Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Isaac Short Chair at Historic Deerfield


Photo furnished by Historic Deerfield, MA Heather Harrington and Christine Ritok of Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts.  

Collections Database Short, Joseph  Accession Number HD60 203 Credit Line Mr. and Mrs. Henry Flynt 
"Chippendale-style ladder-back side chair in mahogany with birch and maple, attributed to Joseph Short (1771-1819), based on a paper label found on the seat frame: "Isaac Short, Newburyport, Mass." Isaac was one of four cabinetmaking sons of Joseph Short, a well-known cabinetmaker in Newburyport, Massachusetts. The carved back has scrolled ears and four ladder-back slats; a saddle seat covered over the seat rails with olive green woolen moreen outlined in brass nails that have been glued on; plain front legs and compressed stretchers; and slightly flared, chamfered rear legs. The seat frame is beech, with diagonal maple braces joining the seat rails. The chair was purchased by Henry N Flynt, president of the Heritage Foundation. In the records collection the chair was said to be "found on Plum Island", which is near Newburyport, but offers no other information. This is a receipt furnished by Historic Deerfield dated June 7, 1960. 


In The Furniture of Historic Deerfield (1976), Dean Fales  refers to the Isaac Short chair. 



More information & History of Henry Flynt and Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts at the conclusion.
The Short Family Cabinetmaker Background

Isaac Short (1803- was the son of cabinetmaker Joseph Short (1771-1819) and Hannah Short (1773-1848)  Hannah was the daughter of Barnes Short and Mary "Mollie" Bailey Platts. Joseph was son of Sewall Short and Jane (Titcomb) Moody, daughter of Parker Titcomb and Sarah Little, and the widow of William Moody. Family line from David Garcelon Family Tree +Ancestry 



Sewall Short, named for his grandmother's family and who was to be the first of the many Shorts to practice the craft of a cabinetmaker in Newburyport. His 1st wife Jane Brown died on August 30, 1761. The following spring of on March 21, 1762, Sewall married Jane Moody, widow of William Moody born Dec 1736 in Newbury, MA. Administration of his Estate and Guardianship of his only daughter fathered with Jane Moody, Sarah was given to Jane Short in 1773. Also, Michael Titcomb is listed as a bondsman, brother to Jane. See The descendants of Henry Sewall (1576-1656) of Manchester and Coventry, England, and Newbury and Rowley, Massachusetts the family in England and the first six generations in North America by Eben W. Graves 2007



Marriage Intentions Joseph Short and Hannah Short recorded Town Records April 6 1790 and Marriage May 7 1790.

Joseph Short fathered five cabinet markers and documented evidence of their work appears in day books housed at Peabody Essex Museum and Historic New England. Other documented sources and examples of furniture are referenced in Antiques Magazine, newspapers archives, Israel Sack Volumes, Yale University, Historic New England, Winterthur Museum, Newbury Museum and numerous historical societies. 
Joseph's sons include George, Charles, Daniel, Stephen, and Isaac. Some moved to Haverhill, Massachusetts and set up shops in furniture making and restoration. Note: birth date error in Rolfe papers (image below) for Joseph Short should be 1771 not 1791. see link on The Short family Cabinetmaker Story




Isaac would follow his brothers after his marriage around 1827. However, he appears in an entry in George Short's account book and in town records receipts as noted by both Martha Fales in "The Shorts, Newburyport Cabinetmakers" and Dean Fales in Furniture Historic Deerfield and Henry Flynt.
Isaac Short married married Mary Ann Burroughs (1808-1856) daughter of William Burroughs and Mary Polly Chase Huse. Mary Huse, daughter of Lt Samuel Huse** and Sarah Hale) Both Huse and Burroughs are listed as joiners and cabinetmakers in census and newspaper ads. The Hews/Huse family were part of the Old Newbury settlers group. Samuel Huse and Eliza Colby, his wife. Samuel Huse, Jr., and Sarah Dole Cross, daughter of Samuel Huse and Sarah Hale, his wife. Samuel Huse, (1744-1820), was a minute man at the Lexington Alarm and commanded a company at the battle of Bemus Heights. He fought along side of Moses Short.




Town and City Clerks of Massachusetts. Massachusetts Vital and Town Records. Death of William Burroughs records show born in Concord, New Hampshire. 

From "Lieutenant Joshua Hewes: A New England Pioneer, and Some of His Descendants Volume 1" by Eben Putnam A reference to Short and Huse Family connection





Delaware, Crafts person Files, 1600-1995. Card File of American Crafts people, 1600-1995. The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Inc. Winterthur, Delaware.


A Directory Furniture-makers of Newburyport, Massachusetts listed in The Magazine Antiques 1945 Mabel M Swan article "Newburyport Furnituremakers." Isaac is not listed here.






Joseph Short Shop reference to Hooper Clothing Store Impartial Herald Newburyport 



A reference to Joseph Short's shop on wharf August 15 1860 Newburyport Daily Herald. Martha Fales in her article "The Shorts, Newburyport Cabinetmakers," published in Essex Institute Historical Collections (July 1966) references Mahogany pieces from the day books of both George and Joseph Short. 

