Staked furniture isn’t just for Moravians and chroniclers of public health in the Middle Ages.
It’s everywhere – once you open your eyes.
One of my favorite primary sources is Lewis Miller, a carpenter in York, Pa., who chronicled life in the 19th century with watercolors and text. The reason Miller is at the top of my list is he was a woodworker. So when he drew a workbench or a piece of furniture, chances are that what he drew is what it looked like.
So check out the sketch above titled “Christian Rupp and Kunkel, at the dinner Table, 1809.” The table is almost certainly staked. No aprons. It has boards that thicken the top where the legs intersect the top. And a drawer that hangs down.
And he shows staked construction again in this image: “Martin Weiser & wife, 1810, in his Tavern.”
As my house has been filling with staked furniture these last few years, I’ve begun to ask: Why have I not been building this stuff since day one (about 1993)?
— Christopher Schwarz