) (1767–1840) in 1801—Joseph Dimon (5) was a son of Isaac Dimon (4) (1735–1808) and Eunice Foster Dimon (d. 1809). Probably to David Foster Dimon (6) (1803–1825) or Charles Dimon (6) (b. 1805); to David Foster Dimon (7) (b. 1835); reverted to a member of the Foster family. “Foster” is written in script on a drawer side. Gift of the Foster family to current owner: Whaling Museum, Sag Harbor, Long Island.

22

Chest Upon Chest (Chest on Chest)

Color photograph showing front of chest

22A - Front

Color photograph showing front and side of chest

22B - Angle view

In 1992, the Winterthur Museum acquired this chest-upon-chest made by Nathaniel Dominy V from an antiques dealership in Norwich, Ohio. Information about its family provenance was promised but not forthcoming. What immediately follows, therefore, is speculation about the original owner of this chest-upon-chest.

Many genealogies of East Hampton families, published in Jeannette Edwards Rattray’s East Hampton History: including Genealogies of Early Families (East Hampton, N.Y.: Self published, printed by Country Life Press, 1953), record that one or more local family members moved to upstate New York following the end of the American Revolution. From that area, those same individuals or their descendants, including some members of the Dominy family, moved on to the midwest. For example, Newton J. Dominy, compiler and publisher of a 260-page genealogy of the Dominy family, lived in Ohio and his book was published in Dublin, Ohio. The title of his genealogy noted that Dominy family members could be found in Beekmantown and Clinton County, New York, as well as at least three counties in Ohio.

Of the customers for the thirteen chests-upon-chests made by Nathaniel V between 1791 and 1806, two individuals, Sineus Conkling (4) (1718–1810) and Daniel Conkling, Jr. (5) (1737–1816) moved from East Hampton to upstate New York communities. Sineus Conkling purchased a cherry chest-upon-chest from Nathaniel Dominy V in 1793 at a cost of £10. In 1797, Daniel Conkling, Jr. bought his from Nathaniel V paying £12 to that joiner.

Among Sineus Conkling’s children was a daughter, Mary (b. 1744), who died in the early nineteenth century and is buried in Clinton, New York, a small town near Utica, New York. Jeannette Rattray did not trace female lines of descent, making it difficult to trace children born of her marriage in 1800 to Thomas Treadwell. Daniel Conkling, Jr. died at Rensselaerville, New York, a town near Albany, in 1816. His children, Daniel (1765–1833), Josiah (1770–1835), and John T. (1792–1875), also died in Rensselaerville.

Despite the above information, it is only an assumption that the original owner of this chest-upon-chest was either Sineus or Daniel Conkling.

Except for the brasses and surface finish, this chest-upon-chest is identical to one made by Nathaniel V for his family in 1796 (catalogue number 193, WHIH). Winterthur’s example retains its original wash of red lead paint over which a resin coating was added at a later date. The Dominys’ accounts record purchases of red and white lead paint used as base or finish coats on some of their furniture. Its brasses are original. The pattern used to make its cabriole legs and pad feet survives in the Dominy tool collection. It’s illustrated as catalogue number 55B in WHIH.

Description Height, 73 ⅜″; Width, 41″; Depth, 20″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary woods: pine, tulip, oak; ogee and cavetto molded cornice; three small drawers over four full-width graduated drawers; ogee molding separating top and bottom sections; one full-width drawer over one small rectangular drawer flanked by a square drawer; cyma-curved shaped skirt with fleur-de-lys pendant at center; four cabriole legs and pad feet atop circular discs. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V possibly for Sineus Conkling (4) (1718–1810) in 1793. R. Brent Kemble (antiques dealer, Norwich, Ohio); Winterthur Museum purchase, 1992.0109.

23

Grain chest (Meal trough)

Color photograph showing full view of grain chest

23 - Full view

In 1769, Nathaniel Dominy IV made this grain chest for Recompence Sherrill, Jr., (3) (1706–1786) at a cost of nine shillings. Nathaniel IV entered the transaction in his accounts as “to making a Meal troff he found bords 0-9-0.” The Oxford English Dictionary gives “The edible part of any grain or pulse [peas, beans, lintels, etc] ground to a powder” as its first definition of “meal.” Grain chests were usually found inside a home in a back pantry or up in an attic to hold a supply of meal for family use.

Nathaniel Dominy V, who made three of the same form in the 1790’s referred to them as a “chest” or “troff” [trough], pricing them from eighteen shillings to £1-4-0. The price charged by his father to Recompence Sherrill, Jr. reflected the latter’s supplying the boards for the chest’s material.

Describing this grain chest, catalogue number 61A, in his excellent book, Long Island Is My Nation, Dean Failey noted that “the more mundane woodworking activities of the rural carpenter-joiner have often gone unappreciated.” But survival of this “meal troff” provides another aspect of the daily lives of rural people living in areas where agriculture was the dominant economy.

Description Height, 23″; Length, 77″; Depth, 18 ½″.

Wood: pine; six board chest; end boards taper inward top to bottom, and their lower ends are sawn in cyma-curve shapes to form feet; iron cotter pin and loop hinges. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV for Recompence Sherrill, Jr., (3) (1706–1786). Descended in the Sherrill family to Sherrill N. Foster; acquired by Dr. and Mrs. Roger Gerry; gift of the Gerrys to the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, accession 92.15.

24

Clothes Presses

Color photograph showing front of clothes press

24A - Front

Color photograph showing upper section of clothes press with doors open

24B - Interior

Color photograph showing front and side of clothes press

24C - Angle view

Array of color photographs showings detail views of cornices and feet of two clothes presses, labeled Clothes Press Comparison: Customs House Clothes Press and EHHS Clothes Press

24D/E - Detail comparison

Two color photographs of similar clothes presses

24F - Full view comparison

On May 14, 1806, and again on April 20, 1809, Nathaniel Dominy V entered into his accounts, “To Clothes press £2-16-0.” The purchaser of both presses was Lyman Beecher (1775–1863) who served as pastor of the Presbyterian Church in East Hampton from 1799 to 1810. His experiences in that capacity are described in Volume I of Barbara M. Cross (ed.), The Autobiography of Lyman Beecher (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press, 1961), pages 64-146.

One clothes press is owned by the East Hampton Historical Society, and the other, by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. The latter’s example is displayed in the bedroom of Henry Packer Dering at the Dering Customs House in Sag Harbor. Henry Packer Dering was the Customs Collector and Postmaster at Sag Harbor. Correspondence in the Dominy Manuscript Collection testifies to Dering’s acting as a go-between in transferring watches to be repaired by Nathaniel Dominy IV and Felix Dominy.

Following original ownership by Lyman Beecher, the clothes presses survived with separate histories. Comparison photographs taken of both forms (see 24A, C, D, E, and F), clearly indicate that they were made in the same shop, following the same shop practices, patterns, moldings, bracket feet, and dovetails.

Their separate journeys to their present ownership are probably explained in Lyman Beecher’s own words. On March 8, 1810, after his call to become pastor of the Congregational Church in Litchfield, Connecticut, he wrote to leaders of that church. “Any arrangements you may deem proper to make in reference to a removal after Presbytery, I think you may safely make, as at any rate, I intend to cross to Guilford with the family, if not with all the furniture. I shall be in great haste to come and tell you how much I am yours” (Cross, page 139).

After being in Litchfield for less than a month, Beecher returned to East Hampton and sold his house. He stated, “We did not dispose of our furniture and valuables, but had an auction of things we did not want to carry away” (Cross, page 155). Records of Beecher’s sale apparently have not survived.

Where the Beechers made use of both clothes presses is uncertain. According to Averill D. Geus, in A Brief History of Our Village Hall (East Hampton, NY: The Beecher/Hand House, East Hampton Village Hall, nd), by 1806 the Beechers had five children and had started a school. Four or five of the school’s young female pupils boarded with the Beechers bringing their household population to fourteen. That number alone could account for the need of two clothes presses. Beecher, however, also served five years as a teacher at, and principal of, Clinton Academy, now part of the East Hampton Historical Society. It’s possible that the Beecher’s conduct of schools also made necessary the use of two clothes presses.

In his second edition of Long Island Is My Nation, Dean Failey described SPLIA’s example (catalogue no. 55A, page 9-39), as a wardrobe probably made in Sag Harbor. His caption noted, however, that there was “an identical wardrobe in the collection of the East Hampton Historical Society.” The initials “LHF” are inscribed on the backboard of SPLIA’s press giving rise to a family tradition that it was owned by Lewis Fordham of Sag Harbor. If so, he could not have been the original owner. There are no entries in the accounts of Nathaniel Dominy IV and V for furniture made for any member of the Fordham family. Nathaniel IV did repair clocks and watches for various members of the Fordham family. Because Lyman Beecher married Roxana Foote in 1799, one might speculate that a member of the Foote family purchased one of the wardrobes in 1810. Perhaps later, through marriage it came into the Fordham family.

Description (EHHS) Height, 81 ¾″; Width, 45 ¾″; Depth, 21 15/16″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary woods: tulip, white pine; upper section of cornice, cove with bead, ogee, cavetto and bead moldings; two recessed panel doors with butt hinges and brass lock escutcheons enclose four shelves; lower section of four drawers graduated in size; eight original brass drawer pulls; four original brass lock escutcheons; ogee molding atop four ogee bracket feet; original Spanish brown or argal finish [both pigments purchased by the Dominys for a reddish-brown color]. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Lyman Beecher (1775–1863) in 1806 or 1809. Purchased in East Hampton in the 1890’s, probably by William Efner Wheelock; gift of John Hall Wheelock to the East Hampton Historical Society.

Description (SPLIA) Height, 82 ½″; Width, 47″; Depth, 22 ½″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary woods: tulip, white pine, chestnut; case work identical to the above, except for different style original brass drawer pulls and lock escutcheons; original finish removed. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Lyman Beecher (1775–1863) in 1806 or 1809; Morgan Macwhinnie (dealer); Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, in memory of Christopher Sigerist Beeson; Accession 77.14.

25

Desk

Color photograph with front view of desk

25A - Full view

Black and white photo of a pattern matching the feet of the desk

25B - Foot pattern

Color photograph showing desk with open top

25C - Open

Color photograph with close-up of drawer handle

25D - Detail

Not counting desk-and-bookcase forms, between 1770 and 1811, Dominy records list three types of desks – school, writing, and the general term desk. A total of seventeen, they ranged in price from as little as seventeen shillings to as much as £11. Recent discovery of a lap desk made by Nathaniel Dominy VII in 1849 brings the total production of desks to eighteen. That discovery, however, provides a caution against sole reliance on a craftsman’s accounts. Objects made by a craftsman for personal use or for that of family members, and objects paid for in cash, were usually not entered into day or account books.

From the prices charged by Nathaniel IV and V, it is clear that six of the entries for desks recorded fall or slant-front desks. In 1770, Doctor Samuel Hutchinson was charged £5-10-0 for a “desk” while David Rose paid £6-16-0 for his in 1791. In 1802, John Lyon Gardiner and Mulford Hand each paid £11 for their mahogany desks. Jared Hand’s desk cost him £10 in 1810 and Nathaniel Hand was charged £8 in 1811 “To Desk for Nat.” All of the school or writing desks cost £1 or less.

This slant or fall front desk has a history of ownership in the Mulford family. Oral family history, however, maintains that the original owner was not a member of the Mulford family. According to their tradition, the desk came to the Mulford family from the Fithian house in East Hampton. But no desks are recorded in Dominy accounts as having been made for members of either family.

Its journey from the Fithian house to Mulford ownership provides another cautionary tale about assigning provenance based on the location where an object was recovered. David Mulford, current owner of this desk, indicated that his grandmother, Elizabeth Osborne Mulford, daughter of George and Florine Fithian Osborne, acquired it about 1940 when she took possession of the Fithian house through foreclosure. The previous owner of the Fithian house, Mrs. E. Coe Kerr, collected antiques with East Hampton histories. When Elizabeth Osborne Mulford acquired the Fithian house, this desk and a Dominy tall case clock (catalogue number 229, WHIH) came with it. The clock is now owned by David Mulford’s son, Stephen.

Elizabeth Osborne Mulford moved the desk about 1940 to a house owned by David Mulford’s father, E. Courtland Mulford, situated at 17 Buell Lane, East Hampton. In the late 1980’s, David Mulford moved the desk to his home in Vero Beach, Florida and in 1994, he moved it again to his home in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Since 2006 it sits further north in David Mulford’s current home.

To date, the original owner of this desk remains unknown. There is no question that it was made either by Nathaniel Dominy IV or Nathaniel V. Its bracket feet were fashioned from pattern 53E (WHIH) that survived in the Dominy tool Collection. The stiles of its fall front lid are not mitered, shop practice found on a desk made for Dominy family use (catalogue number 243, WHIH) and on the desk made for John Lyon Gardiner (catalogue number 244, WHIH). The molding on the edge of the board in front of this desk’s interior drawers is the same as that used by Nathaniel V for John Lyon Gardiner’s desk made in 1802 (catalogue number 242C).

Description Height, 39″; Width, 36 ½″; Depth, 18 ¼″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary woods: tulip, white pine; fall front lid fastened to case with iron butt hinges; interior of five open pigeon holes over five small drawers; brace board in front of drawers with molded front edge; sliding cover over deep well; left and right lopers support open fall front lid; one false drawer atop three equally sized drawers; four bracket feet; original finish and brasses replaced; 2006 restoration by Robert Whitley, New Hope. PA. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV, possibly for Dr. Samuel Hutchinson, 1770; or by Nathaniel Dominy V, possibly for David Rose, 1791. Collected locally by Mrs. E. Coe Kerr for the Fithian house, East Hampton; to Elizabeth Osborne Mulford, 1940; to her son Edwin Courtland Mulford; to his son David Eugene Mulford, current owner.

26

Desk and Bookcase

Color photograph with full view of object

26A - Full view

Black and white photograph with full view of object

26B - Desk closed

Black and white photograph showing object with desk open

26C - Desk open

Color photograph of bookcase doors with a sample piece showing the original stain or pigment wash

26D - Original coloring

Color photograph showing the object with a man gesturing toward a foot pattern and the apparently unfinished replacement feet

26E - Restoration in progress

The only desk and bookcase listed in Dominy accounts is this one made for John Lyon Gardiner. Nathaniel Dominy V billed the proprietor of Gardiner’s island £20-8-0 for it on May 5, 1800, a price that included carting it from the Dominy’s woodworking shop on North Main Street to Fireplace, an area opposite Gardiner’s Island.

In the early 1960’s, when this author saw the desk and bookcase in the home of Winthrop Gardiner, Jr., it was not possible to give it an in-depth examination. Even so, it was obvious that its surface finish had been removed; its block feet were unlike any found on antique furniture; a unique finial adorned it; and a small wood catch for one of the bookcase doors was not original [see catalogue number 244, WHIH].

Obvious, however, was Nathaniel Dominy V’s familiarity with Rhode Island furniture because of the overall look and design of this bookcase. His customer, John Lyon Gardiner, had acquired furniture made in Newport, Rhode Island. Nathaniel V was a direct descendant of Nathaniel Dominy II (1684–1768), who married Anne Corey of Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1706. In 1762, Nathaniel IV purchased Nathaniel Colson’s book, The Mariners New Calendar, “bought of Mr. Bird at Newport,” which he used to fashion his nocturnal [see Illus. XIII, WHIH].

When the Winterthur Museum acquired this desk and bookcase in 1992, it was given a stringent examination by then curator, Robert Trent, and furniture conservator, Mark Anderson. They confirmed that the desk and bookcase’s surfaces had been heavily scraped, with major repair and refinishing in the 1930’s. Its brasses had been replaced at least twice. Tool and fabrication markings on the bottom of the carcass indicated that the original supports were ogee bracket feet [see catalogue number 26E, appendix C].

Their most important discovery was survival of the original stain or pigment wash, a thin red-colored wash, on the lopers and on the bottoms of the pigeonhole dividers [see catalogue numbers 26A, 26D, Appendix C]. It was used by Nathaniel V to “mahoganize” the entire desk and bookcase. Tests in Winterthur’s Analytical Laboratory revealed that the red colorant was not made from a cellulosic fiber. In fact, it was undoubtedly one of two colorants purchased in bulk by Nathaniel Dominy IV. In 1765, he bought fourteen pounds by weight of Spanish Brown, a dark reddish-brown pigment with lots of iron oxide in it. Eight years later, in 1773, he acquired a quantity of Argal, a crude tartar also used as a pigment for reddish-brown colors.

The furniture brasses now on the desk and bookcase are sand-casted reproductions copying witness marks on the drawers and fall front lid. Its ogee bracket feet represent a combination of a pattern surviving in the Dominy Tool Collection [catalogue number 53F, WHIH] and the original feet on a Newport dressing bureau in the Winterthur collection. A new finial, cast in epoxy resin, was copied from an original on a Newport clock at Winterthur. It was inspired by a similar finial on a Newport high chest owned by the Gardiner family.

The cyma-curved, arched pediment of this desk and bookcase provides evidence for the creativity and skill of Nathaniel Dominy V as well as for the fact that craftsmen had to produce objects as swiftly as possible. Visible divider lines mark four distinct sections of the pediment molding. It was turned as a full circle on a lathe and then sawn through into four quarter sections. That process saved a great deal of time for Nathaniel V. Eighteenth and early nineteenth century woodworkers used a formula of thirds – one third for labor, one third for materials, and one third for shop profit. In 1800, Nathaniel V charged 7.5 shillings for his labor. The total price of this desk and bookcase, £20-8-0 equals 408 shillings. One third of that sum is 136 shillings or his total labor cost. That sum divided by 7.5 shillings, his daily labor cost, equals just over 18 twelve hour days of labor to complete and deliver this desk and book case. Most of his time would have been spent on drawer construction.

Description Height, 90 ¾″; Width, 38 ½″; Depth, 20 ½″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary woods: cherry, white pine; surface scraped and refinished; surface originally stained using Spanish Brown or Argal pigments; in two sections; bookcase with scrolled, molded cyma curve, broken arch pediment; two applied flat panels on tympanum echo scroll shape; central reeded plinth; urn and flame reproduction finial; two fielded panel doors; candle slide under each door; desk section with fall front lid; interior with eight pigeonholes across the top; two pigeonholes flank large ledger spaces; four small drawers; desk interior with eight pigeonholes; four drawers; center prospect door and space; four graduated in size drawers below fall front lid; replaced bracket feet and brasses. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1800 for John Lyon Gardiner (7) (1770–1816); to his wife Sarah Griswold Gardiner (1781–1863); to Samuel Buell Gardiner (8) (1815–1882); to his son John Lyon Gardiner (9) (1841–1910); to his son Winthrop Gardiner (10) (1887–?); to his son Winthrop Gardiner, Jr. (11) (1912–?); to Olney Gardiner; to Winterthur Museum, accession 1992.0066.

27

Desk and Bookcase

Color photograph with full view of object

27A - Full view

Black and white photograph of pattern matching the feet of the object

27B - Foot pattern

Black and white photograph showing the object with the desk and bookcase doors open

27C - Desk and bookcase open

Color photograph showing detail of the desk with various drawers and sliders pulled out

27D - Interior of desk

When the lack of a recorded entry in a craftsman’s accounts fails to identify the original maker and owner of an object, researchers must then accumulate enough credible circumstantial evidence to identify it.

There are no entries for a desk and bookcase in Nathaniel Dominy IV’s accounts and only one entry for a desk and bookcase occurs in Nathaniel V’s records. But construction practices identified through comparison with that documented desk and bookcase made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1800 for John Lyon Gardiner, and Dominy family histories, helped to identify three other desks and bookcases (see catalogue numbers 243, 244, 245, WHIH and number 26, Appendix C).

This desk and bookcase displays construction features and shop practices followed by Nathaniel Dominy V when he made those noted above. Its bracket feet were made from a pattern that survived in the Dominy tool collection (catalogue number 53 F, WHIH). It was used by Nathaniel V on a slant front desk made for John Lyon Gardiner in 1802 and on two other desk and bookcases (catalogue numbers 242, 243, 245, WHIH). The fielded panel bookcase doors are identical to those on a desk and bookcase that Nathaniel V made for John Lyon Gardiner in 1800 (catalogue number 244, WHIH and number 26, Appendix C). Stiles on the slant front desk section echo those on two other desks and bookcases made by Nathaniel V (catalogue numbers 243, 244, WHIH). Candle slides above the desk section, pigeon hole dividers and a sliding cover over a hidden well in the desk’s interior are the same as those on the desk made by Nathaniel V for his own use (catalogue number 243, WHIH).

In 1993, the Southampton, Long Island dealer, Morgan Macwhinnie, wrote to Robert Trent at the Winterthur Museum enclosing photographs of a desk that he had purchased “from the same Schellinger family that also had clock #204 [WHIH] and a spider leg stand #251 A [WHIH] in the house!” In August, 2014, as part of a telephone conversation with this writer, the same dealer stated that he had obtained this desk and bookcase from an antiques dealer in East Hampton, Long Island. That dealer indicated to Morgan Macwhinnie that the desk and bookcase had been obtained from a Schellinger family house in East Hampton. When illustrated on page 33 of the 1998/1999 catalogue Colonial East Hampton, 1640–1800, chronicling an exhibition at the Guild Hall Museum as part of the 350th Anniversary Celebration of the Town of East Hampton, the desk and bookcase had been sold to a private collector.

Unfortunately, no entry for a desk and bookcase, or for the repair of one, occurs for the Schellinger family of Amagansett in Dominy accounts. Thanks, however, to the excellent genealogical detective work of Glenn Purcell, a strong case can be made that this desk and bookcase was originally made for Nathaniel Hand (6) (1776–1861).

In October, 1811, Nathaniel V billed Nathaniel Hand (5) (1739–1824) of Amagansett, “To Desk for Nat £8.” “Nat” was Nathaniel Hand, Jr. (6), a son of Nathaniel Hand (5). On page 23 of Nathaniel Dominy V’s account book (59x6, Downs Library) he recorded receiving a payment on June 25, 1811, of ten dollars, the equivalent of £4, from Nathaniel Hand, Jr. He was “Nat”, whose father was billed £8 for a desk for Nat in 1811. The son’s payment was likely an advance toward the desk ordered for him, bringing its total cost to £12.

According to Jeannette Rattray, East Hampton History Including Genealogies of Early Families (East Hampton: Self published, 1953), page 358, Nathaniel Hand (6) of Amagansett was a storekeeper with an extensive business outfitting whaling ships. A son of Nathaniel Hand (6) noted that the hand family owned slaves—six men and three women, in addition to bondservants. A desk and bookcase would have been a necessity for Nathaniel Hand (6) to meet requirements of his business activities. His father, Nathaniel Hand (5) was ranked thirty-two of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists.

Strengthening circumstantial evidence for Nathaniel Hand (6) as the original owner of this desk and bookcase was another statement made by Jeannette Rattray. On page 358 of her book she noted that Juliette Hand (1812–1871), a sister of Nathaniel Hand (6), brought furniture from Amagansett when she set up housekeeping in East Hampton. Presumably, the desk and bookcase was part of that furniture.

Description Height, 81 ½″; Width, 40″; Depth, 23″.

Primary wood: walnut; secondary woods: tulip, cherry; bookcase flat pediment of cavetto and bead moldings; two fielded panel doors with iron butt hinges, enclose 24 small, and four large ledger-size pigeon holes; cyma–curved dividers for large pigeon holes; scalloped valances above top row of small pigeon holes; two candle slides atop slant front desk section; desk interior with eight pigeon holes topped by scalloped valances; two small projecting drawers on each side next to recessed drawers on each side; center prospect door flanked by document drawers; all in front of a sliding panel concealing a hidden well; two small drawers above two large drawers below fall front; bracket feet; all brasses replaced. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V probably for Nathaniel Hand (6) (1776–1861) in 1811; PROBABLE DESCENT, to Charles Roscoe Hand (7) (1796–1886) [whose father was Mulford Hand, a brother of Nathaniel Hand (6)]; to Charles’ son Nathaniel S. Hand (8) (1824–1888); to his son Theodore H. Hand (9) (1854–1904) whose first wife was Julia (1853–1892), daughter of Alben and Eliza Payne Schellinger [Theodore H. Hand owned a home on Main Street, East Hampton]; from Julia to her father Alben Derby Schellinger (6) (1806–1885); to his son George Stratton Schellinger (7) (1845–1929); to his son George Vernon Schellinger (8) (1888–?); to East Hampton dealer; to dealer Morgan Macwhinnie; Private collection.

28

Portable Desk [Lap Desk]

Black and white photograph showing angle view of closed desk

28A - Closed

Black and white photograph showing angle view of open desk

28B - Open

Color photograph showing side view of open desk

28C - Side view, open

Black and white photograph showing angle view of open desk with writing surface lifted

28D - Compartment under writing surface

Black and white photograph showing detail of wood with signature reading "1849 May 3rth finished / N Dominy Junr

28E - Signature

Color photograph showing side of closed desk with recessed brass handle

28F - Side with recessed handle

Few woodworking items made by the Dominys were marked by them. Fortunately, this portable desk was signed by Nathaniel Dominy, Jr. when he finished it on May 30, 1849 [see catalogue number 28E, Appendix C].

It is highly likely that this desk was made by Nathaniel Dominy VII (1827–1910). He was raised by, and living with, his grandfather, Nathaniel V (1770–1852), who in 1849 was seventy-nine years old and would not have signed his name as a “Junr.” Nathaniel V’s accounts show virtually no charges for woodwork or other activity in the 1840’s and do not mention a portable or lap desk. Unfortunately, there are only sporadic record scraps that have survived for Nathaniel VII’s activities. None list woodworking activity. But in 1849, Nathaniel VII was about to embark on work as a daguerreotype photographer [see his broadside advertisement, page 11, WHIH]. In that year, he made a daguerreotype portrait of his father, Felix Dominy. A portable, or lap desk, made for traveling and easy to set up, would have served him well in recording information at the sites of his work. Recessed military type brass carrying handles [see catalogue number 28F, Appendix C] facilitated moving it from place to place. Two baize-lined writing surfaces on the interior lift up on butt hinges to provide storage space. A drawer is fitted into one side of the base affording additional storage.

A bit of circumstantial evidence also strengthens the attribution of this portable desk to the hands of Nathaniel Dominy VII. The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities acquired it from the Long Island dealer Valdemar Jacobsen. That dealer purchased a Dominy family desk and bookcase, owned at one time by Nathaniel Dominy VII, from Washington Tyson Dominy, a direct descendant [see catalogue number 243, WHIH]. It seems more than coincidence that the same dealer had also obtained this portable desk, probably also from Washington Tyson Dominy.

Description Height, 8 ½″; Length, 25 ¾″; Depth, 9″.

Primary wood: tulip; secondary wood: white pine; rectangular shaped box divided into two horizontal sections; iron lock; butt hinges permit sections to be lifted and opened; baize-lined writing surfaces on interior lift to provide under storage; drawer on one lower side of desk; recessed brass military type carrying handles on each side; surfaces painted with black stain or wash, perhaps using the remains of a cask of lampblack purchased by Nathaniel Dominy IV in 1765. Probably made by Nathaniel Dominy VII (1827–1910); to his son Jeremiah Miller Dominy (8) (1863–1943); to his son Jeremiah Kellogg Dominy (9) (1889–?); to his son Washington Tyson Dominy (10) (1922–?); to Valdemar Jacobsen (dealer); to Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, accession 84.25.

29

School Desk

Color photograph of a school desk

29A - Full view

Color photograph of a school desk with the top open

29B - Open

Color photograph with a close-up view of the backsplash of a school desk

29C - Backsplash

As noted by Jeannette Rattray in Chapter 11 of her book, East Hampton History, the date when the first school was founded in East Hampton is not known. East Hampton Town records do indicate that a school was in existence before 1655. But Jeannette Rattray emphasized that until New York State passed a law in 1812 for the support of common schools, “only the very bright, and the doggedly ambitious, especially if they were poor”, received more than the three R’s.

