Southern Antiques/Chapter 11

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XI

HUNTING BOARDS


THE hunting boards around which the owners of Southern plantations gathered their friends before and after the hunt, resemble the sideboard in plan and execution, and served to some degree the same purpose. They were often in plain designs, and served as a part of the equipment of the homes. With the Southern

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forests rich with game and the housewife eager for the results of the day's hunt, the sport was indulged in by all classes. The richer homes displayed finer types, with the Hepplewhite and Sheraton influence at work on the best of them, and some of them, unusually well made, were prize pieces. As a general rule, they are taller than the sideboards, and their design leads one to believe that they were used chiefly in halls where members of the hunt could stand and partake of wine and food in the fashion of a buffet lunch. The sketches show plain types found in the rural sections.

PLATES

PLATE I. Chippendale Side Table—Walnut. (Virginia—c. 1770). A large table that might have been used for the purpose of a hunting board. It shows Chippendale influence; in fact, almost an exact copy of one of his plates. (Property of Joe Kindig, Jr.).

PLATE II. Hepplewhite Hunting Board or Silver Table—Walnut. (North Carolina—c. 1770-1785). A felt top on this Hepplewhite hunting board suggests that it might have been put to use as a silver table. The legs are square and chamfered, indicating that the Chippendale influence had extended itself into the '80's on this board. Some question arises as to the handles in the piece. This matter is a debatable one. This piece shows the wine drawer in the center. (Property of Mrs. J. L. Brockwell).

PLATE III. Hepplewhite Hunting Board or Table—Walunt. (Virginia—c. 1790). This is a particularly fine table of the hunting board class. Showing the approximate height and depth of the hunting table, it is so designated. The spade foot is employed. The legs are inlaid with mahogany panels. (Property of J. Pope Nash).

PLATE IV. Top—Sheraton Hunting Board or Sideboard—Walnut. (South Carolina—c. 1790-1800. This type of sideboard, or hunting board, is found in considerable numbers throughout the South. This piece presents the style of sideboard used by the tradesmen, middlemen and small planters in the period. It is a well-made piece, and influenced by the Sheraton design as indicated by the arch center, although the square leg is retained. Other pieces were recorded as made in this style as late as 1815. One dated as made 1812 has been found. Many such plain sideboards are found, while there are others showing elaborate inlay. This board has the wine drawer in one end. (Property of Mrs. B. P. Hodgman).

PLATE IV. Bottom—Hunting Board—Pine. (North Carolina—c. 1800-1830). A hunting board of the plain type, with moldings resembling the early chests. Dates on pieces of this type are difficult to determine, but they were made late. (Property of W. S. Ahern).

PLATE V. Top—Sheraton Hunting Board—Mahogany. (Georgia—c. 1800). The cut of this finely-made hunting board of the later period is somewhat indistinct, but the legs are nicely reeded, and have the carved leaf design in the tops, a design which has been found also in tables and sideboards. (Property of Francis D. Brinton).

PLATE V. Bottom—Early Empire Hunting Board—Mahogany. (South Carolina—c. 1810-1830). The large reeding in this piece reflects the tendency of the period of making its furniture larger in size. Pieces of this type, however, are not plentiful.

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PLATE I

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PLATE II

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PLATE III

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PLATE IV

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PLATE V