Petersen , Karsten (attr.)
Salem, North Carolina
black walnut and poplar
HOA 37; DOA 26; LOA 85 3/4; L (seat) 76 1/2;
Sofa of black walnut with poplar secondary; outer frame at seat morticed into leg posts. Inside of this is a pine frame nailed to outer frame 1/2″ above lower edge of outer frame. A few 1″ strips toe-nailed to this flush with lower edge of inner frame, front to back which supports a poplar board which is the full length and width of seat. On this the cushion. Poplar boards 1/2″ thick, tongue-and-groove nailed on bottom of inner frame butting on outer frame front to back. All cut nails. Arms are curved extensions of legs ending in a roll with a 1 3/8″ turned disk ca. 1/8 ” thick in center. Back is board frame morticed and tenoned (no pegs) and routed for a panel of poplar. Lower board also poplar. Frame fastened to end posts by flat-head screws. Large screw at each end penetrating post onto roll of arm. Front of back frame, inner edge, and inner edge of arm frame and top outer edge of end seat frame are routed slightly to receive edge of upholstery. Horsehair upholstery in good condition. It had been re-upholstered several times, evidenced by many tack holes in frame.
An elegant piece, this sofa is a combination of Germanic “” and the French and English influenced “Empire” (also known as Victorian Classical) styles. Sofas begin to appear in Salem inventories in 1802, and numerous local examples in various styles have survived. Typical of pieces of this period, the sofa has splayed legs, a deeply molded front rail, and an undulating back. The covering of woven black horsehair is not original, but follows the original lines and is probably an early replacement.
Gift of Miss Katherine Hanes to Wachovia Historical Society