1970.10 | Chair

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(Attributed to / Attribué à) James Knox and Willi
About 1875, 19th century
103 x 59.5 x 52 cm
Gift of Florence Allison Coombes
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

Wherever there are trading seaports such as Saint John, St. Andrews or Miramichi, there is constant exposure to the world. Early in the 19th century, numerous immigrant craftsmen, including Thomas Nisbet, Alexander Lawrence, and Daniel Green, arrived in New Brunswick and established themselves as cabinetmakers. These men showcased the latest styles and foreign influences in their fine-quality furniture. Their legacy extended into the later half of the century with several cabinetmakers producing superior quality items in the latest fashion.

The sale of such exceptional pieces was not limited to the urban centres of production, but extended up the river valleys into the interior of the province. Prosperous farmers, lumbermen and businessmen of the interior decorated their homes with many of the same items found in the homes of the wealthy coastal residents, such as this chair, thanks to the easy shipment of goods by riverboat.

Source : Window on the World: The Rivers of New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    The chair is made of walnut and maple with a needlepoint seat.

  • Where

    Knox and Thompson produced an extensive list of fine furniture for the Maritimes market.

  • When

    Established in 1848, the Knox and Thompson firm seems to have gone out of business around the time of the Great Fire of Saint John in 1877.

  • Who

    This chair is attributed to James Knox and William Thompson, who operated a furniture business in Saint John in the mid-19th century.