"The Neatest Pieces of Any Description": Furniture of Piedmont North Carolina, 1780-1860

Piedmont North Carolina

North Carolina’s Piedmont region is known around the world for the manufacture of fine furniture.  However, long before the factories of Lexington, Thomasville, Hickory, and High Point came into existence, the Piedmont was home to a diverse group of cabinetmakers who crafted distinctive regional furniture.

By the middle of the eighteenth century, immigrants from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia began pouring into the North Carolina Piedmont in search of inexpensive yet fertile land.  By 1800 about 250,000 Scotch-Irish, English, and German settlers called the region home.  Cabinetmakers immediately utilized the abundant walnut, cherry, pine and poplar trees to produce well-made, stylish furniture for their homes.  In most cases, these craftsmen combined national trends with local idiosyncratic preferences to produce regional furniture with a distinctive style and appearance.

This exhibit is drawn from MESDA’s extensive collection of Piedmont North Carolina furniture made between 1780 and 1860.

This exhibition was on view at MESDA from view November 13, 2010 through Fall 2011.