Reviews / Comptes rendus - Canadian Furniture: - An Annotated Bibliography

Reviews / Comptes rendus

Canadian Furniture:

An Annotated Bibliography

W. John McIntyre
Seneca College, King Campus, King City, Ontario
Janet Houghton McIntyre
Freelance researcher and consultant

1 Scholarly interest in Canadian furniture is a relatively new phenomenon. That statement will come as no surprise to the material historian. A more general audience, however, might be surprised that furniture should attract scholarly interest at all. It is still difficult to explain to people outside the museum field why anyone would want to spend time crawling under tables and chairs looking for labels or perform any of the other acrobatic and uncomfortable tasks required in studying furniture. The householder whose life is disrupted by researchers who insist on emptying drawers or taking beds apart is likely to run out of patience. Traditional historians will scoff at their colleagues who insist on studying Sir John A. Macdonald's desk in preference to analyzing a letter Sir John A. wrote while seated there. They have every right to scoff. Until recently there has been little to suggest that Canadian furniture historians are concerned with anything more than nostalgia or sentiment or that their research might in any way be relevant to the mainstream of Canadian historical writing.

2 Other than those early adventurers, travellers, missionaries, or settlers who described their surroundings, the first to write about Canadian furniture were the journalists filling the pages of late nineteenth-century periodicals with romantic pictures of home life for the enjoyment of a new leisure class. Occasional articles in the Canadian Illustrated News, "Life in the Backwoods of Canada" from the American Atlantic Monthly or "Winter Life in Quebec" from Chambers's Edinburgh Journal provided glimpses of old- fashioned furniture as part of an evocative rural setting. When the York Pioneers moved the Scadding Cabin to the Toronto Exhibition grounds in 1879, they sought to preserve something of a way of life which even then had all but disappeared. They paid tribute to the early pioneers of Ontario as they gathered furniture and other artifacts for what was probably Canada's first historic house museum. When Toronto's Colborne Lodge opened in 1896, complete with much of its original furniture, its visitors may have experienced a refreshing dose of nostalgia, but little more.

3 In 1894 Canada's first periodical for the furniture trade was issued. Entitled The Furniture Journal of Canada, it reported on items of interest to furniture factories and retailers rather than on historical or antiquarian concerns. While it continued publication until 1927 and one day may provide a fruitful source for researchers of technology and trade, no copies are known to exist in any Canadian library.

4 Among the first books to deal with early Canadian furniture — and a variety of other artifacts as well — was the anonymous Pen Pictures of Early Pioneer Life in Upper Canada, published in 1905. It too evoked nostalgia, but provided information on vanishing household crafts and practices which later was revised and used by social historians such as Edwin C. Guillet.

5 The 1920s and 1930s brought a new approach. In the United States widespread interest in antique furniture was promoted through major works by Irving W. Lyon, Luke Vincent Lockwood, Wallace Nutting, and Edgar C. Miller, Jr. They dealt with furniture on its own merits and laid the groundwork for future study. In Canada there were encouraging signs as well, although a smaller audience of collectors and book buyers limited what could be done.

6 In 1923 James Acton edited the Canadian Book of Furniture. It seems to have been intended primarily for the trade and contains both advertisements and brief histories of contemporary furniture manufacturers. In addition, however, are notes on the evolution of historical styles illustrated with examples from the T. Eaton collection of English furniture, then a recent acquisition of the Royal Ontario Museum. Also there are histories of prominent nineteenth-century Canadian craftsmen and entrepreneurs, illustrated with a fine Renaissance revival sideboard by the Toronto firm of Jacques and Hay.

7 Some five years later Ann Elizabeth Wilson began a series of articles in Canadian Homes and Gardens entitled "A History of Canadian Furniture." She started with the statement:

In Canada we have a tradition, of furniture — complete with "periods" and outstanding craftsmen — as real as any which has developed since the first settlers moored their barks to North America shores. But, like many of our national traditions, it has escaped much investigation or exhibition.

The articles contained numerous illustrations, including interiors from houses in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, which already were widely admired for their wealth of early buildings.

8 Much of this new-found interest in antiques was tied to the in creasing production of "colonial revival" furniture by Canadian and American manufacturers. In fact, many magazine articles which discussed traditional furniture design were illustrated with examples of modern adaptations from the showrooms of stores such as Eaton's, Simpson's, and Ridpath's. In an introduction to Ruth M. Home's article "Our Colonial Heritage" in the July 1930 issue of Canadian Homes and Gardens, the editor wrote,

Miss Home this month discusses the types of furniture closely associated with pioneer life — the chairs, tables, beds and simple accessories...which were brought to Canada by the Loyalists. It is a noteworthy fact that Colonial is still the most popular style, a recent survey showing that one-quarter of all furniture purchases were in this category, with Georgian types a close second....

Similar statements probably could be made about market preference in the 1940s when the Imperial Rattan Company of Stratford, Ontario, advertised its "Imperial Loyalist" line. It boasted "the timeless charm of authentic Loyalist styling, with its softly worn edges and rich woods" and a "dinette dresser inspired by our United Empire Loyalists." The pine shops and "ye olde colonial" styles of today are the descendants of this interest in "revival" furniture.

9 Working on a different level were scholars such as the indefatigable Marius Barbeau whose writings on Quebec folk culture, arts, and crafts remain as classics in their field. Collections of French-Canadian furniture were gathered by the Musée du Québec, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Meanwhile, W.H. Coverdale of Canada Steamship Lines furnished his two hotels, the Manoir Richelieu and the Hotel Tadoussac, with French Canadiana. In English Canada F. St. George Spendlove of the Royal Ontario Museum was building an important collection with the support of Sigmund Samuel and the Laidlaw Collection of English-Canadian furniture. In Saint John Clarence Webster proved a generous patron of the New Brunswick Museum. At the same time, the Nova Scotia Museum in Halifax was doing important groundwork.

10 Despite the growing collections, however, little was written about furniture per se. Rather, it was considered almost as a footnote to social history or folklife, as in the writings of Barbeau or his contemporaries, Edwin C. Guillet and C.W. Jefferys. In general, greater attention was focused on Quebec than on English Canada. A 1947 article in Canadian Business, entitled "Canada's Greatest Treasure Hunt," stated that "Quebec is the outstanding area for a collector interested in the arts of Canadian development. In the main, the rest of the country produced little to interest collectors of Canadiana."