Her latter statement underscores the fact that only three school desks were made by Nathaniel Dominy V. This example was billed to Abraham Sherrill, Jr. in 1801 at a cost of seventeen shillings. The remaining two school desks, also made in 1801, were billed in one-half or one-quarter shares to Stephen Hedges, Abraham Huntting, Joel Miller, Abraham Edwards, and Thomas Tillinghast. In an agricultural and fishing community, it’s not surprising that most students attended school part-time.

Given that Abraham Sherrill, Jr. (4) (1754–1844) was forty-seven years old in 1801, he must have purchased the school desk for someone other than himself. The desk’s backsplash scrolls, in smaller scale, repeat the design of bedstead headboards and wash stands made by Nathaniel Dominy V. Another Nathaniel V shop practice seen on his tables and repeated on this desk by Nathaniel V, is the use of two pegs to secure the mortise and tenon joints of its tapered legs with the frame. Its original coat of red, lead paint or wash, was removed by refinishing.

A photograph of Edwin Livingston Sherrill (1891–1975) taken in the 1930’s, owned by the Sherrill family, shows him at the Sherrill farm on Springs Fireplace Road, East Hampton, with this school desk in the background.

Description Height, 38″; Width, 33 ¾″; Depth, 23″.

Scrolled backsplash; rectangular lid; breadboard molding on three sides of the lid; lid lifts on two iron butt hinges; four Hepplewhite style legs tapered on inner surface only support rectangular frame; interior with three dividers; iron desk lock; seven front-to-back rectangular bottom boards. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V; billed to Abraham Sherrill, Jr. (4) (1754–1844). Descended in the Sherrill family to Edwin Livingston Sherrill (1891–1975); to his daughter Nettie Sherrill Foster [Sherrill Foster]; to her daughter Mary Sherrill Morgan. Current owner: Mary Morgan.

30

Writing Desk

Color photograph with side view of desk

30A - Side

Color photograph showing desk with writing surface raised

30B - Interior

Color photograph showing legs of desk

30C - Legs

Color photograph showing interior of desk with storage drawer pulled out

30D - Interior drawer

Color photograph showing joinery used to construct drawer

30E - Side of drawer

Of seventeen desks entered into Nathaniel Dominy V’s accounts, only six were described by him as “writing desks.” They were made between 1795 and 1808. Stylistically, this example utilizes Sheraton style legs with decorative turnings that are found on tables and stands made by Nathaniel V. That fact, and original circular brass knob pulls on its drawers, place its manufacture closer to 1808.

Nathaniel V’s writing desks and school desks were about the same size. At nineteen shillings or £1, their price was usually only two or three shillings more than a school desk. Construction of two small drawers for the interior of the writing desks probably accounted for the price difference. Using his daily rate of seven shillings-six pence for his labor, one–third of an object’s total price, his writing desks were completed with only six or seven hours of work.

The original owner of this writing desk is not known. Its current owners purchased it in 2011 directly from Congress Hall, a house at 177 Main Street, East Hampton Village. That house started its life as a seventeenth-century lean-to salt box structure. It was probably built by William Mulford on land continuously owned by Mulford family members until this century. The house remained in the Mulford family through conversion to a two-story house in 1805, remodeling in 1902, and again in 2013–2014 when it was sold out of the Mulford family. Its name derives not from any political function. It stems from its mid-nineteenth century owner’s invitation to men of East Hampton Village to gather, i.e. congress, at his home to discuss issues of the day.

Unfortunately, none of the writing desks recorded by Nathaniel Dominy V are associated with a member of the Mulford family. It’s possible that one of the Mulfords paid cash for this writing desk in which case its purchase would not have been posted in a day or account book. On December 17, 1814, however, Nathaniel V did charge Ezekiel Mulford (1727–1819) one shilling-six pence, “To making lid to Writing Desk.” To date, it has not been possible to relate that entry to this writing desk.

Description Height, 32″; Width, 29 ¾″; Depth, 25 ¼″.

Primary woods: striped maple, soft maple; secondary woods: tulip, white pine; plain back splash; slanted lift-lid [possibly replaced 1814] with bread board edges; applied ledge at front of lid; lid connected to back splash with replaced brass butt hinges; interior with two small drawers; original circular knob drawer pulls; rectangular frame; four turned cylindrical legs; triple disc decoration at top of legs; ball-cylinder-ball turned feet. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V, ca. 1808. Recovered in Congress Hall, East Hampton Village. Current owners, Glenn Purcell/Charles Keller collection.

CHAIRS

31

Corner chair

Color photograph with side view of chair

31A - Side view

Color photograph with overhead view of chair

31B - Overhead view

Black and white photograph of pattern matching arms of chair

31C - Arm pattern

The poet John Hall Wheelock, of New York City and East Hampton, inherited furniture collected in the late nineteenth century from East Hampton residents by his father, William Efner Wheelock.

This corner chair, a gift from John Hall Wheelock to the East Hampton Historical Society, relates to another example owned by both father and son [see catalogue number 186, WHIH]. Its curved armrests derive from a pattern that survived in the Dominy Tool Collection [see catalogue number 52B, WHIH]. Its crest rail is identical to that on catalogue number 186 and also on a mahogany Windsor armchair made in 1794 by Nathaniel V for Captain William Rysam of Sag Harbor [see catalogue number 185, WHIH]. Unlike catalogue number 186, however, except for a turned disc, Nathaniel Dominy V used plain stretchers, stiles, and front leg.

Unfortunately, the original owner for whom this corner chair was made cannot be determined. There are no listings as such for corner chairs in Dominy accounts. Either they were purchased for cash or are among entries for 210 “chairs” in their records.

Description Height, 30 ½″; Width, 27 ¾″; Depth, 25″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary wood: white pine; curved crest rail with stepped ends atop triple sectioned curved armrests; supported by three tapered, vertical stiles with a single turned disc on each; lozenge-shaped seat, replaced rush covering; tapered, vertical front leg with single turned disc; eight plain turned stretchers; short tapered feet. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852). Collected by William Efner Wheelock; to John Hall Wheelock. Current owner: gift of John Hall Wheelock to East Hampton Historical Society; displayed at Osborn-Jackson House.

32

Close Stool Chair [Commode Chair]

Color photograph showing chair with cushion next to chamber pot

32A - Full view

Black and white photograph showing detail of seat with cushion removed and chamber pot installed

32B - Chamber pot in place

Black and white photograph of pattern matching arms of chair

32C - Arm pattern

The Oxford English Dictionary makes clear that a “close stool chair” and a “commode chair” were different names for the same type of object. The former is defined as “a chamber utensil enclosed in a stool or box” and the latter is described as “an article of furniture enclosing a chamber utensil; a close stool.” Installed in a bed chamber, they alleviated the need to use an outdoor “necessary house” or privy.

Nathaniel Dominy V made only two close stool chairs, both for John Lyon Gardiner (7) (1770–1816), seventh proprietor of Gardiner’s Island. He was the wealthiest resident of East Hampton Township, ranked first on its tax lists.

In John Lyon Gardiner’s account books, part of the Long Island Collection of the East Hampton Free Library, Nathaniel Dominy V is credited sixteen shillings in 1807 and again in 1809, each time for a “close stool chair.” One of the two, “recovered in East Hampton, Long Island” was sold at auction in 2007. Part of the lot caption stated that it was “attributed to the Dominy family of cabinetmakers” and had its original pewter commode by the New York and Hartford, Connecticut, pewterer, Frederick Bassett. It is unlikely that Nathaniel Dominy V supplied that pewter commode because Bassett died in 1800. Moreover, on January 29, 1770, Nathaniel IV paid seven shillings for a pewter chamber pot. If a pewter commode had been supplied with the close stools made by Nathaniel V, the cost would have been greater than sixteen shillings.

Pattern 52B (WHIH and 31 and 32c, Appendix C), one of a group of furniture templates surviving in the Dominy Tool Collection, was used to make the armrests of this close stool chair. The same pattern was used for the armrests of Dominy corner chairs (catalogue number 186, WHIH and 31A, Appendix C). It was also used for a set of Dominy-made Windsor armchairs (catalogue number 185, WHIH). The same crest rail with stepped ends was used by Nathaniel V for those chairs and this close stool chair.

An article by Charles V. Swain, “Commode Forms”, in the Bulletin, Pewter Collectors Club of America, Vol. 6 (August, 1970), illustrates this close stool chair and its pewter commode on pages 81, 84 and 85. He correctly attributed this close stool chair to the Dominy family but incorrectly stated their location as Southampton, Long Island.

Description Height, 30 ⅝″; Width, 24 ¾″; Depth, 25 ⅜″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary wood: white pine; curved crest rail with stepped ends atop triple sectioned curved armrests; supported by three turned colonnettes resting on plain lozenge-shaped frame boards; slip seat covers two boards inside a deep apron providing support for a pewter commode; raised on square legs with ball feet. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for John Lyon Gardiner (7) (1770–1816) in 1807 or 1809; recovered in East Hampton, Long Island, New York; to Herbert & Richard Sandor, Lambertville, NJ, 1969 (dealers); to Charles V. Swain, 1970; to Northeast Auctions, lot 612, February 24, 2007. Current owner: Perry Boswell.

33

Easy chair

Color photograph of upholstered easy chair

33A - Full view

Color photograph showing detail view of chair leg

33B - Leg

Color photograph showing thin strip of white fabric decorated with blue stripes

33C - Fabric

Black and white photograph showing framework of chair

33D - Frame

On March 4, 1808, Nathaniel Dominy V recorded in his account book, “To an Easy Chair £1-4-0”, made for Thomas Baker. Only one chair form of this type was listed in Dominy records. Its cost, twice that charged by Nathaniel V for a “great chair”, related solely to the frame and did not include its upholstery.

Textiles were among the most costly items in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and early nineteenth centuries. The wool check covering now on this easy chair is a replacement. Soon after it was acquired by the East Hampton Historical Society, its original upholstery, in very poor condition, was removed in preparation for its replacement. Among pieces of the original upholstery was a strip of blue-and-white striped ticking, indicating that the easy chair had been upholstered in a check fabric of those colors. The original upholsterer is not known.

An indication of the popularity of check textile patterns in East Hampton is the fact that between 1777 and 1797, Nathaniel Dominy IV and Nathaniel V accepted a total of 336.5 yards of check linens and flannels in nineteen barter transactions. Coincidentally, Thomas Baker, original owner of this easy chair, supplied Nathaniel Dominy V with six and one-quarter yards of wool flannel check in 1795. It’s not likely that the craftsman held that fabric for thirteen years until 1808 when he billed Thomas Baker for the frame of this easy chair.

In her book, East Hampton History and Genealogies, Jeannette Rattray described Lieutenant Thomas Baker (5) (1742–1825) as having served in three different regiments during the American Revolution. He was ranked eighty-four among 159 ratepayers in East Hampton Village tax lists. Like many easternmost Long Islanders he was forced to take refuge in Connecticut, returning home in 1782. When this easy chair was made for him, Thomas Baker was sixty-six years of age. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, easy chairs were primarily used by the ill, elderly and/or infirm. Although easy chairs are found today in parlors and sitting rooms, formerly they were used in bed chambers.

This easy chair reflects the acceptance by some of Nathaniel V’s customers of furniture employing design ideas of the Federal period in America. Except for its front legs and serpentine-shaped front seat rail, it closely resembles Hepplewhite’s design for a “Saddle Cheek Chair”, plate 15 in the 1794 third edition of his The Cabinet-Maker & Upholsterer’s Guide. Its turned front legs relate to similar ones employed by Nathaniel V on his wash stands.

Description Height, 47″; Width, 33″; Depth, 24″.

Primary wood: mahogany legs; secondary wood: probably maple frame; modern wool flannel check upholstery; original upholstery was wool flannel check over white linen; stuffing of horse hair, straw and fabric remnants. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1808 for Thomas Baker (5) (1742–1825); acquired in East Hampton by William Efner Wheelock; to John Hall Wheelock. Current owner: gift of John Hall Wheelock to the East Hampton Historical Society; displayed at Osborn-Jackson House.

34

Armchair, Fiddleback [“Great Chair”]

Black and white photograph showing angle view of chair

34A - Full view

Black and white photograph showing side view of chair

34B - Side view

There are no entries in Dominy accounts for armchairs. Instead, it is most likely that Nathaniel Dominy V recorded that form as eight “Great Chairs” made between 1790 and 1822. The latter date referred to a slatback armchair (see catalogue #35, Appendix C). Prices for his “Great Chairs” ranged between twelve and sixteen shillings.

The original owner of this armchair is unknown. That it was made by Nathaniel V is not in doubt. Patterns for its fiddleback splat, crest rail, and armrests survive as part of the Dominy Tool Collection (see catalogue numbers 57A, 57B, and 52 D respectively, WHIH). Its front stretcher and decoration on its rear stiles also echo those on an armchair with rockers made by Nathaniel V (see catalogue #179, WHIH).

Description Height, 43 ¾″; Width, 25 ¾″; Depth, 21 ⅞″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary wood: oak; original dark brown or black stain finish to simulate walnut or mahogany; simplified cupid’s bow crest rail, fiddleback splat set on raised stay rail, rectangular rush seat (replaced), circular turned columnar rear stiles; circular turned front stiles with vase-shaped arm supports above seat rails; armrests with rear notches and downturned scroll hand grips; tapered, cone-shaped front legs ending in pad feet atop a disc; two plain circular stretchers on each side, one plain circular stretcher at rear. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852). Purchased by Southampton dealer Morgan MacWhinnie about 1972 from another local dealer who noted that the chair came from the “Rogers” family of Sag Harbor. In East Hampton History, Jeannette Rattray states on page 91 that a medical doctor, Mortimer W. Rodgers, made his home in East Hampton Township. Sag Harbor is part of that Township. Perhaps he was the “Rogers” referred to by Morgan MacWhinnie. Current owner: Winterthur Museum accession 93.0001.Illustrated in Dean F. Failey, Long Island is My Nation, catalogue number 226.

35

Armchair, Slatback [“Great Chair”]

Color photograph with full view of chair

35A - Full view

Black and white antique photograph showing a young child seated in chair

35B - Contemporary photograph

On November 2, 1822, Nathaniel Dominy V entered into his accounts, “To a great Chair 0-14-0”, billed to Abraham Sherrill, Jr. (4) (1754–1844). The original owner of this chair was not the son of Abraham Sherrill, Sr. but was his cousin. In East Hampton Township it was the custom to distinguish between members of a wider family bearing an identical name, whether or not they were sons, uncles, nephews or cousins, by adding “junior” to that name. Abraham Sherrill, Jr. was the son of Recompence Sherrill (3) (1706–1786). In keeping their accounts, the Dominy craftsmen were careful to honor that local custom.

Nathaniel Dominy listed his armchairs as “”Great Chairs” in his accounts probably to distinguish them from his side chairs which were smaller and less costly. A three-slat side chair made in 1809 by Nathaniel V has rear stiles like that of this “great chair” but it is not as tall (see catalogue number 189C, WHIH). More often than not, side chairs were listed simply as “Chairs.”

From the time of its purchase in 1822, this armchair had remained in the Sherrill family until its purchase by Winterthur in 1992. In a rare form of documentation, Irene Sherrill was photographed in 1904 or 1905 sitting in the living room of the Sherrill house in this armchair.

Description Height, 46 ¼″; Width, 22 ½″; Depth, 19 ½″.

Primary wood (arms, stiles), maple; secondary wood (slats, stretchers), oak; original red lead paint removed before purchase, restored by Winterthur’s furniture conservators; rush seat replaced; four slats each with arched top and straight lower edge; tapered, cylindrical rear stiles with ball and spool finials; tapered, cylindrical front stiles with vase-shaped and disk turning under arm rests; concave armrests ending in scrolled hand grips; plain cylindrical stretcher at sides and rear; tapered cylindrical stretcher between front stiles. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1822 for Abraham Sherrill, Jr. (4) (1754–1844). Descended in the Sherrill family to Edwin Livingston Sherrill (1891–1975); to his daughter Nettie Sherrill Foster (b. 1921). Current owner: Winterthur Museum acc. No. 1992.0093.

36–37

Armchairs with Rockers, Slat Back

Black and white photograph showing front angle view of rocking chair frame

36A - Full view

Black and white photograph showing rear angle view of rocking chair frame

36B - Reverse view

Black and white photograph showing detail of tenon

36C - Tenon with notch

Black and white photograph showing detail of tenon

36D - Tenon with chamfered facing

Black and white photograph showing detail of disassembled tenon and mortise

36E - Tenon and mortise

Black and white photograph showing front angle view of rocking chair

37A - Full view

Black and white photograph showing rear angle view of rocking chair

37B - Reverse view

The earliest entry for a rocking chair in Nathaniel Dominy V’s accounts is 1804 and the latest, 1830. These two chairs, made for his family’s use, are not recorded in his accounts but they can definitely be documented to his hand.

Both chairs are shown in the parlor of the Dominy house in a photograph taken in 1940 by Stanley P. Nixon for the Historic American Buildings Survey. The photograph is part of the extensive recording of the Dominy house and shops conducted by that organization when it was thought that the Dominy property, in disrepair, would be razed.

When the Dominy House and shops were about to be torn down in 1946, three children of Charles M. Dominy, last owner/occupant, stored some of the heavy equipment, tools, and furniture with Ethel Marsden, a Southampton, Long Island antiques dealer. They remained with her until acquired by Winterthur in 1957.

Patterns used by Nathaniel V to make the slats and armrests of catalogue number 36 survive in the Dominy Tool Collection (see catalogue numbers 52A, 53A, WHIH). The slat pattern for catalogue number 37 has not survived but similar curved slats can be seen on catalogue number 184, WHIH, as well as on other rocking chairs made by Nathaniel V. Clearly, its rear and front stiles, feet, side stretchers, vertical supports for its armrests, and rockers, are identical to those on catalogue number 36.

Catalogue number 36 is shown disassembled of its replaced leather seat. The seat was in poor shape in 1940 and was removed at Winterthur in 1957. Doing so, however, provided an opportunity to examine the mortise-and-tenon construction of the chair’s seat rails and stretchers. A concave notch was cut into the upper surface of a tenon (see 36C). On a tenon that crossed over the concave notch, a chamfered facing was made (see 36D) enabling it to slide into the concave notch inside the mortise hole (see 36E). The same locking system was used on many of the chairs made by Nathaniel Dominy V resulting in their remaining solid and tight to the present day.

#36

Description Height, 36 ⅛″; Width, 23″; Depth, 21 ⅛″.

Primary wood: soft maple; secondary woods: white oak, hickory; four slats arched on top edges; tapered, cylindrical rear stiles with slim disc and central raised button at top and vase-shaped feet at bottom; short, uniform cylindrical front stiles; concave shaped armrests ending in scrolled hand grips; supported by slim vase-shaped and tapered turned arm supports piercing side seat rails and mortised into side stretchers; one plain rear cylindrical stretcher; double vase-shaped, arrow, disc and spool turned front stretcher; concave-shaped curved rockers mortise-and-tenoned to front and rear stiles; original black paint over red lead base paint; armrests and seat rails unpainted. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for family use; to grandson Nathaniel Dominy VII (1827–1910); to his son Charles M. Dominy (1873–1956); to Ethel Marsden (dealer). Current owner: Winterthur Museum, acc. 57. 34.3.

#37

Description Height, 37 ⅜″; Width, 22 ⅜″; Depth, 20 ⅞″.

Primary wood: soft maple; secondary woods: red and white oak; four slats arched on upper and lower edges; front and rear stiles, armrests, arm supports, side and rear stretchers, rockers identical to catalogue # 36, Appendix C; double vase-shaped turned front stretcher with central ball and disc turning; two coats of ocher-brown paint on all surfaces. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for family use; to grandson Nathaniel Dominy VII (1827–1910); to his son Charles M. Dominy (1873–1956); to Ethel Marsden (dealer). Current owner: Winterthur Museum, acc. 57.34.2.

38

Armchair with Rockers, Slat Back

Color photograph with front view of rocking chair

38A - Front

Color photograph with overhead view of rocking chair

38B - Overhead

Color photograph with detail view of rocking chair arm

38C - Arm detail

Color photograph with angle view of rocking chair

38D - Angle view

Color photograph with front view of rocking chair next to standard chair

38E - Comparison

As is evidenced by this rocking chair, not every example of furniture made by the Dominy craftsmen has survived in pristine condition. They were, after all, used up to the present day. Part of its significance, however, lies in the fact that it was recovered by a local antiques dealer from a Gardiner family home on Main Street, East Hampton Village.

In 1804, Nathaniel Dominy V listed in his daybook that he made two rocking chairs for John Lyon Gardiner at a cost of sixteen shillings per chair. The transaction is confirmed in John Lyon Gardiner’s accounts but with a reduced cost of fourteen shillings for each chair.

This chair is also significant because of its use of flat armrests, following pattern 53E in WHIH. That technique is a throwback to New York slat back armchairs of the very early eighteenth century. The pattern was turned on its side in order to produce the flat surfaces of the chair’s armrests. The same technique was used by Nathaniel V on a fiddle back rocking chair, converted to an armchair, offered by a local dealer to the East Hampton Historical Society in 2010 (see catalogue number 38 E for comparison).

The slat back pattern for this rocking armchair also survives in the Dominy Tool Collection (see catalogue number 53A, WHIH).

Description Height, 41″; Width, 22 ¼″; Depth, 16 ½″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary woods: white oak, hickory; tapered, cylindrical rear stiles; cylindrical front stiles; double incised decorative lines on stiles; three slats in back; flat, outward facing armrests; tapered, cylindrical arm rest supports with large turned disc pierce side seat rails and stretchers; front stretcher and rockers replaced; original Montauket pattern rush seat in poor condition; original Prussian blue paint surfaces covered with old, but not original, black paint. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1804 for John Lyon Gardiner (7) (1770–1816); probably to spouse, Sarah Griswold Gardiner (1781–1863); probably to her daughter Sarah Diodati Gardiner Thompson (8) (1807–1891); probably to her niece Sarah Diodati Gardiner (9) (1862–1953), fifteenth proprietor of Gardiner’s Island; to Robert Lion Gardiner; to East Hampton antiques dealer. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell.

39

Armchair with Rockers, Slat Back

Color photograph showing angle view of rocking chair

39A - Full view

Color photograph showing side view of rocking chair

39B - Side view

Color photograph showing detail of back slats

39C - Slats

Color photograph with detail view of top of rear stile

39D - Rear stile

This slat-back rocking armchair has a complex history linking it to the Baker and Dayton families of East Hampton. Nathaniel Dominy V made a rocking chair for Thomas Baker (5) (1742–1825) in 1809. That chair is illustrated as catalogue number 181 in WHIH. For Thomas Baker, Nathaniel V also made two “Great Chairs@ 12 [s] £1-4-0” entered into his accounts in 1793.

Virtually identical to catalogue number 181, this “Great” armchair is apparently referred to by Nathaniel V in an account book entry for Thomas Baker, June 16, 1803, “To Rockers on Chair 0-1-4.”

Further differentiating this chair from catalogue number 181 are traces of original red paint in its cracks and interstices in contrast to traces of original dark green or black paint on catalogue number 181. The slats of this chair are made following pattern 53A, WHIH, that survive in the Dominy Tool Collection.

Nathaniel Dominy V made a great deal of furniture for Thomas Baker, much of it still listed in the inventory of Baker’s estate conducted in 1825 by Nathaniel V and Jonathan Fithian. Baker was ranked at number 84 of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists.

Description Height, 40 ½″; Width, 24 ½″; Depth, 17″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary woods: white oak, hickory; old but not original rush seat; tapered cylindrical rear stiles with vase-shaped and disc turnings, ending in turned disc, spool and urn finials; cylindrical front stiles with vase-shaped and disc turnings; four slats each with curved upper edge; concave armrests ending in scrolled hand grips; tapered cone-and-vase –shaped armrest supports pierce side seat rails and set into side stretchers; vase-shaped and disc turned front stretcher; cylindrical rear stretcher; original curved rockers set into front and rear stiles, added in 1803. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Thomas Baker (5) (1742–1825) in 1793 with rockers added in 1803. To daughter Jennie Baker (6) (1769–1851) who married Josiah Dayton (6) (1766–1839); to his son Josiah C. Dayton (7) (1797–1859); to his son Charles R. Dayton (8) (1828–1911); to his son Charles Sherrill Dayton (9) (1859–1917); to his son (Charles) Frank Dayton (10) (1903– ). Current owners: (C) Frank and Jean Dayton, Toilsome Lane.

40

Armchair with Rockers, Slat Back

Color photograph showing full view of rocking chair

40 - Oblique view

On March 25, 1810, Nathaniel Dominy V billed William Huntting (5) (1738–1816) “To Rocking Chair 0-14-0.” The chair, with the exception of a later rectangular slat across its finials, and a more recent caned seat, is identical to a rocking chair probably made for Joseph Osborn VI (see catalogue number 183, WHIH). Among the 159 ratepayers listed in East Hampton tax lists, William Huntting was ranked at 23.

Quite often, furniture made by Nathaniel Dominy V collaterally passed by marriage from families of original owners to other East Hampton Township residents. This chair represents a case in point. Following William Huntting’s death in 1816, it was inherited by his granddaughter, Mary Miller (6) (1765–1844) who became the third wife of the Reverend Samuel Buell. At her death in 1844, Mary Miller Buell’s will left “my rocking chair” to her nephew, Samuel Miller [probably Colonel Samuel Miller (7), (1781–1856)]. Colonel Miller’s second wife was Julia Harriet Mulford (1793–1866). The chair descended in the Mulford family to Catherine Mulford who donated it to the East Hampton Historical Society accompanied by a notation indicating that the chair had belonged to Mrs. Samuel Buell. Confirming that notation is an entry in Nathaniel Dominy V’s accounts on April 7, 1814, billing Josiah Mulford three shillings “To mending Mrs. Buell’s chair.”

Description Height, 42 ¼″; Width, 24 7/16″; Depth, 24 ½″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary woods: hickory, white oak; tapered, cylindrical rear stiles with two squat, vase-shaped turnings, ending in disc, spool and urn-shaped finials; cylindrical front stiles with one squat vase-shaped turning ending in cylindrical turned cap; four narrow slats in back with curved top and bottom edges; curved armrests ending in a plain scroll; vase-shaped armrest supports pierce side seat rails ending in plain tapered cylinders set into side stretchers; original caned seat replaced; vase-shaped, central disc turned front stretcher; rectangular rear stretcher; original curved rockers. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1810 for William Huntting (5) (1738–1816); to his granddaughter, Mary Miller Buell (6) (1765–1844); to her nephew Samuel Miller [probably Colonel Samuel Miller (7) (1781–1856)]; to his second wife Julia Harriet Mulford (1793–1866); eventually to Catherine Mulford. Current owner: East Hampton Historical Society, gift of Catherine Mulford.

41–42

Armchairs with Rockers, Slat back

Composite of two color photographs showing a front and a front angle view of two rocking chairs

41A/42A - Front views

Composite of two color photographs showing a side angle and a side view of two rocking chairs

41B/42B - Side views

Composite of two color photographs showing close-up side views of two rocking chairs

41C/42C - Side details

Number 41, an armchair with rockers, was discovered in Sag Harbor, Long Island, at a house owned by the Hand family. According to Jeannette Rattray in East Hampton History (pages 350–367), members of the Hand family occupied many villages in East Hampton Township from Amagansett to Sag Harbor.

Nathaniel Dominy V’s accounts list a rocking chair for Nathaniel Hand in 1811 and in the same year a rocking chair for Mulford Hand. Both men were the sons of Nathaniel Hand (5) of Amagansett. Mulford Hand (6) (1772–1855) and his brother Nathaniel (6) (1776–1861), each paid fourteen shillings for their chairs.

Although the line of ownership descent for this chair is not known, construction and decorative turnings used to make it clearly indicate that it was produced by Nathaniel Dominy V. Its four narrow, curved slats are also found on catalogue number 183 in With Hammer in Hand and rocker number 40, Appendix C. The armrests for both numbers 41 and 42 were made following pattern number 52A in With Hammer in Hand. The same shape for its armrest supports is found on each rocking chair with short armrests made by Nathaniel V. The back slats on numbers 41 and 42 are different. Those on chair number 42 were made from the pattern shown as catalogue number 53A in With Hammer in Hand.

