Louisiana Book Review - Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835


Louisiana Book Review - Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835

LBReview Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835
Author: Holden, Jack D.; et. al.
Publisher: Historic New Orleans Collection
Publication Date: December, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-917860-56-0
Pages: 552

Louisiana has fine examples of furniture created during the early 18th to the mid 19th centuries. These are showcased in Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835. This is a well-researched, definitive volume on early Creole and Acadian furniture published by the Historic New Orleans Collection.Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835 offers readers a color catalog of furniture forms from the upper and lower Mississippi Valley which are highlighted by essays related to the furniture makers, the furniture trade, and the history of the area. Authors and historians Jack D. Holden, H. Parrott Bacot, Cybele T. Gontar, with Brian J. Costello and Francis J. Puig add their expertise to this large tome. Photographer Jim Zietz offers fabulous color images throughout which give a sense of the history of the area as well as fine examples of Creole and Acadian craftsmanship.

Color images abound showing the furniture and hardware in remarkable detail. Close-ups of ciphers, pictorial inlays, stringing and banding help capture the essence of the furniture and its maker. From cabinetry, armoires, beds and desks to chairs, chests and tables, the pieces are truly extraordinary. Beneath each image, dimensions, materials, hardware, conservation, owner or collection are given. There are 15 chapters, as well as appendixes, glossary, bibliography, photo credits, contributors, acknowledgements, and an index. Chapters include: An Introduction; Cabinet Woods of Louisiana; Ebenisterie in Louisiana; Louisiana Furniture Hardware; The Early Cabinetmakers of Louisiana; and Furniture Importation at the Port of New Orleans, which gives the reader a nice introduction into the world of Creole and Acadian furniture. The catalogue follows, with chapters on Louisiana Armoire; Melange: Case Pieces, Desks and Clocks; The Louisiana Table; The Louisiana Chair; The Campeche Chair in Louisiana; The Louisiana Bedstead; Utilitarian Objects; and Creole Furniture from the Upper Valley of Louisiana. The Appendixes include The Parishes of Louisiana; Early Louisiana Furniture Woods; and Craftsmen, Retailers & Apprentices. As important as all the chapters are, the list of craftsmen, retailers & and apprentices is quite nice. In listing the name of the craftsman or retailer, their years, profession and address and the apprentice’s name, age, date, term, description, birthplace, and master’s name, this remarkable historical resource on Creole and Acadian furniture, now becomes a useful tool for genealogists.

Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735-1835 is a large, definitive volume on Louisiana’s furniture. This book would make an excellent gift for the furniture aficionado, or a library’s collection on Louisiana furniture.

Charlene Bonnette is Head of the Louisiana Department of the State Library of Louisiana.