11 Also typical of the time was the popular belief that early Canadian furniture was always rather crude or rustic. This notion is still with us today as many of Canada's living-rooms enter the 1980s with a stripped pine box serving as a coffee table/conversation piece. This is despite the fact that much good work has appeared over the last twenty years which should have put these ideas to rest. Along with numerous well-illustrated books are periodicals such as Canadian Collector (begun in Toronto in 1966 as Canadian Antiques Collector), Material History Bulletin/Bulletin d'histoire de la culture matérielle (published by the National Museum of Man since 1976), and the Canadian Antiques and Art Review (begun in Halifax in 1979). All of these have published important articles and reviews relevant to the study of Canadian furniture. They exist alongside magazines such as Ontario Showcase (begun in 1965), CanadiAntiquer (begun in 1975), Circa '76 (which published from 1976 to 1979), Joseph Yolles Antiques and Cabinetmakers' Journal (begun in 1979), and The Upper Canadian (begun in Kingston in 1980). These latter publications are directed primarily at collectors and dealers and seldom contain results of new research, although the now defunct Circa '76 often contained articles and commentary of high quality. Researchers should be aware of these magazines and watch both their advertisements and their articles. Their contents, however, have not been listed here. Nor have the antiques columns which occasionally appear in daily or weekly newspapers.

12 Despite these omissions, the accompanying bibliography still is of impressive size. No doubt the Centennial helped promote interest in our early furniture as it did in all things Canadian. Government financial support for the Canadian publishing industry also has helped to swell the number of titles. Yet the fact remains that some of this work is repetitive and much is descriptive rather than analytical. We are still beginners, and beginners who have difficulty convincing both the general public and many members of the academic community that studying furniture is worthwhile. To begin to do that we must apply the standards of other historians to our work. We must be prepared to study factory furniture as well as pieces produced in the individual craftsman's shop. Above all, we must look at furniture as three-dimensional evidence of the way people lived, worked, and thought, as part of the world of people who may have left no written documents behind. Heaven forbid that we should smother the sensual, evocative appeal of the object itself in a blanket of footnotes, but let us use that blanket to warm the object back to life.

