I spent last weekend in Winston Salem, NC at the Mid-Year Conference of the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) being held appropriately at the Museum of Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA). I was surrounded by fancy furniture and the people who curate fancy furniture and people who make fancy furniture.

There were two hours with no scheduled events on Friday. I assume this was to allow members to visit some of the other buildings and exhibits at Old Salem. Being a member and frequent visitor, I sought alternate ways to be informed and enlightened. There is an antiques mall just down the road that by design or happenstance is the best place for primitive furniture in the area.

I went.

There was much there that new and wonderous. There was this plantation desk:

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A plantation desk, another flexible term with many definitions and no real meaning. Google it.

What makes this one unique is that it has been remodeled. A previous owner decided that the writing surface angle was not to their liking and modified it. They added a wedge of wood to change the angle.

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Not elegant but functional.

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The interior view isn’t any more satisfying.

I believe there is a chair under there:

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I hope it wasn’t unique or one of a kind . We will never know.

There were two step back (stepback?) cupboards that caught my eye. First is this cupboard/pie safe:

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An uncommon configuration.

The tins are interesting:

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A touching image but I don’t believe the date is accurate.

The other cupboard is this Eastlake’esque unit:

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The pediment and wood choices make me think Eastlake.

What makes this one interesting is the shelf support system:

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Not saw tooth or dados but rounded shelf supports fitted into matching supports.

The supports are very easy to make. Take two 4″ wide boards and using your favorite hole installing device, drill a series of holes through the stacked boards on the centerline at an appropriate spacing. Then just rip the boards on the centerline and you have your four supports.

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See how simple period furniture can be.

The back is rough boards just nailed on:

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with an odd hole caused by a rodent or an individual wanting to plug in the mixer.

There was this very serious looking chair:

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A chair I would prefer not to sit in.

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Was this a commercial product of a user made product?

And a Boston rocker:

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Or is it a waterfall rocker.

I have seen similar rockers called either Boston or waterfall and dissimilar chairs identified as Boston or waterfall. I still  think we need some federal regulations leading to a standardized set of furniture terminology and nomenclature. We would all be better for it but I do not believe anything so useful should be expected from the current Congress.

There needs to be some form of workbench at any antiques mall dealing in primitives:

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Not much but it meet the requirement.

Here is a primitive settle or the back half of a tiny house:

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Thos. Moser does not make one of these.

It’s been a while, but here is a woven gout rocker:

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Rolling pin sold separately.