"Please have a look at my work and stay awhile." Dick Toone, Artisan and Proprietor

Chairs

A Brief Clarification About Camp Stools

The stool as it now called was a “chair” in ancient times. The stool, consisting of a frame with a covering suspended on the top for a seat has been in use for over 2000 years.  Originally the stool (chair) was used only by a king or chief, so it follows that the position of a chairman at a meeting comes from this exalted use.

I have offered common stools using strong woods and 18th Century joiner methods for 25 years as a camp accessory with no known original to copy. These have been mistakenly called Washington stools by others. Washington’s stools were provided to him by Philadelphia upholsterer Plunket Fleeson along with tentage and tables May 1776 and are of unique construction. We know of the construction from only two known of the original eighteen. They are as different from my common stool as a Volkswagon is to a Cadillac and by my agreement with the Smithsonian not available to the general public. Duplicates of Washington’s stools made by me may be seen at Yorktown National Historical Park and at Rockingham Historic Site in Kingston, New Jersey.

My common camp stool is very strong and stable with two grades of seating- heavy linen canvas or double layer heavy cotton. Cotton will stretch and was not used in this fashion in the 18th Century. Frame construction is the same for both versions of the common stool.  Linen costs more. The difference is due to hand stitching and cost of linen versus machine sewn cotton. Common camp stools come painted red, blue, green or yellow.  This common camp stool is with canvas seating is priced at $80.00, while the linen seated version is $110.00.

My officer grade camp stool employs more involved construction techniques with mortice and tenon joints with recessed riveting, hemp or linen canvas underpinning and green Baize upholstery covering secured with cast brass nails (tacks) to varnished walnut framing. Legs have a stylish slight serpentine Chippendale shape and these stools costs $300.00 on special order.

I am sorry, but I know of no folding stools appearing in etchings, engravings or paintings known to have been produced in the 18th century having a back support.

Regards,
Dick Toone

 

About The Living History Shop

We hand-build 18th century travel furnishings and field equipage to your specifications.

The Living History Shop works in close collaboration with historic sites as well as the Smithsonian Museum to research and reproduce unusual and challenging examples of historic technology specific to the 1740-1790 time period.

Because of the increasing complexity and scope of our projects, we will no longer be printing a catalog. Simply call or email us with your needs or to obtain current prices and delivery schedule.

Curators of historic sites can obtain — with permission from sites in possession — reproductions of some of George Washington’s personal campaign furniture and accessories, including his: Folding Field Bedsteads, Mess Kit, Stool, Liquor Chest, Shaving Kit, large Storage Box, Luggage and Writing Case.

All items are made from original examples I have seen and documented and employ construction details of the original. Iron keyed locks are used on chest lids and drawers. Hand forged iron work is made to our specifications by Jeff Miller (Flintlock Forge).

Examples include:

  • Wooden chests with dovetail or lap joints, forged iron or rope handles, snipe or strap hinges, painted or not
  • Pine topped tables with scissor leg or sawbuck design (2″ X-legs with streacher between)
  • Pine plank benches
  • Pine bench Shaving Horse
  • Red oak open frame wheelbarrows with solid (non-spoked) wheel standard
  • Red oak standard size ( 1 3/4″ thick frame) four spoke wheelbarrows with or without sides 1/2″ thick
  • White oak heavy duty wheelbarrows using 2″ thick stock for frame and 3/4″ thick sides and bottom – four spoke wheel
  • 17-18th century Miner Style Wheelbarrow (from Diderot) with four spoked wheel in red or white oak 3/4″ sides
  • Walnut folding officers bedstead in single or double width complete with bed curtains, mattress, and storage chest
  • Walnut officers grade Chippendale style folding table with matching upholstered stool including custom canvas case
  • Walnut or maple Georgian period folding chair upholstered in leather
  • The best wooden handled table top brazier made
  • Officer grade Mess Kit Canteen
  • Wine crates with or without blown bottles
  • Wine chest with blown bottles and glasses of officer grade in iron clasped walnut and with hand made lock
  • Sundry small items such as lidded pine Tavern Tankards, Tape Looms, and curly maple Lanterns

Portfolio

The Princeton homestead named Rockingham served as General George Washington’s final headquarters during the American Revolution. It was here he awaited the Treaty of Paris, the official paperwork that would end the war and grant America formal sovereignty.