After 1811, there are only four rockers entered into Dominy accounts. In 1817, rocking chairs were made for Abraham Baker and Eli Parsons. Another was made for Elnathan Parsons in 1823 and the last one was made for Jonathan B. Mulford in 1830 (see number 43, Appendix C). Because the back of the top slat of number 42 is marked with the date “1822”, and the Dominys often posted items in their accounts sometime after they were completed, it is possible that number 42 was made for Elnathan Parsons.

Both of these chairs provide evidence that lathe turners, craftsmen like the Dominys, produced extra turned elements and stockpiled them for future use. Although probably made eleven years apart, their rear and front stiles, armrests, armrest supports, front and side stretchers and rockers are identical. Their front stretcher with central disc echoes those found on catalogue numbers 181, 183 and 184 in With Hammer in Hand.

#41

Description Height, 41″; Width, 24 ⅛″; Depth, 17 ½″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary woods: hickory, white oak; cylindrical rear stiles with two discs on each stile, ending in disc, spool, and flattened ball finials; four narrow slats curved on top and bottom edges; cylindrical front stiles with one disc on each stile; curved armrests ending in a plain scroll hand grip; vase-shaped armrest supports pierce side seat rails with tapered cylinders set into side stretchers; vase-shaped, central disc-turned front stretcher; cylindrical rear stretcher; original rush seat replaced; original curved rockers. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for either Mulford Hand (6) (1772–1852) or his brother Nathaniel (6) (1776–1861). Current owner: Matthew O’Grady/John Shaka.

#42

Description Height, 41 ¼″; Width, 24 ¼″; Depth, 17 ¼″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary woods: hickory, white oak; rear and front stiles, armrests, armrest supports, stretchers and rockers identical to number 41; original rush seat replaced; original painted surface of either faded Prussian blue over white lead base, or white lead mixed with Prussian blue to produce a light blue color; Illegible name or initials and date “1822” on back of top slat. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) possibly for Elnathan Parsons (1753–1836); sold by Southbay Auctions, East Moriches, Long Island, 2011. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

43

Armchair with Rockers, Slat-Back

Color photograph showing full view of chair

43A - Full view

Color photograph with overhead view of chair lying on its back

43B - Detail

Color photograph with detail view of the seat of chair

43C - Seat

Between 1804 and 1830, Nathaniel Dominy V made thirteen armchairs with rockers. That number does not include armchairs to which Nathaniel V added rockers at later dates. For all but one of the rocking armchairs he charged fourteen shillings. Inexplicably, for the “Great Rocking Chair” Nathaniel V made for Abraham Edwards in 1809 he charged only twelve shillings.

Using the usual joiner’s pricing formula of one-third each for labor, materials, and shop profit, Nathaniel V’s labor charge for his rocking chairs was four and seven-tenths shillings. By 1800, he was charging seven shillings, six pence per day for his labor. This rocking chair, probably made for Jonathan Burnett Mulford (7) (1788–?) in 1830, and the majority of those he made up to that date, was completed, therefore, ready for delivery, in slightly more than six hours of work. One of Mulford’s daughters, Sybel, (8) (1827–1880) married Nathaniel Dominy VII (1827–1910) in 1847.

This armchair with rockers is virtually identical to one probably made for Joseph Osborn VI [catalogue no. 183, WHIH] and another made for William Huntting [catalogue no. 40, Appendix C].

Description Height, 41 ⅛″; Width, 25 ¾″; Depth, 24″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary woods: hickory, white oak; tapered, cylindrical rear stiles with two squat, vase-shaped turnings, ending in disc-, spool-, and urn-shaped finials; tapered, cylindrical front stiles with one squat vase-shaped turning ending in cylindrical turned flat cap; four narrow slats in back with curved top and bottom edges; curved short armrests ending in plain scroll hand grips; vase-shaped armrest supports pierce side seat rails and end in plain tapered cylinders set into side stretchers; original rush seat replaced; vase-shaped and central disc turned front stretcher; tapered cylindrical rear stretcher; original curved rockers. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1830, probably for Jonathan Burnett Mulford (7) (1788–?), descended in Mulford family to Florence M. Mulford (8) (1890–?), probably to her brother Edwin Courtland Mulford (8) (1896–?); to David Eugene Mulford (9) (1931–?). Current owner: Stephen Mulford, son of David E. Mulford.

44

Side Chairs, Group of Three, Part of a Set of Six

Color photograph showing front view of chair

44A - Front

Color photograph showing front view of chair

44B - Side view

Color photograph showing several similar chairs arranged in a furnished room

44C - Klismos chairs, Nathan Benn Collection

The increased wealth of farmer-artisans and farmers following the American Revolution was a nation-wide phenomenon in the new United States of America. That fact is well documented by Nora Pat Small in her article, “The Search for a New Rural Order: Farmhouses in Sutton, Massachusetts, 1790–1830”, William and Mary Quarterly, 53 (Jan., 1996), pages 67-86.

While the majority of Nathaniel Dominy V’s customers still preferred traditional pre-revolutionary styles, some opted for rural versions of the Federal and Empire period styles for chairs, stands, and tables. Between 1810 and 1814, Nathaniel V made six sets of Klismos–type chairs, using lathe-turned rear stiles and front legs rather than the more fashionable saber legs seen on the Klismos chairs in the Nathan Benn collection cited below. Charging nine shillings per chair he made sets of six for Benjamin Miller (6) (1750–1833); Joel Miller (6) (1760–?); John Lyon Gardiner (7) (1770–1816); David Talmage 2nd (6) (1765–1822); Timothy Miller (7) (1766/67–1827); and Abraham Parsons, Jr. (6) (1772–1844).

New York City curly maple Klismos chairs, like those in the collection of Nathan Benn, illustrated on page 61 of the Winter 2003 edition of Antiques & Fine Arts (see 44C), with the exception of their legs, may have been the inspiration for Nathaniel V’s versions. The group shown here (see 44B, 44C) are probably the remainder of the set made for Abraham Parsons, Jr. He served as Town Clerk, 1814–1829; and was elected Township Supervisor in 1827. On East Hampton tax lists he was ranked at number ninety.

Description Height, 33 ½″; Width, 17 ¼″; Depth, 15 ⅛″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary wood: ash; tapered, swept-back rear stiles with three turned discs on each stile; rectangular, concave swept-back crest rail with top edge rolled back; single concave, rectangular back splat; slightly concave, rectangular seat frame ending in half-cylindrical front rail; replaced rush seats; cylindrical, tapered front legs ending in circular pads; cove, double-disc, ball and quadruple-disc turned decoration above front stretcher; double-disc turning below front stretcher; thin, concave, rectangular front stretcher; two cylindrical stretchers on each side; one cylindrical stretcher at rear; repair patch to lower left edge of one chair’s crest rail. Made in 1814 by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) probably for Abraham Parsons, Jr. (6) (1772–1844); to his son William Parsons (7) (1800–1846); to his daughter, Adelia Anne Parsons (8) (1838–1915) who married Nathaniel Huntting Sherrill (8) (1832–1874); to their son Abram Elisha Sherrill (1862–1924); to his son Edwin Livingston Sherrill (8) (1891–1975); to his daughter, Nettie Sherrill Foster (1921–2007); to her daughter, Mary Foster Morgan. Current owner: Mary Foster Morgan.

45

Side Chair, one of a set of six

Color photograph showing front of chair

45A - Front

Color photograph showing right side view, slightly to front of chair

45B - Right side view

Color photograph showing left side view, slightly behind of chair

45C - Left side view

Color photograph showing detail of slat decoration

45D - Slat

Color photograph showing decoration on crest rail

45E - Crest rail

This side chair is one of a set of six surviving chairs made by Nathaniel Dominy V. It is part of the group billed to Timothy Miller (7) (1766/67–1827) on June 1, 1814, “6 Chairs for your Mother @ 9/ £2-14-0.” His “mother”, Phebe Burnett Conkling (1748–1830) was actually his stepmother, who married Timothy VII’s father sometime between 1786 and 1791.

An unsolved mystery relating to the Klismos and Windsor armchair forms made by Nathaniel V is the later painted decoration occurring on some of the surviving examples. The lack of entries in Dominy accounts for special painted designs on such chairs, or charges signifying additional painted decoration, makes clear that they were not decorated by any of the Dominy craftsmen.

Undocumented East Hampton Township oral history relating to this mystery credits shipment of such chairs to New England areas for their decoration between 1820 and 1830. More likely, such chairs were sent to New York City where numerous craftsmen during the years from 1810 to 1850 functioned as ornamental painters. Typical of their advertisements were “N.B. Old Chairs repainted and gilt. Ornamental Painting and Gilding done as above.”

The drawing book of one such ornamental painter has survived and has been carefully described by Nancy Goyne Evans. [See “The Christian M. Nestell Drawing Book: A Focus on the Ornamental Painter and his Craft in Early Nineteenth-Century America”, in Luke Beckerdite (ed.), American Furniture, 1998, Milwaukee, WI: The Chipstone Foundation, 1998. Pages 99-163]. At the age of nineteen, Nestell was trained at an academy in New York City between 1811 and 1812. He took his business to Providence, Rhode Island where he worked from 1820 to 1835/36. At the time of his training, thirteen gilders worked near his residence as did a host of other craftsmen capable of performing ornamental painted decoration. There is no evidence that Nestell ever decorated Dominy chairs and the designs in his drawing book do not match those found on them.

According to Jeannette Rattray, East Hampton History, pages 117–118, Timothy Miller (7) built his house in the Springs section of East Hampton in 1795. A farmer-craftsman, Miller “wove, made shoes, forged plowshares, shod horses and mended wagons in addition to raising farm crops and livestock.” On East Hampton tax lists he ranked number thirty-eight.

Description Height, 34″, Width, 17″, Depth, 15″.

Woods, construction, and shop practice are identical to catalogue number 44, Appendix C. Made in 1814 by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for the stepmother of Timothy Miller (7) (1766/67–1827). Over-all base coat of black paint; gilded stripes and discs over base coat on rear stiles and front legs; gilded anthemion, stripes, curled leaves, flowers, and circular disks on splat over base coat; worn gilded decoration over base coat on crest rail, front seat rail, and face of rear stiles; decoration probably applied between 1820 and 1850. Descended in the Miller family to current owner. Current owner: Private Collection.

46

Side Chair, Windsor

Black and white photograph of a workshop. The chair is visible through a doorway in the next room

46A - Workshop

Black and white photograph of chair

46B - Full view

Color photograph showing front view of chair with some peeling and flaking paint

46C - Front

Color photograph showing angle view of chair with some peeling and flaking paint

46D - Angle

There are no listings in the Dominy accounts for chairs described as “Windsors.” But Nathaniel V made both Windsor side chairs and armchairs as was indicated by the survival of those published as catalogue numbers 185 and 191 in With Hammer In Hand. The armchair, number 185, was made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Captain William Rysam of Sag Harbor in 1794 at a price of ten shillings. It descended in the Dering family collaterally through marriage into the Rysam family. Another chair of that set is illustrated as catalogue number 197 in Dean A. Failey, Long Island Is My Nation, Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, 1998. It is displayed at the Dering Custom House in Sag Harbor.

In 1940, as part of the Historic American Buildings Survey of the Dominy house and shops, Stanley P. Nixon photographed the interior of the Dominy Woodworking Shop. One of his views is of the doorway in the shop leading into the kitchen of the Dominy house. Framed in the doorway is the Windsor side chair shown as catalogue number 191 in WHIH. [See 46A, 46B, Appendix C]. It descended in the Dominy family until it was sold by a Dominy family member to Winterthur in 1967. Not coincidentally, in 1796 Nathaniel Dominy V made six chairs for his family’s use for which he also charged ten shillings for each one.

From analysis of Dominy accounts it is clear that Windsor chairs were the only type for which Nathaniel V charged ten shillings. Between 1766 and 1840, among the 210 “chairs” listed in Dominy accounts, only Uriah Miller and Nathan Miller paid Nathaniel V ten shillings per each chair in sets of six.

Surviving among East Hampton families are Windsor side chairs identical to the Windsor side chair owned by the Dominy family. Their original finish has faded to a light green paint [see 46C, 46 D], or having been stripped of their original finish, still bear traces of the original darker green paint. In the accounts of Nathaniel V are twenty two chairs priced at ten shillings each listed as “green Chairs.” Sets were sold to Elnathan Parsons, 1800; Abraham Mulford, Jr., 1801; John Lyon Gardiner, 1803; and John Huntting, 1803. The purchase of copperas [crystallized ferrous sulphate], a pigment used to make green paint, is found in Dominy accounts.

The East Hampton Historical Society owns two green Windsor side chairs and a matching Windsor armchair that were a gift to that organization from the local collector/resident, John Efner Wheelock [46C,46D]. The Historical Society’s chairs are possibly part of a set of “4 green Chairs” made for John Huntting in 1803 at a total cost of £2, or the remains of “6 Green chairs” made for Abraham Mulford, Jr. in 1801.

Description Height, 33 ¼″; Width, 16 ½″; Depth, 18″.

Woods, yellow poplar seat, maple, hickory; tapered, rear-flaring back stiles, chamfered at top edges; two disc turnings on each stile above plank seat; four arrow-back spindles attached to concave curved, rectangular crest rail board at underside of crest rail; rear stiles and spindles mortised into plank seat; shield-shaped seat with shallow grooves outlining its shape; four bamboo-turned legs with three grooves in each leg, mortised into seat bottom; flat, circular disc between flanking arrow-shaped front stretcher; two bamboo-turned side stretchers; one bamboo-turned rear stretcher; entire surface painted green. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for John Huntting (6) (1757–1836) in 1803 or for Abraham Mulford, Jr. (5) (1748–1835) in 1801; collected locally by William Efner Wheelock; to his son John Hall Wheelock. Current owner: Gift of John Hall Wheelock to the East Hampton Historical Society.

47

Windsor Side Chair

Color photograph with full view of chair

47A - Full view

Color photograph showing legs and stretchers of chair

47B - Detail, legs, front stretcher

Color photograph showing bottom of the chair seat

47C - Seat bottom

A common problem encountered during material culture research is that at some time during the life span of antique furniture, original finishes have been removed. With the advent of using synthetic materials for objects since the late nineteenth century, many owners have wanted to see and enjoy the natural wood surfaces of their antique furniture.

Fortunately, traces of original finishes often remain in crevices and interstices of decorative motifs or on hidden parts of furniture, thus providing evidence of original finishes. For this chair, small amounts of the original darker green paint surviving over a base coat of white lead paint, indicates that it was originally one of the sets of “green chairs” made by Nathaniel Dominy V between 1800 and 1805. Its construction, decoration, and appearance are identical to that of the Windsor side chair originally made and owned by Nathaniel V, and to that of the chair now owned by the East Hampton Historical Society [see catalogue number 191, WHIH, and catalogue number 46, Appendix C].

Description Height, 32″; Width, 17″; Depth; 15 ½″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary wood: yellow poplar plank seat; proper right side stretcher disengaged from its front leg mortise; see catalogue 46, Appendix C for overall description; original green paint over white lead prime coat, removed; made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852); possibly one of six “Green Chairs” made in 1800 for Elnathan Parsons (5) (1753–1836), who married Nathaniel V’s daughter Urania in 1786; descended in the Parsons/Edwards families to current owner; Current owner, Norma Edwards (10).

48

Windsor Armchair

Color photograph showing front view of chair

48A - Full view

Black and white photograph of similar chair with a number of hand-drawn arrows indicating various features

48B - Similar

Color photograph with detail view of seat top

48C - Seat top

Color photograph with detail view of seat bottom

48D - Seat bottom

In 1800, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Elnathan Parsons (6) (1753–1836) £3 for “6 Green Chairs @ 10 [shillings].” The remains of green paint on the bottom of this chair’s plank seat [see 48 D] indicates that each of the sets of Windsor chairs made by this craftsman may have included at least one armchair. Its relationship to Windsor side chairs made by Nathaniel V is clearly shown by comparing illustrations 48A and 48B, the latter a Windsor side chair originally made and owned by Nathaniel Dominy V.

Like other types of short armrest chairs made by Nathaniel V, supports had to be fashioned to strengthen the armrests and prevent separation at their juncture with the rear stiles. Surviving examples [see 49A] all have an arrow-shaped and a tapered, bamboo turned support for their armrests. Unlike his Windsor side chairs, the legs of Nathaniel V’s Windsor armchairs are tenoned through the plank seats and the revealed tenons are wedged [see 48C].

Description Height, 32 15/16″; Width, 17 ¼″; Depth, 15 5/16″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary wood: yellow poplar seat; tapered rear-flaring back stiles chamfered at top edges; two disc turnings on each stile above plank seat; four arrow-back spindles attached to lower edge of concave, curved, rectangular crest rail board, mortised-and-tenoned into plank seat; shield-shaped seat with shallow grooves outlining its shape; a cylindrical, tapered armrest mortise-and-tenoned into each rear stile, supported by arrow-shaped and turned, tapered, cylindrical supports; four bamboo-turned legs with three grooves in each leg, tenoned through the plank seat; flat, circular disc between flanking arrow-shaped front stretcher; two bamboo-turned side stretchers; one bamboo-turned rear stretcher; original overall green paint over dark brown base paint, removed; remnant of green painted surface under plank seat [see 48D]. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Elnathan Parsons (5) (1753–1836); to his son Colonel William Davis Parsons (6) (1793–1875); to his son William Henry Parsons (7) (1832–1919); to his son Henry Hale Parsons (8) (1867–1943); to his daughter Maria Dayton Parsons (9) (1894–1968) who married in 1919 Edwin Livingston Sherrill (8) (1891–1975); to their son, Edwin L. Sherrill, Jr. (9) (1922– ) to his son, Edwin Sherrill II (10); to his son Linus Sherrill (11). Current owners: Linus and Marilyn Sherrill.

49

Windsor Armchair

Color photograph with full view of chair from a slight angle

49A - Full view

Color photograph with front view of seat and back of chair

49B - Seat and back

Color photograph showing legs of chair

49C - Legs

Color photograph of chair placed so that the legs and underside of seat are visible

49D - Underside

Despite the large number of surviving accounts, letters, bills, and notes of the Dominy craftsmen, it remains frustrating when the provenance of an object made by them cannot be established. This chair is a case in point.

It was acquired by its current owner from the shop of the late James Abbe, Jr., of Oyster Bay. Mr. Abbe was one of Long Island’s premier dealers in fine art and antiques. Dealers are often reluctant to provide the source of an object for obvious reasons. The collectors who purchased this chair were not furnished with its provenance.

Comparison with the Windsor armchair made in 1800 by Nathaniel Dominy V for Elnathan Parsons (catalogue 48A) and the Windsor side chair made by Nathaniel V in 1796 for his family’s use (catalogue 48B), clearly establishes this chair as a product from the shop of that craftsman.

It was not decorated, however, by Nathaniel V. Its painted decoration, consistent with the taste for “fancy” painted furniture between 1815 and 1830, was probably applied by a decorative painter of furniture working in New York City.

Description Height, 33 ½″; Width, 16 ½″; Depth, 15 ½″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary wood: yellow poplar plank seat; construction and turned decoration identical to catalogue number 48, except for its leg tenons not mortised through the plank seat; original base black paint removed; gilt decoration of grapes and leaf clusters on crestrail, gilt decoration of turned discs and grooves, and small pointed leaves on back spindles and rear stiles applied 1815–1830. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852); acquired by James Abbe, Jr., Oyster Bay, NY (dealer). Current owner: Joy Lewis collection.

50

Windsor writing armchair

Color photograph of chair with writing surface attached to one arm

50A - Full view

Color photograph showing backrest of chair

50B - Backrest

Strong circumstantial evidence indicates that this chair was made by Nathaniel Dominy V, probably for a school master of Clinton Academy. On January 23, 1804, he entered into his day/account book, “School House To Great Chair 0-13-0” [see Joseph Downs Manuscript and Printed Ephemera Collection, Winterthur Library, MS 59x6].

Its crest rail, three arrow-shaped back spindles, front stretcher, turned discs on the writing arm supports, left arm rest shape, and rear stiles are all part of Dominy shop practice [see pattern 52B, WHIH and catalogue numbers 48A. 48B, Appendix C]. The shape of its rush seat is like that on a child’s rocking side chair made by Nathaniel V for his grandson, Nathaniel Dominy VII [see catalogue number 187, WHIH]. Moreover, it is the only chair for which Nathaniel V charged thirteen shillings. His Windsor arm and side chairs were priced at ten shillings and great chairs at twelve shillings. This chair survived in Clinton Academy, built in 1785, chartered by New York State in 1787, and now home of the East Hampton Historical Society.

Description Height, 44″; Width, 21″; Depth, 31″.

Wood painted black; tapered, rear flared, circular rear stiles, chamfered at upper ends; three arrow-shaped spindles in back attached to wide, concave, rectangle-shaped crest rail and narrow concave, rectangle-shaped brace; curved, flat left armrest supported by brace attached to the seat rail; wood right arm writing surface, original textile cover missing, supported by two circular braces, one attached to the seat rail, another attached to the front leg; compass-shaped seat with replaced rush; circular, tapered front legs with concave and disc turnings; flat circular disc between flanking arrow-shaped front stretcher; two plain circular stretchers on each side; one circular rear stretcher. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1804, probably for a Clinton Academy school master. Current owner: East Hampton Historical Society.

CLOCKS

51

Eight-Day, Strike and Repeater

Black and white photograph showing longcase (grandfather) clock

51A - Full view

Black and white photograph showing clock face

51B - Clock face

This tall-case clock appears as catalogue number 228, page 195 in Dean F. Failey, Long Island Is My Nation, new edition (Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, 1998). In his caption, Failey noted family tradition indicated that its original owner was Nathaniel Seaman (1724–1816) of “Jerusalem.” Quoting from the History of Queens County, published in 1882, Ancestry.com indicated that Jerusalem was one of the earliest permanent English settlements in the eastern part of Queens County. It was a land tract, part of Hempstead Township, obtained from Native Americans by Captain John Seaman and Robert Jackson ca. 1643. Much of that tract is now part of Wantagh, a town in Nassau County, Long Island, New York.

It is undoubtedly the work of Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737–1812) but there is no documentation for it in his accounts. If its original owner paid cash for it, that could explain the absence of an entry in Dominy records. The earliest of his complex tall-case clocks, it is also a tribute to Nathaniel IV’s energy and creativity in finding a way to ship this clock to Nathaniel Seaman in 1779. That was the year in which Nathaniel IV cast bullet and shot molds for local militia and repaired a watch for the notorious Colonel Banastre Tarlton who was leading foraging raids in eastern Long Island (see pages 230–231, and catalogue number 178, WHIH). Nathaniel IV’s sense of humor and support for the cause of independence was shown by placing Tarleton’s name in the account book under the heading of “Transient persons.”

A day-of-the-month calendar and day-of-the-week indicator are visible on its pewter dial supplementing the clock’s eight-day, strike and repeater mechanisms. Its hour and minute hands are identical to those found on other tall-case clocks made by Nathaniel Dominy IV (see catalogue numbers 198, 203, 205, WHIH). Like his clock made in 1780, it has solid brass plates (see catalogue number 198B, WHIH). After 1780, Nathaniel IV used skeletonized brass plates for his complex clocks. The turned wood ball and steeple finials echo those found on catalogue number 210, WHIH, and like the complex clock made by Nathaniel IV in 1780, this case is also made of walnut.

Because the Seaman family were not original settlers and residents of East Hampton, Jeannette Rattray did not include a Seaman family genealogy in her book, East Hampton History. On page 152, however, she noted that a Joseph Seaman served as President of the prestigious Maidstone Club in East Hampton without providing the date of his serving in that office.

Description Height, 87 ⅜″; Width, 17 ½″; Depth, 8 ⅝″.

Primary wood: walnut; secondary wood: white pine; pewter dial; day-of-the-week engraved calendar at top of dial; rectangular opening in calendar for days-of-the-month; five minute intervals engraved in Arabic numbers next to engraved Roman numeral hours; two holes for winding arbors flank a batwing hour hand and double crescent and sword minute hand; “N. Dominy. E. Hampton/1779”engraved between Roman numerals VIII and IIII. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737–1812) in 1779 for Nathaniel Seaman (1724–1816) of “Jerusalem”, (now Wantagh, N.Y.); according to an article, “The Old clock” by Bernice Weir, in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Record, vol. 117 (April, 1986); to his wife, Sarah Seaman; to her grandson, Nathaniel Seaman: to his son, John H. Seaman; to his wife, Mary Elizabeth Willet Seaman; to a great grandson, Clarence Willetts Spader; to his son, John Henry Seaman Spader; purchased by Bernice Weir from a direct descendant, ca. 1986(?). Current owner: Private collection.

52

Tall-Case Clock

Color photograph showing longcase (grandfather) clock

52A - Full view

Color photograph showing clock face

52B - Clock face

Given the myriad responsibilities of Nathaniel Dominy IV—caring for and supporting his wife and seven children; training his son Nathaniel V to take responsibility for all woodworking activities; conducting a complex business primarily run on a barter basis; building clocks and repairing clocks and pocket watches; and being his own bookkeeper—it is not surprising that his extensive accounts contain some errors and omissions. Clock, catalogue number 51, Appendix C is a case in point.

This clock is also not listed in an account for its original owner and was only identified as one repaired by Nathaniel IV on November 13, 1800, for “Capt. H. Latham” at a charge of eight shillings (see Table 3, page 225, WHIH). Two-hundred and twelve years later, this clock was described and pictured as lot 613, sale 7010 at Sotheby’s New York, June 17–18, 1997.

The original owner of this clock was Captain Hubbard Latham, also spelled as “Hubbert” by Nathaniel Dominy IV. Captain Latham was described by James Truslow Adams, in his History of the Town of Southampton (Port Washington, NY: Ira J. Friedman, Inc., 1962), as one of the men active in the life of Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York, between 1790 and 1810.

Captain Latham’s ship carried cord wood from the Hamptons to New York City on a regular basis. Entries on page 109 of Nathaniel Dominy’s Account Book B for 1792 and 1793 credit Latham with obtaining panes of glass, lampblack, brass drawer handles, furniture escutcheons, salt, and pine boards in New York City for the craftsman. In 1777, 1802, and 1804, Nathaniel IV repaired pocket watches owned by Hubbard Latham.

Like catalogue number 198, WHIH, and catalogue number 51, Appendix C, the case of this clock is made of walnut and similar in shape to those clocks. Unlike the pewter dials of his 1779 and 1780 clocks, this example has a silvered brass dial. In 1800, Nathaniel IV provided a recipe for silvering clock faces to an unknown recipient (see Downs Library Ms., Collection 265, Box 2, Folder 6).

“Dissolve fine silver in double aqua fortis/or spirit of nitre) after solution add Argol or crude tarter [sic] 8 or 10 times the weight of silver and aqua fortis/or nitre/ of if cream of tartar is used one half as much crude & 1/3 as much common salt as of the crude tartar – pulverize all together in a wood or marble mortar – clean your brass or copper well – rub it on with water which will be of the consistence of thin paste, rub it quickly & rinse in clean water & wipe till dry with a cloth....”

Description Height, 81″; Width, 17″; Depth, 7 ¾″.

Primary wood: walnut; secondary wood: white pine; silvered brass dial; day-of-the-week calendar in Arabic numerals in arched dial section with single batwing and crescent handle; “N. Dominy ——— E. Hampton” engraved in script below numerals “5” and “4” of day-of-the-week calendar; five minute intervals engraved in Arabic numerals next to engraved Roman numeral hours; double batwing hour hand and double crescent minute hand; above the hands a square viewing window pierces the dial for days-of-the month calendar; two holes for winding arbors below clock hands; Arabic numerals “1785” engraved at exterior corners of the dial. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737–1812) in 1785 for Captain Hubbard Latham; to Captain Eden S. Latham; to his son, Eleazor Latham; to his son (?); to Miss Kittie E.A. Latham; to her cousin, Henry S. Terbell; to his son, Edward D. Terbell; to his daughter Anna Terbell; to her first cousin once removed, Rufus Park; to Sotheby’s New York auction house, lot 613, sale 7010, “Important Americana”, June 17–18, 1997. Current owner: unknown.

53

Tall-Case Eight-Day, Strike, Repeater Clock

Black and white photograph showing longcase (grandfather) clock

53A - Full view

Black and white photograph showing clock face

53B - Clock face

Nathaniel Dominy IV made only one tall-case clock in 1790. On March 27, he debited Aaron Isaacs, an East Hampton merchant, “to a Clock £20-0-0.” (see Table 2, Page 223, WHIH). Acquired by the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities from antiques dealer Val Jacobsen, it was first illustrated by Dean F. Failey on page 178 of Long Island Is My Nation (Cold Spring Harbor, NY: Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, 1998).

In his caption for this clock, Dean Failey correctly made the case for Aaron Isaacs, Sr. (1722/23-1797/98) as its original owner. As evidence he cited the facts that Isaacs was the only Dominy customer billed for a clock in 1790, and its cost, £20, was the same amount Nathaniel IV charged Thomas Baker for a similar clock in 1788.

Failey indicated, however, that this clock might have been made for John Gardiner in 1791. That caution probably stemmed from the assertions of dealers James Abbe and Val Jacobsen. Both ascribed its original ownership to John Lyon Gardiner who was billed £28 for a clock by Nathaniel IV on November 1, 1791. That clock, however, stayed in the family and is shown as catalogue number 210 in WHIH. Gardiner’s clock case is made of mahogany, not cherry; its English painted dial is consistent with Gardiner having “2 Clock Faces yth you got at N.York”; and its works include an alarm dial. In short, the £8 difference between the Isaacs’ clock and Gardiner’s was the latter’s having more bells and whistles.

Aaron Isaacs made weekly sailings to New York City bringing back supplies to East Hampton’s residents. Nathaniel Dominy IV’s accounts with Isaacs fill twelve full folio-size pages of Account Book B between 1764 and 1797.

Description Height, 89″; Width, 17″; Depth, 9 ¼″.

Primary wood: cherry, stained to resemble walnut or mahogany; secondary wood: white pine; pewter dial; “N. DOMINY _ _ 1790, E. HAMPTON, _ _ “ engraved in arch of dial outside of a day-of-the-week calendar with an arrow and heart single hand; engraved left of numeral 5, “O TRIFLE NOT/TILL TIME’S FORGOT:”; engraved right of numeral 4, “IMPROVE EACH BEAT/DEATH DON’T RETREAT”; minutes engraved in Arabic numbers at five minute intervals outside Roman hour numerals; single batwing and sword minute hand; single batwing and lance hour hand; two circular holes in dial for winding arbors; rectangular viewing space for day-of-the-month calendar; three brass ball and spire finials atop molded, arched pediment. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737–1812) for Aaron Isaacs (I) (1722/23–1797/98). Descended in the Isaacs family; purchased by James Abbe, dealer; purchased by Val Petersen, dealer. Current owner: Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities, acc. No. 75.14; on display at Dering Customs House, Sag Harbor, New York.

54

Tall-Case Clock, Eight Day, Strike, Repeater, Alarm

Color photograph showing longcase (grandfather) clock

54A - Full view

Color photograph with side view of clock works

54B - Works

This clock relates to a group of complex examples made by Nathaniel Dominy IV between 1788 and 1800. Published in WHIH as catalogue number 212, page 292, it was not examined by this author. A 1963 letter to this author from the clock’s then current owner, Fred A. Dominy of New Bern, NC, provided its family tradition of ownership without accompanying photographs. The two views seen here were provided by its current owner, John Dominy, also a resident of North Carolina.

That this clock was made by Nathaniel Dominy IV is without question. But the question of for whom it was originally made remains problematic. Two different sources relate the same family tradition that this clock was made in 1813 for General Jeremiah Miller (7) (1777–1839); that it was sold to Phebe Miller Dominy (8) (1807–1891), wife of Felix Dominy, in 1871; and then descended in the Dominy family to its current owner (see fn’s 42-46, WHIH, page 345). Phebe Miller Dominy, a daughter of General Jeremiah Miller, married Felix Dominy in 1826, thus lending credence to this family tradition.

Other evidence, both factual and circumstantial, however, provide a stronger case for a different history relating to this clock. Nathaniel Dominy IV died on October 23, 1812. There are no entries in his, or other Dominy accounts for a tall-case clock sold to General Jeremiah Miller. Four of the simplest, least expensive clocks made by Nathaniel IV and Felix, timepieces, appear in Nathaniel IV’s accounts – two in 1812 and two in 1813 (see Table 2, page 224, WHIH). Either the works of those simple clocks had been started by Nathaniel IV before his death, or more likely, they were made by both Nathaniel Dominy V and his son Felix. Additionally, after 1799 there are no surviving complex clocks made by Nathaniel IV with painted English dials.

The only entry for a Dominy complex clock that fits catalogue number 54 was made for John Miller (7) (1767–1836) of Apaquogue, East Hampton. He was billed by Nathaniel IV on September 28, 1792, “To a Repeating, Alarm, Telltale Clock £20-8-0.” Miller, ranked number 28 on East Hampton tax lists could afford an expensive clock.

A penciled inscription inside this clock’s case, stating that Phebe Miller Dominy bought it for $100 in 1871, three years after the death of her husband, Felix, adds to this puzzle for the clock’s seller was not listed. Felix’s will, admitted to probate February 16, 1869, made a specific bequest of this “family clock” to his and Phebe’s youngest son Arthur Dominy (7) (1841–1918). Clearly, this clock had been in Felix’s possession at the time of his death. It is highly likely that he, not Phebe, had bought it for $100 from a descendant of John Miller.

Phebe Miller Dominy (8) (1807–1891) outlived her husband, Felix, by twenty-three years. Her will, executed and witnessed on January 6, 1890, partially disregarded Felix’s wish for ownership of this clock. Part of her will states, “I give to my son Ned [Edmond (7) (1846–1927)] for his life the old fashioned clock now standing in the west room of the house I now reside in and after his death the said clock to go to his issue and if he leave no issue then to my son Arthur if then living or to his issue if he be dead.”

“Ned” was Phebe’s and Felix’s youngest son, Edmond. In her will, their son Arthur was named an executor, along with Washington L. Tyson. Ned died in 1927, outliving his brother Arthur who died in 1918. Because Ned and his wife had “no issue”, this clock was inherited by Arthur’s son, Frederick A. Dominy (8) (1880–?).

During years of research relating to the Dominy craftsmen this author frequently encountered a tendency of current owners of objects made by those artisans to assign original ownership to the most prominent male ancestors of their families. Subsequent research just as frequently discovered that the objects had been acquired collaterally through marriage. General Jeremiah Miller, Phebe Miller Dominy’s father, was the first postmaster of East Hampton, appointed in 1816. He was also the superior officer to Major Felix Dominy in the Suffolk County Militia.

With the clock in Phebe Dominy’s possession for twenty-three years after Felix Dominy’s death, and with her death at the age of eighty-four, it is not surprising that family tradition incorrectly placed this clock’s original owner as General Jeremiah Miller.

Description Height, 80″; Width, 16″.

Primary wood: mahogany; secondary wood: white pine; enameled sheet-iron dial probably made by Thomas Osborne, Birmingham, England; Roman numeral hours; Arabic numerals mark five-minute intervals outside hour numerals; crescent and lance minute hand; double batwing hour hand; day-of-the-week calendar under Roman numeral XII with arrow and lance hand; two winding holes opposite Roman numerals nine and three; curved aperture for day-of-the-month calendar between winding holes; skeleton brass plates and brass wheels. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737–1812) most likely for John Miller (7) (1767–1836); purchased by Felix Dominy (6) (1800–1868); to his wife Phebe Baker Miller Dominy (8) (1807–1891); to their son Edmond Dominy (Ned) (7) (1846–1927); to Arthur Dominy’s son Frederick A. Dominy (8) (1880–after 1963) who removed from Long Island to New Bern, NC; to his son Jack or John Dominy (9); to his son John Dominy. Current owner: John Dominy.

55

Tall Case Silent Clock

Color photograph showing full view of longcase (grandfather) clock

55A - Full view

Color photograph showing clock portion of longcase clock

55B - Detail, clock hood

Color photograph showing clock face with case removed

55C - Face

Color photograph showing side view of clock works

55D - Works

Color photograph showing detail of joinery used to construct case of clock

55E - Detail, top of hood

Black and white photographic family portrait

55F - Family

Felix Dominy’s last entry in his accounts for a clock of his make was in 1825 (see Table 2, page 224, WHIH). A total of four clocks, however, made by Felix in 1827 and 1828, including this example, are not posted in his records. Three are silent clocks and a fourth is a one-stroke clock.

By 1828, Felix Dominy must have been convinced that his future livelihood would not result from clock making or clock and watch repairs. It was in 1828 that Sarah Nicoll of Islip, Long Island, decided not to purchase a “good and neat clock without any finery about it” from Felix because she considered his $80 price for such a clock, “a piece of folly” (see page 226, WHIH). No clocks made by Felix after 1828 have come to light.

As early as 1810, the cost of clocks with wooden works made opposite Long Island in Connecticut, ranged between $20 and $50. By 1840, the use of interchangeable parts and assembly line techniques had lowered the price of brass geared shelf and mantel clocks to $6 in Connecticut (see page 226 and fn.31, page 242, WHIH).

In 1826, Felix Dominy married Phebe Baker Miller and in 1827, the first of their children, Nathaniel Dominy VII was born. Significantly, four more children were born to them after Felix’s removal to Fire Island in 1835. Between 1828 and 1835, many of the surviving manuscript items pertaining to him refer to his activities in the Suffolk County Militia; his appointment as a census taker in 1830; award of a contract to cover the dome of the Montauk Point Lighthouse with copper; painting and wallpaper hanging for John Lyon Gardiner’s wife, Sarah; and a host of other jobs unrelated to clock making or watch repairs. By November 1835 he had permanently removed to Fire Island and was receiving his mail in Babylon, Long Island (see pages 240–241, WHIH).

The painted wood dial of this silent clock is like those made by Felix in 1827 and 1828. Its hour and minute hands were made from templates surviving in the Dominy Tool Collection (see catalogue number 164, WHIH). Andiron-type plates used by Felix to suspend its works are a repetition of the plates used by Nathaniel Dominy IV for his simplest clocks (see catalogue numbers 194, 195, 208, 209, 223, 227, 228, WHIH).They occur on clocks made by Felix starting in 1817 (see catalogue numbers 230, 233, 236, 239, 240, WHIH).

Fortunately, Felix Dominy provided evidence for dating the last group of his clocks. He stamped his name and dates of manufacture on their lead pendulum bobs; on brass weight pulleys; or inscribed his name and date of the clocks manufacture on the back of his painted wood dials (see catalogue numbers 238–240, WHIH). For this clock, he twice stamped the date 1828 on its lead pendulum bob.

In the absence of entries post 1825 in his accounts, the names of the original owners of clocks made by Felix Dominy after that date have been traced from the current owners by reversing genealogical records.

Asa Miller (7) (1781–1840), for whom this clock was made, owned three different English pocket watches between 1804 and 1821. Each of them was repaired by Nathaniel Dominy IV or Felix Dominy. He was no stranger to the Dominy family for Asa Miller’s older sister, Temperance Miller, had married Nathaniel Dominy V, ca. 1794.

Catalogue 55E depicts the Miller homestead on Springs Fireplace Road with members of the family posed at its front. Two of the inheritors of this clock are shown. Fifth from the right is George Asa Miller and at the far left is his son Stratton Miller.

Description Height, 79 ½″; Width, 13 ¼″; Depth, 8 ¾″.

Primary wood: all white pine with original dark reddish brown stain on the case; bottom case molding replaced; rectangular hood with flat top; quarter round bead and concave molded edge at top; arched, rectangular glass pane; wooden dial in white, black, and yellow paint; some loss of original paint surface; crossed, curled leaves and stems above a globe, supporting an hour glass; stem and leaf painted spandrels; Roman numeral hours; painted black dots in five minute intervals encircling hour numerals; sword-shaped minute hand; single batwing hour hand; brass plates and gear wheels; steel escapement; lead pendulum bob stamped twice “1828”, and “Dominy” in a serrated rectangle, the die stamp of his father, Nathaniel V. Made by Felix Dominy (6) (1800–1868) for Asa Miller (7) (1781–1840); to his son George Smith Miller (8) (1817–1878); to his son George Asa Miller (9) (1852–1935); to his son Stratton Miller (10) (1903–?); to his son Terry Stratton Miller (11) (1950–?); purchased by current owner from Terry Miller. Current owner: Private Collection.

CRADLES

56

Child’s Cradle

Color photograph with full view of cradle

56A - Full view

Color photograph with overhead view of cradle

56B - Interior

Color photograph showing underside of cradle

56C - Underside

Nathaniel Dominy IV made only one child’s cradle. In 1768 he billed William Hedges, Jr. thirteen shillings for it. In contrast, Nathaniel V produced twelve cradles for children between 1793 and 1824, charging sixteen shillings for most of them.

Both craftsmen were careful to distinguish in their records between cradles made for children and grain cradles made to satisfy the needs of the agricultural community in which they lived and worked. Eighty-five grain cradles were made by them between 1767 and 1848. A grain cradle was a frame of wood with a row of curved wood teeth attached to a scythe, used to harvest grain. Its price in Dominy accounts was usually twelve shillings. The usual price of a child’s cradle was sixteen shillings.

This child’s cradle has a history of continuous ownership in the Edwards family of East Hampton. The sole member of that family billed for a child’s cradle was David Edwards who paid Nathaniel V sixteen shillings for one in 1814. A large and prolific family, only one David Edwards had birth and death dates coinciding with that account entry. Jeannette Rattray, in her book East Hampton History, places him in “Division Number Seven”, born in 1781 and died in 1831. Two years later, on February 20, 1816, Nathaniel V billed David Edwards an additional two shillings, “to making Rockers and put them on Cradle.”

Nathaniel V’s creative solution to making that addition to the Edwards’ cradle can be seen in 56 C. For at least four other of his cradles, Nathaniel V added rockers at a later date charging two or three shillings to do so. On one occasion, in 1810, he charged extra to paint a cradle. The most unusual task related to this form occurred in 1819 when Nathaniel V charged Dr. Abel Huntington four shillings “To alter trundle bedstead to Cradle.”

In pricing his objects, Nathaniel V charged one-third for his labor. Given the 16 shilling price for his cradles, 5.33 shillings accounted for his labor in making them. His labor charge for a 10 or 12 hour day was 7.5 shillings indicating that Nathaniel V could complete a child’s cradle, ready for delivery, with slightly more than 7 hours of work.

Description Height, 23″; Width, 25 ½″; Length, 37″.

Primary wood: pine cradle; secondary wood: maple rockers; entire cradle painted brown over original red stain; shallow arched hood rests on two, one-piece vertical and horizontal-shaped boards; cyma-curved edges finish vertical board sections; top, one-piece arched board; bottom boards rest on crescent-shaped rockers; rockers attached to cradle bottom by rectangular brace piercing rockers and held in place by a circular wedge. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for David Edwards (6) (1781–1831); to his son Isaac B. Edwards (7) (1822–1866); to his son Charles Wesley Edwards (8) (1852–1922); to Maude Sherman Edwards Taylor (9) (?); to her brother Leroy Osborne Edwards (9) (1876–1947); to his daughter Madeline Huntting Edwards Mott (10) (1900–?); to her son Leonard Leroy Edwards Mott (10) (1922–?); to his children, Sally Ann, Leonard Riley, Peter Leroy; 2013 estate sale to current owners. Current owners: Charles Keller/ Glenn Purcell Collection.

FRAMES

57

Looking Glass Frame

Color photograph of an empty mirror (looking glass) frame hanging on a wall

57 - Overall view and wasters

When this looking glass was obtained by Winterthur from the Sherrill family of East Hampton, it came with a history of having been made for Abraham Sherrill (4) (1754–1844). Although Nathaniel Dominy IV and V framed a total of eight looking glasses between 1774 and 1820, none were framed for Abraham Sherrill.

On September 15, 1815, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Recompence Sherrill (4) (1741–1839) “for making frame to small looking glass 0-2-6.” It is significant that Nathaniel V described it as “small.” No other Sherrill family members were billed for a looking glass frame. Catalogue number 57, Appendix C, most likely came into the possession of the Sherrill family collaterally, or by inheritance as a result of the marriage in 1786 of Elnathan Parsons to Urania Dominy, daughter of Nathaniel Dominy IV.

Of the eight looking glass frames entered into Dominy accounts, seven are priced at four shillings or less. Only one is priced to reflect the large size and mahogany veneer over a pine base with maple or birch line inlay found on this frame. In April, 1796, Nathaniel V made a list of furniture “Articles for our family.” On that list is “1 Frame to looking Glass £1-4-0.” Moreover, when Winterthur acquired the Dominy Tool collection in 1957, some of the wasters remaining from the shaping of this looking glass frame were part of that collection.

At some point during her marriage to Elnathan Parsons, Urania Dominy Parsons received this looking glass from her brother, Nathaniel Dominy V. The looking glass then descended in the Parsons family and eventually to the Sherrill family.

Because of the wording used by both Nathaniel IV and V in their accounts, it is quite likely that they attached frames to looking glasses made in England or New York City. “To Looking Glass Frame” in 1774; “A Frame to a Looking Glass” in 1790; “1 Frame to looking Glass”, 1796; “to framing looking glass” in 1820.

Other types of frames made by Nathaniel IV and V were seven picture frames between 1767 and 1809; eight slate frames between 1793 and 1818; and two tambour frames in 1800. Other than this looking glass frame, only their slate frames have been identified.

Description Height, 41″; Width, 22 ¼″.

Primary woods: mahogany veneer over pine base; secondary wood: maple or birch line inlay; original mercury backed rectangular glass; single line inlay following shape of rectangular frame; attached to inner rectangular frame are central arched crest and bottom pendant; s-scrolls attached to top and bottom sides; scrolls flank central arch and pendant. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1796 for family use; to his sister Urania Dominy Parsons (5) (1765–1837) and her husband Elnathan Parsons (5) (1753–1836); to their son Colonel William Davis Parsons (6) (1793–1865); to his son William Henry Parsons (7) (1832–1919); to his son Henry Hale Parsons (8) (1867–1943); to his daughter Maria Dayton Parsons (9) (1894–1968) who married Edwin Livingston Sherrill (8) (1891–1975); to his daughter Nettie Sherrill (9) (1921–2007) who married John R. Foster, 1945; from Nettie Sherrill Foster to Winterthur Museum, 1992 sale. Current owner: Winterthur Museum, acc. no. 92.0092.

58

Slate Frame

Color photograph of a blackboard (slate) in a frame hanging on a wall

58 - Overall view

Between 1793 and 1818, Nathaniel Dominy V made eight slate frames. Thin rectangular pieces of slate could be used by schoolchildren to write on with chalk for exercises or information that need not be saved. Slate could also serve for temporary notes and/or reminders in homes. Because slate was fragile, easily broken, and its edges sharp, an inexpensive wood frame was added to prevent damage to the slate and/or cutting its handler.

On March 8, 1818, Nathaniel V billed Abraham Sherrill, Jr. (4) (1754–1844), one shilling six pence “To Slate Frame.” Prices for his slate frames ranged from one shilling, three pence to two shillings. The higher price was charged for smoothing a piece of slate in addition to adding a frame.

With labor accounting for one-third of the price to make an object, Nathaniel V charged only six pence [one half shilling] for his time to make this frame. His daily wage was ninety pence (seven shillings, six pence) for a ten or twelve hour day. He, therefore, completed this slate frame in less than one hour.

Description Height, 7 ¾″; Width, 6″; Depth, 3 ¾″.

Primary wood: pine; rectangular, smooth surface black slate; horizontal chalk lines in groups of four; rectangular wood frame with beaded outer edges and hollow molded inner edges. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1818 for Abraham Sherrill, Jr, (4) (1754–1844) who married Anna Huntting (1763–?) in 1800; to their son Stephen Sherrill (5) (1801–1892); to his son Nathaniel Huntting Sherrill (6) (1832–1874) to his son Abram Elisha Sherrill (7) (1862–1924); to his son Edwin Livingston Sherrill (8) (1891–1975); to his daughter Nettie Sherrill Foster (1921–2007); her gift to the East Hampton Historical Society. Current owner: East Hampton Historical Society, Acc. no.1940.41.3

PITCH PIPE

59

Pitch Pipe

Color photograph with side view of case and slider of pitch pipe

59A - Side

Color photograph showing labium on case and tone graduations on slider of pitch pipe

59B - Detail, slide

Color photograph showing mouthpiece on case and tone graduations on slider of pitch pipe

59C - Mouthpiece

Nathaniel Dominy V made two full octave pitch pipes and “1/2 a Pitch Pipe” between 1792 and 1806. This pitch pipe, a gift from the Dimon family to the East Hampton Historical Society, helps to correct what was previously written about the Dominy pitch pipe made in 1803.

The history furnished by “Home Sweet Home” about their Dominy pitch pipe (catalogue number 246, WHIH) described it as one made for Dominy family use. It was not. The date 1803 stamped on it identifies it as the one billed by Nathaniel V to James Terry on March 15, 1803, “To Pitch Pipe 0-8-0.”

Part of the confusion may have stemmed from the fact that James Terry owned two pitch pipes made by Nathaniel Dominy V. This example was billed by him to David Scoy, April 25, 1806, “To Pitch Pipe for James Terry 0-8-0.” In short, both Home Sweet Home and the East Hampton Historical Society have a pitch pipe originally owned by James Terry.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term “Pitch-pipe” was first recorded in 1711. It was used to set the pitch for singing or tuning a musical instrument. How James Terry used his, and why he needed two, are unknown. Both pipes are made of wood, a material that reacts to changes in temperature and humidity. It’s possible that the pitch pipe made for him in 1803 no longer provided true pitch in 1806.

Description Height, 3″; Width, 1″; Length, 6 ¾″.

Primary wood: mahogany; iron sprigs; rectangular, open sliding frame; one end of frame concave molded for finger grip; octave musical scale, low G to high G, stamped on one side of sliding frame; frame fitted into rectangular box, curved upward at one end to enable lips to blow air into box. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852). Billed to David Scoy, 1806, for James Terry; gift of the Dimon family, 1940, to the East Hampton Historical Society. Current owner: East Hampton Historical Society, acc. no. 1940.13.1.

REELS

60, 61

Reels

Color photograph with full view of reel (yarn winder)

60A - Full view

Color photograph with overhead view showing main turning shaft or pivot

60B - Pivot

Color photograph with detail view of pin attached to outer end of flight

60C - Flight and pin

Color photograph showing underside of base

60D - Base

Color photograph with side view of reel (yarn winder)

61A - Full view

Color photograph with side view showing support structure holding up the moving parts

61B - Support

Color photograph with side view showing the counting mechanism

61C - Counter

Nathaniel Dominy IV made only two of the fifty-six reels listed in Dominy accounts. One in 1769, and another in 1774. His charge was eight shillings for each of them. Nathaniel V, however, produced fifty-four reels between 1790 and 1837. His prices ranged from eight shillings to one pound, determined by materials, size, including a counting stick, or not.

In agricultural Suffolk County, the rotary instrument called a reel was an essential piece of household equipment. They were used to fashion skeins of linen or wool from threads produced by spinning wheels. Among the items that Nathaniel Dominy V made for family use in 1796 was “1 Reel” valued at ten shillings. On the 100 acres of farm land owned by the Dominy family, flax was grown to be processed into linen, and sheep were raised for both their wool and meat.

In volume thirty of The Cyclopaedia; or Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Literature (Philadelphia, PA: Samuel F. Bradford, and Murray, Fairman and Co., 1802–1819), Abraham Rees describes a reel. “The common reel or windlass, which turns upon a pivot, and has four flights, traversed by long pins or sticks, on which the skein to be reeled is put; and which are drawn closer or opened wider, according to the skein.” A long counting stick activated by a large peg on the circular toothed wheel, provided the reel’s user with the number of yards of textile in a skein.

Unlike the clocks made by Nathaniel IV and Felix Dominy, virtually none of the wooden objects produced by Nathaniel IV and V were labeled, bore their initials, or were otherwise marked as their work. Fortunately, many of their products have descended in the families for whom they were originally made. Such is the case regarding these two reels. Both are illustrated in order to show identical construction details (shop practice) that may help to identify other reels still in the homes of Suffolk County, Long Island families.

Both of these reels were made for Timothy Miller (6) (1744–1813) who lived in The Springs, five miles east of East Hampton Village. In 1806, he was billed £1 by Nathaniel V for a stand and reel. Two years later, in 1808, Miller was charged ten shillings for another reel.

Description
60 - Height, 39”; Width (bench), 5 ½”; Length, 20 ¼”.
61 - Height, 39”; Width (bench), 5 ½”; Length, 20 ¼”.

60 and 61 – Primary wood: ash; secondary woods: oak, maple, pine; rectangular base supported on four cylindrical, outward flaring legs; two rectangular uprights pierce base and are wedged with trunnels; uprights support horizontal pivot and turning handle; four “flights” inserted into mortises in pivot; horizontal “pin” or “stick” attached to each “flight”; circular, toothed wheel interacts with pinion carved on pivot; flexible counting stick attached to wheel post activated by large peg attached to wheel face; post supporting toothed wheel tenoned through base and held in place by a trunnel. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Timothy Miller (6) (1744–1813); to his son Timothy Miller (7) (1766–1827); to his son Smith Stratton Miller (8) (1800–1865); to his son Timothy L. Miller (9) (1829–1873); to his son Charles Smith Miller (10) (1857–1895); to his son Gilbert E. Miller (11) (1883–?); to his daughter, Anna Elizabeth Miller (12) (?); to current owner. Current owner: Private collection.

61.1

Double Reel

Color photograph with full view of double reel (yarn winder)

61.1A - Full view

Color photograph with side view of counting mechanism of double reel

61.1B - Counter gear

Color photograph with detail view showing joinery of one set of flights at main shaft or pivot

61.1C - Joinery at pivot

Color photograph with overhead view showing threaded section of main shaft or pivot

61.1D - Threaded pivot

On July 24, 1822, “Huntting Miller 2” was billed by Nathaniel Dominy V “To a reel with 2 wheels 0-14-0.” On November 15, 1822, Miller paid the fourteen shillings to the craftsman in cash. It was the only double reel produced by Nathaniel V. A double reel could wind twice as many spun threads as the usual single reels made by Nathaniel V (see numbers 60, 61, Appendix C).

The Oxford English Dictionary provides a clue as to why Nathaniel Dominy V described the reel as having two wheels. The OED’s Roman numeral one definition of “wheel” is “To move like a wheel. 1. Intr. To turn or revolve about an axis or centre, like a wheel on its axle; to rotate, to whirl.” Definition two that follows is “trans. To turn [something] on or as on a wheel; to cause to revolve about an axis, or to move in a circle or cycle.” The pivot of this double reel met the definition of axle or axis. The craftsman was still using late Medieval English usage to describe his only double reel.

Because Huntting Miller in the sixth generation was still alive in 1822 when the double reel was made, Nathaniel V’s entry for it was made to “Huntting Miller 2.” No member of the Miller family’s seventh generation bore the Huntting name.

Description Length (overall), 25 ⅛″; Height (overall), 40″; Width (reel arms), 28″.

Primary woods: oak, maple; rectangular base with chamfered upper edges supported on four drawknifed, outward flaring legs; two rectangular uprights, one at each end tenoned into the base; one upright notched to receive circular, horizontal pivot; pivot tenoned through the opposite upright; circular, tapered hand grip tenoned into one end of the pivot; two “flights”, each with four arms, tenoned into the pivot; a long horizontal “pin” or “stick” attached to each of the four arms; six slanted threads turned onto pivot; circular, toothed wheel supported by rectangular uprights interacts with threads; flexible counting stick attached to wheel post. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1822 for Huntting Miller “2” (8) (1807–1876); to his daughter Maria E. Miller (9) (1865–1936), who married Charles Sherrill Dayton in 1887; to their son Charles Frank Dayton (10) (1903–?); to his son (Charles) Sherrill Dayton (11) (1936– ). Current owners: Mr. and Mrs. Sherrill Dayton.

