UPDATE Dec 2, 2013 – The Fisher pieces described below are now in the Case Gallery in Knoxville in preparation for their sale at the January 25, 2014 auction. We highly recommend visiting the Living Heritage Museum to view their collection and invite you to attend our public art and antique auction on January 25.
Several pieces of 19th century furniture made by the Fisher family of Tennessee cabinetmakers – including four items which will be offered for sale in Case’s January 25 auction from the William Selden estate of Athens – are on exhibit at the McMinn County Living Heritage Museum in Athens, TN.
The Exhibit is “Jacob Fisher and Family – Athens, Tennessee Craftsmen 1830-1860.” It showcases the work of Jacob Fisher, who moved to Athens from Virginia in 1838 as an established cabinetmaker, and set up a woodworking shop with his sons Augustus and Richard, and his son-in-law Henry Rider.
The men made furniture as requested by established East Tennessee families, and completed interior woodwork on homes and businesses through their connection with construction contractors Thomas Crutchfield and Samuel Cleage. The Fishers favored walnut and cherry, locally available woods, and a hallmark of their fine craftsmanship is exquisitely turned posts and legs.
On loan to the exhibit are four items that will be offered for sale in Case’s January 25 auction: a sideboard, a set of chairs, a candlestand, and a small blanket chest. (All are from the historic home of late Athens resident William Selden, whose estate will comprise a significant portion of Case’s Winter auction). The museum has in its permanent collection a Jacob Fisher walnut tall case clock and Jackson press. Other pieces have been loaned for exhibit and study by private collectors including a second Jacob Fisher Jackson press, a Richard Fisher Empire chest, and a signed Augustus Fisher chest of drawers.
The museum is also initiating a research project to examine Fisher furniture. Persons who believe they own a piece of Fisher furniture may call Mary Alton or Amy Blackburn at the museum at 423-745-0329. All pieces identified as being crafted by the Fisher family will be documented and included in the research project.
The McMinn County Living Heritage Museum has over 10,000 artifacts in 30 permanent exhibits representing the culture and history of the region from the 1700s to the 1940s. It is open Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM. For exhibit schedules and more information, visit www.livingheritagemuseum.com.
More information on the Fisher furniture and other items from the Selden estate being offered in Case’s January 25 auction will be available soon on this site, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.