Furnishings below are part of the extensive collection of Washington’s field furnishings created for Rockingham Historic Site in 2005-2006. The State of New Jersey commissioned the Living History Shop, in cooperation with the Smithsonian and Mt. Vernon, to reproduce many of Washington’s personal campaign furnishings for Rockingham.

Washington Mess Kit (canteen) duplicated from original in the Smithsonian. Intricate and detailed construction including hand-blocked wallpaper, green felt lining, and intricate system of precisely fitted compartments.

Washinton’s four nested cooking pots with detachable handles. Mess kit (canteen) tinware by tinsmith, Carl Giordano.

 George Washington’s folding gridiron with telescoping handle. Forge work by blacksmith, Jeff Miller.
Mid 18th Century Delaware Valley design “Sawbuck” table. Dovetailed center drawer. Sturdy construction, featuring 1.25″ thick pine top and poplar legs.
Washington’s travel trunk in black leather duplicated by Steve Freede from original at Mt. Vernon with brass cartouche engraved “Genl Washington No.3″.
Washington’s travel trunk in black leather duplicated by Steve Freede from original at Mt. Vernon with brass cartouche engraved “Genl Washington No.3″.
Geo Washington large faux grain shipping chest from original at Mt. Vernon. Wood joints and assembly are individually fitted. Fit and finish are appropriate to the piece and its use today. Jackplane smoothing marks and scribe lines are visible on exposed surfaces. Hand-forged iron fastenings and handles are used. Authenticated period colors cover painted pieces.
One of two walnut Chippendale Side Chairs duplicated from original set of four at Rockingham site.
Plunket Fleeson of Philadelphia supplied Washington with 18 walnut camp stools as part of a large order, including his tentage, in 1776. Duplicated from original in the Smithsonian.
George Washington’s folding field bedstead in walnut wood, with hand sewn hemp canvas foundation, interpreted from multiple researched sources including observation of the original at Mt. Vernon.

Shaving Box used by George Washington that carried seven daily straight razors in mahogany wood, silk lined. Duplicated from original in Mt. Vernon.

The FINAL HEADQUARTERS: ROCKINGHAM project by the LIVING HISTORY SHOP, 2006, installed at Rockingham in Kingston New Jersey, was made possible by the Public Buildings Arts Inclusion Act of 1978. The Arts Inclusion program is administered by the NEW JERSEY STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS. Funding for this project was provided by the NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION and administered by the NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF PROPERTY MANAGEMENT & CONSTRUCTION.

 

Organizations:

Rockingham Historic Site 
Smithsonian 
Mt. Vernon

Artisans:

Carl Giordano, Tinsmith
Steve & Katie Freede, The Trunk Shoppe 
Jeff Miller, Flintlock Forge
John Pierce & Dave Byerly, P&B Glassworks
Frank Willis
Tricia & Rick Toone, Fine Art & Photography
 

 

R & R TOONE | FIELD EQUIPAGE

Museum-quality reproduction travel furnishings from 1740-1790. Including folding beds, chests, tables, chairs, wheelbarrows and all manner of accessories. We have handshake partnered with Bryant White, Jr. to expand our present services and provide for a continued future. Bryant Jr. is recent Journeyman graduate of The Funiture Institute of Massachusetts. He is grandson of John White (Avalon Forge), son of Bryant White (artist painter married to noted historical painter Pamela Patrick White). Some of Bryant's handiwork can be seen at www.bryantbuilds.com We are dedicated to meeting the needs of museums, historical sites, and officers in the field.

PORTRAITS

Please call with your questions or orders. We enjoy complex or challenging research and build opportunities.

Richard & Regina Toone
18 Tower Drive
Columbus, NJ 08022
PHONE (609) 261-3415

EMAIL