STANDS

62

Book Stand

Color photograph with side view of book stand

62A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of top

62B - Top

Color photograph with detail view of underside of top

62C - Underside of top

Color photograph showing bases of two stands with matching legs

62D - Base comparison

Color photograph showing the underside of the column where the legs attach

62E - Detail, base underside and leg joinery

On July 12, 1793, Nathaniel Dominy IV recorded in his account book, a book stand made by his son, Nathaniel V, for Jonathan Mulford, Jr., at a cost of twelve shillings. No others are listed in Dominy accounts.

Genealogies published in Jeannette Rattray, East Hampton History, list Jonathan Mulford (5) (1770–1840) and Jonathan Mulford (6) (1761–1842). Each was born of a different parent and they were not brothers. By local custom, Jonathan Mulford (5), born after Jonathan Mulford (6), would have been designated as Jr. But his first child was not born until 1800. The first child of Jonathan (6) was born in 1788 and three other of his children were born by 1797. Nathaniel Dominy V, along with two journeymen completed building framing work for a Jonathan Mulford in 1793. It’s most likely, therefore, that this book stand was made for Jonathan Mulford (6).

That the only bookstand made by the Dominys was made for an individual whose history is sketchy, is somewhat puzzling. According to Jeannette Rattray, in 1792 East Hampton Town Trustees paid Henry Dominy, Nathaniel IV’s brother, eight pounds to build a schoolhouse in the Northwest area of the Township. The minutes of that school district are in the East Hampton Library and they record that a Jonathan Mulford was a member of that district’s school board. It is possible that Jonathan Mulford Jr. purchased this bookstand one year after the Northwest school house was built, for use in that building.

The bookstand’s decoration and construction features echo those found on other stands made by Nathaniel Dominy V. Its column compares to a stand shown as catalogue number 247 in WHIH. The bookstand’s cabriole legs are a variation of pattern 54E, WHIH, and they are found on other stands made by the Dominys (see number 62 D, Appendix C). The circular dent on the underside of the column was made by the point of the Dominy’s lathe puppet screw (see 62 E, Appendix C).

Description Height, 28″; Width, 17 ½″; Depth, 12 +″.

Primary wood: all cherry; rectangular top with quarter-round molded edge; original lip to hold a book or papers in place is missing; two battens screwed to underside of top; mechanism for tilting top not operational; long baluster shaped column with double and single ring turnings tenoned into movable block between battens; spool and disc turning at lower end of column; three notched cabriole legs dovetailed into base of column. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Jonathan Mulford, Jr. (6) (1761–1842); descended in Mulford family; purchased by East Hampton antiques dealer; to current owners. Current owners: Charles Keller/ Glenn Purcell Collection.

63

Candlestand

Color photograph with full view of candlestand

63 - Full view

Nathaniel Dominy V was the sole maker of stands. None are recorded by Nathaniel Dominy IV in his accounts. Between 1789 and 1833, not counting the book stand, Nathaniel V produced seventy-nine stands, most (fifty-nine) simply listed as a “Stand.” On only five occasions between 1799 and 1833, he noted this furniture form as a “Candlestand.” Because his prices for those five are identical to many of those in the group of fifty-nine, it’s not possible to know how many in that group were also candlestands.

When acquired by Winterthur, this stand came with a family history of original ownership by Abraham Sherrill. No stands, however, were billed by Nathaniel V to that member of the Sherrill family. Nathaniel V’s earliest example, it was made for Jacob Sherrill who was billed on October 15, 1789, for “a Stand 0-7-6.”

Evidence of repairs to this stand probably accounts for the family history of original ownership by Abraham Sherrill. On March 22, 1818, Nathaniel V billed Abraham Sherril [sic] for the following repair, “To Stand Pillar and top piece 0-4-0.” The repair to this stand is visible in the large crack across its top, and, not visible, the addition of a three-piece iron brace across the bottom of its column. The brace was needed to repair and hold the dovetails of its cabriole legs in place.

This stand reflects the influence of Rhode Island furniture design on the work of Nathaniel V (see desk and bookcase, catalogue number 26A, Appendix C). On pages 62 and 63 of “The Furniture and Furnishings of John Brown, Merchant of Providence, 1736–1803” (University of Delaware, MA thesis, 1971), Wendy Cooper shows two Rhode Island mahogany stands with columns closely related to this Dominy example. Nathaniel V’s great grandfather, Nathaniel II, married Anne Corey of Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1706. In 1762, Nathaniel IV purchased a book, The Mariners New Calendar and noted on the inside cover, “His Kalender Bought of Mr. Bird at /New Port June ye 29th AD 1762.” That book was subsequently owned by Nathaniel V and his son, Felix. This stand’s cabriole legs are a variant of template 53 C in the Dominy Tool Collection. While that pattern did not survive, it was used to fashion the legs of another stand made by Nathaniel V (see catalogue number 250, WHIH).

Description Height, 27″ Diameter (top), 16 ¼″; Depth, 16 9/16″.

Primary wood: cherry; circular dished top with half-round molded edge; repaired top re-glued along large crack; rectangular batten with chamfered edges screwed to underside of top; turned Doric column with disc and bead decoration below top; urn or cup turned decoration at base of column; spool and disc turning below urn; three cabriole legs with snake feet, notched near foot and column; legs dovetailed into underside of column; one leg cracked at dovetail joint; three-piece iron brace fastened with rose-headed nails covers dovetail joints. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1789 for Jacob Sherrill (3) (1722–1801); to his son Abraham Sherrill (4) (1751–1834); to his son Stephen Sherrill (5) (1801–1892); to his son Nathaniel Huntting Sherrill (6) (1832–1874) who married Adelia Anna Parsons (1838–1915); to their son Abram E. Sherrill (7) (1862–1924); to his son Edwin Livingston Sherrill (8) (1891–1975); to his daughter Nettie Sherrill Foster (9) (1921–2007); sold to Winterthur Museum by Sherrill Foster, 1990. Current owner: Winterthur Museum, Garden, Library, accession 90.0092.

64

Candlestand

Color photograph with side view of candlestand

64A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of candlestand leg

64B - Leg

Color photograph showing the underside of the column where the legs attach

64C - Leg joinery, iron tripod

On December 12, 1793, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Elnathan Parsons of Fireplace, eight shillings for a “Stand.” That was sixpence more than the cherry stand made four years earlier for Jacob Sherrill. In 1786, Parsons had married Urania Dominy, daughter of Nathaniel IV and sister of Nathaniel V, maker of this stand.

This stand represents the most basic type made by Nathaniel V. In order to arrive at its price, he charged one-third for each of his labor, material, and shop profit. At his daily wage of 7.5 shillings, one third of which is 2.5 shillings, it is clear that Nathaniel V could complete a stand of this type in a little over four hours of work during the fall and winter seasons of twelve hour days.

The column and cabriole legs of this stand are identical to two other surviving stands made by Nathaniel Dominy V. One, a tilt-top cherry stand was purchased about 1920 in Sag Harbor; the second is a mahogany example made for John Lyon Gardiner in 1799 (see catalogue numbers 247 and 249, WHIH). The legs and feet of all three stands were produced with the aid of template 54E that survives in the Dominy Tool Collection.

Description Height, 24 ⅝″, Width, 18″; Depth, 16″ (top)

Primary wood: cherry; circular dished top with half-round molded edge; rectangular batten, shaped from center to outer edges, screwed to underside of top; long turned baluster or vase-shaped column with turned bead decoration at top of column; spool and heavy turned bead decoration near base of column; three cabriole legs with snake feet dovetailed into underside of column; three-piece iron brace over dove tails, fastened with rose-headed nails. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Elnathan Parsons (5) (1753–1836); to his son Colonel William Davis Parsons (6) (1793–1875); to his son Julius Dayton Parsons (7) (1841–1924); to his daughter Betsy Schellinger Parsons (8) (1874–?) who married Merton Edwards (9) (1866–1948); to their daughter Mary Louise Edwards (10) (1915–?); who married Cleon Dodge. Current owner: Private collection.

65

Candlestand

Color photograph with side view of candlestand

65 - Overall view

The swept corners of this stand’s top and its spider legs provide evidence that some customers of Nathaniel Dominy V wanted Federal period forms. It was probably made in 1802 for Nathaniel Lester (2) of the Devon-Springs family branch. In 1794 he married Mary Talmage. The Lester and Talmage families were frequent customers of the Dominys. Both families used Lester and Talmage names for their children.

In the same year, 1802, Nathaniel V made a stand for Nathaniel Lester at a cost of “0-9-6” and another for David Talmage III priced at “0-10-0.” A stand with a history of ownership in the Talmage family has many features similar to this example (see catalogue number 251D, WHIH). Eliza Werner, a Sag Harbor antiques dealer, obtained this stand from a Lester family home in the Pantigo section of East Hampton. It was purchased from a member of the Lester family. It’s most likely, therefore, that it is the maple stand billed to Nathaniel Lester on May 25, 1802. Its spider legs were made using a pattern surviving in the Dominy Tool Collection (see catalogue number 54D, WHIH). Despite its massive appearance, Nathaniel V expended only five hours to complete it, ready for delivery.

Description Height, 27 ¼″; Width, 19 ¼″; Top Width, 18″ x 17 ⅝″.

Primary wood: maple; rectangular top with swept corners; rectangular batten, sloped from center to outer edges, screwed to underside of top; wide circular column, turned bead atop Doric column; urn-shaped turning atop three deep spool and disc turnings; three spider legs dovetailed into underside of column. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Nathaniel Lester (2); to his son Nathaniel H. Lester (3); to his son Benjamin N. Lester (4) (1810–?); descended in the Lester family to Barry Lester; purchased by Eliza Werner, Sag Harbor dealer. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

66

Candlestand

Color photograph showing side view of candlestand

66A - Full view

Color photograph showing underside of candlestand

66B - Underside

A simpler version of candlestands made by Nathaniel Dominy V during the Federal period, this example was billed to Deacon Abraham Mulford (5) (1748–1835) on April 11, 1807; “To Stand 0-10-0.” Ten shillings was Nathaniel V’s standard price for maple stands, charging two shillings more for those made of cherry.

The use of a turned urn-shape on stand columns was a favorite motif of Nathaniel V in the early nineteenth-century (see catalogue numbers 251 A-F, WHIH; and catalogue number 65, Appendix C). Most of the spider legs on his stands were made with the use of a template that survives in the Dominy Tool Collection (see catalogue number 54 D, WHIH).

According to Jeannette Rattray, Deacon Abraham Milford was described as “The father-in-law of eastern Long Island.” His eight daughters all married into prominent East Hampton and Southold families (see East Hampton History, pages 484–485). That accounts for the fact that this stand came collaterally into another East Hampton family prior to purchase by its current owners. Abraham Mulford moved from East Hampton Village to Southold on the North Fork in 1800.

Description Height, 27 ¼″; Width, 19″.

Primary wood: maple; rectangular top with swept corners; rectangular batten sloped from center to outside edges; edges chamfered; batten screwed to underside of top; wide circular column, large turned bead atop vase-shaped turning; spool and large turned bead atop urn that rests on disc and large bead turning; three spider legs dovetailed into underside of column. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1807 for Deacon Abraham Mulford (5) (1748–1835); to his daughter Mary Mulford (6) (1773–1851) who in 1794 married Abraham Huntting (6) (1773–1851); to his son George W. Huntting (7) (1812–1888); to his daughter Abbie J. Huntting (8) (1844–1917) who in 1862 married John Hunt of Sag Harbor; to their son Edgar Z. Hunt; acquired by Carol Oleynik from the Hunt family. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection, purchased in 2012 from Carol Oleynik.

67

Candlestand

Color photograph showing side view of candlestand

67 - Overall view

This stand, made for Jonathan Mulford, is proof that even as Federal Period styles were nearing the end of popularity, some of Nathaniel Dominy V’s customers still preferred earlier Queen Anne and Chippendale Period designs. Its column is like catalogue numbers 247 and 249 (WHIH) and 64 (Appendix C). A circular, dished top is found on those examples in addition to catalogue numbers 248 and 250 (WHIH) and number 63 (Appendix C). Cabriole legs rather than fashionable spider legs were still preferred over spider legs.

Jonathan Mulford was charged ten shillings for this stand, consistent with Nathaniel V’s billings for maple stands between 1792 and 1813. Of the 150 taxpayers listed for East Hampton, Jonathan Mulford was ranked number eighty-two. Nathaniel V applied a dark stain to most of his maple and cherry candlestands to give the appearance of more expensive walnut or mahogany examples.

Description Height, 25″; Width, 17″; Diam. (top) 16 ½″.

Primary wood: maple; circular dished top, with half-round molded edge; rectangular batten, sloped from center to outer edges, screwed to underside of top; long turned baluster or vase-shaped column with turned bead decoration at top of column; spool and large turned bead decoration near column base; three cabriole legs with snake feet dovetailed into underside of column. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1809 for Jonathan Mulford (5) (1770–1840); to his son Samuel Green Mulford (6) (1808–1891); to his son David Green Mulford (7) (1853–1936); to his son Edwin Courtland Mulford (8) (1896–?); to his son David E. Mulford (9) (1931– ). Current owner: David E. Mulford.

68

Candlestand

Color photograph showing full view of candlestand

68A - Full view

Color photograph showing overhead view of deteriorated top

68B - Waterstained top

Color photograph showing overhead view of restored top

68C - Refinished top

Color photograph showing detail view of handwritten notation reading Maud Taylor

68D - Pencilled notation

Color photograph showing detail view of underside of the column where the legs attach

68E - Underside and leg joinery

Color photograph with side view of column and one leg

68F - Column and leg

A problem confronting researchers in the decorative arts is the bias of modern owners of an antique object in assigning its original ownership to an ancestor—frequently, the most illustrious ancestor. This candlestand is a prime example of such a propensity.

A modern pencil inscription under its top reads “Maud Taylor” (see 68D, Appendix C) a direct descendant of Abraham Edwards (5) (1739–1831) for whom Nathaniel Dominy V made a stand in 1798. This stand was recovered from the East Hampton home of her brother LeRoy O. Edwards, a home in which Maude Edwards Taylor lived, thus lending additional credence to its having been made in 1798 for Abraham Edwards.

Stylistically, however, the stand exhibits the wide, heavy column and thick top board associated with stands made by Nathaniel V during the Empire Period, 1815–1830 (see catalogue numbers 251A-G, WHIH and 68A, 68F, Appendix C). Its spider legs were made using a Dominy pattern (see catalogue number 53D, WHIH).

In fact, this stand came into the Edwards family collaterally. Its original owner was Isaac Barnes, whose sister, Esther Barnes, married David Edwards in 1812. Nathaniel Dominy V charged Isaac Barnes twelve shillings, his standard rate for a cherry stand, on February 21, 1818. Isaac and Esther Barnes were among the children of Lieutenant Matthew Barnes (5) (1744–1802). Of the 159 ratepayers listed on East Hampton tax rolls, Isaac Barnes was rated at 130.

Description Height, 27 ¼″; Width (top), 19″x 16 ⅞″.

Primary wood: cherry; square top with swept corners; rectangular batten, sloped from center to outer edges, with chamfered edges, screwed to underside of top; wide circular column with heavy turned bead, incised line, and quarter-round turning near top; short Doric column; sloped disc and heavy turned bead atop wide urn; spool–double bead–spool turnings below urn; disc, bead, double incised lines and bead turnings near column base; cyma-curve indentations at bottom edge of column; three spider legs dovetailed into underside of column; as found, water-stained top and leg dovetails beginning to separate from the column’s base; general wear and tear to the stand’s surfaces (see 63B, 63E, Appendix C). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Isaac Barnes (6) (1773–1858); to his sister Esther Barnes (6) (1791–1853) who married David Edwards (6) (1781–1831) in 1812; to their son Isaac B. Edwards (7) (1822–1866); to his son Charles Wesley Edwards (8) (1852–1922); to his daughter Maude Edwards Taylor (9) (1888–?); recovered from the home of her brother LeRoy O. Edwards (9) (1876–1947). Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell.

69

Tilt-Top Candlestand

Color photograph showing full view of candlestand

69A - Full view

Color photograph showing side view of candlestand with top folded vertical

69B - Tilt top

Color photograph showing underside of top

69C - Underside of top

Color photograph with detail view of leg and bottom of column

69D - Legs

Color photograph showing underside of candlestand including joinery of legs to column

69E - Underside and leg joinery

During his lifetime, Lieutenant Thomas Baker (5) (1742–1825) purchased an expensive clock from Nathaniel Dominy IV (see catalogue no. 203, WHIH) and twenty-four pieces of furniture from Nathaniel Dominy V (see number 33A–D, Appendix C). It’s not surprising, therefore, that when Thomas Baker died, Nathaniel V was appointed as one of the appraisers of Baker’s personal property. Not including the value of his house and land, his personal effects were appraised at £195-18-0. Baker’s tall-case clock, for which he paid £20 ($50) in 1788, was worth $26.00 in 1825.

Of the 159 ratepayers listed on East Hampton tax lists, Thomas Baker ranked 84th. He paid for his purchases from the Dominys with the value of bartered goods such as woven textiles, rum, brandy, molasses, use of his riding chair and his wagon and horse, carting of cherry and pine boards from Sag Harbor, lime, and small amounts of cash.

Perhaps because he was such a frequent customer, Nathaniel Dominy V charged Baker only twelve shillings on December 25, 1813, for this cherry, tilt-top stand. That was Nathaniel V’s standard price for a cherry stand without a latch and pintles to permit a top to tilt.

Description Height, 28 ⅜″; Width (top), 18″ x 22″.

Primary wood: all cherry; rectangular top with rounded corners; two long battens attached to underside of top with screws; battens attached to square block with pintles; brass latch and keeper to fasten top to block; column consisting of turned circular section tenoned into the square block; large circular bead atop vase-shaped section; bead-spool-disc-bead turning atop large urn; bead-spool-triple bead turning above circular base section; single notch on lower edge of base; three spider legs tenoned into underside of column base; (see pattern, catalogue no. 54D WHIH). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Lieutenant Thomas Baker (5) (1742–1825). Probable line of descent to his daughter Jane Baker (6) (1769–1851) who married Josiah Dayton in 1784; to their son Josiah C. Dayton (7) (1797–1859); to his daughter Catherine H. (Aunt Kate) (8) (1836–1876); who married James Arrowsmith in 1867; to their daughter Ursula (9) (1869–?), who lived in a house on Main Street, East Hampton that was purchased by Mrs. DeBoeur; to her son Karel DeBoeur; to Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

70

Candlestand

Color photograph with full view of candlestand

70A - Full view

Color photograph with overhead view of top of candlestand

70B - Top

Color photograph with detail view of column of candlestand

70C - Column

Color photograph with detail view of legs of candlestand

70D - Leg

Color photograph with detail view of candlestand showing underside of column

70E - Underside and leg joinery

In September, 1816, Jacob Hedges, Jr. (6) (1784–1869) married Betsy Dimon (6) (1794–1844). In December of that same year, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Jacob Hedges, Jr. £3-8-0 for “1 Breakfast table, 1Kitchen Table & 1 Stand”, plus 0-12-6 for “1 Reel and 1 Trencher.” In 1817, Jacob Hedges, Jr. owed Nathaniel V £7 for a “Bureau, Woolen Wheel, spindle, &c.” Clearly, Jacob Hedges, Jr. was purchasing objects related to his new marital status.

Of the total cost of £3-8-0, this stand probably cost twelve shillings, the price that Nathaniel V consistently charged for a cherry stand. Its spider legs were made with the use of the pattern shown as catalogue number 54D in WHIH.

In the barter economy characteristic of East Hampton Township, an individual’s wealth did not always determine the value of products ordered from local craftsmen. Jacob Hedges, Jr. ranked 116 out of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists. The bureau that he purchased from Nathaniel Dominy in 1817 cost him six pounds.

Description Height, 26 ⅞″; Width (top), 17 ½″ x 15 ⅞″; Depth, 18 ¾″.

Primary wood: all cherry; rectangular top with swept corners; inscription “Clinton De Witt Talmadge (sic)” under top; rectangular block screwed to underside of top; circular top section of column tenoned into the block; turned disc-bead-disc atop slightly tapered Doric column; bead-disc-urn-disc atop four beads and a disc atop circular base section of column; three spider legs dovetailed into underside of column base. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Jacob Hedges, Jr. (6) (1784–1869) who married Betsy Dimon (6) (1794–1844); to their son, Albert L. Hedges (7) (1819–1893); to his daughter, Mary Esther Hedges (1859–1905) who married in 1888, De Witt Clinton Talmage (9) (1861–1942); acquired from Talmage home, North Main Street, East Hampton, by Eliza Werner (dealer); to Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

71

Wash Stand

Color photograph showing wash stand with digitally superimposed photograph of handwritten sign reading "Loaned by Harrison Mulford - Wash Stand"

71A - Full view and loan text

Color photograph with front view (same as above) of wash stand

71B - Front

Color photograph with side view of wash stand

71C - Side

No wash stands are recorded as such in Dominy accounts. But several identical or nearly so, wash stands survive in East Hampton Village and Township. Compounding the problem of identifying specific owners is the fact that fifty-nine of the seventy-nine entries for stands in Nathaniel Dominy V’s records are listed simply as “stands.” The other twenty were described by materials—cherry or mahogany—or as book or candle stands.

Fortunately, a wash stand loaned, and later given to the East Hampton Historical Society by a Mulford family descendant, provides a means to identify the group as the work of Nathaniel Dominy V. All but one have the same rams-horn crest on the rear panel of the splash board and the same profile to the side panels. The rams-horn crest on the exception had broken off. They also have the same turned columns, legs and feet. One example has a circular hole piercing its top board to receive a basin. See numbers 72, 73, and 74, Appendix C.

Design and turning elements shared by the group can be seen on furniture documented to Nathaniel V’s shop. In Appendix C, compare foot turnings on bedstead no’s 5A, 5C, and easy chair no. 33B; the splash board on desk 29A; and the rams-horn bedstead headboards in no. 8 with the wash stand crest rails.

Either Spanish Brown or Argal, two pigments listed in Dominy accounts, were probably used to produce the brown paint over red stain covering this pine stand.

This wash stand was made for Jonathan Mulford (5) (1770–1840) who was billed on January 2, 1809, “To Stand 0-10-0” by Nathaniel V. Ten shillings was his usual price for a pine stand.

Harrison Mulford, donor of this wash stand was the last resident of Home Sweet Home in East Hampton Village. His ancestor, Jonathan Mulford, was ranked number 82 of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists. In 1813, Jonathan Mulford served on the Board of the Northwest School District according to the District’s minutes housed at the East Hampton Library.

Description Height, 37 ½″; Width, 17″; Depth, 14″.

Primary wood: pine; painted brown over red stain; rams-horn crested splash board partially encloses rectangular board sitting on rectangular rails; rails joined to four vertical turned columns with groove and disc turnings; rectangular boards enclose drawer with turned wood knob pull; four grooved, tapered legs with large disc near their terminus. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Jonathan Mulford (5) (1770–1840); to his son Samuel Green Mulford (6) (1808–1891); to his son John Henry Mulford (7) (1856–1939); to his son Josiah Lester Mulford (8) (1890–1944); to his son (John) Harrison Mulford (9) (1910–?); his gift to East Hampton Historical Society. Current owner: East Hampton Historical Society.

72, 73, 74, 75, 76

Wash Stands

Color photograph showing front of wash stand

72A - Front

Color photograph showing side of wash stand

72B - Side

Color photograph showing front of wash stand. There is a painted bust on the top of the stand and around ten pairs of glasses on the bottom shelf

73A - Front

Color photograph showing side of wash stand

73B - Side

Color photograph showing front and side of wash stand

74A - Oblique view

Color photograph with detail view of side panel of wash stand

74B - Detail, splashboard side

Color photograph showing front and side of wash stand

75A - Oblique view

Color photograph with front view of line of three wash stands

75B/76A - Comparison

Color photograph with side view of line of three wash stands. Two of the stands are largely obscured by the one in front.

76B - Side

Wash stand number 71, Appendix C, provides the standard by which these surviving examples are assigned to the shop of Nathaniel Dominy V.

Many furniture forms made by that craftsman can be said to be identical in appearance and construction. For efficiency, Nathaniel V made and used patterns for much of his production, including wash stands. Patterns for the latter did not survive in the Dominy Tool Collection. The similarity of these wash stands, however, including dimensions, their turned columns, splash board shapes, single drawers with a turned wood knob, joinery, and dovetail construction, are in every case, identical.

A circular opening seen on the top of number 75, designed to receive the projecting rim of a ceramic or pewter wash basin, is a departure from the surviving Dominy wash stands. The rams-horn portion of the splash board’s rear panel of number 74 had broken off as noted in the caption for number 71.

With the exception of number 71 and possibly number 73, these wash stands have not been definitely traced to their original owners. All are associated with Suffolk County families for whom Nathaniel Dominy V made furniture.

Description (number 72 A–B)

Height, 37 ½”; Width, 17”; Depth, 14”.

Primary wood: pine; original finish stripped. For construction and design see number 71, Appendix C. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852), probably for a member of the Hedges family. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William D. Hedges to the East Hampton Historical Society. Current owner: East Hampton Historical Society.

Description (number 73 A–B)

Height, 30 ½”; Width, 17”; Depth, 14”.

Primary woods: pine and cherry; original finish, brown stain or paint, now stripped. For construction and design see number 71, Appendix C. This example was made without rams-horns on the splash board back panel. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852), possibly for Samuel Mulford (5) (1757–1824). On April 29, 1818, Nathaniel Dominy V billed “Samuel Mulford To a Stand 0-12-0.” Twelve shillings was Nathaniel V’s standard price for a cherry stand. Descended in the Mulford family to its current owner. Current owner: David Eugene Mulford.

Description (74 A–B)

Height, 33 ⅞”; Width, 16 ⅞”; Depth, 14”.

Primary woods: pine and maple; original finish stripped, traces of Prussian Blue in interstices. For description and construction see number 71, Appendix C. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852), probably for Chloe Conklin Parsons (5) (1746–1812). She was billed on September 19, 1801, “Chloe Parsons To Stand 0-10-0.” This wash stand descended in the Parsons/Sherrill families to its current owner. Current owner: Mary Sherrill Morgan.

Description (75)

Height, 37 ½”; Width, 17”; Depth, 13 ⅞”.

Primary wood: unknown; modern beige paint covers original finish. For description and construction see number 71, Appendix C. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852). Consigned by the Herrick family of Southampton, Long Island to South Bay auctions. According to Jeannette Rattray, East Hampton History, Mrs. Everett Herrick, with two other donors, “made the first considerable gift of books and money” toward organization of the East Hampton Free Library, in the waning years of the nineteenth century. Dr. Everett Herrick had been a President of East Hampton’s Maidstone Club. The Herrick family is related to the Gardiner family of East Hampton and the Huntting family of Sag Harbor. Nathaniel V’s accounts note “1 Cherry Stand 0-12-0” made for John Lyon Gardiner in 1809, and “1 Stand 0-10-0 “ for John Huntting in 1810. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

Description (76 – pair of stands)

Height, 37 ¾”; Width, 17”; Depth, 13 ⅞”.

Primary wood: pine; original finish covered in modern white paint. For description and construction see number 71, Appendix C. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852). Recovered in East Hampton by Eliza Werner, a Sag Harbor dealer, in 2014. Nathaniel V’s accounts record an entry for “2 Stands @12/ [shillings]” each, made for Jeremiah Miller in 1796. Probably Jeremiah Miller (6) (1748–1803). Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

TABLES

77

Breakfast Table

Color photograph with side view of breakfast table with one leaf up and one down

77A - Side

Color photograph showing top of breakfast table with one leaf up and one down

77B - Top

Color photograph with detail view of finger joint

77C - Finger joint

Color photograph with detail view of hinge and joinery

77D - Hinge

Between 1766 and 1823, one hundred and one tables were produced by Nathaniel Dominy IV and V. Of that number, Nathaniel IV listed only three in his accounts. Thirty-nine, more than one-third of the entries, are simply described as a table. The remainder were entered by Nathaniel V into his accounts according to either function, shape, materials, size or a combination of those terms.

