MAKER: Although the inscription on this secretary indicates its maker, dates the piece, and identifies the place it was made, the cabinetmaker “HRembert” has proven difficult to identify. Several Remberts lived in Upstate South Carolina in the early 19th century, probably immigrants that were descendants of the French Hugenot population from coastal SC. In fact, an artisan named James Rembert advertised himself as a “Cabinetmaker & Upholsterer” working in 1810 in Gerogetown, SC. Whether James Rembert is in any way related to H. Rembert is unknown.
A second piece made by H. Rembert, a desk and bookcase, was made for the Robert Potts family in Mecklenburg County, NC, and dated 1806 (MESDA Object Database: 55142). Rembert appears to have been an itenerant artisan who moved from Upstate South Carolina to Mecklenburg County, NC, to Burke County, NC. What we know for sure is that he was a talented craftsman, probably of French descent, who worked in the early 19th century in the southern central piedmont of NC. Until more information about him can be found, he remains a bit of a mystery.