Acton, James, ed. Canadian Book of Furniture; a Short Outline of the History and Development of Furniture, with Particular Reference to the Industry in Canada. Toronto: Acton Publishing Company, 1923. An overview of style, illustrated in part by furniture from the T. Eaton collection at the Royal Ontario Museum, along with historical data regarding Canadian furniture factories. The book also contains advertisements and a checklist of furniture manufacturers and their products at the time of publication.
Baughman, Milo. Canadian Classics, Designed by Milo Baughman. [Toronto?: Stancor Ltd., 196-?]. Bound set of folio sheets, including "a historical statement" by Jean Palardy.
Bédard, Rodrigue; Cloutier, Nicole; Dumouchel, Jacques; and racine, Yolande. Le mobilier traditionnel. Montréal: Les Éditions Braut et Bouthillier, 1973. One of a series which includes publications on French-Canadian metals, architecture, and tools, this pamphlet is intended as a brief introduction to Quebec furniture forms, styles, and craftsmanship. Its usefulness is severely limited, however, by small, poorly printed illustrations, by a complete absence of dates, and by a failure to recognize Anglo-American influences. Thus, for example, a mid nineteenth-century Windsor chair is juxtaposed with an eighteenth-century armchair à la capucine without any suggestion of their differing dates or stylistic backgrounds. This can only confuse and mislead the reader.
Bennett, Peter H. "Furniture for History." Canadian Collector, November 1969, pp. 21-26. An article describing the process of collecting furniture for Canada's National Historic Sites and Parks.
Bernier, Jacques. Les intérieurs domestiques des menuisiers et charpentiers de la région de Québec 1810-1819. Ottawa: Musée national de l'Homme, Musées nationaux du Canada, 1977. (Division de l'histoire, dossier no 23.) A scholarly study of seventeen probate inventories of eight carpenters, eight joiners, and one master joiner in Quebec City and vicinity between 1810 and 1819. While acknowledging their limitations, the author uses these inventories to shed light on the material culture and domestic life of early nineteenth-century Quebec's largest group of craftsmen. His conclusions indicate that most joiners were considerably wealthier than carpenters. While nearly every craftsman studied owned his own house and eighty-five per cent used a stove for heating or cooking, house furnishings varied considerably in both quantity and quality. Simple tables, chairs, benches, and chests were common, larger storage pieces such as armoires or commodes considerably less so. As a rule, all furniture had a lower value than items used for heating, cooking, and eating. While the number of inventories available for analysis was small, the paper provides insight into the everyday life of Quebec craftsmen and could be considered a model for use elsewhere.
Bernier, Jacques. Quelques boutiques de menuisiers et charpentiers au tournant du ⅪⅩe siècle. Ottawa: Musée national de l'Homme, Musées nationaux du Canada, 1976. (Division de l'histoire, dossier no 17.) One of the author's chief reasons for preparing this study was to provide a solid documentary foundation for museum restorations of woodworkers' shops and homes. He focuses his research on francophone artisans working in Montreal in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He describes the limitations of his sources and notes that he is not so much interested in examining the products of the artisans' shops as in the shops' layouts, tools, and methods of working. By analyzing the numbers and types of their tools, the author places the various documented shops on a scale of size, complexity, and sophistications. Also, by examining the tool holdings of each artisan, he is able to determine that individual's place in the professional ranks as master, journeyman, or apprentice. He concludes that the available evidence permits reconstruction of a "typical" joiner's shop of the period but that evidence is too scanty to draw firm conclusions about the workplace of the carpenter. As noted earlier, the author does not speculate on the products of these shops. It is logical to assume, however, that simple forms of furniture could have been made with many of the tools and in many of the shops which are analyzed here. This paper thus should be of general interest to students of French-Canadian furniture.
Bird, Michael. "Cabinetmaker and Weaver Friedrich K. Ploethner." Canadian Collector, May/June 1980, pp. 28-32. An account of the work of Friedrich K. Ploethner (1826-83)) of Normanby Township, Grey County, Ontario, based on manuscripts, early photographs, and documented tools, furniture, and textiles. An important article in that it illustrates the work of a single craftsman skilled in both cabinetmaking and weaving, provides further evidence of Germanic (as distinct from Pennsylvania-German) traditions in Ontario decorative arts, and shows that traditional furniture styles continued to be acceptable in rural Ontario late in the nineteenth century.
Bowman, M.W. "Canada's Greatest Treasure Hunt." Canadian Business 20 (November 1947), pp. 36, 38-39, 100, 102. An article about the antiques market in Canada in the 1940s. A brief historical summary is devoted to Quebec woodcarving and silver. An example of the popular market view of the time, making no special distinction between antiques imported from Great Britain and those picked up in Canadian homes. Illustrated with photos of French-Canadian silver items.
Buck, Ruth Matheson. "Sitting Bull's Chair?" Canadian Antiques Collector, July/August 1973, pp. 23-24. The article concerns a buffalo-horn chair in the Western Development Museum at Saskatoon. The chair has possible historical associations with Chief Sitting Bull.
Cane, Frederick W. "Bowmanville Furniture Factories." Canadian Antiques Collector, May/June 1973, pp. 42-44. A documented introduction to the history of G.P. Walter and Company (1861 to ca. 1866), the Bowmanville Furniture Manufacturing Company (1867-75), and the Upper Canada Furniture Company (1876-90) of Bowmanville, Ontario. Illustrated with pictures of six attributed chairs.
Carroll, Campbell. "Canadiana, Tadoussac's Unique Collection." Canadian Homes and Gardens, May 1942, pp. 22-23,49. A brief article concerning the formation of the William H. Coverdale Collection of French-Canadian furniture and other antiquities installed at the Hotel Tadoussac.
Clipsham, Muriel. "Early Furniture." Canadian Antiques Collector, July/August 1973, pp. 33-36. An introduction to Saskatchewan furniture, including three pieces attributed to the Czechoslovakian-born Yaclav Yecny.
Colchester Historical Museum. Colchester Furniture Makers. Truro, N.S.: Colchester Historical Museum and the Nova Scotia Museum, 1979. A survey of the work of furniture makers in Colchester County, Nova Scotia.
Collard, Elizabeth. "Montreal Cabinetmakers and Chairmakers, 1800-1850." Antiques 105, no. 5 (May 1974), pp. 1132-46. An important, carefully documented article and checklist, the first to draw international attention to English and Anglo-American traditions of furniture making in early nineteenth-century Montreal.
Davies, Blodwen. "House and Home: Renaissance of the Dower Chest." Saturday Night, 23 November 1929, pp. 22-23. A romanticized, anecdotal account of the origins of some continental dower chests brought to Canada by the early settlers. Makes only a brief mention of indigenous Canadian examples.
Dempsey, Hugh A. Ethnic Furniture. Calgary: Glenbow-Alberta Institute, 1970. A brief introduction to the furniture and craft traditions of early settlement groups in the Canadian West. Most pieces illustrated appear to have been stripped of their original finish, yet no mention is made of this in the text.
"Dessins illustres de meubles, vieux objets, accessoires d'éclairage appartenant au passé québécois." Québec Histoire 1, n°l (février 1971), pp. 77-78. Not seen.
Detroit Institute of Arts. Traditional Arts of French Canada. Detroit, 1975. An illustrated catalogue of an exhibition of decorative arts objects, including furniture, drawn from the Institute's collections and staged in the fall of 1975. The Institute's collections of French-Canadian art and artifacts were the outgrowth of an exhibition, "The Arts of French Canada," held in Detroit in 1946.
Dobson, Henry, and Dobson, Barbara. The Early Furniture of Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces. Toronto: M.F. Feheley, 1974. A catalogue of the first major loan exhibition of pre-Confederation Canadian furniture. Captions are brief and contain no reference to dimensions. A wide range of pieces is included, from crude to sophisticated — which belies the authors' assertion that this is "the furniture of the common folk." Contains a foreword by Dorothy Duncan.
Dobson, Henry, and Dobson, Barbara. "In Search of a Standard." Canadian Antiques Collector, January/February 1973, pp. 8-17; May/June 1973, pp. 10-25. Two articles calling for higher standards of documentation and greater appreciation among collectors of Canadian furniture for quality of design and craftsmanship.
Dobson, Henry, and Dobson, Barbara. "The Regency Table in Canada." Canadian Antiques and Art Review, September 1979, pp. 28-31. A brief photo essay focussing on several fine, Regency-style tables attributed to Montreal and New Brunswick cabinetmakers.
Dobson, Henry, and Dobson, Barbara. "What Price Heritage?" Canadian Antiques Collector, September/October 1973, pp. 27-32. Continuing themes presented in the authors" earlier article, "In Search of a Standard," this article discusses stylistic and other criteria for evaluating Canadian antique furniture.
Duncan, Dorothy. "Some Thoughts on Niagara Furniture." Canadian Collector, March/April 1977, pp. 33-35. Reacting to a wave of attribution of furniture to cabinetmakers in the Niagara Peninsula, the author argues for more careful analysis and research.
Dunning, Phil T. "The Evolution of the Windsor." Canadian Antiques Collector, March/April 1974, pp. 12-16. A brief survey complementing an exhibit of Windsor chairs at the Sigmund Samuel Canadiana Gallery of the Royal Ontario Museum.
Dunning, Phil T. "The Jacques and Hay Style?" Canadian Antiques Collector, November/December 1974, pp. 14-17. This article effectively destroys the myth that furniture made by the nineteenth-century Toronto firm of Jacques and Hay now is attributable by stylistic details alone.
Durocher, René. Le mobilier traditionnel au Québec. Montréal: Québec, Ministère de l'éducation, Service des moyens techniques d'enseignement, 1971. Not seen.
Durocher, René. Petit lexique du meuble québécois. Montréal: Québec, Ministère de l'éducation, Service des moyens techniques d'enseignement, 1971. Not seen.
"Early Canadian Furniture." Saturday Night, 20 November 1954, pp. 44-45. A brief article concerning the installation of period woodwork and furnishings in the Quebec Gallery of the Royal Ontario Museum under the auspices of the curator, F. St. George Spendlove.
Elwood, Marie. "Eighteen Chairs from Nova Scotia." Canadian Collector, January/February 1977, pp. 38-42. Evolution of styles and types of chairs from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century is discussed in this article, illustrated with examples from the collections of the Nova Scotia Museum.
Elwood, Marie. "Father and Son, Two Halifax Cabinetmakers." Material History Bulletin. Ottawa: National Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada, 1976. (Mercury Series, History Division Paper No. 15), pp. 7-13. A description of an exhibit of documents, furniture, and tools of two Halifax cabinetmakers, Thomas C. Holder (1821-94) and his son, Henry A. Holder (1853-1935). The exhibit was held at the Nova Scotia Museum in Halifax from December 1975 to March 1976. The article contains biographical data and analysis of their work. A rare glimpse of the life and work of a cabinetmaking family. (The exhibit is. reviewed by Mary Sparling in the same issue of Material History Bulletin, pp. 35-38.)
Elwood, Marie. "Training to Work in a Canadian Museum: A Museum Approach to Material History Studies." Material History Bulletin 8: 99-102. First presented at "Canada's Material History: A Forum," Ottawa, 1-3 March 1979. Outlines the basis of a much-needed curriculum for training museum workers in the use and analysis of artifacts. Illustrates the curriculum's approach to Canadian material history by examining three objects: a Chinese export procelain cup, ca. 1790-1810; a rattan chair, ca. 1890, made by the American Furniture Company, Woodstock, Ontario; and a mallet, ca. 1890, made and used by the Halifax cabinet-maker, Henry A. Holder.
Elwood, Marie. "Two Halifax Cabinetmakers." Canadian Collector, September/October 1976, pp. 16-19. An account of the life and work of Thomas Cook Holder and his son, Henry Arthur Holder, based on documentary evidence and illustrated with a rare combination of firmly attributable furniture, miniatures, inlay work, and tools.
Ferguson, B.W., and Lackey, Thomas. Decorated Nova Scotia Furnishings. Halifax: Dalhousie Art Gallery, 1978. A catalogue of an exhibition of decorative furniture, quilts, rugs, and other household items from Nova Scotia. Emphasizes aesthetic and folk art qualities of the objects, rather than their historical background. Curiously, two objects referred to in the introduction as "close enough in technique and surface to warrant examination of a regional aesthetic" are not illustrated.
Field, Richard H. "Blanket Chests from Prince Edward Island." Canadian Collector, November/December 1976, pp. 46-47. A brief survey of characteristic forms and details.
Field, Richard H. "Some Furniture from Prince Edward Island." Canadian Collector, September/October 1976, pp. 30-32. Illustrates and analyzes four pieces of nineteenth-century Prince Edward Island furniture in the belief that they may one day be considered representative of regional types.
Finley, A. Gregg. "A Survey of New Brunswick Chairs; or The Need for an Academic-Antiquarian Coalition." New Brunswick Museum Memo 7, no. 1 (March 1975), pp. 2-5. Calls for the analysis of artifacts as documents of social history. The author's arguments are weakened, however, by the illustration (p. 4) of a nineteenth-century, bamboo, turned Windsor chair claimed to be of "Loyalist" ancestry.
Finley, A. Gregg. Heritage Furniture: A Catalog Featuring Selected Heritage Furniture from the Collection of the New Brunswick Museum. Saint John, N.B.: New Brunswick Museum, 1976. The task of interpreting pieces of furniture as documents of social history, ably set out in the author's introduction, is frustrated by numerous errors of date, misinterpretations of style, and generally poor photography.
Foss, Charles H. Cabinetmakers of the Eastern Seaboard. Toronto: M.F. Feheley, 1977. A lavishly illustrated "coffee table" book on the antique furniture of New Brunswick, it contains a wealth of misleading information and faulty analysis. It is commendable for its attempt to organize research around the work of individual craftsmen and for including a number of fine late nineteenth- and twentieth-century revival pieces, but must be used with extreme caution.
Foss, Charles H. "John Warren Moore, Cabinetmaker, 1812-1893." Material History Bulletin 3 (Spring 1977), pp. 31-40. Brief introduction to the work of a New Brunswick cabinetmaker, following the acquisition by the Province of New Brunswick of more than fifty examples of his work, along with related documents and artifacts.
Foss, Charles H. "Two New Brunswick Furniture Craftsmen." Canadian Antiques Collector, May/June 1975, pp. 29-33. Surveys the careers of two of New Brunswick's most highly skilled cabinetmakers, Thomas Nisbet and Alexander Lawrence. Illustrated by labelled and attributed examples of their work.
Gauvreau, Jean-Marie. "Évolution et tradition des meubles canadiens." Mémoires de la Société royale du Canada, 3ieme séer., tome 38, section I (mai 1944), pp. 121-27. An article advocating the use of antique French-Canadian styles as an inspiration in the design of twentieth-century furnishings. Illustrated with a view of antique Quebec chests and church furnishings on exhibit in the "musée de l'École du Meuble," and a series of plates showing modem furniture designed by students at the École, under the direction of the architect Marcel Parizeau.
Good, E. Reginald. "Joseph Witmer." Ontario History 71 (1979): 191-204. A brief account of the career of Joseph Witmer (1812-96), a Waterloo County, Ontario, cabinetmaker. Based on documentary research and interviews with descendants as well as analysis of signed tools and furniture. Unfortunately, the article contains no information on Witmer's training and only brief commentary on the tools and documented furniture.
Guillet, Edwin C. Pioneer Arts and Crafts. Toronto: Ontario Pub. Co., 1940. Number 5 in the author's series later assembled as Early Life in Upper Canada. Contains occasional references to furnishings.
Hector Centre Trust, Exhibits Committee. Nineteenth Century Pictou County Furniture. Pictou, N.S., 1977. Published in conjunction with an exhibit of Pictou County furniture at the Hector Centre, this illustrated catalogue is one of a very few regional studies of Canadian furniture. Discussion of the pieces shown is, unfortunately, very brief, but the catalogue does contain a carefully documented checklist of area makers.
Holmes, Janet. "Recent Acquisition at R.O.M." Canadian Collector, January/February 1973, pp. 22-23. Discusses a New Brunswick sideboard and a Quebec armoire acquired by the Canadiana Department, Royal Ontario Museum.
Home. Rugh M. "Duncan Phyfe." Canadian Homes and Gardens, September 1930, pp. 38-39. Apparently the sequel to the author's article "Our Colonial Heritage" in which she promises a follow-up article describing "the much-maligned Victorian tastes." Contains no specifically Canadian data. Illustrations from the warerooms of Toronto department stores.
Home, Ruth M. "Our Colonial Heritage." Canadian Homes and Gardens, July 1930, pp. 36-37, 51. A chatty survey of styles in early Canadian furniture, illustrated with modern revival items from Eaton's, Simpson's, and Ridpath's.
Ingolfsrud, Elizabeth. All About Ontario Beds. Toronto: House of Grant, 1975.
All About Ontario Chairs. Toronto: House of Grant, 1974.
All About Ontario Chests. Toronto: House of Grant, 1973.
All About Ontario Cupboards. Toronto: House of Grant, 1978.
All About Ontario Desks and Secretaries. Toronto: House of Grant, forthcoming.
All About Ontario Tables. Toronto: House of Grant, 1976.
A series of compact guides containing basic information on terminology, style, forms, construction, finishes, and evaluation of nineteenth-century Ontario furniture. Contains much that is useful to the collector, with sound advice on matters such as preserving original finishes and using antiques in the modern home. Retail prices are listed but quickly become outdated.
Ingolfsrud, Elizabeth. "Antique Beds." Canadian Antiques Collector, September/October 1971, pp. 15-17. A brief survey of styles, with tips for the collector.
Ingolfsrud, Elizabeth. "Blanket Chests." Canadian Antiques Collector, September/October, 1972, pp. 30-31. A brief survey of styles and construction, with a plea for the preservation of original finishes.
Ingolfsrud, Elizabeth. "Country Seats: How to Know an Early Canadian Chair." Canadian Homes, 11 May 1974, pp. 16-17. A lively, informal introduction to common styles of Canadian chairs, containing some sound, basic information for collectors and refinishers. Illustrated with line drawings.
Ingolfsrud, Elizabeth. "Ontario Drop Leaf Tables." Canadian Antiques Collector, July/August 1972, pp. 14-16. A brief survey of forms and styles.
Ingolfsrud, Elizabeth. "Tangible Social History: The Ontario Furniture Collection of the National Museum of Man." Material History Bulletin 8: 31-33. First presented at "Canada's Material History: A Forum," Ottawa, 1-3 March 1980. Outlines the guidelines which govern the collection of Ontario furniture by the National Museum of Man. Downplays aesthetics per se and stresses the importance of careful documentation, archival research, and analysis of the collection in its broad social, cultural, economic, and technical context.
Janneau, Guillaume. "Les meubles anciens du Canada français." Vie des arts, n°29 (Hiver 1962),pp. 44-49. A brief survey inspired by the publication of Jean Palardy's Early Furniture of French Canada.
Jefferys, C.W. The Picture Gallery of Canadian History. 1945. Reprint (3 vols.). Toronto: Ryerson, 1966. Contains numerous line drawings of early Canadian furniture and other artifacts contained in museum collections.
Johannsen, S.K. "The Unknown Furniture Master of Waterloo County." Canadian Collector, July/August 1977, pp. 18-23. A scholarly analysis of several pieces of furniture from Waterloo County related by design and construction.
Koltun, L.A. The Cabinetmaker's Art in Ontario, c. 1850-1900. Ottawa: National Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada, 1979. (Mercury Series, History Division Paper No. 26.) This is one of a very few studies of Canadian cabinetmaking during the second half of the nineteenth century, an important period when factory production was superseding the work of the individual craftsman's shop. The first section of the book is a study of the work of Francis Jones of Middlesex County, Ontario, whose tools have been collected by the National Museum of Man. Koltun presents a selected catalogue of these tools and uses them as evidence of the sort of furniture Jones produced. Several pieces of furniture are tentatively attributed to Jones. The second section presents a concise overview of changing shop practices and technical and mechanical innovation during the same period. It raises questions about the suitability of popular terms such as "handmade" and "machine-made" when describing late nineteenth-century furniture.
Lessard, Michel, et Marquas, Huguette. Encyclopédie des antiquités du Québec. Montréal: Editions de l'Homme, 1971. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 present a concise survey of Quebec furniture, including stylistic influences, characteristic features, and methods of construction.
McGowan, Nancy. "Early Manitoba Furniture." Canadian Antiques Collector, November/December 1971, pp. 21-24. An introductory sketch of Manitoba furniture during the brief period before mass production and imports took over from traditional skills and local craftsmanship.
Mclntyre, W. John. "Arms Across the Border: Trade in Chairs and Chair Parts between the United States and Upper Canada." In Furniture in Victorian America, edited by Kenneth L. Ames. Watkins Glen, N.Y. : American Life Foundation, forthcoming. A survey of trade in chairs and chair parts across the St." Lawrence and the Great Lakes, ca. 1800-67. Based on customs records, journals of the Legislative Assembly, and other documentary material. Explores problems of competition from the United States, the use by many Upper Canadian chairmakers of parts produced in American factories, and the work of Jacques and Hay at New Lowell, Ontario.
Mclntyre, W. John. "Artifacts as Sources for Material History Research." Material History Bulletin 8: 71-75. Based on a paper delivered at "Canada's Material History: A Forum," Ottawa, 1-3 March 1979. Presents a model for artifact study based on careful analysis of history, materials, construction, design, and function. Applies that model to the examination of an Ontario desk and bookcase by John Doan and a transfer-printed Staffordshire plate.
Mclntyre, W. John. "Chairmaking in Nineteenth Century Ontario." Everyday Life in Nineteenth Century Ontario (Toronto: Ontario Museum Association, 1979), pp. 87-97. Surveys craft practices, methods of retailing, competition, the use of imported parts and finished chairs from the United States, and the beginnings of factory production. Based on documentary research, including examination of surviving customs records and correspondence regarding the Jacques and Hay operations in Toronto and New Lowell, Ontario.
Mclntyre, W. John. "John and Ebenezer Doan: Builders and Furniture Craftsmen." Canadian Collector, July/August 1979, pp. 27-31. A documented survey of the work of John (1768-1852) and Ebenezer (1772-1866) Doan, builders and cabinetmakers who emigrated early in the nineteenth century from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, to northern York County, Ontario.
Mclntyre, W. John. "Niagara Furniture Makers." Canadian Collector, Part I (May/June 1977), pp. 50-53; Part II (September/October 1977), pp. 50-53; Part Ⅲ (March/April 1978), pp. 24-28; Part Ⅳ (July/August 1978), pp. 37-40. A survey of documented, pre-Confederation, furniture craftsmen working in the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario. Part Ⅳ includes a checklist.
Mclntyre, W. John. "What is a Canadian Chair?" Canadian Collector, March/April 1980, pp. 54-55. Focuses on two identical, nineteenth-century chairs, one branded by an Ontario chairmaking company, the other by an American firm. Emphasizes the hazards of reading too much into a mark or a label on factory-made furniture.
MacKinnon, Joan. A Checklist of Toronto Cabinet and Chairmakers, 1800-1865. Ottawa: National Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada, 1974. (Mercury Series, History Division Paper No. 11.) An important, well-documented work, containing considerable information on furniture makers' working conditions, products, marketing practices, etc., as well as a useful list of documented craftsmen.
MacKinnon, Joan. Kingston Cabinetmakers, 1800-1867. Ottawa: National Museum of Man, National Museums of Canada, 1976. (Mercury Series, History Division Paper No. 14.) A scholarly checklist of pre-Confederation, Kingston furniture craftsmen, illustrated with photographs of documented furniture and containing a wealth of information regarding craft practices and trade in eastern Ontario.
MacLaren, George E.G. Antique Furniture by Nova Scotia Craftsmen. 1961. Reprint. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1975. An important early work, analyzing Nova Scotia furniture from the eighteenth century to the late Victorian period and containing a wide range of information about early craftsmen and factories. Contains a valuable list of furniture craftsmen and their working dates, keyed to a list of primary source material.
MacLaren, George E.G. "The Chairmakers of Nova Scotia." Canadian Antiques Collector, March 1967, pp. 12-13. A brief survey of styles and craft practices with data on several early, documented chairmakers. Illustrated with line drawings.
MacLaren, George E.G. Nova Scotia Furniture. Halifax: Petheric Press, 1969. A brief survey, noting makers and craft practices.
MacLaren, George E.G. "Nova Scotia Furniture." Canadian Antiques Collector, January/February 1972, pp. 33-35. A brief survey of historical background, styles, and forms.
MacLaren, George E.G. "Nova Scotia Furniture." In The Book of Canadian Antiques, edited by Donald Blake Webster, pp. 71-90. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1974. A concise survey of forms, styles, and makers, including lists of documented chairmakers, cabinetmakers, and clockmakers.
MacLaren, George E.G. "The Windsor Chair in Nova Scotia." Antiques 100, no. 1 (July 1971), pp. 124-27. A brief article containing information on chairmaking techniques and styles and a list of Nova Scotia chair-makers whose work has been documented in published sources and through brands or stencils on chairs.
McLean, Eric. "Early French Canadian Furniture." Antiques 92, no. 1 (July 1967), pp. 72-77. A brief survey of forms, styles, and craftsmanship derived largely from Jean Palardy's The Early Furniture of French Canada, a work which McLean translated.
McMurray, Allan Lynn. "Country Heritage." Canadian Antiques Collector, September/October 1974, pp. 10-17. Preview of "Country Heritage," a loan exhibition of Ontario and Maritimes country furniture from private collections, held at the Montgomery Mills Recreation Centre, Toronto, 4-6 October 1974.
McMurray, Allan Lynn. "Wilno Furniture." Canadian Collector, November/December 1975, pp. 10-13. An investigation of Polish traditions in eastern Ontario furniture in and around the village of Wilno in Renfrew County. Most pieces are believed to be the work of John Kozloski in a baroque survival style.
Martin, Louis. La berçante québécoise. Montréal: Editions du Boréal Express, 1973. Not seen.
Martin, Louis. "Chaises et chaisiers québécois." In Ethnologie québécoise par Robert-Lionel Séguin et al, pp. 140-58. Montreal: Hurtubise HMH, 1972. A discussion of chairs and chairmaking in Quebec, concentrating on the vernacular types from their appearance in the seventeenth century to the last cottage production in the twentieth century. Lists several distinctive types or styles and identifies various makers. Additional remarks on materials, methods of construction, types of ornament, and characteristic uses. Illustrated with line drawings and photos; includes notes and a bibliography. A part of the series Cahiers du Quebec.
Martin, Louis. "Classification des diverses essences de bois utilisées dans la fabrication des meubles Québécois au cours des trois derniers siècles." Québec Histoire 1, n° 1 (février 1971), pp. 72-75. Not seen.
Massicote, Édouard-Zotique. "L'ameublement à Montréal aux ⅩⅦ et ⅩⅧ siècles." Bulletin des recherches historiques 2 (1942), pp. 33-42; 3 (1942) pp. 75-86; 7(1942), pp. 202-5. An inventory study, based on surviving court records from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Montreal. The article takes the form of a glossary, listing original terms used to describe domestic fabrics, ceramics, metal wares, and furniture forms. Each term is followed by brief descriptive remarks; most entries are dated. The second installment includes a brief mention of importation practices and domestic artisan training in the late seventeenth century.
