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Macy, Henry __Attributed to
Place Made:
Guilford County North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
walnut –poplar
HOA 31-3/4″; WOA 21-7/8″ at legs; 20″ at frame; DOA 17-5/8″ at legs; 15-5/8″ at frame
Accession Number:
DESCRIPTION: Cellaret: Has four exuberant cabriole legs with slipper feet above thin disks; frame has slight double bead at front corners and single bead at rear corners and bottom of base; inserted into the frame are two adjacent, lip-molded drawers beneath the bottle box; an applied molding separates the box from the base; box joinery has open dovetailing which shows on the side at front corners, at back on the back corners; box is permanently attached to base; box originally divided for 12 bottles by partitions only about 1″ high and located at approximately center of the box height, only fragments remain; front is decorated with applied curved quarter fans; lid has molded sliding dovetail battens on each side; strap hinges.

FORM: Though common in eastern North Carolina, few cellarets from the state’s piedmont region are known.

MAKER: This cellaret’s cabriole legs, slipper feet, and applied quarter fans, all speak to its regional style and a body of cabinet work formerly associated with Jesse Needham, but now attributed to the Quaker cabinetmaker Henry Macy (1773-1846). Macy was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, but in 1785 migrated with his family to southern Guilford County. They settled on Polecat Creek, near the Randolph County line and very near Center Monthly Meeting.

Henry Macy’s cellaret probably reflects the influence of eastern North Carolina Quakers and their family relations who migrated to the region in the 1780s and 90s. This group included, most importantly, Frederick Fentress (1791-1874), whose family was originally from Pasquotank County but settled in northern Randolph County around 1790. Fentress apprenticed in Macy’s shop and later worked as a journeyman. In 1815 he married Macy’s eldest daughter Sarah.

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