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Account Book of John Head Joiner Philadelphia Cabinetmaking and Commerce, 1718-1753


Concealed from public view for most of its existence, the account book had descended through seven generations of Quaker relations. It was donated, in 1991-1992, to the American Philosophical Society, as part of an extensive collection, the George Vaux Papers. The account book's significance, however, was not discovered until May 7, 1999, during research on other material in that archive. The subjects of that inquiry were two pieces of furniture that had descended in the Vaux family. One was a curled maple, intaglio-knee dressing table with a Benjamin Franklin provenance, and attributed to the shop of William Savery. The other was a curled walnut, slant-front desk on ogee bracket feet with serpentine interior, which had been originally owned by John Head, Jr., one of Philadelphia's wealthiest merchants at the time of the Revolution.

This article was written by Jay Robert Stiefel in 2001

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