Recipe--Stain for Wood--From the George and Joseph Short Day Book 

Sewall Short ref in The Furniture of our Forefathers by Esther Singleton 1901  



Examples of Labels of School of Joseph Short Keno Auctions Important Americana, Paintings, and Decorative Arts Sale January 17, 2012

Examples attributed to School of Joseph Short

CHARLTON HALL Sale 270 Lot 133 Sold for US $1,100 Pair Chippendale mahogany ladderback side chairs, Newburyport, Massachusetts circa 1790, school of Joseph Short, serpentine crest and pierced slats, over-upholstered seat on straight bead-and-channel legs. BH37 3/4" SH19 1/2" W21" D19 1/4" (2pcs) Provenance: Savannah, Georgia private collection Literature: Butler, Joseph T. FIELD GUIDE TO AMERICAN ANTIQUE FURNITURE. New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1985. p.106 See Catalogue 85th Anniversary Auction of Charlton Hall.


Pair of Chippendale Chairs Photo from Leon Doucette, Curatorial Assistant Cape Ann Museum Gloucester, Massachusetts Gift of Margaret Farrell Lynch, a trustee  of the Cape Ann Historical Association in Gloucester presented in 1967. The chair was made about 1780 Ref: 1987 Historic New England Survey David H Mitchell. Margaret Lynch was wife of the late Dr. George W. Lynch and the late Henry D. Schmidt.







Photos from Burchard Galleries Auction Catalog JOSEPH SHORT COUNTRY CHIPPENDALE SIDE CHAIR: Arched crest, pierced carved vertical splats with center medallion, parquetry inlay follows the outline of the crest and legs. Needlepoint cover for seat. Offered from the estate of a direct descendant of the Short family of Newbury Mass. Handwritten note on the chair says the rest of the set of chairs were given to the S.P.N.E.A. (Now Historic New England) by Henry, husband of Harriette Short, and are in the "Short House" in Old Newbury. There is a photo of the same chair in Mabel M. Swan's article  "Newburyport Furnituremakers" published in The Magazine Antiques April 1945.  

This was another family heirloom also in the possession of Henry C Short, husband of Harriet. It was a wedding chest noted in an article sent to me via Historic New England Old Time New England Volume 29 No 3 1938 see also Pilgrim Century Furniture




Also see Frank B Rhodes Furniture Restoration  Original Chippendale Carved Armchair attributed to Joseph Short Newbury Port, MA c. 1790





From Newspapers and Periodicals. American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts. Digitized Content from the American Antiquarian Society.

Photo from descendant Laurie Short Jarvis and Short family tree on Ancestry.Com 

Death Notice of Mary Ann Burroughs Short, wife of Isaac Short from Newburyport Daily Herald September 9, 1856 Digital Archives online Newburyport Archival Center and the Newburyport Public Library. 

Rock Bridge is on Boston Rd, Newbury. Short's Hollow, Short's Creek and the original Short Lands all in that general area. Sent in by Laurie Short Jarvis

Sarah Smith Emery in Reminiscences of a Newburyport Nonagenarian notes A Celebration dinner on the fiftieth anniversary of American Independence , furnished by Messrs. Tyler & Cook, served in Market Hall. A toast from 
Mr. Moses Short, "The tree of liberty, watered by the blood of the Revolution— may our children suffer no canker worms to injure its sacred leaves." More on Moses Short and Newburyport History: Recalling Civil , Revolutionary War veterans from Newburyport area
Historic Deerfield, Massachusetts 


























A Big Thanks to Laurie Short Jarvis and David C Garcelon for all the research help! Sources to Consult
  • Confederate Veteran, Volume 13
  • "The Shorts, Newburyport Cabinetmakers" Martha Fales
  • Proceedings of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of the State of New Hampshire 1879
  • The Joseph Downs Collection and the Winterthur Archives
  • No. 849 Chippendale mahogany armchair with Gothic interlaced splat, square legs with serpentine moulding, serpentine scooped arms, arm supports with scrolled base in the manner of Joseph Short. Opportunities in American Antiques, Issue 14 Israel Sack 1966 
  • BEST Chippendale mahogany armchair, Newburyport, Mass., circa 1750- 1780. A choice and rare armchair by Joseph Short, a well-known Newburyport cabinetmaker. Five Points of American Furniture Albert Sack 1950
  • "Fifty Years of Collecting for Historic Deerfield" Donald Friary for Sack Heritage Group 
  • Historical and Genealogical Researches and Recorder of Passing Events of Marrimack Valley, Volume 1 Alfred Poore, 1858
  • Old Deerfield Exhibit Focus of Antiques Show, Barbara Meyer Florida Today Wire Report June 28 1998
  • Magazine Antiques, Volume 89 1966 on the Flynts restoration of the Wells-Thorn house and "Early American Life" Cowles Magazine 1989
  • The Independent October 19 1970
  • Portsmouth Herald January 5 1951 
  • Newburyport Herald (Newburyport, Massachusetts) May 8 1846
  • Centuries and styles of the American chair, 1640-1970 Robert Charles Bishop Dutton Publications, 1972
  • In Praise of Massachusetts Chairs from Streets of Salem Blog 

      1 comment:

      1. Dear Melissa,

        Thank you for sharing! This is wonderfully extensive. Congratulations!

        All the best,
        Christine

        ReplyDelete