For example, thirteen entries for a “Breakfast Table”—he never used the term “Pembroke”—were made between 1795 and 1816. But this table was billed to Elnathan Parsons (5) (1753–1836) on December 12, 1793, as “1 Cherry Table 40/ £2-0-0.” Its price was identical to a “Cherry breakfast table” made by Nathaniel V for Abraham Huntting in 1810. Its size is also consistent with other breakfast tables made by Nathaniel V.

Using his pricing formula of one-third for each of time, materials, and shop profit, Nathaniel V made this table, ready for delivery to Elnathan Parsons, after spending slightly more than twenty hours on completing it.

Elnathan Parsons resided in the area of East Hampton known as Fireplace. In 1786, he married Urania Dominy, one of the daughters of Nathaniel IV. Of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists, Elnathan Parsons ranked sixth.

Description Height, 28″; Width, 50 ½″ (open) Length, 42″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary wood: pine; rectangular top center board and drop leaves; rectangular frame; two fixed, tapered, Marlborough legs; two gate [swing], tapered Marlborough legs move on finger joints to support the drop leaves in upright position; one leg replaced; butt hinges attach leaves to center board; center board and drop leaves each made of two boards; traces of original red stain; refinished surface. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Elnathan Parsons (5) (1753–1830); to his son Colonel William Davis Parsons (6) (1793–1875); to his son William Henry Parsons (7) (1818–1909); to his son Daniel Dayton Parsons (8) (1874–1951) who married Essie Blanche Edwards (8) (1875–?) in 1894 or 1895; to her father Isaac Sanford Edwards (8) (1835–1911); to his son Irving Lane Edwards (9) (1883–?); to his daughter Norma M. Edwards (10); to her daughter Sue Ellen O’Connor (11). Current owner: Sue Ellen O’Connor.

78

Breakfast Table

Color photograph showing top of table with both leaves raised

78A - Top

Color photograph with side view of table with leaf down

78B - Leaf lowered

Color photograph with side view of table with leaf up

78C - Leaf raised

Like the breakfast table made for Elnathan Parsons in 1793 (catalogue number 77, Appendix C), each leaf of this example is also made of two boards. By the third quarter of the eighteenth century, rural and many urban cabinetmakers and joiners in colonial America began to be hard pressed to obtain very wide boards for their products. Trees producing such stock had long been cleared from local sites, thus making it necessary to make table leaves and table tops from two butt joined boards.

Except for its dimensions—its legs were repaired with splices—this breakfast table is constructed exactly like catalogue number 77. Its materials are also the same type. It descended in the Mulford family of East Hampton to its current owner. Neither he nor published genealogies, however, can provide a direct line of ownership following that of the original purchasers.

On August 9, 1794, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Josiah Mulford “To 1 Table £1-8-0” and on December 3, 1796, Abraham Mulford, Jr. was billed “To make a Table part his Stock £1-8-0.” Because Nathaniel Dominy V charged £2 for a cherry table, both Josiah and Abraham Mulford received a credit of twelve shillings for furnishing the stock for their tables.

Josiah Mulford (5) (1745–1820) was a direct descendant of Judge John Mulford, one of the original settlers of East Hampton. Deacon Abraham Mulford, Jr. (5) (1748–1835) was a direct descendant of William Mulford, another first settler. Josiah Mulford was ranked forty-four out of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists. Deacon Abraham Mulford, Jr. was not ranked because of his removal in 1800 to Southold, on the North Fork of Long Island.

Description Height, 25″; Width (leaves open), 56″; Depth, 19″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary wood: pine; rectangular top center board and drop leaves; rectangular frame; two fixed, tapered Marlborough legs; two gate (swing) tapered Marlborough legs move on finger joints to support upright leaves; legs repaired with splices; butt hinges attach leaves to center board; both leaves made of two boards; original finish probably bees wax or linseed oil; original surfaces refinished. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Josiah Mulford (5) (1745–1820) or Deacon Abraham Mulford, Jr. (5) (1748–1835). Descended to David Eugene Mulford (9) (1931– ). Current owner: David Eugene Mulford.

79

Breakfast Table

Color photograph with overhead view of tabletop with leaves raised

79A - Top

Color photograph with side angle view of table with leaves down

79B - Leaves down

Color photograph with side view of table with the near leaf raised

79C - Side

Color photograph with overhead detail view of corner of tabletop

79D - Corner

Color photograph showing underside of table

79E - Underside

Color photograph with detail view of top of leg with joinery

79F - Joinery

This breakfast table and others made by Nathaniel Dominy V after 1800, provide evidence that at least some of his customers accepted furniture designs espoused by Hepplewhite and Sheraton. The swept corners of its drop leaves and the disc, drum, and spade foot turnings of its tapered legs can be found on chairs and tables made between 1800 and 1820 in Philadelphia, New York, and the New England region. Compare, for example, catalogue numbers 92, 408, 410, 414, and 415 in Charles F. Montgomery, American Furniture. The Federal Period (New York: The Viking Press, 1966).

More to the point, Nathaniel Dominy V used similar decorative ideas on the feet of two bedsteads, an easy chair, and a breakfast table probably made for his son Felix at the time of his son’s marriage in 1826 (see catalogue numbers, 1, 6, 33, in Appendix C, and 253 in WHIH).

Between 1810 and 1820, Nathaniel V made at least sixteen tables for East Hampton Township families. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to identify the original owner of this breakfast table. It was acquired locally by an East Hampton collector, owner of a store in the Village, now deceased. She told this writer that she had obtained it from a home next door to her store, a Fithian or Edwards home. Both families were Dominy customers. Its materials, leg turnings, and construction techniques, such as the use of a drawbar to support its leaves, plus double pegged mortise and tenon frame joints, clearly identify it as an example of Nathaniel V’s work.

Description Height, 26 ½″; Width (leaves open), 38 ½″; Length, 40 ⅜″.

Primary wood: maple; secondary wood: pine drawbars; rectangular center board; rectangular drop leaves with swept corners; rectangular frame with two open sections for a drawbar; butt hinges attach leaves to top center board; four fixed, turned, tapered, legs with (top to bottom) triple disc, drum, triple disc, spool, and double disc turnings; traces of original red stain; surfaces refinished. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852). Acquired locally by Maria Brennan (collector). Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

80

Breakfast Table

Color photograph with full view of table with leaves raised

80 - Overall view

On March 7, 1810, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Abraham Huntting, “To Cherry breakfast table 2-0-0.” The table that he made for him is in marked contrast to catalogue number 79, Appendix C.

Its wide frame and the long, circular, undecorated section of its legs, gives it a much sturdier, but heavier appearance. The turned decoration on the legs is akin to that on a bedstead made by Nathaniel V only a few months earlier in November, 1809 (see catalogue number 4, Appendix C). Similar turned legs are also found on a breakfast table, probably made for Nathaniel V’s son, Felix, about 1826 (see catalogue number 253, WHIH).

By 1814, Abraham Huntting owed £7-3-7 to Nathaniel Dominy V, retiring that debt primarily by making shoes for members of Nathaniel V’s family. Huntting was ranked 100 out of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists.

Description Height, 28 ¾″; Width (leaves open), 44 ¼″; Length, 40″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary wood: pine; rectangular top center board; two rectangular drop leaves with rounded corners; rectangular frame; butt hinges tie leaves to top center board; two gate (swing) legs support open leaves; two fixed legs; top vertical blocks of legs mortised and tenoned to frame; legs have disc–inverted vase–spool–double disc–vase–disc–spool turnings, tapered cylindrical turned section, double disc–vase–drum turnings; flattened ball turned feet. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Abraham Huntting (6) (1773–1851) who married Mary Mulford (6) (1771–1849) in 1794/1795; table to her sister Esther Mulford (6) (1776–1848) who married Deacon Daniel Osborn (6) (1774–1848); to their son Daniel Osborn (7) (1797–1859); to their daughter Phoebe Jeannette (Nettie) Osborn (8) (1850–1941) who married Jeremiah Huntting (8) (1848–1931); to their daughter Florence Huntting (9) (1875–?) who married Captain Everett J. Edwards (10) (1871–1950); to their daughter Jeannette Frances Edwards (11) (1893–?) who married Arnold B. Rattray in 1925, and who was Jeannette Rattray, author of East Hampton History and Genealogies; to her son Everett Rattray and wife Helen Rattray (12). Current owner: Helen Rattray.

81

Breakfast Table

Color photograph showing a table with leaves down

81A - Full view

Color photograph showing the underside of a table with leaves in the raised position

81B - Underside

Nathaniel Dominy V made two tables for Abraham Edwards. One, a “square table,” was made in 1794, and a second, this breakfast table, was completed in 1812. Although his account book entry on July 2, 1812, states only “To breakfast table £2-0-0”, specific entries in Dominy accounts for cherry breakfast tables at the same price confirm the wood used for Edwards’ table.

A chest with two drawers was also made by Nathaniel V for Abraham Edwards (see catalogue number 20, Appendix C). This breakfast table was completed and ready for delivery after approximately eighteen hours of work.

Of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists, Abraham Edwards was ranked number seventy-six. By the time of his death in 1813, he was indebted to Nathaniel IV and V for the sum of £28-15-3. That debt was paid by Abraham Edwards and his son David with credits totaling £25-7-0, leaving a balance of debt in 1813 of £3-8-3.

Description Height, 27 ⅛″; Width (leaves open), 35 9/16″; Length, 36″.

Primary wood: cherry; rectangular top center board and drop leaves; rectangular frame; butt hinges attach leaves to top center board; two fixed, tapered Marlborough legs; two gate (swing) tapered Marlborough legs move in finger joints to support upright leaves; top center board and both leaves are single boards. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Abraham Edwards (5) (1739–1813); to his wife Elizabeth Baker Edwards (5) (1747–1815); to their son David Edwards (6) (1781–1831); to his wife Esther Barnes Edwards (6) (1791–1853); to their son Isaac B. Edwards (7) (1822–1866); to his son Charles Wesley Edwards (8) (1852–1922); to his wife Melvina Downs Edwards (1857–1939); to their son Leroy Osborne Edwards (9) (1876–1947); to his daughter Madeline Huntting Edwards (1900–?), who married Herbert Eugene Mott in 1921; to their son Leonard Leroy Mott (1922–?), who married Mary Riley Mott; to their children Sally Ann Mott (1947–?), Leonard Riley Mott (1949–?), and Peter Leroy Mott (1951–?). Purchased by current owners in 2012 at Edwards family estate sale. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

82

Dining Table

Color photograph with side view of table

82A - Oblique view

Color photograph with detail view of swing leg mechanism

82B - Swing leg

Color photograph with detail view of legs of table

82C - Legs

Color photograph showing underside and framing of center board

82D - Center board underside

Between 1792 and 1819, eight dining tables were listed as such in Nathaniel Dominy’s accounts. This table was made for Jonathan Osborn (6) (1760–1846) on March 2, 1809, at a cost of £2-8-0. Of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists, Jonathan Osborn was ranked number seventy-nine. It was described by Nathaniel V in his posting as being made of cherry. Other dining tables were frequently entered into Nathaniel V’s accounts simply as “1 Table” or “a table.” Their prices varied depending upon the wood used to make them and the amount of turned decoration on their legs. For an example, see catalogue number 83, Appendix C.

Due to their large size, many of the surviving dining tables made by Nathaniel Dominy V have six legs, four fixed, and two swing (gate) legs to support open leaves.

This dining table is part of the furniture displayed at Home Sweet Home in East Hampton Village. Records of objects donated to that historic house indicate that the majority of them were gifts from the Osborn family.

Description Height, 29 ⅝″; Width (leaves open), 60 ⅛″ Length, 44″.

Primary wood: cherry; rectangular top center board and leaves; butt hinges attach leaves to top center board; rectangular frame; four fixed legs tenoned to frame; two swing (gate) legs attached to finger joints support open leaves; decorative sequence of legs: vertical rectangular block, disc–vase–disc–tapered spool–tapered cone–disc–circular spool turnings, long vertical rectangular block ending in disc–tapered cone–disc–tapered cylinder; ball-shaped feet. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Jonathan Osborn (6) (1760–1846); descended in the Osborn family; gift from the Osborn family to Home Sweet Home. Current owner: Home Sweet Home.

83

Dining Table

Color photograph showing side view of table with leaves raised

83A - Oblique view, leaves raised

Color photograph showing side view of table with leaves raised

83B - Leaves lowered

Color photograph showing detail of swing leg finger joint

83C - Finger joint

Black and white photograph showing block knife in the process of cutting stock

83D - Block knife

Four months after making a cherry dining table for Jonathan Osborn, on July 1, 1809, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Abraham Parsons for “1 Table £1-12-0.” It bears a strong resemblance to the Osborn dining table, catalogue number 82, Appendix C.

Different materials and a saving of labor in producing it account for the sixteen shilling difference from the Osborn table in its cost. This table is made of large amounts of pine and maple, both less expensive than cherry.

The long hexagonal-shaped section of its legs relates to a process used by turners to prepare stock to be turned on their lathes. Wood turners knew that it was easier and more efficient to turn stock that had their four sharp outer edges trimmed to a hexagonal, or more rounded, shape. The tool used to accomplish that was a stock or block knife, a tool owned by the Dominy craftsmen (see catalogue number 46, WHIH). Unfortunately, as is so often the case, no clue is available to determine whether the softer look of the hexagonal leg sections was Parsons’ preference or that of Nathaniel V.

Abraham Parsons (6) was ranked ninety-five out of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists. Between 1814 and 1829, Parsons served as Town Clerk of East Hampton and was elected Supervisor in 1827.

Description Height, 28 ¾″; Width (leaves open), 70 ⅛″; Length, 47 ¾″.

Primary woods: pine (top center and leaf boards, frame); maple (six legs, finger joints); single top center board; three-board rectangular leaves with bread-board ends; butt hinges attach leaves to top center board; rectangular frame; four fixed legs tenoned to frame; two swing (gate) legs attached to finger joints support open leaves; legs with vertical block–plain disc–half round disc–spool–circular ball–large beaded disc–narrow disc–spool–tapered cone–disc–spool turnings, long vertical hexagonal-shaped block ending in disc–tapered cone–disc–tapered cylinder–circular ball–tapered cone feet. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Abraham Parsons (6) (1772–1844); to his son William Parsons (7) (1800–1846); to his daughter Adelia Anne Parsons (8) (1838–1915) who married Nathaniel Huntting Sherrill (6) (1832–1874); to his son Abram Elisha Sherrill (7) (1862–1924); to his son Edwin Livingston Sherrill (1891–1975); to his daughter Nettie Sherrill (9) (1921–2007), who married John Rogers Foster in 1945; to their daughter Mary Foster Morgan (10) (1951– ). Current owner: Mary Foster Morgan.

84

Dining Table

Color photograph showing table with leaves raised

84A - Full view and top

Color photograph with side view of table legs

84B - Legs

Almost six feet wide with its leaves open, this large dining table was made for Elnathan Parsons (5) (1753–1836). Nathaniel Dominy V charged him £2-8-0 “To a Cherry Dining Table” on January 22, 1819.

In 1786, Elnathan Parsons married Urania Dominy (5) (1765–1837), sister of Nathaniel V. Various sources place their home in Springs, at Hogs Neck Dreen, or Fireplace, adjacent areas of East Hampton. Having Nathaniel V as a brother-in-law probably accounts for the quantity of furniture purchased by Elnathan Parsons from his joiner relative. A cherry breakfast table made by Nathaniel V for Parsons is described in catalogue number 77, Appendix C. Between 1789 and 1824, Elnathan Parsons bought from his brother-in-law twenty-six chairs of different types; five chests; a bureau [chest of drawers]; stand; cradle; two writing desks; two woolen wheels; a Dutch wheel; and two trenchers. Of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists, Elnathan Parsons ranked six.

This table was acquired in the 1960’s at a yard sale in Hogs Neck Dreen by a local collector of antiques. The sale was held only two houses from the original Parsons family cemetery. Its current owners purchased the table from that collector. The decorative motifs of its turned legs and its joined structure are consistent with shop practice followed by Nathaniel Dominy V in making dining tables between 1805 and 1825. This table’s heavier turned legs, however, are a reflection of Empire period design in America.

Description Height, 29″; Width (leaves open), 69 ⅞″; Length, 45″.

Primary wood: cherry; three plank rectangular top center board; two rectangular, two plank drop leaves; rectangular frame; four fixed legs with triple disc–flattened ball–long, heavy circular tapered section–tapered cone–thin bead–single disc–short tapered circular section–thin disc–small flattened ball foot turnings; two swing [gate] legs with related turnings tenoned to finger joints, support open leaves. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Elnathan Parsons (5) (1753–1836); acquired in 1960’s by a local collector at a Hogs Neck Dreen yard sale; purchased by local current owners. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

85

Dining Table

Color photograph showing table with leaves raised

85A - Full view and top

Color photograph showing table leg

85B - Leg

Color photograph showing joint between leaf and center board of table

85C - Leaf joint

Color photograph showing portion of centerboard and short side of frame from below

85D - Underside, center board and frame

Color photograph showing finger joint on swing leg of table

85E - Finger joint

Color photograph with detail view of upper secton of table leg

85F - Leg detail

Color photograph with detail view of lower secton of table leg

85G - Foot detail

On April 3, 1819, Nathaniel Dominy V entered into his accounts a “cherry” dining table at “£2-8-0” probably made for Benjamin Miller (6) (1750–1833). It has not been possible to provide a direct family chain of ownership from its original purchaser to its current owners. Circumstantial evidence, however, strongly supports that it was made for Benjamin Miller.

The table was acquired by its current owners at an estate sale in Bridgehampton at the site of a home owned by the Vandeveer family. The Vandeveers ran an auction business. In the early 1970’s, the Vandeveer firm held an auction at the home of the Miller family in the Springs section of East Hampton. That home had been owned by Asa Miller (7) (1781–1840), original owner of a tall case clock made for him by Felix Dominy (6) (1800–1868) (see catalogue number 55, Appendix C).

According to Jeannette Rattray, East Hampton History, Benjamin and Asa Miller lived in the Springy Bank and Springs areas of East Hampton and both married members of the local Edwards family. Benjamin Miller was the owner of a very large farm extending from the west side of Three Mile Harbor into East Hampton Village. Of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists, Benjamin Miller ranked forty-two.

The decorative turnings of this table’s legs and feet are found on other furniture made by Nathaniel V (see catalogue numbers 4, 7A, 7C, 80 and 84, Appendix C). Its size, taking into account wear and tear over time, is the same as other large dining tables made by Nathaniel V. Shop practices—finger joints for its swing legs; four fixed and two swing legs; butt hinges used to attach its leaves to the top center board—are identical to those used by Nathaniel V for dining tables he made between 1805 and 1824.

Description Height, 28 ¾″, Width (leaves open), 68″, Length, 48″.

Primary wood: cherry; secondary wood: pine (two-piece quarter round corner blocks, not original); wide, one-piece, top center and two leaf boards; leaves attached to center board with butt hinges; rectangular frame; four fixed legs; two swing (gate) legs tenoned to finger joint boards; legs with narrow bead–wide bead–spool–large bead–spool–tapered cylinder section ending in narrow bead–tapered vase shape–wide bead–spool–flattened ball foot. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) probably for Benjamin Miller (6) (1750–1833). Descended in the Miller family; sold in Brodgehampton at the site of a family home owned by Vandeveer Auctions; acquired at auction by current owners. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

86, 87, 88, 89

Kitchen Tables

Color photograph with side view of table showing an empty space for a drawer

86A - Full view

Two color photographs showing details of lower and upper sections of table leg

86B - Leg details

Color photograph showing table with leaves raised

87A - Full view

Color photograph showing table leg with superimposed photograph of similar leg from previous table

87B - Leg comparison

Color photograph with view of underside of table showing mechanism for supporting table leaves

87C - Leaf supports

Color photograph showing table with leaves raised

88A - Leaves raised

Color photograph showing side view of table with leaves down

88B - Leaves lowered

Color photograph showing underside of table with hinges and supports for table leaves

88C - Underside

Color photograph with detail view of upper portion of table leg

88D - Leg detail

Color photograph showing side view of table with leaves raised

89A - Full view

Color photograph showing angle view of table with leaves raised

89B - Angle view

Color photograph showing detail view of inscription reading: C. Plyer / Hempstead

89C - Inscription

Color photograph with side view of table legs

89D - Legs

Color photograph showing underside of table

89E - Underside

Between 1802 and 1823, Nathaniel Dominy V listed five kitchen tables in his accounts. They ranged in price from twelve to eighteen shillings apiece. That range was lower than the prices he charged for his breakfast and dining tables.

Four of the five kitchen tables have survived. By comparison, they can be assigned to Nathaniel V through his shop practices, construction, similar turned decorative motifs, similar dimensions, and local provenance. With one exception, however, they cannot be traced to their original owners.

It’s highly likely that number 86, in the worst condition of the surviving examples, was made in 1816 for Jacob Hedges, Jr. (6) (1784–1869). Discovered in a barn on property originally owned by the Hedges family of East Hampton, it descended in the Hedges and Edwards families. Nathaniel Dominy V charged Jacob Hedges, Jr. £3-8-0 on December 4, 1816, for a kitchen table, breakfast table, and a stand.

The Hedges kitchen table has a replaced top and part of its frame was removed to accommodate a now missing large drawer. The use of white paint on antique furniture enjoyed a short rage among designers and decorators in the very early twentieth century. On this table, it covers original Prussian blue paint.

The legs and feet of number 87 exhibit the same turned decoration used on number 86 and on a dining table, catalogue number 82. Unlike number 86, it has two leaves supported by drawbars, a construction technique used by Nathaniel V for some of his tables made about 1810 or later. A modern coat of green paint covers what appears to have been an original finish of red stain.

Number 87 may have been made in 1814 for Jonathan Tuthill. Nathaniel V made two kitchen tables for him-one recorded on June 6, 1814, at sixteen shillings and a “large” kitchen table billed on September 28, 1817, at a cost of eighteen shillings. The overall width of number 87, thirty-six inches, indicates that it is the smaller table made in 1814.

Table number 88 may have been made for Captain Jonathan Fithian (5) (1768–1848). Nathaniel V charged him fourteen shillings on October 1, 1823, for a kitchen table, crediting him for “part his stuff.” This table was acquired by its current owners at a local yard sale held at the corner of Egypt and Further Lanes in East Hampton. On page thirty-six of East Hampton History, Jeannette Rattray notes that from the “middle 1700’s”, the Fithian family home was at Fithian and Egypt Lanes.

Lending additional credence to the table’s original ownership by Captain Jonathan Fithian is the fact that his daughter Mary (6) (1789–1866) married Harvey Osborne. According to Jeannette Rattray, the Osborne’s family home in East Hampton was at Hither and Further Lanes.

Number 88 has leaves with clover-leaf shaped corners. Its legs employ turned motifs used by Nathaniel V. They differ, however, in the use of a long cylindrical turned section instead of a long unturned rectangular section found on numbers 86 and 87. Like number 87, drawbars support its open leaves. A dark stain was used for its finish in order to give it the appearance of being made of walnut or mahogany.

Without documentation, kitchen table number 89 may be the “large” example made by Nathaniel V in 1817 for Jonathan Tuthill at a cost of eighteen shillings. It is twelve and seven-eighths inches wider than table number 87. An East Hampton dealer purchased it at a local yard sale in the 1960’s and retained it for his personal collection until acquired by its current owners. Like the other kitchen tables, drawbars support its leaves. The turned motifs of its legs were a regular part of Nathaniel Dominy V’s design vocabulary.

An unsolved mystery related to this table is the appearance of a black painted inscription, “C. Plyer/Hempstead” on the underside of its top boards (see 89 C). Plyer was a maker of blinds in the 1800’s but no link to the Tuthill family has been established.

Description (86)

Height, 28 ½”; Width (new top), 22 ⅛”; Length (leg to leg), 41 ½”.

Primary wood: pine; modern top replacement; frame partially removed for a modern drawer construction; rectangular frame; four fixed legs tenoned to frame; legs have: rectangular block–narrow cylinder–quarter round bead–vase shape–quarter round bead–narrow cylinder–spool–tapered cone–large bead–spool–long rectangular block–spool–half-round bead–tapered cone–ball foot; overall modern white paint covers original Prussian blue paint. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1816, probably for Jacob Hedges, Jr. (6) (1784–1869); descended in Hedges/Edwards families. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

Description (87)

Height, 29”; Width, 36”; Length, 41 ½”.

Primary wood: pine; rectangular center board and two leaf boards; leaves attached to top center board with rectangular strap hinges; drawbars support open leaves; rectangular frame; four fixed legs tenoned to frame; leg and foot motifs same as number 86; overall modern green paint over original Prussian blue paint; Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852), possibly one of two kitchen tables made for Jonathan Tuthill. History of ownership in the Frothingham/Youngs families of Sag Harbor. Current owners: Jack and Joyce Youngs.

Description (88)

Height, 28 ¾”; Width, 48 ⅛”; Length, 39”.

Primary wood: cherry; rectangular top center and two rectangular leaf boards with indented clover-leaf corners; leaves attached to top center board with butt hinges; drawbars support open leaves; rectangular frame; four fixed legs tenoned to frame; legs have: narrow cylinder–spool–wide bead–flattened ball–three wide beads–spool–long cylinder section–spool–narrow bead–narrow bead–wide bead–tapered vase–disc–wide bead–spool–ball foot. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852). Possibly for Captain Jonathan Fithian (5) (1768–1848). Acquired by current owners in 2010 at a local yard sale held at the corner of Egypt and Further Lanes, East Hampton. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

Description (89)

Height, 29”; Width, 48 ½”; Length, 39 ¾”.

Primary wood: maple legs and frame; secondary wood: pine top; rectangular top center and two leaf boards; leaves attached to top center board with short, rectangular strap hinges; drawbars support open leaves; rectangular frame; four fixed legs tenoned to frame; legs have: narrow cylinder–wide bead–disc–spool–wide bead–short flattened ball–wide bead–spool–wide bead–long tapered cylinder section–disc–wide bead–disc–spool–disc–tapered vase–disc–bead–flattened ball–tapered cylinder foot. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) possibly the “large” kitchen table made for Jonathan Tuthill in 1817. Purchased by a local East Hampton dealer at an East Hampton yard sale in the 1960’s. Acquired from that dealer by current owners. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

90

One Leaf Table

Color photograph of table with inset showing underside of table and additional insets showing comparison with legs of other tables

90 - Full view

When this writer examined this table at the Sherrill family farmstead, it remained as Nathaniel Dominy V made it. On January 4, 1819, he billed Abraham Sherrill, Jr. (4) (1754–1844) “To a pine Table with 1 leaf £1-8-0.” The original single leaf is in the background of the photograph and a subsequent, added leaf is in the foreground.

For identification of Abraham Sherrill, Jr. see catalogue number 6, Appendix C. This table is another example of space-saving furniture made for Abraham Sherrill, Jr. It was probably intended for use as a dining table in a crowded household that included five Sherrill family members and their farm workers also living in the house.

Its construction and turned decorative elements are closely related to those on the kitchen tables illustrated in Appendix C.

Description Dimensions not available

Primary wood: pine; rectangular top center board and one leaf; additional leaf added in the twentieth century; leaves attached to top center board with short rectangular strap hinges; drawbars support open leaves; rectangular frame; four fixed legs, one leg split at top block and repaired; legs tenoned to frame; legs turned with: disc–narrow spool–tapered bead–vase shape–disc–wide bead–spool–narrow bead–tapered cone–narrow bead–wide bead–long rectangular block section–spool–tapered quarter round bead–disc–tapered cone–flattened ball feet. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1772–1852) in 1819 for Abraham Sherrill, Jr. (4) (1754–1844); to his son Stephen Sherrill (5) (1801–1892); to his son Nathaniel Huntting Sherrill (6) (1832–1874); to his son Abram Elisha Sherrill (7) (1863–1924); to his son Edwin Livingston Sherrill (8) (1891–1975); to his daughter Nettie Sherrill Foster (9) (1921–2007); to her son. Current owner: Private collection.

