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Explore nineteenth-century sectional furniture design, construction and use through the detailed field notes and on-the-spot photographs of long-time furniture collector and historian Hal Stuart. For more than a decade, Mr. Stuart studied a unique Virginia furniture form that was divided by families, obscured by vague description, and nearly wiped-out by the American Civil War. His discoveries are derided by many in the antique and decorative arts trades as trivial. Even Antiques Roadshow turned its back on the man and his findings when they brought their show to Richmond, Virginia. Now you can judge for yourself the veracity of the story behind 17 different antebellum Virginia sectional sofas and settees, and their unique connections to American and Virginia history. Below is some of what other people are saying and or writing about his work:
Oscar Fitzgerald, author of American furniture: 1650 to the Present, “Gilbert Rohde and/or Donald Deskey often get credit for inventing the form so I delight in sharing your information with the class.”
Eve Kahn, “Antiques,” New York Times, “He has delved so deeply into the research that he has replicated the reddish finishes on sofas, by mixing red brick dust with lemon juice, linseed oil vinegar, and buttermilk.”
Mark Wenger, Architectural Historian, “You have really opened up a can of worms with this thing. Carry on!!!”
Payne B. Tyler, Sherwood Forest Plantation, “Oddly fascinating.”
About the Author
Hal Stuart was brought up in a military family and traveled extensively first with his family and then on his own. At five years old, his father took him to his first museum, Memorial Hall, in Deerfield, Massachusetts. From his earliest years, he grew to enjoy history, as well as the decorative, graphic, and functional arts of design. He is even known to like obsolete furniture and instruments, such as slant-topped desks and tall case clocks. Mr. Stuart is a retired military officer and civil servant who served in both the Departments of the Air Force and Navy. He once dabbled in real estate as a broker. He now lives with his wife, Laura, in a historic plantation house in the Tidewater Region of Virginia. The Stuarts share their home with two rescued hunting dogs: Duchess and Hail. This is the author's first book, even though his research on Virginia sectional furniture was reported nationally by the New York Times, Maine Antique Digest, and in newspapers regionally, such as The Free Lance Star. Mr. Stuart's next major research project will concern Anglo-American artist Gilbert Charles Stuart.
Note: We are saddened to announce that Hal Stuart passed away in November 2022. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Published by Written Words Publishing LLC, 2019
Softcover ISBN: 978-1-7332357-0-9
eBook ISBN: 978-1-7332357-1-6
8 1/2 x 11 inches, 254 pages (over 150 photographs)
1. Anglo-American Military Campaign Furniture. 2. American Federalist Period. 3. Neo-classical Period. 4. Antebellum Virginia. 5. Green & Brothers Steam Furniture Works. 6. Alexandria, Virginia. 7. Thomas Day. 8. Presidents-United States. 9. Political Parties-United States. 10. Supreme Court-United States. 11. American Civil War. 12. Reconstruction. 13. High Modern and Post-Modern Eras. 14. Sectional Furniture. 15. Upholstered Seating. 16. Child Labor. 17. Slave Labor.
5 STAR REVIEW
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