Author Topic: Newport Chest Brasses  (Read 4363 times)

Ademers

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Newport Chest Brasses
« on: November 29, 2011, 04:19:41 PM »
Does anyone know what the plate and bore sizes are for the pulls and escutcheons on a Townsend chest of drawers?  This would be the early version c1765.  I had a chance to view and measure an orginal a couple of months ago and missed this detail.  Thanks
Alan

rchampagne

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2011, 09:06:47 AM »
Don't remember the sizes off hand, but I made a Townsend high chest recently and got the brasses from Ball and Ball--they were a larger version of the C-11 plate.  If that's the one you are looking for, I can get some measurements.  They had the plate on file, and it was the same as a documented brass from the Brown secretary, I believe. 

albreed

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2011, 12:05:54 PM »
There is no right answer, as brasses varied somewhat in size depending on what was available at the time. The brasses on the secretary I did were giant and would look overwhelming on a standard chest-Al
Allan Breed

Johnny D

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2011, 04:18:49 PM »
Ifnisnzwunyurlukinfur:  If you're talking about the chest shown in Hecksher's book, catalog no. 18, 4 drawer blockfront, shell-capped bureau, then take a look at brass item no. CH44 in Londonderry's website.  Quite close in design and shape.   Townsend's brass selection fits quite well in the area between shells, so look for that.  You could print out the photo from the website at full scale, cut it out, and lay it on your work to be sure the size is good.

JD

albreed

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2011, 07:06:14 PM »
Sometimes you'll have to clip the brass to get it to fit between the shells- see the old stuff and hey did the same thing-Al
Allan Breed

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2011, 08:19:07 PM »
What is the title of Hecksher's book?

Dennis Bork
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Retired Dec. 2018.

Johnny D

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 09:44:44 PM »
John Townsend, Newport Cabinetmaker by Morrison Heckscher 2005, Yale University Press.

Ademers

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2011, 10:41:28 AM »
Thank you all for the feedback - very helpful.  I typically use Ball & Ball but noticed that Horton has similar brasses at a much lower price.  Does anyone have an opinon on Horton products as I have not used them.  Thanks
Alan

Antiquity Period Designs, Ltd.

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2011, 11:46:08 AM »
Both companies are great.  I use them both.  Horton ships much faster and has only one shipping charge no matter how many items you order.

Dennis Bork
Professional period furniture maker since 1985.  Received a B.S. degree in physics then apprenticed and worked as a wood patternmaker for 12 years. Retired Dec. 2018.

albreed

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2011, 01:29:10 PM »
The people at Horton are absolutely the best and the brasses are very good-Al
Allan Breed

rchampagne

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2011, 02:53:53 PM »
I agree-I have gotten exceptional service from Orion and the folks at Horton.  They are pretty close by to me so I usually just stop over there to get what I need.  I've gotten a lot of drawer locks from them, and have gotten QA brasses from them.  They don't have a huge selection of later style brasses, so I have gone with Ball & Ball for those--haven't seen Londonderry brasses in person, but they seem to be across the board the most expensive.

Johnny D

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2011, 04:22:28 PM »
Yeah, the Horton folks are good.  I had a problem with one lock, and two days later two new ones showed up at my door, no charge.   Orion rang me up the next day to be sure I'd had them. 
Horton's brasses (QA & Chip.) I believe are all plate/sheet brass stamped and beveled (filed?).  Ball and Ball have both cast and stamped.  Londonderry's are all cast.  I've not used them but a few months ago I saw a number of them on finished pieces, and I will not be using any others from now on.  They are pricey.  The hardware from them for my oxbow chest (four draws) will run me almost 600 dolla.  Gotta have the good stuff though.  The cast ones I saw had a look that just said "Real" to me, along with minor irregularities, casting flash and verdigris that added up to a just right look.
My guess is that our forebears didn't have the same inexpensive options for brasses that we have today.  The cost of brasses for a quality piece must have been a pretty substantial part of the total cost of a piece.  I think, and someone please correct me if wrong, that all period brasses were cast.

JD

dkeller_nc

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2011, 09:26:03 AM »
There is a distinction between Londonderry's products (generally made for them by Optimum Brasses in the UK, though they have other manufacturer's products) and Horton's and Ball and Ball's. 

Londonderry's are made -completely- like the originals were, including the cast posts & nuts, or cotter pins, depending on the style/period.  Horton and Ball&Ball, probably for reasons of cost, supply modern cut-thread posts and hex nuts though you could substitute out the hex nuts for square ones.

In other words, Horton's and Ball&Ball's products will be fairly convincing from the exterior of a piece, but -instantly- identifiable as a modern reproduction when a drawer is opened.  To many, that doesn't matter.  To some, it does.
Period Furniture & Carving as a hobby - about 20 years woodworking

Johnny D

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2011, 04:30:13 PM »
I don't know how loud I should say this, but Mr. Keller you just paid for my SAPFM membership for the next several years.  Thank you.   Hadn't heard about Optimum Brasses before, but I'm glad I did; I'm just about to buy some cast brasses.

JD

rchampagne

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Re: Newport Chest Brasses
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2011, 09:21:48 PM »
When I was shopping for brasses for my highboy I sent a pdf of the original brass, traced on a piece of paper, to Horton.  The next day I got a call from a guy who Orion had referred me to--he works at a custom shop that makes real high end brasses for antiques dealers and museums, etc.  I don't remember who he was or what the name of his shop was, but I bet Horton would be happy to refer you.  In the end I went with Ball and Ball because they were about $15 cheaper per plate.  A few of the bails I got were cast, with cast nuts, and the rest were machined bails with modern nuts.  They might be able to supply the cast ones if that is important. 
Rob