Shaker Cherry and Birch Adjustable Lightstand, Church family, New Lebanon, New York, c. 1820, rectangular top with rounded edge adjusts on a turned, slightly swelled post with shaped, turned set screw, on a disk with three turned splayed legs, old dark surface, (imperfections), ht. 24 3/4, wd. 12 1/2, lg. 18 1/8 in.
Literature: Shaker Furniture: The Craftsmanship of an American Communal Sect, by Edward Deming Andrews and Faith Andrews (Connecticut: Yale University Press, 1937), plate 12, p. 74; The Magazine Antiques, May 1979; and Gather Up the Fragments, p. 171.
Exhibitions: Whitney Museum, 1935, #14. Juliana R. Force was a major early advocate of the Andrewses and their mission to bring Shaker culture to the attention of the American public. Force gave the Andrewses free reign to design and mount an exhibition at the Whitney Museum, where she served as Director. The exhibit, Shaker Handicrafts, ran from November 12 to December 12, 1935.
Note: The Andrewses published a short essay, together with a fifteen-page checklist of the Whitney show, that is one of the earliest Shaker exhibit catalogs. "Shaker Handicrafts" was favorably noticed in both the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor, and furthered the Andrewses' mission of promoting Shaker culture.
This is one of a number of stands acquired by the Andrewses at the Church Family. The top on this example can be raised and held in place by a set-screw. Very similar wooden screws are found on Shaker window stops and yarn swifts. The finish is a dark paint. The unusual round wooden block that forms the base is 2 1/4 in. thick and has a diameter of 10 in. The splayed feet are mortised into the broad, chamfered edge of the base.
Provenance: The Andrews Shaker Collection.
Top was split in half and another crack half the wd. of the top, evidence of an earlier brace, top with stains, cracks through base.
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