Minhinnick, Jeanne. At Home in Upper Canada. Toronto: Clarke Irwin, 1970. A book on social history and everyday life, written in an informal style and containing many references to furniture and its use in pre-Confederation Ontario homes.
Minhinnick, Jeanne. "Canadian Furniture in the English Taste." Antiques 92, no. 1 (July 1967), pp. 84-90. A concise survey of stylistic influences, available forms, and materials.
Minhinnick, Jeanne. Early Furniture in Upper Canada Village. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1964. A brief but important early study, this booklet is based on research done during the furnishing of Upper Canada Village, near Morrisburg, Ontario, and provides a concise introduction to the early furniture of the province.
Minhinnick, Jeanne. [Untitled] in "Country Furniture: a Symposium." Antiques 93, no. 3 (March 1968), pp. 342-71. Beginning with the statement, "All the early furniture made in Upper Canada (now the Province of Ontario) is country furniture," the author attempts to divide this furniture into three categories. The categorization seems somewhat arbitrary, while the article as a whole fails to define what is meant by "country furniture" and implies that all pieces made in early Ontario were rather crude and primitive — a view not supported by the author's other writings.
Minhinnick, Jeanne, and Shackleton, Philip. "Early Furniture of Canada: the English and American Influence 1760-1840." Canadian Antiques Collector, January/February 1974, pp. 25-29. A survey of styles, forms, and historical background.
Moissan, Stéphane. A la découverte des antiquités québécoises. Montréal: La Presse, 1976. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 provide a brief survey of styles and construction methods, with advice on connoisseurship and restoration for the beginning collector.
Nykor, Lynda Musson, and Musson, Patricia D. "Markham Mennonites and Their Furniture." Canadian Collector, July/August 1976, pp. 16-20. A brief article on furniture and furniture craftsmen of Markham Township, Ontario, published while research for the authors' Mennonite Furniture was in progress.
Nykor, Lynda Musson, and Musson, Patricia D. Mennonite Furniture: The Ontario Tradition in York County. Toronto: J. Lorimer, 1977. A survey of furniture made and used by Mennonites in York County, Ontario. Comparisons are made with architectural details and with Mennonite traditions elsewhere in Ontario. An attempt is made to view the furniture in its larger historical context, but the attempt is marred by the authors' lack of detailed knowledge of furniture making and religious and social customs.
O'Dea, Shane. "Furniture: Imported and Country Styles to 1850." Canadian Antiques Collector, March/April 1975, pp. 38-41. An appropriately cautious survey, drawing on documentary sources and a knowledge of private collections, of a subject — Newfoundland furniture — which is only beginning to receive scholarly attention.
Pain, Howard. The Heritage of Upper Canadian Furniture: A Study in the Survival of Formal and Vernacular Styles from Britain, America and Europe, 1780-1900. Toronto: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1978. (Published in the United States as The Heritage of Country Furniture.) A richly illustrated study which analyzes early Ontario furniture in its broad historical, cultural, and stylistic context. Comparisons are made between Ontario pieces and the common furniture of the United States, Europe, and the British Isles. An important study, although marred by a lack of intensive research on individual pieces and unsubstantiated attributions.
Palardy, Jean. "Early Furniture." Canadian Antiques Collector, May/June 1974, pp. 56-58. A brief survey of historical background, styles, and forms. The English version of the author's article "Les meubles anciens" in the same issue.
Palardy, Jean. "Early Furniture of Canada: the French Influence 1660-1760." Canadian Antiques Collector, January/February 1974, pp. 14-19. Brief survey of styles, forms, and craftsmanship in Quebec.
Palardy, Jean. The Early Furniture of French Canada. Translated by Eric McLean. Toronto : Macmillan, 1963. A classic in its field; the first scholarly, book-length study of Canadian furniture. Surveys forms, styles, and craft practices.
Palardy Jean. "French-Canadian Furniture." In The Book of Canadian Antiques, edited by Donald Blake Webster, pp. 12-35. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1974. A concise survey of forms, styles, and construction.
Palardy, Jean. "Les meubles anciens." Canadian Antiques Collector, May/June 1974, pp. 59-61. The French version of the author's article "Early Furniture" in the same issue.
Pen Pictures of Early Pioneer Life in Upper Canada. 1905. Reprint. Toronto: Coles, 1972. A romantic account, containing occasional references to early furniture.
Rogers, Irene, and MacKenzie, Ruth. "Furniture Making on Prince Edward Island." Canadian Antiques Collector, March/April 1973, pp. 46-49. An introductory article containing information on several early Island furniture craftsmen and illustrated with attributed pieces.
Ryder, Huia G. Antique Furniture by New Brunswick Craftsmen. 1965. Reprint. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1973. An important work containing a wide range of information on early New Brunswick furniture and furniture craftsmen. Contains a list of furniture craftsmen and working dates. Its scholarly value is lessened, however, by its often chatty, personal style, its poorly focussed photographs, and an absence of footnotes.
Ryder, Huia G. "The Best of Pine and Maple." Canadian Antiques Collector, May/June 1975, pp. 70-72. Illustrates examples of simple furniture of locally available pine and maple, but contains some questionable dates and attributions.
Ryder, Huia G. "Elegance of New Brunswick Furniture." Canadian Antiques Collector, September 1967, pp. 19-20. A brief survey with references to historical context.
Ryder, Huia G. "New Brunswick Furniture." In The Book of Canadian Antiques, edited by Donald Blake Webster, pp. 91-109. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1974. A concise survey of forms, styles, and makers.
Sargeant, Mrs. E.S., and Goldie, Mrs. John. "Waterloo Pioneers' Furniture." Waterloo Historical Society 19th Annual Report, 1931 (Kitchener, Ont., 1933), pp. 263-65. Nostalgic in approach, but illustrated with three fine examples of slat-back chairs by Jacob Hailer.
Shackleton, Philip. The Furniture of Old Ontario. Toronto: Macmillan, 1973. The first major survey of Ontario furniture. A lavishly illustrated book, emphasizing "country" furniture and intended for a wide, general audience.
Shackleton, Philip. "Furniture of Upper Canada." Canadian Antiques Collector May 1967, pp. 6-8. Written while the author's The Furniture of Old Ontario was being prepared, this brief article emphasizes the range of craftsman-ship and style — from crude to sophisticated — apparent in the early furniture of the province.
Shackleton, Philip. "Ontario Chairs." Canadian Antiques Collector, May 1971, pp. 62-64. A lively introduction to styles and craftsmanship.
