fiddle back chair

fiddle back chairPHOTO: A very distinctive fiddle-back chair, ca. 1770, made in the Holmdel area and owned by the Bucklin family of Colts Neck, Monmouth County. Gift of Mrs. J. Amory Haskell, 1936.

FREEHOLD, NJ – On Saturday, April 2, Monmouth County Historical Association will hold a day-long seminar on eighteenth century chairmaking in Monmouth County. The program will be led by Joseph W. Hammond, Curator of Museum Collections for the Association.


Focus will be placed on locally produced bannister-back, fiddle-back and slat-back chairs of several different types. Approximately twenty examples with histories of ownership among the old families of Monmouth County will be studied in detail. They will be drawn from the Association’s extensive collection of documented local furniture, and also from private collections.


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Chairs that have been attributed since the 1930s to the Maps family of West Long Branch will be closely scrutinized. That investigation will take advantage of a series of photographs taken about 1933 of many chairs still owned at the time by Maps descendants. Using a variety of analytical techniques, participants will be asked to sort all the chairs on display into groups possibly attributable to individual craftsmen even though their names are not at present known.

The seminar, to be held at the Association’s museum at 70 Court Street, will begin at 10:30am, and end at 3pm. The program will be of interest to serious collectors and students of New Jersey furniture, as well as those individuals who wish to learn more about the techniques of furniture connoisseurship. Because this is a very hands-on session involving close examination of authentic eighteenth century chairs, registration will be limited to fifteen participants.

Lunch and beverages will be served. Advance registration required. $75 per person. To make your reservation call 732-462-1466 x11 or email [email protected].

Monmouth County Historical Association is a private non-profit organization that has been working to preserve history and provide educational opportunities since its founding in 1898. The Historical Association’s Museum and Library is located at 70 Court Street in Freehold. Museum hours are: Tuesdays – Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Library is open Wednesdays through Saturdays. The Historic Houses are open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from May 1 through September 30, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For further information about the Association, please call (732) 462-1466 or visit the web site at

Monmouth County Historical Association received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

Photo caption: A very distinctive fiddle-back chair, ca. 1770, made in the Holmdel area and owned by the Bucklin family of Colts Neck, Monmouth County. Gift of Mrs. J. Amory Haskell, 1936.


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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...