Collections › MESDA Collection › Corner Cupboard

Corner Cupboard

Artist/Maker:
Crawford, Moses __Attributed to
Place Made:
Knox County Tennessee United States of America
Date Made:
1790-1810
Medium:
walnut –poplar –yellow pine
Dimensions:
HOA: 101 1/4″; WOA: 56 1/2″; DOA: 23 1/2″ __101 1/4″ __ __56 1/2″ __23 1/2″
Accession Number:
5422
Description:
DESCRIPTION: Corner cupboard molded broken pediment with dentil molding terminating in carved rosettes, central carved plinth and original carved finial; arched panel doors over cockbeaded drawers flanked by quarter-columns; top case sits inside mid-molding of lower case; lower case two paneled doors flanked by quarter-columns; bed molding and no feet; physical evidence suggests there never were feet on this cupboard; top case interior divided by three shelves; vertical back boards; and doors are mortise and tenon construction.

MAKER: This corner cupboard is the earliest piece of Tennessee furniture that can be attributed to a specific maker.
During the late 18th century numerous Scotch-Irish Presbyterian families migrated from the Valley of Virginia to settlements near present-day Knoxville, Tennessee. Among these early settlers were John Crawford (1756-1831), the first owner of this cupboard, and Moses Crawford (1743-1819) its maker. Both men were born in Augusta County, Virginia, and moved westward to Tennessee by 1780. The two Crawford men were kin and lived on adjacent farms.

This cupboard’s form and decoration – particularly its pediment with a semi-filled tympanum – speak to the influence of the Shenandoah Valley on early Tennessee furniture.

For more information on this cupboard and Moses Crawford see:
C. Tracey Parks, “Moses Crawford: Tennessee’s Earliest Cabinetmaker Revealed” in “The Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts” (http://www.mesdajournal.org/2013/moses-crawford-tennessees-earliest-cabinetmaker-revealed/)

History:
Probably made for John Crawford’s (1756-1831) two-story log house on Whites Creek, Knox County, Tennessee.

For a complete provenance see:
C. Tracey Parks, “Moses Crawford: Tennessee’s Earliest Cabinetmaker Revealed” in “The Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts” (http://www.mesdajournal.org/2013/moses-crawford-tennessees-earliest-cabinetmaker-revealed/)

Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund