Furniture Styles

Shaker, circa 1810-1850
Our Shaker influenced works embrace nineteenth-century elegant-but-simple design principles of harmonious proportion, constructive integrity and form based on function. Shorn of excess ornamentation, this furniture aesthetic lends a quiet and graceful dignity to any space, evoking the Shaker philosophy of “Less is More.” Shaker communities from New England to the Midwest believed “Tis a Gift to be Simple” and with “Hands to Work and Hearts to God” they elevated American Pine & Cherry to artistic forms of plain perfection. Their version of abundance has stood the test of time. Today Adriance Shaker-inspired works represent the finest value in handmade furniture for its intrinsic merit.

Nautical, circa 1820-1850
Celebrating the seamanship skills of New England mariners who traversed the seas for trade, our Nautical craftwork conjures the mystery of the “blue-water world” with its exacting standards and matchless discipline. The glorious age of sail is tangible in fancy sea chests inlaid with five-point stars, ditty boxes with marlinspike beckets, tables with hand-carved rope legs & edges. Exquisite wide South American mahogany boards are the preferred wood choice. Adriance nautical heirlooms embody historical flavor rare in today’s world.

 Colonial, circa 1740–1776
Our Colonial influenced masterworks emulate the richness of Newport & Boston’s eighteenth-century furniture, so prized by informed collectors today. That era witnessed a confluence of rich natural resources, global sea-trade, artistic genius, and brilliant expression of new wealth. All combined to produce a furniture legacy unique in world history. With the permission of curators and private collectors, Adriance has taken precise measurements of many archetypical New England pieces. We are indebted to the superior workmanship of Newport’s earliest celebrity-artisans, particularly John Townsend and John Goddard (born 1723 in Dartmouth, MA, near our workshop). Early New England’s obsession with furniture refinement reflected passions popular with aristocracy on both sides of the Atlantic. The cyma (S-curve), espoused by English artist William Hogarth as “the line of beauty,” developed into refined shapes such as sinuous cabriole legs. Influenced by Thomas Chippendale’s 1752 London treatise, gifted American Furnituremakers further embellished serpentine front chests with convex and concave scallop shells. Mahogany was preferred for its superlative grain and valued for its carving characteristics. If you relish meticulous attention to detail, crisply inscribed carvings and exuberant turnings, Adriance will handcraft a classic heirloom of American heritage for you and generations to treasure.

 Federal circa 1785-1815
In the late eighteenth century, London was the epicenter of architectural fashion for Americans. Robert Adam’s 1774 tome, Works in Architecture, championed the finest expression of neoclassical taste, based on recently excavated sites in Pompeii, Italy. George Hepplewhite’s 1788 & Thomas Sheraton’s 1794 books further advanced this aesthetic movement of furniture delineations toward delicacy and refinement, presenting optimal treatments for furniture and upholstery. Their august designs featured beautifully contrasting woods with book-matched veneers, oval inlays, pendant bellflowers, reticulated carvings, and reeded legs. This era witnessed a zenith of unparalleled commitment to craft yielding artworks of superb quality. Inlaying arcs and ellipses required excellent eye-hand coordination, a profound understanding of craft, fine materials, and a knowledge of abstruse geometry. Transcendent period designs in the form of breakfronts, bowfronts, and serpentine cabinetry have enriched posterity ever since. Following the American Revolution, the homes and furnishings of enlightened American aristocrats, including George Washington, became adorned with flowering sprays, swags and garland themes borrowed from warmer ancient Mediterranean climes. American furnituremakers of this period created their own dignified masterpieces of graceful proportion, elegance and taste. Talented late 18th and early 19th century artisans like John Seymour of Boston, Samuel McIntire of Salem, and Duncan Phyfe of New York continue to inspire contemporary furnituremakers with their collective perseverance and ambition, evincing a breathtaking American resolve. Today’s furniture connoisseur judges work based on mastery of shape, proportional balance, rarity of materials, sophistication of ornamentation, and quality of fine craftsmanship. If you relish meticulous attention to detail Adriance will handcraft a classic heirloom of American heritage for you and generations to treasure.