18th Century Petersburg Corner Chair
Petersburg, Virginia, Chippendale Corner Chair, c. 1775,
cherry, with yellow pine secondary; broad D-shaped arm rail with applied low crest and out-turned rounded terminals, over two pierced vasiform splats, each featuring four vertical piercings over a keyhole-like aperture and other small piercings; flanked by columnar arm supports, above a square molded-edge seat frame, all raised on square-slightly tapering legs with inside chamfer and joined with box stretcher. Height 31 ½”, width 17 ½’, depth 17 ½”.
Condition: Approximately 1″ loss in height, arm repair improperly done in mahogany, wood block arm braces for columnar arm supports and loss to molded edge of seat rail; replaced slip seat.
Provenance: This chair has remained in Petersburg for over 240 years. The chair was consigned to us from Blandford Lodge No. 3 A.F. & A.M. here in Petersburg, VA. Here is a brief history of the Lodge.
Blandford Lodge No. 3 was chartered on September 9, 1757, by the Grand Lodge of Scotland, and its original charter is in its possession. Blandford was a village located in the County of Prince George, Virginia.
The Lodge met for years in Masons hall in Blandford until the great fire in the year 1819 destroyed the Lodge building. Also destroyed were the minutes of the Lodge from the date of its charter until the year 1815. After the fire it met in several locations until, by the means of a lottery to secure enough funds to build a new meeting hall, a building was secured in 1829 on Tabb Street in Petersburg, Virginia. The Lodge actively met in that building for one hundred forty years. In 1969 it moved to new quarters, which are owned jointly by the Masonic organizations in Petersburg. The Grand Lodge of Virginia dedicated this building in 1988.
The Lodge was active in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Virginia, and one of its members, Duncan Rose, was the first Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.
This Lodge was also active in the formation of Petersburg Lodge No 15, in 1786, and Powhatan Starke Lodge No. 124 in 1871, both located in Petersburg. The latter was named for Powhatan B. Starke, Past Master of Blandford Lodge No. 3 and a Past Grand Master of Masons in Virginia, having served in 1858.
Members of this Lodge have served faithfully in the various military arms of the United States. First in the Revolutionary War, where freedom was secured from Britain, and then in the other wars thereafter. Captain Richard McRae, a member of this Lodge, formed a company of volunteers during the War of 1812, who wore as a part of their uniform a cockade. The company distinguished itself in the defense of Fort Meigs, and President James Madison recognized Petersburg as the Cockade City, a name that is still used in Petersburg.
This Lodge was active during the Civil War and had many occasions to bury the Masonic dead from many southern towns and cities during the great conflict. It is noted that immediately after the war, in April 1865, Brethren from both North and South met in harmony at a special communication.