91

Table With Drawer

Color photograph showing full view of table with leaves down

91A - Leaves lowered

Color photograph showing full view of table with leaves down

91B - Leaves raised

Color photograph with side view of drawer partially pulled out

91C - Drawer joinery

Color photograph showing drawer and top of table

91D - Drawer front

Color photograph with detail view of center board joinery

91E - Center board joinery

This table was probably intended for use as a breakfast table. Its dimensions are in the range of such tables made by Nathaniel Dominy V. On December 23, 1805, however, Nathaniel V’s entry for David Miller (6) (1748–1816) listed it as “To Table with Drawer 0-16-0.” It is the only table so described in the Dominy accounts.

Of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists, David Miller was ranked number 25. He inherited the house and farmstead of his father, Lieutenant Timothy Miller (5) (1713–1770), at Fireplace. Timothy Miller was a veteran of the French and Indian War. David Miller fought against the British in the American Revolutionary War.

This table has Marlborough legs used by Nathaniel V for his pre-1810 breakfast tables. In the use of a drawbar to support its open leaves it may reflect his earliest use of that support device. At some later time in its history, the corners of this table were cut, probably after the death of Nathaniel V in 1852. He did, however, indicate in his accounts why that was done. On June 2, 1825, for Sarah Gardiner, widow of John Lyon Gardiner, he charged her £2-4-0 “To cut off the ends of a Table, colour [sic] varnish, & cover with oilcloth.” Evidently, the top of this table was also covered with oilcloth at some later point in its history.

Description Height, 28″; Width (leaves open), 38″; Length, 34 ⅛″.

Primary wood: pine; overall dark red stain to imitate walnut or mahogany; two grooved top boards butted together, joined by inserted wedge; two rectangular leaves with corners removed at a later date; leaves joined to top center boards with butt hinges; drawbars support open leaves; rectangular frame; single dovetailed drawer at front of table; small circular brass button drawer pull; four fixed, tapered Marlborough legs tenoned to frame. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1772–1852) in 1805 for David Miller (6) (1748–1816); to his brother Elisha Miller (6) (1750–1820); to his son Asa Miller (7) (1781–1840), who married Anna [Annie?] Edwards (7) (1786–1844); collaterally to David Edwards (6) (1781–1831); to his son Isaac B. Edwards (7) (1822–1866); to his son Charles Wesley Edwards (8) (1852–1922); to his daughter Mrs. Maude Edwards Taylor (9) (1888–?). Current owner: Gift of Mrs. Maude Edwards Taylor to the East Hampton Historical Society.

92

Tea Table

Color photograph showing top of table with a doily and several objects on it

92A - Surface

Color photograph with overhead view of table laid on its side with the tilt-top flush with base

92B - Full view

Color photograph with side view of legs, base and bird cage support of table

92C - Full view, bird cage, column, legs

Color photograph with detail view of bird cage support

92D - Bird cage

Color photograph with detail view of tilt top latch

92E - Latch

Color photograph with side view of leg and foot of table

92F - Leg

Color photograph with detail view of joinery and hardware on bottom of pedestal

92G - Underside of base

Among the furniture made by Nathaniel Dominy V in April 1796 for his family were two tables valued at £3-12-0. One of the tables, a mahogany tilt-top tea table is owned by Winterthur, acquired from Nathaniel Middlemass Dominy (see catalogue number 255, WHIH). It is highly likely that this cherry, tilt-top tea table with a bird cage, is the second table. Until his father’s death in 1813, Nathaniel V lives under the roof of his father and must account for his productive time. The price listed for the two tables, therefore does not include the value of materials and shop profit.

That it was fashioned by Nathaniel V is certain. Its cabriole legs and dolphin feet were made from a template surviving in the Dominy Tool Collection (see catalogue number 54E, WHIH). Its column is identical to a tea table made for Colonel Sylvester Dering in 1792 (see catalogue number 254, WHIH). A stand made for General Jeremiah Miller in 1796 has a very similar column. A slight variation of the design was used for a column on a stand made for John Lyon Gardiner in 1799 (see catalogue numbers 248, 249, WHIH).

In 1786, Urania Dominy (5) (1765–1837), daughter of Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737–1812), married Elnathan Parsons (5) (1753–1836). Their newly built home in Fireplace was completed in 1805. At that time, this table was probably given to Urania Dominy Parsons by her brother, Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852).

In his accounts, Nathaniel V lists only six tea tables. One, noted above, was made for Colonel Sylvester Dering. In 1792, he also made a tea table for Elisha Osborn and Thomas Filer. Another tea table was produced for Deacon David Talmage in 1793. None of those tables have a line of descent to the current owner.

Description Height, 28″; Diameter, 34″x33″; Width (across feet), 24″.

Primary wood: cherry; two-board circular top; two rectangular and concave-shaped battens screwed to underside of top; bird-cage consisting of two rectangular blocks supported by cup-and-disc–shaped turnings; tapered, narrow, circular upper section of column extends through the bird-cage blocks; wedge through tapered upper column section; brass latch and keeper screwed to underside of top, locks top in place; column below bird-cage has: turned circular section–incised line–tapered spool–disc–vase-shaped section–disc–spool–disc–quarter-round section–disc–circular block; single notch under three sides of column base; three cabriole legs dovetailed into column base; wrought iron triangle nailed and screwed to column base over dovetails; dolphin-shaped feet rest on conforming platform. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for his family’s use; gift ca. 1805 to his sister Urania Dominy (5) (1765–1837) who married Elnathan Parsons (5) (1753–1836) in 1786; to their son Colonel William Davis Parsons (6) (1793–1875); to his son William Henry Parsons (7) (1832–1919); to his son Daniel Dayton Parsons (8) (1874–1951); to his wife Effie Blanche Edwards Parsons (9) (1875, 1876, 1877–?); to her brother Irving Lane Edwards (9) (1883–?); to his daughter Norma Edwards (10) (?–?). Current owner: Norma Edwards.

93

Tea Table

Color photograph of a tilt-top table with the top raised upright and the upper surface visible

93A - Top

Color photograph of a tilt-top table with the top raised upright and the underside visible

93B - Top raised

The Dominy craftsmen were not always consistent in making entries into their accounts. This table is a case in point. Although Nathaniel Dominy V made six entries for tea tables in his accounts, at least twice he entered additional examples as “large mahogany” or simply “mahogany” tables. For example, in billing William Huntting (5) (1738–1816) for this table on May 1, 1810, he listed it “To 2 Mahogany Tables @ 4£ 8-0-0.” To date, only one of the tables has surfaced. William Huntting was ranked number 23 of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists.

Its cabriole legs and dolphin feet were made following pattern 54A or 54B that survive in the Dominy Tool Collection (see catalogue number 54, WHIH). The tapered column of its shaft was also used in reverse by Nathaniel V on a bedstead (see catalogue number 2, Appendix C). That column also appears on the shafts of catalogue numbers 94 and 95 in Appendix C.

Intermarriage among East Hampton families frequently clouds assigning original ownership to products made by the Dominy craftsmen. Many objects, such as this table, survive via collateral descent to their current owners. Invariably, original ownership of such objects is assigned to the most prominent or significant male of the family.

According to informal local history, this table was owned by the Reverend Samuel Buell (1716–1798). He served as the third pastor of East Hampton’s Presbyterian Church. In East Hampton History, Jeannette Rattray describes him as a “dynamic character and highly successful preacher.” The Dominy accounts, however, contain no entries for the Reverend Samuell Buell. As shown below, it was owned by his third wife, Mary Miller Buell (6) (1765–1844).

Mary Miller’s father, Jeremiah Miller (5) (1727–1794) married Ruth Huntting (1731–1815). This table descended in the Huntting and Miller families to Mary Miller Buell. In her will, signed and witnessed on March 4, 1841, most of her promised bequests of objects were to members of the Condit, Conklin, Dominy, Hedges, Isaacs, Stratton, and Woolworth families. She named her cousin, Samuel Miller (7) (1781–1856) as her executor.

Pertinent to the history of this table is her bequest of “my round mahogany table” to Eliza Hedges. In 1900, Everett J. Edwards (1871–1950) purchased the house and shop originally owned by Colonel David Hedges, a silversmith in East Hampton. The tea table given to Eliza Hedges then descended from Everett J. Edwards to his daughter, Jeannette Frances Edwards, who married Arnold E. Rattray. It was inherited by their daughter, Helen Rattray, and then acquired by its current owners.

Description Height, 30″; Diameter (top), 36″; Width (across feet), 25″.

Primary wood: mahogany; one board circular top; two rectangular battens screwed to underside of top; battens attached by pintles to bird cage; bird cage of two rectangular blocks supported by four vertical, circular columns; brass snap lock screwed to underside of top; brass keeper set into top bird cage block; tapered, narrow circular section of column top pierces lower bird cage block; opening for a wedge insert in that section; column below bird cage: wide circular section–flattened ball–bead–spool–bead–large tapered cone–bead–spool–small bead–large bead–incised circular line–large circular base; three cabriole legs dovetailed into column base; dolphin feet on conforming shaped platform. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1810 for William Huntting (5) (1738–1816); descended in the Huntting and Miller families to Mary Miller Buell (6) (1765–1844); by her bequest to Eliza Hedges; descended in Hedges family to Everett J. Edwards (1871–1950); to his daughter Jeannette Edwards Rattray; to her daughter, Helen Rattray; to current owners. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

94

Tea Table

Color photograph showing side view of table

94A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of underside of table surface

94B - Top raised

Larger than the mahogany tea table made for Colonel Sylvester Dering in 1792 at a cost of £1-4-0, this tilt-top example was probably made for Deacon David Talmage (6) (1765–1822). On May 8, 1793, Nathaniel Dominy V charged Talmage £1-10-0 for “1 Cherry Tea Table.”

The current owners of this table acquired it from Jack Humphry, a local East Hampton antiques dealer. The dealer had obtained it from the Lester sister’s home on North Main Street, East Hampton. Their home was opposite the Talmage family home, also on North Main Street.

According to Jeannette Rattray, East Hampton History (page 34), when invited to enter the parlor of Lyman Beecher’s home, Deacon David Talmage would not set foot on what was probably an oil cloth carpet, hand painted by Mrs. Beecher. This anecdote is repeated in the two-volume Autobiography of Lyman Beecher edited by Barbara M. Cross, published in 1961.

The Lester sisters probably acquired this table collaterally. Deacon David Talmage’s sister, Lois Talmage (6) (1761–1850) married David Lester in 1778. It’s likely that it descended in the Lester family to the Lester sisters who sold it to Jack Humphry.

Shadow marks on the underside of the table’s top indicate that the block attached to the column’s top, and the table’s latch, were relocated when the table’s top was repaired.

Its legs and feet were made from a pattern in the Dominy Tool Collection (see catalogue number 54E, WHIH). Its battens, column motifs, and shop processes used in its construction clearly indicate its production by Nathaniel Dominy V.

Description Height, 27 ¾″; Diameter (top), 35″x 36″; Width (across feet), 25″.

Primary wood: cherry; circular top; two rectangular battens screwed to underside of top; battens relocated following repair to the top; pintles attach battens to rectangular block; block relocated following repair to the top; brass spring lock; column top pierces block; column with: circular section–incised line–narrow bead–tapered large spool–wide bead–tapered cone–quarter round bead–wide bead–urn–bead–two incised lines–spool–disc–wide bead–incised groove–long circular section; three cabriole legs with snake feet dovetailed into column base; made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1170–1852) probably for Deacon David Talmage (6) (1765–1822); to his sister Lois Talmage (6) (1761–1850) who marries David Lester in 1778; descended in Lester family; acquired from Lester Sisters by Jack Humphry, East Hampton antiques dealer; sold to current owners. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

95

Tea Table

Color photograph of a tilt-top table with the top raised upright and the upper surface visible

95A - Top

Color photograph of a tilt-top table with the top raised upright and the underside visible

95B - Top raised

Color photograph of a tilt-top table with the top raised upright and the underside visible at an oblique angle

95C - Angle

Color photograph with detail view of tilt top latch

95D - Latch

Color photograph with detail view of bird cage support

95E - Bird cage

Color photograph with detail view of table leg and foot

95F - Leg

This tilt-top tea table provides additional evidence of Nathaniel Dominy V’s busy work load. It’s listed as a mahogany table rather than a tea table in his accounts. On August 18, 1803, he billed Mulford Hand “To Mahogny [sic] Table £3-0-0.” The diameter of this table’s top is larger than the tea tables made for Sylvester Dearing (Dering) and Nathaniel Dominy V (see catalogue numbers 254, 255, WHIH). Its top is smaller than the Miller and Talmage tea tables (see catalogue numbers 93, 94, Appendix C). Its cost to Mulford Hand, therefore, falls between prices charged by Nathaniel V for mahogany tea tables and those simply listed as mahogany tables.

This table’s legs and feet were made from a pattern surviving in the Dominy Tool Collection (see catalogue number 54B, WHIH). Its column has motifs used by Nathaniel V on his stands and tea tables (see catalogue numbers 251E, 251G, WHIH; and numbers 93, 94, Appendix C).

Description Height, 28 ¼″; Diameter (top), 32 ½″x 33″; Width (across feet) 24 ¾″.

Primary wood: mahogany; circular three board top with molded edge; one board of top patched and repaired; two battens of rectangular and concave sections screwed to underside of top; shadow marks indicate battens relocated for repair of top; pintles attach battens to upper rectangular board of bird cage; bird cage of two rectangular boards with rounded edges and four Doric columns between the boards; top bird cage board mortised for brass lock keeper; brass spring lock screwed to underside of top, also relocated; tapered circular top of table column pierces lower bird cage board and is mortised to receive a wedge; column with: circular section–three incised lines–quarter round bead–spool–bead–tapered Egyptian column–wide bead–spool–disc–wide bead–long circular section of base with undercut line; notch cut into three sides of column base; three cabriole legs with padded dolphin feet dovetailed into column base; made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852), probably for Mulford Hand (6) (1776–1861) of Amagansett, part of East Hampton Township, who married Mary Baker (6) (1774–1857) in 1802; probably descended in the Hand and Mulford families; acquired on Shelter Island (also part of East Hampton Township) by a local East Hampton collector, Maria Brennan. Current owner: John Brennan.

96

Bureau Table

Color photograph showing front view of a writing or bureau table

96A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of side of drawer pulled slightly out from table

96B - Drawer joinery

Black and white photograph of a similar small writing or bureau table with extended leaves and a single drawer

96C - Similar leg

Black and white photograph of a similar writing or bureau table with a removable cheveret. Caption reads: "Fig. 71. Secretaire on stand, veneered with satinwood. The “cheveret” upper portion is made to lift off. Stamped “Gillows, Lancaster” c. 1795. (From Sir L. Twiston Davies.)"

96D - Similar form

Only one bureau table was made by the Dominy craftsmen. On April 14, 1818, Nathaniel V billed Charles R. Hand £10-14-6 “To a Bureau Table, Bedstead & Stand.” The sum billed may not reflect the actual cost of the items listed. Other members of the Hand family who owed money to Nathaniel V had their account balances transferred to that of Charles R. Hand. Those balances and Nathaniel V’s transactions with Charles R. Hand through 1833 totaled over £20. He paid for some of his account with shoes for Nathaniel V and his wife, in addition to supplying them with mutton and turnips. Charles R. Hand’s account was not paid in full until 1851.

Bureau tables were not a common furniture form in England or the United States. In his Cabinet Dictionary, published in 1803, Thomas Sheraton refers to the form as “common desks with drawers under them such as are made very frequently in country towns.”

In England they often had a separate cabinet or bookcase placed on top of a lower section. In describing it, Sheraton illustrated one in plate 23 of his Cabinet Dictionary. Sheraton stated, “They run 3 to 4 feet long, 30 inches from the ground, or a little less, for setting [sic] to write at.” (see Cole, Wilfred P. and Charles F. Montgomery (ed’s), Thomas Sheraton’s Cabinet Dictionary New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970, pp. 111–112, plate 23). In volume I of The Dictionary of English Furniture, revised and enlarged (Woodside, Suffolk, England: Barra Books, 1983), Ralph Edwards refers to the form as “Bureau Tables” or a “Secretaire on Stand” (see page 123, fig. 71, and number 96 D, Appendix C).

Drawer dovetails, leg turning motifs, and splashboards are shop process indicators of construction by Nathaniel Dominy V. Similar turned legs are on a breakfast table made for Felix Dominy in 1826 (see numbers 96 A, B, C, Appendix C).

In 1818, Charles R. Hand married Betsy D. Sherrill (8) (1797–1864). It’s possible that this bureau table was purchased to serve as a combined dressing and writing table for his wife.

Description Height (to top of back), 35 ¼″; Length, 34″; Depth, 17 ⅜″.

Primary wood: mahogany; rectangular rear splash board with edge of curved arches and cyma curves; rectangular side splash boards with reverse cyma-curve front ends; rectangular top board with half-round front edge; one long dovetailed drawer with two circular brass pulls; four legs; legs with long rectangular upper block tenoned to frame–three wide beads–spool–disc–long tapered circular section–spool–two wide beads–spool–bead–groove–reverse vase-shaped feet. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Charles R. Hand (7) (1796–1886); to his wife Betsy D. Sherrill Hand (8) (1797–1864); descent unknown; purchased from James Abbey, dealer in Sag Harbor, by the current owner. Current owner: Joy Lewis.

97

Work Table

Color photograph of a small table with a single drawer and a few objects on top

97 - Full view

Nathaniel Dominy V never referred to his “chests upon chests” as high chests of drawers. He also did not list work tables in his accounts, probably referring to them as stands. This work table was probably made for his own use. He listed it in April 1796 as “1 Stand” at ten shillings as part of a group of twenty-two pieces of furniture entered under the title “The above articles for our family.” Nathaniel V had married Temperance Miller about 1794. Their son, John, was born in 1795 or 1796. His marriage and the start of a family created a need for his own furniture, including this work table.

Between 1792 and 1813, Nathaniel V listed twenty-eight stands in his accounts, each valued at ten shillings. For stands that he described as being made of cherry, his price was twelve shillings.

The Marlborough legs of this stand are tapered only on their inside surfaces. Its drawer construction is identical to that in the table made for David Miller (see catalogue number 91, Appendix C). Both are construction techniques used by Nathaniel Dominy V. As noted below, the table’s line of descent adds additional documentation for its original ownership by him.

Description Height, 28 ⅝″; Width, 23 ⅞″; Depth, 16 ⅞″.

Primary wood: maple; rectangular two-board top; four fixed Marlborough legs, tapered only on their inside surfaces, tenoned to rectangular frame; one dovetailed drawer with beaded edges; brass drawer pull and keyhole. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for his family's use; to his grandson Nathaniel Dominy VII (7) (1827–1910); to his son Felix Dominy (8) (1860–1935) who married Mary Gilmartin; to their son Felix Raymond Dominy (9) (1887–1946) who married Mary Helen Akin in 1919; gift of Mary Helen Akin Dominy to the East Hampton Historical Society. Current owner: East Hampton Historical Society.

98

Work Table

Color photograph showing full view of small table with single drawer

98 - Full view

This cherry work table was purchased at South Bay Auctions, East Moriches, Long Island, New York, by its current owners. According to the auction house, the table has been purchased by a Long Island family.

Its overall dimensions are comparable to those on a work table made by Nathaniel Dominy V for family use in 1796 (see catalogue number 97, Appendix C). The turned motifs of its legs are like those used by Nathaniel V for other tables (see catalogue numbers 80, 88, and 96, Appendix C).

As noted in the caption for catalogue number 97, Nathaniel Dominy V never made any entries in his accounts for work tables, probably referring to them as stands. His price for a cherry stand was always listed at twelve shillings. Between 1810 and 1820, he made nineteen cherry stands for his customers in East Hampton Township and Suffolk County.

Description Height, 28 ¼″; Width, 18 ¼″; Depth, 17″.

Primary wood: cherry; rectangular one-board top; rectangular frame; four fixed legs tenoned to frame; legs with: solid rectangular blocks–small circular sections–three wide beads–vase shapes–wide beads–spools–long tapered circular sections–discs–spools–wide beads–reverse vase shape–disc–spool–wide bead–spool–ball feet; single replaced, dovetailed drawer; circular brass drawer pulls. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852); sold to current owners in 2010 at South Bay Auctions. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

99

Dining Table

Color photograph showing side angle view of a table with leaves lowered

99A - Side

Color photograph showing elevated view of top of table

99B - Top

Color photograph with full view of table with nearer leaf raised

99C - Leaf raised

Color photograph with side view of table with leaves lowered

99D - Legs

Color photograph with detail view of underside of table with leaf raised

99E - Leaf support

Color photograph with detail view of joinery of leg to frame

99F - Frame detail

On August 23, 1792, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Elisha Osborn of Wainscott, £1-18-0 for “1 large Dineing [sic] Table.” Wainscott has always been part of East Hampton Township. Among Nathaniel V’s eight entries for dining tables, this example is the only one that he designated as “large.” Of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton Tax lists, Elisha Osborn ranked 77th.

The current owners of this table purchased it from the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society [LVIS] at their yearly Summer Fair sale. Although it was sold without an indication of its original owner, circumstantial evidence exists to conclude that it was made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Elisha Osborn (5) (1769–1856). Nathaniel V’s account entry does not signify that it was made for Elisha Jr. (6) (1783–1831), son of Elisha (5). In 1792, Elisha (6) was only nine years old and the account entry would have included the designation, “Jr.”

In assigning values for objects made of wood, craftsmen followed an unwavering hierarchy. Mahogany was the most expensive wood followed in descending order by walnut, cherry, maple, pine and poplar. Nathaniel V priced mahogany tables at £3 or £4. No walnut tables are described as such in his accounts. Cherry tables were priced at either £2 or £2-8-0. A pine table brought £1-8-0. A large table made of choice striped maple, therefore, was priced ten shillings higher.

Shop processes provide additional evidence for Nathaniel Dominy V having made this table. They include: the use of Marlborough legs tapered only on their inside surface (see number 99D); two pegs used to fasten legs to the table’s frame (see number 99 F); and drawbars to support its leaves (see number 99 E).

Description Height, 30 ⅛″; Width (leaves open), 40 ½″; Length, 71 ⅞″.

Primary wood: striped maple; rectangular, two-board top; two rectangular leaves with rounded corners; butt hinges fasten leaves to table top; long drawbars support leaves when up; rectangular frame; four fixed Marlborough legs tenoned to frame; legs tapered on inside surfaces only; made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Elisha Osborn (5) (1769–1856); both Elisha Osborn and his son, Elisha, Jr., married into the Edwards families; descended in the Osborn and Edwards families; purchased from the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society (LVIS) by current owners. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell collection.

WHEELS

100

Dutch Wheel

Color photograph with full view of Dutch (spinning) wheel

100A - Full view

Color photograph with close-up view of wheel of spinning wheel

100B - Wheel

Given the necessity for hand production of textiles before the industrial revolution, it’s not surprising that Nathaniel Dominy IV and V made a combined total of 293 Dutch, Quill, and Wool wheels for their Suffolk County customers.

Identifying their wheels, however, poses a challenge. They did not label, brand, or mark them as their products. A few surviving examples bear the initials of their original owners. Genealogical research, therefore, has been used to identify some of the surviving Dominy-made wheels. Their appearance in Appendix C should result in more being identified by future researchers.

On January 22, 1770, Nathaniel Dominy IV billed Samuel Parsons (6) (bapt. 1753–1843) “To a Dutch Wheal [sic] 1-0-0.” This wheel can be traced directly from Parsons to its current owner. Additional evidence is provided by the repairs visible on this wheel [see 100 B]. On February 20, 1771, Nathaniel IV billed Samuel Parsons “to mend Wheal 0-1-0.”

Dutch wheels were primarily used to process flax into linen threads. They were versatile enough to also be used for making wool threads. Moreover, their smaller size compared to wool wheels made for ease of movement in a crowded household.

Nathaniel Dominy IV and V made sixty-three Dutch wheels between 1766 and 1818. Of that number, Nathaniel IV produced twenty-nine from 1766 to 1771 and none thereafter. He charged £1 for each one. Nathaniel V made the remainder of thirty-four Dutch wheels between 1792 and 1818, setting a price of £1-4-0 for each one.

The felloes used for the wheel rims of Dutch wheels were firm and solid unlike the thin, bent-wood rims of quill and wool wheels. For the Dominy felloe patterns see catalogue number 59, WHIH. Dutch wheels also employed one or two grooves on fly wheels to hold the cord connecting it to a flyer assembly (see 101A, Appendix C).

Description Height (floor to wheel top), 34 ¼″; Diameter (wheel), 20 ½″; Length (table), 16 ¾″.

Primary wood: white oak (felloes, legs, table); secondary wood: maple (spokes, hub, upright wheel supports, mother-of-all, maiden, tension screw, upright distaff); ash (wheel rim); foot treadle missing; three circular turned legs tenoned into table underside; sloped, rectangular table; two upright wheel supports notched at top, tenoned through table; tension screw with turned handle inserted into table end opposite the wheel; mother-of-all and maidens tenoned to circular, stepped disc attached to table; flyer disconnected from missing spindle, whorl, and spool; distaff upright tenoned to table; distaff cross arm tenoned to distaff upright; distaff missing; fly wheel of three-sectioned felloes; fly wheel felloes repaired with iron staples; ten wheel spokes tenoned to under surface of fly wheel rim; turned, circular wheel hub; axle through hub sits in upright wheel support notches. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737–1812) for Samuel Parsons (6) (bapt. 1753–1843); marries Betsy Miller (7) (1758–1813), daughter of Timothy Miller (6) (1744–1813); to Betsy Miller Parsons; to her brother Timothy Miller (7) (1760–1827); to his son Smith Stratton Miller (8) (1800–1865); to his son Timothy L. Miller (9) (1829–1873); to his son Charles Smith Miller (10) (1857–1895); to his son Gilbert E. Miller (11) (1883–?); to his daughter, Anna Elizabeth Miller (12) (?); to current owner. Current owner: Private collection.

101

Dutch Wheel

Color photograph with full view of Dutch (spinning) wheel

101A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of corner of table of spinning wheel

101B - Detail

This Dutch wheel is almost a twin of number 100. Its dimensions are identical and there are only slight differences in its turnings. Family history, with direct descent in the Miller family of East Hampton, indicates that it was made either for Nathaniel Baker in 1767 or Jacob Osborn in 1768.

On February 27, 1767, Nathaniel Dominy IV billed Nathaniel Baker “to a Dutch Wheal [sic] 1-0-0” and on February 11, 1768, he made the same entry for Jacob Osborn.

Jacob Osborn (5) (bapt. 1721–1792) had a daughter Esther (6) (1748–1765) who was the first wife of Nathaniel Baker (5) (bapt. 1743–1828). Both Osborn and Baker resided in Amagansett, part of East Hampton Township. Esther Osborn could have brought her father’s Dutch wheel to her marriage with Nathaniel Baker. Given the fact that Osborn outlived his daughter by twenty-seven years makes that unlikely.

Nathaniel Baker (5) (bapt. 1743–1828), for whom Nathaniel IV made a Dutch wheel in 1767, and his wife Esther Osborn, had a daughter Elizabeth (6) (1786–1872). She married Uriah Miller (7) (1784–1859), who lived “in the Hook” close to the Dominy’s house and shops on North Main Street, East Hampton. It’s highly probable that she brought her father, Nathaniel Baker’s Dutch wheel, to her marriage with Uriah Miller.

Description Height (floor to wheel top), 34 ¼″; Diameter (wheel), 20 ½″; Length (table), 16 ¾″.

