Sunday, August 14, 2011

Shaker Furniture

Image courtesy of
My obvious affinity with Danish furniture and design makes the simplicity of the Shaker Movement equally desirable. It draws on the religious followers in The USA referred to as "The Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing'. One of the central tenets to this faith was the creation of communities where Shaker furniture was designed and made. It's purity of form and sense of restraint was supposedly a reflection of the piety and simplicity which these people applied to their faith. I'd be a very happy little convert indeed if someone promised me a house full of this refined style of furniture. Abstinence and a life of co-operative living was yours for the taking... oh, and lots of woodworking to keep your mind off the abstinence part!

For the greater part of the 19th Century the 'Shaking Quakers' (so-called owing to their extreme movements and trances during services) lived in some nineteen communities in the Northern USA. Their forms were more akin to the style of Hepplewhite and they focused their attention on the quality of the pieces they produced. It's a shame those same standards were not carried forward to the vast majority of contemporary furniture producers. I guess it's a case of economic pragmatism versus idealism. Still, I'd proudly wear the black and white garb and even learn to dovetail joints. That is if someone promised to make me a settee like the one shown above.
Image courtesy of

No comments:

Post a Comment