Shackleton, Philip. "Ontario Furniture." In The Book of Canadian Antiques edited by Donald Blake Webster, pp. 110-27": Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1974. A survey of forms, styles, and construction, marred by generalizations and half-truths.
Spendlove, F. St. George. "The Furniture of French Canada." In The Connoisseur Year Book, 1954. edited by L.G.G. Ramsey, pp. 61-67. London: The Conoisseur, 1954. A general survey, illustrated with examples from the Canadiana collection of the Royal Ontario Museum.
Spendlove, F. St. George. "Furniture of French Canada." Canadian Antiques Collector, May 1967, pp. 9-15. A brief survey of styles and forms, abridged from an article of the same title printed in The Connoisseur Year Book, 1954 (see preceding entry). It thus effectively ignores the important work done by Palardy and others and the acquisitions made by the Canadiana Department of the Royal Ontario Museum during 1954-67.
Stevens, Gerald F. The Canadian Collector. 1957. Reprint. Toronto: Coles, 1974. Chapter 3, "Canadian Cabinetmakers," provides a brief survey of furniture styles and types and contains a list, far from complete, of mid nineteenth-century cabinetmakers active in Ontario and Quebec.
Stevens, Gerald F. Early Ontario Furniture. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1966. A brief survey, Number 13 in the R.O.M.'s "What? Why"? When? How? Where? Who?" series.
Stevens, Gerald F. In a Canadian Attic. Toronto: Ryerson, 1965. A chapter on furniture (pp. 53-90) provides an introduction to stylistic evolution and construction methods. Illustrated with line drawings.
Stewart, Don R. A Guide to Pre-Confederation Furniture of English Canada. Toronto: Longmans, 1967. A general survey, containing misleading information and emphasizing the crude and the rustic.
Symons, Scott. "Contemporary Meaning in Canadiana." Queen's Quarterly 71 no. 2 (Summer 1964), pp. 257-70. A review article based on Jean— Palardy's The Early Furniture of French Canada. Anticipates many of the themes later presented in the author's book Heritage.
Symons, Scott. Heritage: A Romantic Look at Early Canadian Furniture. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1971. A lavishly illustrated, poetic view of Canadian furniture in which three-dimensional objects are seen as compelling symbols of early Canadian culture.
Van Home, Julian. "A Decorator Looks at Canadian Furniture." Canadian Magazine 65, no. 1 (January 1931), pp. 45-46. An evaluation of modern furniture manufactured by Canadian firms in historical revival styles. Includes brief and general remarks about national and stylistic influences in the furniture of early settlement areas and proposes to divide Canadian furniture into four regional groups. A few remarks about characteristic cabinetmaking woods are included.
Webster, Donald Blake. "Canadian Furniture." Canadian Antiques Collector, August 1968, p. 13. Discusses a carved pine console table from Quebec, acquired by the Canadiana Department of the Royal Ontario Museum. Also contains comments on the department's collecting policy: "...The primary collecting focus is, and always has been on acquiring furniture not because it is old, or because it is typical, but rather because of original quality and excellence."
Webster, Donald Blake. "Canadian Georgian Furniture." Canadian Collector, November/December 1979, pp. 24-29. An article adapted from the author's book English-Canadian Furniture of the Georgian Period.
Webster, Donald Blake. "Colonial Elegance: Canadian Furniture of the Georgian Period." Rotunda, Winter 1977/78, pp. 13-21. A brief article, anticipating the author's English-Canadian Furniture of the Georgian Period.
Webster, Donald Blake. "Early Canadian Furniture." Canadian Antiques Collector, June 1968, p. 23; November 1968, p. 19. The June article discusses a sofa table then being attributed, without supporting documentation, to "Mr. Gibbard" of Napanee, Ontario, by the Canadiana Department of the Royal Ontario Museum. The November article discusses an Ontario curly maple sofa acquired by the Canadiana Department.
Webster, Donald Blake. English-Canadian Furniture of the Georgian Period. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1979. The first book to deal exclusively with formal, high-style, English-Canadian furniture. General, introductory chapters on stylistic background, identification, and attributions. Disappointing in its lack of footnotes and documentation and its failure to note parallels with American work of the same period.
Webster, Donald Blake. "Furniture of English Quebec." In The Book of Canadian Antiques, edited by Donald Blake Webster, pp. 54-70. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1974. The first major article to draw attention to the often ignored English and Anglo-American tradition of furniture making in Quebec.
Webster, Donald Blake. "Furniture Sleuthing." Canadian Collector, March/April 1976, pp. 16-18. Discusses some of the pitfalls of identifying Canadian furniture and describes the value of wood analysis, infra-red photography, and typologies of construction and stylistic details.
Webster, Donald Blake. "The Identification of English-Canadian Furniture 1780-1840." Antiques 115, no. 1 (January 1979), pp. 164-79. Discusses the limitations and use of wood analysis, construction details, hardware, and style in distinguishing between American and Canadian antique furniture. In anticipation of the author's English-Canadian Furniture of the Georgian Period.
Webster, Donald Blake. "Manitoba Furniture." Canadian Antiques Collector, April 1969, pp. 18-19. A brief article focussing largely on the style and construction of so-called Red River chairs, derived from French-Canadian models.
Webster, Donald Blake. "Quebec Furniture with an English Accent." Canadian Homes, July 1969, p. 7. An early acknowledgement of English and Anglo-American traditions in the furniture of Quebec.
Webster, Donald Blake. "Victorian Furniture in Canada." Canadian Antiques Collector, November 1970, pp. 9-12. A brief survey of popular styles. Includes an illustration of a Renaissance revival sideboard "probably by Jacques and Hay" (p. 9) but which is remarkably similar to a sideboard in the collection of the Gibbard Furniture Shops Limited of Napanee, Ontario. The Gibbard firm attributes it to their own factory which was founded in 1835.
Wilson, Ann Elizabeth. "A History of Canadian Furniture." Canadian Homes and Gardens, Part I (February 1928), pp. 25-27, 51; Part II (May 1928), pp. 40-52; Part III not seen. An early popular survey of seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century furniture surviving in Canadian homes and institutions. Numerous illustrations, including domestic interiors from St. Andrews, New Brunswick, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Parts I and II describe the furniture-making traditions of Lower Canada, identifying various makers in Quebec City and Montreal. At the end of Part II the author promises a third installment concerning Ontario furniture; it is not known when this part appeared.
Wiser's Distillery Ltd. The Wiser's Canadiana Collection. Belleville, Ont., [196-?]. An illustrated catalogue of a corporate collection of Canadiana, including some furniture.
Yeager, William, ed. The Cabinet Makers of Norfolk County. Simcoe, Ont.: Norfolk Historical Society, 1975. A survey of craftsmen and attributed furniture based on documentary sources, interviews, and local tradition. A blend of nostalgia and solid research designed to encourage interest in Norfolk County craftsmanship.