See catalogue 100 for description. Made by Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737–1812) for Nathaniel Baker (5) (bapt. 1743–1828); to his daughter Elizabeth Baker (6) (1786–1872) who married Uriah Miller (7) (1784–1859); descended in the Miller family to current owner. Current owner: Private Collection.

102

Dutch Wheel

Color photograph with side view of Dutch (spinning) wheel

102A - Side

Color photograph with overhead view of spinning wheel

102B - Overhead

Color photograph with detail view of the main mechanism of spinning wheel

102C - Mechanism

Color photograph with detail view of the foot pedal (treadle) of spinning wheel

102D - Treadle

The current owners of this Dutch wheel purchased it at South Bay Auctions, East Moriches, Long Island, New York. Because Nathaniel Dominy IV focused his craft activity on clockmaking, clock and watch repairing, and repair of metalwork, he assigned the shop’s woodworking activity to his son, Nathaniel V, by at least 1787. Given the elaborate leg turnings of this wheel and its almost complete parts, it is highly likely to be an example of one of the thirty-four Dutch wheels made by Nathaniel V between 1792 and 1818.

Its consignor and original owner were not furnished by the auction house, but they informed the current owners that it was recovered in Eastern Long Island. Comparison to the documented wheels, numbers 100 and 101, Appendix C, indicates that Dominy shop practices are present in its construction. The fly wheel felloes were made from the patterns shown as catalogue number 59, WHIH. Its legs relate to the type of front stretcher used by Nathaniel V for a rocking armchair (see number 42A, Appendix C). Wheel spokes, table, notched upright wheel support, stepped disc supporting the mother-of-all and maidens, three-section wheel rim felloes, flyer and turned hub, all echo the same parts of numbers 100 and 101, Appendix C. The woods used and the wheels’ dimensions follow those of the documented examples.

Description Height (floor to wheel top), 35 ¼″; Diameter (wheel), 20 ¼″; Length (legs, front to rear), 21 ¼″.

Primary wood: white oak (wheel rim felloes, table, treadle foot boards); secondary wood: maple (treadle frame, legs, spokes, upright wheel supports, mother-of-all, maidens, turned table disc, upright distaff, flyer, spools, whorl, tension screw handle); rectangular treadle foot boards; rectangular treadle frame bars arranged in triangular form, attached to one leg; three legs with incised line, disc, and vase-shaped turnings support rectangular table; two upright, notched wheel supports tenoned through the table; upright tapered brace attached to table and wheel support; upright rectangular shaft attached to foot treadle and arched iron arm and axle; stepped, turned disc tenoned to table, supports mother-of-all and maidens; curved flyer, spindle, whorl and spools attached to maidens; distaff upright tenoned to table; distaff cross-arm tenoned to distaff upright; distaff missing; fly wheel of three-sectioned felloes; twelve tapered spokes tenoned to underside of fly wheel rim; turned circular wheel hub; axle through hub sits in notched upright wheel support. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) between 1792 and 1818; sold at South Bay Auctions, July, 2016, to current owners. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

103

Quill Wheel

Color photograph with full view of Quill (spinning) wheel

103A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of wheel support post of spinning wheel

103B - Wheel support

Color photograph with detail view of wheel hub of spinning wheel

103C - Wheel hub

Color photograph with detail view of turning handle of spinning wheel

103D - Wheel handle

Color photograph with detail view of table (base) and legs of spinning wheel

103E - Table

Color photograph with full view of house

103F - Dayton house

Color photograph with full view of a small workshop building

103G - Woodworking shop

Nathaniel Dominy V was the sole member of the craft family to make quill wheels. Between 1792 and 1819, he produced twelve of them.

Quill wheels were used to wind yarn on feather quills, spools, bobbins, reeds, or other hollow stems. Wound quills were placed in a storage box attached to the wheel’s table. The quills could then be placed into a weaver’s shuttle. Unlike Dutch and wool wheels, quill wheels were rotated by hand rather than by a treadle attached to a fly wheel (see number 103 D).

This quill wheel was recovered from the attic of a woodworking shop on Dayton family property in East Hampton (see number 103 G). The only member of that family for whom Nathaniel V made a quill wheel was Miller Dayton (6) (1766–1847). On September 26, 1797, Nathaniel V charged Dayton ten shillings for “1 Quill Wheel.” In 1813, on October 16, he charged Dayton six pence “To Turning 6 Quills.”

In 1797, Nathaniel Dominy IV made a “Repeating-Alarm-Tell-Tale Clock” for Miller Dayton, charging him £38 for it (see catalogue number 217, WHIH). Of 159 ratepayers listed on East Hampton tax lists, Miller Dayton was ranked number nine. According to Jeannette Rattray, Miller Dayton built a wharf in the Northwest section of East Hampton Township and built a house that survives on Toilsome Lane in East Hampton Village (see number 103 F).

Description Height (floor to top of wheel), 32 ½″; Diameter (wheel), 22 ½″ x 23″; Length (quill box to wheel rim), 28 ¼″.

Primary wood: white oak (table); ash (legs, box, upright wheel support, spokes, wheel rim); secondary wood: maple (hub); rectangular, sloping table notched on top edge near fly wheel; four draw-knifed legs tenoned into and piercing table; legs under quill box longer than those at wheel end of table; rectangular wheel box nailed together with cut nails; circular upright wheel support tenoned and wedged through table; turned bead and spool decoration on wheel support; one-piece turned hub and axle through wheel support and wheel; ten circular spokes tenoned into hub and wheel rim; bent, circular wheel rim; circular turning handle tenoned into one spoke (see 103 D). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Miller Dayton (6) (1766–1847); descended in Dayton family to current owners. Current owners: Charles Keller/Glenn Purcell Collection.

104

Quill Wheel

Color photograph with full view of Quill (spinning) wheel

104A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of wheel support post of spinning wheel

104B - Wheel support

Color photograph with overview of box containing various accessories for spinning wheel

104C - Accessories

Color photograph of hand-held wooden threaded tension screw

104D - Tension screw

Color photograph of hand-held wooden quill (spool) with small amount of linen thread wound around it

104E - Quill with thread

This quill wheel, found in the attic of its current owner, has a history of continuous ownership in the Miller family who lived in the Springs area of East Hampton Village.

Its original owner was Timothy Miller (7) (1766/67–1827). On January 2, 1819, Nathaniel Dominy V entered into his new book of accounts, “To a Quill wheel 0-12-0” for Timothy Miller. Nathaniel V made no other quill wheels after that date. None of the payments credited by Nathaniel Dominy V to Miller’s account included textiles. Referring to Timothy Miller’s account book, Jeannette Rattray stated that flax was among the crops that he raised. It’s likely that Miller used quills to roll linen thread for his own use in weaving (see 104 E).

The quill box contains spools, flyers, spindles and other accessories that could be fitted into the quill box for winding purposes (see number 104 C). A threaded tension screw seen in the box (see 104 D) was part of wool wheels owned by this family but not used with the quill wheel.

Description Height (floor to wheel rim top), 34 ¼″; Diameter (wheel) 25 ½″ x 25 ¾″; Length (outer ends of wheel to box), 42″.

Primary wood: ash (wheel rim, hub, spokes, upright wheel support); secondary woods: pine, maple; rectangular table with chamfered edges; four legs tenoned through the table; legs under quill box longer than those at wheel end; notched, rectangular quill box; circular upright wheel support tenoned through the table; turned disc, spool, and bead decoration on wheel support; one-piece turned hub; axle through wheel support and wheel; eight circular spokes [two missing] tenoned into hub and wheel rim; bent circular wheel rim; wheel turning handle missing. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Timothy Miller (7) (1766/67-1827); to his son Smith Stratton Miller (8) (1800–1865); to his son Timothy L. Miller (9) (1829–1873); to his son Charles Smith Miller (10) (1857–1895); to his son Gilbert E. Miller (11) (1883–?); to his daughter Anna Elizabeth Miller (12) (1922–?); descended through her marriage to current owner. Current owner: Private Collection.

105

Quill Wheel

Color photograph with full view of Quill (spinning) wheel

105A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of wheel support post of spinning wheel

105B - Wheel support

Color photograph showing spinning wheel tilted on its side so that the underside can be seen

105C - Underside

This quill wheel was made by Nathaniel Dominy V. It was donated to the East Hampton Historical Society before professional staff were present to prepare collection records. Its original owner, therefore, cannot be identified. Its draw-knifed legs, ten spoke fly wheel, turned upright wheel support, quill box, notched table ends, chamfered table edges and turned hub, however, reflect shop processes used by Nathaniel V (see numbers 103-104, Appendix C.).

Changes in Nathaniel V’s daily rate for his labor are linked to the price that he charged for each of the twelve quill wheels made by him. In 1792 and 1793, his father, Nathaniel Dominy IV valued his son’s time at six shillings per day. For those years, Nathaniel V charged eight shillings per quill wheel. Following his marriage in 1794, Nathaniel V’s daily labor rate rose to seven shillings per day and the price for his quill wheels was raised to nine or ten shillings from 1796 to 1808. After that date his labor is charged at seven shillings, six pence and his quill wheels fetch twelve shillings apiece.

Description Height (floor to wheel top), 35 ½″; Diameter (wheel), 23″; Length (table) 32″.

Primary wood: white oak (table, legs, upright wheel support, spokes); secondary woods: maple (hub); ash (bent wheel rim); pine (quill box); four draw-knifed legs, legs under quill box longer than legs under wheel end; sloped, rectangular table, notched at ends; rectangular quill box fastened with cut nails, atop table; turned upright wheel support tenoned through table (see 105 B,) with disc, bead and spool decoration; turned hub and axle through upright wheel support (see 105 A, B); ten turned spokes tenoned into hub and inside rim of fly wheel; bent fly wheel rim; turned rotation handle tenoned into one spoke. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852).

106

Wool Wheel

Color photograph with full view of wool (spinning) wheel

106A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of hub of spinning wheel. One spoke is missing, broken off at the hub.

106B - Wheel hub

Color photograph with detail view of the inside surface of the wheel rim, and adjacent table

106C - Inside rim

Color photograph with detail view of the outside surface of the wheel rim at the seam

106D - Outside rim

Between 1765 and 1839, Nathaniel Dominy IV and V billed their customers for 218 wool wheels. Nathaniel V alone made 214 between 1787 and 1839. This wheel was produced for Timothy Miller (6) (1744–1813) who was billed by Nathaniel V on April 24, 1806, “To Wheel and Bedstead £1-12-0.” It was probably a replacement for the wool wheel mended by Nathaniel V for Timothy Miller on August 7, 1793.

Nathaniel Dominy V’s accounts with Timothy Miller record many textile related implements probably made necessary by the fact that, married twice, his wives gave birth to seven children, all of whom lived. Three years after this wheel was purchased by Miller, it was repaired by Nathaniel V on April 9, 1809, at a cost of three shillings, nine pence. Less than one year later, in 1810, Miller bought another wool wheel from Nathaniel V (see number 107). Of 159 ratepayers on East Hampton tax lists, Timothy Miller was ranked thirty-eighth.

Description Height (floor to wheel rim top), 60″; Diameter (wheel), 45″; Length (far leg to outer wheel rim), 71 “

Primary wood: white oak (table, upright wheel support); secondary woods: maple (distaff upright, hub, spokes), ash (legs, wheel rim); rectangular table notched at both ends, with chamfered top edges; table supported by three circular legs, through tenoned; turned upright wheel support with disc, spool and bead turnings, support tenoned through table; ten circular spokes (one broken and missing) tenoned into hub and underside of wheel rim; turned hub and axle; hub tenoned through upright wheel support; bent wheel rim stapled together (all Dominy wool wheels have the wheel rim stapled); distaff cross arm, distaff, and treadle missing. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Timothy Miller (6) (1744–1813); to his son Timothy Miller (7) (1766–1827); to his son Smith Stratton Miller (8) (1800–1865); to his son Timothy L. Miller (9) (1829–1873); to his son Charles Smith Miller (10) (1857–1895: to his son Gilbert E. Miller (11) (1883–?); to his daughter Anna Elizabeth Miller (12) (?); to current owner. Current owner: Private Collection.

107

Wool Wheel

Color photograph with full view of Wool (spinning) wheel

107A - Full view

Color photograph with detail view of distaff upright (opposite main wheel)

107B - Distaff upright

Color photograph with side view showing edge of spinning wheel table

107C - Table edge

Color photograph with overhead view showing top surface of spinning wheel table

107D - Table surface

Color photograph with side view showing legs of spinning wheel

107E - Legs

Color photograph with detail view of hub of spinning wheel

107F - Wheel hub

Color photograph with detail view of rim of spinning wheel where the ends are joined

107G - Wheel rim

This wheel was made by Nathaniel Dominy V for Timothy Miller (6) (1744–1813). Its turned parts reflect less ornamentation than the wool wheel made for Miller in 1806 (see number 106, Appendix C). On March 23, 1810, Nathaniel V billed Miller sixteen shillings “To Wool Wheel & Spindle.”

As noted in number 106, this wool wheel was made less than one year after Nathaniel V repaired the wool wheel in 1809 that he had made for Miller in 1806. Frequent use of wool, flax and quill wheels and tension on their parts, accounts for their frequent repair.

Using the pricing formula of one third for labor, one third for material, and one third for shop profit, the amount of time it took Nathaniel V to make this wheel and its spindle can be calculated. Given a twelve-hour work day in March, and Nathaniel V’s charge of seven shillings, six pence per day for his labor, he invested less than seven hours in completing it.

This wheel’s missing parts—flyer, spindle, distaff cross arm, distaff, and tension screw—are probably in the box of a quill wheel also made for Timothy Miller (see number 104, Appendix C).

Description Height (floor to wheel top), 60″; Diameter (Wheel), 42″; Length (far leg to outer wheel rim), 68″.

Primary wood: (table, upright wheel support) white oak; secondary woods: (distaff upright, hub, spokes) maple, (legs, wheel rim) ash; sloped rectangular table with chamfered side and end top edges; table supported by three turned circular legs with bead at lower end, tenoned through table (see numbers 107B, 107D, the bead and a slightly smaller turning to form a foot are found on most Dominy wool wheels); turned, undecorated upright wheel support tenoned through table; ten circular spokes tenoned into hub and underside of wheel rim (see numbers 107F, 107G); turned hub and axle tenoned through upright wheel support; bent wheel rim stapled together (see number 107 G); vase and circular- shaped upright distaff with disc turning at top; distaff cross arm, distaff, and treadle missing. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Timothy Miller (6) (1744–1813); to his son Timothy Miller (7) (1766–1827); to his son Smith Stratton Miller (8) (1800–1865); to his son Timothy L. Miller (9) (1829–1873); to his son Charles Smith Miller (10) (1857–1895); to his son Gilbert E. Miller (11) (1883–?); to his daughter Anna Elizabeth Miller (12) (?); to current owner. Current owner: Private Collection.

108

Wool Wheel

Color photograph showing wool (spinning) wheel

108A - Full view

Black and white photograph of a similar spinning wheel with flyer assembly intact

108B - Comparable object

Color photograph with detail view of hub of spinning wheel

108C - Hub

Color photograph with detail view of axel of spinning wheel (with wheel removed)

108D - Axel

Color photograph with detail view of rim of spinning wheel where the ends are joined

108E - Wheel rim

On August 14, 1821, Nathaniel Dominy V billed Thomas Strong (6) (1768–1846), “To a Woolen Wheel 0-19-0” (see 108 A). Strong had apparently prepaid for the wool wheel because Nathaniel V had credited him the sum of £1-3-5 in July 1821 “By weaving 8 ½ yards of striped [?]” and “By weaving another piece.”

About 1792, Thomas Strong married Rhoda Osborne (6) (1774–1822) daughter of Jacob and Anne Osborne, residents of Amagansett, part of East Hampton Township. According to Jeannette Rattray, in 1810 Thomas Strong built the first Strong family home in East Hampton Village on Woods Lane.

His marriage to a daughter of Jacob Osborne may account for the late purchase of this wool wheel. It is possible that Rhoda Osborne brought to her marriage with Thomas Strong a Dutch wheel that Nathaniel Dominy IV made for her father in 1768, charging him £1. A Dutch wheel is a versatile implement and can be used to spin flax or wool. Rhoda Osborne’s father died in 1792, the same year of her marriage to Thomas Strong. Adding to this supposition is the fact that no Dutch wheels were made for any member of the Strong family. But on February 24, 1825, Nathaniel V charged Thomas Strong two shillings nine pence “To repair Dutch Wheel.”

Description Height (floor to wheel top), 61 ½″; Diameter (wheel), 42″; Length (front leg to rear leg), 47″.

Primary wood (table) oak; secondary woods (upright wheel support, distaff upright, hub, legs) maple; (spokes, wheel rim) ash; circular wheel rim fastened with staples (see 108 E); ten spokes tenoned into wheel rim and into one-piece large and small hub (see 108 C); wood axle pierces hub and the wheel upright support (see 108 D); wheel upright support tenoned into table; rectangular table supported on three circular legs; legs tenoned into underside of table; turned distaff upright and distaff arm; distaff, flyer, tensioner, spindle, and treadle missing (probably resembled wool wheel made by Nathaniel V for family use in 1796, (see 108 B). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Thomas Strong (6) (1768–1846); to his son William Johnson Strong (7) (1794–1852); to his son, James Madison Strong (8) (1840–1914); to his son James Madison Strong (9) (1870–1943); to his son James Madison Strong (10) (1903–?); to his son James Madison Strong (11) (1925–?); to his daughter Barbara Strong (12) (1952-), gift of Barbara Strong Borsack to the East Hampton Historical Society. Current owner: East Hampton Historical Society.

109

Wool Wheel

Color photograph with detail view of notched end of table of wool (spinning) wheel

109A - Table detail

Color photograph with full view of partially disassembled spinning wheel

109B - Full view

Black and white photograph showing a spinning wheel in a vintage room. Caption reads: “Great” / Woolen Wheels (Photo detail from Dominy House on North Main Street, East Hampton, NY)

109C - Similar wheel

Color photograph showing the insertion of the upright distaff into the table of spinning wheel

109D - Distaff assembly

Color photograph showing assembled parts of spinning wheel

109E - Mother-of-all, maidens, and tension screw

Color photograph with detail view of staple joint on outside rim of wheel

109F - Wheel rim

Color photograph showing (detached) treadle of spinning wheel

109G - Treadle

When assembled, this wool wheel resembles one made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1821 for Thomas Strong (see number 108 Appendix C). The initials ID stamped on this wheel’s table (see 109 A) indicates that it was billed by Nathaniel V to Josiah Dayton (6) (1766–1839) on August 1, 1826, “for John 0-19-0.” John Thomas Dayton was Josiah Dayton’s son. As noted below, this wool wheel became the property of John Thomas Dayton’s brother, Josiah C. Dayton.

Between 1765 and 1839, Nathaniel Dominy IV and V produced 218 wool wheels, always referred to by them as “Woolen Wheels.” Of that number, Nathaniel IV made fourteen between 1765 and 1773. His ranged in price from eight shillings nine pence to fourteen shillings for one with an “iron axletree.” Nathaniel V produced 204 from 1787 to 1839, ranging in price from ten shillings to one pound, nine shillings for a wheel plus “Spindle, ear &c.”

This wool wheel and its parts bear a strong resemblance to one in a photograph illustrated on page 64 of Newton J. Dominy, Genealogical History of the Dominy’s Family (Dublin, Ohio: self-published, 1926 and 1952) (see 109 B, C). That picture was provided by Nathaniel Middlemass Dominy and was taken in the “Front Room (Living Room)” of the Dominy house. Among the items made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1796 for family use were “1 Woolen wheel 0-10-0” and “1 Spindle for woolen wheel 0-3-0.”

Although its current owners had disassembled it for storage purposes, its individual parts help to identify other wheels made by Nathaniel Dominy V.

Description Height (floor to wheel rim top), 46 ⅛″; Diameter (wheel), 45″x45 ½″; Length (front leg to outer wheel rim), 47 ⅞”.

Primary wood: white oak; secondary woods: maple, ash; the wheel’s table has notched ends (see 109 A) like the wheels made for Timothy Miller in 1806 and 1810 (see numbers 106-107, Appendix C), this one is also supported by two legs tenoned through the table. Its upright wheel support, lacking decoration, is tenoned through the table (see 109 D). Ten plain circular spokes are tenoned into the hub and underside of the wheel rim (see 109 B). The upright distaff is tenoned through the table and wedged to hold it in place (see 109 B). One end of the axle is tenoned into the upright wheel support and extends through the wheel hub (see 109 B). Mother-of-all, maidens, and tension screw echo those found on other Dominy quill and wool wheels (see 109 E). Staples fasten the ends of the bent wood wheel rim (see 109 F). Its worn treadle is fastened into the front and rear legs (see 109 G). Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Josiah Dayton’s (6) (1766–1839) son, John Thomas Dayton (7) (1795–1874); to his brother, Josiah C. Dayton (7) (1797–1859); to his son Charles Robert Dayton (8) (1828–1911); to his son Charles Sherrill Dayton (9) (1859–1917); to his son Charles Frank Dayton (10) (1903–?) who married E. Jean Edwards in 1930; to his wife Jean Edwards Dayton; to their son [Charles] Sherrill Dayton (11) (1936– ). Current owners: Mr. and Mrs. Sherrill Dayton.

AGRICULTURAL TOOLS/EQUIPMENT

110

Grain Cradle

Color photograph with full view of grain cradle

110A - Full view

Color photograph with side view of tines of grain cradle

110B - Tines

Color photograph with angle view showing stacking rack of grain cradle

110C - Rack

Color photograph showing handle of grain cradle

110D - Handle

Between 1767 and 1848, Nathaniel Dominy IV and V made a variety of agricultural tools and equipment needed by farmers in East Hampton Township and nearby communities. The forms included a fanning mill, grain cradles, harrows, hatchels, an ox cart, a plough and plough frames, rakes, and at least three different types of yokes. Information about a hatchel made by Nathaniel V in 1822 for family use can be found elsewhere in the Dominy Craftsman Collection in “Two Remarkable Finds from the Dominy Shop”, an article that appeared in The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, (June, 2005).

Nathaniel IV and V made eighty-five grain cradles. Only one was listed by Nathaniel Dominy IV, made in 1767. The balance of eighty-four examples were made by Nathaniel V between 1790 and 1848. Their cost ranged between eight and sixteen shillings.

This grain cradle was made by Nathaniel Dominy V in 1811 for Timothy Miller (6) (1744–1813). He billed Miller ten shillings “To Cradle for grain.” In posting his accounts, Nathaniel V was careful to distinguish between grain cradles and cradles made for a child (see catalogue number 56, Appendix C). Grain cradles were an important tool for harvesting crops such as hay, flax, wheat, and so forth. Those made by the Dominys were intended for mounding crops first cut by sickles. There is no evidence for fitting scythes to the frames of the few surviving grain cradles made by them.

Description Length (pole), 51″; Length (cradle tines), 33″; Width, 23″.

Primary woods: oak, maple; secondary woods: ash, hickory; long, slightly curved, chamfered edge pole; circular hand grip attached to pole with wrought iron clasp; additional hand grip missing; arched, tapered brace attached to pole and cradle frame; five curved and tapered tines; adjustable stacking rack attached to pole and tines; made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) for Timothy Miller (6) (1744–1813); to his son Timothy Miller (7) (1766–1827); to his son Smith Stratton Miller (8) (1800–1865); to his son Timothy L. Miller (9) (1829–1873); to his son Charles Smith Miller (10) (1857–1895); to his son Gilbert E. Miller (11) (1883–?); to his daughter Anna Elizabeth Miller (12) (?); to current owner. Current owner: Private collection.

111

Ox or Calf Yoke

Color photograph showing yoke mounted on wall

111A - Full view

Black and white reproduction of a line diagram of an ox yoke

111B - Ox yoke diagram

Between 1765 and 1843, Nathaniel Dominy IV and V made a total of thirty-four yokes. Of that total, Nathaniel IV made only one, in 1765. The remaining examples were listed in Nathaniel V’s accounts.

Some were simply listed in their accounts as “1 yoke.” Others were described as “neck yokes”, “a yoke for a cow”, and an “ox yoke.” Neck yokes, suspended around the back of a person’s neck and shoulders, facilitated the carrying of buckets filled either with milk or water.

Ox yokes were most often used to harness a pair of oxen to a plow. A single ox yoke was sometimes used to harness that animal’s strength to a tread mill. Oxen were often difficult to handle for plowing fields. It’s not surprising, therefore, that Nathaniel V listed only five ox yokes in his accounts; two in 1791, for which he charged two shillings, and one each in 1809, 1815, and 1817, for which he charged four shillings or three shillings six pence.

Because of the small size of this yoke’s crossbar, it has been suggested that it was made as a calf yoke. None of the yokes listed in Dominy accounts are described as such. It is possible, of course, that one or more of those listed as “1 yoke “ were for calves. As described and sketched by Michael Partridge, Farm Tools Through the Ages (Boston, MA: The New York Graphics Society, 1973), this yoke appears to be an ox yoke (see number 111 B).

On December 30, 1809, Nathaniel V charged David Talmage 2nd “To Make Yoke 0-4-0”, the usual price of an ox yoke. Talmage was given immediate credit in the same amount by furnishing Nathaniel V with “Oak Timber for Rakes.” Between 1769 and 1817, Nathaniel IV and V made 227 rakes of various types.

Description Length (crossbar), 32″; Height (yoke), 16″; Width (crossbar) 2 ½″; Depth, 3″.

Primary wood: oak; secondary wood: hickory; curved cross bar with circular wrought-iron ring attached to center underside of crossbar; looped yokes pierce crossbar at each end. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852) in 1809 for David Talmage 2nd (AKA Deacon David Talmage) (6) (1765–1822); to his son Deacon Baldwin Cook Talmage (7) (1792–1859); to his son Sineus Conklin Miller Talmage (8) (1828–1902); to his daughter Fannie Elizabeth Talmage (9) (1857–1930), who married Charles S. Miller of Springs (10) (1857–1895); to their son Gilbert E. Miller (11) (1883–?); to his daughter Anna Elizabeth Miller (12) (?); to current owner. Current owner: Private Collection.

112

Scutching Knife [AKA swingling stick]

Color photograph showing one side of a scutching knife next to an extended tape measure

112A - Obverse

Color photograph showing the reverse side of a scutching knife next to an extended tape measure

112B - Reverse

Scutching knives were an important tool in the preparation of flax to be turned into linen threads. They were used after the flax stalks had been retted and broken on a flax brake. The broken stalks were then beaten with a scutching knife against a vertical wooden board to remove “boon”, the woody portion of the stalks.

Few, if any, surviving scutching knives—also referred to as swingling sticks—can be associated with a maker. This example was made for family use by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852), but in what year is unknown. There is no reference to it in his accounts, undoubtedly because it was a common agricultural tool and easily replaceable.

The importance of flax in the life of the Dominy family is summarized on page fifty-one of “Two Remarkable Finds from the Dominy Shop,” an article in The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association (June, 2005) which can be found elsewhere in the Dominy Craftsman Collection.

During a visit to East Hampton between 1936 and 1939, this scutching knife was presented to Newton J. Dominy by Charles Mulford Dominy (8) (1873–?), last owner and resident of the Dominy house and shops. Newton J. Dominy was the compiler and author of Genealogical History of the Dominys’ Family at East Hampton, Long Island, New York, Beekmantown, Clinton County, New York [plus Ohio and its allied families] (Dublin, Ohio: Newton J. Dominy, ca 1956).

Description Length, 24″; Width (overall), 3 ¼″, Depth, ⅞″.

Primary wood: maple; obverse: flat sides, curved and chamfered edge handle directly attached to flat sides with curved upper edge and straight lower edge; reverse: handle as above curves into thick portion of the flat board. Made by Nathaniel Dominy V (1770–1852); to his grandson Nathaniel Dominy VII (7) (1827–1910); to his son Charles Mulford Dominy (8) (1873–?); presented to Newton J. Dominy (1872–?); to his daughter Eleanor Melvina Dominy Lewis; to her son Charles Otto Lewis, Sr.; to his daughter Cathy Lewis Perry. Current owner: Cathy Lewis Perry.

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